Ever since the announcement that Christopher Meloni would not be returning and that two new cast members would be joining this elite "squad" known as the "Special Victims Unit" fans and the cast have been left guessing on how Det. Eliot Stabler would be leaving the unit. Tonight's season premiere Scorched Earth, took all the guess work out of what happened to Det. Stabler and why he wouldn't be returning.
Although his shooting and killing of a teenage girl who was attempting to kill the suspect in her mother's death was considered "clean" this shooting equals six times total the Stabler has had to draw his weapon and as a result he and the entire squad "are under the microscope." Should he decide to return to work he would probably have to do counseling and anger management classes, something that he has been threatened with before and we all know Stabler would not stand for. His decision to "put in his papers" is a believable one, and kudos to the writers of this particular episode who left a trail of breadcrumbs that any watcher could follow without giving serving up the whole "dish" on Stabler cold.
The season premiere of Scorched Earth finds the soon to be next Prime Minister of Italy accused of rape and sexual assault of a maid at his hotel. With cries of diplomatic immunity and a sincere disbelief that anyone would believe a maid, he protests his innocence. After released on bond, his wife "stands by her man" declaring his innocence (of rape not of having sex with another woman) to the media frenzy outside their home.
Once more the defense is to blame the victim and this particular victim is in the United States from Sudan under political asylum. Did she lie about her experiences to get to the U.S. and is she lying now? Maybe she is a plant to discredit him politically or maybe she is just there to blackmail him. Only time and the jury will tell.
Det. Rollins (Kelli Giddish) is eager and ready for action. Watching out New York because this soft spoken southern belle may be just want is needed to get anyone to confess to anything, as you wait anxiously for the "slip up" while she casually chats up the rape suspect. Look to see a whole lot more of her brains and as we known from her former show, "Chase" she has been a strong character in the past with plenty of brains and brawn. At first though, she seems almost a little too young and a little too eager to make a good first impression. But it definitely lays the groundwork for Det. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) to be her mentor and role model.
There is a whole new look to the precinct and it's not just the changes in the cast. Desks are cleaner, there is more floor space and our main characters are arranged in such a way that there is more collaboration and interaction. I'm looking forward to seeing a whole lot more of our favorite "SVU" characters show more of the "character" we have come to expect from them.
Season premiere high points:
Det. Tutuola (Ice-T) : "No doubt. We are professionals." Then he proceeds to go ahead and do the exact opposite, taking their high profile suspect on a "perp walk" so that the media vultures circling outside the precincts' door can get a good look at him in handcuffs.
Det. Munch (Richard Belzer): "Absolute power corrupts absolutely," is a phrase that is so in keeping with Munch's conspiracy theories.
Stephanie March is back as Alexandria Cabot and once again we see someone fighting for the case that no one thinks they can win. Her renewed passion for law and justice, as well as her absence is explained by her time spent in the Congo.
Did I miss Det. Stabler? Yes, absolutely, you can't watch a character for 12 years and not miss him when he isn't on the screen anymore. But I am looking forward to a whole new dynamic between the characters that we received a peek at in tonight's season premiere. And, while yes, these are talented actors some of the kudos should go to the writers who are actually setting the tone for a new and improved better season. I, for one, am a fan that is excited about what the future holds for "Law and Order: SVU."
What did you think of the season premiere of "Law and Order: SVU"?
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