Saturday, January 19, 2019

Law & Order SVU “A Story of More Woe” Episode Information

Here are the details for a new episode of Law & Order SVU, “A Story of More Woe.”

Law & Order SVU “A Story of More Woe” Air Date January 31, 2019 (10 PM ET/9C Thursday NBC)

Benson (Mariska Hargitay) tries to help two teenaged sisters after their father is killed. Meanwhile, Rollins (Kelli Giddish) goes into labor. Also starring Ice T, Peter Scanavino and Philip Winchester. Guest starring George Newbern (Dr. Al), Talitha Bateman (Laura Moore), Alex Kramer (Greg Callahan) and Zoe Colletti (Britney Moore).

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Friday, January 18, 2019

Law & Order SVU “Dear Ben” Recap & Review

Fans know they will be tuning in to a great episode of Law & Order SVU when they see that Jean de Segonzac is directing. Written by Julie Martin and Matt Klypka,   “Dear Ben” did not disappoint.  The SVU was faced with what first appeared to be the resurrection of a serial rapist – “The Infinity Rapist” - connected to 22 prior unsolved cases stretching back to 1981. In the course of the investigation, Peter Stone discovers these cases haunted his father, Ben, who was EADA at the time of the last rape in 1994. While unraveling the current case, Peter Stone comes to the realization that his father was consumed by the serial cases, and he likely perceived there was a threat to his family. Peter suspects his father was absent at times because of this; eventually Peter appears to forgive Ben for it.

As they work the case, they find that not only is an unhinged, obsessed copycat responsible for rape #23, the ensuing media coverage struck a nerve with the real Infinity rapist. It triggers him to rape a woman who wrote 3 books about him (and is working on a fourth), and to also attack her husband.  He makes it crystal clear that this was the real 23rd incident. While Peter has taken charge of the legal side of the case, it’s Carisi, using some of his own knowledge of the law,  who is doggedly following through on old evidence and finding the new.  This was a nice way to weave in recent stories about criminals being caught when law enforcement taps into DNA information and familial connections using genealogy web sites.

The episode had a good balance of screen time for all the lead characters, possibly only short-changing Rollins due to her pregnancy. I was pleased to see Carisi and Fin have meaningful segments while investigating. This serious episode also featured one light moment with Fin when he looked disgusted at being asked to cuff a suspect that he knew was just in the bathroom. I suppose Fin was more worried that the guy hadn’t washed his hands than if a possible rapist was going to attempt to flee.

The only annoying part of this episode is what I call a Noah sandwich: a scene at the start of the episode and a scene at the end focusing on Noah. I fully understand that it was likely to reinforce the whole father/son theme with Peter Stone and Ben, but it grated on me nonetheless. Noah is not the perfect child; he has a bad attitude and Benson is still trying to find a way to address it.  Magically, playing baseball with Stone suddenly brings out a perfect, happy, well-adjusted child. But all it takes is one line of dialog to create controversy and/or put a character in a bad light. In this episode, it was Benson’s comment to Stone about Noah that “maybe he [Noah] just needs some masculine energy.” This is a perplexing statement, especially coming from Benson. Benson strikes me as a woman who would never think that every problem can be fixed by a man’s touch or mere presence. There already was “masculine energy” with Tucker, and Tucker and Noah seemed to click.  Benson and Tucker seemed an odd but workable match…until they weren’t.  But is lack of “masculine energy” really the issue with Noah? Noah is being asked by a friend about who is his father, and he is naturally curious. Benson not wanting to tell him the whole truth is understandable, but maybe she needs a more substantial answer for him other than the standard “maybe when you’re older” routine. She should at least give him an answer that he can give to his friends to divert or shut down the discussion, something on the lines of “I don’t know my dad but I know he loved me. I know my mother (Benson) loves me, and this is all that matters.” If Noah’s behavioral problems still continue – the whole issue with his dad could only be a part of it - Noah and Benson may need the help of a doctor or child psychologist to fully understand the extent of Noah’s problem. He is the child of an addict, and that alone can mean all kinds of developmental and/or behavioral problems for him. Just like Tucker, Stone may be able to patch a void in Noah’s life but that may only be a band-aid.

There is another possibility: Noah behavior is normal and Benson’s comment about needing “masculine energy” is transference; she may think SHE needs a man in her life to  make everything better.

Considering the victims at the beginning of the episodes were chosen in part because of lax security by the tenants, it surprises me that Benson frequently doesn’t screen her visitors before they arrive at her apartment door. In this episode it was Peter Stone who arrives unannounced, but this has happened with others in previous episodes. How are these people getting so far into her building without first being cleared? I can’t think of any multi-tenant buildings that don’t require some sort of procedure allowing residents to screen their visitors before giving them access inside. In Benson’s line of work and her previous experience with people like William Lewis and Noah’s nutty grandmother, I don’t understand why she’s not more careful who arrives at her front door.

Here is the recap:

At a local park, Stone pitches a ball to Noah, giving him tips as he pitches. Noah swings and hit the ball as Benson stands behind him, watching. Noah swings and hits the ball, Stone and Benson cheering him on as he runs the bases. Stone tells Benson she has a good kid there, and Benson says “You should see him at dinner time, or bedtime, or homework time,” Stone comments that all kids go through phases - he’s told – and Benson laughs and give him a look. She comments that whatever Noah is going through now, she’s a little over it. She sighs and adds that “maybe he just needs some masculine energy.” Noah reaches them and they congratulate him on his home run, and Noah says “Thanks coach.” Stone asks if he wants to do it again, and Noah agrees. As they move off to continue, Benson watches, a smile on her face which slowly fades.

April and Gavin Baker arrive home to their apartment building and find the entrance door propped open and Gavin says he will call the super in the morning. A woman in another apartment walks out with her dog and a large bag, putting a piece of paper in the door lock to keep it unlocked. She walks down the street, the silhouette of a figure watching her as she leaves and then moves to the apartment, going through the propped open door.

Inside, April is attacked by someone who throws her onto the bed. She screams for Gavin as the attacker brings out a knife. But Gavin does not respond; he’s on the kitchen floor, bound and laying with a stack of plates on his back, unable to move.

Later, SVU is on the scene outside the building and Benson hears what happened from April as April is being taken to an ambulance. She describes what she recalls about her attacker. He told her to be quiet and if she screamed he would kill Gavin. Meanwhile, Fin is talking to Gavin, who explains he was at the kitchen sink and he felt a knife at the back of his neck. They just got home from the holidays; the building door was propped open and he thought there was something off about their door knob. The attacker’s voice was low, creepy;  he said to lay on the floor and he tied him up and stacked plates on his back. He said if he moved he’d hear. He said April was dead. Fin walks off and Benson tells him that April said the attack happened around midnight and she managed to free herself – untie herself – 3 hours later. Fin says the husband said the son of a bitch stacked plates on his back, and Benson comments while he was raping her, the attacker could hear if her husband moved. Benson moves to go inside.

Carisi, crouching over broken plates on the floor, points to the door latch and said whoever did this disassembled the door latch and jury-rigged it back together so no one would notice. Fin suspects the perp staked out the place while they were out of town, and Benson thinks they are looking at a pro. Carisi suggests maybe worse. He leads them into another room and Benson gets a shocked look on her face. Fin asks if this is for real. There are markings on the wall; an infinity symbol with 23 under it, and the letters NYPD with zero under it. Benson comments about surveilling the apartment, breaking the door lock, stacking plates…Carisi says he did not want to believe it either, asking how long has it been. Benson replies 25 years, mentioning “The Infinity Rapist.”

Back at SVU, Benson and the detectives discuss what they know so far. Benson states Infinity’s last rape was January 2, 1994; she was a rookie in the five-five [55th Precinct] and everyone in the five boroughs knew about that case. Rollins comments not so much in Georgia, asking how many rapes he was good for. Carisi replies it was 22, from 1981 to 1994; the guy targeted couples. He’d case the place, open the door or window and lie in wait and break in a second time. Fin adds the attacker would tie up the boyfriend and stack plates on their back, saying if he heard a rattle, the woman was dead. Carisi explains he took trophies – small personal items – and after the fifth rape he started leaving messages: Infinity 5, NYPD zero. Benson comments if it is him, he has been out of commission for two decades, which makes him middle-aged or older. Rollins asks if they alert Crimestoppers, and Benson explains that no, until they know what they are dealing with, One PP wants to keep it on the DL. Fin gets a message and tells the others that no DNA on April’s rape kit; CSU found two hairs on a bed that were not a match to the Baker’s and no match in CODIS. Benson instructs him to check that DNA against old evidence and have Stone do some digging.

At the Office of the District Attorney at 1 Hogan Place on Thursday, January 3, Carisi and Stone are in the file area and Carisi fills in Stone. George points them to a huge wall of files on the case and says there are over a dozen of them and says he will get a dolly. Carisi pulls out a folder and comments to Stone that he never told him his father was on this case. Stone is surprised and Carisi shows him the sign out log. Stone explains he didn’t know; he was in school and they never talked about his cases.

Law & Order SVU “A Story of More Woe” Promo

Here is the promo for Law & Order SVU, “A Story of More Woe” which will air on Thursday, January 31, 2019 at 10PM 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.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Law & Order SVU “Dear Ben” Sneak Peeks

Here are preview clips from Law & Order SVU “Dear Ben” which will air on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 10PM ET on NBC. The videos feature Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Peter Scanavino, and Philip Winchester.

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

Please note: These videos have a limited life and may be removed at any time, so catch them while you can!

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.

Law & Order SVU “Dear Ben” Photos

Here are advance photos for Law & Order SVU “Dear Ben” which will air on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 10PM ET on NBC. The photos feature Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Peter Scanavino, Philip Winchester, and Jude Ciccolella as Edgar Noone.

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

Photos by: Peter Kramer/NBC 2018 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.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Law & Order SVU “Plastic” Recap & Review

Law & Order SVU “Plastic” is a “ripped from the headlines” story based on an Orange County, California reality TV surgeon and his girlfriend who were charged with drugging and sexually assaulted women. But this episode features a twist: this fictional story has a missing girl and a dead body. The episode features guest star Mark Feuerstein, who can now call himself a “repeat offender”, having previously appeared in the Law & Order episode “Bible Story” (season 16, episode 11). He has a long way to go before he can match other guest star Kevin O’Rourke’s record as a repeat offender, Kevin having several Law & Order and SVU appearances.

When a fictional story closely matches a real story, I usually find myself losing interest quickly, and it didn’t take too long for me to become bored with this episode. Knowing that Doctor Heath Barron was a plastic surgeon,  when the story moved to a missing girl and a dead body that didn’t match this missing girl, the outcome was predictable.

I understand that time frames are compressed or accelerated for the purpose of telling the story within an hour, we didn’t see or  hear that they did any verification of Sadie’s identity. As both Heath and Sadie seem to be accomplished liars, and seeing it was Benson who suggested who Sadie really was, I would have assumed they would have checked Sadie’s DNA before calling Ceci’s father. Hopefully they will do that before Peter Stone cuts any deal with Sadie. Hopefully Sadie won’t get too much of a break – she still participated in a rape.

Here is the recap:

Heath and Sadie arrive at a party and decide to mingle. Ava and her friend Trina discuss the people who are at the party, and Ava approaches a good-looking man, who says he is broke, but fun, Heath approaches Trina and helps her carry the drinks and gives her a bottle of wine. Soon afterward, Ava gets sick in the bathroom and turns to see Sadie, who offers to help her, saying her boyfriend is a doctor. Sadie goes to get him.

Later, Trina tells everyone to get out of her bedroom, saying it is off limits. She sees the good-looking guy that Ava had been talking to, who told her Ava got wasted and she left. But Ava is staggering as she walks down the street, and stops a few times to ring doorbells and asks for help. One person answers and says she has the wrong house, but when he sees on his doorbell camera that Ava has collapsed, he and his partner race to help. When he opens the door, she says she has been raped. They call 911.

At Mercy Hospital at 3665 West 32nd Street on Sunday, December 6, Benson and Carisi arrive; he brought her coffee with almond milk and no sugar. Benson says he is the best. They discuss the victim, Ava Parcells, who had drugs in her system and high blood alcohol. They did a rape kit. Benson worries with that level of intoxication Ava won’t know what planet she is on.

When they speak with Ava, she denies doing drugs, ever. Benson suggests he may have slipped her something, and when asks if they mean in her drink, Carisi suggests maybe. Carisi asks if she recalls where she was last night, and Ava states that her new boss, Trina, had a party at her loft. She had a few Moscow mules. Benson questions if she was with anyone, and Ava says that she was dancing with this guy. Lee, and her body started to feel heavy and hot. She went to the bathroom as she thought she was going to throw up. After that, everything got fuzzy. Benson asks if she has any idea where or when she was assaulted, if it was at the loft party. Ava is not sure. She woke up in a strange bed, her ankles were tied. She untied them and then she just ran. Benson asks if she can remember any other details, like a noise a sound, or a specific smell. Ava replies he smelled sweet, like Gucci Rush, it made her think of high school. Benson thinks this is helpful, and asks if there was a woman. Ava realizes the scent was a woman’s; Ava’s hands were pinned down and she couldn’t move, and they were taking turns. Carisi questions, “they?” and she cries and says it was a couple – a man and a woman – they both raped her.

Afterward, Fin and Carisi speak with Trina at her loft. She found Ava’s purse and phone under a table, She did not see Ava leave, and says Lee didn’t assault Ava, he was with her all night, showing him sleeping in her bed. When the detectives seem to suspect Trina and Lee, she mentions another couple at the party. One of the guys said he was a doctor and he brought an expensive bottle of wine, which Trina hands to Carisi.

Back at SVU, Fin and Carisi explains to Benson it was not Lee, his DNA did not match. Rollins tracks the expensive wine purchase to Dr. Heath Barron, a celebrity plastic surgeon, Mr. Mommy Makeover. His girlfriend is Sadie Parker, who owns Sadie’s Sugar Shack, designer cupcakes. Benson tells them to see if Ava can make an ID.

With Rollins and Carisi, Ava looks at a photo array and Ava identifies Heath as the guy from the party, saying he looks so familiar. Carisi asks if she’s seen him on TV, and Ava explains she doesn’t watch TV, adding he was definitely there. She says Trina said he brought an expensive bottle of red wine. Rollins brings up photos of women, and Ava spots Sadie and says she was so nice, the woman took her outside when she was feeling sick. Carisi asks if she remembers getting in a car with them, and Ava thinks maybe, she doesn’t know. Rollins asks what does she remember about them, and Ava replies that the woman gave her a drink from her water bottle and after that, she went into a dark hole. Before she blacked out, the woman said she was going to get her boyfriend, he was a doctor.

At the townhouse of Dr. Heath Barron at 99 Grove Street on Sunday, December 16, Benson speaks with Heath, who says sex can become complicated. He seems cooperative. He denies drugging her, saying Ava offered him and Sadie drugs. He took nothing but Sadie took a pill.

Meanwhile, Carisi speaks with Sadie who says Ava was into it. She implies Ava was coming on to her. She mentions running into her in the bathroom and took her outside for air and went outside for air. She took the drugs Ava offered and they got handsy and kissed and then Heath arrived.

Benson mentions to Heath that Ava had klonopin in her system, and Heath denies giving it to her. He said Ava suggested taking the party home, and he and Sadie like to have fun on the off hours. Sadie also states to Carisi it was Ava’s idea to come home with them. She says Ava told Heath to tie her up, and when they woke up she was gone. Sadie denies raping her, saying Ava was obviously on drugs and acting out a sexual fantasy and was using them.

Benson comments this is a regular thing, picking up women. Heath laughs and says Sadie and he have been together forever and ever, like an old married couple. He says she jokes to add sugar to maintain freshness, saying she is a baker. Benson suggests Ava was the sweetener. Heath gets a serious look and states he has a public profile and doesn’t know anything about this woman and her agenda. He question if that is on him, and he admits yes, but denies he or Sadie assaulted her. He adds that if she keeps this up, he will have to call his lawyer.

Back at SVU, Benson and Rollins discuss the case, that they’ve heard this story a hundred times before. Rollins quips that Botox and cupcakes sounds tempting, saying she could dream. Both people were attractive and maybe Ava, with vodka and ecstasy in the mix…Benson and Rollins see Ava has arrived at SVU. They lead her into Benson’s office. She asks what are Heath and Ava saying, and Benson explains they are claiming it was consensual and that Ava gave them the drugs. She did nothing of the sort. They explain that Sadie said Ava did a three way in college and wanted to try again, and Ava testily counters she did not want this. She is upset they don’t believe her, shouting she did not want this. She gets angry and Benson says they will build a case and they will start by getting a search warrant for their apartment. Ava leaves.