Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Law & Order SVU Season 19 Key Art, Cast Photos UPDATED

Here are the updated key art and cast photos for season 19 of Law & Order SVU,  which feature Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, Peter Scanavino, and Philip Winchester.







Photos by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC 2017 NBCUniversal Media, LLC.







Photos by: NBC 2018 NBCUniversal Media, LLC




Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Law & Order SVU “Chasing Demons” Photos

Here are advance photos from Law & Order SVU “Chasing Demons” which will air on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 9PM ET on NBC. The photos feature Mariska Hargitay, Kelli Giddish, Philip Winchester, Dean Winters as Brian Cassidy, Molly Jobe as Natalie Roberts, Anthony Grasso as Lorenzo, Kylie Bunbury as Detective Devin Holiday, Dominic Colon as Felix Ramos, and Ryan Buggle as Noah Porter-Benson.




















Photos by: Michael Parmelee/NBC 2018 NBCUniversal Media, LLC


Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Law & Order SVU “In Loco Parentis” Episode Information


Here are the details for a new episode of Law & Order SVU, “In Loco Parentis.”

Law & Order SVU “In Loco Parentis” Air Date March 7, 2018 (9 PM ET/8C Wednesday NBC)

Carisi (Peter Scanavino) opens a police investigation when his niece reports a classmate for sexual assault, and Stone (Philip Winchester) learns there are no perfect witnesses when it comes to sex crimes. Guest starring Susie Essman and Rachel Bay Jones.


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Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Law & Order SVU “The Undiscovered Country” Recap & Review; Raul Esparza Exits



“But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveler returns…”
– William Shakespeare, Hamlet


Farewell, Rafael.

What an amazing episode, with exceptional writing by Michael Chernuchin. I almost never say this anymore: this was an Emmy worthy episode on many levels.

Law & Order SVU “The Undiscovered Country” was an emotional roller-coaster episode that many Law & Order fans were eager to see as it featured the return of Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) as District Attorney. But this joy was short-lived as it brought trouble – and the prosecuting career end - for ADA Rafael Barba, who resigned his ADA position. This episode also marks the beginning of Peter Stone’s move from Chicago to New York. The convergence of all these characters occurs when they are faced with a moral and ethical issue that tests everyone involved. But it’s Barba who takes decisive and controversial action, much to the detriment of his career. It’s clear early on that the job is wearing on him when he makes a comment about getting some sleep within the next decade or so. This case may have arrived at a time where Barba was reaching his emotional limit with the job.

The final scenes with Raúl Esparza were difficult to watch without feeling a flood of sadness. Esparza was able to brilliantly convey the complexities of what Barba went through with his father, plus the controversial decision he made to turn off Drew’s life support. One could almost see what looked like the real weight of those actions on him during the scene where Barba had to testify about why he did what he did. Raul Esparza is an amazing talent who brought a passion and spark to Law & Order SVU that few have been able to deliver, and he will be greatly missed on this show.

Was Barba right to turn off life support and was the verdict correct? I’m still on the fence. The parents clearly contributed to the issue by not being in agreement on the fate of their son. Had they had agreement, the issue may have been easily resolved in court and the SVU would have never been involved. I suspect that Barba has, over time, become too emotional after working with Benson and the SVU, and, also influenced by the situation with his own father,  he couldn’t think logically about baby Drew.  He shouldn’t have been the one to turn off life support but I understand why he did and I’m satisfied with the verdict. Barba was clearly listening during McCoy’s eulogy of Ben Stone, as Barba used that advice to do what he must.

Benson is feeling guilty for bringing Barba into this case, but it was her job to do so. Her constant need to fix things, however, is what makes the mess. She frequently becomes too emotionally involved in cases and then makes rash decisions; for example, putting herself at risk when she decides she can handle the hostage situation. This could be her way of trying to make amends for Mike Dodds’ death in a hostage situation but that doesn’t make it any less reckless. (Benson was lucky this time; she couldn’t know that Aaron was only holding a paintball gun until she got into the house.)  When she finds that Barba turned off Drew’s life support, she again says she has to fix this. Maybe she wouldn’t have to fix things if she took a more tempered approach and looked first before jumping in, or she should at least realize that she can’t fix everything.

This episode neatly tied in the Law & Order past by bringing in Peter Stone, son of Ben Stone, the first Manhattan EADA featured in the Law & Order series. Ben Stone is dead (R.I.P Ben), and Peter has come from Chicago for the funeral, where Jack McCoy delivers a eulogy.  As the years progressed, Ben Stone was only rarely mentioned in the Law & Order universe and only served as a connection to Peter Stone for Chicago Justice. It made sense that the character pass on in order to open the door for Peter to make his own mark in New York. The one thing I liked about Peter Stone on “Chicago Justice” is that he had a real passion for his job and wasn’t afraid to rock the boat. I hope we see this same Peter Stone on SVU.

Jack McCoy, while he seems to genuinely like Barba, knows that he has to prosecute him as he “can’t have his ADAs killing people.” Benson really has a negative attitude with Peter Stone right out of the gate, telling him  “I sure hope you suck” (causing Stone’s handshake to retract like a deflating erection).    I think we all wanted Stone to do badly prosecuting Barba. Benson continues to take it to the next level with Stone, saying with typical Benson sanctimony that Barba lives in a place that the men who wrote the law don’t even think about. Thankfully, Stone has the perfect retort, that “amongst us mere mortals, it’s a class A felony.” This is going to be a rocky relationship and I think that it could bring some much needed tension between SVU and the DA’s office, in more ways than one.

The possible reason Barba is burned out came at the end of the episode when Barba explains that when he started the job, it was black and white. Working with Benson as she started to “weasel” (interesting choice of words) her way into his world, he began to see shade of gray and then color. When he says “I’m you now, Liv”, this tells me that he, like Benson, became too emotionally involved in his cases. I think she ruined his legal objectivity. For a while it seemed they were dumbing down Barba; I liked him more when he had that defined, “black and white” approach to the law. It meant for more tension and drama as well. Right now Peter Stone is taking a black and white approach, and maybe this is the best way to see the job. (There is nothing wrong with throwing in a little gray, as there are still legal loopholes.) Barba is smart to move on, and hopefully he will find a career that allows him to use what he learned in his job as ADA to make changes in the law. That said, I hope that someday we will see Raúl Esparza make a guest appearance in another role.

An interesting touch was bringing in the annoying yet effective Randy Dworkin to defend Barba.  Abigail Hawk also played the emotionally wrecked mother with perfection.

I almost hate bringing this up with such an excellent episode, but there were two significant continuity errors in this episode.  These kinds of errors are extremely annoying. The most glaring was Jack McCoy as District Attorney. In the SVU episode "Scorched Earth" (season 13, episode one, air date September 21, 2011), SVU Bureau Chief Mike Cutter says there was a new DA. As SVU went through a many seasons after that with a nameless, faceless District Attorney, viewers were only left to conclude that Jack McCoy was out as DA. This episode doesn’t really explain why McCoy is still in the job.  I suppose it's possible he was out as DA for a while and was later elected back in...?

The other continuity error – maybe not as obvious – was Barba telling McCoy that his father died 7 years ago. In the episode “ Padre Sandungeuro” (season 16, episode 12, air date January 21, 2015), Barba states “I know what it's like to have to face down your old man. Mine's dead 15 years, and my hand still curls into a fist whenever I think of him.” It’s perplexing that the writers recalled Barba’s relationship with his father was contentious, but didn’t get the timing of his death right.

A+

Update February 13, 2018 - a deleted scene has been added after the recap.

Here is the recap:


Jack McCoy is delivering a eulogy at the funeral of former EADA Ben Stone. Ben’s son Peter is in attendance, as is Rafael Barba. During the eulogy,  McCoy mentions a case where an inculpatory document was included with a discovery request received from opposing counsel and McCoy did not know what to do. He went to Ben Stone for advice and McCoy commented he can either ignore the document…and McCoy says Stone cut him off, saying that a man shouldn’t do what he can, he should do what he must without regard for consequence or repercussion, that’s what makes us moral, and god help us if we lose that. He says his goodbyes to Ben.

The SVU case began with baby Drew, kidnapped by his own father, Aaron Householder, that turns into a legal battle over the parents’ right to allow Drew, who suffers from Mitochondrial DNA Depletion Syndrome, to die. The baby’s mother – Maggie Householder  – wants to end Drew’s suffering, as he has no brain functions and can’t hear, see, or eat normally. Aaron takes the Drew as he doesn’t want to take this action.

Aaron is quickly tracked to a house in Sheepshead, New York where he’s set up a life support system for Drew. The SVU squad arrives on the scene with backup. Benson, who seems to be trying to make up for the hostage situation where Mike Dodds was killed, decides she can handle this situation. Against strong objections from Fin, she ditches her gun and phone and enters the house to try to diffuse the situation. She tries to talk Aaron down and is finally successful when she tells him she is a cop and knows her guns – Aaron is only holding a paintball gun. The hostage situation ends.

Later, at SVU, the parents – separately - discuss Drew’s heart-wrenching and hopeless medical situation, and they eventually reconcile. Benson tells Barba that no one is forcing him to prosecute. Barba replies that if he doesn’t, he is telling the world that baby Drew has no rights. When Rollins asks what about his right to die, Carisi comments that, unfortunately, that’s not in The Constitution. Barba asks them to find out if the kidnapping caused the baby any harm, and Benson adds that is so he can let Aaron go with a clear conscience. Barba says it's so he can prosecute and maybe get some sleep in the next decade or so.


Meanwhile, McCoy and Stone meet at the courthouse. They share McCoy’s sandwich while sitting on a bench near the courthouse hall. McCoy suggests he has a place for Stone in New York but Stone plans to stay in New York only until his father’s affairs have been settled. McCoy recalls how proud Ben Stone was of Peter, and Stone wishes he knew this before. Afterward, Stone enters an empty courtroom and cries.

Later,  while Barba is in his office having a drink and is looking out a window, he hears a voice say “We don’t pay you to think, we pay you to work.” He turns and sees it is McCoy, who says, “Sure, I’ll have one.” McCoy says he wishes the law was more like chemistry; you heat up water to 212 degrees and the sonofabitch boils. As McCoy sits in Barba’s chair and grabs the liquor out of Barba’s desk drawer and pours himself a drink, Barba comments, “Sans bias, sans judgment”  and McCoy replies, “Sans conscience.” McCoy asks what is so interesting out that window, and Barba explains his father. He explains (continuity error warning!) that 7 years ago his father went into a diabetic coma and was on life support for six weeks. When McCoy says he is sorry, Barba tells him don’t be, he was not well liked by anyone, especially him. Still, he was at the hospital every morning before work and every night until the nurses threw him out. The doctors said there was nothing they could do for him; there was no brain activity and they highly recommended they end it, but he said no, where there is life, there is hope. He could have eased his suffering but he didn’t, and told himself it as because Father Mike wouldn’t approve. McCoy says he is sure he wouldn’t. Barba states he was selfish; he hated the man, but still he didn’t want the burden of being the reason he took his last breath. He states again he was selfish; he let him suffer. Jack tells him to prosecute Aaron Householder, and Barba asks if it is for doing the same thing he did to his dad. McCoy explains that law is what the statutes says it is. Barba counters it is a shame, no matter how hard they try, they can’t legislate morality. McCoy comments, “We’re not in the compassion business, Rafael.” Barba nods, and says “Sure. Why not.” McCoy finishes his drink and tells Barba to cut a deal, offer Aaron probation, go to church, say 3 Hail Marys, and then come back to the office and finish that bottle. But we can see the gears moving in Barba’s head.


Barba heads to the hospital room where Maggie is there with Drew. After Maggie has a bit of a breakdown about Drew’s situation, she asks why Drew can’t just die. Barba tells her that he can. But Maggie can’t turn off the machines, and Barba tells her to go. He looks at Drew, makes the sign of the cross over him, and the scene fades to black. We know what he does, however.

Law & Order SVU “Chasing Demons” Promo

Here is the promo for Law & Order SVU, “Chasing Demons” which will air on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 9PM ET on NBC. The episode guest stars Dean Winters.






Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.



Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Law & Order SVU “Chasing Demons” Episode Information


Here are the details for a new episode of Law & Order SVU, “Chasing Demons.”


Law & Order SVU “Chasing Demons” Air Date February 28, 2018 (9 PM ET/8C Wednesday NBC)

A doctor (guest star Lorenzo Scott) arrested for sexually abusing his patients is set free after Cassidy's (guest star Dean Winters) testimony causes a mistrial. Also guest starring Kylie Bunbury.



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Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.