|Index||2 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Harden returns as the "hard-as-nails" FBI agent Dana Lewis in a story
that, in true SVU fashion, incorporates the "ripped-from-the-headlines"
take on terrorism mixed with the day-to-day dealings with rape.
The story itself is not quite up to par with the majority from this 12th season but it is Harden's testimony on the witness stand during the final quarter of the drama that makes up for the weaknesses of the strength in the first three fourths.
"Penetration" makes Harden's third appearance as Lewis and, as always, she delivers, revealing a side of the agent that heretofore remained hidden: a woman who has had to live with a dark secret that is brought out in the opening moments of the installment.
She is a wonder to behold and this fan looks forward to her next appearance in the role.
The IRL-premise for this episode is the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" NYC developer/arbitrage scam from a few years back, specifically the reaction to the project from Bitter Clingers out of central casting, refracted through a complex infiltration fiasco with various alphabet groups tugging on the strings. It goes in the pile of vaguely similar L&O SVU episodes in which they try to aggrandize the city sex-crimes cops via teaming up with feds-- which can be enjoyable, when they're working/competing with a charismatic Fibbie, or DEA, or Coast Guard cadet or whatever; unfortunately this time they got a "feisty" agent played by Harden who attempts to be Gene Hackman while throwing pointless roadblocks into the detectives' way. The use of the story-arc with Benson's young ward is teased but not worked into the plot meaningfully. Substandard sequencing and even a bit tepid on the Urban Tragedy element (i.e. there's no one even remotely sympathetic in this story), noticeably for a series that is usually the most melodramatic of the Dick Wolf spin-offs anyway. Feels like a bad ABC/Disney pilot starring Kerry Washington or something you'd stumble across on basic cable, particularly the Turner channels.
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