TV Review - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (S.15)

Pablo Schreiber (left) kidnaps Mariska Hargitay
in Season 15 of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"
I've only seen the first two episodes and unless I see a really great promo, I won't be watching any more episodes. I didn't watch any episode in Season 14. To me, since Christopher Meloni left the series, the show has become what The X-Files became after David Duchovny left.

I started watching during Season 6 and stopped at Season 12, which was Meloni's final season, and what I gathered is that the show is more of a two-hander between Meloni and Mariska Hargitay who plays Detective Olivia Benson. The two had such great chemistry, but with Meloni gone, it created a hole that no other on the cast could fill. They would have had to bring on a Meloni-type or a suitable substitute, and, oddly, the producers hired someone who appears in the premiere of Season 15 who would have been perfect.

Pablo Schreiber plays William Lewis, a rapist and a murderer who kidnaps Olivia. First, he beats her and ties her to a chair in her own apartment. He later drags her in the trunk of a car to a place on Long Island where he taunts and threatens to rape and murder her.

What's odd is that I noticed the ghost of Christopher Meloni was present in this episode and the second episode. The one thing about Meloni's character Elliot Stabler is that he was consistently accused of police brutality and constantly losing his temper. Olivia could lose her temper too, but she normally never crossed the line. She was always the more compassionate one. This Season 15 premiere seems hellbent on changing that and breaking her.

Olivia even mentions her partner, not by name, but she certainly invokes his spirit, as the show wants to invoke his spirit and then implant it into Olivia. Later, in another case, we see Olivia lose her temper in a Stabler-way and now it seems as if she's straddling the line and is being both characters but just in one body. It gives Hargitay more to play and a way of delving deeper into her character, but it's proof of the hole that Meloni left that's still rippling.

Pablo Schreiber has been in quite a few great TV shows and has always been fantastic in all of them, from The Wire, to Lights Out to Orange is the New Black. In an alternate reality, Pablo Schreiber would have been hired as a Detective to replace Meloni in terms of being the second hand in the two-hander because his chemistry with Hargitay in this episode feels better or stronger than with any of the other cast members, barring Dan Florek who plays Captain Cragen.

Four Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-14.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Wednesdays at 9PM on NBC.


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