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.