TV Recap: Law & Order: SVU, ‘Agent Provocateur’

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

The Scene of the Crime (Episode Summary): A young woman (Madison Grace) sneaks out to attend a party with her celebrity crush, the James Franco-esque, Scott Russo (Shiloh Fernandez). Things take a turn for the worst when the teenager is found dead and sexually assaulted in an alley. Russo and his manager (Patti LuPone) are then suspects when security footage of the party goes missing, only to turn up on a gossip website. When the website’s CEO (John Pankow) refuses to hand over the footage to the squad, ADA Barba fights to get the truth by having the man arrested for withholding evidence.

Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke/NBC
Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke/NBC

The Lead Investigator (Favorite Performance): This is tough. Barely an performances stood out and this is pretty much like giving out an award just for showing up. Frankly, none of the performances warrant praise. However, gun to my head, the best performance will go to John Pankow (most famously known as Ira from Mad About You). The veteran character actor gives a fun and feisty performance as the Harvey Levin-esque editor of “LMZ.” Pankow showed the only real signs off life in the episode and actually drew passable performances out of the SVU regulars. Frankly, an episode revolving around freedom of press with Pankow’s character in the center would’ve made for a better episode than what this episode delivers.

The Devil in the Details (The Little Thing You Loved): More Finn! Yup, they make great use of Ice-T once again this week. This time his work as the bearded “Big G” was pretty entertaining. Ice-T is just a never-ending pool of charisma and honestly, this episode needed a lot more of him.

Objection, Your Honor! (The Worst Part): Where to begin? There was so much crap in this episode but it’s fairly obvious what the worst part of the episode was. The depiction of the James Franco-esque character was obviously written by someone who HATES JAMES FRANCO. We get it, you think he’s a douche. You think that’s he a creep. You think his “renaissance man” thing is annoying and pretentious. We get it. Stop it.

Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke/NBC
Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke/NBC

The Debriefing (Thoughts on the Episode): Ugh. I can’t believe this episode made me miss last week’s ridiculous drama with Rollins. “Agent Provocatuer” tried to be clever. It tried to keep you guessing with a slew of plot twists. Sadly, the twists were clunky and ham fisted, feeling completely unnatural. Instead of scratching your head at “whodunnit,” you were rolling your eyes at “what now.” The final twist, which included turning Patti Lupone into a demented Mrs. Robinson – was so uncomfortable to watch. The ramping up of this lecherous creep factor was not only uncomfortable to watch but it was completely inexplicable. It literally comes out of left field at the last possible second as a weird “motive.” This combination of over-writing and the outward hatred for this Franco-esque character really maligned what could’ve been a “provocative” episode and turned it into a putrid one.

Agent Provocateur Rating: 4 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 beautiful 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 gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named 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