Law & Order SVU: Responsible
This episode was about a subject they love over at SVU: drunk, rich kids. This time, though, the kids aren't the worst of the worst. The real bad guy is a young mother who wants teen-age boys to think she's hot and for her daughter to be popular with her classmates. She buys the kids alcohol and medicates her daughter's problems with alcohol.
For the first time in a long time, I started to doubt the guilt of the person on trial when the mother tried to make it look like the drunk daughter was a liar. She was a sweet, innocent-looking kid who very well could be manipulative. But, no, it really was all the mother and the truth came out when she saw just how much the alcohol had affected her daughter's brain and liver.
I think the most touching moment of this episode came at the very end. Det. Stabler often equates his cases to his own family and acts accordingly, but this time he actually saw himself in the case. He kept meeting with his oldest daughter, Kathleen, to talk about teen-age drinking (he and Kathleen seem to be on good terms these days). In the end, he realized that he was a bad parent (or, at least he made a big mistake as a parent) when he helped his daughter get off for DUI. He burned her driver's license, presumably not a fake ID, to punish her like he should have when she was arrested. That was the best part of this episode- a parent realizing they've made a mistake by letting their child's mistake go unpunished.
Sidenote: Mariska Hargitay's real-life husband, Peter Hermann, played the role of the mother's lawyer. He has made a lot of appearances on SVU as attorney Trevor Langan since 2002.
Once again, Munch only appears to deliver one great line. When one of the teens behind bars says, "You can't do this! I want my parents!" His response is, "Yeah, and I want the troops home, the Kyoto Protocol signed, and a Tijuana oil job from Miss February." I wonder if Richard Belzer is ever annoyed by his lack of screen time in this series. Sure, the writers threw him a bone earlier this season in the episode with Jerry Lewis, but we haven't seen much of him at all lately.