Rob Miller returning could have been explosive.
He is a powerful attorney with lots of connections and a vendetta against Benson. Sure, the Benson-in-danger trope gets leaned on too often, but it sounded interesting.
Instead, Law & Order: SVU Season 20 Episode 24 chose to end Miller's story in a bizarre manner and destroy a couple of characters along the way.
The worst thing about this story is that it made absolutely no sense.
Nikki Staines was too terrified of Miller to testify, so she instead helped frame him, then testified to doing so.
Wouldn't it have been a lot easier to tell the truth in the first place?
And how, exactly, did that dazzling display of self-incrimination on Nikki's part secure a conviction against Miller, anyway?
Nikki was only a recurring character, but ruining her career with this nonsense felt like such a waste.
Before her rape, she was an excellent defense attorney and a strong foil for Stone and the rest of SVU.
Her original rape story was moving and interesting, but this follow-up was not.
Stone: Thanks for meeting me.
Nikki: I only agreed to this meeting because you said you weren't going to make me testify.
Stone: I'm not.
Nikki: So what do you want?
Stone: Same thing you want. Rob Miller behind bars.
Stone: We're gonna break a couple rules to do it.
She can't possibly still practice law after confessing to framing someone on the stand (which is a serious crime -- why is she still free to go to a bar afterward?). So now SVU can never use her again in any capacity.
Brilliant move, SVU. Just brilliant.
As for Stone, his ending was doubly disappointing.
I know he wasn't the most popular ADA SVU has ever had, but I've liked him since his Chicago Justice days and enjoyed his relationship with Benson and especially with Noah.
Stone's complicated relationship with his late father and with his schizophrenic sister added layers to his character. He deserved a better send-off than this.
If he was going to go out because of this case, it should have been because he got caught breaking the law.
Benson was offended that Stone engaged in this ridiculous, underhanded plot, yet she did nothing but complain privately to him about his behavior.
When she came into the courtroom, I thought she was going to report Stone's nonsense to the judge and Miller's conviction would be overturned, leaving a summer cliffhanger about what Miller was going to do now that he was free thanks to Benson's insistence on fairness.
Instead, Stone got away with it, and then he quit his job because he couldn't deal with his feelings for Benson. WHAT???
Benson: I don't know where to begin with you. Do her parents know that you're a criminal?
Miller: They know I was falsely accused. Their daughter is dead. Shouldn't that be our priority?
What kind of ending was that? Now the only thing viewers have to ponder over the summer hiatus is who the new DA is going to be!
Plus this made no sense. If Stone were going to quit because he was in love with Benson, wouldn't he at least try to develop a relationship with her now that there's no conflict of interest?
And how can he abandon little Noah like that? He had a special bond with Noah, more than any of Benson's boyfriends or male coworkers did, and now he's gone because he has feelings for Benson.
No. That is not acceptable. I want a proper ending for Stone!
Exactly how many people were involved in this scam, anyway? Fin arrested some guy, and Rollins called Brooke into her office -- are we supposed to believe that EVERYONE except Benson was involved in a gigantic conspiracy to frame Miller so that they could get rid of him for once and for all?
And another thing: who says Benson is safe now just because Stone pulled a fast one and got Miller locked up?
If Miller is as powerful as he claims to be, going to jail won't neutralize him. He can still use all those connections to torment Benson. He&# 39;d probably be more determined to do so, considering the circumstances of his downfall.
Stone was right about one thing: Benson was veering into vendetta territory.
It was more likely than not that Miller was involved in Lindsey's murder. Benson was right that him being the family's attorney was far too much of a coincidence to be meaningless.
But Benson was obsessively trying to prove it, and for all we know there was no evidence because this was the one time Miller was innocent.
Olivia: I haven't slept at all since learning Rob Miller is out on bail.
Fin: We got a squad car in front of your house and in front of Noah's school. There's no way he can get to you.
Olivia: You don't know that. You don't know what he's capable of. I should have shot the son of a bitch when I had the chance.
And Benson kept making references to wishing she'd killed Miller, so many that I wouldn't be surprised if on Law & Order: SVU Season 21 he turns up dead so that Benson has to defend herself against murder charges.
The one good thing to say about this entire mess is that it wasn't yet another story in which either Noah or Benson is in danger.
Miller never got further than sending some uniforms to take Noah to Benson's workplace or giving her a speech about how he has power, and she doesn't. It was pointless, but at least no one was kidnapped!
This whole disaster of a story was doubly disappointing because it was the season finale. Law & Order: SVU: Season 20 Episode 23 was a weaker story too, though at least it made some sort of sense.
Is this what we have to look forward to on Law & Order: SVU Season 21? Nonsense like this?
I hope that the new season gets back on track! SVU should be about rape cases and arguments between the cops and the DA, not about bizarre plans to trap an untouchable criminal.
What did you think, SVU Fanatics? Am I too hard on SVU or was this one of the most disappointing season finales in the history of the series?
Watch Law & Order: SVU online and then hit the comments to tell me if it was worth watching.
Law & Order: SVU has been renewed for a 21st season. It will continue to air on NBC during the 2019-2020 season.
Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.