Benson Struggling to Stay In Shape - Worked
Law & Order: SVU Season 20 began with Benson getting winded while chasing a suspect and realizing she was no longer Wonder Woman and that age and stress had taken their toll, especially after her problems led to a bystander getting injured. This is a compelling storyline, but other than one workout scene it hasn't been mentioned since. More please!
Rollins' Baby Daddy - Hasn't Worked
Law & Order: SVU wrote in a pregnancy for Rollins due to Kelli Giddish's real-life pregnancy, and that's fine. But this baby daddy drama nonsense is not. This time the baby's father is her on-and-off loser of a boyfriend who is a doctor with an addiction to prostitutes. Please let Rollins issue him a child support order after the baby is born and then never speak of him again.
Rollins Questioning the World - Worked
While the baby daddy drama is totally unnecessary, Rollins wondering what kind of world she's bringing her child into is strong drama. The often heinous crimes SVU deals with are affecting her worse than they used to affect Stabler, putting her -- and viewers -- on an emotional roller coaster that leaves us glued to the screen.
Noah Acting Out - Worked
Benson's usually sweet six-year-old has been acting out and leaving her stressed about what's going on at home while she's working far too many hours. Is Noah acting out because Benson isn't home enough, because of inherited mental illness, or because he's testing boundaries? We don't know because he's only been featured in scattered scenes. Hopefully there's more to come!
All Things Fin - Worked
Fin's absence from most of the action has been a problem for Law & Order: SVU for several years. Season 20 has seen more of Fin than the last four seasons combined but it's still not enough. Here's hoping for a lot more Fin stories!
Heartwrenching Stories - Worked
SVU's stories aren't just ripped from the headlines -- they tear at our heartstrings. Season 20 has already had plenty of emotional moments. Most noteworthy was Law & Order: Season 20 Episode 3 ("Zero Tolerance"), featuring a little girl who had been separated from her mother during an illegal border crossing. More of this please!
Convoluted Stories - Hasn't Worked
SVU has mostly stayed away from convoluted stories meant to showcase guest stars rather than tell a compelling tale, but Law & Order: SVUSeason 20 Episode 10 ("Alta Kockers") was an exception. Judd Hirsch and Wallace Shawn were great guest stars, but their story was convoluted and confusing. Hopefully there will be no more of this.
Self-Destructive Stone - Worked
Stone began Law & Order: SVU Season 20 by self-destructing after his sister's death. His alcohol overuse and tendency to get sexual while drunk provided a sharp contrast to his no-nonsense business persona and it was fascinating to guess when and how he was going to crash and burn. Will the false accusation of rape while blacked out drunk be enough to stop him? Or will viewers be treated to Stone's efforts to rebuild now that he has hit bottom? Either way this is a fantastic character arc we want to see more of!
LGTBQ Issues - Worked
Law & Order: SVU has always been on the forefront of LGBTQ issues. That's why the use of a hate crime against a transgender person as a plot point in Law & Order: SVU Season 20 Episode 10 ("Alta Kockers") was so disappointing. Let's hope there's a return to serious treatment of these issues!
Positive Depictions of Mental Health Issues - Worked
Mental health issues aren't always depicted realistically on TV. Kudos to Law & Order: SVU for bucking the trend and showing sufferers to be more likely to be crime victims than perpetrators and for its sensitive treatment of a girl with a dissociative disorder in Law & Order: SVU: Season 20 Episode 5 ("Exile").
Two Hour Tragedies - Worked
SVU's two-hour season premiere punched viewers in the gut over and over. Benson's inability to get through to a mother in denial was heartwrenching enough, but then things turned tragic when the child Benson was trying to protect took a gun to school. It was as unpredictable as it was sad. Let's hope for at least one more two hour tragedy during Law & Order: SVU Season 20!
Political Issues - Worked
Law & Order: SVU knows how to write a political story without being preachy. Sometimes the SVU team is right and sometimes they're wrong, but their attempts to fight for what they believe in are always fascinating. For example, Benson's attempt to charge a federal agent with kidnapping when he sought to take a young girl to an immigration detention camp in SVU Season 20 Episode 3 ("Zero Tolerance") was an over-the-top solution doomed to failure, but it still made for compelling TV. More please!
Rollins and Carisi Together - Worked
Whether you ship Rollins and Carisi or just enjoy them as friends and work partners, there's no denying that their relationship brings extra energy to SVU. Carisi's support of Rollins' pregnancy and their general dynamic works well. Let's have more of them bonding (though less of Carisi being pushy about Rollins' choices please).