Law & Order: SVU season 18 episode 17 review: When fake news gets real

Law & Order: SVU logo

Law & Order: SVU season 18 episode 17 began with what was the show’s version of pizza-hate — a restaurant wrongfully proclaimed to be a sex den. This in turn lead to a politician finding themselves in a similar position being targeted, and as the episode progressed, it became all the more clear as to the reason why this was happening: A website that was intentionally stirring the pot and creating fake stories for the sake of boosting its own revenue.

Basically, the owner of this website was profiting on the gullible, intentionally doing and saying things in order to prey on those who are not well-informed enough to realize the truth behind some of the terrible things that were being said.

Here is where one of the big twists that came out over the course of the story — in the midst of trying to figure out this “pizza-gate” controversy, the SVU team from there determined that there actually was a sex-trafficking ring that existed on the dark net. From there, the challenge became finding the right people to take on the issue and then learning precisely as to how to stop it. This required a manhunt, some smart thinking, and eventually finding a young girl in a cab who was connected to the ring in some way. She provided the information necessary in order to stop the ring dead in its tracks, and then rescue many of the victims in what was a very emotional end to the episode. Jerry, the man who was behind the ring, ended up going to jail.

What made this episode so interesting within the canon of SVU story was basically that it is one that started in a very political space, but it then ended in a powerful and emotional one. Specifically, Benson went after the owner of the conspiracy-theory website after he tried to get revenge on her by putting information about her son Noah on his website. The same went for attacking Rollins. This guy was the lowest of the low when it comes to SVU scumbags, but Benson was able to stop him from coming after her or anyone else on the team.


A strongly-written, powerful episode of the show that did something that we don’t often see on SVU these days — send your story in an unexpected direction. Unfortunately, the death of the Congressman desperate to save the restaurant’s good name in the closing minutes closed the story on a tragic note. Grade: B+.

(Photo: NBC.)

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!