Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 11 Episode 21

Torch

1
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Apr 28, 2010 on NBC
AIRED:
7.1
out of 10
User Rating
88 votes
10

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

After two young girls die in a fire, Stabler finds a familiar face in the prosecutor assigned to the case.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • SVU is back on track with this emotional tale that all involved should bold and italicize on their resumes.

    8.5
    After last week's exercise in the good side of televised mediocrity that was "Beef", I had a bit of apprehension about entering once again into Stabler and Benson's world of rape kits, clever interrogations, and "We've got your DNA all over the victim". That pensive feeling of "do I really want to go through this" was caused by what sank in after watching the shriveled old Italian butcher woman break down at the conclusion of the previous installment: One of my favorite programs is trapped in a rut and might not get out of it. I am happy to say that I was horribly mistaken. "Torch" burns the midnight oil out of all our emotions and melts away the ice that had frozen SVU in place for the majority of this season. The story involves a single father whose home is set ablaze under mysterious circumstances and the resulting death of his two young daughters. The initial investigation leads to some laughs as the detectives suspect a young pyromaniac and borderline pedophile with an acne problem who is referred to, even in a serious manner, as Pizza Face. Eventually he squirms off the hook and the squad's attention shifts back to the father, after the fire marshal turns in his official report and we're off to the races in a courtroom drama for the ages that takes hairpin turns and lets us know the writing staff at SVU is back in business. Superb writing, and stellar acting. This is the official seal of the entire Law & Order kingdom and "Torch" keeps Dick Wolf's domain on the map with its realism and unflinching dedication to brilliant storytelling. Every member of the cast seems to have rediscovered all of the things that made their respective characters durable enough to spend 10 and a half seasons at the top of their game, and Sharon Stone lends a brilliant dash of legal sensibility and black and whiteness that the series has needed in the DA's office lately. She will no doubt continue to sparkle and once again proves the mettle of the Law & Order casting department, no doubt the best on television.



    If SVU continues on its new course then it will certainly deserve the status it has achieved as the most popular branch of the Law & Order family tree. If it does not, and sinks back into its muddy hole of merely being watchable, then you won't hear any complaints from me, but that's only because I won't care enough to write about it anymore.moreless
  • Those stupid promos that NBC keeps coughing up to try and capture the attention of any half-minded, lonely person are getting to be absolutely ridiculous.

    7.5
    The first time that I saw this episode, I was quite excited. But those stupid promos that NBC keeps coughing up are getting ridiculous. EO shippers were all excited .. and I guess it's a little interesting - the idea of Elliot's old partner, but it was way overdone in the promos. I'm so sick of them!



    Basically, I don't remember much about the episode because the only thing that stuck in my mind was those quotes from the promos .. it's as if they build the episode just to have 'exciting' lines for the previews. There was a fire, two suspects .. a lot of over-acting by Sharon Stone, some interesting sub-plots that they won't do anything about. This is my favourite show, but this season is so bad! It reminds me of Criminal Minds. I don't even know if I can put myself through another season of this.moreless
  • What happened to this show??

    4.5
    This was a REALLY disappointing episode. Sadly, because it was the one I was most expecting to be good, especially because of Sharon Stone's appearence. Season 11 has been the worst so far. The first episodes weren't that bad, but since episode 18 I think the writing has declined very much. 'Beef' was an okay episode, but the other ones... just awful. And I don't say we didn't have great episodes, like 'Hardwired', 'Turmoil', 'Shadow'...we had. I have always been an SVU fan, but I think I won't watch the show faithfully anymore if they don't improve the writing. They need new (and good) writers NOW! SVU was a really great show until season 8. Okay, most of the writers are on the job for a long time and the best episodes of the series belong to them. But they are suffering with creativity. There were too many repetitious episodes this season, that they had already done before in this series. And 'Torch' had just the same storyline from a 'Cold Case' episode. I don't want great guest stars. I want good, new and original storylines. Hoping that at least the final episodes from season 11 improve their quality and that Sharon Stone appear less, because it looked like the episode only had her as a character!!moreless
  • hmmmmmm sigh.....

    3.5
    What a waste of time! Simply awful. Just as a few other reviewers typed....it was the same s/l as Cold Case. Dissapointing!!! Please writers get some imagination. Big let down! We never even heard about a space heater until the end. Pathetic lazy writing.

    Now for the BIGGEST "sigh"

    I admit right off that I don't care for Sharon Stone. Every character she plays big or small screen. From Basic Instinct to Casino, it seems like she's reading it off cue cards. So wooden! My husband does like her,,,,but after tonight, he told me "Gee I guess she can't act" It didn't help that she was on the screen interacting for 45% of the show! It's hard to believe that Elliot never told Olivia that his first partner was a woman, let alone showed him the ropes. With all the years they've been together and the things they've been through...totally unbelievable

    Guess Stone is doing "something" right to get more airtime.....if you catch my drift.

    In any event I hope she's just on for the three episodes that we've heard about so far....and please NO more!!!!!!

    Hoping the s/l next week is fresh and ORIGINAL!!moreless
  • The writers of Cold Case (Flashover) needs to sue the writers of this episode for misappropriating their storyline.

    7.0
    This was so much about this episode that was just wrong. Sharon Stone was totally unbelievable in her role. She might be a great actress on the big screen but on the little screen she comes off wooden.



    However, the big issue was the fact that the story line was the same as from Cold Case (Flashover). It's sad when one network uses the ideas of another network to keep it's viewers.



    If they are going to use other network's material, at least wait a few years before doing it. That way the memory is blurry and no one is the wiser.moreless
Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay

Det. Olivia Benson

Richard Belzer

Richard Belzer

Sgt. John Munch

Ice-T

Ice-T

Det. Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola

BD Wong

BD Wong

Dr. George Huang

Tamara Tunie

Tamara Tunie

Dr. Melinda Warner

Dann Florek

Dann Florek

Capt. Donald Cragen

Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone

ADA Jo Marlowe

Guest Star

Brad Dourif

Brad Dourif

Dr. Iggy Drexel

Guest Star

Sam Waterston

Sam Waterston

DA Jack McCoy

Recurring Role

Lindsay Crouse

Lindsay Crouse

Judge Andrews

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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