Huffpost TV
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Allison Leotta Headshot

SVU's Lovely Detective Goes off the Rails

Posted: Updated:

Whoa! In last night's shocking episode, Amanda performed some acts no cop ever should. By the second commercial break I was bidding her character farewell, because there was no way NYPD could keep her on the force. Then, in a fabulous plot twist, the writers turned everything on its head. The episode wasn't particularly realistic, but it scored high points for fun.

Recap:

Amanda hasn't kicked her gambling problem. In fact, she's traded her Gamblers Anonymous meetings for gambling at an illegal speakeasy in an abandoned warehouse. She's down $15,000 when a waitress recognizes she's a cop.

Amanda spends the rest of the episode trying to work off her debt to the beautiful pregnant boss lady and her Irish rogue deputy, who rough up Amanda and threaten to turn her in to Internal Affairs if she doesn't do their bidding.

Amanda's sins grow exponentially. In sequence, she:

(1) Looks to fix traffic tickets, but ultimately demurs, saying NYPD is watching this now,
(2) Tracks a juror's address so the bad guys can "have a talk" with her, but then has an attack of conscience and doesn't turn the address over,
(3) Performs oral sex on the Irish guy! While he tapes it on his cellphone video! (... which is the only act on this list which, if performed correctly, would not lead to her immediate termination if discovered... )
(4) Disposes of a gun from the police evidence room, in order to set free co-conspirator Carlos and keep his DNA out of the system!
(5) After Carlos rapes the wife of an ambassador in debt to the speakeasy, goes to their home, showing the victims that their assailants have friends in the NYPD!
(6) Fixes a DNA test to exonerate the rapist!
(7) Points a gun at the pregnant boss's belly and threatens to kill the unborn baby!
(8) Extorts the boss's art dealer / criminal mastermind boyfriend to the tune of a million dollars and a private jet to fly her out of the country!

I thought poor Kelli Giddish's contract fell through, or maybe she's heading to CSI, because her character is done.

But it turned out that Amanda did not, in fact, fellate the Irish guy. The cut-to-commercial which blacked out the act itself was not the network's attempt to keep things family-friendly, but rather to mislead us. When Amanda got on her knees, Murphy told her that he was an undercover cop and she was working for him now. Everything Amanda did after that was a good faith effort to catch the bad guys.

Amanda's colleagues are upset that she lied to them, Olivia doesn't trust her any more, and Internal Affairs is seriously peeved at the antics. But Lt. Murphy uses his gift of gab to keep Amanda on the force and whisper sweet Irish nothings into her ear.

Verdict: B- for realism, but A for entertainment

What they got wrong:

It would be hard for me to overstate how hard it is to get DNA samples tested even when you have perfect paperwork. There's always a backlog. Cops and prosecutors often have to go to the mat to get testing done quickly. Plus, Amanda's shenanigans were unnecessary. The speakeasy couldn't tell whether she actually spoke to a scientist. She could've just forged some papers to bring to the criminals.

It probably won't come as a big surprise to you, but I'll go ahead and say it: This is not how undercover operations are done. Cops don't go ripping shirts off other cops to see if they're wired up. Not only is it considered impolite, but every cop knows that mics don't only come in the form of wires on your torso these days.

And Amanda couldn't start working for Murphy like that. After that little meeting on her knees, she'd go directly to NYPD Vice -- do not pass go, do not collect $200 -- and get the green light to be part of his undercover work.

And Vice might have advised her not to go pointing a loaded gun at a fetus! Even when they're undercover, cops can't commit crimes. Murphy was so proud of Amanda, he told IAB that she managed in just three days to crack a case he'd worked for two years. Well, yeah. I'm sure if Murphy just pointed a gun at the lady two years ago, he would've gotten to her boss right quick. Amanda could no more legitimately do this than pull out the woman's fingernails.

What they got right:

Yes, recording devices can be hidden in very small objects like the gaudy class ring Murphy wore tonight. Be alert if your partner in crime suddenly starts to wear a lot of bling. If you're interested in catching someone in the act of... anything, check out these nifty gadgets, including a spy-cam Barbie, espionage jewelry, and secret recording buttons.

Amanda's machinations with the gun and DNA testing had a ring of truth. DNA profiles of individuals are entered into CODIS, the national DNA database, under very specific circumstances. For a while, it was only felony convictions, but a movement has been underway to expand to misdemeanor convictions and arrests that don't end in convictions.

NYPD weathered a scandal in 2011, where officers were charged with "fixing" traffic tickets for friends and family. One of those officers was also charged with hiring someone to kill a witness against him.

What do you think, SVU fans? Will Amanda go for Murphy or Nick? (Before tonight, I thought Amanda and Nick had as much chemistry as a bowl of oatmeal and its spoon.) Should Amanda be allowed to keep her job after pointing her gun at the fetus? And are you tempted by the spy cam Barbie? Leave your comments!