Law & Order: SVU Season 17 Episode 18 Review: Unholiest Alliance

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Corrupt cops. Priests sexually abusing children. Massive cover-ups.

All of these are, sadly, in the news on a regular basis.

Law & Order: SVU Season 17 Episode 18 takes these serious issues on – did it do them justice?

Carisi's gradual acceptance that there was a major scandal within the church was the strongest part of the hour. It was fascinating to see him go from the church's most staunch defender to disgusted to convincing Father Eugene to do the right thing.

I still go to mass. Every Sunday. During this case I've been going twice a week.


Carisi's religious faith allowed him to get through to Eugene – but what toll will this case take on him? In one of the last scenes, he was silently praying and crying. 

Will Carisi suffer a crisis of faith? It'll be interesting to see, ultimately, what this does to his character. Carisi has often been shocked by what he sees at SVU. Will this push him over the edge?

Tucker says there's no point. His cousin doesn't have a soul to save.

Mike Dodds

Eugene's character turned out to be more gray than he seemed. Many stories have been written about Catholic priests who molest children, but very few have addressed why this keeps happening.

Eugene was blackmailed into it because he was having sex, and to make matters worse (in the Church's eyes), he was engaging in BDSM and his partner was male.

This trifecta of behaviors the Church doesn't condone seems to have led him to commit far graver sins. Was Eugene soulless, as his cousin suggested, or was he truly just lost? The answer probably lies somewhere in between.

Fin: Why keep all this?
Sonny: Cause they're Catholics. They don't get rid of anything. They just bury it.

It was satisfying for there to be some justice at the end of the hour. In real life, that's sadly lacking, but a television series can't afford to be too dark and depressing. Even so, the church partially got away with it. The Bishop went to South America and will probably never answer for his part in these crimes.

What was mainly unaddressed was that the NYPD had been accused, meaning that in the court of public opinion, the entire police force was probably as guilty as the priests. Maybe this'll come up later on. Dodds Senior's warning to SVU certainly was ominous.

Whoever did this killed Kara. And while you and 1PP are chasing your Trojan Horse, other girls are in danger.


It seems the cliffhanger on Law & Order: Season 17 Episode 17 was misleading. Olivia wasn't fired. She was temporarily transferred. It would have been interesting for her to be at her new job longer. I'd liked to have seen what she did there.

It's also a bit disappointing that she wasn't investigating undercover. However, it's good to have her back.

Either Tucker's dirty or someone's setting him up good.


Tucker was vindicated, meaning his relationship with Olivia probably isn't going anywhere. This couple still seems very mismatched, even if Tucker was calling out Olivia on the excessive drinking

So what did you think? Was "Unholiest Alliance" worth the wait? Was Dodds' warning foreshadowing of something disturbing to come? How did you feel about Tucker being cleared of all charges? Weigh in below!

Don't forget that you can watch Law & Order: SVU online to catch up on anything you missed.

Unholiest Alliance Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
  • 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (17 Votes)

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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Law & Order: SVU Season 17 Episode 18 Quotes

Either Tucker's dirty or someone's setting him up good.


Whoever did this killed Kara. And while you and 1PP are chasing your Trojan Horse, other girls are in danger.