Tonight, Law & Order: SVU season 20 episode 10 offered up one of the most unusual mysteries of the entire season. It began with a murder of someone ascribed to Bobbi O’Rourke, an up-and-coming writer. Yet, what unfolded from here was all sorts of surprising, since it turned out that the dead body was actually that of an imposter.
Over the course of the episode, one question became very much clear: Who was Bobbi O’Rourke, really?
Eventually, an IP address led Benson and the SVU team to the home of Ben and Joe, two reclusive old men who haven’t really left the house in several decades. They were harboring some sort of deep secret but, for the bulk of the story, neither one of them wanted to admit to anything. The first thing worth noting here is that Ben was actually Bobbi O’Rourke — he was the person responsible for the book. He and his brother needed the money to pay the bills, but that in turn did lead to another super-important question here: How did Ben actually know or relate to the painful, devastating subject matter in the book? That was something that still had to be figured out and this, in turn, led to the devastating reveal that Ben and his brother Joe both were victims of sexual abuse as kids by an older man, someone who was out to “teach” them something terrible.
For all of these years, it turns out that Ben and Joe both were both victims to something unspeakably sad, and they had never found a way to actually relay this to one another. They kept this within themselves for so long, and that caused them so much more pain.
Oh, but there was another body here: That of Joe and Ben’s mother, whose body had been frozen in ice within the home. Was this an act of murder, or an act of them trying to care for their mother in their own way? That’s something that the court tried to figure out in their own way, but then in the midst of the trial Joe (right after admitting to murder) had a massive coronary and, in the closing minutes, found himself on his deathbed. Joe tried to effectively sacrifice himself for the sake of his brother, and now, we don’t know how Ben is going to make it.
The biggest stars of this SVU episode were Wallace Shawn and Judd Hirsch, two exceptional actors who played Ben and Joe at first as old brothers who were just offensive and squabbled with each other. Yet, as time went on it started to become clear that there was something so much deeper and personal here, and that is absolutely something that we want to see this show explore further.
This was a tough episode to watch, just because so much of it felt like an emotional punch in the gut. It’s a hard one to move past, but Wallace Shawn and Judd Hirsch were absolutely nothing short of phenomenal as we explored the depths of pain for two brothers who, despite their fighting, had more of a connection than they ever knew.
What did you think about Law & Order: SVU season 20 episode 10? Be sure to share right now in the attached comments. (Photo: NBC.)