*(AKA: #ThingsPeopleDoOnLawAndOrderWhileBeingQuestionedByThePolice);

That is to say, things people do not stop doing once the questioning has begun.

Because, I mean, seriously: have you ever noticed – if, in fact, you’re someone who watches as much L&O as I do (and if you’re not, now’s the time to pull the cord, friend) – the lengths the blocking dept. will go to keep the action moving in a given scene? Like, to the point that it becomes absurd how determined the waitress/jeweler/lion tamer is to continue with his or her appointed task throughout the duration of their police questioning?
There is such a thing as plausibility, people. And there is such a thing as putting the blowtorch down.
(I’m so not kidding. But we’ll get there.)

Therefore, I’m kicking off Friday Freebies (ie: a free-for-all day that has particularly little to do with me as a YA writer-person) with a little feature called “Things People Do on ‘Law and Order’ While Being Questioned by the Police.”
Because it had to be done.
We’ll start with SVU, just ’cause the sex crimes are my fave (is that weird of me?), and we’ll kick it old school, with the pilot, Payback.

We meet bright young thangs Benson and Stabler in a rainstorm, and through the Gods of Screenwriting Exposition are told that they work in The Sex Crimes. Cue corny cold-open joke, and we’re off to the races!

Ba-bum bum bum bum bum BUM…

Oh! So many fun people in this ep! Michelle Hurd, seen (by me) most recently on early “Gossip Girl” (she worked for Blair’s mom), and Dennis, Liz Lemon’s Beeper-King ex, are both on the squad. Synergy!

We meet the team, including Cap’n Cragen, who is either officially off the sauce, or gunning for a job as a paid Twizzlers spokesperson, since he’s toting a GIANT vat of licorice whips around the office with him rather conspicuously.

But I digress. The case of the ep is a murder involving mutilation of the victim’s…well, yeah. It is SVU, after all. However, when Benson runs the vic’s drivers’ license, he comes up in the system as a inmate at Rikers. Whoopsie.

Off to Rikers Benson & Stabler go to question the real Victor Spicer, who is wearing makeup, which strikes me as strange only because women in prison movies are never allowed to wear makeup and everything I see in the movies is true, so this seems like an unlikely indulgence on the part of the guards. But, since this questioning is taking place in jail, there’s nothing unusual about it, eyeshadow notwithstanding. Foo.

Turns out Victor sold his license to “some dude with a kid,” so the next stop is a coffee shop where Some Dude with a Kid (aka “Victor”) hung out. Here we have a classic L&O trope, the “harried waitress.” She totally knows “Victor,” but is way too busy pouring coffee to expound.

Luckily, swarthy ethnic cabbie outside of the diner is more forthcoming. Next stop, kid and mom. Mom is not too happy that her husband is dead, unsurprisingly. BUT she drops everything (including her groceries) to chat with Olivia, while Stabler reads picture books to her kiddo in the bg. WE GET IT, ELLIOT. You’re a homebody and a stud.

This dude would rather be in his town car than talking to Munch. What is wrong with you, dude? Munch rules!

Finally! A questioning backdrop worthy of this hashtag: Farty Art Guy is blatantly SHOWING ART while Elliot and Olivia try to wrench some info from him. Although, in his defense, maybe the intrigue will sell more farty art?

Somehow we get from special victim to connections to ethnic cleansing. And there’s more than one killer. Did I forget to mention that “Victor” was in the country illegally and he was a Serb? Yeah. War crimes, etc. Mariska is having Doubts about being in “the unit,” what with it being early days and someone needed to be more conflicted than Stabler than Thou (as my friends at TWOP call him). But we know she gets over it since we’re now in Season 12.

Elliot and Olivia question a blind gypsy in the park and there’s nothing unusual about it except for how she’s straight from central casting and freaks out when “Victor” is mentioned. It’s emotional. Afterwards, Stabler makes fun of Benson for crying, because at heart he’s a sexist jerk. He actually says, “there’s no crying in SVU.” Although, apparently, there is ample self-righteous judgey-ness, huh? Benson does not punch him in the face, as I would.

Being questioned by the police is no reason NOT to dress one’s child in a facsimile of oneself.

Somehow, this kid is the child of “Victor,” (whose real name I’ve learned and since forgotten) and therefore, his mother is obvs guilty. Why are there still twenty minutes  left to this show?

Mom is questioned in her office (she’s an architect?) and it is unremarkable.

She tells us about some of the horrible things that “Victor” did to her back in the day, and  yeah, it’s pretty horrible.

Another restaurant questioning! Guys – you’re getting sloppy here.

As predicted, it was totally Mom and her friend at the restaurant. But Victor had it coming. The ending is kind of a bummer, so I won’t go into it. Needless to say, one episode in, and I’m totally forever Mariska’s girl.
So, readers, cast your votes – which questioning ranks as MOST absurd?

Which questioning sequence rates highest on the absurdity scale?