Law & Order: SVU - Venom
We'll it's about time! As I mentioned last week, Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) have been getting a lot of screen time this season, both as a team and in individual episodes that highlighted and enhanced their character backgrounds. There was a small piece earlier this year that dealt with Detective Tutuola (Ice-T) and his son, and little or nothing done on Detective Munch (Richard Belzer).
Now, it looks like Fin Tutuola will be the focus of this week's show as his son Ken and nephew Darius (Hustle & Flow actor Chris "Ludacris" Bridges) are arrested for an alleged homicide. Also in the mix this week is Lisa Gay Hamilton (The Practice) as Fin's ex-wife, Teresa. So, it looks like it's going to be a Tutuolalapalooza show!
And now, let us retire to the television programme.
The beginning scene was typical for SVU, except this time the perp was Fin's son and not some other scumbag. It was also more talky as Olivia confronts Ken to find out what the heck he was doing digging in an abandoned lot. I enjoy it when they change-up the beginning of shows like this; it keeps them fresh.
Fin is pissed this episode. He attacks Stabler for questioning his son like a common criminal; even bringing back his daughter's drunk driving conviction. He ticks off Olivia for going to meet his son. Fin even gets freaky on Captain Cragen's butt when the good Captain finds out that Ken had previous juvenile charges for sexual assault. In the middle of this is Munch, who is back this week in a fairly meaty role. On the one hand, Munch is trying to keep Fin calm (as calm as he normally is). On the other hand, he's trying to get Tutuola to fess up to all of Ken's previous problems and confront his son. On a side note... Boy, Belzer is getting gray!
Fin feels boxed into a corner this episode; he doesn't know whether his son is telling the truth or not and he's not too sure how to prove his innocence. He nearly pleads Ken to take a DNA test and when he does (here's the twist) it turns out not to be Ken, but his brother... Darius. Da-Da-Da-Dum!
Darius becomes the main focus of the investigation now. All that the SVU team has to do is to get him to admit to killing a mother and her 14-month-old child (or prove it to the best of their ability). Darius is jealous of what Ken had with his mother but he never did. He admits to the murder, yet there seems to be something else, something Darius is hiding. On another side note, I haven't seen Hustle & Flow or Crash, but Ludacris is a good actor. He's mellow, smooth, but you can feel an underlying tension and sadness to his character. When he's presented with further evidence that the DA will be able to take to trial he doesn't want to make a deal. Instead he wants his day in court so he can watch as all of the dirty laundry is aired out by his step-father (Fin), his brother (Ken) and the mother that gave him away (Teresa). As he is taken away, he meets his mother in the squad room. The look on his face is one of disgust and anger.
We had a very good episode here. It's nice to see Benson and Stabler take a back seat to Fin and Munch on occasion, and this was a good spotlight show for both of them. The conclusion of the episode was even more open-ended than normal and it left you wanting to see a follow-up episode to find out what really happens in court.
And so ends this week's enthralling review of Law & Order: SVU. Next week we see Lou Diamond Phillips and the exit of Mariska Hargitay as she departs on maternity leave.