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This entire episode was a screaming prediction of what Elliot’s life could be like. Sparse visitation rights with his kids, a wife that hates his guts, anger management issues; it’s like Elliot was looking in a mirror! I had mixed feelings about this episode. The he said-she said storyline has been done way too many times before for it to be as effective and powerful as it would be if it was new. However, there were some awesome characterization moments that saved the episode from being a total train wreck.
Something new that we see from Olivia is her apparent willingness to bring her past into the case. Notice that this time she brings up the fact that Elliot is her longest relationship, and that she knows what it’s like to be on the end of emotional abuse, making the point that it can be as bad, or worse than, physical abuse. Before this, however, Olivia has been very weary when her past has been brought up, especially when it reminds her of the special bond she has with her job.
I had to laugh (with a bit of bitterness) at the point in the story when Olivia and Elliot were talking about the rape allegation as a possible “divorce strategy.” What a sad day, when people abuse the system to come out on top of some innocent bystander. Let’s hope now that Elliot has signed the papers, this won’t have to be added to his storyline.
I think we actually saw a little of everyone, except Warner, in this episode! A feat that hasn’t been achieved for many weeks. Huang was definitely in his element, profiling Miles as the type that probably hadn’t been violent toward his family before. Casey was used in character this week, a wonderful decision by the writers. Her encounter with Petrovsky seemed odd and out of place, though.
And we’re back to the illegalness. I thought we were done with this, since people already doubt that you can work together? See, there is this tiny thing called “parental consent,” and the funny thing about it is that you need it to talk to a minor. So, as in your instance, when a parent tells you that you can’t talk to their kid, that isn’t actually code for “oh, you can talk to them alone in school.” Elliot and Olivia are lucky that Valerie doesn’t press charges.
Why does it seem that in almost every he said, she said, the woman recants her story at some point? Is it a standard of these episodes that I’ve missed? It doesn’t make much sense at this point, with all the evidence stacked against Miles… unless she’s lying. This is the point where I was tipped off and knew that Miles was innocent, of the rape at least. They already illegally questioned her daughter and brought Miles in for a polygraph.
Fin: Your wife called.
*Looks around.* Was there a worse spot that this line could have been injected into? Even though the storyline is paralleled with Elliot’s life, we’ve already established that Kathy is trying to get Elliot to sign the papers. Been there, done that, don’t need any more tee shirts, thanks.
Elliot: I’m the longest relationship you’ve ever had with a man.
This plus the Elliot and Olivia fun time at the end of the episode must have had EO shippers dancing in their pajamas. The strange part is, it’s so true. The only stable relationship they have is with each other. And if this is stable, I’m worried what unstable is normally like. The Elliot and Olivia tension is back from its hiatus last week. (Continuancy!)
Fin: One divorce is enough for me, I can’t figure out how you did it four times.
Munch: You gotta play to win.
Munch’s words of wisdom for the week!
Elliot: Just nice to see someone else with anger problems.
Well, no, not really. I don’t want Olivia to have anger problems, because that means there are two unstablers in the partnership, and I don’t think network television could take that. Especially when their playing good cop, bad cop.
Casey: I thought you said they were working it out?
This is where my mind was fried and I had to rewind several times to make sure I saw this scene right. Kathy, and Olivia. Kathy with Olivia. Kathy called Olivia. And man, is it all out in the open now, no more fanfiction fantasies. Kathy confirmed that she was jealous of Elliot and Olivia’s relationship. She was worried that Elliot preferred spending time with Olivia rather than spending time with her and their kids. I’ve been on Kathy’s side the entire time through this, but this meeting was low; meeting with Olivia to ask her to convince Elliot to give up his marriage.
Kathy: What happened to the stunner?
So, everyone else did recognize that Dani was amazingly good looking. Good to know.
Casey: That doesn’t bode well.
Me: Well, her being burned sorta doesn’t bode well either.
Plastic bullets are my new best friend. I don’t think the characters or the viewers could deal with a shooting right now.
Valerie dies, Miles didn’t rape her, but he’s in jail, Tessa is pretty much scarred for life, Elliot signed the divorce papers, and Elliot and Olivia are sitting on his front stoop at five in the morning. The logical end, of course. They talk about everything that happened, and then it just... ends. Elliot mentions that he’s signed the papers, and Olivia suggests that it was the right thing to do, though she doesn’t sound completely convinced of it herself. Maybe because that makes him the third SVU detective to get a divorce, and they’re all single now. It wouldn’t boost her confidence that she’s ever going to find someone to settle down with, that’s for sure.
The Elliot and Olivia interactions in this episode were just enough to keep me awake and interested. Whatever problems Olivia is beginning to have, they’re going to have a profound impact on her work if their relationship stays in this rut.
Next week looks like the episode that could get us on track: serial killers are almost always in the best episodes of the season, so pass the remote!