So jam-packed was the hour that I couldn't pull myself away long enough to take notes. It's not what I'd call the season's best piece of work - not when Olivia was pretty much left to carry an episode on her own, with the dubious help of Lake and a guest star - but for a first-time viewing, it was a fast-paced story with plenty of twists that kept my interest. But to be perfectly honest, we all know that's because I have a somewhat disturbing predilection for gruesome methods of murder.
Special Agent Lauren Cooper was certainly a piece of work. I never remember the guest star = bad guy rule, but I still knew there was something funny about her. I jumped from suspecting that *she* was the serial killer (one of these days, it's going to work out like that!) to thinking she'd killed her mentor and fixed it to look like a suicide, until her "bad" role turned out to be killing the serial killer. Then I knew she was destined to follow in the footsteps of her mentor, although frankly I'm still trying to work out her logic for that one.
I mean...am I missing something? All she did was shoot the man. Okay, fine, "in cold blood." KIND OF. Still, she's an FBI agent, and TV agents are constantly shooting and killing people in standoff situations; I don't see why this was different, especially seeing as he was a sadistic bastard. How does shooting him once - an instant and strangely humane kill - turn her into "a monster"? I think it was especially frustrating for me because technically, she could have gotten away with it. She got the case dismissed (and rightly so; it's ridiculous to spend the time and money pursuing a case like this when there are other, much more serious ones to bump up in the queue); she disposed of the weapon; there would have been no other evidence if she hadn't kept the damn stupid casing in her apartment. I think that's about as close to perfect crime as it comes, and then she threw it away? *rolls eyes*
Very nice acting from Mariska at that point, though. Even suspecting what was coming, the speed with which Lauren whipped out the gun and shot herself made me jump, and while I laughed at Olivia in the previews, her scream of horror was very real, as was her stumbling away and being overwhelmed by tears.
Speaking of the contrived trek to Canada, there's leaving the newborn Stabler off screen (a choice of which I approve), and then there's actively working to make it seem like he doesn't exist. How many extended-shift/overnight assignment has Elliot taken since E Jr. was born?
I don't know what else to say, really. High-stakes episode; whether it will repeat well remains to be seen.
Over to Wednesday now, I considered watching the season premiere of Criminal Intent last night, but after about six seconds of Goren I could not zoom away fast enough, so I abandoned that idea and landed on Til Death instead.
Oh, Law and Order. Why do you like pushing buttons, especially mine? Hm? On CSI, 95% of the time it's a straightforward case with an obvious bad guy. I realize you need slightly more drama for the courtroom half of your show, but so far this season you're 3 for 3 on controversial themes and/or convoluted explanations with multiple guilty people. I'm not even going to get into the concept of "the gay gene" here because I think it's stupid; even if I don't believe homosexuality is something you decide to pursue for the fun of it, I also don't believe it's the result of one specific gene whose inclusion in your code incontrovertibly destines you to be gay. I like to think it's a slightly more flexible trait. ...I kind of got into it anyway, didn't I?
What I do mean to talk about is the ridiculousness of all the public defenders getting on their contemptuous moral high horses over the D&C, and nauseating way in which they used this to manipulate both brothers into cooperation. I especially hated phrases about how it was "so easy" to get rid of his son, because, YES, DAMN IT, IT IS. Well, not easy, but logical. Why? Because he doesn't know his his (unborn) son. He has no interactive memories of or direct emotional connection to him except as a concept, an idea. There is nothing to miss except a memory of a promise. On the other hand, there is the woman he loves. A 5% chance of recovery isn't much hope, no, but it is also better than basically zero, which is what he was promised if the baby was carried to term. Why would he not fight tooth and nail for any chance to have her back? I refer you once again to the refreshing "I love my children, but I'm in love with my husband" article, and promise you that, while my opinion might change once my children had a few years under their belt, at or before the moment of birth I see no reason to love a random baby more than your spouse.
The problem in this case was that he'd agreed to the D&C as part of a secret and highly illegal deal with his father-in-law to provide an alibi for his brother and thus keep said brother out of jail (I would like to point out that this is a pure-win situation). Brother, of course, flips his shit upon finding out that the father-in-law only wanted the D&C because he didn't want a gay grandson. I need to make use of apostrophe here.
Dear old man: tests can be wrong, new and unsupported research can definitely be wrong, I bet there's no gene for bisexuality so he might still like ladies, for every Jack McFarlane there is a Will Truman, people can repress in order to conform, and no one says you personally have to care for or even interact with the kid; in short, YOUR LOGIC WAS FAULTY SIR! Notice how most of these reasonings don't even require you to stop being prejudiced.
Dear husband: The father-in-law's anti-gay agenda should not have influenced you, since it was necessary to give you a better chance at getting back your wife and I you might have eventually made that decision on your own, and even if it did YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE ATTEMPTED TO EXPLAIN THIS TO YOUR FLIPPING-HIS-SHIT GAY BROTHER, ESPECIALLY WHILE IN THE PRESENCE OF LAWYERS. You calmly and rationally stick to your "Dude, wife trumps baby, deal with it" story. But you know what you especially shouldn't have done? Tried to claim that your son was better off dead than growing up in a horrible and bigoted world just like his uncle did, and get routinely beat up for being alive. Dude, society gets more tolerant every day. Even now vs. ten years ago = huge difference. 15 years from now, I suspect it will be even better, so...MORON.
Dear brother: You realize that your outburst of rage basically just got your brother to admit to obstruction of justice? So now instead of you both being free and clear, you're both going to jail. CLAP. CLAP.
Meanwhile, Connie and Cutter stand around looking supremely pleased with themselves, and OKAY, I think this is why I am always siding with the criminals and questioning the sentences. I somehow don't think this was the writers' intention, but I never feel satisfied or happy with what the lawyers pulled off, because they're always so smug and self-righteous about it. It bugs.
In other news, I continue to not warm up to Cutter at all, whose flaunting of rules, sideways tactics, and hypocritical bellyaching about improper procedure for evidence seizure leave me rolling my eyes. The ubiquitous Blackberry doesn't help either; I loathe it even more than Jack does.
I do love Connie though; I'm amused that after years of the women playing second-fiddle eye candy to Jack (not that there's anything wrong with that), now that she's stuck with Cutter, she spends a large percentage of her time looking like an exasperated mother trying to control her hyper 7-year-old. I firmly believe that she is not-so-secretly annoyed by the fact that she didn't get a promotion when Jack did. And while I didn't see much of their working relationship last season, I firmly believe that she misses working with him for more than the simple fact that he was better than Cutter (please don't spin that in a shippy direction, brain), a belief which was thrilled by one of her remarks tonight, "You agreed - no dumping on Jack in front of Connie." That moment seemed brilliantly refreshing, and I had a hard time figuring out why until it occurred to me that it was the most human thing I've ever heard her say. I've not been paying attention, but I don't think she gets a lot of lines, and when they do they're almost all in lawyer-speak either about the case or to a defendant. Nice change of pace here.
I also continue to warm up to Lupo a whole bunch. Yes writers, I will slavishly follow your orders to be interested and intrigued by the bread crumbs you keep dropping about his sister-in-law. Also, when Cutter lies about having search warrants it's stupid, but when Lupo demonstrates ninja skills to swipe information off a suspect's PDA, it's awesomecakes.
And then Greene magically gets a deep layer of backstory about a broken engagement and against-his-wishes abortion of a baby with the Down Syndrome gene. Wow, this should keep the fic writers fat and happy for WEEKS.
...I cannot believe how much I just wrote about Law and Order. Italicized for emphasis.