Thursday, April 24, 2008

Law & Order: "Is this because I'm a lesbian?"

There was a time when I watched Law & Order: Mothership every week. That was long ago and now I get my L&O fix from twenty hours of SVU every week, like the rest of America. I thought I’d give the original recipe another shot this season, due to the arrival of Jeremy Sisto and it being the only show with new episodes during the strike. But it didn’t take.

And then came the news that Jesse L. Martin was leaving, killing all my hopes and dreams of loving L&O once more. But I do still love Jesse, so I made a point of tuning in last night for his final episode. Wherein Ed Green went on trial for murder, for shooting a suspect under murky circumstances. By 10:58, the charges were dropped and Green and his jaunty cap slinked innocently off into the unknown. But the murder investigation revealed that Green had been hiding a secret off-screen gambling problem, complete with shady dealings at a speakeasy. A problem he developed in reaction to the loss of Lennie Brisco.

Um… what?

Did L&O learn nothing from Elisabeth Rohm’s departure? Inventing backstory in a character’s last episode is awkward and jarring. And cheap.

But that’s the thing about L&O departures. And most other procedurals, too. No one ever just leaves. They get killed – if not in body, at least career-wise.

Over at SVU, Novak and NewGuy are on their way out, too. I don’t care about NewGuy (fine, I do know his name, it’s Lake) and I’ll be glad to get rid of him. He brings nothing to the table and he speaks through a clenched jaw, like Adrianne Curry and Mark Ruffalo. Please, dump him unceremoniously and get Richard Belzer back up to full-time status. His demotion isn’t the only reason SVU’s sucked ass this year, but it hasn’t helped.

Casey, I’m sure, will make a dramatic exit. I’d bet that she won’t fake her death and enter the Witness Protection Program, but everything else is on the table. Well… they probably won’t kill her, because it would call up memories of how they faked us out with Alex Cabot. So it’s more likely that she’ll go all-out and break the rules on a case, then either be fired or resign. God knows she can’t just get a new job in Bumblefuck, Iowa – not unless her last SVU case is so emotionally and/or morally exhausting that she washes her hands of the whole endeavor.

As for me and the Mothership, I think we’re done. It’s been real, L&O, but your cast full of newbies does nothing for me. I can only hope that if the time ever comes for Sam Waterston to exit, Jack McCoy will go out classy.

But I’m not holding my breath.

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