Law and Order: SVU “Theatre Tricks” Review

An actress is raped in front of a live audience in “Theatre Tricks,” this week’s episode of Law and Order: SVU, and in true theatre form, the show just goes on. Because the play, Seven Circles (as in Dante’s Inferno), is a slightly veiled take on the wildly popular interactive theatre production, Sleep No More, which may not be sweeping the nation just yet, but has provided much fodder for TV shows this season.

The victim is a beautiful ingenue who moved to New York to be a star, but wound up with a stalker and a crazy jealous roommate who sets her up to be raped on stage by a sexually adventurous judge. Certainly not a ringing endorsement for Manhattan, but it made for a good episode. I’m not sure when I pegged the roommate as having something to do with the crime, but it was a good bit earlier than the detectives. Still, that didn’t detract from the story; I wanted to see how long it would take them to catch up.

I’m not sure if we were meant to feel bad for the victim’s roommate, an ugly duckling who saw her dreams of stardom snatched away and given to her beautiful friend. Her actions were reprehensible, but anyone who has ever been in the theatre will tell you that it doesn’t matter if you can act better than everyone in the room…if you don’t look good, you won’t be cast. Frustrating, to say the least. Of course, not every rejected actress becomes a diabolical criminal. Some of us become writers.

Moving on…Amanda had a near-visceral reaction to this week’s rape, prompting her to ask Olivia why she hasn’t given up on men entirely. Was that her way of coming out of the closet? I’m not sure, but if it was, it was handled better in this franchise than it was in the original Law and Order. I’m looking at you, Serena! This moment also gave a nice nod to Stabler, who is clearly still very much on Olivia’s mind, although she does seem to have dislodged the chip in her shoulder and has returned to the Olivia we know and love.

Will we ever seen a reunion of Benson and Stabler? I hope so, but based on the previews for next week, by the time he comes back, Olivia may have officially moved on.

What did you think of the episode? Let me know below!