Law and Order: SVU Season 14 Review “Manhattan Vigil” – Happy 300th!

It’s no small feat for a show to make it to 300 episodes; only a handful of scripted programs have ever achieved it. Law and Order: SVU joined their ranks with this week’s episode, “Manhattan Vigil.”

The case involved the kidnapping of a young boy that eerily mirrored a similar disappearance back in 1999, the year the show started. Using what I’m assuming is footage from episodes filmed back then that ended up on the cutting room floor, they were able to give us a couple of flashbacks with Benson, Munch and Cragen that really gave the episode a nostalgic quality it wouldn’t have had otherwise, even with the addition of the actress who played SVU’s first killer now playing the mother of the kidnapped boy.

I just wish it had been a little more interesting of a case. Yes, it was sad and touching, but as far as I could tell, the team didn’t really do anything wrong back then. There was probable cause to believe that the boy had been kidnapped by his father and without a body there was simply no leads, no way to find him. I realize that the cold cases haunt the detectives, but after fourteen years they should know that not everyone will be found alive.

Speaking of, my favorite moment of the night was Amaro’s line about how working cold cases was nothing to sniff at; nice little shout-out to his old show, which happened to be another favorite of mine.

It’s not that I didn’t like the episode. I felt it worked just fine and all of the elements were there. They just didn’t add up to a picture that punched me in the gut like many of the episodes in the old days did. I’m still not entirely sure if the suspect taking his ex-boss’s grandson was a coincidence or deliberate. I was glad that the red herring, the rent-a-cop who turned out to be a better investigator than some real cops, didn’t turn out to be the killer. That would have been a not-great cliche.

But I’ve seen much better interrogation scenes and I think this episode needed one of them. The end left me a little muddled which soured everything else for me.

What did you think of the episode? Let me know below! And remember you can always follow me on Twitter @krieli1 so you never miss a review.