LAW & ORDER: SVU “Bully” Review

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Bully

LAW & ORDER: SVU “Bully” Season 12 Episode 18 – Well, this one was better, though I’m not sure whether that was because it had a quicker pace or because it was funnier than most other episodes. (You can’t tell me you weren’t laughing at that psychotic Boss From Hell. She was awesome. Come on.) Or because one of the subjects was Google’s search engine algorithms. Because that’s kind of funny too.

But nothing is funnier than an art critic (Countess Luanen de Lesseps, mistakenly thinking that being on The Real Housewives of New York means she can act) accidentally mistaking spilled blood leaking from the room above as art. I guess it’s art. If you’re a serial killer.

No, check that. The funniest part was about how some opera singers, addicted to alcohol but needing to preserve their voices, take their champagne through the anal cavity. I admit to nearly spittaking that one.

So let’s checklist. Sociopathic boss who physically beats on employees: check. Appearance by one of the Real Housewives of New York: check. Anal ingestion of alcohol: check.

What is this, an episode of The Apprentice?

“Bully” was a quirky, strange episode, but I enjoyed it a lot more than other recent ones. The public suicide of Annette Cole (a fantastically crazy-eyed wired-to-the-nines Kate Burton) hearkened back to the on-air suicide of Budd Dwyer (Hey Man Nice Shot), and I can say that she pretty much shocked me when she pulled out that gun. Didn’t see that coming. Too bad she’s gone for good; Law & Order: SVU could use more eccentrics. I thought the pacing and the writing of that portion of the story were strong, and Detective Elliot Stabler (an even keel Chris Meloni) had some pretty good moments. Though I question the skills of the CSU and TARU people when they couldn’t find the flash drive that Stabler was able to find in a matter of seconds. The fact that the drive was disguised as a panda bear only gets them off the hook halfway; it’s yet another cop show depicting “regular” cops as inept. But I’m thankful getting the hard drive wasn’t a “Saved The Day” scenario: the video had already been sent by the bullied murder victim to the news media.

(Hmm, Google plug, MSNBC plug…)

For the Hargitay fans who think I’ve gone soft, no, I didn’t notice any real flaws in Detective Olivia Benson (my favorite actress ever, Mariska Hargitay) this time, but her stoic face remained stoic pretty much the entire episode. This was not really a Benson episode.

Anyway, I have much bigger problems with Fin (Ice-T), who is really starting to look like a fish out of water. (You can connect “fish” to “fin,” be my guest, it wasn’t intentional until I proofread.) Or wrong for the part. Like beyond lethargic. He’s either completely mailing it in, or the writers are just unmotivated with his character. Admittedly, part of this problem may be the fact that Munch (the dry and wry Richard Belzer) has been M.I.A. the last few episodes, and they generally play off one another pretty well.

(And no, I’m not going to start wildly speculating exactly what’s wrong with Belzer, or if he has this disease or that disease. He’s clearly not been himself, but if the man wants to keep things private that’s his prerogative. Leave the speculating to the internet trolls.)

The truth is, Law & Order: SVU is stronger when Munch has a good role to play, and the L&O world is a richer one when we get to see another layer of the man (like when Munch surprised me in “Flight” by being fluent in French). He’s like an onion. A very dry onion.

Also odd was the fact that ADA Hardwicke made an appearance in the episode without actually making an appearance. (Let the trolls take this and run: my rumor-of-the-day guess is that Melissa Sagemiller is actually having a torrid affair with Belzer, and they both ran off to Cancun. Or wherever it’s cool to run off to these days.)

Also missing: Captain Cragen (Dann Florek), my favorite SVU character next to Munch. (Maybe he’s in Cancun too?) I’m kind of amazed I enjoyed this episode as much as I did with no Munch and no Cragen, so at least partial credit has to go to Burton’s Annette Cole, who basically stole (or abused) every scene she was in. Excellent casting with that one, Strauss! I like your lesser-knowns over the touted “Special Guest Appearances.” The Countess was terrible.

Next episode: the return of Munch? I can only hope.

Follow me on Twitter! That’s @Axechucker, you dinks.

  • Mickey

    Blessedly the “Countess” was barely a blip on the screen. I agree that it was a better episode than last week. At least there was humor and Kate Burton was wonderful as the Leona Helmsley-like boss from hell. Stabler was good but Benson seemed to be sedated or something. C’mon Mariska lets earn some of those big bucks you’re making. I think Belzer is ill and that’s why he’s not on as much. He looks terrible.

    • Axe

      The rumor is he is quite ill, but I won’t give credence to rumors. If the man wants his privacy in personal matters, he shouldn’t be hounded by gossip wags.

  • David

    This has been a very trying week for me TV-wise. First I get to watch Dane Cook on “Hawaii Five-O” and now I’m forced to watch desperate (for money? to act?) real housewife LuAnn de Lesseps. You’d think someone whose real life is steeped in pretention (or so BRAVO would have us believe) wouldn’t have any problem ACTING pretentious, but somehow she still managed to screw it up.

    • Axe

      I watch Hawaii Five-0 for the cool beginning music. I dance around. And then I change the channel.

  • SammyB

    I agree with your review. SVU is rarely good in a dramatic way anymore that when they go for a little humor its more watchable. Fin isn’t the best of actors but he has an interesting presence on the show. Mariska always looks bored these days unless the episode is all about her and that much worse than her standing around with a flat affect expression on her face the whole episode like this one..

    I liked the actress playing the bully and the co-workers were kind of an interesting twist too

    • Axe

      To me he seems lost without Munch. There’s a whole dynamic with them, back in they heyday, that really worked.

  • Cassie

    Gah the countess was terrible. She even looks inept in that photo with Chris Meloni you have above. The rest of this episode was kind of fun in a weird way. Who knew people actually put champagne up the back door so to speak. SVU should be proud I actually learned something from them this week. Is Mariska Hartigay actually one of your favorite actressess? Or are you just afraid of the wrath of the rabid OMG! Mariska rocks sooo much! fan club!!

    • Axe

      Occasionally I am known to be tongue-in-cheek.

      Honestly, I don’t hate the actress. I just think the parts that most of these actors have played over 12 seasons are played out. Were I to give advice to them that they might actually listen to (and let’s be real: they wouldn’t) I would say move on to other things. 12 years straight of anything is a bad idea. Go play other parts! I’ll bet Hargitay would love playing an antagonist, or a villain in a movie. (Maybe the next Bond movie can have a villain called Stone Face, I dunno) Anything besides the same old-same old.

      Re-start the show with some different cast members. That would intrigue me. Until that happens, all I’m really looking forward to is guest stars like Kate Burton.

      • Antonio

        Who are you to say what should or should not do Mariska? Do not be ridiculous. That’s her problem. If it feels good doing the show let it act. Now of course you hate it. Saying that she is his favorite actress is sarcasmo.Qual your problem? It’s because she’s rich? Why is loved by thousands of fans? Because with or without botox botox she’s beautiful?
        How much resentment. Poor Axe. You must be a loser. But I am seriously suspicious that you’re gay and in love with the Munch. As distasteful.

        • Deivid


          The case of the Axe is irreversible. The problem is that he (or she) is too ugly. Is explained. Mariska is a magazine cover and leave in the edition of People magazine’s most beautiful people in the world. Axe tip should work on making a horror movie.

      • LRP

        The Axe discovered gunpowder. His blog is crap and he decided to attack the Mariska to gain prominence. Since you like to give advice about this: find another profession. You do not know how to criticize and put personal grievances in the foreground. One suggestion for your well: make an eye exam detalhado.Voce is not seeing right.

      • Scarpato1

        Oh! Axe, his views are so ridiculous. I do not have this infatuation by actress Mariska Hargitay. I just admire his work. But how can someone not bothering to attack someone else. As for what she does, you ever think that she does what his ideal and his passion. Not to mention that it is their livelihood. As a blogger you are a failure.

  • Geo

    Mariska is hard to believe that her favorite actress. No use hoping to soften her bitterness. Mariska fans do not like you.
    As for the episode was excellent and for me the presence of Munch’s irrelevant. He is old and ugly. It was the 1st and last time I’m coming to this blog. He lacks consistency and accuracy.

  • NCD

    Wow! Mariska is a goddess. I love, love, love Mariska Hargitay / Olivia Benson. She is a great actress and a wonderful person on all aspects. You hate it (I think that Mariska will commit suicide for this reason (laughs). Calm down. Hatred is bad for the heart. And if you are in the photo next to your name, I think it’s related to Munch. are similar.

  • BCP

    Mariska with botox, no botox, stone face, who cares? She is loved by millions of people, winning actress, has a dignified social work, is generous, educated, intelligent and cultured. The rest is the resto.Sou an ardent young fan and know it (the attacks) is the price you pay for success. But it is large and is above everything. Who has a generous heart as Mariska, always has the divine protection. She is a loving person by nature and should be very happy. In the eyes of the fans she will always be beautiful, a true goddess ..

  • Annete Veloso


    Where are the other comments. Why were they removed?

  • Annete Veloso


    Where are the other comments. Why were they removed?

  • Annete Veloso

    I liked most of “Pursuit”. This last episode had situations it funny but kinda crazy. The entire cast was great and Mariska (love) each time more beautiful.

  • Info

    Captain Cragen is one of my favorite characters too. I think Dann Florek is the only actor on the show who seems like he could actually be a cop in real life.

  • CLA

    People are individuals and have their own opinions, we must respect. So I heartily disagree with his opinion: I found a weak episode, full of follies and ridiculous situations. I do not like Munch and I think he adds nothing to the series, which nevertheless is still a good show. And lastly I think Mariska is still a great actress .. I see nothing in his face which would undermine its performance. For me she is still beautiful. Indeed, her beautiful face is the cover of Ladies of April. I think she is one of the few actresses who can speak of a “natural beauty”. She has wrinkles, took it, and it is not super skinny like most actresses in Hollywood. I like your review and I hope the next. I respect your opinion and hope you accept mine.

  • CalP

    I thought “Buyling” a very weak episode. SVU this season has alternated good and bad episodes. Despite many years on the air the series still arouses my attention. It’s amazing that 12 years after the series is still successful. The reason, I have no doubt, Mariska Hargitay and Chris Melloni. Without them, SVU would’ve gone. Cris is a good actor and makes a very convincing Elliot. Mariska is a great actress. His awards are deserved. She makes a deep Olivia, passionate work. Rigid but also tender and compassionate. And with all the respect you deserve Axe, I do not see anything abnormal in the expression of the face of Mariska. For me it is still a great actress. In the next episode “Bombshell” she appeared more beautiful than ever. I look forward to seeing this episode.

  • CalP

    A correction: the name of the episode is Bully.

  • Dunia

    “The truth is that Law & Order: SVU is strongest when Munch has a good role to play, and L & O world is richer when we see another layer of man (as Munch surprised me when in flight ” to be fluent in French). ”

    Find decidedly much you like the Munch. I read the other day you say it’s important because in SVU’s Richard Belzer. I ask you:
    1) What movie was it important that Belzer has done and stood out;
    2) if he had any indication for an Oscar or an Emmy,
    3) if he starred in some TV series, playing the lead role.

    Honestly I have nothing against Richard Belzer. But he is far below Christopher Melloni. Of Mariska Hargitay, forget it. There are kilometers away and to complete it is very ugly. As you suggested Mariska make a paper as a villain in a James Bond movie I suggest to Richard working on a movie and terror. He would be the Main star, playing the Frankenstein.
    Answer me please.

  • Annete Veloso


    very interesting comment that the person called Dunia. And you, who loves to give advice, will not mind if I submit, respectfully, my. How about you stop being a blogger and become an actor. You could make a cousin of the role of Belzer in a horror movie. For you guys that I saw your picture bears a certain resemblance. A hug.

  • billy

    Am I the only person who thinks that M.H. is a lousy actress as well as very plain looking. In fact the whole show leaves a lot to be desired. Every character is one dimensional. The dialogue is nothing but a bunch of cheap shots.

    • Pck

       Nobody in the world is unanimous. With Mariska would be no different. But most admires and respects the work of this great actress. I read a few days ago in a blog that Mariska is among the 20 celebrities love most Americans, including actors and actresses in there movies. As an actress Mariska is more television she is the most beloved actresses of that medium. Billy And you’re confusing the actress with the show. One may not like SVU, but say that Mariska is bad. And the awards she has received? And the indications? It means that those who choose not know anything about acting?