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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
We are for the very first time introduced to the SUV unit in the NYPD.
As it is lead but hotheaded but sympathetic detective Elliot
Stabler(Christopher Meloni), and his junior detective partner, Olivia
Benson(Mariska Hagraity), who was a victim of sexual abuse herself when
she was young.
There they are joined by Homicide Life on the Street Baltimore vet John Munch(Richard Belzer) and gruff yet compassionate Captain and boss Don Cragen(Dan Florek).
It has a much more sympathetic tone and would for years to come. Along with cases of sexual abuse and murder. Not as great and the best as the original but comes close to it.
It shows more of a gritty and dark but sympathetic tone than the original or Criminal Intent!
The first episode of SVU got off to a great start as the team catches a
case involving a cabby being murdered. Around this time in New York
City there were a rash of cabdriver crimes. But SVU gets involved
because the robbers and evidence shows there were two cut off the
victim's private parts as well as robbing him of cash.
Captain Dann Florek originally with Law And Order prime returns to the franchise in charge of the squad. A little detective work on his part shows them that the victim was using another license with his photograph. That throws things off track, were the perpetrators after the man whom the license was registered to or the actual victim himself.
Christopher Meloni gets off to a great start interviewing the actual cab medallion owner Matt Skollar in Riker's Island. He's a flamboyant gay hustler who really doesn't have any behavioral boundaries even in jail. In fact jail can be kind of fun for him. It's the highlight of the show. Meloni's TV wife Isabel Gillies is also here and the Elliott Stabler family provide many a future plot.
It turns the perpetrators got the guy they were after. And he's a real piece of work. But as Florek reminds them 'we don't pick the vic'.
Mariska Hargitay who is now the only original cast member left is also introduced to us and we learn she was a product of a rape. Elizabeth Ashley is here as her mother. The character of the mother would die early on in the series, but the issues that Olivia Benson faced and her empathy for victims would remain through the series run.
An auspicious debut for SVU.
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