SVU Episode #15-18: Criminal Stories

Was that … sexual tension between Alec Baldwin and Detective Olivia Benson? Cassidy, watch out! Tonight’s episode was a tight and realistic riff on the Tawanna Brawley case. It was also Mariska Hargitay’s directorial debut. I think she hit it out of the ballpark – maybe even to Jupiter?

Recap:

A beautiful young Muslim woman named Heba is found injured and raped in Central Park. At first, she claims that she was assaulted by two white strangers who shouted anti-Muslim slurs. The city is shocked by the hate crime.

Olivia races against a swaggering journalist played by a swaggering Alec Baldwin. Alec’s sources are better than the SVU’s. Soon, he discovers that Heba wasn’t raped in Central Park! “HOAX” screams his front-page headline the next day. Heba’s family enlists the help of a pulpit-pounding minister (why not an imam? because the minister is a regular guest star on SVU), who denounces the NYPD for leaking the case and disgracing Heba.

It turns out Heba was raped, just in a different manner – [Read more...]

SVU Episode #15-17: Gambler’s Fallacy

Whoa! In tonight’s shocking episode, Amanda performed some acts no cop ever should. By the second commercial break I was bidding her character farewell, because there was no way NYPD could keep her on the force. Then, in a fabulous plot twist, the writers turned everything its head. The episode wasn’t particularly realistic, but it scored high points for fun.

Recap:

Amanda hasn’t kicked her gambling problem. In fact, she’s traded her Gamblers Anonymous meetings for gambling at an illegal speakeasy in an abandoned warehouse. She’s down $15,000 when a waitress recognizes she’s a cop.

Amanda spends the rest of the episode trying to work off her debt to the beautiful pregnant boss lady and her Irish rogue deputy, who rough up Amanda and threaten to turn her in to Internal Affairs if she doesn’t do their bidding.

Amanda’s sins grow exponentially. In sequence, she:

(1) Looks to fix traffic tickets, but ultimately demurs, saying NYPD is watching this now,
(2) Tracks a juror’s address so the bad guys can “have a talk” with her, but then has an attack of conscience and doesn’t turn the address over,
(3) Performs oral sex on the Irish guy! While he tapes it on his cellphone video! (…which is the only act on this list which, if performed correctly, would not lead to her immediate termination if discovered…)
(4) Disposes of a gun from the police evidence room, in order to set free co-conspirator Carlos and keep his DNA out of the system!
(5) After Carlos rapes the wife of an ambassador in debt to the speakeasy, goes to their home, showing the victims that their assailants have friends in the NYPD!
(6) Fixes a DNA test to exonerate the rapist!
(7) Points a gun at the pregnant boss’s belly and threatens to kill the unborn baby!
(8) Extorts the boss’s art dealer / criminal mastermind boyfriend to the tune of a million dollars and a private jet to fly her out of the country!

I thought poor Kelli Giddish’s contract fell through, or maybe she’s heading to CSI, because her character is done.

)

But it turned out that Amanda did not, in fact, fellate the Irish guy. [Read more...]

SVU Episode # 15-16: “Gridiron Soldier”

Today’s post is written by the fabulous David Delee.  David was a licensed private investigator and holds a Masters in Criminal Justice. Now he writes the acclaimed Grace deHaviland Bounty Hunter novels and is a star of the Dark Road Publishing empire. Check out his latest novel, Pin Money.

Image of David DeLee

David was kind enough to fill in for me because I’m still hunkered down trying to finish up my next book. I’m six days past my publisher’s deadline. Gah! I’m the person who shows up five minutes early for everything. David’s generous blogging freed me up to perfect my own story (which I’m hoping to turn in tomorrow).  With my extra time last night, I wrote a smoking hot sex scene. So, when my book eventually comes out and you get to the part where you think Yowzers! you’ll know that was written the evening of 3/5/14, while intrepid David was discovering the crazy things that turn up in Google when you’re researching SVU.

Many thanks, David! Hope you’re recovering from your 3 AM Google adventures today!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

Talk about life imitating art. Tonight’s SVU episode began by tackling the Jonathan Martin – Richie Incognito hazing scandal and ended with University of Missouri player Michael Sam’s

recent announcement about his sexual orientation. Quite a feat considering the episode was written in December and wrapped up production in early February, days before Sam came out according to an article in the Wall Street Journal today.

Recap: Amanda Rollins is spending her time off in a bar upset over a ref’s bad call in a basketball game on TV. Turns out she’s in deep with her bookie, who’s threatening her, and so desperate she goes to her ex-sponsor, ‘thirteen-stepper’ Nate who’s surprisingly free with his bar’s money, giving it to Rollins, presumably so she doesn’t get her legs broken, asking only in return she go to a Gambler’s Anonymous meeting with him.

 Meanwhile football player Cedric Jones arrives in town from Georgia where he’s met by Hudson University coach Bill Becker and Zoe and Tanya, two, beautiful, young women the coach introduces as his hostesses for the weekend. After telling the girls he’s committed to Georgia Tech, Cedric attends the recruitment dinner where the coach has some of the other players give him a tour of the facility, a tour that ends in the weight room, where according to one of the players, “boys turn into men,” and where Zoe and Tanya are waiting for him, with a blindfold, and Cedric with a grin so big it would make the Cheshire Cat proud. [Read more...]

SVU Episode #15-14: Comic Perversion

Tonight’s Law & Order: SVU started with a special warning: “Due to sensitive content, viewer discretion is advised.” Whoa, I thought. When a show that has tackled dolphin sex, vodka tampons, and sexualized amputation fetishes has to open with a warning, you’d better brace yourself. But although the language was offensive, the episode tackled some real issues in a way that was explicit and interesting but not exploitative.

Recap:

Riffing on the real-life Tosh scandal, “Comic Perversion” was about a comedian who jokes about rape. The fictional “Josh” headlines at a comedy club, where he gets laughs by suggesting that rape is funny, and that a feminist protester in his audience will “get” the joke if she’s gang-raped later that night. [Read more...]

The Emergency Sasquatch Ordinance

What have you been doing with SVU off the air? Watching a lot of hockey?  I’ve been desperately trying to finish writing my next book (the deadline is in  nine days — gulp!) and reading an awesome legal humor book during breaks (while standing at the counter eating peanut-butter bagels).

“The Emergency Sasquatch Ordinance” is the first book by lawyer/blogger Kevin Underhill, the man who consistently wins the “Fun” category in the ABA’s legal blog rankings.  If you’ve read his blog, Lowering the Bar, you know he has a hilarious, clever take on the most absurd legal happenings every day.  If you don’t read his blog, go do it now.  I’ll wait.  Funny, right? [Read more...]

SVU Episode #15-13: Wednesday’s Child

Tonight’s SVU did something only this show can: it entertained and riveted, while teaching about a horrific American problem. In this gut-wrenching episode, SVU cast a light on the real-life tragedy of “rehoming”: the practice of giving up adopted kids via Internet chat rooms, and the abuse that flourishes in this blackmarket of thrown-away children.

Recap:

The SVU detectives are called into a home when it appears that a child has been abducted. In fact, the 7-year-old boy was given up by his mother, without the father’s knowledge. The couple had adopted him from former Soviet state of Georgia, only to learn that he had serious developmental and social problems.

Mom couldn’t take it, so she went to a chat room and met a well-meaning but ditzy middleman who took the child, then promptly gave him to a couple with a false address and a forged home-study. The new family turns out to be pornographers who took the boy to use in their child porn videos.

Olivia and her team eventually track them down to a cheap motel, where they save the boy and three little girls. In the motel room, they also find an infant baby. The infant is unclaimed and sent into the foster care system.

Olivia, who spent a large part of this episode in an exciting but ultimately anticlimactic pregnancy head-fake, looks longingly at the baby as her biological clock ticks ominously in the background.

[Read more...]

SVU Episode #15- 12: Betrayal’s Climax

If Shakespeare wrote about sex crimes in New York … the result probably wouldn’t look like tonight’s SVU episode. This thug was no Romeo. Nevertheless, “Betrayal’s Climax” was a powerful episode, illuminating the tragic consequences of modern gang violence, misogyny, and misguided codes of honor.

Recap:

Olivia is promoted! During a beautiful ceremony, tears well up in the characters’ collective eyes (mine too). Congratulations, Sgt. Benson. After fifteen years of compassionate and dedicated service, you deserve this.

Meanwhile, 16-year-old Avery lives in a posh brownstone on the Upper West Side and paints happy portraits of lovers holding hands. She’s madly in love with her Hispanic boyfriend, Manny, who lives in the projects and is trying to save money to buy his dead brother a tombstone. Avery’s patrician parents, of course, disapprove. This disapproval grows just a tad when a study-date at Avery’s house turns into a gang-rape, where three members of the notorious BX-9 gang hold a gun to Manny’s head while brutalizing Avery on her parents’ 600-threadcount Egyptian cotton sheets.

Turns out, Manny was a recent BX-9 recruit. Immediately before the assault, his friends called to say they were coming over to Avery’s house to “party,” and he knew what that meant. Raping Avery was the gang’s way of punishing Manny for botching the robbery of a pharmacy a few weeks back.

But guess who feels worse than Manny? Poor bruised Avery, who experienced orgasms during the rape, while Manny watched. She never came with Manny – [Read more...]

SVU Episode #15-11: “Jersey Breakdown”

Olivia’s drinking! Amanda’s gambling! Nick’s possibly stalking his wife! The SVU is in serious trouble when Finn is the most functional detective in the squad.

Recap:

In tonight’s dizzying episode, every law-enforcement character needed either a therapist, a twelve-step program, or a defense attorney.

The episode started in the usual fashion: a drunken girl in an alley is fondled by some shady passers-by. But that’s just the end of an extremely bad night for 16-year-old Erin.

See, Erin is a waitress at a strip club, and the owner (played by the ever-slick Chazz Palminteri) allowed one of his VIP patrons to rape her in a private room, before dumping her in that alley. Chazz won’t give up the name of the VIP – and he tries to stop Erin, too. Turns out, Chazz has some seriously powerful friends. Erin is arrested by New Jersey police and charged with credit-card fraud in Hudson County, where a mustachioed DA named Musconi and his sour ADA wife fight hard to keep Erin in Jersey custody. A Jersey judge with a samurai-sword fetish sends Erin to a horrific, privately-run juvenile detention center.

Barba decides the only way to get Erin back to New York is to take his case federally. He enlists the federal human trafficking task force, led by lovely AUSA Connie Rubirosa, who has far better eyebrows and office space than any real prosecutor could ever hope for. [Read more...]