LAW AND ORDER: SVU “Personal Fouls” Review

LAW & ORDER: SVU "Scorched Earth" Season 13 Premiere (1)
LAW AND ORDER: SVU “Personal Fouls” Season 13 Episode 2 – Benson and company take on an abusive basketball coach and welcome a new member of the team in “Personal Fouls,” this week’s episode of Law and Order: SVU.

When a former basketball player-turned-junkie points an accusing finger at his childhood coach, a legend in the field whose guidance has produced several NBA stars, the detectives have to find evidence and a corroborating witness in order to stop a cycle of abuse that goes back twenty years.

Unfortunately, while many other young men were molested and even raped by the coach, no one will admit it, especially Prince Miller (Mehcad Brooks aka TK from Necessary Roughness); now a sports superstar, he isn’t willing to risk his reputation and vehemently denies any abuse took place.

It isn’t until his cousin/handler kills the junkie who started the whole mess (and who happened to be a childhood friend) that Prince starts coming around. But its when Benson takes him to the court where the coach is still working with young men that Prince decides to go public. His press conference prompts other kids to come forward and the coach is finally arrested.

During all of this, SVU gains its second new cast member in as many episodes. Danny Pino plays Nick Amaro, a transfer from Narcotics, who doesn’t seem at all phased by the horrible things he might see in sex crimes. Pino is always good as a cop (in addition to being adorable), but I’m withholding judgment until I see him interact more with our established characters. It also seems like he might have a few secrets of his own, something to do with a little girl whose picture he decided not to display on his desk.

Benson certainly isn’t welcoming the new detectives with open arms; she’s got a chip on her shoulder about Stabler leaving the force and has already put up a wall against the rookies. I have a feeling she’ll come around because she’s Olivia, but it’s nice to see that SVU isn’t just moving on as if Stabler never existed. Twelve years is a long time, even if you believe that their relationship was purely platonic, and it makes sense that she wouldn’t automatically love his replacements. Just like us, they’ll have to earn her trust.

What did you think of this week’s episodes? Did you like Danny Pino’s beard? Do you miss the old squad room? Let me know below!