"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" Entitled (TV Episode 2000) Poster

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8/10
Murderous entitlement
TheLittleSongbird16 October 2019
Have always found a lot to like about all three of the three best known and popular 'Law and Order' shows (the original 'Law and Order', 'Special Victims Unit' and 'Criminal Intent', the others are more variable). Although 'Special Victims Unit', great in the earlier seasons but less consistent in the latter ones, has topped the original as the longest-running of the franchise in terms of seasons, my personal favourite is the original, if more the Briscoe years and before.

"Entitled" is an interesting episode for being something of a cross-over episode and is also a very well done one, indicative of the solid quality of 'Special Victims Unit's' first season and how good it was in its earlier seasons. Will say though that somehow "Entitled" didn't feel like that much of a 'Law and Order: Special Victims Unit' episode. More like one from the original 'Law and Order' with the 'Special Victims Unit' cast guest-starring. Am not saying necessarily that there is anything wrong with that, just an observation/thought.

Did feel though that the underuse of Stabler and Olivia was criminal, with them being the usual lead characters and the most interesting ones on the team. Both have little to do, other than one amusing sarcastic line Olivia is pretty wasted.

Also "Entitled" for my tastes sort of petered out at the end, with a sense of incompleteness.

On the other hand, Munch and his dry humour are always a pleasure (although his professionalism comes into question, like with Jeffries and with Pruitt) and Richard Belzer really sinks his teeth into some of "Entitled's" best lines. It was not only great to see Cragen having the most to do all season here, and reminds one fondly of how he was written when the original 'Law and Order' was in its early years, but to see prominent roles for Briscoe and Green (the early seasons of 'Special Victims Unit' running simultaneously with the original 'Law and Order' in its prime era). And seeing more of the trial aspect with two of the original's best prosecutors McCoy and Abbie Carmichael, after that being missing in some previous 'Special Victims Unit' episodes in favour of the police investigation work and personal lives.

The case is mostly compelling, referencing very niftily a Season 4 episode of 'Law and Order' "Mayhem", with enough twists and turns to satisfy where it is not too obvious who the perpetrator is. The trial aspect balances well and the moral dilemmas the case poses that was so good about when the franchise was in its prime are handled well. The script provokes thought and is taut and all the acting is great across the board, with the 'Law and Order' cast making more of an impression with there being more of a focus on them. The production values are as ever slick and the music unobtrusive and appropriate.

In summary, very nicely done though not the show at its best. 8/10
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