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“Law and Order: SVU” Recap: Anger management


Note: The following recap contains spoilers for season sixteen, episode 12 of “Law and Order: SVU,” entitled “Padre Sandunguero.”

In this week’s episode, the origins of Detective Nick Amaro’s (Danny Pino, “Cold Case”) anger are revealed.

Every detective in the Manhattan SVU has a difficult backstory. Amaro’s divorce previously provided adversity, but the introduction of his father in this Wednesday’s episode added a new level of drama.

When we meet Amaro’s father, Nicholas Sr. (Armand Assante, “The Odyssey”), he’s a charming and handsome devil, just like Amaro. His father is newly engaged to a 28-year-old, and invites Amaro to the wedding. Amaro alludes to his father’s abusive tendencies but then refuses to go to his engagement party. However, his disappointing family (an easily manipulated mom and irresponsible sister) are too quick to forgive Amaro’s father.

At the party, Amaro’s father see his fiancée dancing with another guy and starts a fight. Nicholas Sr. ends up punching his own fiancée; she then confides in Amaro but refuses to admit the abuse to anyone else, which OF COURSE, puts Amaro in a tough spot.

The trial is relatively boring. Will Amaro’s dad come clean? No. Will Amaro testify against his dad? Yes. Will Amaro’s family forgive him for testifying? Probably not. The only mildly engaging part of the episode comes randomly, when the guy from Internal Affairs Bureau tries to talk Amaro into testifying and then backs off. (Internal Affairs is the department that investigates corrupt cops and is ALWAYS WRONG in who it attempts to prosecute.) What is this? Character development for a character who shows up four times a season? The IAB man buys Olivia a drink, which means Olivia’s baby, Noah may soon have a father.

After Amaro’s father is found not guilty, he begs for Amaro’s forgiveness, which is strange, given his previous anger toward his son. “You know why you hate me, cause I’m your flesh and blood!” he yells at Amaro, causing Amaro to tear up. Much like how I teared up when I realized that “SVU” was my flesh and blood. While Amaro’s interactions with his father were a little over the top, I am genuinely curious to see how he will interact with his possible girlfriend, Amanda, next week.

Tune in to “Law and Order: SVU” on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

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