‘Law & Order: SVU’ season 18, episode 8 review: Finding Theo; Benson, Tucker’s decision

Law & Order: SVU logoOn Wednesday night’s new episode of “Law & Order: SVU,” we had an our in “Chasing Theo” that, in one way or another, was all about relationships.

For the case – The story this time around was about the kidnapping of a young boy in Theo, who disappeared following a night of hard partying by his mother. Was she horribly irresponsible and negligent? That was one of the key questions that the episode intended to answer. You could tell that she cared about him very much, but she’d abdicated many of her maternal duties to her nanny Gloria — a move that eventually led to said nanny being one of the people behind the kidnapping. What made this case so unusual was that the kid never felt afraid or upset with what was going on. Instead, he wanted to go with Gloria to Mexico in order to grow up on the ranch there.

With his mother Nadine, Theo’s life was a little more tumultuous. There were the parties, and there also was the destruction of the relationship between Nadine and her wife Fran. She’d spent so much time on some other relationships that she’d neglected the one with her own son. She realized that at the end, and while there is no guarantee that she’ll get custody back in family court, Fran’s agreeing to pitch in and lend a helping hand — provided that she can have a more active role in her child’s life.

In terms of the case’s overall quality, this was fairly close to top-notch even though you can argue that the end was a tad predictable. Given the sort of bonds that can exist between a nanny and a child, it was no surprise to learn that she was the responsible party.

For the family – Tonight also marked the end of the relationship between Benson and Tucker, one that came to this point once Olivia realized that the two were, to be frank, in very different places. She was still in the midst of her career, and he was considering retiring from his. Meanwhile, Noah is still very young, so her to she was struggling with trying to line everything up.

As someone who wants to see Benson happy, of course the end of this made us still — yet, at the same time was she happy? For a time maybe, but not at the end. At least the two handled the end of the relationship like adults before moving on. Tucker’s not a bad guy.

On a different relationship note, there was a nice little moment near the end of the episode between Rollins and Carisi, something that we certainly don’t want to minimize. Watching these two bond over time has been one of the more endearing aspects of watching the show.

Overall – A very good “SVU” episode that had a central theme, strong acting (it was nice to see Rachelle Lefevre in here), and some updates to some long-term stories. There isn’t always a lot of time to focus on the lives of these people away from work, so we take whatever morsel the show chooses to offer. Grade: B.

Next week – We have a very different sort of episode coming on the air, and it’s another complicated case.

(Photo: NBC.)

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