Big Changes For "Law & Order SVU": Season Premiere Recap
Loyal fans expected to see some changes on the thirteenth season of the last running program of the Law & Order franchise. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU) premiered Wednesday, at 10pm on NBC with an entire new look to bring the series into a new era.
Benson and Stabler were more than just partners, they were the face of SVU. Meloni’s leave marks the end of an era.
Fans feared how Elliot’s dismissal would be addressed, if at all. During the dramatic season finale, Stabler was confronted with an extreme moral dilemma. When a distressed teenage girl entered the SVU precinct and open fired, Elliot’s instinctual judgment was to shoot the young girl in hopes to save his innocent colleagues. Closing on the girl’s limp body and an office in chaos, viewers knew this incident was not good news for Detective Stabler or the SVU team.
Benson appeared withdrawn and overwhelmed dealing with the absence of her partner. The episode proceeded to dance around the question: Will Elliot ever return? Meanwhile, all dedicated SVU fans knew that the answer was no.
Now, the Special Victims Unit has a new face, literally and figuratively. The office itself has been revamped from the cluttered, outdated matchbox that suffocated the squad to a more traditional, mood-lit bureau. This season also ushered in fresh-faced detectives to fill the void left by Stabler.
We can expect to see more of Detective Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish), and a young transfer from Atlanta. Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) will also be a new addition to the team. While other veterans, like Detective Munch (Richard Belzer), Detective Tutuola (Ice-T), Captain Cragen (Dann Florek) and District Attorney Alexandra Cabot (Stephanie March) have loyally reprised their roles. However, as season 13 progresses, Hargitay has requested a cut back in camera time. Fans fear what this means for one of the sole survivors from the original Special Victims Unit team.
The case, like many Law & Order episodes, seemed slightly rooted in reality. The victim was a poor maid from Sudan working in an upscale hotel. The accused was a foreign politician, the next Italian Prime Minister. The case attracted a lot of media attention, mirroring the reality of this past spring when French politician, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was accused with the sexual assault of a hotel maid.
The Special Victims Unit fights for the rights of the people. Alexandra Cabot, the District Attorney for the case, fought to prove that, “money and power do not tilt the scales of justice,” while questioning the ethics and fairness of the American judicial system.
The episode closed with a heartbroken Benson, learning that Stabler was, indeed, not coming back. Viewers mourned this loss along with her, for the face of the Special Victims Unit will forever cease to be the same.
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