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'Law & Order: SVU' season 16 premiere recap: Hookers, and pimps, and mama bears, oh my!

Season 16 | Episode 1 | “Girls Disappeared” | Aired Sept 24, 2014

Can you believe it’s the 16TH SEASON of Law & Order: SVU? Sergeant Olivia Benson & Co. have been investigating and avenging the ickiest of crimes for 16 years! That’s a lot of icky!

Previously: Munch and Cragen retired. Amaro was busted down to giving out traffic tickets in Queens after he roughed up a suspect. He also began taking showers at Rollins’ place, and I don’t think it’s because she lives closer to work. And Olivia finally got the child she’s always wanted.

Our season premiere is mainly concerned with solving Olivia’s son’s mother’s murder. Ellie Porter’s charred corpse has still not received justice. But her son, Noah Porter, has received the cutest green onesie with little pine trees on it, and my nephew needs one of those. As she puts him to bed, Liv tells him that his mom loved him very, very much.

Amaro has got a new partner, whom a hooker knees in the lady parts. Said hooker is unable to escape Nick due to the white platforms she’s sporting. It’s understandable that a lady of the evening would wear “sexy” shoes because she is a businesswoman, after all, and marketing is important. But the modern prostitute of the aught-tens knows that her footwear has to double as running shoes!

It turns out Luna the Underage Hooker is a material witness in the Ellie Porter case, and look, it’s Fin and Rollins! Rollins and Amaro exchange uncomfortable looks, and apparently Amaro’s demotion has kept him from those sexy showers at Amanda’s place. He makes up some excuse about being too busy to have called her, but Rollins is fine. There are plenty of shower buddies in the sea, right?

As Rollins and Fin escort Luna out of the station house, bullets start flying! Someone’s trying to put a slug in the underage hooker. Fin gives chase. Fin gives such good chase that the shooter runs right in front of a speeding car. THWACK.

Rollins and Liv discuss the attempted murder, but are rudely interrupted by a slightly greasy man with an unpleasant mustache bearing pastries. This is Detective Dominick Carisi Jr. (Peter Scanavino), but you can call him “Sonny.” Do we have to? He’s SVU’s new detective! Sonny proves Liv’s immediate dislike to be correct by being somewhat of a dumbass in the Luna interrogation. He does luck into getting her to talk, though. Nevertheless, Liv is still wondering how she gets another detective busted down to moving cones for Verizon workers in Bushwick.

It turns out the hookers have been using Uber, er , uh, “QuickRide,” to visit their Uncle John(s). The owner offers the name of a dude who was beating up girls in the cars. His name? Tino! Yeah, the dude who lied and confessed to Ellie Porter’s gruesome murder last season.

Look, it’s D.A. Rafael Barba, and he’s chosen to dress like a Century 21 realtor. Maybe the burnt mustard blazer is disarming to the skells? Liv and Barba talk up Tino in Attica. He makes the supreme mistake of mentioning Liv’s son, Noah, and notes that Liv should be happy she got a baby and should back off. “Are you stupid enough to threaten a sergeant’s family while a D.A. is offering a deal?” Barba asks incredulously. Well, “Li’l Tino” is obviously not the nom de guerre of an MIT graduate, so yes, Barba, that’s an affirmative.

In a shocking coincidence, everybody involved with the case suddenly starts dying! Li’l Tino gets shanked repeatedly, Missy the Other Underage Hooker is shot to death, and someone gives the police station shooter a hot shot in his IV. Oh, and Uber’s offices (I’m just calling it Uber to make it easier) get vandalized.

The worst part of all this? Well, besides all the dead and mutilated people, I mean. A gunman drives past the playground that Noah’s nanny has taken him to and fires off some shots as a warning!

Liv is not here for people using firearms near her adopted son, and tells a suspect that he will be found hanging in his jail cell if he doesn’t start talking. She makes that face where her lips disappear for emphasis. We learn that the organization has a new girl named Carmen, and a woman named Selena is her immediate handler. Detective Sonny swings into action and poses as a john! Sure he’s new, but he already LOOKS like someone who frequents putas. It works, and Selena is busted.

The creepiest lawyer in existence rolls up during Selena’s interrogation and starts flashing her terrifying looks that translate as “I WILL KILL YOU IF YOU TALK.” Selena clams up and they turn to Luna for backstory. Luna spills a woeful tale about her very poor village back in Mexico. Girls like her and Selena are just taken off the street and turned out. The head pimps own big mansions in the village and keep the girls’ babies there to make sure they work. Liv hits on using Selena’s son to get her to talk, and promises to reunite them.

Li’l Tino is seduced by the prospect of living somewhere the neighbors won’t be shoving razor blades melted onto toothbrushes into his body. So he talks too. Oh, and guess who vandalized his own office because he’s actually the bad guy of this piece? The Uber dude! Seriously, Uber should sue ‘cuz this is probably libel. SVU descends on Uber’s mansion, and Boss Uber ends up shot by Fin. Hey, he had to go. I don’t think any of us are ready for another multi-episode psycho storyline. I’m still trying to erase the image of Pornstasche from OITNB gripping on Liv’s tata from my brain.

Was the SVU season 16 premiere groundbreaking or thought-provoking, and did it feature NYC medical examiner Melinda Warner? Nope, nope, and nope. But I’ll keep watching, because I’d follow Olivia Benson and her portrayer anywhere. Even over to Criminal Minds, and that show SUCKS.

Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesdays at 9/8C on NBC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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