Law & Order: SVU Season 16 Episode 14 goes way too overboard in it's cultural references, drawing from cases about female game developers allegedly sleeping their way to fame, misogynistic male gaming fanatics, and even the insane fad of prank calling SWAT teams to raid people's homes, but it's an entertaining hour nonetheless.
Sure to gain some attention within the gaming community (I think I already saw an article about it over at gamespot.com), this episode tries balance a whole slew of influences ripped from the latest headlines, but fails to really succeed at any one thing.
Case in point being Rena's final revelation at the end of the episode that she'll no longer be sticking to her morals, as she declared she would prior to being kidnapped.
They already won.Rena
If you look at the face Rollins makes, you would think that some earth-shattering discovery was just made. If you paid attention to the directing, the extreme close-ups and the slow zooms make the scene seem equally dramatic. But, in reality, there really is no pay off – just the writers forcing themselves into a circle.
What did we learn from this episode?
That women should be in gaming? Of course they should, and have every right to.
That some men are indeed misogynistic and, well, insane? Of course they are.
My complaint is that the hour worries more about balancing all of its juggling balls and spinning plates like some sort of circus act, but forgets to stick the landing.
From cyber-terrorism, to sexual assault, to misguided parents, to disturbed children, this episode has a bit of everything, but ultimately is inconsequential.
The previews honestly made it look a lot more tense than it actually was.
It also didn't help that the script was bogged down by endlessly having to backtrack and step on its own toes by retroactively explaining any and all tech-y terms. By Fin and Carisi, of all people.
It's like they didn't know who to toss this burden of being a gaming nerd on to, and chose to dump it randomly on these characters because, hey, it's Ice-T and everybody loves him regardless, and, hey, it's Carisi, he's new, and no one will care.
But we aren't noobs, this isn't our first rodeo, and we expect more effort from the SVU team – even if we don't always get it.
FIn: They are not noobs!
Fin: That means they aren't newbies.
Another moment that irked me was the mention of the assailants potentially setting up the team, but Benson pretty much disregarding that. I mean, she literally told the NYPD SWAT team seconds before they enter the building that it might be a set up.
Was that supposed to be taken seriously?
We're thinking it's maybe a set-up.Benson
If you bought into the premise, tonight's episode was probably entertaining enough to be passable. But if you were skeptical about the stories this episode was molded after, afraid that it might be a stereotypical "ripped from the headlines" SVU attempt at being topical, the episode won't do much to address your concerns. It embraces its premise and runs with it, regardless of cohesion.
They even managed to sneak a diss at Sony in there:
I won't make the same mistakes Sony did.Rena
Although it wasn't the best hour of SVU, watch Law & Order: SVU online to revisit any of your favorite moments, and check out Law & Order: SVU quotes for more highlights. There were definitely a few worth noting, even if they were few and far between.
'Till next week! #GG