Law and Order: SVU Season Finale 2012 “Rhodium Nights” Review

Law & Order Special Victims Unit (SVU) Justice Denied Season 13 Episode 17 (5)
Wow. After a somewhat lackluster season, Law and Order: SVU came to life in “Rhodium Nights,” their season finale, and gave us one crazy cliff-hanger. I certainly didn’t see it coming, but I will back in the fall to see what happens, so score one for SVU!

It seemed like the crime of the night would be fairly routine: an underage hooker is found dead at the bachelor party of the police commissioner’s son. It was going to be one of those cases, the law versus the rich boy who can get away with anything. But to my surprise, things quickly proved to be a lot more complicated.

I think I knew that the second I saw Cassidy. Anyone who watches the SVU marathons on USA knows that Cassidy was one of the original cast, a derpy frat boy who couldn’t deal with the nature of SVU cases and washed out of the unit. Now, apparently, he’s an undercover agent working for one of the biggest Johns in the city, the man who happened to have been the dead girl’s boss.

Still as much of a jerk as ever, Cassidy helped the SVU agents to a certain degree. He did let them know that the girl’s death was part of something much bigger. His boss was in a war with another pimp, a mother of three who juggled both a goat farm and a massive prostitution ring.

The war escalated into two deaths when a former governor was killed by the same drug that took out the underage hooker. Both sides were trying to bring down the other through scandal and murder, but SVU made a much better mutual target.

At first, it was just a photo of that kiss Cragen had during a previous undercover operation (nice bit of continuity there), then the Heidi Fleiss wanna-be’s lawyer threatened Amaro’s already-unstable marriage. But no one could have seen the end coming…that somehow Cragen would be knocked out and made to wake up in a bed with a dead hooker next to him, his hands covered in her blood.

Again I say, wow. Not only have they set up a compelling storyline (the war between two Johns could be fuel for several more episodes), but framing a police captain for murder always makes for an interesting story. Obviously, his team will never believe it, but plenty of other people will. Has Cragen’s time come and gone? Who was responsible for the frame job, the slimy male John or the even more sinister happy homemaker madam? Tune in next year to find out!

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