It would seem Ethan Cutkosky is finding himself on the verge of being typecast as a psychopathic child. Currently known for playing Carl Gallagher on Shameless, a character with a violent streak at school and who occasionally brings small animals home to kill them, Cutkosky has been tapped to guest star in an upcoming episode of Law & Order: SVU that will focus on troubled children. Cutkosky will play just such a child. He’s still a young actor, but apparently he plays violent children well enough to be asked to do so on more than one occasion. I sincerely hope Cutkosky is a bundle of joy in real life.
Known for taking its plots straight for newspaper headlines, the episode Cutkosky appears in no doubt inspired by the various mass shootings that have taken place over the last year, particularly those in Aurora, Colo. And Newton, Conn. TV Guide reported Cutcosky would be playing a troubled boy named Henry Mesner. He seems like a normal kid and has had an apparently supportive upbringing, but despite several diagnoses and prescriptions Henry has become increasingly antisocial and violent. It raises the question, was Henry born a psychopath or can he be saved from such a fate?
When they take the case, Benson and Co. will turn to former series regular and returning guest star George Huang (BD Wong) for his professional opinion. The episode won’t include any scenes of mass violence – that would be of bad taste – but will explore the questions of what happens to these troubled kids who don’t receive the help they need. I can only hope the episode manages to be as sensitive as possible with this subject. I’d be interested in knowing Cutkosky’s perspective on all of this. Is he aware of the subject matter or is the crew doing their best to shield him from the truth of what he’s portraying?