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!

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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 #15-11: “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...]

SVU Episode #15-9: Psycho Therapist

I’m glad the SVU writers aren’t defense attorneys. In tonight’s harrowing episode, they took an open-and-shut criminal case and convincingly turned it into a squeaker, where the jury could have plausibly exonerated the monster who kidnapped and tortured our long-suffering heroine. I tip my hat to the excellent writing – and acting – that made this a great episode.

Recap:

Sporting a new limp, hypnotic facial scars, and a conspicuous hearing aid, monstrous Louis is brought to trial for all the horrific things he did to Olivia in the season premiere. [Read more...]

SVU Episode #15-8: Rapist Anonymous

In a riveting riff on the Jodi Arias case, tonight’s SVU was smart, fast-moving, and got a lot right. It was also the rare episode where the real-life headlines were more lurid than the episode it inspired. A good chunk of the Arias trial was too explicit to air on NBC.

Recap:

Amanda finally seems to have her act together: attending AA meetings and dating a cute guy named Nate. But scratch the surface and things aren’t so pretty.

Amanda doesn’t have a drinking problem; her addiction is gambling. She’s only attending Alcoholics Anonymous to support Nate, who is also her Gamblers Anonymous sponsor. See, Nate is not only a “double winner” – dealing with both addictions – he’s a “thirteen-stepper,” using the programs to seduce nubile newbies like Amanda. Worse, Nate is sleeping with a lovely alcoholic named Lena. He doesn’t mention this to Amanda, who unwittingly befriends her romantic rival.

Lena, meanwhile, is caught in a dysfunctional relationship with a diaper salesman named Gene, who’s engaged to someone else. One night, Lena shows up at Amanda’s doorstep, crying that Gene raped her. [Read more...]

SVU Episode #15-5: October Surprise

The fact that SVU waited until the fifth episode of the season to peek down Anthony Weiner’s trousers shows an admirable level of restraint. “October Surprise” was a fun storyline, although, like the politician it portrayed, some of the details were sketchy. The real Weiner scandal was far more interesting. I suppose it’s hard to fictionalize a true story that is itself totally unbelievable.

Recap: Handsome Alejandro Muñoz is twelve days away from becoming New York’s first Hispanic mayor, campaigning with his beautiful wife by his side. That is, until the SVU detectives are called to the apartment of a screechy blonde named Lindsey who’s fighting off a mope named Eddie. She claims Eddie was trying to rape her.

But that’s a lie. See, Eddie is one of Muñoz’s best friends since childhood and his current bodyguard. Eddie was actually at Lindsey’s place to pay her off, so she wouldn’t tell the world that she exchanged lurid text messages with Muñoz.

Amanda sets up the online equivalent of running through a park in spandex, and flirts with Muñoz by email. After a couple of “hey babies,” Muñoz texts her a picture of his hairy stomach and then (as Ice-T puts it) a photo of “the full Muñoz.”

Turns out, Muñoz sexted a bunch of different women, including a 15-year-old high school girl who reciprocated with a naked photo of herself, thus making him the purveyor of child porn.

But wait! There’s more. Muñoz’s other childhood bestie is our good ADA Rafael Barba, who, of course, is assigned to the case. Barba wrings his hands about what to do, and even tells Muñoz that his texts are under investigation. Muñoz, Nick, and Barba engage in some chest-thumping about who’s the most Hispanic alpha-male of the bunch (a competition which Barba, who I thought was Italian, clearly loses). [Read more...]

SVU Episode #15-4: Wonderland Story

Tonight’s SVU promised a trip down an Alice-inspired rabbit hole of mind-bending drugs, hipster popup parties, and sly trust-fund kids. But the thing about “Wonderland Story” that was curiouser and curiouser was the oblivious way that the detectives botched their investigation.

Recap:
A pretty blond named Sarah wakes up and discovers she’s been raped – for the second time in two years. At first, we suspect Michael Wedmore, the guy who got away with holding a gun to Sarah’s head and raping her in Season 13. But that would be crazy, right? I mean, no one gets raped by the same stranger multiple times (except in the SVU episode “Behave,” where Jennifer Love Hewitt was raped by the same stranger four separate times.) Anyway, Wedmore has an alibi: working at the nearby hospital and going on a church retreat (all of which seemed rather out-of-character for this psychotic gun-toting rapist, but let’s go with it).

So our detectives don some designer jeans and go undercover (of course!) to follow a path through some spectacular popup Manhattan and Hamptons parties. They discover that a preppy young millionaire named Cameron is using GHB to immobilize and rape young women at these lavish, secret soirees. Not only did he probably drug and rape Sarah, he also probably drugged and raped her best friend Nicole, who doesn’t realize that her blurry night and sore morning in the Hamptons some months ago were probably the result of a sexual assault.

The detectives briefly debate whether they should tell Nicole that she might have been raped. Yes, they decide. “We think you were raped,” Olivia tells her. Nicole can’t believe it. Amanda assures her, “We wouldn’t have told you if we weren’t sure.” “Cameron is a serial rapist,” Olivia adds. “We need to put him away.” (As the Red Queen might say: “Off with his head!”) [Read more...]

SVU Episode #15-3: “Internal Affairs”

Olivia’s in love! Munch is retiring! And Cassidy reluctantly kisses three women in a single episode. “Internal Affairs” was a smart riff on some seriously troubling headlines – but it was the personal drama that stole tonight’s show.

Recap: A terrible NYPD cop named West is escorting drunken young women home from nightclubs, only to rape them once they’re inside. West’s female partner, Quinn, routinely stands guard, lies to protect him, and makes bogus 911 calls for cover.

Beady-eyed Lt. Tucker of Internal Affairs enlists the help of SVU and Olivia’s on-again boyfriend, Cassidy. Tucker promises to return Cassidy’s badge and close the investigation into Cassidy’s own IAB case if Cassidy goes undercover and catches the bad cops.

Cassidy agrees, takes a break from adorably unpacking wine glasses into the new apartment he and Olivia are moving into, and becomes West’s new “partner.” Along the way, Cassidy has to hook up with a call girl in order to gain West’s trust. Poor Olivia, who is Cassidy’s backup, has to listen to her boyfriend murmuring, “Oh yeah baby, right there” to a hooker, via his hidden microphone.

As I recall, Cassidy got into quite a heap of trouble last season for doing exactly this. The man is cute, but he is not a fast learner. [Read more...]

SVU’s Season 14 Finale: “Her Negotiation”

The good news: Law & Order: SVU will be back this autumn for a 15th season. The bad news: they ended their 14th with one of the silliest episodes of the year.

Recap: A guy burns off his own fingerprints on a hot stove, then ambles to Central Park and uses his newfound anonymity to flash some pretty Scandinavian tourists. The entire SVU squad foregoes their day off to process the flasher.

At first, our detectives have a hard time ID’ing the fingerprintless guy, but he tells them the halfway house where he’s staying, and they soon have a copy of his drivers license. He’s Louis Williams, who has no prior record of sexual assaults.

Louis is released from jail and promptly goes to the home of a grandmotherly witness to the flashing. He holds a gun to Gramma’s head, ties her to the bed, and repeatedly rapes her. He heats up keys and metal hangers and brands her. He beats her up. He leaves his semen and saliva all over her and her apartment, then leaves her alive and tied to the bed. (Because the criminal mastermind who’s brilliant and committed enough to burn off his own fingerprints is going to leave his DNA all over the apartment, and the witness around to ID him. Sure.)

Gramma’s neighbor finds her and calls the police. As soon as they arrive, a bloodied Gramma exclaims from the stretcher she’s being carried out on, “It was Louis Williams! The guy from the park! He raped me!”

Olivia and Nick interrogate Louis, who gives a “hypothetical” but totally damning statement in which he lists all the intimate details only the rapist would know. “What do you want to hear?” he asks Olivia. “How I put out my cigarettes on her, how I branded her private parts with keys and hot hangers?”

He goes on and on, in a detailed monologue about raping Gramma that was so disturbing I may need years of therapy to recover from it. [Read more...]