Since Law and Order: SVU capped off with that epic season finale back in May, I’ve been agonizing the new season’s premiere. I hate to admit that, but after the big reveal that the creepy rape con artist Louis from last season is Detective Olivia Benson’s captor, all I could do tonight was throw up my Save Benson hashtag and anxiously await what comes next. It was one of those instances where watching a TV show was less of a want and more of a need. I needed to see that Benson was safe. I needed to know that she’d kick this guy’s ass and return right back to protecting the city of New York once again.
But Benson will never be the same and we found that out during tonight’s premiere. The two hour long special focused Benson during and post her kidnapping and the majority of it was too much for me to bear. In fact, after fifteen minutes I was cursing the writers for keep it up this long, and each time the SVU detectives followed a false lead, I wished the episode would end at the 10 o’clock hour.
I guess if there’s one good thing to come out of the two hours was that Benson lives because surprise, surprise she kicks his ass and calls for backup. However, the one shocking part was that Benson takes a while to bring herself to kill him or even hurt him physically. Given that Benson has killed major creeps in the past, I didn’t think she’d hesitate when she had the chance, though I understood why she did.
Another surprising twist was what happened in the second half, a.k.a. life for the SVU team post Olivia’s kidnapping. Liv takes some time off to “recover” (aka take self defense and yell at her therapist) and then shortly after returns to work a kidnapping case. I was stunned that nobody questioned the idea of her returning to work so quickly. If I was Cragen, I would have never taken her word for it. I don’t even think I would let her return to work ever. But he let it slide by without question and let her work the first case that popped up, which makes me wonder if part of him believes that Liv is a superhero and will recover, just like the rest of us (or at least me).
I can already tell this season of Law and Order is going to be intense, which I don’t know if I’m okay with. I really liked how last season was written and it was visually stunning, and I’m hoping that the milking of this plot twist doesn’t ruin that. From what I read and what I’ve seen tonight, it’s clear that the writer’s are taking this “shock factor” direction and I’m hoping it’s done well enough. The last thing I want is to be deterred away from one of my favorite shows.