As brilliant as the decision to wrap-up the character's arc (which let's face it, went on a bit too long and gave us amusing clunkers like the Michael York-starring episode where we meet the man that made Nicole who she is) with a brilliant sequel to the Season 6 premiere episode "Blind Side." John Glover as Declan Cage (Gore's mentor) and Martha Plimpton as his neglected daughter was brilliant casting (not to mention it dove head-first into the 'daddy' issues that are the show's bread-and-butter), but then to wrap-up their stories along with Nicole's in Season 7's "Frame"? Holy shit, how many episodes tie-up loose ends (both plot-wise but also psychologically) as neatly and as unpredictably as that episode? "Frame" is the one reason I wasn't sad (disappointed yes) when USA Network sacked D'Onofrio and Erbe from the cast (along with Bogosian, who should have stayed), their stories had been neatly taken care of and there wasn't anywhere else to go but down recycle avenue. Plus the teaming of Saffron Burrows' Serena Stevens and Jeff Goldblum's Zack Nichols has given us the best detective team-up on a "L&O" spinoff since Benson-Stabler was established in "SVU."Polybius wrote:How brilliant was it to make Goren's Moriarity a knee buckling beautiful sociopath who is on his intellectual level?dad1153 wrote:Some days I like "Criminal Intent" more (the Nicole Wallace episodes in particular but pretty much anything that Rene Balcer wrote)
other days "SVU" tickles my fancy (the 2nd to 5th seasons were the peak of the show, when whole episodes were devoted to Munch or Finn and it wasn't 'The Benson & Stabler' show almost all the time)
They still do that from time (a recent "SVU" episode had Benson and Finn working together practically the entire show), but much less frequently than before because Hargitay and Meloni command such high salaries that the network feels if they're paying them all this dough they damn better be front and center in almost every episode.That was always a major strength of that show. Sometimes it was Liv and Fin, sometimes Stabler and Munch...you literally didn't know from week to week how it would play out. I love Benson and Stabler together but the episode where he went to Prague by himself and the one where she kept the little Honduran girl on the phone until they could track her down are some of the series' greatest moments and those were done without the other partner in the mix at all.
"Pandora" (the Prague episode) has a scene that never has failed to make me weep: when Elliott tracks down the home of the guy making a little girl pose suggestively online, and the little girl opens the door. Stabler wants to cry but holds it together, has the little girl touch his shield. Freaking brutal! "911" (the Benson episode with the Honduran girl on the phone for which Mariska won an Emmy for Best Actress in a Dramatic role) is just a freaking roller coaster ride. Me being an old-time "L&O" foggie my favorite "SVU" episode are Season 3's "Stolen" (a child kidnapping leads Cragen to a missing baby that he and Max Greevey had worked on back in the mothership's squadron, which is now older and adopted by a loving family; a rare "SVU" that focuses on good people torn apart in court by and for doing the right thing) and "Guilt" (ADA Cabot steps out of the law's bounds to nail a serial rapist that talked his victim into attempting suicide; the classic Cabot-Petrovsky rivalry took form here). Oh, who am I kidding? If I started mentioning favorites we'd be here all night. But these two stand-out as memorable-to-me "SVU" eps.
and most days I can count on the mothership "L&O" to have at least one good repeat (preferably with Kincaid or Carmichael as Assistant ADA
Jamie is OK but she totally felt like a lightweight weakling during a couple of years where everything else on the show (writing, acting, plotting of season-long arcs, etc.) rose to new heights, with the "LA Trilogy" being the notable exception to this quality comments. She was part of the only year "L&O" won an Emmy for Best Drama, but all the great moments from those two seasons (Briscoe losing his daughter, Schiff dealing with a death penalty case and with his wive's terminal life choice, McCoy withholding evidence against a drunk driver to avenge the memory of Kincaid, Curtis dealing with this wife's MS diagnosis, etc.) don't involve Jamie as anything other than a standby observer. Ironically the years Carey Lowell was part of the cast are some of my favorite "L&O" seasons, but not because of her being in them.No love for Jamie? I liked the three of them in sequence about equally, with a slight nod to the soulful and quietly strong Claire.
And you're right about me not changing my mind about Anderson. Didn't like him when he played pretty much the same character (under a different name) in "SVU" as Stabler's temporary partner, and I certainly didn't like him as Ed Green's replacement. The 13 episodes when Lupo and Green were teamed-up (the same year McCoy became DA and Cutter & Connie became the ADA team) was truly the show's last great cast, not a weak link in the acting chain and the show's ratings/quality rose substantially from the ashes of the 'Detective Beauty Queen' (i.e. Nina Cassidy's) season, truly the mothership's nadir creatively... ouch! Then Anderson steps in and the acting has this glaring black hole (no pun intended!) that pretty much sucks the acting greatness surrounding it. (sigh).