LAW & ORDER: SVU ” Smoked” (Season Finale) Review


Holy Stabler! Now that was an episode, let alone a season finale. With LAW & ORDER: SVU, and the other Law & Order franchises actually, one learns to expect the unexpected as nothing is ever as it seems. So in this 12th season finale, it was obvious that the hair stylist, Luke Ronson, did not kill his rape victim, Nanette Fox, as the story would have wrapped up within the first ten minutes. However, even when I saw the guy from the shelter, Eddie, and recognized him as Michael Raymond-James, I did not suspect anything as convulted as what occurs. On a side note, can someone please get Michael Raymond-James a show? The guy is amazing. Loved him as Rene in True Blood and was impressed even more in his casting in Terriers. Then he struck it home in this epsiode of Law & Order: SVU, going from playing a homeless guy, to a shrewd criminal, and then ultimately a killer, completely believable in every role.

As for the episode, aside from Ice T’s acting which can distract me, I thought everyone did a great job. The girl that played Nanette’s daughter was phenomenal especially in that last scene. While I entirely anticpated her pulling out a gun, I presumed that she would only shoot the person that actually killed her Mom, Eddie. I did not expect her to shoot at everyone, including the woman that runs the shelter at the church. It was a particuarly honest scene in that her firing of the gun was all over the place and unfortunately led to more shootings than she probably planned. One has to wonder how much this will affect Benson and Stabler, especially Stabler who ended up killing Jenna basically to save the life of the scum that killed Nanette. The look of horror and sadness on Olivia’s face made me think that this storyline might lead into next season’s role decrease where Olivia becomes some sort of supervisor. Maybe it is less a promotion and more of her weariness of the terrible parts of being an SVU detective.

The one thing I had a problem with this episode was the involvement of the ATF. I am not sure how it helped the storyline with the exception of adding yet one more person that contributed to Nanette’s death. Additionally, it was a bit farfetched that the ATF would let Stabler, a New York SVU detective, take a lead role in a sting operation over two years old and worth millions of dollars.

This episode was not without some lighthearted moments and one liners. My favorites included:

“Still can’t believe I am innocent?” – Ronson “Still can’t believe you are straight.” – Stabler

“Time to start talking dumbasses.” – Tutuola

“Who says he is here?” – ATF guy “Our eyes?” – Benson

“Do you think on the next one of these I can wear the hat?” – Eddie to Stabler

Perhaps, though, the most riveting and heartbreaking line came from Jenna as she was dying. She whispered to Stabler, “It was easy. I just bought off the street,” referencing the gun she used in the shooting. Considering that Stabler had just lectured the ATF guy about the problem with gun control in the United States and how the ATF guy was contributing to the problem, that comment had to have struck Stabler personally. It is horrifying and depressing to think a teenage girl can buy a gun off the street so easily.

What did you think of this epsiode and season finale of Law & Order: SVU? Did anyone figure out what exactly was going on with the murder? What do you think next season has in store for Benson, Stabler and the rest of the cast? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!

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