“absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Odds are, you’ve heard this quote from Lord Acton before. It transfers through so many stories within the word of Law & Order: SVU, where you see terrible people act beyond reproach either for themselves or for someone close to them.
In the criminal justice system, judges are meant to be a beacon of the truth. They hand down punishments and interpret the rule of law. But what happens when one goes rogue, and starts interpreting a case based on personal bias? This runaway-judge story could come front and center on Thursday’s “The Long Arm of the Witness.” If you haven’t watched the promo, you get a small sense of it as Benson and the rest of the team square off against a powerful judge, one who claims that the Me Too movement has “gone too far” and it’s clearly influencing his judgment. Olivia wants him to resign from the bench; he, meanwhile, has zero interest in such a thing. Here is how showrunner Warren Leight describes this episode to TV Insider:
The judge sees a fine young man, from a good home, about to have his bright future derailed by what he perceives to be a ‘MeToo gone too far’ incident.
So who is this judge to say that this is a “fine young man” at all? In the world of justice, it’s the role of a judge to be unbiased; yet, he is carrying these biases like a weight around his neck. They are biases against victims and for someone who he clearly thinks of as a “normal guy.” Is he projecting himself onto this young man, possibly because of so-called “incidents” in his own past? These are the thoughts you need to have entering an SVU episode.
Be prepared for the return of Wentworth Miller within this episode — Isaiah Holmes will have a role, but it’s certainly not what you would expect at first glance. All we ask is that it leaves the door open for more from him.
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This article was written by Jessica Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.