Reviews & Ratings for
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" Ballerina (2009)

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24 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic Guest Performances

9/10
Author: meowbark_9899 from United States
29 March 2009

I've never done one of these before, but I felt the need to say something about this episode after seeing the fantastic performances given by both Carol Burnett and Matthew Lillard. The interrogation scene with Matthew's character was incredible--I don't remember seeing him shine like that in a role for a very long time and it was great to see him doing this kind of character. The breakdown he has after Olivia makes him believe Birdie is giving him up is incredible and very realistic for someone in his situation--I was very, very impressed with his overall performance. And it was great to see Carol Burnett in the Black Widow role--she was so subtle and menacing in her behavior and she also did a fantastic job making her character believable, but then, I'm generally impressed with everything she does.

Overall, the episode was very good, with fantastic performances by both guest stars.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Fairly lightweight and performance-driven

7/10
Author: Alexandra from Washington
27 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This episode is clearly a vehicle for Carol Burnett's guest appearance. And that's not so surprising, Burnett is a television legend. But what it does mean is a fairly out-of-the-ordinary SVU episode.

There's really not much in the way of twists and turns in the story, which are hallmarks of the Law & Order franchise. Even though we don't know who the killer is until the end of the episode, we meet him or her (no spoilers) very early on in the episode and stay with him or her for almost all of the episode.

Probably 95 out of every 100 episodes of any show from the Law & Order franchise are story-driven rather than performance-driven. It's what the fans of the show come to expect, and any divergence from it constitutes taking a definite chance. I wouldn't say this episode is bad, because it isn't, but it's not the strong, overwhelming hit that a divergence from the norm ' 'can' ' be when it's flawlessly executed.

The story of the episode didn't necessarily need an hour to tell, and unlike other episodes such as "Rage" that have that characteristic, I was literally saying "That's it?" when the end credits came up.

So, a fair episode, but despite the guest appearance of a TV legend, not one that's likely to endure in my memory.

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Menacing widow

7/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
2 July 2015

It's been a long time since Carol Burnett one of the great comediennes of all time did a dramatic role, possibly not since she co-starred with Walter Matthau in Pete And Tillie. Still Burnett who plays a ditzy five time widow is wonderful in the part as we only gradually learn how menacing she and her 'nephew' Matthew Lillard are to people who are unfortunate enough to marry her.

A triple homicide, a pair of lovers in one apartment and a pure schnook that's shot and killed by a bullet that goes through the wall brings the SVU squad in. The woman was a dancer at an after hours club and a particular favorite of the owner Vincent Curatola.

I won't explain how he did the triple deed, but Curatola is identified by a unique method given the squad by Mike Doyle, the SVU senior technician who appears in so many SVU shows. He's breaking in a new trainee Noel Fisher who is making the first of a series of appearances in the 10th season. He has a nasty habit of getting under Christopher Meloni's skin. Mariska Hargitay is a bit more tolerant of him.

But that's far from over as the eccentric Burnett turns out to have a menacing streak of her own, aided and abetted by Lillard. Quite a revealing performance. Burnett should have rated an Emmy.

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