Law & Order: SVU 23×21 Review: “Confess Your Sins to Be Free”

Law & Order: SVU 23x21 "Confess Your Sins to Be Free" Mariska Hargitay as Captain Olivia Benson
Comments (6)
  1. Marykate Sinnott says:

    I think you hit all the appropriate points and it still blows my mind that this actually aired

  2. Cíara says:

    The 500th traumatised me, and I don’t use that term lightly. It brought all of my issues with past similar relationships to light, it hurt and it made me reinterrogate myself about some things. And then for this to happen?

    Was this just Leight’s opportunity to say fuck you on the way out?

  3. Shana says:

    I am so incredibly sorry that happened to you. And I know sorry doesn’t begin to cover it.

    This is why, when you have a series that focuses on this subject matter and is supposedly for the survivors, due diligence and considering the message that gets sent are both imperative. Honestly, any time a show covers things like grooming and SA, that should happen—but ESPECIALLY for one with such a disproportionately high number of survivors in the audience.

    Part of me wonders if, when folks like myself let the traumatic parts of 500 go—or at least weren’t strongly enough against them—in favor of praising Mariska’s performance, that gave the creatives the idea that it was at all ok to have this second episode. If so, I can’t begin to express the level of regret. But at least that episode seemed to bring Olivia to terms with what happened to her and seemed to give her a small amount of…not quite closure but the beginnings of it? Bringing this back up, and having her give this man a free pass to the point where an actual rape victim was left without the type of justice Liv’s SVU claims to fight for, on the other hand, was the exact opposite of progress.

    I absolutely loathe that we’re even in a place where we’re considering this having been a deliberate fuck you. Whether it was or not, it sure feels like one. And that is NOT ok. At all. Seeing the doubling down and reposting “defenses” about how everyone who took issue with this is just mad about a ship or somehow unintelligent, rather than hearing survivors on the issue, is completely unforgivable.

    Again, I’m so very sorry.

    You, and everyone like you, deserved so much better from a series that, in the past, was seen as a safe place. Olivia Benson used to be a comfort character that made people feel heard and supported. While imperfect, and while certainly in a difficult position as a victim herself—one who clearly took a slide backward in her own revelation and healing here—it’s painfully clear she neither heard nor supported anyone other than an abuser in this particular storyline. That’s not a safe place or a comfort character, not this time.

    Here’s hoping that comfort isn’t lost forever, and we see more of the woman who boldly told her boss she’d never turn her back on ANY survivor earlier in the season—the one who’s been working for survivors for decades—in the near future.

    If this series is no longer safe, if this character is no longer a comfort, may we all find those things elsewhere and, perhaps (the dream), the safety and comfort are actually lasting when we do.

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