David Keith guest stars as John "Hawk" Hawker, a detective who gets drunk and roughs people up. A new case comes up for SVU, but it has the same MO as a case Hawk worked on ages ago, so Cragen teams him up with Stabler to figure it out. Hawk had already put away someone else away for 18 years for the original cases he worked on, but as the episode wears on, it becomes obvious that the man originally convicted is innocent.
1. Elliot Stabler is moody. The episode first starts off with showing him losing a case despite his testimony in court, letting an old man get away with raping his granddaughter. This sets the tone for the whole episode.
2. Hawk is unlikable, and what makes it worse is that there's really no redeeming moment, unless you count the end scene, which hardly redeems his entire character.
3. The whole episode was focused only on Hawk and Stabler, where there really wasn't that developed of a relationship. There just wasn't anything really interesting or special about it.
4. Logic behind the case sucked. Seriously, you'd think after all that extensive research into this particularly meticulous MO, Hawk would've realized that the original guy was in no way capable of committing those rapes and murders. As over-zealous as Hawk was, the original conviction was so unlikely.
I think this storyline had a lot of potential, but I didn't see Hawk's character as worthy of an entire episode and I thought the case was shabby. Granted, I think the development in original L&O episodes are generally better, but this was a particularly bad episode with the SVU writers imo. Lastly, I felt like what Hawk (and at times, Stabler) did was wrong, but there was no redeeming factor or retribution, as there often is. I almost expected Stabler to cuff Hawk or something, or for the other SVU detectives to show up and see Hawk for what he is -- a lousy cop.