LAW & ORDER: SVU “Bombshell” Review

LAW & ORDER: SVU "Bombshell" Season 12 Episode 19

LAW & ORDER: SVU “Bombshell” Season 12 Episode 19 – Any show that starts out with a man staggering around with a knife in his groin gives me a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling inside, and makes me hopeful for fun events to come. I was in a good mood when it started; very promising episode. They even got a Dawn of the Dead reference in (double promising) as well as a Netflix mention (promising for their pocket books, though not entirely surprising, as Netflix would advertise on the back of a corpse if they could).

We-e-e-ell it all went downhill from there. Another bad episode. Another bad script. At least they seemed to find a solution for the fact that Benson (a bored-looking Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (eyebrow-always-raised Chris Meloni) don’t really seem to want to act any more: hire guest stars that are even worse than the series regulars.

Now I’ve given Jonathan Strauss his props for casting in the past (you can even follow his butt on Twitter @JSCasting), so maybe he won’t mind if I’m critical for a bit. In fact, I’ll first point out the good ones, just to show I care:

Melissa Sagemiller continues to impress whenever she pops up. She’s got the looks and the intelligence to pull off anything snappy. Probably about time she had her own show. And Ryan Hurst, who played the temperamental bearded Doug Loveless (“Even your name says you can’t keep a girlfriend.”) also showed he’s got some nice chops. I like how he just sort of made himself at home in the interview room. Dude had a cool “I don’t give a rat’s ass” gleam in his eye.

It was also nice to see Michael Boatman turn up. The old Hamburger Hill vet brings a nice swagger to a suit-strutting lawyer. That dude doesn’t age either.

The rest…

Kathleen McNenny over-over-overplayed the deceptive-but-innocent-yet-crazy Mrs. Bullard. And I get that a large, large part of the issue is the script (Daniel Truly, I’m looking at you), and that if you, as an actor, are handed a pile of crap you just do with it what you can. I do get that. But this was just bad. And she knew it was bad. You could see it in her freaked-out eyes. Tom Irwin (playing Jerry Bullard) also went to the wrong side of nutty, especially at the end. Seriously, his crazy glazed look was like what you see at the end of a bad B movie where the respectable businessman is suddenly revealed to be the serial killer, and he finally gets to reveal his plan in a freaky, drooling, madbabble psycho whisper. And I would have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for you nosy kids! Just completely over the edge.

But the worst has to go to Rose McGowan. And Rose McGowan’s puffed-up Linday Lohanalike lips. And Rose McGowan’s utter inability to act. I get that she’s a “name,” and Law & Order: SVU likes nothing better than to parade B-list names in front of us each episode in order to try and draw—

You know what? Just stop. Elizabeth Mitchell? No. Terence Howard? Please no. And no Debra Messing, and no … freaking … Countess LuAnn de Lesseps.

They’re like these little ponies that are being trotted out in order to distract from the fact that the wheels have completely come off the bus. This show has serious problems, people! There was a point in the episode in which Stabler says, “He (crazy Aldo) can still be our killer.” Really, Stabler? Because at the time, the victim wasn’t even dead. Aldo can’t be the killer because no one died. Hell, the victim ended up getting better! No one died until the very end when the victim decided he wanted to do away with the twincest* that was keeping him separated from the (new) love of his life. Which episode was Meloni reading from?

And yes, this is probably an editing snafu as much as anything. But … come on, man.

Am I still bent that Munch (Richard Belzer) hasn’t returned to the show? Probably. But that doesn’t excuse it for being crap.

What did I like? I mentioned the knife in the groin, right?

I dunno. Meloni was decent this episode. And hey, the Stabler/Benson shippers got a chance to see the objects of their affections holding hands whilst touring a swingers club. (The Swing Set. Okay, that’s not a bad name.)

I just have very little good to say about this show these days.

Does anyone know when this season ends?

Love me or hate me, you have to agree with me. And follow me on Twitter! That’s @Axechucker, you buncha … twincesters!

*Please see Game of Thrones if you want to really see twincest done the right way. I get that it’s a great word to use, but it’s been done, and by far better people than by Law & Order: SVU scribes.

  • Susanna

    Ha- spot on review but despite myself I actually liked it and I usually hate anything written by Daniel Truly he’s horrible. They can’t get a new show-runner fast enough for me and hopefully a good writer or three I did think both Hargitay and especially Meloni were good in the undercover scene but after that Hargitay checked out and she always looks like she is compiling her to-do list in her head while she spouts her lines. Ryan Hurst was good but you’re right the married couple were bizarre and over-acted but in their defense some nimrod probably directed them that way. Lately it is a pre-requisite for all SVU guest stars to chew up the scenery.,

    • Axe

      Part of the problem may not be Truly’s script. SVU has a producer named Speed Weed.

      I’m not kidding. Either that dude’s parents hated him or he’s McG-ing out on us.

      And he used to write for NCIS: Los Angeles.

  • So don’t be shy; tell us how you REALLY feel!!!!! 🙂

    I didn’t think it was a bad episode but the few things I didn’t like were not the reviewer’s dislikes. To wit:
    –the Seth Rogen wannabe with the pretty girlfriend who just happens to like retro horror movies? Not bloody likely.
    –the Seth Rogen wannabe removing the knife, and the pretty girlfriend trying to re-insert it? Lesson for all you kids out there—stay in school or you’ll end up stump-ass stupid like these two.
    –Melissa Sagemiller. I don’t find her edgy or “ballsy” enough like the ADAs played by Stephanie March, Diane Neal, or even Sharon Stone. She’s too wholesome-looking.
    –I ALMOST wanted Cassandra’s “gift” from Bullard to be Bullard in bed with Doug; I guess Bullard swings, but not both ways. Oh well….

    • Axe

      Bullard in bed with Doug would have been a Twilight Zone ending—but fun!

  • Heather

    Melissa Sagemiller has gotten better but it sounds and looks like she gets her tongue stuck on her retainer when she speaks. Pretty wild episode and not recognizable from the early years of SVU but I guess it was fun in a way. I liked the guy who played Dougie Loveless he was good but Rose McGowan was way out there and rather unfortunate what she did to her face.

  • Heather

    Melissa Sagemiller has gotten better but it sounds and looks like she gets her tongue stuck on her retainer when she speaks. Pretty wild episode and not recognizable from the early years of SVU but I guess it was fun in a way. I liked the guy who played Dougie Loveless he was good but Rose McGowan was way out there and rather unfortunate what she did to her face.

    • Axe

      It WAS wild. SVU keeps trying to “up the ante” (as most shows do) every year … but the problem is, that can backfire. And it has. It’s like saying the Batman movies with Val Kilmer and George Clooney were trying to “up the ante.” They sure did—and they came close to becoming those campy Batman shows from the ’60’s.


      Well at least there’s no sign of Joel Schumacher here on SVU.

  • Alex

    I found a good episode. And boredom did not see anything in the work of Mariska and Chris. On the contrary. They were wonderful.O episode caught my attention from start to finish and Mariska Hargitay (hands down) shows that it can be beautiful at age 47. She and Chris were hot, very hot scenes in the house of swing. Melissa Sagemiller does a good job as a promoter. Actress Rose McGowan had a guest performance consistent with what was expected of the character.

    • Axe

      If I were a Stabler/Benson ‘shipper, I would have wanted them kept closer together in that swingers club rather than separated so quickly. I did like the the cuts—back and forth between the two conversations—so kudos to director Patrick Creadon for that.

      But it still might have been tastier for “Stabson” fans to see the two stars forced into some sort of compromising position in the club.

  • LilyE

    OK despite her face I thought Rose McGowan was good as the manipulative grifter. I will agree that the other two guests – the Bullards were way over-acting but I’ve seen both of them before in other things and they’ve been solid so its either the writing or someone is telling them to take it up a notch. I thought Elliot was charming and enjoying himself and Olivia was ok too but she needs to dial back on the botox too because she often comes off looking constipated when shes attempting to show emotion. Not the best for SVU but entertaining.

  • Roma

    Right on. I don’t even really know what the hell happened. What was that random small town disease in Italy? Why the tacked-on incest? Couldn’t Mr. Keaton just have been a victim and we could have gotten more out of the characters? And really? Not ONE cheeky comment at the bar? For shame. If this show comes back next year, I hope they flip the switch back to season 1 and start to get gritty again.

  • let me just say WTF happened to Rose McGowan’s face?? i could not get over it and it threw me off completely the entire episode. I mean, did she change her last name to Rivers..?
    As far as the review i pretty much agree with everything and i simply want to add that I’m over the whole big dramatic twist at the end of every episode and that’s all i have to say. Yeah..wasn’t the best.

  • RLM

    Botox or without botox Mariska Hargitay is hot as hell. Great episode and I’m sure that SVU will be renewed for another season. I think these last episodes will be excellent. Here comes Jeremy Irons and Diane Neal. I’m anxious.

    • Axe

      My thought on guest stars:

      Keep them to a minimum. If you have a choice role, give it to the most qualified, talented actor you can find—not some “name” that you think will draw viewers. Does anyone really think extra people tuned in to see Rose McGowan?

      No. The people who watch this show regularly, faithfully, tune in to see Stabler and Benson and Munch. Not Rose McGowan.

      Surround the main players with quality actors who are still looking to make names for themselves and it will undoubtedly bring up the show’s quality.

      Once they get better script writers, I mean.

      • Xavier

        Excuse me but nobody tunes SVU Axe to see Munch. Chris and Mariska yes. Without them SVU would not have gotten this far.
        Belzer is admired by many, but not have the clout to sustain a successful series.
        For you have an idea in my country, there is a blog on SVU in the channel where the show opens. When there is news about Chris and Mariska have mainly numerous comments. There are always answers. News about the Munch and Fin did not arouse any interest and pass blank.

  • nlb

    Thank God that Diane Neal is finally coming back..SVU has really missed Casey Novak.

  • Dunia

    “Bombshell” episode was just an average. Thanks for taking a look. To show the difference between the faces of Mariska and Rose McGowan.
    You Machado criticized both Mariska in “hot pursuit”, as in his expressionless face with Botox, and made ​​only one reference to the swollen lips of Rose. These are not swollen lips. Talk about a face is completely deformed by the action of botox and plastic surgery. Why not talk about it? Two weights and two measures.
    You criticized both Mariska is blatantly and without foundation, for a purely personal matter. You spew hatred and all their anger and frustration about it. You really like Munch and the rebels, because he no longer appears. Mariska is not guilty of that. I’m saying this because I see bloggers revolt transferred to idols, their complaints and personal frustrations. I’m sure Mariska, nor recognize. She is a woman so busy with their multiple roles. And she knows there is no unanimity. Especially when you’re rich, beautiful, beloved by millions.

    The New York Times published a photo of Mariska alongside Rose. He talked about the deformed face of Rose. He said nothing on the face of Mariska.Não had to say. This story of botox only exists in the minds of those who hate Mariska. How are you, poor soul tortured by the revolt.

  • Pck

    I watched 10 days, on Tuesday, the 1st time this episode (in my country) I can only say the following:

    Damn! Mariska Hargitay is hot too. My TV set was melting. She is very beautiful and sexy.