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Season 18 In a Nutshell (w/ Pix)

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Opening Scene (Well, not of the episode, but it’s not really SVU until Carisi shows up, right? And that phone call doesn’t count):

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Carisi: Look how HOT my silver hair is, eh?

Me: (Distracted). Wait? What’s going on in this scene?

Carisi: Made you look!

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Me: Oh shit! Now what are they doing? We’ve got Carisi, we’ve got Rollins … good good. But damn, that curl is fucking driving me to distraction! Wait, he’s saying something important … look at his lips, not the hair, no not the hair… Focus. Rollins is listening to him. You can too. Be strong. Like her.

Carisi (in reference to the note Ana leaves behind for her son): Sounds like she didn’t know when, or if she was coming back.


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Carisi: Mentions Spanakopita.

Me: YAY! Boy knows how to eat. But dude, chill. You don’t need to look so intense about it. Okay, but you can though, cause it’s like totally HOT!


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Parthenon Diner Manager: Tells Rollins and Carisi that he thinks Ana had a bad boyfriend b/c he’d seen her with bruises and black eyes on occasion.

Carisi: Doesn’t say much, but quietly asks for contact information in a low voice.

Rollins: Realizes how hard this probably is for Carisi to hear and her heart goes out to him. She understands that this kind of stuff is why he wanted to work SVU in the first place - to prevent it from happening.

Carisi (Flashback to Episode 2 of Season 16 when Benson asks him about why he’s interested in SVU and he talks glumly about the women murder victims he’d seen who’d been killed by boyfriends/husbands) : It’s like they knew. They knew it was coming. They don’t even look surprised. Just finished.


Rollins: Sometimes Lovin’ Ain’t Enough

Me: Hell Yeah! You go girl! Don’t mess with kids’ lives. Don’t put them in danger. It’s not okay even if you love them. Rollins doesn’t want you to F them up if you’re not good for them. YES! This is why I love you, Amanda. Right here!


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Um, yeah. They’re discussing the case or something. But all I can see here is my favorite ship all matchies. :-) And the Emmy for best acting goes to … The Law & Order: SVU Wardrobe department. No, wait that’s a mistake, sorry. We have a tie. The Emmy for BEST ACTING goes to The Law & Order: SVU Hair department AND The Law & Order: SVU Wardrobe department. No offense to our lovely cast but the wardrobe and hair people really stole the show this episode. Stay tuned for Barba & Benson’s awesome hair …


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OMG did Rollins just grab his hand on the way out? What did I just see? Is it canon? Is it head canon? Oh.Hell.Yes it is at least head canon. But can I use it in Stolen Moments? That’s the litmus test… I’ve gotta ponder this.


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Me: Pssst! Amanda!

Amanda: Listening intently to Chief Dodd’s instructions.

Me: Amanda! Check out Carisi’s forearms … Dude! They are right there.

Amanda: Still only listening to Chief Dodds while I’m driven to distraction.

Me (under my breath): Damn girl, how do you it? Working with such hotness every day? You’re one tough cookie.


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Why are his hands and arms so nice? Oh, why God, why?


 

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Why is Carisi losing his cool here?

IMO think it’s more than just 4 different departments breathing down his and the rest of the squad’s necks, which is plenty on its own. This guy is the brother of Luka Terzik – and is even paying his rent, supporting him. And Luka’s the man they’ve just recently discovered who is engaged to Ana and obviously abusing her. I think this is whole situation here has gotten under his collar, setting him off.

Carisi later says to Rollins: Alright, he pays his brother’s rent and his phone bills. I mean, who knows what else?

Yeah, Carisi does not like this guy, who supports his scumbag of a brother and does even worse as we’ll find out later.


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Me: Carisi, Damn that gray in your hair is so HOT! You’re killing me here.

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Me: Okay, you can stop it with the intensity now. You’re melting down my screen. Seriously.


Carisi: We call Barba.

Me: Damn straight! Because he’s the man. Carisi knows this.


 

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This is just all so casual. Like he’s walked with her like this many times before. *squee* They MUST be together! Please, NBC grant me my greatest wish. These two need to be together!!!

And thanks for the trifecta of HOTNESS here: Carisi casually touches Amanda’s back as he walks with her, sleeves rolled up exposing those luscious forearms, and grabs a coat on the way out. *sighs and dies* This seriously made the entire episode for me.


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And speaking of forearms, here is the most amazing look at Carisi’s forearms yet! He’s really melting down my screen now - holy shit. It’s only icing on the cake that Amanda is right behind him. This is insanely, incredibly HOT!


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Love love love Barba’s new hair for the season! And does he ever not dress sharply? The SVU wardrobe department consistently knocks it out of the park with this character. And it looks like the trend continues …


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Chief Dodds: With all due respect, you doing your job cost my son his life!

Well it had to come out eventually - the tension had been building all episode. But in some ways I don’t understand why… Near the end of the finale it appeared that Benson and Chief Dodds had actually been comforting each other over Mike’s death. It’s obvious this issue has not been resolved between them in the premiere however. Sad really. But the death of a child can be complicated.

And oh my God, I MISS MIKE DODDS too! How can you not?


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Barba: He didn’t mean it.

Benson: Sure he did. He’s not wrong either.

Barba: Hey… Don’t do that.

What a nice moment between these two. They know each other so well.


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And speaking of hair again, the SVU Hair department did an excellent job of showcasing Chief Dodds’ distress in this episode. His hair only emphasizes that he’s a man barely holding it together. It looks like he styles it in the morning, yet runs his hands through it frantically throughout the day, which gives it that messy tufty look that we see throughout the episode. Awesome job!


 

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Rita Calhoun! How I love this character… She has really grown on me over the years. Elizabeth Marvel does such a good job portraying her. And doesn’t she just look fabulous in this turquoise suit? Stunning. I just hope they play up the UST between her and Buchanan this season. I would absolutely love to see that developed!

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Another coup for the Hair department (and the Make Up department too.) Rita’s smooth hair looks just beautiful in this episode. The best it’s ever looked IMO. And that lipstick goes so well with that turquoise suit, both of them bringing out beautiful coloring in her face.

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Great scene with Calhoun and Barba. Rita makes him think about what the right thing to do really is in this situation. She’s a tough woman who has conviction in her job. Elizabeth Marvel is one of my favorite recurring guest stars on the show.


 

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Okay this right here is distracting me. And not a good way. Saw hints of this before the episode even aired – Carisi looking all distraught, his cuff half done & half undone like that. Got me to thinking well before watching this episode what might have caused him such distress. And that made me happy because as you know I am The Queen of Tragedy. :-) Not that there was a letdown per say, but it seemed to me that there was no explanation at all for this wardrobe choice. Sure they’re all intense and ready to go arrest this guy, but I don’t think that would cause Carisi to lose sight of the fact that he probably should roll his cuff all the way up and not leave it dangling like that.

However… Being the evil Rollisi shipper that I am, I can’t help but notice that Rollins and Carisi got out of the same squad car. So, my plot bunnies want to take over to explain this one in the most shippy way possible. Just what were Rollins and Carisi doing in the backseat of that squad car, anyway? Hmmm?

Now that’s distracting! In a good way …


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And we end with this scene…

Benson: The funny thing is, I’ve never been happier.

Tucker: Why are you crying?

Benson: Because I’m scared that it won’t last.

My heart just breaks for Liv here. It seems that she can’t accept happiness in her life. I do ship these two so I believe she has a good thing going here with Tucker, but like her I don’t think it’s going to last. Because they just never give Olivia a break, do they?

The coloring is just beautiful in this scene, and so is Mariska’s hair. So pretty. Once again the SVU Hair department steals the show! They and the SVU Wardrobe department are TOTALLY on fire. Love it!


Well that’s it for my SVU episode 18 X 1 in nutshell! A little long for a nutshell though, huh?

If brevity is the soul of wit, then I guess I don’t have any… LOL.

- Avenue Potter

Chapter Text

Opening Scene: Becoming close to the man you mistakenly accused of rape many years ago who’s recently been released from jail.

 

 

 

Me: Um, awkward.


Fin: They used bleach on her, they burned her, got rid of all DNA. (Carisi brings this up later too)

Me: Yup, bleach denatures DNA. It’s why we use it after running qPCR. Mind starts wandering … would it really work to get rid of all DNA evidence on a body from an attacker? Shit, is this common knowledge among rapists and killers? Scared now … (totally channeling my best friend here)


Carisi: Wrong answer.

Me: BOOM! Don’t lie to Sonny.

Carisi: You see, when you lie to us, it makes us curious.

Me: Oh, really? Hmmm… I wonder what I can lie about to pique your interest? Gotta think about that one.


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Beautiful blue eyes. God, I love the lighting in this scene. Nice hair, too. Really nice hair.


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Carisi: There’s no blood.

Barba: Even though he cut his hand?

Carisi: Bleach and fire. That’s the point.

Me: Someone’s “in a mood.” That line was delivered with something other than typical Sonny “sass.”


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OMG here’s Sarah Malone doing her cameo. She’s the cancer survivor who was featured on the Today Show. YAY! Check out her story here (this is so amazing): 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sl7NmZxCm1A


 

Me: Damn Carisi, you really need to stare at Rollins that long dude?

Carisi: C’Mon, you’re reading too much into this. There’s nothing to see here. Nothing at all …

Me: Yeah, right. Nothing’s going on here, huh? … I’ll just pretend I don’t see it then … I’ll just look away. But if that’s truly the case then maybe you should too, dude.


Carisi relays the contents of Charlie’s “love nest” to Rollins, including a ‘Coney Island whitefish.’

Me (way too old for this shit): Pauses the TiVo, grabs the laptop, and frantically looks up the term in The Urban Dictionary.

Me (Giggling): Carisi’s casual use of this term in everyday life is fitting. And endearing.


Another very well-lit scene . . .

Not to be repetitive but … Carisi is HOT! God, his eyes. Look at them!

And his silver streaks! So insanely HOT! They are seriously doing something to me. He is only going to get better with age.


Okay, right here. This is where it gets interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Rollins and Carisi interrogate a suspect together before. A victim, yes – but never a suspect. Or at least, not like this. This was unique. Their dynamic was fantastic! You have Carisi playing his usual “buddy of the pervert” and Rollins doing her “hot girl” thing. The result was quite entertaining to watch. They play off of each other very well, and in quite an unexpected way (at least to me). Can’t wait to see more of this!

And the way he looks at her in this moment? OH MY GOD.


You’re in trouble with Mama Bear and Papa Bear now. And if I’ve learned anything from life at all it’s don’t mess with bears. These two would make great parents. Just sayin’.


Barba may not be very nice in this episode, but as usual the SVU wardrobe department knows how to dress him well. That turquoise tie is really nice. Matches his eyes too.



JOHN BUCHANAN!!!

My favorite evil lawyer. As soon as he said “Hi Charlie” I knew he was going to have a field day with this witness… And stick in Barba’s craw, as he always does. Buchanan sure knows how to get under his collar.

Delaney Williams is fabulous as Buchanan once again. He is one of my absolute all-time favorite SVU recurring guest stars. I really need to see more of him and Rita Calhoun. Together. *wink wink nudge nudge* C’Mon SVU writers throw a girl bone here…


Me: Barba, chill. Please don’t look at my girl Amanda like that. Carisi doesn’t like it either.


Carisi: Uh … They’re fighting.


 

Me: STUNNED.

I am honestly still having trouble processing this. I need to work out my thoughts/feelings by writing some fanfic before I can say anything else about this scene.

So I think I’ll finish here.

- Avenue Potter

PS - Sorry to end on such a low note, but I didn’t find anything humorous here. :-(


Okay, I've had some time to process now, and here is my take on this scene (and it completely ignores Episode 3, no worries - it just took me a while to process my initial thoughts and get them down):

This whole scene was so shocking to me because it showed Carisi calling into question Barba's ability to do his job. WTF? To me, Carisi had been like the eager student (puppy dog) who almost worshipped Barba and seemed to want nothing more than to gain is approval (beg for scraps).

That was not the dynamic here. AT ALL.

And even though I ship Rollisi, I don't think him defending her had anything to do with any romantic relationship between Rollins & Carisi, potential or otherwise. This was professional.

Yes, Sonny has passed the bar and has partially come into his own. But he's not working as an attorney just yet. It is absolutely shocking to me that he would call into question the mentor he has looked up to for so long. It makes for an interesting, although unsettling change in dynamic.

And Rollins looks almost guilty about it.

 


 

See her biting her lower lip there when Carisi yells at Barba?

And this brings me back to another scene that I had mentioned previously:

 


 

Bleach and fire. That’s the point. 

Sonny’s line here seemed to be delivered with more annoyance than wit or his usual sass. Which only served to make him seem pissy towards Barba.

And again, immediately following this interaction, Rollins seems to look guilty once more (at least to me):

 


 

All this stuff made me stand back and think . . . Does/did Sonny have a thing for Barba? Or is there pissyness here because at some point (in some scene that was left out) Barba called in to question Carisi’s ability to do his job ... like right here when he’s inquiring about evidence? OR BOTH?

My head immediately went to the possibility that Barba and Carisi have been together, or potentially together, or at least WANTED to be together and now there’s friction between them and Rollins feels guilty about it. Is it because Carisi’s attention is turning to her after being treated poorly and turned away by Barba for so long? Or has he just lost interest even though things might be starting to get good between him and Barba (since he’s passed the bar and has earned some respect)? Or is he torn because he wants them both? No matter what, Rollins doesn’t look happy about the effect she’s having.

Even though I am a Rollisi shipper, I saw Barisi written all over this episode. A crumbling Barisi. About ready to die. (Yes, I am still The Queen of Tragedy and can view ships I don’t even ship from that angle).

I WANT to explore this in fan fic. I want to explore what might be going on between Carisi & Barba behind the scenes. But I’m not likely to. Because my thoughts will make ALL shippers uncomfortable. Heck, they make ME uncomfortable. It won’t be pretty for either ship where I would go with this as I work through it in writing. And with the current hostile climate between shippers? Not sure I should even be posting this part of my episode analysis, let alone write a fic exploring simultaneous Barisi/Rollisi thoughts.

And so I guess I should end there.

Now off to Episode Three!

- Avenue Potter

 

Chapter Text

NOTE: Not all of this will be written in my usual (intended) jovial tone. Because mostly what I saw in this episode was sadness (of course I did) … although I do start out on a lighter note.


Opening Scene (at least the one that matters – the one where Rollins & Carisi show up in the episode):

Okay, nothing crucial in this scene but I just wanted to point out how nice the lighting is here (it was in this whole scene, not just that shot). And oh yeah - how can I resist that look of worry/contemplation on his face? Nice knitted brows, just like my bestie ordered (she’s got a thing for those things).

Not to pick on the lovely SVU Wardrobe department (cause I’m totally not), but I hate his green and blue tie here (although, Go Seahawks!). It looks awful. Why would he pick it for his interview later that day? Because he’s Carisi – and he’s not perfect. And he’s not the fashion plate that Barba is. So even though I don’t like it, the SVU Wardrobe department made a good choice here – keeping the character real. Like those bubble coats. I hate those, too. But they are sooooo Carisi.


 

Is Carisi rolling up his sleeves here? First we see him taking off his jacket and then when they cut back to him it sure looks like it. But we can’t SEE Anything!

But you know what? HE DID:

Why the hell was this not onscreen? Us Carisi fangirls would have just DIED seeing that! I know there’s one scene where he rolls his sleeves DOWN, but I have never seen one where he rolls them UP (except in our fantasies). As I vidder I should know if there has been one, but I have not vidded SVU very long so if there is such a clip please let me know.

Either way, it would have been nice to see this happen. Ugh.


Cue the adorable Rollisi banter:

Rollins: Just another perfect family.

Carisi: C’Mon Rollins, it’s too early to be that jaded.

Rollins: Next time I’ll wait till noon.

THEY ARE SO CUTE HERE.

OMG the feeeeels!


 Just have to say it, another score for SVU’s Hair Team! Carisi’s hair is to die for here. Absolute Perfection. I’m getting spoiled. His Season 18 hair is so good when I go back and watch earlier episodes I just can’t appreciate it the same way.


And now for another HOT hair alert! As someone else pointed out on Tumblr – DAMN! His hair is light here. OMG Squee. I envision Carisi as a blonde (cause he looks like a towhead to me) and the lighter his hair is … just OMG. I really really like it. The grey streaks are pulling this to the light side as well. And those just drive me to distraction!

Damn.


 

How can you not LOVE the banter in this scene? Whether Rollins & Carisi are your brOTP or your OTP this is a fantastic scene for them. It showcases everything that we love about them. And Peter & Kelli’s chemistry is wonderful as usual …

And of course our boy Carisi loves artisan pickles. Bring on the freaky food! Well, just don’t put lemon in his water. Yuck!  More on that later …

Carisi is sooo nervous for his upcoming interview with that Brooklyn ADA. Poor thing’s got his arms pulled back and shoulders raised, all tense. And you can just see the anxiety written all over his face. OMG he’s so cute when he’s stressed. Makes me just want to hug him and make him feel better. Sigh. Peter does this so well - acts with his entire body. Carisi’s emotions are never just displayed on his face. He always puts so much more into it.

 

Me: Amanda, please don’t give our boy a hard time … Can’t you see how anxious he is? Please help him to calm down so he can do well, okay?

Carisi: How do I look?

Amanda: Like a cop.

Me: (talking to Amanda) Oh no you didn’t!

I know Amanda is just continuing the banter here (and I actually think there’s a bit more going on with her while she’s joking about this - more on that later) but this is not helpful when he’s so anxious. I’m sure “looking like a cop” is not what he’s going for here. He’s making strides towards a new career. He needs to look like a lawyer but with that hideous tie, I’m sorry . . .

Also, this exchange is not helpful for another reason …

This is where the sadness I saw starts between them. I don’t think Amanda has any clue as to how her words could actually be hurting Carisi beyond just intensifying his nervousness. More on that later …


Me: You look like you’re happy about being “caught” by your boss sneaking off to an interview for another job.

Carisi: Yeah, I feel like the cat who ate the canary. Just look at my face.

Me: Dude, I will never understand you. (But honestly, that’s part of the charm)


This right here is heartbreaking. Absolutely heartbreaking. We all know Carisi loves his family, and he’s a pretty decent guy who treats women (like Amanda) very well which likely translates into him being a loving son towards his mother. However it’s obvious she did not support him in his dreams.

Who wouldn’t be proud of your son going off to college? Unfortunately, not everyone. Sad really. It’s so painful to watch Carisi admit this part of his past. See his hands, the chagrin on his face?

Peter uses his hands throughout this episode in such meaningful ways. They even did this shot in a bizarre way (I suspect in order to put the focus on his expressive hand gestures because neither actors’ faces are even really in it):


Here he is saying “You know, my mother … “  At some point they made the decision to show his emotions through his hands in this part of the scene over other possibilities. And it is powerful.

If you look closely you can see the pain in his eyes, which are slightly wet throughout this part of the scene. I believe it hurt him so much that his own mother didn’t care about his past achievements and probably doesn’t even give a damn about him passing the bar – a monumental occasion in his life. And this translates into his current relationship with Rollins too, as I will explain later. Because romantically or not, she is an important woman in his life.

I long ago suspected that his mom (or his parents) didn’t support him in his desire to become a professional, a lawyer. It was just a hunch. But it was strong enough for me to go into it for a bit in my fic I Failed about an alternate reality where Carisi doesn’t pass the bar. I show her being loving towards him and caring about him, yet still discouraging this side of him (for his own good). But after seeing this scene I think the lack of support from his mother may actually be much worse than I portrayed it. Not sure she actually cared much at all about his future at all when he was growing up. And given his interactions with Barba & Olivia, he strikes me as someone who really wants approval, validation. His mother’s lack of interest must have been so hard for him – at least a part of him must have wanted to make her proud. But for some reason he held back about even telling her that he had applied to college, so it seems logical to me to assume that going off to college was not something she wanted him to do. Just look at his sadness as he revisits this. Devastating.

Even though the plot of this episode was pathetic to say the least - the premise was absolutely insane – I like that the college theme allowed us this little glimpse into Carisi’s past. I’m dying to meet the rest of his family now and see what his interactions with his mom will be like. I would guess they are probably loving, which would make her lack of support even more devastating. But I realize that there’s a possibility that I could be way off base in thinking that she didn’t care and that’s why she didn’t know about him applying to college. Maybe something entirely unexpected was in play.


The King of Sass is back! We all knew he would be. You can’t keep this side of Sonny at bay for long. It is so nice to see. [Too bad it was like a 2 episode wait]

Me: You know what, Carisi? I’m right there with you. I hate lemon in my water too.


Carisi: So, tough to be a rich white kid with great grades? That’s what you’re sayin?

Carisi seems a little bitter here. This supports another hunch of mine: He grew up poor and probably has taken so long to get all the way through college and law school because he had to find a way to accomplish this and still make ends meet. Like by holding down a full-time job and taking classes in his free time. Boo-yah! Night school at Fordham Law.


Rollins: $68K a year for this. I don’t get all the fuss.

Carisi: Yeah me neither. But a lot of people do.

More money stuff … I still think he grew up poor. This only reinforces it.

Okay, you CANNOT ignore Carisi’s body language here. Or at least, I cannot. As Rollins starts talking about “The Game,” about how guys lie about being more “prestigious” than they actually are, just watch Carisi’s hand fall the look on his face as he turns towards her. He seems defeated to me. Like he knows there’s a game and he can’t play it. He seems like a very straight-forward and honest guy and therefore is not a “player,” not someone who would pretend to be something they’re not. And it almost seems like he knows he’ll never be good enough as Rollins tells him what women are looking for – since these are the lies men tell them to try to win them over. I’m fairly certain Carisi is not from a fancy background (so many things point to it) and there’s no way he’s even remotely rich at this time in his life – he’s working as a detective while he puts himself through law school at night.

I feel like this conversation with Rollins uncovers an insecurity he has with women and possibly why he’s never made a move on her. Yes, I finally had to admit to myself that they are probably not together at this point, but it was not this scene that tipped me off … more on that later.

I don’t know, this scene was just heartbreaking to me, witnessing Carisi’s defeat like this. It was one of a few scenes that lead to the raging vid bunny that this episode inspired. More on that later …


HOT CURL ALERT!

Sorry, this analysis is just going to continue to get more depressing . . . I felt I had to lighten it up with a superficial moment. And he sure is cute.

You all forgive me, right?


Rollins: I don’t like gray. We’re cops, not lawyers.

Carisi: Speak for yourself.

Rollins (Laughing): I keep forgetting.

Carisi: Is that an insult?

Rollins: No, it’s a compliment.

Okay, this COULD be banter here. But the way she says WE’RE cops it just doesn’t sound that way to me. It seemed like initially she really DID forget for a second. Of course, it quickly did turn into a moment of banter. I’m not going to deny that.

But this is another scene that made me sad for Carisi because I really do believe she forgot at first. This points to a bit of denial. You know how people can sometimes joke but really there’s an underlying truth to it and many times that truth is something that bothers them? Joking is a socially acceptable means to relieve that kind of tension (except in the case where it turns nasty, which it can).

Note that she also teased him about still looking like a cop earlier - and right when he was nervous about his interview! I think deep down Rollins doesn’t want to see Carisi leave SVU even though she was very supportive and excited about him passing the bar – she’s not selfish and knew how important that was to him - but I think that maybe a part of her believes that he’ll be in her life a lot less when they no longer work together and she doesn’t want that to happen.

This is also quite sad because his mother wasn’t supportive of his future objectives and as I mentioned before, Rollins is an important woman in his life. This just echoes his mother’s treatment of him even though it’s disguised in banter. Jokingly she tells him that it’s a compliment that she still thinks he’s a cop – ignoring the side of him that wants to be a lawyer. I really think Rollins is hurting his feelings here without even knowing it (or meaning to) because she just doesn’t know about that part of his past.


Carisi looks a bit distraught while walking through this bar looking for their suspect. He seems disturbed by the obviously inflated pick-up lines. But he’s a guy who’s gotta have other guy friends – and Amanda just told him about usual things guys say when hitting on women – this shouldn’t be anything new to him. So then this makes me wonder: Is he really so innocent (so honestly innocent) that this whole scene is eye opening to him? And it makes him upset? Or at least very uncomfortable? It’s like he’s never been in a pick up joint before.

Alternatively, what if he’s never witnessed this kind of stuff before because it’s truly not his scene? Because he’s asexual? (This stuff just runs through my head … like the Barisi stuff did last episode).

How interesting would it be if they had an asexual character on SVU? Such a loving, family oriented asexual character? It would show the rest of the world that asexual people can have close relationships just fine, just like anyone else. I love Carisi and Rollins and desperately want them to have a romantic relationship, but still, I would find it interesting to explore Carisi as an asexual character if they decide not to go there.

But if he’s not asexual – which I’m pretty sure he’s not – I do think that this shows him feeling inadequate, perhaps thinking, “So is this why I haven’t had much luck with women? Cause I’m not a lying douche bag?” He looks like he’s having a revelation here, so maybe this is it.

And at the very end? The dude referencing the movie “The 40 Year Old Virgin?” Um, yeah. I think for those of us who are looking for it, this is a hint. Like the bones they throw various shippers from time to time with no serious intention of ever exploring their particular pairing. Some of us (me included) would like for Carisi to be a virgin – even this late in his life – because of his faith. I know this is probably like the most unrealistic thing to ask for – because TV shows never go there – but I think it would fit his character so well because he is such a devout Catholic. He is someone I can see holding out for marriage before sharing that kind of intimacy with a partner.

But even I think it’s so unrealistic that in all of my current fics that do go there I do not portray Carisi as a virgin. Doesn’t mean I won’t in the future … This is something I’d like to explore someday – especially its impact on his relationship with Rollins.


Carisi: I dated this chick once in college. I dated her for a whole semester. She thought I was an exchange student from Italy. Best sex I ever had.

Me: Shaking my head. You can’t con a con man. And it’s not just your obvious (strong) Staten Island American accent that gives you away. Just wait for it. You’ll see …

Me: See? Douchebag over here called your bluff. He knows you’re not a player, just a “regular guy.” And one who’s not making it with beautiful women. (Like Rollins … *cough* *cough*)

THIS scene made me entirely rethink my theory that Rollins & Carisi were already together. Darnit!

But, OMG I HATE how this guy humiliates my Carisi! Whether he’s asexual or not, this is just nasty. Look at Carisi’s face. He knows he’s been humiliated – and he’s pissed. He even looks like he wants to cry for a second there. God, Peter is so GOOD at portraying my favorite character! Insanely good.




This, and a couple other key scenes (the scene of him and Rollins walking on campus and the scene in the bar) sparked a RAGING vid bunny in me. And many feels for my boy. Poor Carisi!

This was the result:


This is for my friends who have the HOTS for Barba. You know who you are …

Barba’s hair is just FANTASTIC this season so far. His new cut is very nice.

Not that SVU’s Hair Department has ever really failed - for example, Olivia’s hair has been beautiful for years now - it’s just that they are totally ON FIRE this season. Damn! Kudos, guys. :-)


Vincent Curatola! He played my favorite character on The Sopranos: Johnny Sack. It is so awesome to have seen him guest star on SVU from time to time … and now he’s entangled with Barba’s storyline? And is yet another threat to Barba? OMG this just keeps getting better and better! Instead of “Who shot JR?” the mystery tagline SVU is building up is more like, “Who’s going to kill Barba?”

I’m on the seat of my pants. How many enemies is Barba going to make before someone makes a serious attempt on his life? I can’t wait to find out!


And now the WTF ending to the WTF storyline (yes, I wasn’t really paying attention to the actual plot that much, obviously – the side stories were much better):




Did this kid really just kill himself? Over this?

My first instinct is that he was murdered and this episode is setting up a bigger storyline. He didn’t seem like a kid suffering from depression, he sent that DM saying to his mother that he hated her, and she herself had emotional issues. Somehow I thought that this could actually have been a case of his mom pushing him over the railing and killing him.

Not sure I’m right, but that’s the first thing I thought of.

Either way, I think Benson is realizing that her recklessness in pursuing this iffy case has led to this boy’s death.

I did not care for the storyline of this episode, but the Carisi/Rollisi stuff was fantastic so overall I really really enjoyed it. They beautifully wove the pieces of Carisi’s past disappointments, his ambitions, and his inadequacies together to paint a powerful picture. Really nice.

This is my favorite episode so far (pretending I haven’t gotten to 4 yet).

That’s all folks!

Avenue Potter

Off to analyze Episode 4 now … 

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Pre-Episode Notes: Okay, I heard Kim would be back and awaited this episode with anxiety. Yes, having her back in the picture makes for good drama and I really feel like Carisi needs to see more of Amanda’s family dynamics. But still, I knew she was going to make hell for my girl Amanda and so in a way I was dreading it. But now that I’ve watched this episode I am just eagerly awaiting/hoping that her mother makes a reappearance. This could get really really good. I love it when they explore Amanda’s family.

Opening Scene:

Husband: Honey, you’ve been going over an hour.

Wife (Jenna): One more mile.

Me: Been there, done that. I recognize this energy.

The Opening Scene that matters:

Uh, yeah. This made me sick just watching it.

Kim claiming that she wants to be out on parole because of her niece Jesse and Amanda. And mentioning Jesus!

And WTF is Amanda doing in the background supporting her? This was totally shocking to me and not at all the way I was expecting it to turn out. I thought maybe that lawyer Kim was so fond of, Lorenzo DeSappio, was going to work out some way for her to be released and she was just going to show up on Amanda’s doorstep. Surprise!

What worried me the most here though was Kim’s mention of Jesus. I know many inmates find God while in jail (it’s very cliché) and I was concerned that her seemingly new-found faith would allow her to get close to Carisi. Closer than I ever want to her to be.

Plus, it makes me EXTREMELY uncomfortable that Kim will be living with Amanda. But they made Amanda’s reason for it very logical. The show has only been on for a few minutes when this totally unexpected thing happens – Kim’s living arrangements with Amanda. And this episode was just FULL of unexpected delights like this! :-) I am loving it so far (and dreading it).


Jenna: Look at that razor-sharp focus.

Me: Yup, not going to lie. I recognize this energy, too. My cousin had a psychotic break during a manic episode once. I was with her. This looked very familiar.

With this scene, I knew where they were headed with this character.


Baby Jesse’s a REDHEAD! Did I call it or what?

Really uncomfortable seeing Kim hold her though. And so is Amanda. Good to see she hasn’t let her guard down. I really don’t trust Kim either.


Olivia: So she’s under stress?

Husband: Uh yeah, her son is five.

Me: WTF?

Olivia (wondering to herself): What the hell happens at five? Is there something I should worry about? Will Noah turn Satanic at age five or something?

LOL


Classic Fin & Carisi.

Just Sayin’


Uh, yeah. This one was made for you @knittingharlot. Thanks for providing me and my bestie with such a panoply of GIF’s of Carisi’s eyebrow raises a while back. He sure is cute when he does that! :-)


OMFG. I really wish that other Carisi fan (you probably know who you are) didn’t say to me when I was new to the fandom: “I’m just looking at his long fingers. They are so hot” (or something along those lines).

Damnit! I never noticed his hands before (I was too blinded by his sparkling personality). And ever since I can’t stop thinking about them! So distracting.

Anyway, this is a very nice scene where Carisi’s elegant hands are displayed prominently. *sighs*


Oh God, that hip! He’s so sassy just standing there. Look!


 

Barba: Excuse Me?

OMG Barba is great! Raul knows how to deliver the snark.


Me: Can you stop killing me with the forearms here?

Carisi (all sass with his super-heavy nasally accent): No.

DAMN.


 

I love how Carisi is in this scene (again, bravo to Peter for portraying Carisi so well). Upon seeing Kim, he immediately draws back, his eyes are wary, and he crosses his arms. It’s obvious to me that he’s spent some time with her since she’s gotten out of prison – given her familiarity with him, so it’s interesting to see him not react 100% positively towards her.

I am very happy that his reaction to her is guarded, albeit “friendly.” He’s polite enough to talk to her, but I am so glad he’s not instantly on Kim’s side now that she’s “reforming.” Far from it. As she smiles and tries to appeal to him, he stands back, still guarded – not immediately buying her story or taking her side against Amanda like I think Kim wanted him to. He seems to be as cautious as Amanda here.

And this look after Kim is shuffled out? How is Amanda even able to read it? … I couldn’t figure it out. They really have grown close. Carisi’s clearly in support of Amanda, even though at this point he does tell her that it seems like Kim is “trying.” He’s not automatically trusting of Kim himself – I think he’s just giving Amanda his take on things – an outsider’s POV. He’s not telling her to trust Kim or anything like that or to give her a chance necessarily (cause he’s still 100% on Amanda’s side). I think he’s just trying to help her see things in a more balanced light, to see more of the whole picture.

Amanda: What?

Carisi: It seems like she’s trying. That’s all.

Amanda: Yeah, but that’s what I’m scared of - the calm before the storm. I can’t have my life blowing up right now. Not with Jesse.

I love that Amanda is putting her foot down because she cannot let her life get out of control now that she has Jesse. Gives me faith that she’ll be a good mother and not implode herself.

Also, this was the third piece of a puzzle I was already putting together in my mind about Kim possibly having bipolar disorder. Here are the pieces:

1)      While re-watching Maternal Instincts (Season 17 Episode 6) in preparation for this episode, I noticed that Kim seemed to be experiencing euphoria (a manic euphoria). Everything was sunny, happy, just fine, everything would continue to be just fine, etc. even though she was facing criminal charges (and re-facing old felony charges). Her explanations were grandiose and non-sensical. I wondered right then if she wasn’t in a mania – even before sitting down to watch this episode.

2)      The main character of this episode has BPD. That was apparent to me before it was even revealed. I was thinking there would be a thematic tie-in. Especially given the clever title of this episode, Heightened Emotions.

3)      When Amanda talks about the calm before the storm … this could easily describe the level (or depressed) mood immediately preceding a mania. It seems like she’s experienced this before with her sister.

Watching this scene put me at ease in regards to Kim potentially getting too close to Carisi now that she’s apparently found religion. He’s friendly enough with Kim, but also smart enough not to be naively trusting of her. And he’s clearly in support of Amanda too. Which again, I found unexpected. I REALLY REALLY REALLY liked this scene – and my Rollisi heart needed to see it (for reassurance).


Me: Damn Carisi, will you quit it with the forearm porn?

Carisi (as sassy as before): No.

Me: Ugh! Knock it off. It’s so distracting.

Mental Note: Thank whoever’s making the decisions to show Carisi with rolled up sleeves like EVERY episode in Season 18 so far. Hot DAMN! (I’m assuming that would be the SVU Wardrobe department, no?) Thank you for listening to all of us fangirls who find his forearms so INSANELY HOT!!! It’s been a nice visual treat so far …


Jenna to Benson (in regards to wearing a wire to catch her rapist): Can we do it like NOW?

Me (chuckling in recognition): Impulsive much? Yeah, I’ve done this kinda stuff, too.


Jenna: Oh God, if this goes to trial it makes who I am and what I’ve done public record.

(And she doesn’t want these secrets to come to light).

Jenna: I want to do the right thing. I just can’t risk the publicity.

Amanda: I get it.

I really believe that Amanda relates to this because of her past – the skeletons in her own closet that she doesn’t want brought to light . . .

Especially because this feeds directly into this next scene:

Carisi tells Liv he’s happy he’s single. NOOOOOO!!! This utterly destroys my own personal head canon that Rollins and Carisi might already be together. NOOOO! There were strong hints of this last episode, but it’s so sad to have it actually confirmed. :-( Oh well, perhaps they’ll just get together more slowly than I thought they might. I will be happy as long as they actually end up together and the show doesn’t let this thread die … Well, unless one of them gets killed and we get some good tragic romance out of it – you all know I would TOTALLY be down with that.

But Carisi’s reason for being happy he’s single? Because of not liking secrets? Interesting. So interesting. Intriguing. Please tell us more! Or else you’ll force us to write fan fic, you know. To fill in the blanks.

This does not bode well for him and Amanda ‘cause she’s got some secrets. Boy, does she have some secrets (as we are reminded by the previous scene). I really think this could become a problem for them. Especially if she continues to play it close to the vest and this is a hot button issue for him (which it very well may be).

And then there’s this:

Carisi: Hey, everything okay with you and Tucker?

Given the look on Olivia’s face after he asks her about this I would say not.

WTF is going on here? Problems between Benson and Tucker over SECRETS? That is seriously bad shit. They’re all about honestly - it’s what makes them function. I’m worried about my second ship now. Hang in there Tuckson, hang in there. *hugs*


Barba: No means no. Consent can be revoked at any time.

Who doesn’t love Barba in this moment? One of the greatest lines in the show.


Jenna: I’m ashamed about what I did but I’m not ashamed that I was raped.

YES! I love this character. Another great line. :-)


Amanda seems to really grasp what’s going on here as Jenna melts down in the courtroom. Like she knows this, like she’s seen it.

I thought that she was able to understand this because of things she’s experienced with her sister in the past.

But somehow I was wrong about that …


Rollins just so casually touches Carisi here. I love it that they are so close. *squee* But it almost makes my heart hurt.


Rollins: Just let me see if I’m right first. 

She knows something about what’s going on with Jenna - she really does.

Jenna: I need to practice.

Carisi: It’s 10:30

Jenna: I’m energized. I could go all night.

Me: Been there, too. :-) 

I mean, who doesn’t work out at 10:30pm at night? Come on. I’m a little disappointed that perhaps Carisi is not a night person since he doesn’t seem to grasp this. LOL :- ) 

Rollins: Have you ever talked to a psychiatrist about all of your behavior?

Rollins continues to ask Jenna about the mood swings, sexually acting out, all the anger and Carisi follows up with “You might need medication.” See, she knows! And I strongly suspect she enlisted Carisi’s help because he has familiarity with mental illness, too (ie – as he demonstrated with Glasgowman in Season 16).

When Jenna’s husband takes her aside and tells her that he’s always known something was wrong and was accepting of it – even her “wild nights in the city” - I found this a little shocking. Not that he knew – but his total acceptance of it. I just have to remind myself that people who are in love (and stay in love) with people with BPD often just accept some things as part of the package. It’s nice to see this played out on TV. And it’s great to see a character like Jenna have so much support.

The only thing I don’t like about this is the use of the term “mood swings.” This is often and easily misinterpreted by the general public. We think happy and then sad and then back again within a matter of minutes or hours, right? (Or perhaps even a day or two). Well, that’s not how BPD works. Moods normally only change over the course of weeks or months. Like 9 months of depression followed by 3 weeks of mania. This is not what most people think of when they hear the term “mood swings.” Even fast cyclers don’t cycle fast enough to fit what most people think of as having “mood swings.” I’m considered a very rapid cycler and the shortest event I’ve ever had was a 3 day depression. And my manias can last for weeks (or more without medication).

Jenna: You all think I’m crazy.

Rollins: No.

Carisi: No, you have a mental illness.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: CAN I LOVE THIS MAN ANY MORE?

And Rollins seems so caring when she pleads with Jenna, “Let us help you.”

Just watching this I can’t help but think (again) that these two would make great parents.


Jenna started pole vaulting for focus. I get that. Totally. Another been there, done that! :-)

However, I don’t like the phrasing, “to try to quiet the voices in my head.” That can be misinterpreted as voices in your head like in schizophrenia, which is different. The “voices” of mania are your own trains of thought, nagging you, pressuring you (especially to talk). It’s all you. And it’s easy to get scattered (like with ADHD). But you’re not living in another world – just a heightened one. Again, brilliant title for this episode, Heightened Emotions.


OMG baby Jesse is BEYOND adorable! :-)

And I’d freak out just like Amanda does if she had been left at home with Kim without a sitter. I’m with Amanda here - I still do not trust her.


Okay, this is where it got weird for me. How in the world is Amanda surprised that Kim has bipolar disorder? She seemed to recognize the signs in a stranger – as if she had familiarity with them. I assumed that that familiarity came from dealing with her sister …  until I saw this scene, which was a serious WTF?

All I can guess is that maybe another family member had BPD (maybe her father?) and it manifested differently, so Amanda could not see the signs in her sister. BPD can look very different in different people. Some people rage, some people don’t. Some people act out sexually, or have a drug addiction, or have impulse issues with shopping, etc. or none of the above. Some people only have euphoric manias – some have both euphoric and dysphoric manias. Some people have depression most of the time with sparse manic episodes, while others seem to be “up” all the time (hypomanic) - like me. It could be that Amanda just didn’t recognize Kim’s specific pattern.

But now that she knows that her sister has BPD … it she going to forgive her for everything? I hope not. Some of Kim’s erratic behavior can be accounted for now, but not how she treated Amanda, manipulated her, used her, set her up, etc. You’re still you even when you are manic or depressed and you’re still living in the real world (unless you’re having a psychotic break). You just have “heightened emotions” and less impulse control when you’re manic. Nothing about Kim setting up Amanda to take out Jeff for the insurance money speaks of lack of impulse control. Quite the opposite - that was carefully planned and orchestrated (although she did overlook the felony clause - possibly because she was a bit scattered). She did not do this heinous thing because she suffers from BPD. She did it because she is a bad person.

I trust her even less now that she’s in full control of her faculties. She’s a master manipulator. Who knows what damage she could do now that she’s medicated and less hindered by being scattered or lacking impulse control. Frankly it’s scary.

I find it very interesting how Kim seems now that she’s been medicated and is stable – she’s got that sweet, innocent thing going on. It’s easy to see how Amanda probably felt (as a big sister) that she needed to take care of her, protect her, etc. all this time.

I’m very intrigued by where the show may be going with this. Since Kim is now living with Amanda, no doubt we’ll see more of her. I really hope they portray BPD well and don’t contribute to the general public’s misunderstanding of the disorder. So far they’ve done pretty well, but how they’ve used a few terms already concerns me and makes me wonder if they are going to mess it up … so the jury is still out on that one as they say.

But I REALLY REALLY loved this episode and what it appears to be setting up. I would love to see more Rollins family dynamics (and I’m sure we will). Oh yeah, and Carisi family dynamics, too. Wouldn’t it be great if we saw both in the same episode? Each one a foil for the other?

Chapter Text

Not much to say here because the plot was so boring but everyone looked great so this won’t be my usual Carisi-focused tongue-in-cheek episode analysis … and there’s no Rollisi here either.

(And I’m only plodding through this one cause I want to get to Episode 7 which was TOTALLY FREAKING AMAZING BTW)


Carisi looks good in gray…

From the front:

From the back:

From the side:

Grey just matches those beautiful silver streaks in his hair. Sigh.


And um, yeah this episode featured A HOT COAT! You’d thought I’d miss that? No way … This is this season’s debut (correct me if I’m wrong) of this spring-weight gem:

Yes, I know it’s not the first time we’ve seen him in a coat this season - he wore that jacket lined with fleece in the last episode - but this is this the first time I’ve seen him sporting a coat that I find irresistibly HOT. 

Damn. I can’t wait for winter … bring on the heavy wool. *shiver* (yeah - that’s not from the cold)

And OMG he’s wearing a striped lavender shirt with his suit too. Yummy. I just love him in lavender … especially with little tiny stripes.


I just LOVE this suit that Barba’s wearing - a nice subtle charcoal plaid. He pulls it off so well. And yeah, that expression on his face is just for you Barba fan girls. I know you love him when he’s like this.


Fin: “How’s that going? You and Tucker?”

Olivia: “It’s complicated.”

Me: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Please guys, please. Get it together or break up spectacularly so my tragic shippy heart can rejoice. Insert evil grin here.

I love Tuckson, really I do.


Olivia’s scumbag ex-partner: I went to bat for you.

Olivia: And the truth is, I wish you hadn’t. I wish you would have just told the truth. 

Her voice breaks on that last word ‘truth.’

This strikes fear into me for the future of Tuckson. Here they are emphasizing truth - and Tuckson is all about truth and trust. After what was brought up last episode where Olivia laments that all relationships have secrets … followed IMMEDIATELY by Carisi asking about how it’s going with Tucker? Yikes. God, I hope everything’s okay …