This episode for the most part felt like a copy of “Stranger,” from season 10 to me, where a girl named Heather had been missing for a few years and the one girl came back in her place was really kidnapped by her father and held in a room and abused for years until she found Heather’s family. Then we find out that Heather’s younger sister, Nikki killed her by coercing her to jump down a smokestack. Overall, it wasn’t a bad copy at all, I liked that they made the twist of the girl pretending to be Emma was working with the brother to cover up that he killed her years ago, and the dad found that he did and helped him bury Emma.
Carisi’s Plot Getting Cut: This made me a little upset, just because I absolutely love when Carisi gets a big storyline in an episode, which sadly hasn’t happened for a while. I do wonder with all of the deleted scenes they have released of this story line so far, where would they be fitting in the episode? It was interesting to find out Miss 34B/ Raw Foods had a name and a face of Arya, being Carisi’s girlfriend who happened to work at the infamous (and fictional) New York Ledger, just like Jimmy Mac and Olivia’s old boyfriend, Kurt Moss did, who also happened to print stories about cases that either got a cop in trouble or would have potentially bolstered a case. I did like seeing how Peter Scanavino acted out those scenes, he really gives emotion to Carisi so well. Whether he is showing Carisi as the caring and empathetic good cop, the adorable and playful uncle/best friend, or the frustrated and angry bad cop, Peter Scanavino really makes Carisi, believable.
Rollisi in the Deleted Scenes: I just adored the moments with Rollins and Carisi in the scenes that ended up getting cut. I loved Amanda’s sass when she said she was glad it wasn’t her who ended up in trouble during a case, and her suggestion of coming over to make spaghetti for Jesse. I really want another scene this season of Carisi with Jesse and Amanda and maybe Liv and Noah too having dinner together, cause it would be so insanely cute, just like the carousel scene in Fashionable Crimes from Season 17.
Barba/Barson: I’m still way too in love with the scene of Liv and Barba in her office. You could tell how empathetic he was in his voice when he reassured Liv to follow what she believed was the right thing to do with this whole Sheila Porter situation. Although, I do have hope Barson becomes a thing, I am still prepared if it doesn’t end up happening; mainly because the dynamic between Liv and Barba, reminds me a little bit of the personal talks Elliot and Liv would have where he would reassure her if she was feeling doubtful and so much trust has developed between Liv and Barba that she locked her office door to have a heart to heart with him. Their friendship has truly evolved into something so deep as they are able to express their concerns, solidarity, or joy through looks and gestures. It is also amazing to see their protective nature of each other, they don’t want to imagine themselves without the other, either because of their actions or those of someone else. (ALSO SIDE NOTE: I ALWAYS ENJOY WHEN BARBA PUTS HIS FEET UP ON HIS DESK, A TABLE, OR THE JURY BOX; IT MAKES HIM SO MUCH MORE OF A BADASS)
Sheila Arc: Even though when she met Liv at the coffee shop and told of what it was like growing up with Ellie until she left home, I still have my suspicions about Sheila’s motives. Considering it’s not uncommon on SVU to have something evolve from a seemingly innocent or small plot line into something big, I still have my doubts. If I was Noah, I honestly would be kind of uneasy with this other woman coming into my life who wasn’t Liv, Lucy, or Amanda; women who Noah genuinely knows. The court scene in the beginning of the episode was insane, I get to where Sheila might want to file for visitation, but vacating an adoption with no legal precedents just sounds wrong. All I hope from this storyline is that nothing bad happens to Noah and/or Noah and Liv, I just want something to happen to where Sheila quickly moves on so we can just let Liv be FREAKING HAPPY!
Overall I gave this episode a B, considering it was almost a copycat of Stranger from Season 10 and Carisi’s subplot with his reporter girlfriend getting him in trouble was cut.