‘Law & Order: SVU’: Is Benson’s Son Facing Dangerous Situation in New Episode?

by Allison Hambrick

Law & Order: SVU lead Olivia Benson is no stranger to taking on difficult cases, but now she’s facing a new challenge: her son being bullied.

The second episode of SVU following the midseason break will see Benson taking on cases both at home and at work. The synopsis reads: “A boy disappears after meeting up with an online gamer. Benson suspects her son is being bullied.”

While this is far from the first time Noah Benson has been the subject of a case, it is the first where Benson is faced with an issue that isn’t technically her job to solve. Noah was introduced in season 15. He was conceived when his biological mother was raped. Additionally, his mother was heavily involved with crime, which led to him being sold to a child pornographer.

He bounced around a few foster homes until his mother rediscovered him. Unfortunately, she was murdered before she could reclaim custody. Eventually, a judge ruled that Benson was the best guardian for the young boy. They have had their ups and downs, with Noah’s biological family remaining a threat. Even so, Benson remains a dedicated mother, and her motherhood is often a focus of the show.

Fans Debate Decreasing Quality of Law & Order: SVU

Over on the SVU subreddit, one user posed the question of whether or not the show is going downhill. User Poetryisalive felt that the older episodes had more interesting cases, as well as a better balance between work and personal storylines. Additionally, they missed the era when all detectives got a little backstory. In particular, they wanted a more substantial storyline for Fin Tutuola, played by Ice-T.

“The characters have changed drastically,” someone wrote in agreement with the original poster. “Like I get the actors are older and so is their characters but Bensons super soft whisper voice is annoying sometimes! And Fin like [what the f—] happened with him, yes he’s in episodes but it’s almost as if his character is just…there.”

Generally speaking, the consensus is that the show took a dive in season 13. While this could be blamed on the departure of Chris Meloni, which did impact the show, some users felt it was an issue of substance.

“The quality dropped off when they renovated the office,” said dizzler0613. “That’s when they got a bigger budget. So the prologues became more flashy, the camera work became more detailed. It’s a bigger box to open, with a lesser prize inside. In this case, simpler was better.”

A number of Redditors also expressed annoyance with how mild the crimes are. Fewer SVU storylines have dead victims, and as a result, the stakes of the stories feel less real. Part of the appeal of the show was how it didn’t hold back or patronize its audience. Bigger budgets with shallower plots are a departure from what built SVU‘s strong fanbase.