PTR Staff Writer
This episode was a fantastic season finale. Unfortunately, it came after a rather rocky season, with some episodes that we loved but a lot more that we hated. Elliot hooked up with Dani for a while, Olivia found out she had a brother, Fin’s nephew was arrested for a major crime, and Munch… well that’s just it, Munch didn’t have much to do at all. Cragen, Casey, Huang, and Doc Warner didn’t even get much airtime at all. On the other hand, Elliot has gotten back together with his wife, (sorta), Olivia’s brother isn’t a rapist and she now knows who her father is, (sorta), and Fin has gotten to see his son a little bit more.
I’ll admit, I got excited right away when they announced that they were revisiting the Fin/Darius storyline. Ludacris was amazing in his first episode, last season’s “Venom.” While it was a bit of a long time to air a second episode, it was still a great follow-up. The only problem was that some of the issues (why Darius was even jailed in the first place, the baby, evidence, etc.) wasn’t easy to remember after all this time, and it took away from the episode. Ice-T was cool and in control, and the rest of the cast wasn’t overbearing. Star Jones was definitely not my favorite guest star of the season. To me, the point of a guest star is to play the role in such a way that it would have been impossible for anyone else to have that role. But, I think anyone could have played that role, and it would have done something more for me.
The press did play an extremely important role in this episode, what with Elliot’s less than happy encounter and Nancy Grace’s less than flattering take on Casey Novak. *Yeah, I gave her an evil look when she started criticizing Casey.* I think they could have even played the press angle a little more, and exploited the detectives’ personal connections to the case.
Equally surprised, however, that no one took advantage of Elliot having to change his shirt in this episode! I was sure that the writers would have been all over that.
Attorney: I had no Idea this was so personal, Ms. Novak.
Casey: Once you get to know me you’ll find I feel this way about all my cases.
Oh, what a statement! If Nancy Grace had been in the room with Casey before she made her comments, this would have been the icing on the guilt cake.
Unfortunately for the characters, that was the smooth part of the episode. From here on in, EVERYTHING hits the fan. While Darius’s sick act doesn’t work, Terri refuses to testify and tries to run away. When Warner is testifying on the stand, she mentions that the victim was pregnant at the time; something that apparently wasn’t supposed to be said.
The character’s personal transgressions and career mistakes begin to catch up with them here, all at once. Darius calls Fin out for not following protocol and leaving drugs and guns from a bust in his car. FBI man appears and he and Olivia are on the chopping block for helping Simon when he was a wanted fugitive. There is some comedic relief though, as FBI man tries to score a place to stay with Olivia. Nice try, but de-nied.
Olivia: If I was there I would have taken his confession without a lawyer, too. What are we going to fight about next?
While they are busy arguing about who’s fault it is that the case is falling apart, Kathy walks in. For those of us who knew ahead of time (though not all of us had wanted to know!) this part of the episode was especially exciting. Time for Elliot’s bombshell: Kathy is pregnant!
Over the course of the past two seasons, E/O shippers have gained some hope with the separation, even more with the divorce, lost some with the Elliot/Dani thing, gained it when Dani left, lost some when Elliot visited Kathy, lost some two weeks ago with their little get together. And the big event last night has pretty much closed the door on anything Elliot/Olivia forever. Why? One, another child with Kathy is a major player. I don’t think Elliot will leave now. Two, Olivia questioned what Elliot was going to do about the situation, and this made Elliot pretty steamed. No matter how many more fake kissing scenes they shoot (let’s never have a recirculation of THAT picture, shall we?) there will never be any E/O, and that’s been made pretty final.
Another obvious nod to the audience was the scene in which Adam Beach joins the squad as Chester Lake. After creating some tension, Munch asks:
Munch: Should Fin be concerned?
Fin: There’s more than enough work for everyone, John, why don’t you do some?
While extremely funny when he says it, it was also recognizing the rumor that Ice-T was being booted off the show to make room for Beach. Not the case, as shown here.
As their first order of official business, Lake and Fin scope out a potential dirty cop. Nothing like some bonding on his first day. Things further fall apart when Simon approaches Olivia and reveals that he lied to try and save her from trouble, and Darius brings up Kathleen’s DUI. Donnelly, the biggest ally the unit had going in, suddenly recuses herself from the case and resurrects the charges against Kathleen. Well, I can say I didn’t expect that. Still, it makes more sense coming from Donnelly now than it did Elliot a year later, since it’s a legal matter.
Olivia pulls the “product of rape” card to get Terri to testify, and it turns out that her father raped her, producing Darius. This ends up helping Darius more than it does Casey. Darius is cleared on all the charges. I wasn’t surprised.
Olivia: I have to re-evaluate my commitment to the job.
The end montage was the best part of the episode. Kathleen got arrested (and was trailed by Elliot, comforting his daughter all the way). Olivia was testifying in front of the IAB, and Cragen was getting ready to as well. Casey was summoned to Branch’s office after the not guilty verdict was read. Except for in Casey’s case, it’s about time everyone’s actions caught up with them! It was sort of interesting, seeing it all happen at once. (And seeing it snow. Why was it snowing?!)
And so, we end the season with one major cliffhanger! I wasn’t overwhelmingly pleased with the season overall, but this episode is at least making me want to come back in the fall! Bye bye, SVU!