Law & Order: SVU Premiere Recap: Blurred Lines

Good guys, bad guys — after Wednesday’s Law & Order: SVU premiere, who can even tell the difference?

The two-hour mindscrew of an episode began, as so many do, with the discovery of a brutal murder — in this case, a dismembered redhead whose cause of death fit eerily with the M.O. of Alicia Florrick’s evil brother Greg Yates. But the team’s visit to Green Haven didn’t yield the confession they’d hoped for; rather, it presented the first of several bread crumbs which eventually lead back to one of their very own.

It turns out Yates’ time in medical school briefly overlapped with that of new Manhattan medical examiner Dr. Carl Rudnick, and they shared a lot more than just an alma mater. I’ll spare you a recap of every little procedural detail — I’m hoping/assuming we’ve all watched the premiere — and just say that the back-and-forth reveals of what these two men have done in the name of revenge was pretty bananas.

So I guess it’s only fitting that, following Rudnick’s lengthy trial and eventual conviction(s), he’d end up in Green Haven right alongside his ol’ frenemy. Of all the unnerving moments in this premiere — and there were many — I feel like that final interaction between Rudnick and Yates will haunt me the longest. (Also, I kind of want a prison-set spinoff if that’s not too much to ask.)

svu-premiere-extraJust in case that wasn’t enough insanity for you, Wednesday’s premiere also revealed that Rollins is pregnant, though she swears the father isn’t Nick, who’s now “happy” and doing physical therapy in Laguna Beach. The initial reveal of Rollins’ pregnancy was a little unsettling — Yates swore he could smell it on her, then claimed it meant they were connected, kind of like when Jacob imprinted on Bella’s baby in Twilight — but her heartwarming conversation with Benson more than made up for the ick factor.

SVU fans, your thoughts on the season premiere? Any theories about the I.D. of Rollins’ baby daddy? Grade the episode below, then drop a comment with your full review.


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54 Comments
  1. Grace M says:

    SVU has become a soap opera and I stopped watching a few seasons back. Especially since Munch retired, the show is not the same anymore.

    • prish says:

      I miss Munch, too, and I could not believe I watched this episode, riveted, since the husband is the fan. But there it is. I guess the show still has life, even though becoming over-the-top.

    • 'A' Is Alive says:

      Well Munch had to retire (he was past the age requirement and I’m glad they kept true to that). Same with Cragen. SVU still has life due to the change in writers and producers which can keep it going for a little longer. New formula = new life.

  2. Tiffany says:

    I loved it. Benson still my girl after all these years. Work it girl.

  3. Sam says:

    That is how you do a season premiere. 17 seasons in and this show is still amazing. Marisa Hargitay is an all-star, and Warren alright is quite the showrunner… 21 seasons to break the record?

    • Jon says:

      Couldn’t agree more! That premiere raced by, twist after twist and some really grisly scenes (even after 16 seasons I had to turn away from the body part scene on the beach). And both Greg Yates and Carl Rudnick were at William Lewis levels of creepiness (with some very dark humor mixed in). Great way to start Season 17!

      I know some people are still bitter over Stabler leaving, but I am really enjoying Mariska Hargitay’s Sgt. Benson as SVU’s authority figure. Having the focus on her has only made her character more complex, and IMO she should have been up for another Emmy this past season.

      • Having the focus on her and not on the other people too is the reason she ISN’T WINNING ANY EMMYS, and probably won’t next year unless SVU gets cancelled and the Academy wants to give her a good bye present(like Jon Hamm got). NBC isn’t the only reason this show is in trouble. Mariska is helping ruin it too.

  4. Kristen says:

    Did anybody notice during the trial portion of the show, that the redhead on the jury during Bensons case and William Lewis case was sitting in the court room? Why was she there and why was she interested in that case?

  5. Nancy says:

    I haven’t watched it yet so have not yet read this article. But I will!!!! just as soon as I watch this ep on my dvr. Soon.

  6. Tense episode. The ending was creepy!

  7. VJ says:

    That was one great season premiere. I wasn’t really surprised by the twist. Thought after some creepy line the ME said to Barba last season, that he would be a suspect at one point, but nonetheless was that a very good episode. I love what they did to the show the last couple of years. And hey it brings Raul Esparza on my screen.

  8. I’m calling it right now, Fin is the Baby Daddy!

  9. jasmine weiler says:

    Why did Yates say that him and Amanda had a connection when mentioning her pregnancy is there something there that I missed and was suppossed to pick up on.?

    • Nicole says:

      No I think it was just supposed to show how creepy he is.

    • Amelia says:

      I think part of it was that since his girlfriend was pregnant before she was killed and they seem to be the same amount along (just guessing since neither were showing). I mean definitely a stretch for a normal person but for a creepo like him not so much.

  10. Bozo de Niro says:

    Best line was “taking his work home” … Episode was too damn long, i fell asleep, somebody please tell me what happened after pregnancy was discovered. Was plot ever resolved or was it carried over to next week? How come you guys at TV Line don’t give a better recap or at least a clue what happened?

    • Amelia says:

      I’m not sure which pregnancy you are referring to or if it was the victim’s if you meant when Yates mentioned the pregnancy or when the ME confirmed it. Basically, Yates tried to run and they found him getting off a bus in Buffalo (?) while dressed as a woman. Yates’ attorneys got them to try each case separately so they showed the trial for Yates’ gf. The ME took the stand and tried to claim self defense, that she attacked him and she was accidentally stabbed in the process. He said he panicked and cut up her body. Carisi saw the ME talking to himself in the bathroom after they picked him up in Buffalo and so they checked all the autopsy tapes to see if he had said something to himself. Turns out the 1st interview was taped and after he asked for his attorney the police left the room but didn’t turn off the tape and on that tape he admitted to killing. He plead to two of the three murders. Episode ended with the ME sitting down to eat in prison with Yates.

  11. Kim says:

    Maybe Barba’s the father. I’d be ok with that.

  12. Glenda says:

    Just awesome. But I couldn’t understand Rudnick’s last line even though I replayed over and over. I don’t think it’s Nick’s baby though.

  13. prish says:

    Do we, really, need Rollins and the convicted serial murderer in a creep out? The husband asks, “Why does she keep wanting to talk to that guy?” There was not enough investigative work in the episode to deserve an A vote. Since we watched the whole thing, we had to give it a B.

  14. iakovos says:

    Seems SVU is moving into Shondaland territory with its over-the-top tone of late. Hargitay is top talent but when Meloni left, I was done. Bet NBC would have been done, too, a season or so back… if it had any productive program development/marketing success.

  15. Stacey s says:

    I am so glad someone else noticed the red headed lady from William Lewis’s trial!! I literally was like Holy 4%^*!! Couldn’t believe it!!!

  16. Heidi L says:

    Did no one notice the two shots of the Edward Lewis jury foreperson in the gallery at rudnick’s trial? What’s that all about?

  17. Hege says:

    I really liked the case. I hate that Rollins is pregnant. Too much soap on this show. Since Meloni left it has become more about their personal life and less about the cases.

    • trailblazer1 says:

      I love the show – but when Benson took on motherhood and now a pregnant Rollins, I felt the show lost an edge. I have never watched a soap in my life, and I don’t want SVU to become one.

  18. Matt Barnes says:

    i love it (sarcastically) when people leave comments about a show that they “stopped watching a few seasons back.” why are you commenting? you didn’t even see the episode!

    with that out of the way, i felt like this was the most “L&O:SVU” that L&O:SVU has been in a few years. yeah… Olivia has lost the badassery that made us all love her in the Stabler years and is now more the “tough love because i care” mother hen, but this episode was well written and actually featured both the Law and the Order.

    i think the only thing that would have made it better would have been to use the ME for a few episodes so we knew him a bit before revealing him to be the person he is.

  19. The episode was very good. All of you who can’t accept the fact that Richard Belzer and Chris Meloni WILL NEVER BE REGULARS AGAIN need to grow up. Considering that Warren Leight is leaving after this season(and he does a LOT of the writing), the person who is thinking about 21 seasons is probably a little too optimistic. SVU hasn’t increased the payroll since before season 12, and they’ve cut the payroll practically every year since then. If they make the exception and give Mariska $500,000 an episode after this year, it will mean that either Kelli Giddish or ICE-T will be leaving. Once Kelli is gone, so am I, and I will demand NBC cancel this show immediately. This isn’t the MARISKA HARGITAY show, it is SVU.

    • Amelia says:

      I’m confused, you say that it isn’t the Mariska Hargitay show but once Kelli Giddish is gone you will demand NBC cancel the show. This isn’t the Kellie Giddish show, its SVU.

      • I said it shouldn’t be the Mariska Hargitay show(it is) but I am watching for Kelli, not Mariska. This stopped being SVU many years ago. it started out as SVU, became the Chris Meloni and everyone else show, then the Mariska Hargitay and everyone else show. This stopped being SVU years ago.

  20. Marci says:

    Rudnick gave me the creeps right from the get-go, so I wasn’t surprised when he was revealed to be the second serial killer. And how do people like his two defense lawyers sleep at night? Getting him released on bail cost a life. This is why I would make a better prosecutor than a defense lawyer.

  21. Kristine Riccardi says:

    I don’t really like when they drag out stories & they pop up half a season later. As far as Rollins, her baby daddy I would imagine is Nick Amaro. They were seeing each other & sleeping together. For quite a while, so who else could it be.. It will only add to her spiraling since nick left

  22. taylor says:

    Anyone notice at the end they are about to reenact the prison break from a few months ago in upstate New York of the guys who cut up women’s body’s dumped them then planned the maximum security break together?

  23. Yoko says:

    Good premiere. Love this show. Interesting that people who say they are done with this show or didn’t watch it feel the need to comment. Either they are lying or trolling. Love the cast so much, fine actors and a good story line….a la The Jinx. I knew that would be an episode just didn’t know it would be so soon this season. Great start SVU!

  24. steven adler says:

    where was fin in the second esopoides

  25. steven adler says:

    where was fin in the second esopoides and who will be in second in command

  26. Abigail says:

    first episode: What a disappointment. overlong, tedious, old tired plot, no interesting issues, poor script, not even brought to life by good actors, no character development, made good actors Gillis look a fool, and Hargitay a cardboard figure. This used to be one of my favorite shows, but if it keeps going in this direction, adios

  27. phillygirl says:

    I just watched the premier with disbelief. When did this show go so off the rails? I had it figured out after the first interaction with the new ME that he was creepy and probably the killer. This show needs to get back to it’s roots. It’s become to sci fi like. So sad, it used to be must watch for me.

  28. I shouldn’t have been able to call the bad guy so easily. I knew when he hugged the twin sister.

  29. The plastics says:

    Ok well Amanda’s baby daddy is Declan!!! Yes sir/ma’am…crazy isn’t it?… I mean, at what point and time did all this even happen!

    P.s. I get the inside scoop from a friend who works on the set lol

  30. Angie says:

    Can I ask a couple questions that are totally driving me crazy about this episode? In the last scene, why did Yates say that Lena (Yate’s gf) was the ME’s first kill? Does that mean the ME didn’t kill those other two women? And then, why do you think Yate’s wanted the ME to get caught?

  31. deanna milone says:

    Suv rocks!!!!

  32. Zina Azarova says:

    I agree with @the plastics guess about the baby daddy for Det Rollins…Decklan!!! (Which ever way you spell it)Amaro is not the father, I can say that w 100% confidence. He already has 2 kids w 2 different women & won’t be making many appearances anymore. ITS DECKLAN. I’ve had a feeling about them since his debut UC at the casino. I could see the chemistry right away, he lied for her & something just smelled like swxual tension w those two.