Law & Order: SVU Review: Waiting for the Other Shoe

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"Valentine's Day" is usually for lovers, but on this week's episode, it's for liars.

SVU has a long history of showing the ways in which victims can be undermined by a clever rapist and/or good defense teams. Sometimes, the show plays with the issue of victim's reliability. The episode "Doubt" in Season 6 really highlighted the problems of a "he said/she said" crime, and it ended with without giving the audience the jury's decision.

Tonight's episode tried to introduce the same element of doubt and uncertainty into the rape victim's claim, but it wasn't nearly as effectively presented. While we got the jury's verdict (or rather lack of a verdict), the case itself was never fully resolved. In fact, the episode's ending felt abrupt, unfulfilling, and frustrating.

Casey In Court

From the moment I saw Chole Sevigny's Christine being accosted by masked man with a gun, I was pretty suspicious of the circumstances. With her husband out of town and her daughter staying at grandmother's, she chose to relax around the house in sexy lingerie. Granted, watching SVU for years has made me approach all of the cases with a bit of cynicism. But there was something about Christine's character that seemed a little off.

It wasn't surprising when the detectives discovered that she led a double-life. Benson was skeptical after interviewing Christine because her years of experienced told her that something wasn't quite right about her statement. From her drug use to the frequent "lunches" with her husband's partner and best friend, Christine wasn't the most credible of victims. 

What was surprising was Christine's persistent denial of the charges against her. With nothing to prove her side of the story and a mountain of evidence against her (including video), she continued to claim that everyone else was lying. Unlike the female victim in "Doubt," we had no reason to believe her cries of rape. Christine was completely unreliable, and there wasn't one occasion where I found myself beleiving she was the victim of a crime.

I also couldn't understand why that one juror was so hung up on her. She seemed to have an uncanny ability to bewitch men, but it was little ludicrous that she could convince this one man of her innocence when no one else was buying it. Did you believe her?

Both Novak and Christine's attorney claimed they were waiting for the other shoe to drop, and frankly so was I. Will this case come back to haunt the detectives and/or Casey? It might improve the episode if there was some kind of followup in the future.

Slightly more interesting (but just as frustratingly unresolved) was the return of Amaro's wife. She's having a trouble adjusting to life in NYC, and Amaro notices that she seems a little distracted. He follows her one day, noticing that she enters some mysterious house before the screen fades to black. Why is he so suspicious? And where was she going?

She's more than likely just going to some support group, or meeting with someone who can better understand her situation. The whole scene just felt like a needlessly staged moment of marital discord, and the lack of resolution was annoying.

After last week's so-so episode, SVU really needs to pick it up before the end of the season, or people just might stop watching.


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.6 / 5.0 (37 Votes)

@Mary She was being charged with false allocations i believe.


I COMPLETELY agree with this review except for what you said about Amaro's wife. Perhaps you missed some of the other episodes or were not paying attention but there has been circumstantial evidence that she is cheating on him. I forget what episode, but Amaro takes on a case brought to him a victim's father and a man who knew Amaro's wife in Iraq. This man's daughter also told Amaro that her mother suspects this man of having an affair with someone in Iraq. This is only one of a few hints the show has dropped that she could be having an affair. Just saying. I do really hope they come back to this episode though. I really hate to see Christine get away with what she did. I also want to see this juror in trouble.


What was the defendant charged with? Having sex with multiple partners? I mean, she never called the police, and the money she was taking was her husband's and he did not complain. So why was she a defendant?


Bring back Stabler and we'll talk.


Ah! Michael. Your comments are so ridiculous and biased. Enough to give sentence. SVU will reach the end because it is the natural tendency of the whole series. But in those 13 years, much of the success of the series is due to this fantastic, wonderful, talented and beautiful woman named Mariska Hargitay. So she is loved by millions of people worldwide. But it is also hated by people of lower mind. Some men do not forgive a successful woman. In these 13 years had more than 20 SVU episodes centered Chris Meloni. Only in Mariska 10.


I liked this episode, but that was mostly due to the fact that they spent time in the courtroom. This show is at its best when it splits time between the police investigation and the prosecution of the crime. The recent episodes that have focused solely on the police work have not met with my satisfaction. Not that my approval is the driving force behind the show :).


sorry to bust your bubble ther Terrie but SVU has been the Benson show since season 3


As much as I love Mariska Hargitay, they have tried to make this the Olivia Benson show since Christopher Meloni left. She doesn't have the chemistry with the new cast that she had with Meloni. The reviewer thought last week was a so-so episode......I thought that of this one......I didn't think this was one of their better episodes......I, too, am left wondering if this case will resurface in another episode........

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Law & Order: SVU Season 13 Episode 18 Quotes

You told me a lot of things, Christine, but I've been doing this for awhile. So why don't you tell what actually happened?


He thinks there's nothing wrong with the marriage that a blue box and thigh-highs can't fix.