Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 10 Episode 3

Swing

1
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 14, 2008 on NBC
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
179 votes
15

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
When Elliot's daughter, Kathleen, breaks into a couple's home and steals a pendant he is forced to deal with ghosts from his past. Unfortunately, his missteps put Kathleen's future and mental health at risk, and it will take all of Olivia's skills to make things right.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Great episode, "Swing" !!

    10
    This episode was so well-done and so far reaching for those who are interested in introspection and questioning societal norms. I agree with his mother's perspective that Elliot did not follow his childhood dreams, and his mother could see that. Somehow he adopted a judgmental and heavy, heavy view of the world. With that world view, it's no wonder some people can't get out of bed for a month. Even though L&O itself has a heavy hand and world view, this episode really made me think and question what we consider "normal" - yes, Bernadette Stabler and her family shared the cost of her being like Maria in The Sound of Music - a "flibbertigibbet" - a problem to be solved by marriage and family, which brings about another set of problems, and maybe it's not right that we medicate people so they can fit into these boxes that themselves may harm us - that, in fact, result in the world that Elliot and Liv face on the job daily. And Liv's parting line to Eliot who could not understand how things managed to work out well, "Maybe God remembered how cute you were as a carrot," shining light on the connection between a crying little boy, an angry man, and God the Father. This is one of SVU's best and Ellen Burstyn deserved the Emmy for it. I think the writer(s) should have gotten an award, too.moreless
  • Deep look into Stabler's character.Because he finds out that his daughter Kathleen has mental problems, Stabler has to contact his mother and we learn more about their complicated relationship.

    10
    After Kathleen Stabler broke into a house because of drug influence the doctors diagnose bipolar disorder. To save her from going to Rikers Stabler has to prove that Kathleen's mental illness is genetic.Therefore Elliot contacts his mother who has bipolar disorder as well and tries to convince her to speak in front of the judge. She is played amazing by Ellen Burstyn.We learn more about Stabler's chilhood and past and it's very touching to see what he is willing to do to help his daughter.The scenesthat were really touching me was the one in the court room when Elliot decided to blame the burglery on his daughter and send her to Rikers cause she refuses to get medical help. And will be forced to in Rikers.Furthermore the one in the prison when Elliot's mum is talking to Kathleen and is talking about her life without medical help.""I lived the life I wanted to live. And I paid a terrible price."Last scene which I really liked is the one when Liv is talking to El's mother and she is showing him the pictures of Elliot as a child and in a carrot disguise :) Eventually Liv convinces Elliot's mother to tal to Kathleen and convince her to get medical help.Elliot's mother asks Liv not to tell Elliot that she talked to Kathleen. In the last scene at the court room Kathleen accepts the medical help and Stabler is confused about her changing her mind. Last sentence is Liv saying "Maybe God remembered howcute you were as a carrot"All in all I really liked this epiosde because it was very emotional and we learned more about the characters.moreless
  • Very ordinary.

    4.5
    I worry when I see episodes like this that SVU is losing its edge. This could not have been more of a cheap shot if they had tried. It was played purely for sentiment I know they like to do that with Stabler but ther was no narrative imperative driving the story. The subtext of mental illness was almost insulting to people who are genuinely living with bpd. I think it ties into the trend in the U.S. to medicalise normal behaviour (and of course to define normal behaviour in very, very narrow terms). It's the kind of episode that makes me question my commitment to the seriesmoreless
  • Generational impact of mental illness.

    9.5
    This episode was focused on the generational impact of mental illness. Stabler learns of his daughter's mental illness following a police report on her. This takes him back to his estranged mother who suffered the same thing but chose not to medicate. His daughter self medicates with street drugs which I seemed to notice is a common practice of those that are bi-polar. Not sure why that is. Makes me wonder how many others on the streets that are doing drugs and don't know they have mental illness and need treatment instead however I liked how his mother described life while medicated - like someone scooped out her insides and left just a shell.moreless
  • This episode focuses on Stabler's family. A somewhat slower more thoughtful episode that looks at the generational impact of mental illness, and family. We learn more about the Stabler family and Stabler's uneasy relationship with his mother.moreless

    7.5
    This episode focuses on Stabler's family and his daughter's battle with mental illness. Not the usual twists and turns in the plot, keeping you guessing till the end. A somewhat slower more thoughtful episode that looks at the generational impact of mental illness, and family. We learn more about the Stabler family and Stabler's uneasy relationship with his mother. Well scripted with a great performance from Ellen Burstyn, some fans may find however this episode deviates too far from the usual formula. Fans however will love the added depth to Stabler's character and insight into his childhood, and possible explaination for his current actions.moreless
Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay

Det. Olivia Benson

Christopher Meloni

Christopher Meloni

Det. Elliot Stabler

Ice-T

Ice-T

Det. Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola

Michaela McManus

Michaela McManus

ADA Kim Greylek

Dann Florek

Dann Florek

Capt. Donald Cragen

Ellen Burstyn

Ellen Burstyn

Bernadette Stabler

Guest Star

Fiona Dourif

Fiona Dourif

Det. Nikki Breslin

Guest Star

Stephen Flynn

Stephen Flynn

Mr. Foster

Guest Star

Isabel Gillies

Isabel Gillies

Kathy Stabler

Recurring Role

Allison Siko

Allison Siko

Kathleen Stabler

Recurring Role

Harvey Atkin

Harvey Atkin

Judge Alan Ridenour

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • First appearance or mention of Stabler's mother.

    • Goof: Throughout the episode, Kathleen's bipolar disorder is repeatedly referred to as "BPD." BPD is actually an abbreviation for borderline personality disorder, which is a completely distinct illness from bipolar disorder.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Olivia: Elliot, we've been partners for 11 years. You know everything about me… even the parts that I'd rather forget.

    • Elliot Stabler: Liv, patrol dumped this one on us why? Because a wack job was found naked in the shower?
      Olivia Benson: Elliot--
      Elliot Stabler: Last week it was because the guy had his johnson out, takin' a piss in the alley. What's next? Felony puppy-humping in the dog run?
      Olivia Benson: Elliot, I called you in.
      Elliot Stabler: Why, because your spidey-sense tells you she was a rape victim?
      Olivia Benson: Because it's your daughter.

    • Bernadette: (to Olivia) I can see why you scare the pants off Kathy.

    • Elliot: What the hell just happened?
      Olivia: Maybe God remembered how cute you were as a carrot.

  • NOTES (5)

    • The song Kathleen is singing in the shower is a sea shanty titled "The Keeper of the Eddystone Light."

    • Ellen Burstyn won an Emmy as Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her performance as Bernadette Stabler, Elliot's mother. The awards were held on September 20, 2009, at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

    • Law & Order: SVU won a PRISM Award for the episode "Swing" in the category Drama Series – Mental Health. The awards were held on April 23rd, 2009 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Christopher Meloni and Ellen Burstyn were nominated for their performances in the episode.

    • Special billing was given to Ellen Burstyn (Special Guest Star) and CCH Pounder (and) for this episode.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Czech Republic – November 9, 2010 on TV Nova

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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