‘Law & Order: SVU’ season 16, episode 19 preview: ‘Granting Immunity’ could shatter Mariska Hargitay’s Benson

Law & Order: SVU logoWhy is it that the majority of the time we see Baby Noah on “Law & Order: SVU,” it is for terrible reasons? This seems to be one of the key elements of next week’s new episode “Granting Immunity,” which feels like it is trying to do quite a few different things all at once.

One thing that we should say here is that at the center of this case is an issue that is firmly in the headlines right now, and that is the measles epidemic and the debate about whether or not it is right to vaccinate your children. As for how in the world this is connected to the SVU and what this particular unit does, it seems loosely based on the outbreak starting right around the time the team starts an investigation.

As the synopsis indicates, illegal and graphic “photos from 15 year-old Savannah Biel’s (guest star Hayden Tweedie) house party quickly circulate around her Tribeca high school and go viral. Barba’s (Raúl Esparza) efforts to arrest the student responsible for posting the images is stalled when several suspects fall victim to a fast-moving measles outbreak. When Benson’s (Mariska Hargitay) foster son also catches the illness, she investigates a group of mothers who may have falsified their children’s medical records.” Based on reading that alone, this looks to be an intense episode. How this all hits home for Benson is when the disease eventually carries down to Noah, and she has to confront that issue head-on.

We’re not going to weigh into the vaccination debate too much one way or another, but we will say that while the promo below chooses on the surface to make its position clear, we do want to try to reserve some judgment until it actually airs. Our biggest concern right now is that this storyline is just being shoehorned in for the sake of capitalizing on another headline-grabbing story this season.

(Photo: NBC.)

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