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Law & Order: SVU Season 25 Episode 13 Review: A Strong Case to End The Season With a Ridiculous Ending

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Ugh. We got rid of the annoying Chief McGrath only for SVU to introduce an even more irritating character.


Law & Order: SVU Season 25 Episode 13 began with Heidi Russell barging into a meeting and constantly interrupting Benson, and nothing this woman did corrected that initial impression of her as a nuisance who doesn’t care about justice.


The case was interesting, minus Heidi’s contributions, but the season ended on a strange note that Bensler fans might not have appreciated as much as the writers expected.

Stopping an Assailant - Law & Order: SVU Season 25 Episode 13


Heidi Russell is The Worst Kind of ADA


Russell’s arrogance, refusal to admit she was wrong and insistence that closing the case was more important than getting the right guy made her incredibly ill-suited for the ADA job.


Could someone go to Nicholas Baxter and demand she be removed? Please?


So far, this woman has zero redeeming values. If she’s ever going to grace our screens again, I hope they tone her down somewhat!


This also proves that Law & Order Season 23 Episode 12’s story about Nolan Price prosecuting a rape case made no sense. SVU has attorneys dedicated explicitly to prosecuting these types of cases.


Russell’s Arrogance Led to an Interesting Story


Russell checked the boxes for every tired TV trope about unreasonable bosses, but at least it led to a different type of story. Instead of trying to prove that a rapist was guilty, the SVU team had to get Carisi sufficient evidence to get an innocent man out of jail.

Assault at a Store - Law & Order: SVU Season 25 Episode 13


That’s the opposite of what they usually do, but everyone was determined. No one wanted an innocent man to sit in Rikers for one second longer than necessary, and Russell’s intractability fueled their need to get to the truth.


Thankfully, Chief McGrath was gone, or we’d have had 1PP telling Benson to stop wasting time with this case on top of the nonsense in the DA’s office!


Still, I wished SVU could cross over with Blue Bloods just so Frank Reagan could put that idiot ADA in her place.


Fin Cut a Kid a Break — But Should He Have?


I’m not sure how I felt about the Fin/Toby subplot.


Toby accosted Fin in a darkened alley and held him at gunpoint, but when the gun accidentally went off, Fin sent him on his way and lied to everyone he came in contact with about how he hurt his shoulder and how he got the gun.

VIsiting the Prison - Law & Order: SVU Season 25 Episode 13


I’m all for restorative justice and for giving people second chances, but being angry that his dad is in jail and that his parents are divorced is not an excuse to point a gun at someone.


What was Toby hoping to accomplish? Shooting Fin was an accident, and it freaked him out when it happened.


He’s a kid and not one with good impulse control, so maybe that’s why Fin elected to keep his secret and then warn him later to stay out of trouble. Perhaps the gun going off scared Toby enough that he wouldn’t continue down this path.


Still, when a child acts violently with no real consequences, the behavior escalates more often than not.


I wonder what Hedges thought FIn wanted to say to his son. Did he have any idea that Toby was messing around with guns?


Maddie Again? Really?

Pattern of Assault - Law & Order: SVU Season 25 Episode 13


That subplot wasn’t as weird as Benson’s visit to the Flynn family.


There was no real reason for her to be at Maddie’s birthday party. The case is over. It’s time to move on.


Even if the family wanted her there and she wanted to come, giving Eileen the necklace Stabler gave her was unnecessary, and his reaction was silly.


Benson and Stabler finally talked, which they hadn’t done all season, so technically, there was some movement on the Bensler front, but it was just so he could affirm Benson’s decision to give the necklace he’d gifted her to Maddie’s mother,


That was also not an exciting ending to the season. If there had been some real movement in the Bensler relationship it would have been exciting, but the season ending with Benson being grateful that Stabler understood her need to lend the necklace to Eileen was far from scintillating.

Questioning a Jailed Suspect - Law & Order: SVU Season 25 Episode 13


An Exciting Case, But How Did It Become a Hostage Situation?


The season ended with a high-stakes case involving a serial rapist who was becoming more and more violent, and this was one of the few times a perp ended up dead instead of in cuffs.


The perp was violent, so it made sense that he would take his wife hostage, but it seemed like things escalated quickly from a manhunt to a hostage situation.


Still, we got some intense action scenes that are more typical of FBI than SVU, and Benson risking her life to help a cop who had been shot was a great sequence.


I’d rather have more of Benson going the extra mile for fellow cops and current victims than any more of this friendship with the Flynn family. It’s all typical Benson, but the Flynn family doesn’t need to be adopted by her.

Fin: I’ll yell at you later.
Benson: I look forward to it.


Fin’s calling Benson out on her BS is one of the best parts of the show, but let’s hope Benson listens. She needs to get her head on right.


Stray Thoughts


  • Can Hedges sue for false imprisonment? That would serve the trial chief right.

  • Was SVU making fun of Days of Our Lives with that comment about how labs don’t get evidence wrong in real life?

  • Fin having a story was awesome. Fin attempting to take care of a bullet wound himself and then ignoring that he’d been shot until he fainted was not.


Your turn, SVU fanatics.


Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and tell us what you think about this episode.


Law & Order: SVU has been renewed for a 26th season. When it returns in the fall of 2024, it will continue to air on NBC on Thursdays at 9/8c.

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on X.





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