Thoughts From the Law & Order: SVU Episode "Gone Baby Gone"

Synopsis: When Noah (Ryan Buggle) goes missing while shopping with his grandmother, Sheila (Brooke Shields), a frantic Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and her team pull out all stops in an effort to locate him. When she learns the kidnapping isn't random, Benson takes it upon herself to retrieve her son.

My Thoughts:

1. I  probably shouldn't have been, but I was genuinely surprised when Benson and her team discovered Sheila was behind the kidnapping from the start. While that thought did, admittedly, cross my mind when Noah went missing, her initial reaction was very believable and I honestly thought she was as shaken up by his kidnapping as anyone.

2. I also have to applaud just how much thought she put into her plan. In addition to a great acting job, she took several steps to hinder the investigation, including giving the detectives the description of another man in the mall, having the kidnapper, Juan (Frank Pando) pretend to take a bus and, just in case he was caught, making sure Juan would think she was taking Noah to a completely different location.

3. Of course, to be fair, despite all her careful planning, she still had two glaring flaws in her plan (not counting on her trying to explain to Noah why his mom wasn't with them). First, why in the heck did she pay for the car seat with a credit card? Second, what made her think she would be able to leave New York without immediately becoming the primary suspect (with or without using her credit card on the car seat)? I guess I can chalk that up to her being mentally unstable though.

4. One thing I found I liked about this episode is the way it seemed to bring out the dark side both in Benson and some of her team. Rollins (Kelli Giddish), in particular, seemed like she was about to snap when interrogating Juan. It's one of those things you don't get to see when one of their own isn't the victim.

5. That being said, I think the show might be become a little too Benson-oriented. Perhaps it's time for someone else on the series, maybe Finn (Ice-T) for example, to have a psychotic arch nemesis for a change and give her character a little bit of a break.

6. Speaking of Benson, who in their right mind gave her a gun? Maybe it's just me, but she always seems to lose her weapon in episodes like this one. I mean, it's one thing to have a mentally-deranged and dynamic serial killer get the jump on her. This time around, it was  grandmother who managed to disarm her and, even though Benson ultimately arrested her, managed to put up much more of a fight than she probably should have been able to do.

7. Was I the only one who thought she was going to finally hook up with Barba (Raul Esparza) at the end of this episode? It sure looked that way when he showed up at her apartment door unannounced, only to reveal she already had the rest of her SVU "family" in the apartment with her as well. I'm actually not sure whether to be relieved or disappointed by that.

8. Actually, the more I think about it, I realize there is a better question there. Why is it the rest of her "family" were already invited to her apartment while Barba had to just show up? He did just as much for her as anyone but still didn't get an invite? Talk about being ungrateful.

Final Opinion: It was an OK episode and I was genuinely surprised by Sheila being the kidnapper. However, as I said before, it's time to give Benson a little bit of a break and have the series focus on some of the other cast members for a while.

My Grade: B


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