TV Recap: Law & Order: SVU, ‘Intimidation Game’

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

The Scene of the Crime (Episode Summary): SVU takes on the #GamerGate when video game developer Raina Punjabi (Mouzam Makkar) is threatened by gamers who disapprove of her new video game which has a feminist angle to it. She is then abducted, raped, beaten and publicly humiliated by her kidnappers. It’s up to SVU to save the day.

Photo Credit: Myles Aronowitz/NBC
Photo Credit: Myles Aronowitz/NBC

The Lead Investigator (Favorite Performance): Ice-T finally gets his moment to shine as the lead dog. Ice-T is a real life gamer, and if you’ve ever seen his now defunct Ice Loves Coco reality series, you know this dude loves his video games. Ice T was the guide to the uninformed, those who don’t get gamer speak. And he does it extremely well because 1.) he gets it and 2.) he doesn’t come off like a douche when he explains things. He has a lot of strong moments throughout the episode, but the end where he explains how he can separate reality from video games is one of his finer acting moments on the show in the past few years.

The Devil in the Details (The Little Thing You Loved): It was a nice to see them bring back the video game developer from the Glasgow Man episode as a vital part of this installment.

Objection, Your Honor! (The Worst Part): There are so many things wrong here. First, when someone tells the detectives that someone is in danger and Fin and Carisi look annoyed because they want to watch a game being played…wow. That’s just ridiculous. But more on the absurdity of this episode in the next graph.

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

The Debriefing (Thoughts on the Episode): As an episode, “Intimidation Game” had me until Raina Punjabi was actually kidnapped then beaten, then raped and all of it was streaming on the Internet. Sorry, I can’t buy into the fact a bunch of gamers, despite their threats, would actually do this. And then they would go so far as to try and kill police officers — all in the name of the sanctity of video games. Please.

Then, the end message was just deplorable. The Raina character, after all she’s been through literally throws in the towel. “A woman in gaming. What did I expect? I’m out.” After all her talk about standing up for women in gaming and she ends it this way? Not only that, but there’s nothing from the SVU detectives but an eye roll and then the episode rolls credits. Every single episode of SVU features the detectives telling victims to fight. Except here? This woman shouldn’t fight? And since Raina is based on a real-life person, what message is this series sending to her? Just give up? Let the bad guys win? You’re just a woman? You don’t belong? Is it because they think video games are silly? Wow. Just wow. It’s actually a pretty lousy ending and almost hateful way for SVU to end an episode. Pretty deplorable all around.

Intimidation Game Rating: 3 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 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