Law And Order: SVU "In The Year We All Fell Down" Episode Review

In this episode, a woman finally succumbs to the stress after a year under the COVID-19 pandemic reality and Captain Benson tries her best to help.
Law and Order: SVU Season 22 Cast

Law and Order SVU is a show that primarily shows episodes about rapes, their victims, the perps, and the outcomes of each horrific case but in the past year, the world has had to adjust to the new world reality with COVID-19, the pandemic changing our way of living and of course, the lockdowns that keep on happening. 

Olivia references several things that happened seasons before and this is about a relatively new episode of SVU.

Season 22 of Law and Order: SVU has incorporated the reality of the pandemic into its episodes. While they don't always show accuracy from the medical point of view, they seem to be much more focused on the social consequences of the pandemic, the lockdown, and how it has affected the people in it. 

The episode begins with a woman's journey through the pandemic. It begins with the belief many of us shared, that it would all be over in a matter of weeks, months at the most. 

Then this woman Vanessa begins to break down as her husband leaves to take care of his elderly parents in another state, her son parties without his mask and her own elderly mother gets sick and is diagnosed with COVID-19. The elderly woman eventually dies from the virus and Vanessa blames her son.

For an entire year, Vanessa takes care of everyone and her restaurant and after a year, that stress of taking care of it all finally hits her like a brick. She falls apart and pulls a knife on a person who cares about her. It takes a year but that stress finally erupts. 

"This past year, how can you keep track?"

Enter Captain Olivia Benson. She walks willingly into a potentially dangerous situation and gets everyone out. She stays with Vanessa and talks about the stress both have had in taking care of everyone and not taking care of themselves. It allows Olivia to air some of the deep, dark thoughts about events that occurred in her own life, the loss that she hadn't been able to deal with.

"You know, what I do know... Is that nobody knows, what other people are going through."

That quote from Olivia is so powerfully resonant. No one knows what anyone else has gone through, and they won't if no one ever talks about it. This pandemic has certainly created an atmosphere of hopelessness that has made it difficult for anyone to get through it.

It feels like nothing will ever get better and that it is on us to get through it. It can be hard to let ourselves be taken care of because anything can happen. We could lose anything and everything in a moment and trying to stop it can make the stress we are already going through even worse. 

At the end of the episode, Olivia Benson talks Vanessa down and walks out of the hostage situation calmly. It was a tiring day for both Olivia and Vanessa as they both dealt with events that they hadn't properly dealt with before. 

"I take care of everyone. That is my job."

The episode has had mixed reviews because it is not a proper SVU episode because it did not deal with the horrible sexually related crimes but dealt with the reality of the pandemic. It was emotional to watch and I enjoyed it because it took a break from rather horrific episodes dealing with sexual crimes but it also cemented that we all have been dealing with the stress of the pandemic in our own ways. 

"Today was the worst day of your life, and you made it through. Remember that."

Getting through each day is the goal we can make for ourselves. This reality won't be forever, even if it feels like it. There are good days and there are bad days. sometimes there are even worse days. Finding ways to deal with that stress and getting through the day is the step we can take in taking care of ourselves. This episode of SVU shows us that we are not alone.

An avid writer, who likes to write in many different styles. Right now Ronnie goes by they/them pronouns and identify as Two-Spirit.

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