Reviews & Ratings for
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" Payback (1999)

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

"We don't pick the vic"

Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
14 January 2015

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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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Pilot of A Great L&O Spin off!

Author: ShelbyTMItchell from Seymour Tennessee
24 March 2013

*** 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!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The First Episode...

Author: Taylor Kingston from Australia
16 April 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really liked the Series Premiere of Law & Order: SVU. It's such a good show, and I'm honestly so happy, and kind of surprised, that it's still airing right now.

In this episode, we meet Olivia Benson, and Elliot Stabler, two Special Victims Unit detectives, working in New York City. They're new partners, and they investigate the murder, and castration (ew, by the way) of a taxi-cab driver. In the end they discover that the man assumed the identity of another man, because he was on the run from the law, and wanted by the police.

Best part of the episode: Olivia.

Worst part of the episode: Nothing in particular.

Overall, I give this episode an 8 out of 10, which in my ratings book is: Awesome.

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