Law & Order SVU: Dependent
(S08E14) Just like last week, this episode took a complete turn a little more than halfway through. I felt pretty unhappy with the ending because, once again, it seemed rushed. An entire murder investigation was wrapped up extremely quickly and then another storyline was opened with Elliot and his wife- all in the last 25 minutes of the show.
The episode started out like any other. A father (Cary Elwes) and his son arrive at his estranged wife's house to find someone inside. The mother is dead, the father gets whacked on the head with a vase and the boy runs for his life. It turns out the family may have the mob after them, but that lead dries up quickly. Then the father remembers seeing his daughter in the house and the investigation quickly turns to her. She was on drugs that made her violent and she had a violent relationship with her mother. The case pretty much seems wrapped up until tests come back to reveal that the urine in the toilet that proved the daughter was high on drugs, did not belong to her. It was a man's - probably her boyfriend.
This is where the storyline takes a 180. When Elliot and Olivia go to arrest the boyfriend for the mother's murder and father's assault, he runs. I had remembered seeing previews for this week's episode which were all about Elliot killing a suspect and this is where it happened. Elliot catches the guy, who struggles. They kind-of push on each other and then Elliot punches the guy in the face and he goes down. And suddenly he's dead.
Here the episode becomes about Elliot and the effort to prove that he did not use unjustified force that resulted in the death of this 19-year old suspect. The coroner finds the kid's spleen was ruptured and rules the cause of death homicide. Honestly, this is where I sat up and started to take notice of this episode. The original crime storyline lost its energy pretty early, but now we know why. That wasn't the point anyway.
I wasn't so keen on the way that the detectives got their confession from the daughter about how her boyfriend killed her mother. How reliable are these truth drugs, anyway? I found this dialogue on the part of the daughter to be kind-of cheesy and a little too simple, but I understand that the writers had to close off that storyline so they could fully pursue the Elliot storyline.
I half-expected this episode to be a cliffhanger with Elliot's future as a cop hanging in the balance, but it got wrapped up nice and tidy in the end. The revelation that Elliot gave the kid CPR after he stopped breathing changed everything* because that's when the kid's spleen ruptured. He actually died of a heart arrhythmia that he wasn't taking medicine for. We did get left with a cliffhanger of sorts- Elliot has asked his wife to let him come home. Now, we know he's not going to quit his job in favor of his family because Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay just signed fat, new contracts for SVU.
*Most over-used line this episode: "Well, that changes everything." Sheesh. It was used three times! Twice by Casey Novak and once by the coroner.
Sidenote: I kind-of giggled everytime overweight Cary Elwes put on his Jersey-mob accent. When I saw him in the first scene, I assumed that he would somehow end up being guilty because A) he's the guest star and B) despite his role in The Princess Bride, he plays a pretty scary bad guy. Did anyone recognize the girl who played his daughter? It was Emily Vancamp, who played Amy Abbott on Everwood.