Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Law & Order SVU “Can’t Be Held Accountable” Sneak Peeks

Here are sneak peeks from Law & Order SVU, “Can’t Be Held Accountable” airing on Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 10PM ET on NBC. This is the fall finale. The videos feature Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, Jamie Gray Hyder, Nicholas Turturro as Detective Frank Bucci, and Vincent Kartheiser as Steve Getz.

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

SVU_2109_112119_Clip 2_ from Chris Zimmer on Vimeo.

SVU_2109_112119_Clip 3_ from Chris Zimmer on Vimeo.

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 “Can’t Be Held Accountable” Photos, Updated Cast Photo

Here are advance photos for Law & Order SVU, “Can’t Be Held Accountable” airing on Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 10PM ET on NBC. This is the fall finale. Also included is a season 21 updated cast photo. The photos feature Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, Peter Scanavino, Jamie Gray Hyder, Nicholas Turturro as Detective Frank Bucci, Aida Turturro as Judge Felicia Catano, Fina Strazza as Milly Bucci, Paul Ben-Victor as Counselor Peter Abrams, Zuleikha Robinson as Bureau Chief Vanessa Hadid, and Vincent Kartheiser as Steve Getz.

Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC 2019 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Photos by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC 2019 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Photo by: Karolina Wojtasik/NBC 2019 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, November 15, 2019

Law & Order SVU “We Dream Of Machine Elves” Recap & Review

Despite the Wizard of Oz references peppered in “We Dream Of Machine Elves”, we’re nowhere near Kansas. In this unsettling episode, Rollins pulls back the curtain – literally and figuratively – to see a former psych professor for what he truly is - mentally disturbed. Adam Arkin captured the essence of a creepy doctor who bought into his own hype, and who was also tormented by his own failures to solve his wife’s psychosis. Benson says that Rollins has a blind spot for men that she thinks are smarter than she, but I think it’s more complex than that. Rollins’ initial encounter was with Julius Adler while he was a guest professor in Atlanta for a psych course Rollins took. Maybe at that time, Rollins viewed him through rose-colored glasses and she is still wearing them in the present. Did something happen between them that he would recall Rollins attending his class in Atlanta after all this time? She seemed enamored with him.   Her experience with previous SVU cases should have told her that where there is smoke, there is fire. Yet Rollins naively can’t believe that Adler could be involved in such horrific behaviors. Luckily, Kat is the only one that had the smarts to check Adler’s background to find his wife was not dead, which was the beginning of unraveling Adler’s story.

Did Rollins lie to Benson when claiming she didn’t inhale during the session at the brownstone? Immediately after the raid, Rollins starts to have mild hallucinations. It’s clear she inhaled or ingested *something*. I have no idea why she didn’t say anything about this; even if she didn’t inhale as she said, somehow *something* got into her body. Likely she didn’t want to admit she DID inhale, maybe thinking that Adler’s methods could help her with her own problems. Still, this is no excuse for lying, or at minimum hiding the fact she was hallucinating.  I certainly hope she didn't get behind the wheel of a car.

The episode featured a very colorful depiction of the infamous DMT machine elves. One thing didn’t ring true right off the bat: Meghan knew what these hallucinations she saw were called, even though she didn’t seem the type to be familiar with DMT and its affects. If one is clued in enough to know what machine elves are, one should have been smart enough not to go with strangers OR accept any food or beverages from them. I also can’t believe she dug that huge hole in the ground with that shovel AND without anyone seeing them.

I laughed when Fin tells Carisi to trust them, and Carisi says he does but every time he goes out on a limb for them, somebody saws it off. I am sure Carisi regrets some of the "barbs" he threw at ADA Rafael Barba all those years.

Kat continues to be a a loose cannon, blurting out questions to Adler despite Fin outlining his more slow-paced approach. We’ve seen evidence that she is a bit confrontational and I suspect that this trait will come back to bite her in the near future. On a related note, a new title card in the opening credits has been added, reflecting Jamie Gray Hyder as a full cast member.

One burning – and amusing - question: For people who already wear glasses – what do they use to make themselves look smart, or go undercover, or both? This isn’t just an SVU thing, but it seems fairly common that eyeglasses are the go-to disguise for SVU when someone wants to NOT look like law enforcement.

As usual, I'm still proofreading the recap, please bear with me!

Here is the recap:

At night in the city, Meghan – from Kansas - looses track of her friends. Another young woman – a stranger – bumps into her, then offers to help her find her friends, saying she is local and says her name is Anais. After Anais talks Meghan into taking a pedicab with her, the pedicab driver offers Meghan a bottle of water which she accepts and drinks. Meghan realizes her phone is dead and Anais offers to have her come to her place to charge it. She accepts and then accepts something to smoke. Soon after, she is sitting on the floor inside a room, listening to a white-haired man talk, her vision blurry. A young man offers her something to smoke. Meghan later wakes up tied to a bed, breathing something from a mask. She sees bright colors and weird sights, and she calls for Anais. Anais walks into the room with three other people, and Meghan is shocked to see them turn into weird colorful beings with many eyes. She is horrified.

Later, she is in the park, digging a hole, and sees four colorful beings who tell her she spent her life as one of the walking dead and to climb out of her grave and find her true self.

In the morning, Meghan’s vision is still altered, and she collapses and falls in the park. Sometime later, Rollins and EMTs are on the scene and Rollins attempts to calm a terrified Meghan, who is babbling about elves who want to take her back to her world and they had her digging her own grave. Rollins assures her they will take care of her and then asks the EMTs to get a tox screen and pysch evaluation. Fin approaches and asks if the girl gave her anything, and Rollins explains she went on about machine elves, thinking it is drugs or a psychotic break or both. Fin hears Kat on the radio say she has something, and they find Kat standing at a huge hole, saying they tried to bury the girl alive. Rollins explains they got her to do it; she mentioned digging her own grave. Fin asks what the hell did they do to this girl?

Benson steps out of the elevator to a waiting Rollins and Benson questions the“machine elves.” Rollins explains Meghan is being tested for DMT and this is a common hallucination among users, Benson mentions it is a powerful psychedelic and she hasn’t seen this in years. She has ligature marks and she may be concussed and is not lucid enough to consent to a rape kit. Benson explains the Chief has called twice and she needs to find out what they are looking for. They ask a nurse how is Meghan doing and he explains she is still having a lot of terror and anxiety. They gave her diazepam to calm her down and they had to restrain her as they were afraid she would hurt herself.

In the room, restrained to the bed, Meghan asks where is she, commenting it is so light in there. Benson explains she is in Mercy Hospital in Manhattan. The girl is surprised she is still in New York, then says she wants to go home. When Benson asks if she knows where her home is, the girl answers it is at 190 Forest Avenue, Great Bend, Kansas, and her name is Meghan Gale. Rollins texts this information. At SVU, Fin gets the text and calls out to Kat that he has a name and address, and he hands her his phone. Kat tells him she is on it. Back at the hospital. Meghan explains it was dark, and they held her down. She cries as Benson and Rollins remove her restraints. Benson asks her to tell her about “they”, and Meghan mentions the machine elves. Benson and Rollins say nothing and Meghan continues to explain that before they came in, the room spun, flowers bursting. She mentions all the eyes, and when Rollins asks that the elves had eyes, Megan, crying, says they had a hundred, with purple yellow faces. They crawled all over her and inside her. It was like they were having sex with her. She tried to get away.

Back at the SVU, Kat is on the phone with Meghan’s mother to inform her. After she ends the call, Fin asks what was she doing in New York, and Kat says it was a bachelorette party and Fin wonders that they didn’t report her missing.

At Rixton Suites Express at 164 West 27th Street on Monday, October 28, Fin and Kat inform the friends. They has saw her at Fiddlesticks in Greenwich Village. They were just doing fireball shots and Meghan went to call her boyfriend and never showed up. Fin asks that they didn’t call police, and one girl explains they were there to party, it was their first time in new York.

Back at the hospital, Meghan explains she saw a hawk above her and she tried to jump on its back and fly away. Her hands melted into the headboard. Benson comments that she was on a bed, and as Rollins takes notes, Meghan says a woman brought her there and she thought she was helping her. She got them a chariot without a horse, The driver sat on a leopard and gave her water.

Elsewhere, Fin gets off the phone with Benson and tells Kat that Meghan is still not making sense and she said she got into a chariot with no horse. Kat shows him a picture of a pedicab with leopard printed seats. She says traffic cams caught them at Greenwich and 7th and it may make them easier to find. Fin tells her to send the still to Rollins and he can Kat will start walking.

Law & Order SVU “Can’t Be Held Accountable” Promo

Here is the promo for Law & Order SVU, “Can’t Be Held Accountable” airing on Thursday, November 21, 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.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Law & Order SVU “We Dream Of Machine Elves” Photos

Here are advance photos from Law & Order SVU, “We Dream Of Machine Elves” airing on Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 10PM ET on NBC. The photos feature Mariska Hargitay, Kelli Giddish, Peter Scanavino, Adam Arkin as Dr. Gideon Adler, Eve O'Brien as Anais Adler, and Annie Hagg as Freja Bergdahl.

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “We Dream Of Machine Elves” can be found at this link.

Photos by: Heidi Gutman/NBC 2019 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, November 8, 2019

Law & Order SVU “Counselor, It's Chinatown” Recap & Review

This was one of those episodes that left me with mixed feelings. The subject matter was more far-reaching than their normal “one victim per episode” routine, which kept it interesting. The downside:
once the case greatly expanded from the original “Operation Dragon Slay”,  it should have been escalated to a higher authority. It didn't make sense for SVU to take the lead.  With evidence of international human trafficking, sex slavery, extortion, money laundering, and rich people with deep connections, the Feds should have been consulted before going to court or cutting a deal, which would have prevented any surprises for Carisi or Hadid. I can understand Carisi's naïveté, but if the Changs were as high-profile as Hadid indicated, I don’t understand why she didn’t cover all her bases before walking into the courtroom with Carisi.

It's fine that Carisi is still very involved with the SVU but was it really necessary that he participate in the surveillance of the spa at the beginning of the episode? He had no business chasing down one of the women – Mei Mei – as she attempted to flee; he's not a detective any longer.  Worse yet, he used bad judgment by trying to climb up the fire escape, causing her to attempt another way to flee, only to slip and and then dangle over the railing. Had he just waited at the bottom, she would have either had to come down to the street, go up, or go back inside, ultimately trapping her at some point anyway. If the task force had prepared for this take down correctly, they would have planned for having some runners and had officers planted at, or very close to, any exit from the building (including fire escapes). Sloppy police work.

Somewhat predictable was poor Lily getting an intimidating message before she’s set to testify. Her request to use the bathroom marked her for certain death, either by someone waiting in there for her, or by her somehow doing it to herself. I don’t know what the protocol is here, but I’m somewhat surprised that Kat didn’t at least walk into the bathroom with her, considering Lily just got a phone message right before asking to use the facilities.

The DA throws a wrench into Carisi’s case by cutting a deal behind his – and Hadid’s – back. We don’t know if Jack McCoy is still the DA or not, but I can’t believe he would have cut a deal with the Feds, at least not without looping in the Bureau Chief who was in charge of the case. Carisi is obviously pissed that his case was blocked  right at the goal line,  but clearly Hadid was also less than thrilled she wasn’t given a heads up that the Feds were given the case. Who knows, maybe the DA – whoever he or she is – doesn’t trust or like Hadid? Again, had either of them recognized the magnitude of  who and what they were dealing with before they walked into the arraignment, they would have saved themselves the embarrassment.

I was a little confused at the end of the episode when Carisi mentioned that Mrs. Chang agreed to pay off Mei Mei’s debt. Was that part of the original agreement he made with her and is that agreement no longer valid once the case was suspended and given to the Feds? How can he be sure that Mrs. Chang will keep up her end of that deal – or had it already happened before Carisi got to the arraignment?

I was amused during the scene where Benson mentions the languages of which Kat has some knowledge. As I was rolling my eyes at the coincidence that she just so happened to have the exact skills they needed, I said “Of course she does” right as Fin was saying the same thing. It's as if the writers knew the fans would be thinking the same thing.

Here is the recap:

Mei Mei Li speaks on the phone with a man who tells her to speak in English as she must practice. She tells him she misses him. He suggests she come to San Francisco, saying it is beautiful. He says he will send her a ticket. But another woman enters Mei Mei’s room, telling her they must go. A man comes in an orders her to go, and Mei Mei explains to her caller that she has to go, she must teach, and she says goodbye and hangs up the phone and leaves the room.

Outside the building across the street at a table for POW/MIAs,Fin takes a photograph of her and the other girl and man and says they are heading south, toward division. He continues to photograph them. They are out shopping and Rollins, walking her dog, photographs them as they walk around. Later, the two women are on a park bench and the man tells them they should go. One asks for 10 more minutes and he sits down on the bench as Kat is there, posing as a jogger, also taking photographs.

Back at the SVU, Benson welcomes everyone to operation Dragon Slay and Sergeant Joe Chin from the Human Trafficking Task Force. Sgt. Chin says the focus is massage parlors that are fronts for sex slavery and debt servitude; undocumented women are being forced to pay off their families’ debts to smugglers. Benson explains that SVU has been tasked with investigating the Sweet Joy relax spa down on Eldridge. Carisi asks how long they have had them under watch, and Fin replies this one a week; the girls are let out one hour a day, always escorted by Charlie Hu. He’s illegal with ties to Chinatown gangs. Rollins adds they estimate that off-menu extras bring the spa about $50K in cash weekly. Kat says the women keep the bare minimum for food and the rest they turn over to the spa’s mamasan, Evelyn Lee, Korean-Chinese. Carisi comments that she is the manager, wondering who they lease the space from. As Benson shakes her head no, Rollins replies not yet, the buildings and spas are hidden behind a web of offshore LLCs. Chin explains the UCs will pose as clients, the goal is to arrest the johns and management, flip them, and follow the money and they get the owners. Benson states emphatically that they do not arrest the girls; if they talk, great, if not, they offer them immigration, legal, and medical assistance and take them to social services.

At the Sweet Joy Relax Spa on 35 Eldridge Street on Thursday, October 10, Fin poses as a customer while Benson and Carisi listen in the nearby surveillance van, and when the woman says the right words, Benson says that’s it and radios to all units “game on.” They move in and begin to make arrests, and when Rollins tells one girl she does not have to be scared, the girl runs. Rollins radios they have a runner and she is going out the window. Carisi runs out of the van and Benson steps out behind him. Carisi orders one officer to put his gun down as he races to try to catch the girl. He leaps up onto the ladder for the fire escape and climbs up. As the girl tries to escape, she slips her grip on the fire escape and hangs over the edge. He instructs her to grab onto another bar and as she does so, he holds on to her and pulls her back onto the fire escape. Benson, waiting by the van, breathes a sigh of relief.

Afterward, Fin arrests Evelyn Lee who protests the arrest. Kat and Rollins attend to the girls. Carisi speaks with Chin, who tells him a Chinese proverb says if you save a life, you are responsible for that life.

At the SVU, Benson tells Carisi that they arrested four johns who all claim they were getting a massage. Carisi adds that is tough to prove otherwise, and asks who else? Chin mentions Charlie Hu, bodyguard’s last muscle was carrying a .45. Carisi comments they can work with that. Fin says mamasan Evelyn Lee is hanging tough. Carisi comments that there is no surprise there, and, walking up to the observation window from another interrogation room where Evelyn Lee waits, wonders about the women waiting in the squad room. Benson explains they are waiting on a translator for those that don’t speak English and Kat and Rollins are with two who speak some English. She adds that Kat states she’s not fluent but she does have some Cantonese, Mandarin, and Hokkien. Fin states dryly, “Course she does.”

At Corlears Hook Park on Thursday, October 10, Rollins speaks with Mei Mei who says she worked there the last 4 years at different spas. She denies the girls give sex. She says she works hard every day and owes money to mamasan and she is paying for her brother who is in San Francisco. She told him she teaches Chinese to kids and he can’t know.