NOW NOW NOW

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These are all the backgrounds I did for

>>This video<<

(please watch it, Azen worked so hard on it and it’s amazing!)

There are 9 backgrounds including an unused waterfall background (as I couldn’t decide at the time which was best) As you can see! I cut a lot of corners (quite literally on one piece) this was mostly because lazy/I knew the character would cover it :3c

OKAY. Okay. This was wild. I mean, first of all we have quite a few little gems in this new chapter like a flashback of Oikawa, Tsukishima without glasses, Hinata imitating Kageyama and the colour pages of course. 

However, most importantly, everything turned out like I thought it would turn out and how I wanted it to be. Kageyama finally got over his past experiences and dealt with it in a healthy way and was supported like he should’ve been years ago. It seams like he finally found that middle way I’ve been talking about and now he can really and truly move on. 

It’s a great character development for him and an important step towards becoming a better player, a better setter and not only being obedient and giving the others the tosses they want but also tosses that bring out the best in them. I seriously couldn’t be happier for him and I look forward to all the amazing things that are going to happen from now on!

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Carisi-centric thoughts on Ep 18x02

Again, I’ll start with some overall thoughts. This was actually a great episode plot-wise, the case was classic SVU, we had no clear idea on who had done it, we had red herrings, we had intricate courtroom scenes, we had a very sympathetic victim and a somewhat sympathetic villain, and we also had a somber conclusion. Oh, and this was actually a sex crime (gasp!). This was all an improvement over the premiere. Plus, Joe Biden!

What stayed the same was a strong old school Mothership vibe. First half cops, second half lawyers. Again, I loved seeing more of Barba doing his thing, in his natural habitat, something which was sorely lacking in the previous seasons (where Barba would often just stand in the squad room for the entire episode, like he was another detective). But I still think a squad scene or two should be inserted somewhere near the ending, if this format is going to stick for all of S18. We keep seeing the detectives getting emotionally involved in the cases, but we don’t see their reactions to the verdict. Thankfully, we did see Fin’s reaction, so I hope that’s a good sign.

If I have a problem with S18 so far, it’s the lack of specific characterization. I feel like this same script could have been filmed as a L&O Mothership episode, and nothing would have felt out of place. Cops sticking up for cops, cops arguing with ADAs, ADAs going in on witnesses. Even Fin, who had so much screentime (and I truly appreciated that, because it was another thing sorely lacking from the previous seasons) had a few off moments, in my opinion. Since when does he have trust issues with Barba? But I have to say, the Fin/Liv scenes really spoke to me, as did his scenes with the grieving mother, so again I’ll take that as a good sign.

But let’s get to Sonny.

Sonny and Continuity

Where? 👀

No but seriously, I did appreciate Sonny sticking up for both Fin and Amanda. Sonny has always had a strong sense of family, including work family, and I loved how he never doubted the others, not even for a second. As soon as Fin’s work before the original conviction was questioned, Sonny dismissed it with absolute certainty, even though he had no way of knowing what happened all those years ago. As soon as Liv and Barba questioned Amanda’s tactics, Sonny instantly stood up for her. That’s the Sonny I know and love. No one messes with his family.

We also got plenty of sass in the interrogation scenes, which is what Sonny does best. Sonny is getting even more comfortable at his job, even more experienced, and his confidence is conveyed by his attitude. Back in S16, when he did his first awesome interrogation in ‘Pattern 17′, nailing that pedophile, he had to ask for Liv’s permission, first. He went in not hesitantly, but like he had something to prove. Sonny no longer has anything to prove, and it’s clear in the way he carries himself in those scenes. In all the scenes, really.

Oh, and another point for Sonny sidling up to that dumb kid. Getting chummy with the suspect, especially when it’s a young white male. Classic Sonny.

Also classic Sonny? Yelling all the time and wagging his finger and insulting Barba’s legal skills (the same skills Sonny once claimed helped him pass the bar), and having a stick up his b… Wait no 👀

The Fight

A strange moment. Just like in the premiere, I feel the writers are trying to create tension to make the episodes feel more urgent. Like they’re going in and telling the actors “YELL. ALL. YOUR. LINES.” I feel like the writers think they can manufacture that tension by pitting all the characters against each other (Barba vs Liv, Liv vs Rollins, Rollins vs Barba, Carisi vs Barba, Fin vs Barba - which still confuses me, where the hell did that come from? - etc). I was hoping we’d see the squad more unified after Mike’s death (who’s Mike?). Oh well.

As I said, I appreciated the fact Sonny stood up for Amanda, although I don’t see why it was necessary for him to insult Barba in the process (more on that below). Especially because, the way I see it, Sonny and Amanda did screw up. They only showed that dumb kid one single picture, effectively telling him this was the guy. How is that considered a good ID? And Amanda came up with the timeline all by herself, the kid just nodded. Plus, they didn’t even warn Barba of the potential for an ambush. They failed him, not the other way around.

Also, if that was a Rollins/Carisi hint, it gives me pause. I’ve always said I like that ship (I’ve even written fic for it), because it developed slowly and organically, and because Sonny is so different from Amanda’s usual choices in men, so this could show us another side to her. Because this relationship could be warm and sweet, instead of dysfunctional and dramatic (yes, on SVU. Yes, I’m delusional). If, however, the writers decide to twist Sonny until he fits the mold of Amanda’s exes (angry, loud, intense, overprotective to the point of paternalism), I’ll have to reconsider. Like, chill out, Sonny. Amanda can yell at Barba her own damn self. Which she did.

For what it’s worth, in that moment, I saw Sonny’s typical desire to stand up for a friend and colleague. Staunchly. But, for whatever reason, Sonny saved his anger, his outburst, for Barba. When Liv rightfully questioned Rollins, Sonny was really mild and gentle, all “omg no Lieu, it wasn’t like that, please, you gotta understand”. No fiery passion to defend Amanda there. But when Barba spoke, Sonny blew up. It felt like Sonny wasn’t mad because Liv and Barba were chastising Amanda, it felt like he was mad at Barba personally. Which brings me to:

The Barisi Corner (i.e. Fanwank Central)

Barba’s face after Sonny straight-up insulted him was very interesting. A mix of “how dare you” and “omg did he just yell at me?” Indignation and surprise and amusement, almost. Like, “Exqueeze me, is this the same kid I used to mess with, until five minutes ago? The fuck?” I also think Barba may have felt partly responsible for the case seemingly going south (though I still think Sonny and Amanda were in the wrong), and that’s why he didn’t snap back. Because deep down he felt Carisi was right. He felt he couldn’t protect his own witness, which is classic Barba :(

As for Sonny’s face after he straight-up insulted Barba, that was even more interesting. Sonny almost looked startled. Like he knew he had gone overboard. But I thought he also looked disappointed. Either in himself, or in Barba.

I’ve been going back and forth, when it comes to Sonny’s little explosion (translation: I’ve been trying to fanwank this all day).

Maybe it was fear they had botched the case, and the crime would go unpunished. Maybe it was anger, because Sonny failed to spot the potential pitfalls and warn Barba. Maybe Sonny was disappointed in himself for letting that ID stand, even though he was right there, and he had seen the way Amanda coaxed it out of the kid. Maybe Sonny decided to let it go because he knew they were doing “the right thing” (i.e. naming the right guy), but in retrospect he regrets bending the rules. Maybe Sonny was disappointed in Barba, for failing to twist this into their favor, somehow. Maybe Sonny was hoping Barba, his idol, would be able to fix this. Maybe Sonny resented Barba for letting him down. For letting the victim down. Maybe Sonny resented himself, for that same reason.

It was an interesting moment, overall. Sonny’s emotion, Barba’s icy reaction. If I were Barba, I don’t know that I would let that slide. Sonny’s comment was uncalled for, and said in anger (unlike Barba’s past insults, which were all said in jest). If this were another show, I’d hope for a resolution to their little tiff. On SVU, it’ll be forgotten next week, like all the Barba/Benson fights. Which is why I’ll be writing an episode tag to address it extensively :D

Stray Thoughts

SO. MUCH. FIN. IT WAS GLORIOUS. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I missed him. Ice can really bring it when he gets the opportunity. He had some great scenes last night, especially all his interactions with Liv. The show used to downplay, if not ignore, their bond (as the two most senior members of the squad, as two people who have shared so many experiences), and this episode showcased it perfectly.

Barba was channeling Cutter in this episode. Cruel with people on the stand, even victims, turning the detectives against each other (”Don’t make excuses for her”? How dramatic.), yelling loudly instead of his usual quiet seething. It was a little weird and a little awesome. I freakin’ LOVED Cutter (more than I love Barba, oops) but I’ve always thought of Barba as a little kinder. The way he handled the mother on the stand was brilliant but brutal. Barba’s usual bouts of brilliance tend to be a little more refined. Hm.

More Sonny butt shots! And his clothes are so tight :’) Thanks @nbcsvu <3

Why so serious? I’d love to get some humorous moments. We haven’t had any this season. Next week’s promo/case looks promising in that regard. We need some snark and some sass and some silliness after two very serious episodes.

Conclusion

I’m actually pretty optimistic about Season 18. I love the shift/focus on more complicated but not convoluted cases. I do think Rick Eid is letting his L&O experience shape this season, like Warren Leight let his Criminal Intent experience shape S13/14, but I feel that will even out eventually.

And I don’t think anyone is out of character, not in so many words (save for isolated moments). Including Sonny. I do think the situations are more dire, the crimes (so far) a little heavier, and that affects everyone’s behavior. There’s an air of irritation that’s permeating the show. Again, I think a bit of humor will fix that. Some levity. Intensity is fun, but not when it’s forced. As soon as we get a lighter moment, I feel everyone’s characterization will snap back into place.