Photo curteosy of NBC.com
PTR Staff Writer
NBC Episode Recap
The episode begins by plunging straight into the storyline: Could be gangs, could be a secret club, could be anything that a tattoo could represent. Three girls dead with the same paw print tattoo on their back would make anyone suspicious, and the SVU is no exception. Dani in particular. I could tell by her face in the opening sequence that she would be especially emotionally invested in this case, whatever it was to involve. The young age of most of the victims still hits her hard every time she dares to look.
A bit later on, we can see that Dani is pretty much ready to flip on the ASC worker and Chantal’s mother. She, like any other SVU detective, can’t stand to know that a little girl was being neglected by her own mother and another who was supposed to protect her. Instead, she was cast out onto the street by both an uncaring mother and a busy social worker. Dani, fortunately, doesn’t realize that she hasn’t seen the worst. Stabler here is a surprising source of… stablility! Of all things… he shows Dani what a good balance is between action and passiveness. Elliot definitely has a right to be angry, and is sure agitated at the mother’s behavior, but has learned to not waste his punches. Dani will do well to learn this from him.
We can also tell that Dani is disgusted with Belinda’s “choice” of “profession”, but we can also see that she realizes where Belinda is coming from, and why she sells her body for Victor. Dani’s gaining a small, but still present, soft spot for the victims. When Dani (thinks she) knows the age of the girl in Blake’s room, she can’t even finish marandizing him.
Dani is sort of getting comfortable with her surroundings… a sure sign that this can’t possibly last, and a mark of the strict six episode arc. Dani’s force is still driving, but no longer harsh and overbearing. She’s beginning to understand how to interact with the victims instead of treating them like perps.
“I’m his partner, Dani Beck.” – Dani Beck
This could possibly be the most important five word sentence in the whole series to date. Elliot and Olivia, who have always been a constant, are a constant no more. The dynamics are changing a bit, and Elliot/Olivia fans aren’t the only ones who aren’t liking them. Olivia is completely uncomfortable with the idea of another woman as Elliot’s partner, even though there really is no romantic connection between Elliot and Olivia. Olivia's "I'm not ready to come back" was complete cockamamie. She couldn't stop being an SVU detective while she was undercover. She's so ready to be back, and Cragen saw right through that fluff. Olivia’s disappearing act after that confrontation, though, is a sign that it’s going to be rough, especially if Dani and Elliot continue their relationship without Dani technically being in the show.
An even more exciting dynamic change: with a simple request, Dani got Elliot and Casey to go out for a drink. Elliot, who has definitely had his patience tried by this woman, and Casey, who saw Dani as nothing more than a liability. Dani uttered one sentence, and they’re chatting it up like old friends. Last time we truly saw this was the night Alex “died”. And it’s been a long time since “Loss” (5.04)
As much as I wanted to see Dani Beck end up with Casey *sigh of disappointment* I didn’t totally hate the Elliot/Dani kiss, and I could not possibly write a decent review without mentioning it. In a word, it was simply this:
I say stunning for several reasons. One, Dani and Elliot seem like they might actually fit together! I’m a hardcore Elliot/Kathy shipper, but once Dani leaves, Elliot/Dani wouldn’t be so horrible. Second, afterwards wasn’t all awkward like not-meant-to-be first kisses sometimes are. Every viewer had to know the phones would go off, yes. But, weren’t you all expecting them to be avoid-y after? They seem to work better now that they don’t have to hold it in anymore. And third… it just looked plain smokin’!
And the fourth and final Dani point for the night: the shooting. Dani’s just getting settled, so in SVU fashion, something has got to disrupt that. It was a good shoot, and Dani knows it was a good shoot. The car was headed right toward her, and Victor would have run her right over had she not taken action. But even a good shoot is hard to get over, and it isn’t something that is dealt with easily. This is going to throw a definite cog in Elliot and Dani’s relationship and in Dani’s ability to adjust to her work.
By now you’ve probably noticed that I have barely touched on the case. This week’s episode wasn’t overly exciting episode wise, is why. I couldn’t find anything substantial to write about. I could comment on the insaneness of child prostitution or the sorrow I felt for the victim, because those things are both thoughts I had. But, this episode was really not for the case, it was pure character development, which I believe will be very important in the next few weeks transitioning from Dani Beck mode back to Olivia Benson mode. And, don’t forget, Olivia’s going to be in the hot seat this season!
Tattoos: Major factor in the case, but also the fact that Dani mentions her tattoo… and that it must be placed in a very discrete location… I have a feeling Elliot will get to see it anyway!
I think the inside of a sofa bed is definitely the best hiding place I’ve ever seen! Especially on SVU.
Casey and Marcus! *Laughs self to floor* That’s the second cameo that Marcus has made on the show (the first being as Casey’s schizophrenic ex-fiancee) and this time he actually got to walk by! And, Casey actually got up to go talk with him.
Another thing I’ve noticed: Sister Peg gets attacked an awful lot. She must have a lot of willpower to keep going after all she’s been through!
We all now know how inefficient bail guys really are… photo ID’s anyone?! They let a suspect in a murder trial and a promoter of child prostitution back out on the street and kept the kid that tried to get a free ride on the subway because he was late for work. Nice job, team!
“It could be something more vanilla… a lot of girls like Snoopy!”- John Munch on the significance of the paw tattoos.
“Everyone of these cases will break your heart.”- Elliot Stabler
“Guess the only color he cares about is green.” – John Munch on Fin being denied by a “brother”.
Fasten your seatbelts, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be one bumpy ride! Elle Fanning guest stars, and if she has the Fanning talent, then its going to be some good acting. Dani Beck’s going to face some demons (literally) and when they’re done with us we’re going to wonder whether we’re in heaven or hell. Stay tuned folks, and pass the remote!