Friday, November 21, 2014

Law & Order SVU “Pattern Seventeen” Episode Information

Here are the details for a new episode of Law & Order SVU, “Pattern Seventeen”.

Law & Order SVU “Pattern Seventeen”” Air Date December 10, 2014 (9 PM ET/8C Wednesday NBC)


When a series of young, petite girls are assaulted in the early morning hours, Detective Rollins (Kelli Giddish) matches the pattern to several rapes she worked in Atlanta. When she finds that the victims’ rape kits were never tested, Atlanta SVU Chief Patton (guest star Harry Hamlin) claims none of the cases were worth pursuing. Intense media scrutiny and the lack of a suspect brings the heat down on Sgt. Benson (Mariska Hargitay), who has to face Chief Dodds (guest star Peter Gallagher) and their commanders in a CompStat briefing. Meanwhile, a family court judge threatens to remove baby Noah from Benson’s care. Also starring Ice-T (Detective Tutuola) and Peter Scanavino (Detective Carisi). Also guest starring Myk Watford (Captain Sam Reynolds), Samantha Futerman (Annie Lin), Lou Martini (Dr. Joseph Conklin), Ebonee Noel (A

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Law & Order SVU “Spousal Privilege” Recap & Review

Law & Order SVU “Spousal Privilege” was ripped from the headlines of the Ray Rice story, and followed that story so closely that the episode was devoid of suspense. This episode WAS full of double standards and a touch of hypocrisy.

Amaro has anger has issues again. This time it is triggered by a phone call with his wife Maria where Amaro hears he won’t get his daughter Zara as promised for Thanksgiving. Just like Stabler, Amaro has learned nothing about controlling his anger. The only improvement (if you can call it that) with Amaro is now he takes out his anger on inanimate objects (a locker, a glass) rather than people. He clearly is a boiling mess of rage inside. His anger issues are far from resolved and they simmer underneath the surface. But, I feel like we’ve been there too many times before. I became tired with Stabler’s repeated anger issues and his inability to improve and I have no desire to go there again with Amaro. I am becoming indifferent to Amaro’s issues.

Rollins appears to be having an inner struggle of her own. She has too much to drink while at a bar with Amaro and goads him by physically pushing him and raising her voice at him. Lucky for Amaro, Rollins' childish and violent provocations don’t work and he smartly exits the bar (after knocking a glass off the bar in anger). One can write off Rollins’ behavior that she had too much to drink, but drinking is no excuse for anyone – men or women – for violent behavior. Does Amaro’s calm attitude towards her the next day mean that he is, in fact, making excuses for her behavior? Rollins could be defending AJ/Paula because she may see a little of herself in them regarding the loss of judgment while under the influence. Also, does Rollins’ lack of control with drink at the bar mean that a return to gambling is not far behind? I don’t mind flawed characters, but if they keep going to the same well with Rollins, I fear I will be bored.

Chad Coleman and Meagan Good were both excellent as AJ and Paula and they made this episode bearable. As always, Raúl Esparza and Elizabeth Marvel bring a real spark to the legal side of the story. Just about everyone else seemed to be phoning this one in. The whole bar scene with Amaro and Rollins was cringe-worthy and seemed forced to me.

Benson takes a bit of a holier-than-thou approach to this case. She is displeased with the fact that original ADA took the arresting officer’s word, and Barba smartly reminds he does the same for her. She also seems annoyed with Fin when he stumbled on a child porn site, but once the detectives spot a possible case of domestic violence with a famous person on that same site, suddenly she’s interested. She was dismissive with Fin and the others, acting as if she thought they were wasting their time. In reality, had Fin not been looking at that site, they may have never seen what happened to Paula until it blew up on the news. It was fitting that Calhoun took Benson to task about for having Amaro back on the squad – with a gun no less - after his episode of violent behavior and subsequent anger management. Benson was acting like domestic violence should be handled differently than violence at the hands of the police. The issue should be violence against all others, and there should be no double standard for police when something happens outside the line of duty. Benson also has to admit that the rehabilitative powers of anger management doesn’t always work, and clearly it is not working for Amaro. Benson may be in denial that her own detectives are just as flawed as the SVU perps she is trying to put in jail.

The hypocrisy: Rollins makes a comment in the squad room in sympathy for Paula, saying this was the worst night of Paula’s life - for their entertainment.  Law & Order SVU takes often tragic “ripped from the headlines” crime stories and turns them into entertainment and the network sells ad time for profit. If Rollins statement was to be some kind of subliminal condemnation of how the media and the internet takes personal tragedies and turns them into huge news stories for ratings or profit, Law & Order SVU should take a really hard look at themselves. Sometimes I think there’s a little too much excitement and glee expressed about salacious news stories that would make good SVU story lines.

Avoiding domestic violence should be as simple as having a rule saying “no person should strike another person, ever”. It’s an easy rule to live by - a lot easier if a person is raised that way. Cultural and behavioral issues can explain part of how domestic violence happens, but it should never excuse it. In reality,  when it comes to prosecuting these cases, things get messy. In this case, the video showed the violence was clearly one sided, but in the privacy of one’s own home where not ever second is recorded for posterity, things may not seem so clear.

Here is the recap:

Mariska Hargitay – Sergeant Olivia Benson
Ice-T – Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola
Kelli Giddish - Detective Amanda Rollins
Danny Pino - Detective Nick Amaro
Raúl Esparza - ADA Rafael Barba
Peter Scanavino - Detective Dominick Carisi, Jr.

Guest stars:
Meagan Good - Paula Martin
Chad Coleman - A.J. Martin
Elizabeth Marvel - Counselor Rita Calhoun
Jefferson Mays - M.E. Rudnick
Leslie Odom Jr. - Reverend Curtis Scott
Jeb Brown – Officer Denard
Korey Jackson – Brian
Lisa Kron - Judge Robin Schaeffer
David Dinkins - Judge Chet Baker
Hoda Kotb - Herself
Ian O’Malley – League Official
Nik Walker – Former Teammate
Brian Richardson – Jury Foreperson
Sebastien J. Antoine - A.J. Martin, Jr.

In the SVU squad room, Amaro is on the phone with his wife Maria. He loudly argues about custody of Zara for the Thanksgiving holiday. When Amaro hears Zara is not coming and Maria hangs up on him, he punches his locker while everyone in the squad room watches in stunned silence. Rollins tells him to take breath, but Amaro tells her not to tell him what to do. As Amaro walks off, Rollins walks to her desk and tells Fin not to say it. Fin asks, “Say what?” Benson enters the squad room and asks Amaro what happened to his hand. Amaro says it is nothing, he’s fine. Benson sees Fin looking at a web site of celebrity photos in a state of undress and asks if that is work related. He explains someone hacked celebrity nude photos and says some of the celebs are under age which makes it child porn. She tells him to wrap it up and if he finds anything to have TARU trace it. Amaro pipes in and says if you don’t want naked pictures of yourself on the internet, don’t take naked pictures of yourself. Rollins snaps it’s like if you don’t want to get assaulted, don’t wear a short skirt. They glare at each other. Amaro notices a video on the web site Fin is browsing and it is of AJ Martin, a Heisman Trophy winner and 8-time Pro-Bowler, with his baby-mamma Paula Bryant and they are fighting. They then see AJ dragging Paula into the parking lot, unconscious. Benson walks out of her office when she sees them still looking at the web site and testily asks if this is the new celebrity nude task force. They show her the video and Rollins adds it looks like it happened after the Black & White Gala at The Met 6 weeks ago. Benson comments she doesn’t remember hearing AJ was picked up on a domestic, and Amaro thinks they must have picked him up, pointing out a patrolman on the scene in the video. Fin says AJ is a sports hero and you know how this goes. Benson asks them to find if there is any video of what happened in between and when Amaro says he does not see it anyway, he suggests contacting the garage. Benson tells them to call the local precinct and find out what really happened and she will call the Chief. Fin questions that she wants them to investigate, and Benson says after Ray Rice and the others, if it looks like domestic violence, they follow up, before this becomes news.

Amaro and Rollins are at the precinct speaking with an officer and find the couple was arrested at the scene. Rollins argues Paula was woozy and missing a shoe and looked roughed up. They hear that Paula declined medical attention; AJ was polite and Paula was contrite. They were not interviewed separately. Amaro sees a football autographed by AJ and says he gets it. The officer says some low life leaked the video to RedChan and now they want to Monday morning quarterback? Rollins explains they are trying to figure out why no charges were filed. The officer says it was adjourned, contemplating dismissal. He says if they have a problem they can take it up with the DA.

Benson and Fin take the video to Barba, who says that out of context the video is disturbing but it does not contradict the police report sent to the ADA. The ADA is green, but good. They discuss what the precinct did and the outcome and says this is the deal he gave when the victim refuses to cooperate. He asks since they are celebrities should he have given them anti-preferential treatment? Benson counters the ADA should not have taken the arresting officer’s word. Barba says he takes her word all the time. He adds the deal is moot, a deal was offered and a lawyer said no. Fin questions why they turned down a get out of jail free card, and Benson thinks they called the ADA’s bluff and assumed he would get away with it. He is probably worried about PR and doing community service so he gets away with everything. Barba states there is not a lot here, asking if there is any footage from the stairwell. Fin explains Amaro and Rollins are tracking it down, and Benson adds they will know what they are going to see: the same thing they’ve seen before from these guys. He knocked her out. Barba asks with sarcasm why not convict him now? Benson firmly states AJ dragged Paula’s unconscious body out of that stairwell with no concern for her and then she said she slipped and fell? Barba says in certain ways he does not disagree – Benson says she hates it when people say that – and Barba goes on, saying since AJ did not take the offer, the case is still open. He tells Benson to find the video or get Paula to change her story.

At the home of AJ Martin and Paula Bryant on Tuesday, November 11, the couple presents a loving front to Benson and Fin. When their son walks in and tosses a football to Fin, Paula calmly chastises him for coming in while grownups are talking, and when the boy presses on, AJ shouts at him and the boy looks scared and goes to his room. While they talk about their son, Paula interjects a comment an AJ gives her an angry look. Benson makes the excuse to use the rest room to separate Paula and AJ. When they leave, Fin asks AJ if he knows what this is all about, and AJ says he is doing his job. Fin says his Sergeant wants to double check everything and asks AJ to walk him through it. AJ says they had too much to drink that night and had some words, and he loves his girl but even she will tell them she goes off the rails when she’s had a few. He is just trying to make sure everything stays within the hash marks.

Meanwhile, Benson tries to get Paula to give her more information but Paula insists she had been drinking and she tripped. AJ enters and cuts the discussion short, much to Benson’s dismay.

Back at SVU, Benson sees Fin and Rollins looking at video footage from the gala. The garage claims they erase their security cache every 7 days. Benson asks then how did the first video ends up at RedChan after 6 weeks after the event, saying they are lying and tells them to get a search warrant to find out what went down in that stairwell. Fin comments IF something went down in that stairwell. Amaro questions “if”, stating AJ dragged her out with no concern. Rollins counters if he’s ever had to move 100 pounds of passed out drunk, stating it ain’t easy. Benson thinks Paula is covering for him, reminding Fin that he saw it. She adds he was controlling and AJ’s son is terrified. Fin replies he was terrified of his mother and Rollins adds she was raised the same way. Benson questions now they are making cultural exemptions? Amaro says his father went after him with his fist and it taught him you never lay a hand on a child or a woman. Rollins says it is possible AJ could have been fending her off and both Benson and Amaro do not agree. Benson gets a phone call and then tells them to turn on LMZ on the TV now. They see the full video of AJ punching Paula in the stairway, Benson commenting that LMZ paid for the footage. Rollins states this changes everything.

Law & Order SVU “Pattern Seventeen” Promo

Here is the promo for Law & Order SVU “Pattern Seventeen” which will air on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 9PM ET on NBC.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Law & Order SVU “Spousal Privilege” Advance Photos

Here are advance photos for Law & Order SVU “Spousal Privilege” which will air on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 9PM ET on NBC. The photos feature Mariska Hargitay, Danny Pino, Raúl Esparza, Leslie Odom, Jr. (as Rev. Scott), Elisabeth Marvel (as Rita Calhoun), Chad Coleman (as AJ Martin), and Meagan Good (as Paula).

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “Spousal Privilege” can be found at this link.

Photos by: Michael Parmelee/NBC and Myles Aronowitz/NBC
2014 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.