compete with purpose



Stabler-centric thoughts on Ep 18x13

Transformation complete. From Nu Munch to Nu Stabler, in just 13 episodes!


Seriously though, surprisingly long post ahead: (I would cut it down, but I don’t have the time or the patience)

Carisi-centric thoughts on Ep 18x13 

First things first: what the fuck happened to Barba’s chocolates? Biggest disappointment of the night. The official SVU account is not to be trusted.

Overall thoughts

Decent episode. It had some issues*, but it was reasonably, well, not terrible. Probably a little above average for Season 18’s standards. 

*starting with the issues, to get them out of the way: too much rapist(s), not enough victim. We got to see if the rapist (the first rapist) was “okay” with a plea for rape 2, and he “admirably” said he deserved that punishment, but we never got to see if the victim was okay with that. We never got to see the victim again, period. We don’t know if and how she is coping. She was a total afterthought. We did see the other victims, during the trial, but that was just to poke holes in their stories. It seems that’s the only reason we ever see a victim, in S18. Not to see how they can overcome their rape as survivors, but to make them appear unreliable for the sake of plot twists.


Barba thoughts

I joke about Sonny going from Munch to Stabler, but I’m not joking when I say that Barba is going from Cabot to Novak. Seriously, Barba went from fierce and flawless Ice Queen Alexandra Cabot, who won every case and didn’t give a shit, to earnest but messy Casey Novak, a half-decent lawyer who loses every other case but it’s okay because we love her. and i do love her :’)

Barba doesn’t really lose cases, but he never wins them on his own merits (with the sole exception of Making a Rapist, when he got the mother’s testimony on the stand, about 7 years ago, when that episode aired). It’s always Liv, saving the day. Even in episodes which are spent mostly in the courtroom, there are no legal victories. No big moment in which Barba argues the fuck out of a case. He just utters a few snarky tidbits like “Bunny,” so we can all admire Raul’s sass, and then he loses (like he lost the motion about confidentiality) or he wins because of something Liv did.

Has Barba gone soft, not to mention less competent, on purpose, or is this poor characterization? that’s a rhetorical question btw

The Legal Side of SVU

Why does this season waste all these semi-interesting cases? Why did we spend the entire rape trial debunking the victim statements, instead of watching Barba argue the law? I was expecting the “rape gene” theory to figure more heavily into the trial, but it never did. Why not? Why waste that opportunity?

The earlier scene with the minister on the stand, that was way more fun to watch (mostly because it didn’t involve victim-blaming). Why do all these cases, which could be considered vague (and therefore exciting) from a legal standpoint, get reduced to arguing the boring facts, like a suspect’s height? Same thing happened with Imposter, an episode which could have been a million times more interesting, if only it had focused on the law.

For instance, Sonny suggested another case offscreen, and Barba dismissed it offscreen, and we never got to find out what it was. Why bother introducing legally murky cases if you’re not going to bother presenting the arguments? Rick Eid is a lawyer, but I can barely tell from watching. He only scrapes the surface. I’m a much younger lawyer, and totally inexperienced when it comes to criminal law, and I still routinely come up with, like, three more things Barba could have done or said in each episode.

But, in fairness, I do have to say the minister/confidentiality theory, as well as the AA comparison, that was actually smart. It was the only unique touch in terms of plot, and they even set it up well, with the prayer, or whatever that was, as Rollins and Carisi were surveilling the group on that earlier scene. That raised my expectations, as did Barba’s argument that the guy was a only being a minister as a hobby (now that’s a fun argument to make!), so the return to mundane victim blaming later on disappointed me even more.

On to Sonny:

Sonny’s Temper

I’ve said it before (and used the SpongeBob gifs to illustrate it), but there is nothing in Sonny’s characterization this season that could be viewed as an organic progression of the Sonny from Seasons 16 and 17. Nor has there been anything plot- or character-related which would justify such a stark change (please no one mention Dodds unless you want to make me laugh).

When is the last time Sonny cracked a smile that wasn’t sarcastic? Remember when Amaro was the angry stereotype, and he’d argue with Barba or Amanda, and Sonny would try to defuse the situation with a joke? Now Sonny has picked up the mantle of Angry Cop. Which, I mean… Sonny, gurl, if Amanda freakin’ Rollins has to scold you about being insubordinate to your superiors, that means you’ve taken it about eighteen steps too far (wait, do the writers remember how she used to talk back to Liv and Dodds? Probably not.)

Sonny and Empathy

Where? 👀 Shouldn’t Sonny have talked to that Will kid more gently? Instead of saying “I’m not a priest or a shrink, just gimme the information, goddammit”? Sonny usually cozies up to perps. This kid wasn’t even a criminal, and Sonny was treating him aggressively, when it was obvious he was fragile and would probably respond better to a milder approach. Which brings me to:

Sonny and Continuity

Sonny told Will (still in a very pointed way, when I was expecting a more casual, if not cordial approach) that the “next” rape “will be on him,” if he didn’t testify. Might that be a callback to Sonny’s own guilt, since he believes the fact his bully murdered someone is “on him”? Even though that’s wrong? And it was extra wrong to lay that kind of a guilt trip on this Will kid? Or did the writers forget about Sonny’s past already?

The Barisi Corner

Barba gave Sonny a sassy look! Because Sonny over-explained a legal matter to show off! And then he sarcastically thanked Sonny! Classic S16 material. We are blessed!

“I don’t care about Barba”

Seriously though, Sonny said “I don’t care about Barba”, meaning he cares about the case more, or about the victim, even if that means making a colleague mad. And that’s fair, especially in the heat of the moment. But this is coming a week after Barba’s secret is (almost?) revealed, at least according to the original production order. What can we deduce from that?

I’d like to think (the old) Sonny would be more considerate when talking to a colleague who had recently been compromised, or gone through some type of emotional hardship. So, maybe Barba’s secret never actually comes out? Maybe we learn it, as the audience, but it doesn’t go public, so Barba ends up worrying over nothing?

Barba obviously doesn’t lose his job, so maybe no one finds out (other than Liv, of course, because from that promo we know she tells Barba about the hacker). What if Sonny doesn’t find out at all, and he doesn’t even get to learn Barba has a secret to begin with? Could Barba’s storyline run in parallel to the “main” case, with no other characters (other than Liv, of course) involved? That would be both disappointing (because the writers would be wasting yet another opportunity to integrate Barba and show he is a valued member of the team) and unsurprising (because, S18).

Of course there’s another option; maybe continuity is a non-factor and the writers just never bothered to write anything to further the “Barba’s secret” storyline past that one episode :D

Sonny’s Temper, Vol. 2

As Amanda noted, Sonny totally overreacted during that argument. Why would that be? Does he really think he knows better than Barba, on whether or not jurisprudence from another state is applicable or relevant? Like, that’s not an “opinion,” Sonny. And, even if it were, it’s Barba’s opinion which defines the prosecution’s strategy. If Sonny wants to make these decisions, he should quit the force and start prosecuting perps himself.

Which brings me to:

Sonny and the Law 

Dare I hope that’s what the argument was about? Is Sonny getting increasingly frustrated with the fact his job ends when he arrests a perp? That would be a great way to bring back his dilemma about becoming a prosecutor. This type of long-running professional frustration would perfectly explain why he snapped like that. It wasn’t about him knowing better than Barba, it was about him wishing he could be doing Barba’s job. Or even thinking he should be doing it.

Apparently, Sonny researched the case, and he came up with an idea which he presented to Barba offscreen, thinking it could save the day. That’s going above and beyond, from a cop’s perspective. And then Barba rejected his idea without a single word, also offscreen, and that pissed him off. Maybe Sonny felt underappreciated, in terms of his legal skills. He is a licensed attorney, but he is not treated as such. Problem is, he is not a prosecutor, he is a cop, and that’s how he should be treated.

So, what if Sonny’s constant sour mood is because he’s unhappy where he is? Because he wants to do more, from a different position? Maybe that’s the reason for his changed demeanor, and it will be explicitly dealt with near the end of the season. lol yes I’m reaching for the stars, Sonny’s law aspirations will probably never be mentioned again

Stray Thoughts

Greg Germann was awesome! So evil and hot. Strauss gave Buchanan a run for his money. By the way, remember when he was an ADA? lol neither do the SVU writers. Why didn’t Barba at least tease him, for switching sides? Like he did to Calhoon (except for her it was the other way around, when she advocated for that victim in that one episode). It would have taken three seconds, and it would have added context.

What’s that? Barba also had an abusive father? lol no one cares or remembers :D

Okay but, when Liv just popped up on that roof, out of fuckin’ nowhere, to deliver some angst and sell her backstory, totally overshadowing that kid? Classic Liv! (srsly tho she was great in this episode :D)

Speaking of, why didn’t we get a close-up of Sonny on that roof, after he found out about Liv’s history? He was right there! And that, too, would have taken three seconds. I was craning my neck to see his reaction, even though it was off-camera, lol. What a wasted opportunity to show how much he cares about Liv. Oh, and Amanda apparently found out offscreen (as if Liv would ever tell her, lol). This season does not give a single fuck about the squad dynamics.

Peter needs to do that botox thing people do between their eyebrows for their “11” lines, he’ll get wrinkles if he keeps frowning like that in every single one of his close-ups.

Amanda’s coats keep slaying me.

What a waste of Bill Irwin.

That first defense attorney is my fave! I wish he’d been in more scenes!

Voltron Carnival Shenanigans
  • Lance loves the bumper cars. Beep, beep motherfucker.
  • Buys all the cotton candy bags because he can, but mainly because he just really likes cotton candy.
  • Actual Boss at knocking down the milk bottles. 
  • Every time he wins something, he always gives his prizes to Allura. She gladly accepts them…only to give them away when he’s not looking.
  • Gets lost so fucking easily. Shiro really needs to buy a kid leash for him.
  • Tries to impress girls by testing his strength.He isn’t strong at all. 
  • Totally carries huge prizes as if he was giving it a piggy back ride.
  • He’s the one that always complains about long lines and gets multiple glares from other riders.
  • Lance hates not being able to sit next to Allura on rides and usually he never does.
  • He loves getting face paint and wearing those cheap rub on tattoos.
  • actual five year old
  • Keith says he’s too cool for rides.
  • …and then he proceeds to buy $20 in tickets only to ride the same ride over and over again (it’s the Scrambler).
  • Never gets dizzy. Ever.
  • You know that game where you have to throw a small ring around the even smaller opening of a bottle? Yeah, well, Keith is an ace at that game. Lance really hates him for it, but usually relents when Keith gives him the prize. Keith just doesn’t like having to carry them.
  • Despite Lance’s teasing, Keith really loves corndogs. 
  • Keith is a total lagger, always takes his time to get to rides. Everyone has to drag him to get on other rides that aren’t the Scrambler.
  • Secretly he enjoys every ride though, he’s the one smiling the widest in each picture that has a camera on the ride.
  • Pidge is all about the Gravitron. She’ll ride it endlessly but honestly she loves every thrilling ride.
  • She always screams the loudest.
  • Brought her drone and is flying it around. She uploads the video to YouTube, probably.
  • The key to her heart are candy apples.
  • She is the one who always has a drink in her hand. She loves them frozen lemonade drinks.
  • Because of this she has to go to the bathroom every five minutes.
  • Pidge loves playing the mini-game that involves throwing darts at balloons. She never misses!
  • Sometimes gets mistaken for a little kid. Adults would ask her if she lost her parents. (“No. I’m here with my friends.”)
  • Hunk must be a fish because he just really loves water-based rides. His absolute favorite is the log flume.
  • Will totally make silly faces for the camera. Smile!
  • Always brings his handy-dandy backpack fit with a first aid kit, water bottles, snacks, a disposable camera, and…is that…a portable DVD player? (”It’s for when we’re waiting in lines, okay?”)
  • This boy is all about funnel cake. He buys at least five plates every night.
  • As soon as someone says their feet hurt, Hunk will not hesitate to give them a piggyback ride. Say goodbye to your dignity, friend.
  • Hunk loves THE PETTING ZOO. He will pet and cuddle with every animal he can (even the chickens!).
  • Sometimes he tries to take the animals with him but Shiro always catches him. (”No, Hunk we can’t take the goat with us!”) 
  • Shiro loves the Zipper. He finds it so fun and usually he rides it with Coran or Keith because everyone else is too scared to ride it.
  • Every year he has to head to the help desk because he’s lost everyone. Its happened so often that as soon as an officer sees Shiro (alone, of course) come into view, he immediately makes an announcement.
  • He’s insanely good at every mini-game. Anytime he wins, however, he’ll usually give away his prizes to passing children, or Allura ( she keeps Shiro’s prizes).
  • But also, as insanely good as Shiro is, the only time he loses is when on purpose. Say, for instance, when competing against children, he’ll purposely lose just to see the look on their faces. He gets so excited for them by congratulating them. He’s just so proud for some reason.
  • Accidentally buys 10 turkey legs when its time eat.  
  • He eats them all and doesn’t share.
  • Allura is so entranced with the carousal. She rides it multiple times just so she can use each and every horse/lion/griffon.
  • She’s the only one who rings the bell when it comes to the strength test.
  • Everyone’s so impressed. Especially Coran! (“That’s my girl!”)
  • She’s the one who wants to buy silly souvenirs such as the Caricatures.
  • Absolutely adores the plastic inflatable animals. Her favorite is the pink dog.
  • Buys a lot of kettle corn and shares it with Coran.
  • She is the one to always initiate photo opportunities for Hunk to take.
  • Coran makes it his personal mission to ride every ride available. Even the kiddie ones that no else wants to ride. 
  • He’ll ride them by himself.
  • His favorite is the Haunted Mansion.
  • Maybe ruins the ride by pointing out every flaw in which makes the scary animatronics fake.
  • He has to hold Hunk’s hand because he’s the one that’s most afraid of the ride.
  • Gets over excited every time someone wins something. Especially Allura. He’s her number one fan.
  • He enjoys eating the kettle corn but his favorite food is anything deep fried. Deep fried twinkie? Why not!
  • He always enters in the art gallery competition for macoroni art. He always wins 1st place.
  • At the end of the night they all ride the Ferris Wheel since they all like to see the lights from above. Lance tries to ride with Allura but she always takes Coran or Shiro to ride with her. Hunk and Pidge usually share a cart as well leaving Lance reluctantly to ride with Keith.


The ALMS BMW M3 GTR with V8 power is back!

The 2001 BMW M3 GTR Chassis Number M3-GTR-06 has been restored to its Petit LeMans winning Stars and Stripes livery and ‘P60′ V8 power. Chassis M3-GTR-06 was be unveiled this Friday at Legends of the Autobahn after an 18 month ground-up restoration.

The BMW M3 GTR was a dominant competitor throughout the single season that it contested. Bill Auberlen, Boris Said and Hans J-Stuck capped off the season for BMW North America by winning the 2001 Petit Le Mans finale. As a tribute to a grieving nation and to those who lost their lives in 9/11, BMW Team PTG owner Tom Milner had created the patriotic “Stars and Stripes” design specifically for this race. As a result of the win and the special livery, the car became a legend for BMW racing fans in America. 

BMW Motorsport Chassis no. M3-GTR-006 has undergone an 18-month ground-up restoration by BMWUSA Classic partner Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) with invaluable assistance from former PTG team members and BMW Motorsport.

The most unique feature of the M3 GTR was its powerplant, the first M3 in the history of the company to feature a V8 engine. Designated “P60” the 4.0-liter engine was the first engine designed and constructed by BMW Motorsport specifically as a race engine. This unique engine was smaller and weigh 30 pounds less than the inline six, despite adding two cylinders. Featuring a dry sump for optimal lubrication at high cornering loads and a “flat plane” crankshaft, the design allowed for more efficient exhaust scavenging without the need to have header primaries cross over from one bank to the other enabling optimal flow at high rpms. This resulted in a very reliable 444 horsepower at 7500 rpm in race trim.

Controversial during its only season of American Le Mans competition, the M3 GTR was built to a set of rules that ultimately existed for only one season and allowed a manufacturer to compete with a purpose-built racing engine as long as a (small) number of road cars were produced. Two M3 GTR race cars each were campaigned by BMW Team PTG and BMW Team Schnitzer beginning with the third event of the eight race ALMS season. The two squads, for all intents and purposes now only competing amongst themselves, combined to win the final six races in a row, from five pole positions while setting six new race lap records. The BMW M3 GTR easily secured the ALMS Manufacturers’ Championship for BMW, the Team Championship for BMW Team Schnitzer and the Drivers’ Championship for Jörg Müller.