So at the end of the hour, Ken's fiance Alejandro remains in critical condition; the Dominican gangsters all go to jail; Tony Hale's schoolteacher character has his career and marriage ruined by false accusations; the English teacher ends up in a mental hospital after attempting suicide; the victim's father is locked up for a misguided assault; and the child victim kills his abuser after being rejected. So on top of this being a disappointing episode, it has to end with sad resolutions for all the characters as well.
I agree completely with PictureItSicily
that trying to fit the school abuse and
hate crimes plots into the same episode was probably detrimental to both storylines. Fin's relationship with his son and the son's fiance has enough emotional mileage to fill a whole episode. If this had been an original L&O
script they could have spent the last half-hour dealing with the courtroom difficulties and the minutae of hate-crimes and gang prosecution, but instead we get another episode ending that feels like Criminal Intent
Speaking of Criminal Intent
, I hope I wasn't the only one who felt that this episode seemed like a rehash, considering that CI
had a very similar episode almost a decade ago, titled "Anti-Thesis" (not
"Ex Stasis" - thanks, CatsWithAxes
!). This had the first appearance of recurring criminal Nicole Wallace, appearing here as a schoolteacher who romantically manipulated a fellow teacher and students into taking the fall for her own crimes. Though this SVU
episode was no doubt inspired by any number of teacher-student sexual assault cases that occurred between 2002 and today, it still seemed to run a little too similar to the CI
Munch and Cabot were underutilized as usual although I think that the writers finally have a grasp on what makes Munch both effective and likeable while in command. His comments about Virgina Woolf were the best part of the episode, along with Stephanie March looking as elegant and fantastic as ever (of course). She deserves better than to be stuck as a five-line supporting character on this or any other show.
*Edited since I got the CI
episode title really wrong. Sorry!
Edited by PI Marlowe, May 10, 2012 @ 6:42 PM.