This week on Law & Order: SVU, Halloween comes early for the detectives. They’re out trick-or-treating early in the evening, Amarro with his daughter (!) and Benson with Calvin (!!), only to be interrupted by the news that a car with a baby strapped in his car seat was supposedly stolen.

The Kids Are Alright

Finally we meet Amarro’s daughter! We were teased in the premiere, but still unsure of who exactly the girl was. But where’s her mother? That’s something we still don’t know. Then Calvin’s back in the picture. Remember him from last season? Benson is, then isn’t, his legal guardian. It was nice to see the two of them spending some time with each other.

It’s probably no coincidence Amarro’s daughter is introduced in an episode about a possible baby-snatching. We see him becoming emotional throughout the episode as more details are released.

A Not-So-Real Whodunit

This episode had a hard time keeping my attention. The baby’s father is painted as an abusive guy (allegedly) with a hot temper and a record of a domestic incidents in which charges were never filed — where have we heard THAT before? So it seems pretty obvious that the mother is protecting him by lying. Right?

The detectives are led to Buffalo, where they’re from. (They’re visiting New York for the Halloween parade, or so they say.) It turns out the couple — AND THE BABY — were at the bar at a motel, tipping back more than a few. So there’s reasonable doubt on both of them. 

No one’s heard of sudden infant death syndrome?

Well, turns out it’s neither parent’s fault. The baby just died. He was healthy. There were no signs of foul play. So who the heck buries their baby after he dies without ever going to the police and then pretends that he was kidnapped? Why even lead the detectives to the spot where the baby was buried? It makes no sense.

The mom tells the detectives something to the effect of: they came to New York because bad things happen in the city all the time. Well, that’s no reason to MAKE UP A STORY.

This season started off on a solid footing, but seems to be slowly regressing. The acting is solid but the storylines of the new detectives are developing a little too slowly and are becoming static. The writing certainly isn’t what it once was, but after 12 seasons, can you blame them? Perhaps the week off will help, as a new episode will air in two weeks.

Esther Gim
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of NBC)

Esther Gim

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV