‘Law & Order: SVU’ season 16, episode 12: How was Mariska Hargitay’s latest directorial effort?

Law & Order: SVU logo“Law & Order: SVU” is probably going to get your attention regardless of who is directing a particular episode; but, when Mariska Hargitay is in the chair, it is inevitable that an installment is going to get more attention.

“Padre Sandunguero” was ultimately an episode that did deserve the attention, and it placed Nick Amaro front and center for a case all about his family starting to become torn apart. Was his father a bad man, and did he assault a woman the night of a rehearsal dinner? In order to try to get justice, it took him digging up difficult memories of his own childhood. Not only that, but it dug up some other difficult memories of the end of last season with his own history of rage.

The moment we were in court, it was clear that Amaro was being used as a pawn in order for the defense to get what they wanted … which was a case with no real happy ending. That is precisely what we had.

In the end, this was an emotional episode that was well-directed by Hargitay, who brought the most out of her actors in a story that was fantastic to begin with. Bonus points to Pino, who completely killed it in just about every scene that he was in. The truth is that Amaro has many demons, and it will take a long time for him to wrestle these out while handling his family at the same time.

For now, let us applaud the show for a job well done on a thought-provoking episode. Grade: B+.

(Photo: NBC.)

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