Law & Order: SVU season 20 episode 17 review: The 450th episode delivers

Law & Order: SVUIn the rear-view mirror of all things Law & Order: SVUthere was a hanging chad when it comes to Brian Cassidy. He previously told Peter Stone that he was molested at a young age by his former baseball coach, and somehow, this became pertinent to a case in the present. Micah Fuller was a young man who committed suicide, traumatized by events that transpired ten years before. It just so happened that he played for the same coach in Gary Dolan that Cassidy did, just many years later.

When Benson recognized a photo of young Cassidy, that was her motivation to reach out to him. She didn’t know about his traumatic past, but since Stone did, he was able to connect the dots here and realize that if SVU wanted to bring in Dolan, they would need Brian’s help. The problem is that Brian didn’t want to help. He wanted to run, he wanted to clam up, and he wanted to kill Dolan himself. He basically wanted all of the above.

Eventually, Stone did come up with a compromise for Cassidy — a way to get justice without having to go on the stand himself. The two worked together in order to find some other possible witnesses, other victims of Dolan’s horrific acts. They eventually were able to track a man down in Rhode Island, one who was ready and willing to testify. Alas, the problem there became that he turned up to court intoxicated, which meant that his testimony was stricken from the court record.

The last hope, once again, became Cassidy. He was the only way to ensure that Dolan was taken down a notch, and he had to testify. That was the only way to get justice, and that meant that Olivia Benson had to connect with her ex in a significant, meaningful way.

A fascinating wrinkle in this story

Mariska Hargitay gave a brilliant performance in her scenes tonight, especially as Benson came to grips with the fact that this was her job; yet, she never realized that a man she cared for so much had the dark history that he did. She felt for him and her heart hurt, and she also questioned why he would open up to Stone, a man he hardly knew, about his past and not her.

Cassidy’s big move

With Olivia’s convincing, Cassidy finally agreed to go on the stand and deliver the testimony that was needed in order to take Cassidy down. You could see the fear in his eyes and the shakiness in his voice. He did what he needed to do and thanks to him, Dolan will likely be spending much of his future in a jail cell. We didn’t see the verdict tonight, but did we need to?

CarterMatt Verdict

A powerful way to commemorate 450 episodes of a landmark series, especially with the return of a meaningful character and a stellar performance from Winters. He packed so much into Cassidy tonight that he made this character all the more human; he’s a flawed man and certainly, he does not always do the best or most likable thing. Yet, this story was him pouring out the most vulnerable parts of his heart and Olivia and Stone helping to lay those demons to rest.

Want to see more speculation on the future of SVU?

Be sure to visit the link here! That’s where we both talk about the future … and also whether or not there could be an episode #500 in the future.

What did you think about the 450th episode of SVU as a whole? Be sure to share right now in the comments! Also, remember to stay tuned for some other news and updates on the series. (Photo: NBC.)

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