After a powerful twelfth year, “Law and Order: SVU” finished up the season with a bang. Literally.
Wednesday’s finale, “Smoked,” began with a young girl, Jenna (Hayley McFarland), seeing her mother shot in the head, seemingly over a botched mugging. The murder victim was also, sadly, a rape victim whose case against her rapist was about to go to trial.
Ultimately, Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Chris Meloni) did track down the murderer – and the dirty cop who made the murder weapon available. Unfortunately, it wasn’t soon enough to provide comfort to the girl who had lost her mother.
Jenna returned to the squad room while her mother’s killer and his indirect accomplice were in the cage, and she went on what can only be called a shooting spree. She shot both men, and likely killed Sister Peg (Charlayne Woodard), a recurring character since 2002, who runs the homeless shelter frequently seen on the show.
Before she could kill her mother’s murderer, though, Stabler shot her. As Jenna bled out, she confessed that the weapon she carried had been easy to acquire – she simply bought it on the street, a chilling reminder of our loose gun laws.
Killing a girl who had just lost her mother, in his squad room of all places, is bound to weigh heavily on Stabler — despite the weapon in her hands. We wouldn’t be surprised if we see him forced back into counseling next season. Equally traumatized is Benson — this experience may be one of the contributing factors to her position change next season.
Weigh in below in the comments, “SVU” fans. Did you like the series finale? Where do you think Benson and Stabler will go from here?