Law & Order: Los Angeles Review: "Runyon Canyon"

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Morality is tackled by the Law & Order: LA team this week in "Runyon Canyon" through the rape and murder of a college co-ed, which certainly strikes a powerful chord.

Other questionable issues took the moral lines of the show back to the '50s, as well.

A pair of thong underwear sparks the detectives’ interest in the victim’s lifestyle. It doesn’t quite seem realistic that such evidence should be of any interest or determinant of a person’s sexually deviant behavior or lacking girlish innocence.

The Detectives

Personally, during commercial breaks for the show my local 11 o’clock news was advertising a story about teenagers texting (sexting) nude pictures of one another and facing issues of distributing kiddie porn, thong underwear pales in comparison. 

Next on the moral list is “mint sinus.”

This gets a lighter blow than the underwear, but T.J.’s chest puffing threat against a person of interest involves the tobacco alternative and is later used to connect Jesse Beckman to Roger Darden’s car via a minty-smelling cup.

There was see a little sub-text demonization of the product, as related to a practice of connecting suspects to crimes by their cigarettes.

The quasi-legal smokable drug salvia also plays a role in creating a negative moral profile of the suspects, while harking back to the Miley Cyrus bong video, in which she was partaking in the hallucinogenic.  Reminders of Hollywood ...

The ‘deviant’ sex act of erotic asphyxiation and group sex probably strikes more people's sense of morality, but is a little soft to base a capital murder charge against a young promising premed college student. 

Yet, this seems to be more than enough for DDA Dekker, who takes a firm distaste towards Sylvie Lester, the main murder suspect.  The last name choice of Lester seems a bit cheesy rhyme play on molester in a rape, murder case, but is good for a laugh.

This episode also brings DDA Dekker’s character into question as he ignores possible leads towards an alternate theory of the crime, along with the beliefs of Morales and Lt. Gonzales.

His character is damaged when he breaks into a tirade against Sylvie directly after DDA Rubirosa informs him that the police have another suspect in custody.

The episode even closes with Dekker in an empty courtroom questioning his own motives of his search for justice in this case.

Once again the writers remind the audience of the show’s location as the actual killer is a former reality dating show contestant. I think they have made it fairly clear enough that this show does not take place in New York.

The constant distancing between LA and the other franchise shows in this ‘Hollywood” manner is becoming a little tiresome and unnecessary. I don’t see why they can’t stick to crimes that involve everyday people that happen to live in the greater LA area.

There is a brief, but all telling, foreshadowing of what may come in the season’s finale, although I would bet that the issue will bleed into the next season.

The viewers are shown an electronic conversation between T.J. and an unknown informant concerning sightings of Cesar Vargas, killer of Detective Winters.

Whatever rogue cop act T.J. has undertaken is cut short in this episode when LT. Gonzales comes in. I think that Vargas will be the carrot used to entice audience members to stay tuned for next season’s run.

Would you continue to watch the show in hopes of seeing Winters’ killer brought to justice? Or has the show lost your allegiance for other reasons?

Discuss Law & Order: LA below!

Runyon Canyon Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (8 Votes)
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