Law and Order: SVU “Strange Beauty” Review

Law & Order Special Victims Unit (SVU) Justice Denied Season 13 Episode 17 (4)
As promised by the title, this week’s episode of Law and Order: SVU, “Strange Beauty,” was strange, no getting around it. When a young woman was kidnapped and her severed leg discovered in the river, the detectives found themselves delving into the world of body modification.

TV shows are usually a few years behind; body modification has been a thing for awhile. In this case, the victim was part of the subculture, but she was attacked by a man with a much deeper psychosis: a psychiatrist who is sexually attracted to women with amputated legs because they remind him of his mother after a car accident.

Hey, listen…I’m used to crazy motivations for SVU killers and molesters, but this one was just so insane. I mean, the role was brilliantly played by David Eigenberg (or Steve Brady, as he’s best known), but his reasoning was almost too crazy to swallow. He pays women to have their legs cut off so that he can make them more beautiful, but then he ran out of volunteers, so he had to resort to abduction? And all of this was triggered by a teenage patient who’d had her leg removed due to bone cancer?

I admit, it was all a little convoluted. Not to the point where I found it unwatchable, but you can always tell when the writers are stretching to make all the ends of a story meet.

At the beginning of the episode, we were treated to a scene with Rollins introducing a visiting friend/former colleague from Atlanta to her New York partners. When they left, her friend made a pass at her and told her was separated from his wife when she pointed out his marital status. This scene ultimately went nowhere. Rollins got into the case and the guy disappeared. He didn’t even make an appearance at the end. There’s an old story-telling mandate: don’t introduce something in the first act unless it’s important in the third act.

Maybe we’ll see the guy again. Maybe he was just there to show that Rollins is heterosexual, although having her push him away didn’t really help their case. I don’t know, but the scene felt out of place, and only really served to have Rollins in the right place at the right time in order to see the victim being abducted.

All in all, an average episode with a mild titillation factor. The usual fare.

What did you think? Let me know below!

  • eFab