The latest episode of Law & Order: SVU was almost 100% perfection for an SVU episode. After season 18 where the entire outside-the-cases storylines were disconnected, this season is tying it all back together.
The Case: We had a Gen Z vlogger, Mandy, who went to a party, got wasted, was written on (that part should be noted as a party rule and not be considered such a big deal, but whatever. Moving on), and then was raped. This led to bullying and loss of friends, which turned the victim from innocent good girl to angsty girl, back to good girl.
Here’s the tie-in: The girl was “pink clouding” and pretending that nothing happened, everything was okay, and she was just going to move on. Rollins and Benson remembered a previous case – from season 14, episode 20, Girl Dishonored – where a girl was PC-ing and then jumped to her death. So when Benson recognizes the same symptoms in Mandy, she takes Rollins to “help this girl back from the ledge”.
Not only that! Rollins reveals to the victim an elegant white-ink tattoo on her arm that says Amanda. We get the backstory on this ink, but must remember that that idea of Rollins’ tattoo was first brought up in season 13, episode 22 Strange Beauty – though the audience wasn’t shown what it was, nor told what it meant.
And finally: the baby Noah / Ellie Porter & Johnny D situation. While we didn’t see Brooke Shields (aka Ellie’s mom/ Noah’s biological grandmother) we did get movement on that storyline.
Some minor issues that I had with this episode included the final scene/ PSA after school special. That scene felt long and unnecessary, but fine. The biggest surprise for me was Mandy’s friend, Stacey Vanhooven (played by Madison Pettis – who was the little girl in The Game Plan with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). She was the Hayden Panetierre of this episode and should have been more involved in the crime (Hayden Panetierre was the little girl in Remember the Titans, but played the victim’s best friend who turned out to be hooking in SVU 6×15). I spent the latter half of the episode waiting for Stacey to have somehow been involved, otherwise they stopped being friends because Stacey felt guilty for not helping Mandy and that seemed like a boring story. ]
Regardless of my minor complaints, I enjoyed this episode very much and have a lot of faith in our showrunner and writing team this season. What did YOU think of the episode? Let me know on Twitter at @yaeltygiel
— Yael Tygiel