Going into Law & Order: SVU season 20 episode 2, the second hour airing on Thursday night, it was clear that we were in for quite a bit.
At the end of episode 1, we learned that the sexually abusive father John was able to get away with being charged over the incident involving his son. Yet, the results of that case, and his act, caused something else horrifying: A school shooting. Sam took his father’s gun and went to school, killing a pair of students.
What was the motivation here? This was a case that was really all about toxic masculinity, and about this young man thinking that this was the only way to prove to his father just how much of a man he was. He couldn’t kill the rabbit, but after all of the abuse that he took, this eventually led to him taking the gun to school and unleashing his inner rage.
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It was clear the moment that Sam did this that he would be found guilty and, in turn, go to prison for it for a rather-long time. However, there were still some other questions in regards to whether or not we were going to see his father end up going to prison himself. He was the one who unlocked the rage and forced his son to feel this way about himself. The sins of the father can impact the son, and this is what Stone, after losing out on incriminating John the first time around, was able to do here.
As for what else transpired in this episode, Rollins is still figuring out how to handle her pregnancy, and with Olivia, the themes of parents and sons played out with her and Noah at home. He didn’t want to say that he loved her, which is a devastating thing for any other to feel. Yet, we don’t think this is emblematic of Noah’s overall feelings; it is just him acting out because he didn’t want to be challenged by her. She is a different sort of parent than John and, because of that, she is going to be able to lead him on the path towards being a good man. There are just hiccups along the way.
We certainly do hope that episodes like this one show further the pressure sometimes that young boys can be under — and, to go along with that, the better ways that exist for parents to help get through to them and show them something different — and something right.
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