In the newest episode of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU, Benson and Amaro interview the distraught parents of a missing Romani child who disappeared on his way home from school, who are distrustful of the police. The initial investigation leads Fin and Rollins to the powerful leader of the Romani community, but he denies any involvement. The family remains hopeful their boy will be found, especially after they discover his cell phone is still active. With the help of a new TARU tech and a meddling newspaper reporter, the detectives narrow the perpetrators to a mentally challenged neighbor, throwing the tight-knit Romani community into turmoil.
The seriousness of the episode was broken by the appearance of TARU Tech Leo Gerber, played by Gilbert Gottfried. While I find Gottfried a humorous person, this was a casting misstep, one that rivals the casting of Noel Fisher as the equally annoying TARU Tech and murderer Dale Stuckey. Gottfried’s voice is grating (it works very well when he is doing humor) and it made his acting abilities even worse. This is one character that I am not looking forward to seeing again. In Gottfried’s defense, he gave them what they seemed to have wanted; he can’t help it that someone tried to write in a lame comedy interlude into this otherwise serious episode. Casting does get extra points for bringing in former cast member Dean Winters’ brother Scott to play a smarmy detective.
Olivia and Nick are called in by a cop who is very unsympathetic toward Nikko and his “gypsy” parents. The parents say their son was something of a loner. His teacher backs this up, but fellow students aren’t too sympathetic. The father, Thomas, was charged in an altercation with a coworker, but the lead eventually brings a man named Rombaro into focus. Nikko’s parents had been paying him, but stopped shortly before the kidnapping. He’s an interesting character, but claims he couldn’t harm Nikko.
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