‘Law & Order: SVU’ season 16, episode 4 review: Kelli Giddish shines in ‘Holden’s Manifesto’

Law & Order: SVU logoIf you wanted to watch some disturbing television, then Wednesday night’s new “Law & Order: SVU” episode was probably right up your alley. Almost from start to finish, this one qualified as one of the trickier ones to watch, though for different reasons than what we had with “Producer’s Backend” last week.

The part of “Holden’s Manifesto” that was so disturbing is that to a certain extent, this is a character we’ve seen played so innocently on other shows. Typically, the Holden character is a sweet, nice, funny guy who for some reason, just cannot get any woman to fall for him. The difference is that on other shows, they don’t go completely off the rails and start a murder spree, and they also don’t create some manifesto that

We actually thought going into this that Mariska Hargitay was going to dominate from start to finish, mostly because Peter Gallagher was coming in as a Chief who would be challenging to Benson over her professional and personal struggles. Baby Noah was sick, and she was struggling dealing with both that and this case.

It was actually Kelli Giddish who completely had an opportunity to kill in this episode, as she had to talk down the psychopath Holden, while also still acting like she was physically interested in him. Then, she had to deal with watching the guy die right in front of her via a sniper rifle. This impacted her greatly, especially since she felt like he really didn’t have to be shot. She had him talked down to the point where she could have detained him.

There are many ethical issues that could be discussed at the end of this episode, but from a writing and acting perspective, this is one of the stronger ones the series has pulled off.

(Photo via NBC.)

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