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In brief:
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and
and "V.I.P."


In brief: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Friday, May 19; 10 to 11 p.m.; NBC) concludes its first season with a typically fraught episode in which the team, even as they are being evaluated for stress by police psychologist Audra McDonald, find themselves investigating a case of human slavery that involves torture, rape, murder, control-freak bankers, and mad-dog veterinarians. A cliffhanger, in that we won't learn until next fall which member of the unit needs shrink-wrapping. Am I alone in finding the absence of courtroom antics in this spin-off a relief? . . . V.I.P. (Saturday, May 20, 6 to 7 p.m., and Sunday, May 21, 1 to 2 a.m.; Fox) likewise concludes its season with a typically frothy episode, in which the team, even as their breasts are falling out, try to save Lee Majors from a renegade faction of the CIA trying to shut him up about Project Omega in Paraguay. Now that I'm no longer ironic, I watch this series for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. laughs. And they are many, with subtextual references to everything from The Fall Guy to The Ipcress File.


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