svu thoughts

Carisi-centric thoughts on Ep 18x16

not really lol he was barely there

Overall Thoughts

It’s always nice to see Fin and Sonny working together. Even when they’re not exchanging actual words. And I also enjoy the Liv/Amanda dynamic, but again they didn’t really interact much in this episode, they were just standing next to each other while talking to other people. In other words, typical S18.

Daddy Dodds Thoughts

Peter Gallagher’s hair is amazing. Almost as amazing as he is. I swear, in this entire season so far, Dodds Sr. is the only character that felt consistent, and I feel that’s because of Peter Gallagher’s talent. And also because he’s only appeared a handful of times, so the terrible writing hasn’t worn him down to the point of phoning in every performance :D

Which brings me to: (👀)

Liv Thoughts

This episode made me realize that I miss having someone on the show who’s in a position of power over Liv. I feel she’s at her best when she has to defy the odds, when she’s the underdog, when she’s being stonewalled and she needs to figure out a way to prevail. When everybody just does everything she wants, there’s no conflict, and she comes off as not just right but self-righteous.

Also, that scene of Dodds apologizing? That was Mariska’s best acting all season. End of story.

Her worst acting? Or, rather, Liv’s worst acting? When she tried to act like she misses Mike too, and she still thinks she’s going to see him sitting at his desk every morning. Sis, who are you trying to fool? You were probably like “Mike who?” when his dad mentioned him.

Barba Thoughts

Did Barba get a haircut literally while he was watching those depositions? Cool.

Seriously though, I appreciated that scene of watching all those victims talking about their harrowing experiences. It was a nice taste of how hard his job must be. That’s a part of his job we don’t normally see, and I feel it really informed the audience about his daily routine. That’s what Barba has to do. For hours at a time. That can’t be easy. I liked that we got to see it.

Stray Thoughts

Remember when Sonny used to have a personality?

Did Liv actually storm out of a victim’s home because the poor woman wasn’t ready to press charges? Um.

Did they actually put poor Peter Gallagher in a courtroom scene, just to look on sternly and hotly? I’m sure he has better things to do with his time.

Benson’s leather jacket slayed me.

Very good acting from all the guest stars. But the case was as forgettable as it was repetitive.

There were 2 (count them 2!!!) whole sentences about Barba’s suspension! Like, over a dozen words! Continuity, thy name is SVU.

Oh and

The Barisi Corner

Sonny totally texted Barba in that courtroom :D

leaper182  asked:

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit?

The first character I first fell in love with:

Originally posted by porpentinygoldstein

The character I never expected to love as much as I do now:

Originally posted by sur-fine-whatever

The character everyone else loves that I don’t:

Originally posted by bcat1

The character I love that everyone else hates:

Originally posted by brazzlefrat

The character I used to love but don’t any longer:

None that I can think of!

The character I would totally smooch:

Originally posted by emilyabeth

The character I’d want to be like:

Originally posted by cabensonism

The character I’d slap:

Originally posted by losaires

A pairing that I love:

Originally posted by milkoxich

A pairing that I despise:

Originally posted by rafaelbarbasvu

Thanks! :)

Barba and Know It All

Originally posted by violet624

I don’t usually write about Barba, but… I sure am curious about tonight’s reveal. And I know I can just be patient and wait a few more hours to watch the episode as it airs, but, what’s the fun in that?

What do we know about the secret so far? 

  • It is somehow knowable via digital records, likely text messages or emails
  • It somehow affects his ability to prosecute the case, hence the recusal
  • He can’t or won’t tell Benson about it; at least, not initially
  • Consequences are negligible (or at least easily avoided through editing), considering episodes set to release after tonight’s episode have already aired

Given this information, I’m guessing that the secret is not very juicy. Which in a way, is a bit of relief. 

So, what could it be? 

Theories have been running wild, but I am going with something a little more pedestrian. I think he may have a “secret” relationship with someone that is somehow involved in the case, which renders him impartial. The hacker may have even dangled this information in front of him, implying that their safety may be at risk. 

And perhaps, this is where the ambiguous casting call from a few weeks ago comes in (as well as the chocolates that were cut from Genes). 

Or… a more interesting option, maybe he recuses himself because he is being blackmailed. Now, I don’t see Barba being intimidated by a threat of blackmail, but with the characterizations this season… who knows. It may also explain why he doesn’t give details to Liv. 

And what is he being blackmailed about? No idea. But again, it would need to be something documented and with little to no professional consequences. Which again leads me to believe it is something personal.

Further, if the secret was a true game changer, I’m sure the marketing for tonight’s episode would be teasing it a lot more to draw in more viewers. 

Since there is no Barba in tonight’s SVU episode, I thought it’s time for another throwback:

Raúl Esparza drawing Nr. 108 is Riff Raff from The Rocky Horror Show! 💞
I hope you have as much fun looking at it, as I had while drawing.
“It’s just a jump to the left!” 😉🎶

anonymous asked:

in the show, how old do we think carisi is ?

While his age has never been explicitly mentioned (other than a description of him being “young”), we do have a few clues to go on.

For one thing, he has an undergraduate degree from St. Johns, which takes four years to complete. He also obtained a JD at Fordham’s evening program - which is only part time. However, I can’t find any information regarding how long it takes to complete - likely because it is billed as “flexible” (to accommodate working professionals) and probably varies. 

That said, a JD obtained via Fordham’s full time day program takes three years and so I think it is reasonable then to assume it would take 4-6 years to achieve a JD via night school. If we split the difference, that comes out to five years of law school. If he got his undergrad and JD as intended, and without any breaks, that is at least nine years of school. 

Also, in New York you must be 21 in order to take the civil service exam and apply to be a police officer. And from there, it takes another 3 years (and the appropriate accumulation of career points) to be promoted to detective. Sonny also worked homicide “for a few years” prior to moving to Special Victims - though he is still ranked as a Junior Detective (which is a third grade position; the lowest on the detective totem pole). 

With that said, SVU plays fast and loose with actual NYPD procedure, so these estimates aren’t necessarily the most accurate. 


Given his background, I think it is safe to assume he is no younger than 28 - and I think this age is fairly consistent with his characterization in S16 and S17. 

It does seem as though they’ve aged him up a bit in S18, and so now I’d guess he’s probably somewhere in his early thirties (similar to Peter). 

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!

SVU characters + hanakotoba (Japanese language of flowers)

| Elliot Stabler + lent lily (respect)

…on last night’s SVU episode, Genes.

First up, welcome Sonny Carisi as he slowly morphs into BATMAN.

I mean, not really, but I had to wonder if Scanavino was battling a cold, or if he was just feeling Sonny’s gruff side through the episode, because he was sounding all kinds of Gotham City this episode. (I didn’t mind. It was just an interesting shift.)

Liv is really feeling her Lieutenant role with the whole “my detectives” bit, amirite?

Also, I absolutely didn’t mind Rollins pulling the “we’re in the middle of a deal, too” line, because old school Law and Order was ALL about the cheesy one-liners and used in moderation, I kinda love them. 


‘Swab Away’ is the name of my new band, by the by.

Rolins and Carisi lying to the dude in prison - I’ve read criticisms of this scene, but I liked it. Rollins is savvy and I ABSOLUTELY believe she can lie at the drop of a hat. And Carisi, as much as everyone likes to paint him as a goody-goody? He’s not dumb, and he and Rollins spend enough time together (or so the show has implied) that he’d have no problem following her lead.

I did not love how the story line began with the initial perp…his remorse, the quick confession…it was weird and never explored. I get it as the jumping off point for the rest of the story but still.

So, as far as Rollins knowing about Liv’s father - I LIKE this. When Rollins took a little time, there were brief moments that led us to believe that Benson kept tabs on her while she took leave. That the two of them may have developed a friendship (the two of them having kids has likely only made strengthened this - even if only slightly). I know people criticize because this stuff happens off camera, but L&O has always been focused on the procedural drama. I’m fairly certain Dick Wolf commented on this ages ago when people shipped Goren and Eames and wanted to see more of their personal lives. SVU is actually the only one of the 3 major ones to spend more than the usual time on interpersonal relationships, so it doesn’t surprise me that some of it would happen off camera.

But Rollins and Liv being friends enough to have shared terrible parent stories completely fits with what we have seen.

Rollins isn’t the one to get super duper “let’s chat about our feelings” so just that little show of concern was sweet.

Back to the ep…

BILL IRWIN! I love him.

Now…I’ve read a considerable amount of…consternation I guess?…about Liv worrying about who Noah could become. A lot of “how dare she” sort of commentary.

Two things: 

First off - she is talking to her THERAPIST. You know what you do in therapy (or at least what you should be doing)? You say what you are feeling or thinking even if it seems awful because that’s how you work through it. You aren’t saying these things thinking you have an audience, or that the people you talk about will ever hear it. Therapy is (supposed to be) a safe space to work through your thoughts, however terrible. So criticizing Liv for expressing her feelings, even if they don’t follow logic (which she knows) is kinda missing the point of therapy. 

Second - it IS a perfectly normal thing for a mom to fear that her kid could inherit the worst traits of either mother or father. Does she really think Noah is going to end up like his birth father? Not to that extent, no. But if you’ve seen someone with a temper, someone violent, etc, you DO think about those things. It’s not an unnatural fear. It’s not a way of preemptively excusing yourself from responsibility if your kid grows up to be an awful person.

When you are a mom (#notallmoms) you worry about EVERY STINKIN’ CHOICE MADE when it comes to your kid. You worry about what they eat, what they hear, what they see, and YES, you worry about where they come from.

So, enough of the “they are making her weak now that she’s a mom” business. She’s being a mom. A good mom. Sometimes good moms get a little but neurotic because that level of love for another human being will do that to you.

/End Mom Rant

(PS - If you love Bill Irwin like I do, are you watching Legion? It’s delish.)

Barba’s tie <3

Okay, so as soon as they showed the crew praying in the basement, we all knew they were going to play priest/congregant privilege, right? 

(also, subtle Trump jab with the SNL joke.)

HEY IS THAT IRON FIST? Oh. No. Just a rapey dude who’s going to pull a knife on the narc. Literally already better than Iron Fist. (Thanks, SVU, for giving me another chance to make fun of Irish Fist…err…IRON FIST.)

Am I the only one waiting for Will to break out into a Dear Evan Hansen solo? Yes? Just me?

Sidenote: I enjoy seeing Carisi and Rollins work together. I don’t ship them romantically, but I SUPER love them as supportive friends. I think they both need that and it would be awesome to see the show let them be that.

And are we getting Batman-voiced Carisi since the shooting? Perhaps the threat of death has taken away some of his softness. WRITERS? Explore that. I’m down with it.

Tieless Barba. Also good.

Another criticism to address: I’ve read crit about Barba commenting on the “better exorcise their demons in a warehouse”, saying how could he? Liv argues that the group legitimizes their crimes.

I can see Barba’s point. If these guys aren’t sitting around talking about how terrible their urges are and how they want to work to fight them, what are they doing instead? Hanging out on Reddit and 4Chan? Watching rape-porn online?They can find groups online that ACTUALLY legitimize their desire and encourage their crimes. 

I don’t think Barba was advocating for the group, but more playing Devil’s Advocate. A good lawyer sees all sides of the argument, so that was probably just his brain doing what it always does.

Carisi’s “I’m not a priest, I’m not a shrink” line…that was loaded. I REALLY hope somewhere down the line we find out WHY exactly he’s not a priest.

Suspenders Barba.

I’m a wee bit surprised that Carisi didn’t think that the defense would argue clergman/congregant given he opened the group meeting with prayer…or if Carisi mentioned that to anyone, that no one thought to make that connection…

Am I the only one wondering what the founder of this basement group is guilty of? You don’t decide to create that group out of thin air, y’all.

Barba’s ‘Bunnies” line - I did enjoy that greatly. His preach for free = hobby argument is a stretch, though. But the .COM part redeemed him.

Blah blah, BatCarisi, blah…

Okay, so…the first Barba/Carisi exchange - Carisi does one of his “I know law stuff” interruptions but it felt very different from past ones. It was purposely stepping on Barba’s toes. And Barba’s reply is surprisingly lacking snarky tone. Which leads to…

That standoff in the highway. I liked this. I liked seeing Carisi with enough confidence in himself to challenge Barba, even if that confidence might be misplaced/a bit premature. Carisi is passionate about getting the bad guy, and Barba HAS historically brushed him aside, so it makes total sense that would come to a point where Carisi steps up and says no more.

Barba’s experience is probably right here, bur for character development, it’s good to see Carisi moving out of the mentor/mentee (mento? ahhh the freshmaker) role. Carisi has always had a touch of cockiness that makes this scene fit.

The “I don’t care about Barba” line…it felt like he was saying that this wasn’t personal, but it was a weird way to say it. I kinda feel like it’s a writer going “let’s throw a line in there to make the shippers have a field day” - which, whatever…but make it smoother at least. It just felt weirdly out of place (ship or no ship). It did give us some more Rollisi (FRIENDship), which I liked. 

When Rollins and Carisi go to Witt to find Will, Carisi throws another “priest/shrink” line out there - this time in a more favorable way. REALLY feeling like there’s loaded back story…

And I think I liked Rollins in this episode more than most. She’s on point with everyone.

I would have liked Carisi and Rollins to be the ones to talk Will down, but I get it was a way for Liv to reveal her past (could we get a reaction shot from Carisi, tho??) and for her to say out loud that her past doesn’t make her bad, which in turn means Noah will be okay.

I get it. I’m just a bit Liv’d out storyline-wise.

Barba and Liv on the steps of the courthouse - another good friendship moment. I totally don’t ship Barson romantically, but I do feel like they’ve developed a friendship, and seeing Barba try to reassure her about Noah was sweet. (see: One Day at a Time, the relationship between Schneider and Penelope) Does he know about Liv’s dad? I don’t think so. But he knows about Noah’s. And he has to believe what he said was true because if he doesn’t, then what does that say about him? We know his father was some level of abusive, so he has to believe that genetics don’t determine who you end up being.

So…how bout you?

Barba-centric thoughts on Ep 18x15

(Yes, Barba thoughts, in honor of the rare Barba-centric episode. Though I will also talk about Sonny, of course.)

Overall Thoughts

A solid episode. There was still something missing (the case was too straight-forward), but the idea that the perp was coming after the squad was somewhat original, and it raised the stakes. There was a lot of suspense, though it was probably less due to the writing and more due to the fact we were all worried about Barba, lol.

Sonny and Continuity

Dr. Carisi made a small appearance, when they found the body. He was all “head trauma, no pool of blood, she was moved”. That’s my Sonny!

I also thought it was sweet how Sonny seemed incredulous that someone would be blackmailing Barba, and he was also protective of Liv, all sweet and almost naively asking, “omg how does he know you and Barba are friends?” That’s the Sonny I know, worried about his friends and colleagues.

Sonny’s ‘Friend’

I’ve always thought that, out of the entire squad (the entire squad, Amaro and Dodds included), Sonny would be the one with the busiest love life. i.e. Sonny is the only one getting sniz on the reg. With the possible exception of Fin, of course, who is a player. The others are too caught up in their drama. Sonny is totally the guy who would meet someone, and be all cute and charming, and take them to a Broadway show, and buy cute underwear for them, or with them, and cook them dinner, and talk to them about one of his dozens of hobbies, etc etc.

I’m glad to have conformation he’s putting himself out there, basically. Now, this being SVU, Sonny’s ‘friend’ may never be mentioned again. For the moment, it seems the relationship is probably new but not too new and also hot’n’heavy lol, you go gurl!. Probably an actual ‘friend’ in the process of becoming something more? Aw. I do wish he had given us any kind of hint. And I loved how both Fin and Amanda (his bros) were teasing him, making him squirm. It reminded me of New Guy Sonny, from S16.

Bottom line, I’m happy Sonny is getting some, and he’s not letting the job affect his personal life. That’s a first for SVU :D

But enough about everything else. It’s Barba time:

Barba’s Financials

How much money does Barba have? And where is it coming from? We know he doesn’t come from money, as his grandmother lived in a modest building, and his mother seems to be middle class. So, not only does he have enough to buy expensive outfits, he also has enough to make regular (and I assume hefty) payments to that girl? For years? And I imagine he also has to pay rent? And, like, eat? How much do they pay at the DA’s office?

Barba’s Secret

It wasn’t as dramatic as I was hoping, but it was a lot better than I was expecting. It fit Barba’s old personality. The guy who would do anything to put a bad man behind bars. I must say, Barba’s personal life remains a total mystery, and I don’t like that, but since the secret was career-threatening, it made sense for it to be work-related. With that in mind, I thought this particular reveal was a very good choice. The fact he didn’t regret it was the cherry on top. That’s the Barba I know.

By the way, imagine if Barba’s secret were to actually play out in an episode. Now. This season. If we saw a strung out witness, and Barba’s moral dilemma, and his decision to give her money, and then her testimony and her death by overdose. Imagine Raul having to act all that out. The doubt, the glee at the outcome of the trial, and then the grief and the guilt.

Imagine him having to meet her little 10-year-old, maybe, and still giving her money to get the drugs, because it was the right thing to do, even though it was wrong. Imagine him getting a call, near the end of the episode, and being informed of her death (and then, DICK WOLF). 

If the writers had such an interesting idea for Barba, why not use it in an individual, current episode? Especially since this season has been so samey and repetitive, and this type of episode would have stood out so much. And Barba said he’d do it again, so it’s not like he’s “changed” since then (I mean of course he has, but you know). Such a wasted opportunity. That would have made for a fantastic hour of television.

Barba and Liv

So many wonderful moments between them. Their bond was showcased in a great way. There were some missteps, like Barba making a fuss about not telling Liv, and then telling her in the very next scene (like, just tell her, Rafi, you know she won’t let it go), but that was classic S18, adding drama where no drama should exist,

That last scene was so good, though. It was a rare moment between two of the most experienced, and possibly most jaded characters on the show, who’ve been doing this soul-crushing job for way too long, and for a split second they entertain the notion of another life. They acknowledge the toll this job has taken on them (Liv’s “I know” was poignant, both because it validated Barba’s feelings and because it showed us a little crack in her own armor).

But they both have some fight left in them. I was moved when I heard Barba saying he really loves this job. It was a rare emotional moment for him. His confession was amazing as well, of course, and Raul’s performance was incredible, but I’m always drawn to the more lowkey moments, so that “I love this job, oh I really do,” just as Barba was about to possibly lose that job, and the defiant way in which he said it, that moment really spoke to me.

We don’t often get to hear Barba’s feelings about his job, or about his life, so I thought that was both necessary and lovely. And beautifully conveyed by Raul.

Barba’s Future

I wish the show had played up the consequences for Barba a little more. He has “a meeting with the DA”? What else is new? I wish the writers had utilized one of the episodes Raul wasn’t in, to maybe suggest he had gotten temporarily suspended. And then he could return, one episode later, and Liv and the squad could welcome him back. Then again, the scheduling changes probably would have made that impossible.

I have to say, Barba continues to be isolated from the rest of the team. I appreciate all the moments he shares with Liv, but I’d like to see him more integrated with the main cast. Different characters bring out different qualities in him, and I miss that.

Also, Barba’s aspirations are dead, right? His career is toast? In the longterm? This type of dirt, if this guy could find it, anyone could. Barba probably ain’t getting elected as the Manhattan DA anytime soon :(

(yes, this is me pretending that a) continuity exists on SVU and b) SVU would actually tackle a storyline about Barba’s career)

Stray Thoughts

Raul is divine.

Remember that dramatic promo, the one everyone was trying to dissect? It was all about Fin’s rope guy. Well played, SVU. Well played.

The Amanda parallels with the victim’s sister were weird. Too weird to be coincidental. And she was pretty judgy again, as she usually is when it comes to addiction, but it was nothing too bad. Dare I hope the writers were just being subtle? Or did they forget they gave that girl Amanda’s exact backstory?

They brought back that hot detective, only to make him look like an asshole? Nice. But, not gonna lie, I missed that tension between SVU cops and Homicide/the FBI/etc. So I didn’t mind it in the end. And his last scene was classic SVU.

Finally, Liv going in on a perp during an interrogation! I loved it.

The first time she met with Barba, Liv checked her phone and looked surprised, and I thought someone was blackmailing her! Maybe spying on her and Barba, right then and there! Missed opportunity.

Mega-terrabytes or whatever :D

No mention of Fin making Sergeant. So the reshoots were just regular reshoots/additional scenes. No plot or continuity reasons. At this point, we can’t be sure Fin’s promotion will actually be addressed. Maybe a random patrol cop will randomly say ‘Sergeant Tutuola’ in a random scene in, like, episode 20 :/

Season 18 Finale

Hey, remember this?

Benson: You got pretty lucky in there, offering her T status. What are you, an immigration lawyer? 
Carisi: Half-way there. 

I’m hoping wondering if we’ll get to see a bit of Lawyer Sonny in action for the finale. After all, its a two-parter, titled “American Dream” and “Sanctuary.” So, some pretty clear immigration themes.