Spoilers ahead for the third episode of Law & Order Season 23, called "Turn the Page."
The case of Law & Order's latest episode in the 2024 TV schedule became personal for Detective Riley, when Price had to tear him apart in court in order to put the bad guy behind bars. I'd hoped that a closer look at Riley would reveal how he and Frank Cosgrove had known each other, and it did reveal why Lt. Dixon has so much faith in him, but a minor moment in "Turn the Page" has me hoping for more of an entirely different character. And it's all thanks to an exchange with Detective Shaw. Sign me up for more of Violet!
Violet joined the Law & Order team back in Season 22, with Connie Shi portaying the detective with a knack for digital investigation. Vi mostly appears in an episode to drop a few comments, uncover some digital evidence, and then step back while Shaw and now Riley investigate with boots on the ground. That was more or less her role as usual in "Turn the Page," but she dropped a hint about her personal life that made Shaw do a double take... in a fun way, and this was an episode that needed some lighthearted moments.
The investigation took Riley and Shaw to Club Trujoy, a sex club that offers complete anonymity to the people who come to partake... unless detectives show up with a subpoena, anyway. Shaw joined Violet as she combed through the footage, leading to this exchange:
Shaw: "You see, I knew places like this existed, but I..." [laughs]
Violet: "But what?"
Shaw: "I just can't process it. I mean, I know some wild people. I'm a fun guy, but I don't think I've ever met anybody who would actually go to a place like this."
Violet: "That might not be true."
Shaw: "Well, you learn something new every day, huh?"
As written, that doesn't read as much more than a bit of generic banter, but Connie Shi and Mehcad Brooks had had some nice chemistry during this exchange that showed a bit more personality from Violet than we usually get to see. Plus, this episode was pretty short on laughs with a case of several murdered women and a dark time in Riley's past, and I always enjoy getting a peek into the personal lives of characters in procedural TV shows.
Is this a very small moment in an hour-long episode to have latched onto? Maybe, but it was nice to be pleasantly surprised in a show that's about as dark as can be expected from the 8 p.m. ET time slot on a broadcast TV network. If Law & Order isn't going to answer Cosgrove questions any time soon (if at all), then I'm going to cross my fingers for more of Violet. Connie Shi is a fun part of the cast, and apparently has a nice on-screen dynamic with Mehcad Brooks.
Of course, the original Law & Order is the most procedural of the three L&O shows, with a serialized story about a kidnapped teen for Benson on SVU and Organized Crime's cases lasting more than a single episode with a Breaking Bad alum as the new showrunner. That procedural nature may mean that Violet's scenes may not expand any further than tech exposition. Only time will tell, though!
Keep tuning in to NBC on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET for new episodes of Law & Order Season 23, followed by SVU Season 25 at 9 p.m. and Organized Crime Season 4 at 10 p.m. You can also revisit older episodes of all three series streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription. The tagline of Season 23 is "Truth leads the way" and it should be interesting to see if that is an ongoing theme this week.