In the world of crime dramas, cops are often heroes.
The over-dedicated cop who takes the job super seriously is a common trope, and Olivia Benson personifies the archetype.
Olivia often rolls being a cop and a social worker into one job, caring for rape survivors and helping them deal with the violence they've experienced in addition to helping them get justice.
On Law & Order: SVU Season 18 Episode 14 Olivia outdoes herself, refusing to let someone with unlimited financial resources get away with rape, helping the young executive he preyed on to find the courage to testify against him.
None of this is a bad thing. Olivia is the kind of cop we all wish existed and maybe does exist somewhere or other.
And in the current political climate where the ultra-rich seem to be able to get away with everything and anything, it's refreshing to see someone whose net worth is in the billions be made to pay for their crime.
Zoe: He kept his stupid watch on the nightstand. I kept watching the second hand go around and around. And then it was over.
Olivia: Did he say anything?
Zoe: Yes. He winked at me and then he said, "That was fun. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did."
Olivia: Did you tell anyone?
Zoe: Yes. My boss, Roger. He said, "Be careful. It's not easy to kill the King."
Olivia always gives voice to those who are powerless and unheard. It's strange to think of a young executive with a high-paid job as powerless, but "Net Worth" did a great job of showing that Zoe was exactly that.
Like all rape victims, she was made powerless by her rapist, and in her case, his identity made it doubly difficult for her.
Her boss pressured her to forget about the rape and regularly covered up Eli's crimes. Business associates were loathe to admit that Eli did anything because they didn't want to lose the revenue from working with him. Former victims were paid off to keep their mouths shut.
And when all else failed, the company made Zoe an offer she didn't think she could refuse: a six-figure salary and the opportunity to travel to Europe in exchange for her silence.
Barba: I know this is hard to accept, but it's her life, her decision.
Olivia: The girl is not making a decision. She's being extorted.
Barba: Does she see it that way? Maybe taking this job is what's going to help her heal, let her move forward.
Olivia: I don't believe that for a second. And neither do you.
Barba: Of course not. So let's go bury this prick some other way.
It very nearly worked, too. I was so relieved when Barba didn't actually believe the garbage he was spewing about how Zoe was making the best decision for herself under the circumstances.
Getting Kate and Zoe to talk to each other was probably cathartic and helpful for both women in addition to necessary so that Zoe would become willing to testify.
After all the obstacles the cops faced because of the rapist's unlimited financial resources, it was good to see them get a win here.
In reality, police departments probably don't have the money to endlessly pursue a case like this, but I didn't care because I desperately needed to see them win.
Olivia: I'm here to help. In your business, I think you call it trading on inside information.
CEO: We don't do that kind of business here.
Olivia: Right. Well, I have a tip for you. In a few hours we're going to arrest Eli Colton for raping his associate Zoe White.
CEO: I thought you were here to help.
Olivia: Oh, I am. I'm giving you the chance to be on the right side of history. Eli Colton's name is going to be splattered all over the papers and your name is going to be there too. So the question is, do you want to go down as the hero or the villain?
I loved seeing Olivia do her inspiring speech thing to get one of the executives to turn on Eli. That was nothing short of brilliant. She appealed to his ego and his desire to get good press so that he could make money, and it worked perfectly.
I'd like to have seen something happen to Roger, though. As Rollins pointed out, he covered up his boss' bad behavior. Surely they could have got him for obstruction of justice or aiding and abetting or something.
Barba: Okay, so Eli Colton's coke dealer witnessed the rape.
Benson: So he's not perfect.
Barba: I'd say. Even if he's telling the truth, it's worse than useless.
I thought it was kind of silly that the big break in the case was a coke dealer witnessing the rape. The dealer was quite an idiot, too, letting Sonny in without verifying his identity just because he said he knew Eli. You'd think a drug dealer would be a little more paranoid!
I was glad to hear Barba say that this witness was not reliable enough to use at trial. When the whole case depends on an especially idiotic drug dealer, something is wrong somewhere.
I'm also glad that Zoe decided to testify after all. This story could have easily become yet another story about how the rich and powerful can get away with whatever they want if she'd been bribed into taking the Brussels job and had never been seen again.
Of course, that's not Law & Order's style. Sometimes the endings are dark to make a point, but they don't usually go that dark. I'm glad for that.
I'm sure I'm not the only viewer who couldn't take an evil rich guy triumphing over a defenseless woman right now.
It was interesting to see two guest stars who had formerly played cops in very different roles in "Net Worth."
I'd never seen Jordan Bridges anywhere but Rizzoli & Isles, where he was rather goofy for the most part, so I especially enjoyed seeing him playing a callous, indifferent executive.
Carisi: Any word?
Fin: Stop asking!
Carisi: It's just, Sergeant Tutoloa has a nice ring to it.
Did Fin pass the sergeant's exam or not?
If there was one weakness in this episode, it was that Fin's attempt to take the sergeant's exam was mentioned and then completely dropped.
He was waiting for his results at the top of the hour, though Carisi was way more nervous than he was about it. Then it wasn't really mentioned again.
Hopefully, we'll find out the answer to that soon.
In the meantime, what did you think of "Net Worth?" Were you glad Zoe decided to testify? Did you think Eli was going to get away with raping her?
Weigh in below, and don't forget you can always watch Law & Order: SVU online if you missed anything.