January 18, 2007

Adam Beach on Law & Order: SVU

Film Stars Adam Beach and Kal Penn Guest Star on NBC's 'Law & Order: SVU', Tuesday, January 16, (10 p.m. ET/PT)Actors Adam Beach ("Flags of Our Fathers") and Kal Penn ("Van Wilder") guest star on NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" episode 'Outsider' premiering on Tuesday, Jan.16th at 10 PM ET/PT. In this episode, Det. Odafin "Fin" Tutuola (Ice-T) is asked by his son a resident adviser at college, to look into a rape case of a coed at his school. As the case deepens, Fin is joined by an SVU detective from Brooklyn named Chester Lake (guest star Adam Beach) who is working a similar case and believes there is a connection.

The trail leads to a women's clinic where Dets. Fin and Lake find the common link between their victims. After further investigation, a game of cat and mouse develops with the doctor's son, Henry (guest star Penn) that takes a drastic twist.

Executive Producer Neal Bear said, "We're thrilled to have film stars Adam Beach ("Flags of Our Fathers," "Windtalkers") and Kal Penn ("Van Wilder" and "Harold and Kumar Go to the White Castle") as guest stars on the episode 'Outsider.' They bring amazing energy and some funny moments to SVU--and the sparks really fly between Adam, an SVU detective from Brooklyn, and Ice-T, who are brought together on a case of rapes spreading across New York City."
Rob's review:  I saw the episode in question. Beach was a little surly (unlike his real self) and a little sleepy (like his real self). He flashed his boyish grin and charm only a couple of times. Ironically, this character is more like the Jim Chee of Tony Hillerman's Leaphorn mysteries than Beach's portrayal of Chee was.

The Chester Lake character referred only a couple of times to his Indian background. One, he said his people were the ones who built New York's skyscrapers. That's a reference to the Mohawk and other Iroquois ironworkers of the early 20th century. Perhaps Lake is supposed to be a descendent of Handsome Lake, the Seneca religious leader. Or maybe someone fondly remembered Alberta's Chester Lake and thought it would make a good name.

Two, when a suspect fled, Lake said, "He's on the wind." That may not be an Indian phrase, but it sure sounds like one.

All in all, it was a decent episode of Law & Order: SVU, nothing special. Beach's character didn't inject more energy than the typical guest star, and his conflict with Fin Tutuola (Ice-T) seemed contrived. But still, it was nice seeing a Native actor playing an unconventional role.


Rob said...

I thought about that too. But SVU is popular enough that the producers can bet on its lasting another six seasons. And Beach's contract undoubtedly has an "out" in case the show ends sooner.

I believe Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay are negotiating new contracts as we speak. Signing Beach may be a preemptive move to force them to come to terms. If one or both of them leave, the producers have Beach ready to take on a bigger role.

Anonymous said...

writerfella. you are incorrect in saying that L&O is in its 19th season. its in its 17th.

Unknown said...

Thanks for helping me identity Adam
Beach! I don't watch L&OSVU but as I was flipping stations I saw Adam Beach.

I could not, for the life of me, remember his name but knew two things: that he was First Nations and that he was a Canuck like me.

Sorry, three things - the boy is HOT.

I loved him in the episode.