TV Recap: Law & Order: SVU, ‘Forgiving Rollins’

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

The Scene of the Crime (Episode Summary): We’re re-introduced to Atlanta SVU Deputy Chief Patton (Harry Hamlin), who first appeared in the final episode of 2014, ‘Pattern Seventeen.’ He’s in New York City to take part in a massive SVU conference, but he’s not alone. In tow is his new detective Reese Taymor (Dreama Walker). The next day, Taymor calls the New York SVU squad, accusing Patton of raping her after a night of drinking. The accusation brings up a lot of bad memories for Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) and the reason behind her transfer from Atlanta to New York becomes more apparent.

Photo Credit: Michael Parmelee/NBC)
Photo Credit: Michael Parmelee/NBC)

The Lead Investigator (Favorite Performance): This is going to come completely out of left field but Delaney Williams is awesome as the Counselor John Buchanan. If you’ve ever watched The Wire, you’re familiar with Williams’ ability to play someone who’s completely admirable and likeable one moment and a complete snake in the grass the next. As Buchanan, it’s always a delight to watch him work his magic – brilliantly twisting the words of witnesses to make it fit his narrative. Williams has this easiness about him, a cool calm and collected-ness that makes Buchanan that much more calculating and that much more dangerous. Williams’ onscreen rapport with Raul Esparza’s Rafael Barba is always great television and it’s a shame they don’t do battle more often.

The Devil in the Details (The Little Thing You Loved): Hey, it’s Finn! Season 16 has been extremely light on Ice-T’s character and that is a crying shame. With no Much (Richard Belzer) and Carisi (Peter Scanavino) and Amaro (Danny Pino) being relegated to background players, shouldn’t Ice-T be getting more airtime? The answer is 1000% yes. In this episode we got more Ice-T than we have in ages and of course he knocked it out of the park. He’s Ice-T, damn it! Let’s hope we see more of him in the second half of this season.

Objection, Your Honor! (The Worst Part): Amanda Rollins continues to be the worst character on this show. The “freak out” she has in the beginning of the episode is absolutely terrible. It’s so overacted that it’s nearly laughable. Giddish, who has given much better performances, just goes over the top with every emotion that it’s nearly unbelievable. Also, can we stop making her the most damaged, baggage-filled character in the show’s history? Every week she’s drunk or doing something stupid or gambling or starting uncomfortable fights with Amaro or just being a terrible cop. Now that we have resolution to the big “secret” in her life, can we just make her a cop again and maybe have a half season with out her imploding emotionally?

Photo Credit: Michael Parmelee/NBC
Photo Credit: Michael Parmelee/NBC

The Debriefing (Thoughts on the Episode): “Forgiving Rollins” was an episode that got off to a rough start, built to a nice, dramatic climax and then completely dropped the ball in the end. The ending was probably the worst part of the episode – it’s a half-hearted, cop out that really gives no closure to the characters or audience. Maybe that was intentional. If it was, man it was the wrong choice to make. The acting in the episode outside of Delaney Williams and the always excellent Raul Esparza was very mediocre. Peter Gallagher finally got an episode to prove he wasn’t a complete jerk and he did it nicely. Dreama Walker’s performance as the victim in the episode was wooden and one-note. As we mentioned before Kelli Giddish was just way over-the-top here. As for the rest of the gang – their performances barely register.

This was an okay episode to return with – a big improvement over last year’s disastrous mid-season return. It’s funny how those two episodes deal with similar situations – the psychological scars of a lead female SVU detective. Probably not intentional, but something to mull over nonetheless.

Forgiving Rollins Rating: 5.5 out of 10

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Bill Bodkin is the Owner, Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Pop-Break. Most importantly, however, he is the proud father of a beauty daughter, Sophie. He is beyond excited that Pop-Break will be six years old in 2015 as this site has come a long, long way from the day he launched in it in his bachelor pad at the Jersey Shore. He can be read every Monday for the Happy Mondays Interview Series as well as his weekly reviews on Law & Order: SVU, Mad Men and Hannibal. His goal, once again, is to write 500 stories this year (a goal he accomplished in 2014). He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @PopBreakDotCom
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Bill Bodkin is the owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, however, he is the proud father of a beautiful daughter, Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites