Law & Order: SVU Season 21 Episode 9 Review: Can't Be Held Accountable

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That was some ending.

Law & Order: SVU Season 21 Episode 9 was doing a great job of depicting the corruption that allows ultra-wealthy pedophiles to game the system and get away with sexually abusing minors.

Benson's vow to get Getz despite his manipulation of the legal system was enough of a cliffhanger -- so why did we need an angry father to take Rollins hostage?

Disobeying Orders - Law & Order: SVU Season 21 Episode 9

The cop-kidnapped-by-a-crazy-person trope has been overdone on Law & Order: SVU.

Benson's kidnapping on Law & Order: SVU Season 14 Episode 24 was bad enough. 

She faced William Lewis a second time and later was held hostage by an unrelated person during another incident at her babysitter's house.

And now it's Rollins' turn to get tormented.

Getting a Serial Predator - Law & Order: SVU Season 21 Episode 9

The worst part is that it was unnecessary.

Yes, there is a two-month hiatus coming up, but viewers didn't need an overly violent cliffhanger to be encouraged to tune in again in January.

Benson's declaration that it wasn't over while Getz sailed away with two underage victims and their mother was a powerful enough ending. Rollins' kidnapping felt tacked on to the real ending of the story and took it in a direction I'd rather not go.

Rollins: We're keeping the investigation open, and if more girls come forward...
Frank: He'll find a way to rig that too. You and I both know that a guy like Getz can never be held accountable.

Frank's anger was understandable, and he had already shown signs of not being able to control it. But it would have made more sense for him to go after Getz. 

Going to Court - Law & Order: SVU Season 21 Episode 9

Threatening Rollins won't accomplish anything.

It won't magically make Getz pay for his crimes or get Ivy any sort of justice.

It just proves Getz's claims that Frank is an unstable alcoholic, giving him more ammunition he can use to turn the girls against their father.

Killing Getz would have made a lot more sense. Then the cliffhanger could have been the question of what SVU was going to do about it.

Besides, the opening scene depicted Getz killing himself in jail, so we already know that Rollins will get rescued eventually. That makes the cliffhanger not so exciting.

In the Elevator - Law & Order: SVU Season 21 Episode 9

The ridiculous cliffhanger marred an otherwise powerful story.

Law & Order: SVU's strongest stories are often the ones that don't have a happy ending. 

When grave miscarriages of justice happen, and victims get neither closure nor justice, it underscores the problems in our imperfect legal system and sparks important conversations.

If a fifteen-year-old has a Constitutional right to have an abortion without parental consent, how can she not have the right to consensual sex?


It was a gut-punch for Getz to get away with what he did to Ivy and Millie, especially since SVU so often depicts a fantasy world in which the cops always get the bad guy no matter what power he wields.

In the Elevator - Law & Order: SVU Season 21 Episode 9

Getz was seemingly untouchable, and it wasn't clear who was most to blame. There certainly was enough of it to go around.

While quite a few people jumped on the Blame Kat train, it seemed to me that Hadid was far more to blame for the mess.

She was reluctant to prosecute in the first place and accused SVU of tanking the case by not coming to her earlier seconds after saying that there was nothing she could do to prosecute Getz despite a ton of evidence against him.

She also cut an awful deal that allowed Getz to walk and then blamed Carisi even though Carisi opposed the deal in the first place.

Hadid seems shadier every time she's onscreen. Was she in Getz's pocket or what?

Rollins in Court - Law & Order: SVU Season 21 Episode 9

And what was with that judge?

If a fifteen-year-old has a Constitutional right to have an abortion without parental consent, how can she not have the right to consensual sex?


He's entitled to whatever dumb opinions he wants, but if the law says fifteen is too young to consent to sex, it doesn't seem a judge can overlook that because he's decided that the law is wrong.

He was probably paid off by Getz, but still. That ruling seemed like it was begging to get appealed, and for "Let Em Go Joe" to be dismissed from the bench.

The Defense Table - Law & Order: SVU Season 21 Episode 9

As for Kat, sooner or later she's going to have to learn the hard way that she doesn't always know what she's doing.

That was far from the first time that Kat "took initiative" in a way that made everything worse, nor is it the first time that Benson has called her on it.

Kat: I saw an opening and I went with my gut.
Benson: Next time, don't. It worked out, but Kat, you could have just as easily blown up our case or got yourself shot.

Undercover operations need to be planned properly, too. Kat's random decision to go undercover made it so that her bosses at SVU had no idea what the plan was or how best to proceed.

Saying she was Ivy's aunt might have been borne out of necessity since admitting she was a cop would have done no one any good.

But the lie should have ended there, at least until she got back to the squad room and discussed with her fellow cops how to proceed.

Carisi Makes His Case - Law & Order: SVU Season 21 Episode 9

Kat's decision to go rogue had consequences for a hell of a lot of people. 

Frank got beaten up, snapped, and later kidnapped Rollins. And Ivy demanded the cops leave her alone and only agreed to testify to stop Frank from killing Getz right then and there.

At this point, Kat deserves something more than a lecture from Benson about following directions.

Benson has been giving that lecture approximately once an episode since Kat joined SVU and it has made no impression on her.

And with all the fallout Kat's decision caused, you'd think someone would take disciplinary action against her.

Taking Photos - Law & Order: SVU Season 21 Episode 9

Of course, Fin shoulders some of the blame for that too.

Rollins: What is Kat doing? She's supposed to just suss the gig out, talk to Ivy.
Fin: She's going inaudible.
Rollins: If Getz makes her, it could blow up our whole case.
Fin: So what do you want me to do? Shoot her?
Rollins: You're her sergeant. Reel her in.

He was Kat's commanding officer and decided to let Kat move forward with her random undercover operation when he could have stopped her.

Interestingly, none of the people who gave Kat a well-deserved tongue-lashing said anything to Fin.

What did you think, SVU fanatics?

Was Rollins' kidnapping an exciting cliffhanger, or was it an unnecessarily violent turn for the story to take?

How do you think Getz ends up killing himself in a jail cell?

And will Kat ever learn to follow directions?

Share your thoughts below, and don't forget you can watch Law & Order: SVU online if you missed anything.

Law & Order: SVU will return on January 9, 2020. It will again air on NBC on Thursdays at 10 PM EST/PST.

Can't Be Held Accountable Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (42 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 21 Episode 9 Quotes

Rollins: Next time we should talk about my dad. Who I haven't spoken to in 15 years. He called me this morning.
Therapist: Doorknob comment. This might have been worth bringing up during the session.

Getz: Beautiful. Now drop those hands.
Ivy: I don't know...
Getz: Come on. Show that body. You can do that for me, can't you?