Law & Order: SVU Season 20 Episode 15 Review: Brothel

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inally! After months of Fin getting shoved into the background, he finally got a story!

Law & Order: SVU Season 20 Episode 15 delved into Fin's past, forcing him to work with the one he let get away and suspected of being a dirty cop.

And if that wasn't enough, he even got his heart broken a little.

(TALL) Teaming Up - Law & Order: SVU Season 20 Episode 15

Jennifer Esposito was a marvelous choice as Phoebe Baker, and she and Ice-T played off each other perfectly.

I was sure she wasn't the mole only because Fin was focused so hard on her and because he pegged her as guilty too early in the hour.

Related: 23 TImes Law & Order: SVU Made Us Cry

Even so, I had my doubts, and I wasn't sure that Fin getting involved was a good idea.

Carisi: We're clear.
Fin: They knew we were coming.

He told Benson he would call IAB himself if Baker were involved, and Fin hates dirty cops enough that he probably would, but I didn't know.

He clearly had enough of a thing for Baker that he held off on reporting this to IAB immediately despite telling her that he had to, so who knows where it would have gone?

Luckily, she turned out to be clean, so we didn't have to find out.

Jennifer Esposito Guest Stars - Law & Order: SVU Season 20 Episode 15

It was also lucky that Fin's accusation didn't set off a chain reaction in which Benson and Rollins tried to force an identification out of Ann!

Benson asked her several times if she was sure, and it felt like she was on the cusp of believing Baker had to be guilty. That's never a good frame of mind for a cop, and even Benson is susceptible to manipulating witnesses if she's convinced she's right.

It all ended up all right, though, because the real dirty cop got caught, and Baker and Fin mended fences enough to be friends again.

Fin Takes a Look - Law & Order: SVU Season 20 Episode 15

It was one of those rare occasions where nobody was right, and nobody was wrong.

Baker was offended because she felt Fin should know she'd never go dirty. But Fin hadn't seen her in 20 years, and all evidence pointed to her!

At the same time, Fin was going more with his gut than anything else. Baker was reluctant to believe any of her officers could be feeding info to the enemy and had a motive to sabotage the case, but promising to go to the judge and then doing the opposite would have been stupid and obvious.

If she were going to play both sides, I'd hope she'd be more subtle than that!

Related: Get True Crime Files by ID via Prime Video Channels for Over 1,000 Real-life Mystery & Suspense Shows!

I was glad she eventually accepted Fin's apology, and they were able to move on to getting Ramirez.

But did anyone else think that judge was involved from the second we met him?

Well, you tracked me down the one day a month I'm in drug court. This must be important.


Something about him seemed off from the get-go. Maybe it was that he was in far too many scenes for a random drug court judge (especially one who was only in court once a month!), but I was suspicious.

It wasn't a big surprise that he was Ramirez's contact. 

I was disappointed, not so much because of that non-surprise, but because drug court is a valuable alternative-to-incarceration program and I hated that a judge associated with it was crooked.

Rebecca Forsyth Guest Stars - Law & Order: SVU Season 20 Episode 15

Drug court does save lives. Instead of sitting in jail without access to much, if any, recovery programming, participants have the opportunity to get clean and sober and begin to turn their lives around.

What Judge Colfax did instead was unconscionable. He sounded totally nuts when he insisted he was protecting the girls!

She was 16 when she OD'd. Dead in the ground, cold, alone.It didn't have to end that way.

Judge Colfax

Colfax's grief over his daughter's death was understandable, but that should have motivated him to do his job properly, not to send heroin users to a brothel where they were forced into sex in exchange for drugs and threatened with imprisonment or death if they didn't cooperate!

Did this judge even believe his own BS? I have a hard time buying the idea that he thought he was protecting the girls by giving them a safe place to use -- while ensuring they were raped multiple times a night.

Ann stole the show with her performance, though. She was traumatized by Tori's death, scared to turn on her abusers, and desperate for a fix. And Benson's encouraging her was one of the best signature Benson speeches there were.

The girl was touched that Benson believed in her, and that's probably going to help her stay clean despite everything.

Amanda Rollins Thinking - Law & Order: SVU Season 20 Episode 15

But what in the world has happened to Rollins?

She used to be my favorite, but since the end of Law & Order: SVU Season 19, she has become progressively more judgmental and obnoxious.

Rollins: I can't help wondering, are we wasting our time here? She was a junkie, she relapsed. Maybe she got high and just jumped.
Benson: Either way, she was brutalized, and the brother just up and left in the middle of the night.

Maybe the victim reminded Rollins of her sister, who is the kind of addict who you can only help by walking away. But still, there was no reason for her to talk so dismissively of poor, dead Tori.

Rollins' words bordered on suggesting it wasn't worth getting justice for a dead junkie. And if that's her attitude, she needs a break from working in the Special Victims Unit!

Rollins and Carisi Disagree - Law & Order: SVU Season 20 Episode 15

I'm glad there was no lasting harm to her relationship with Carisi after the fireworks on Law & Order: SVU Season 20 Episode 14.

At the same time, a little continuity would be nice. "Part 33" was intense. Emotions ran high, and people were at each other's throats. And then... nothing.

There should be SOME fallout from the arguments. It shouldn't just get ignored because it's a new week and a new episode.

Introducing Phoebe Baker - Law & Order: SVU Season 20 Episode 15

Meanwhile, Fin took it in stride that Baker had a boyfriend already.

He really can't expect anything different. They broke up 20 years ago, and nobody waits around for 20 years for their ex to come to his senses!

Even so, I hope this wasn't the last time we'll see Phoebe Baker. She has an edge I enjoyed, especially when talking with Fin. And anything that gives the show a reason for another Fin-centered story is a good thing!

Related: How Law & Order: SVU Has Evolved Over The Years

Over to you, SVU Fanatics! Did you enjoy this blast from Fin's past? Do you want to see more of Baker? And am I the only one who is sick of Rollins' attitude?

Weigh in below, and don't forget you can always watch Law & Order: SVU online if you missed anything!

Brothel Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.0 / 5.0 (6 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 20 Episode 15 Quotes

Well, you tracked me down the one day a month I'm in drug court. This must be important.


Rollins: At least we know what our vic was running from.
Cop: What do you mean?
Benson: First time at a brothel, fellas?