It’s rare to get a happy ending in Law and Order: SVU these days, but in this week’s episode, “Monster’s Legacy,” good actually won for once and a man who was only mostly guilty got a second chance at life after the justice system tried to murder him.
This episode has already taken a lot of flack in the press because the death row inmate was played by Mike Tyson. Yes, a convicted rapist was hired to play a rape victim, and on the surface I find that a little strange, but the man made a mistake and paid his debt to society…isn’t that what our justice system is for? Maybe in taking on this role he wasn’t just trying to earn a few bucks or get his name in the papers. Maybe he was trying (in some strange celebrity way) to make amends.
Beats me. Honestly, we’ll never know, and what’s done is done, and in the end Tyson’s child-like voice and wooden acting made for an interesting and surprisingly sympathetic character, so let’s talk about the episode itself. First off, I appreciated the twist of seeing things through the eyes of the defense, not the prosecution, mostly because I have really come to like the episodes that involve Olivia’s attorney friend, Bayard Ellis. I wish he was the prosecutor this season, not that other dude.
But…this was yet another episode about a child molester being brought to justice by his now-adult victims. How many times have we seen this during this season alone? Any answer other than “none” is kind of unacceptable. Even if the child molester is played by the great Ed Asner.
The saddest thing about this episode is that this sort of thing happens all the time. Now, I am in favor of the death penalty, but I’m not naive enough to believe that everyone sitting on death row deserves to be there. Too many people who spent their lives in jail, convicted beyond reasonable doubt, have been proven innocent through modern crime scene technology. Prosecutors are not infallible; they have biases and make mistakes and it’s good of SVU to acknowledge that every once in awhile, especially given what Jack McCoy used to get away with on the original series.
My father is a lawyer and he still can’t watch reruns without screaming at the television during the opening credits, “It’s ‘the accused,’ you idiots, not ‘the offenders’!”
What did you think about the episode? Let me know below! And remember you can always follow me on Twitter @krieli1 so you never miss a review.