History Headscratchers / LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit

19th May '17 1:51:06 PM MagBas
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[[folder:Huang's been in the show for how long and what do we know about him?]]
I was doing a report on Asian characters in the media and while doing a write up on George Huang I realized reading his wiki page there's probably more information about some reoccurring cast members then him, a main cast member. What do we know about him in general? He's a FBI psychologist, speaks Mandarin Chinese, a firm believer in human rights and earlier in his career he worked as a counselor for sex offenders. For awhile the only things we knew about his private life was he had a sister and grew up in a strictly traditional home (which just seemed like a ham-handed attempt at character development). Sooo...what have we got after how seasons since he first showed up? He's gay. And it's just kind of another thrown in line like Serena Southerlyn "Is this because I'm a lesbian?" (Granted there was the whole-is-he-isn't-he? going on for awhile opposed to her suddenly!LESBIAN)
* This Tropette is annoyed by it too. If NOTHING else, this is a chance to score huge points with the LGBT community who want an actual gay relationship on the show, and instead they [[ResetButton just pretend it never happened so they don't have to expand on it]]. Very frustrating indeed, especially considering all the storylines Benson and Stabler got.
* I don't really mind the lack of expansion regarding his sexuality, as it's nice to see a show treat it as being entirely incidental rather than making a huge deal out of it. However, the absence of character develop is rather annoying.
** It doesn't need expansion. He's an FBI Pyschologist. He's also asian and homosexual, but that doesn't define him (nor should it have to). They are under no obligation to "score points" with any community and if people are frustrated by it, that is their problem and has nothing to do with the actors on the show or the creators of the show. He's also a recurring character in a series highly focused on ignoring people's personal lives...it's a headscratcher as to why someone would think this is a headscratcher.
*** We know more about Melinda Warner and she start the same season as Huang. It would've been nice to have expanded a little on his character before B.D. Wong left the show after ten seasons. It's not about appeasing the LGBT or minority community, it's about wanting to have gotten to *known* a character we've watched for so long better. We hardly knew Dr. George Huang; personally or emotionally. This could've easily been done in just one episode that focused on his past as a former sex offender counselor and the detectives were investigating one of his former patients (which I think would've had a lot more potential that another 'ripped from the headlines' episode). And I have to disagree on what you say about the show being about ignoring people's personal lives. Look at how deeply the detectives must go into the victims', sometimes even the perps', personal lives investigating a case. If you're referring to the detectives' themselves, while the episodes may be spread out, there's plenty of them that deal with the personal lives and sometimes even the emotional issues (Rage- Elliot, Inheritance - Olivia) of the detectives.
*** But the show really ''doesn't'' ignore people's personal lives. We've met Stabler's family many times, Benson and Cabot have both been seen going out on dates, we've met Fin's son, and we've seen Dr. Warner dressed up for a date with her husband. The fact that Huang very rarely gets even a tiny throwaway moment like this is an UnfortunateImplications cocktail of HideYourGays mixed with InscrutableOriental.
*** ^This. It feels exactly like hide your gays.
*** The show ''should'' ignore personal lives, though. I could not physically give less of a shit about Stabler's family or Olivia's mommy issues. Huang is the OnlySaneMan on the show. Delving into personal drama for him is the perfect formula for destroying that.
** [[TropesAreNotBad This is not necessarily a bad thing]] considering [[TragicBackStory the more we learn about someone on the show, the crappier thier lives were]] such as a fellow ChildOfRape that was doing fine ''until'' [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Olivia]] exposed her to her past and suffered a ''mother'' of a breakdown and [[WhatTheHellHero lampshades this.]] Same case as Warner having a dog, daughter and military past and that's it and that's [[GoodIsBoring just fine.]] Huang ''isn't'' a ChildOfRape, ''wasn't'' abused as a child and nobody he loved was stuffed in a fridge so as far as the show goes Details = CrapsackWorld
*** But the show has revealed personal details without making the character's lives miserable. That's what they ''usually'' do, but not always. They could have done so with Huang (Or they could have even given him the TragicBackStory the detectives had) but they chose not to- they decided to ignore one specific character, who also happens to be the only gay character. UnfortunateImplications, anyone?
*** Perhaps they're trying to avoid a "gay" episode. A common trend I've seen in TV lately is to have an episode revolve around a gay character. While that itself isn't a bad thing, they can easily come off as anvilicious or plain dumb because they often focus on the characters sexuality, as if their role on the show is to be gay rather than just be a character. Personally I think it's nice to see a show with a gay character that doesn't announce their sexuality in every episode or have some huge story that revolves around the fact that they're gay. That Huang is treated like an average guy is incredibly refreshing.
*** I, and other fans, don't want a gay episode, though; I want some attention paid to his private life. A mention that he has a personal life, whether that involves him being gay or not. I would be happy with him mentioning a boyfriend/husband; I would be happy with him being shown talking to his sister, mentioned all of once, in Inheritance. ("If my sister had dated a black man, my parents would have... strongly objected.") (Although, I do want to point out that the other characters don't get episodes focusing on their straightness, but they do get episodes that focus on, or at least show/imply, a romantic relationship. For George to get one for once would hardly be "gay episode" material.) It feels extremely unfortunate that in a show with a half dozen straight main characters and one gay one, the latter is the one to be completely ignored rather than any of the former. Warner, the most comparable straight character to George, has mentioned a husband multiple times, and a daughter, has mentioned a past in the Air Force, has been strongly implied to be traumatized from a hostage situation in her morgue where she was shot, has implied relationship issues that leave her lonely to the point that her dog is a main source of company, and more that I'm probably forgetting. George? He's revealed that he doesn't like quack doctors, doesn't like homophobes, has a sister, is gay and used to be counselor for sex offenders. Notice how all but two of those are related to his work life or aren't really revelations at all?
*** Maybe it's just me, but I got the impression that Huang's life is all there, just between the lines. He's married to the job (since he works for the FBI but always has time to consult for Manhattan SVU) and is more than happy to break the law if it means doing right by a patient, he's openly gay but has traditionally-minded parents so he probably doesn't communicate with them more than he has to. And given his early characterization as being intensely interested in studying nutjobs and the psychiatric disorders of sex offenders, he probably doesn't go out of his way to look for romantic relationships. I know we're treading into WMG territory, but I always assumed he was saving his love life for after he's retired in order to keep himself from having to balance a work life with a love life and risk having sex and home be the bridge over the gap between the two. He's seen the kind of problems Olivia and Elliot have, I can't blame him for avoiding it.
** Being a psychiatrist, it makes sense that Huang would avoid mixing his personal and working lives. Professional ethics require him to respect boundaries where patients' confidentiality and sharing of private information is concerned, and he's merely applied that same standard to his dealings with co-workers whom he knows he may be called upon to analyze or vouch for in court one day. There's no extraneous socializing at work for Huang, so very little ''can'' be revealed about his habits and interests.
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[[folder:Do the writers really expect the audience to think of Stabler and Benson as professional and respectable cops?]]
* Why not? Being professional doesn't mean not having feelings. Imagine if they didn't actually have that flaw... I'm already hearing cries of "MARY SUE!"
** Having feelings is not the problem, the constant rule breaking and assault is, I know they try and justify it by saying IDidWhatIHadToDo, but doing stuff like physically attacking a kid that had gotten in a fight with the detectives son and groping the genitalia of a male suspect during interrogation to get him to confess, are not the things professional and respectable cops do
*** Agreed, the problem for me is that there are never any long-term repercussions for all of their clearly illegal actions. The cops in this show have probably broken the law more times than all of their suspects combined. Immunity to firing is not a very believable form of PlotArmor.
*** Not to mention freakin' STALKING rape victims until they finally agree to file a report. That, or stalking suspects with little to no real evidence beyond a "gut feeling". Olivia is the absolute worst for this.
* First of all, they want them to be emotional human beings that the average joe can relate to. Secondly, they want to evoke all the emotions that rape usually evokes in people. So the main characters have to react strongly to that, probably more so than is realistic for actual cops. And thirdly, going against the rules is such a staple (no pun intended) of cop shows, it's pretty much unavoidable. Especially if the show loves its open ends and some gray/gray morality. So I think they want us to think about the dilemma and emotional torment that goes with having to watch intense violence every day and sometimes being kept from solving problems the easy way by "those stupid rules" (aka the law...).
** We know that rape is a horrible crime that is the whole basis of the show and I canít imagine going through that without some consequences. The problem is that Benson and Stabler are incompetent idiots. Thatís the only logical explanation for constantly missing or out right ignoring key evidence. Heck how many peoples lives would have been saved if they had just followed police procedure which would have taken far less time then the stupid things they were doing.

Take the episode Savant for example they were told that they would get the dna evidence proving weather or not the husband tried to kill his wife in a day. Instead of waiting they decided to go around his neighborhood and tell everyone that he killed wife. So even if heís proven innocent he becomes a pariah. Then after being told point blank that he had left long before his wife was killed they still tried to arrest because after finding out that she had been cheating on him and was pregnant with the other guys baby he slapped her before leaving in a fit of rage. There you go they ignored a witness and disregarded DNA evidence.

Burned could have been solved in 5 minutes not only did they know that she lied about the abuse they had DNA evidence proving that he didnít sleep with her that day. They had the number and address of her boyfriend their police officers this is a case he was the only one who could prove who was lying. Further more heís a lawyer so he knows he has to tell the truth instead they decided to let him come to them when he fills like it.

In trade they let a proven murderer just walk out of the room incidentally getting two people killed.

I can even go so far to claim theyíre dirty using there incompetence given the number of people who have died or been beaten just for pissing them off.

In Closet Olivia got a man beaten and ruined his career all because she didnít understand the significance of being a gay football player that level of ignorance alone should have gotten her fired.
** Olivia isn't responsible for people being intolerant assholes. She didn't incite or encourage anyone to harm anyone else.

The same thing happened in Haystack a single mother acting like a young single mother and not knowing how to react to her child getting kidnapped caused Eliot to stop trying to look for the child and instead look for evidence to arrest her for killing her baby. He than gave knowledge of the case to a sleezy reporter. The trauma of losing her child added to the reporter crucifying her caused the mother to kill herself and Eliot is never disciplined.

What takes the case however is Taken even after finding out that everything was a con they still asked what the suspectís role was. Then after being told the obvious they left him in jail knowing that his life was in danger because it would take at least 24 hours to get him out.

He eventually is killed and this allows them to arrest the conman. The problem with this is that off the top of my head there is solitary confinement, protective custody, hell even telling the prisoners he was framed would have helped. Because he only had such a hard time in prison because they thought he was a violent child rapist. So either the cops are incredibly stupid or they left him to die so they could make their case. Being emotional and headstrong in a touchy situation is one thing. Being stupid and incompetent is another.
** How is that their fault? They don't have any control over the department of corrections or the policies that govern the release or housing of convicts.

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[[folder:The episode ''Strain'']]
Ok, so a man kills two homosexuals because they carry a rare and dangerous type of [=AIDs=] (oh, and one of them infected his late brother), yet people feel sympathetic because the guy claims he was "preventing" further infections. No court in real life would say "He's got a point, let's let him go."
So they say it's ok to kill people with rare diseases so they can't infect others?
[[SarcasmMode Well ok, then let's kill a pedophile and his entire family, clearly his vile genes might activate in his children and make them predators.]]
While I'm not bugged much by the end (though you'd think 15 years seems a bit too light for killing ''two'' people), it's still ludicrous to think that any sane, logical human would be "Hmm, clearly killing these people will prevent further infections."
* There are two things wrong with what you said:
** The guy was going around having unprotected sex with a bunch of other men despite the fact that he was infected with a very deadly strain of AIDS. The fact that he had the disease wasn't the problem, but the things he was carelessly doing with it. The show made a point of the fact that people need to be responsible when it comes to sex with strangers. The thing is that worried the main cast was that the jury would ignore the fact that both parties are responsible for their actions and that anyone who got infected by that man was a moron for not taking proper precautions.
** A pedophile isn't automatically a child predator since pedophilia is merely a sexual attraction and not all of them are exclusively attracted to prepubescents. Being biologically related to a pedophile does not most likely make you one.
* And you clearly didn't read the thing properly. I said it was ridiculous how they try to crucify the dead man like he was a monster. Yes, it was irresponsible to not tell his potential partners. But that hardly makes the murder justified. And the thing with the pedophile was a jab at the ignorant opinion that "Oh, there is something wrong with this person, let's persecute and destroy them before they bring harm to us."
** What that man was doing wasn't irresponsible, it was criminal. He knew he was infected with a highly aggressive strain of a fatal STD and he knowingly had unprotected sex with people and infected them. If a single person he infected died of the disease before him, then legally he would have been guilty of second degree murder. The only difference between what he was doing and what someone on a shooting spree does is that his method takes longer. The original ''L&O'' tried and convicted someone for attempted murder for doing the same thing((albeit, straight guy and women)), likewise, SVU has arrested a guy for knowingly spreading AIDS. Granted, it is highly debatable whether or not this makes this man's murder justifiable in a moral sense, and it certainly doesn't excuse it under the law, but don't try excusing reprehensible behavior because the man happens to have a disease.
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[[folder: What happened to Agent Lewis's character?]]
In all her past appearances she had been level headed, a little controlling, but overall good. Come Secrets Exhumed she's a control freak who's poorly hiding the fact that she killed someone - by the way, she probably has the best psych defense possible what with being tricked into having an abortion and all - and it's just weird! Did they give the episode to a new writer, was Leight tired of everyone clamp ring for her return, or something else?!?
* It may have just been a opportunity to base a story on this [[http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/11/justice/california-cop-cold-case/ real-life murder]] without writing in a new character. Unreasonable and unfair that they tossed the character out, and it's easy to argue that the character took a drastic turn, but then again, it was the same thought applied in real life as well.[[/folder]]


[[folder: Why in the episode ''Intoxicated'' did the show go out of its way to try and make the viewer feel sympathy for Carrie when she murdered her mother in cold-blood?]]
Just to set up the episode: Carrie is fifteen years old and is in a relationship with a twenty-one-year-old man named Justin. Carrie's mom Denise, who happens to be an alcoholic, wants to file statutory rape charges against Justin. Here's the problem: Olivia ''identifies'' with Carrie. Even though Justin ''is'' committing a crime despite the fact that Carrie and him do love each other, Olivia sides with Carries and undermines Denise's every efforts to get criminal charges against Justin. She even got Carrie her own defense attorney to act ''pro bono'' so Carrie could be emancipated from Denise! This goes above any beyond what a police detective should do, especially when Denise hadn't broken any laws and was just trying to file statutory rape charges!

Then the show goes on to contradict itself. Carrie later murders Denise, and Justin helps her cover up for the crime. He even tries to take the blame for it. The thing is, we don't know what actually happened leading up to Denise's murder. Denise's autopsy showed she was sober when she was murdered, but when Carrie confesses she claims Denise attacked her in a drunken rage and she killed Denise as a combination of self-defense and frustration. Later on Carrie's story is backed up when Olivia finds ''numerous'' bottles of alcohol stashed throughout the house. So we're expected to believe that Carrie killed Denise to defend herself from her mother's drunken rage when ''Denise's autopsy'' showed she was sober?

One thing that was also troublesome was Carrie's behavior after her confession. Granted she only confessed because Olivia lied to her and told her Justin had already confessed and said Carrie killed Denise. But when Carrie saw Justin still waiting for her after the confession, and realized Olivia lied, she flies into a profane-laced rage against Olivia and ''physically attacks her''. You would think with this sudden burst of anger that this would signify with her murder of Denise that maybe ''Carrie'' had flown into a rage and murdered her mother in her own rage and not self-defense, but this assault isn't brought up again.

Then of course...the ending. Casey is fully prepared to proceed with her case against Carrie, but decides to go through with a plea agreement to keep Carrie out of prison because Olivia ''guilt-tripped'' her. So Carrie got probation for involuntary manslaughter instead of going to prison for murder just because of the fact that Denise had been an alcoholic. More shocking is the reveal that a poll of the jury showed that they had ''wanted'' to convict Carrie.

So despite the hints that showed that Carrie had quite a violent personality, and the fact that Justin ''had'' been committing statutory rape, both Carrie and Justin each get a KarmaHoudini because Olivia felt they deserved it because of Denise's alcoholism.

Does this seem crazy to be angry about this episode? Because I felt Carrie deserved to go to prison for Denise's murder and I didn't like the victim-blaming that went on.
** A drunk who is that far down into alcoholism is just as much of a raging asshole when they ''haven't'' been drinking, because of the beginnings of withdrawal (one of the first symptoms is irritability). Denise was probably sober, but that doesn't mean her irrational, abusive behavior was very different from how she acted while drunk, and it's unlikely Carrie would have known the difference. It's very likely that Denise, after going without alcohol in an effort to look good for the cops so she'd look more credible than Justin, blamed Carrie for her predicament and lashed out.

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[[folder: Nick Amaro's character arc]]
Warren Leight said that the reason Nick was written out is that Danny and TPTB both felt that Nick's character arc had reached its conclusion, and there was no way for Nick to be a cop after what he had done. Begging the question: Why did they write that in in the first place?! Why did they make Nick an Elliot-lite when they already had an interesting, unique character angle in Season 13? If they had kept the focus on Nick's skill with interrogation/empathy they could have had a completely new character instead of a rehash of Elliot, and thus wouldn't have needed to write him off that way!
** Over the span of the last couple of years there have been a lot of very high-profile scandals involving police misconduct and violence. The episode where Amaro shoots a black, unarmed teenage boy aired less than a year before the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson. Public perception of cops like Amaro is rapidly becoming much more sour, so they had to write him out rather than keep him. You can already see the cultural shift happening as Amaro is given actual consequences for his actions, unlike Stabler, but as things become more and more serious they had to tone it down.
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20th Mar '17 4:05:11 PM Idarak
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Added DiffLines:

**IIRC, Olivia was distracted during that scene and was just about to leave when the pizza arrived, and she wouldn't have connected the pizza with the death threats. When she told Fin she didn't order it, I imagine he presumed someone else ordered it and it had been misconstrued as Olivia's. Lake was sitting a few feet away and probably didn't hear Olivia saying she did not order the pizza, he likely just presumed she didn't want it. Overall, chalk the whole thing up to complacency. The SVU squad have been threatened with death many, many times before then, they've never (I think) been targeted inside their own precinct before.
9th Mar '17 3:15:27 AM AdamC
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Added DiffLines:

** Over the span of the last couple of years there have been a lot of very high-profile scandals involving police misconduct and violence. The episode where Amaro shoots a black, unarmed teenage boy aired less than a year before the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson. Public perception of cops like Amaro is rapidly becoming much more sour, so they had to write him out rather than keep him. You can already see the cultural shift happening as Amaro is given actual consequences for his actions, unlike Stabler, but as things become more and more serious they had to tone it down.
16th Feb '17 4:38:06 PM M3
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** Law isn't a machine. It's run by humans that are easily manipulated and loaded with their own biases. Cases can get thrown out for that shit far more commonly than you'd give it credit for. Anyway, given the talk and reasoning the judge gave, it sounds like the traditional narrow-minded "You work in porn so you don't respect yourself." bullshit notion. Also, the conversation between Dodds and Benson indicate that the University of Cornwell has some political influence on the movers and shakers. Coincidentally, while not all women or men star in rape porns, you'd be surprised how often judges are quick to throw out rape cases or cases of domestic abuse because of sexual history. They're not supposed to, but whoops, there it is.


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** There seemed to be notions on all angles that the detectives and Barba were ready to fight back. Barba was ACHING to go back to trial and possibly for that Judge's neck and job. One problem: can't make a case without a defendant. Evie was completely broken and she perceives that there's no more hope for fighting back. To be fair to her, after seeing two dudes get convicted of rape, only to be released because the judge thinks "I'm nothing more than a whore." would throw out the fight in many people. Once she's seen what she saw in that courtroom; that was it for her. She was broken and victimized by the same legal system that was supposed to protect her.
6th Feb '17 5:47:22 PM accidentallythesun
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[[folder:The 'Svengali' pizza bomb]]
So, after she's been receiving threats and signs point to a stalker trying to get her off the case/shut her up, Olivia receives a mysterious pizza at the precinct - she didn't order it, and seems weirded out by it. But, she just orders Fin to toss it out. Everyone else is present, and ''[[TooDumbToLive nobody at all seems suspicious of this mystery pizza sent specifically to Liv.]]'' In fact, as Fin's about to go throw it out, [[WhatAnIdiot Chester actually asks if he can have the pizza so it doesn't go to waste, then carelessly tosses the box on his desk - causing it to explode.]] This is season 9, and ''all'' of the detectives present should have known better than to treat such an occurrence so glibly. Mysterious, un-ordered food ''in a box'' showing up at the precinct for a detective who's been threatened on the current case? ''Nobody'' found that suspicious and worthy of caution and investigation? How long have these people been doing their jobs, again? It's very hard to believe the thought that it might have been a trap ''never'' crossed the mind of ''anyone'' present there. It makes them all look irresponsible and downright stupid.
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31st Aug '16 3:59:53 AM CrypticMirror
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[[folder:There is a problem I have with how ignorant many are the suspects are regarding their rights]]

to:

[[folder:There is a problem I have with how ignorant many are the suspects are regarding [[folder:Suspects not knowing their rights]]


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** RealityIsUnrealistic. Many suspects in real life will still try and talk their way out of things or make confessions even when they really should know better. By the time the idea that they really ought to stop talking kicks in, in show and out, it is generally after a suspect has already said far too much. The show also does go to great lengths to show the tricks law enforcement uses to convince people to talk freely and we do see a lot of suspects either clamming up or lawyers showing up to put a halt to their client's talking.
31st Aug '16 2:35:32 AM radnick104
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[[/folder:How ignorant many are the suspects are regarding their rights]]

to:

[[/folder:How [[folder:There is a problem I have with how ignorant many are the suspects are regarding their rights]]
31st Aug '16 2:31:56 AM radnick104
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[[/folder:How ignorant many are the suspects are regarding their rights]]
* Why is it that almost none of the suspects they interrogate ask for a lawyer immediately? Some of them are repeat offenders who at the very least should have an idea about their right to remain silent. This makes no sense.
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5th Jul '16 1:38:42 AM kundoo
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to:

** He was in the middle of making such an excuse when he noticed the little girl. Then he changed his mind. He probably wanted to torment Olivia more by threatening and/or hurting a child in front of her. Also he doesn't seem to be the kind of hostage taker who wants to avoid any trouble.
27th Mar '16 7:37:43 PM Alexaxle
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[[folder: Nick Amaro's character arc]]
Warren Leight said that the reason Nick was written out is that Danny and TPTB both felt that Nick's character arc had reached its conclusion, and there was no way for Nick to be a cop after what he had done. Begging the question: Why did they write that in in the first place?! Why did they make Nick an Elliot-lite when they already had an interesting, unique character angle in Season 13? If they had kept the focus on Nick's skill with interrogation/empathy they could have had a completely new character instead of a rehash of Elliot, and thus wouldn't have needed to write him off that way!
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[[folder: Carisi]]
What's the point of Carisi? He is, honestly, incredibly stupid and yet the writers insist he's incredibly skilled, just green. But then they have him save child porn from a case on his tablet for evidence, not realizing that possession is a crime even for cops, especially on a person tablet. That's like putting a murderer's blood-covered coat in your laundry! Are we really supposed to believe Carisi is a competent cop and may have passed the NY bar exam on his 'first try'?
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