Thursday, October 04, 2007

SVU Features "Avatars" in Second Episode

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Cuteosy of

By Trublu
PTR Staff Writer Recap

SVU didn’t disappoint with its second outing, and if I daresay the writers have jumped right off the “creepy” bandwagon where they left of in seasons five and six. Ah. The good ole days.

This is the first time in recent memory that the viewer has gotten the pleasure (?) of watching the attack take place, instead of starting with someone walking in on the body, as so common in the Law & Order franchise.

But, I can say with absolute certainty that this is the first time a perp has claimed that they “did it in their sleep”. And I must admit, my initial reaction was “yeah, and I was born yesterday and am the Queen of England.” Alas, it appears that I am one day old and the heir to a very large throne, since it turns out that Danny boy did indeed do it in his sleep, and isn’t even actually the main focus of the story! The writers did an exceptional job of introducing us to this storyline, but then sneakily introducing us to the next one, because honestly, I forgot all about it. Personally, though, I feel as it was almost wasted on this episode, since it was abandoned so quickly.

I was forced to chuckle at the very beginning, in the debacle with the father and Olivia. The father goes off on a tangent, raging about how the detectives are doing nothing to catch his daughter’s rapist (though I thought the explanation that he was not legally responsible sufficed enough) and storms out of the precinct. However, notice that Mr. Critical, when he holds his pow-wow/press conference, gives out the SVU tip line number. How nice of him. Of course, the detectives are the ones who get to handle the tips.

Fin: There’s a woman who claims to have just seen Rachel eating a chili dog.

That’s the kind of results I’m talking about. Remind me to send this guy an angry letter.

One good tip is produced, though, and that is from Rachel’s friend. The tips were an ingenious way to introduce the new lead, actually. The friend would have been interviewed eventually, but how much more interesting is it to hear that Rachel is in “another universe”? (If you answered, “much more interesting,” then you are correct! Cookie for you.)

Another Youniverse. How clever. I say that with obvious sarcasm (the name is horrible, about as horrible as “MySpace”; you get the picture) but the idea is actually very intriguing and mesmerizing. Pay to become someone else, anyone else… no laws, no real rules, how fantastic! I personally didn’t even care about the network, but about the guy running the show! His primary function was to provide information to the detectives, of course, but his secondary function? Look at how much it took to be able to access the people’s information at the drop of a hat! Now, think of Tom peeking at all your information. Yeah, it’s creepy.

Out of that, though, it still seemed too easy. I know that I, for one, never put my real name into any site that asks for it. So, why use the name of say… somebody connected to you? Just as stupid, really. Mr. Cooper wasn’t quite caught up with the times.

While I loved the introduction of the stereotypical geeky boy who probably “lives” online, I loved the delicious Mr. Cooper even more (in that way that you’re supposed to love the creepy guys on these types of shows). Being an old felon who’s escaped the system, the stakes are that much higher to make an arrest. The picture in his apartment of the girl in the “school girl” outfit looks both like Rachel’s avatar and Lauren, the girl he kidnapped. It turns out to be Lauren, but it’s the link to Rachel.

The scenes that followed were especially fascinating to watch; I loved the sequence of events, and the overall way that the scenes were shot. I had to *squee* when the “AY” exec was actually helping Olivia out. Not only was it a nice thing to do, but… it was a nice thing to do! When was the last time any crime drama had a computer company exec that did what he did to help out with the case? And with his sense of urgency, too! Great sympathetic character.

Olivia: Turn the sun on!

Not a request that you hear too often, but one that is abided by none the less- and it leads the detectives straight to Cooper’s cabin and the missing girl, Lauren. Who is still very much alive (aka, no body to pin on Cooper to get him jail time).

Elliot: I have teenage daughters that fall in love all the time.

I was slightly offended, but I was more amused. In some cases, it is true; and it really served to drive home the fact that Lauren was only 15 when she “fell in love” with Cooper, and that her not seeing him for 25 years probably changed some things.

And change it did. Fabulous acting by Kevin Tighe here. I was convinced that this man was a true pedophile, how about you? I felt like my skin was crawling at the end of this episode, but for a good reason.

I have to mention two technical aspects about this episode. First, almost everyone was featured again! No Warner or Munch, but the other characters had a fair spread of time. I didn’t feel like it was the Olivia and Elliot show. And Casey got to do stuff! Yay!

Secondly is that I must profess my love for the camera in this episode. The camera movements were flawless and genius, and the way that light was played with? Take a look!:

Amazing cinematography.

Kevin Tighe, of course, nailed Cooper to a “t”.

Stay tuned next week, when Melissa Joan Hart guest stars as a teacher and Kyle Gallner as a student… yeah, they’re going there. Pass the remote!

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