Thursday, January 6, 2011
Law & Order SVU “Possessed” Recap & Review
I also found it odd that Daniel, while in prison, was allowed to easily lean over and whisper something to Larissa. Yes, I know they had been friends in the past, but he was still a prisoner and I thought prison security worked a little harder to keep some distance between prisoners and victims. I also wonder why Hardwicke didn’t seem to press Larissa on what Daniel told her. Ultimately that risked another girl being attacked and Larissa killing Underwood. And is it just me, or is Hardwicke becoming annoying? It makes me wonder if we will ever have an ADA that can work well with the SVU detectives and support their efforts, rather than be viewed as the roadblock of the week.
There are a few things that are constants in the Law & Order universe – it’s easy to get killed at the courthouse, and getting put in witness protection is as good as no protection at all (one usually ends up dead while under protection). It’s nice to know that there is another constant in this episode – that a person is likely to die in prison at the hands of another prisoner. Of course, in this episode, you just had to know that Balogh would find himself dead, only because they would need him later. Now maybe in New York prisoners kill each other all the time, then again, maybe the writers need to come up with a new plot device in order to create an interesting story.
(Note: Cab # 5Y62 appears in both “Pop” and “Possessed”, both episodes which aired on January 5. In “Pop”, it’s the cab driven by the killed boy’s uncle. In “Possessed”, it’s the cab that drops off Larissa Welsh at the SVU precinct. I guess that cab is the “SVU Express.”)
Here is the recap:
Patrick Binder comes to the apartment of his girlfriend Larissa Welsh to find her tied to a chair and unconscious, wearing underwear with the name “Brandy”. He is then beaten by a naked fat man wearing a mask. Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) later arrive at the hospital to question the victims. Larissa is still unconscious from an overdose of rohipnol. She has many razor cuts on her, as her attacker shaved her from the neck on down. They question Patrick who describes her attacker. He says Larissa hated the name Brandy.
Back at SVU, Benson and Stabler, along with Munch (Richard Belzer) and Fin (Ice-T) discuss the case. They have no DNA but find the rapes match the MO of two others in Jersey and Connecticut, both little girls.
Fin questions one of the young victims and said her attacker showed her photos of Brandy, and he also said Brandy had a birthmark. Stabler speaks with the other young victim, Paula and she asks if he is testing her, that her attacker said people would test her into telling. Stabler says he can protect her. She asks what about the letter – and shows him a letter that she found under her pillow. She said “they” put it there and they call themselves “Coventry.” It is a photo of a heart logo with a messages that says they are watching her.
Back at SVU, Dr. Huang (BD Wong) says that these are underground pedophile symbols. Munch says they only use the word Coventry when then want to scare their victims. They watch a film of a young girl and Stabler notices Larissa has the same birthmark. CSU guy managed to get a print off the photo that was sent to Paula and it matches to Eldon Balogh (Devin Ratray). The police and detectives later descend on Balogh’s apartment and find a video of him with Larissa before Patrick had arrived. They also find many more videos. He also left his email account open so they open the files and see photos of Larissa at the hospital. Fin calls Benson and she races to Larissa’s room and finds that she has been taken for testing – and it was Balogh. She orders them to lock down the hospital and they all search for Larissa. Stabler find a locked door and security opens it. They find Larissa there, unconscious, and Balogh appears to have just attacked her. Stabler tackles him and beats him, and Fin pulls him off.
Later, Benson speaks with an outraged Larissa who is leaving the hospital. Benson says they caught him. Larissa finds that he took video. She admits this happened when she was a child – she was Brandy. She says people stare at her because they recognize her. She says perverts have that look in their eyes and they will never leave her alone. She said the man who attacker her was a fan, he broke in and shoved pills down her throat. He told her this is the happiest day of his life.
Back at SVU, Balogh admits to Stabler that it was the happiest day of his life, and he had been looking for her for years. He describes what he did in detail. He also describes what he did to the other young girls. He said it wasn’t rape, it was natural. He touches Stabler and Stabler is clearly creeped out by this. He said he is jealous of the old man and how lucky he was, and he didn’t mean to murder him. He said it was Underwood, he met him on the Internet and knew Brandy as a child and he just wanted him to tell him Brandy’s real name.
At the home of Orville Underwood, Benson and Stabler find him laying on the floor next to his bed. They call for help. He tells them it has always been this way ever since they accused him of raping that girl. He only gave Balogh Larissa’s real name because he said he would kill him. They realize that Underwood turned Larissa into Brandy.
At Brandy’s , Larissa tells Benson about her initial abduction and attack. Meanwhile. back at SVU, Fin tells the team that Larissa’s foster parents, Edward and Roberta Parker, had 7 other foster kids and they never reported Larissa missing. Larissa tells Benson about Daniel, another boy who was taken. She does not know what happened to him. Fin tells Stabler that later Larissa identified Underwood by his distinctive belt buckle and he was arrested and charged, but lack of physical evidence allowed him to be acquitted. Larissa tells Benson there were other girls before her but they were targeted for termination by Coventry. Fin tells Stabler that Underwood later became a lawyer fighting for the unjustly accused. Munch tells them that the lab found Orville’s DNA on the pillowcase found at Balogh’s house.
Fin and Stabler confront Underwood (David Patrick Kelly) about these facts and he says he was at Balogh’s place and “had the urge” so he decided to “peel the banana” (Stabler’s words). He reminds the detectives they need probable cause to hold him too much longer. ADA Hardwicke (Melissa Sagemiller) gets the detectives out of the room and tells them to release Underwood. He says they do not have enough. She also casually tells them Eldon Balogh was beaten to death last night in prison for bragging about raping Brandy and the other girls.
As Stabler walks Underwood out, the two trade words and Stabler tells him he hopes he dies a slow and painful death and to have a nice day. As Underwood moves toward a taxi, Larissa steps out of it. Benson and Stabler see this and pull Underwood off, and Larissa throws up on Stabler.
At SVU, Stabler, Benson and Larissa talk. They tell her Balogh was murdered in jail, and that they are working to get Underwood and ask for her help. They ask her about finding Daniel and count him as a new accuser. All she can remember is Daniel’s smile the day she got away.
Watching from the observation area. Dr. Huang says Larissa has build walls between the past and present. He says the videos were not available to prosecutors until 1996 and that viewing the images may trigger more memories.
Later, she watches one of the videos and Daniel is in one of them. She said it is like a dream, she was drugged. He just remembers the jars of peanut butter which is what Underwood fed them, when they were empty Daniel would bury them in the backyard and put notes to his parents in them. He called them wishing jars and if they prayed they might be found. She wore the leather wristband that he was wearing the day she got away and buried in a jar in the backyard of her foster home. She made a wish that Daniel might find it.
Later, forensics people, with Munch and Fin are at Larissa’s foster parent’s home digging up the yard. The jar is located. Back at the lab, they got 5 partial DNA matches from the DNA on the wristband. One belonged to a missing boy, Daniel Brooks, from 16 years ago. The same DNA popped more recently for crimes by Daniel Brooks who now owns an abandoned factory in lower Manhattan,
The detectives go to this warehouse and see a Coventry logo on the wall. Elsewhere in the building, Daniel (Brian Justin Crum) is watching them on surveillance and tells kids there with him that they have to go. He races out with a boy, Michael, but leaves a girl there. Stabler chases him and Daniel dangles Michael over a railing and tells Stabler to back off. Stabler tries to talk him down and Daniel pulls Michael off the railing.
At SVU in interrogation, Daniel speaks with Benson and Stabler. He denies knowing Underwood. They show him a photo and he said the kid in the picture is not him anymore. He says he was a victim but he is not any more.
Later, the detectives speak with Huang, who says Daniel’s abuse at his age was tantamount to brainwashing. He thinks turning from victim to victimizer was his way of taking control of his screwed up life. Fin tells bring in a box of items found at Underwood’s behind a panel, it’s many book about writing how tos for the peds. Fin says this garbage should be banned. I also seems that Balogh used one of the guides to attack Larissa and they can use it to get Underwood.
At a pre-trial hearing, Hardwicke uses the book, as how-to manuals. to establish a conspiracy. Judge Moredock (John Cullum) asks if Balogh can confirm this and Hardwicke says that Balogh is now dead. But Underwood argues that her case fails to meet the criteria of a conspiracy. Moredock asks for 15 minutes to review the facts. Later, he returns and says that despite his contempt for the defendant, he grants a request for dismissal. He tells Hardwicke to spend her energy building a prima facie case for her charges as she can’t make the connection needed between the defendant and the co- conspirator who now cannot speak for himself. Larissa tells Hardwicke they have to get Daniel to testify , and she asks to talk to Daniel.
At Rikers Island, Hardwicke and Larissa visit with Daniel. He seems angry, saying that she never came back for him and she didn’t try hard enough. She tells them what he is doing with the kids and he seems to think this is a way to share his love. She tries to explain how Underwood spoiled them and they have to put him away and that he deserves to be punished. He says they are broken and nothing van fix them, it’s been 15 years and asks if she is fixed yet. He whispers something into her ear and leaves.
Back at SVU, Stabler says it is over and they should lick their wounds and move on. Stabler gets a phone call telling him that a girl named Brandy barged into Underwood home with a gun and then the line went dead. They arrive at Underwood’s to find police on the scene. As they stand outside a door, they hear talking, then gunshots. They enter to see Larissa standing at the foot of Underwood’s bed, holding a gun. Underwood has been shot once in the head and once in the chest. She drops the gun. They hear the sound of a young girl crying and they find her in the bathtub. Larissa said that at Rikers, Daniel said Underwood was still doing it.
Later, as Larissa walks out with the young girl who is being taken to an ambulance, Stabler asks Hardwicke what she wants to do. Hardwicke says Larissa used deadly force to stop Underwood from raping the girl, which is defense of a third person – Larissa walks. Stabler says it works for him. Larissa asks them if they are going to arrest her and Benson says it is over. Larissa says, maybe, and we fade to black.
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