Law & Order SVU Season 16 Episode 13 Review: Decaying Mortality

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Law & Order: SVU Season 16 Episode 13 was teased as having the "biggest" twists & turns so far this season -- and while it was a great hour, I don't know if I quite agree with that assertion. 

I assumed it was the Uncle from the first scene he was in, at the hospital, but maybe I would've been more in the dark had the writers not hyped up the suspense so much!

Despite the "big" twists not being all that surprising, "Decaying Mortality" was a really strong return to form for SVU after a brief hiatus. If I'm not mistaken, the premise was original (although, obviously, many elements off it were influenced by current events), and it definitely packed some heavy moments. 

Rollins, after a brief hiatus herself, probably wishes she came back to a more stable environment, but this is the line of work that she chose. The look of dread and trauma in Rollins's eyes as Jenna relived her rape in front of her was too telling. Despite the meditation, and the volcanoes, and the yogis, all is not right with the Detective. 

And why should it be? She's been through a great deal, and needs to continue getting help as Benson always suggests.

Rollins: This guy rapes a 16 year old virgin on the bathroom floor of a pizzeria -
Benson: Welcome back to SVU.

The biggest surprise for me was actually right near the start when it looked like Luke had taken a nail gun to Jerome's head. The poor man was innocent (whether or not he was in his previous case, I don't know), but so was Luke's daughter, and Luke simply wanted justice to be served. However, as shown here, vigilantism is best left for the weirdos in tights and masks (see: Arrow and The Flash). 

Although she was confused and actually didn't know what had happened initially, Jenna's false claims led to a man's death and her father's imprisonment --something else she'll have to live with, on top of the fact that her Uncle is a creepy, sociopathic, perverted, rapist. 

It's not a big deal, you're not that special.

Neil

Played brilliantly by Paul Adelstein of "Prison Break" fame, Dr. Neil Alexander apparently had "sleeping beauty syndrome," at least according to Caresi:

Carisi: 'Sleeping Beauty' syndrome. This guy gets off on sleeping vics.
Amaro: What's the point of that?
Fin: They don't talk back.

The guys discussing the validity of raping someone while they were asleep was a bit awkward, but it was obviously coming from a judgmental point of view -- not from any type of perversion they possessed themselves.

In fact, Caresi was so disgusted with Neil's actions that he almost couldn't help himself from breaking the man's fingers.

The entire team was scrambling to put an end to this mess of a case. From false accusations, to lawsuits, to involuntary manslaughter -- there was a whole lot that went wrong at first. Thankfully, Jenna managed to break free of all the pressures closing in around her long enough to help catch the man responsible for forcibly taking her virginity. 

Marcy: Neil's too smart! You can't catch him!
Benson: But your daughter can.

The ever-brilliant Raul Esparza did a great job as Barba as usual, consistently knocking Caresi down a peg or two, while still doing his job better than most people wish they could do theirs. 

I was definitely a fan of the few small jabs at Caresi throughout delivered by everyone from Barba to Fin. 

Boo ya! Fordham Law!

Barba

Carisi: Who wants to call the sergeant?
Fin: The new guy.
Carisi: Still??

This episode felt like it touched a whole slew of topics, from false accusations to racial profiling, rape committed by a family member to vigilantism. The topics were well balanced and thought out, touching on the innocence of Jerome as well as the relative "innocence" of Luke, Neil's abuse of countless women as well as his own wife's seemingly drugged out state of mind. The writers had a lot to juggle this time around, and they managed to come back with a tense, and suspenseful hour. 

Watch Law & Order: SVU online to recap on any of these particular moments, and although the "big twist" will have been ruined for you, trust me, it doesn't really matter. The episode is a great regardless, and you can find more memorable scenes over at Law & Order: SVU quotes. 

Next week's video-game themed episode looks even more intense, and I can't wait to see how it all unfolds.

In the meantime, comment below and let me know what your favorite moments were! Do you think Rollins is on the path to full recovery? Is Luke innocent in your eyes (he did try and give CPR)? Will Fin ever stop getting cool one-liners? Well, actually, I know the answer to that last one -- no

Decaying Mortality Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (14 Votes)
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Law & Order: SVU Season 16 Episode 13 Quotes

Rollins: This guy rapes a 16 year old virgin on the bathroom floor of a pizzeria -
Benson: Welcome back to SVU.

Rollins: The yogi comes over and taps me on the shoulder, I didn't even tense up.
Benson: Good for you.