Friday, April 3, 2020

Law & Order SVU “Garland’s Baptism By Fire” Recap & Review




Despite “Garland’s Baptism By Fire” being predictable, this was a decent episode and a nice feature for Demore Barnes, bringing some much needed personality to the normally stiff and cold Deputy Chief Garland. It was obvious from the start that the holier-than-thou reverend was going to be the pervert of the week, so the only thing that saved the episode for me was some great acting on the part of Demore Barnes and the rest of the guest cast. At the end of the episode,   the pain on Garland’s face and that single tear felt like it came from real emotion.

Garland’s wife seemed to be doing some matchmaking with Benson and Edgar, a dinner guest who is also a lawyer. He seemed very taken with Benson and I can’t tell if Benson’s reaction was one of simply being flattered or if there was really a spark there. But never mind, Edgar and Benson wind up on opposite sides of the case and any spark that may have been there was quickly – and conveniently - extinguished.

Again I’m not doing much of a review this week. I just can’t get in the mood to dissect an episode when there are so many people sick and dying from COVID-19, people are out of work and struggling, and many are being asked to stay home and isolate to protect themselves and others.  There are bigger things to worry about, and these are unsettling times for sure.  Stay well everyone!



Here is the recap:

Benson is at a party at Deputy Chief Christian Garland’s home and she speaks with him and his daughter. Benson compliments his family and when his wife Lamai approaches, she introduces Benson to her partner at her old firm, Edgar,  in what seems like a matchmaking attempt. He says she is as stunning as Lamai said she was. Benson smiles.


Meanwhile, Carisi and Rollins arrive at “Special Frauds” and when Carisi asks if everything is okay, Rollins replies she spent the weekend with her mother and Carisi comments so that is a no. He asks other than that, and she comments that at the end of the shift, she’s sent to Special Frauds “where sticky-fingered church bookkeeper may want to flip” and asks with sarcasm if life gets any better than that. Carisi replies “So that’s another no.” Inside an interrogation room, they speak with Sherry Blake who is there with her lawyer. She embezzled money from her church and is looking to exchange for information on a sexual predator. She explains he is a church official and he’s had sex with teenagers in the congregation and uses church funds to pay them off. She says the church official is a close personal friend of Rollins’ boss.

Back at the Barnes house as they sit down for dinner, Reverend Chase leads in a prayer. The doorbell rings mid-prayer and Garland goes to answer it and finds Carisi and Rollins. Rollins said she tried calling but Garland explains it is a “no cell phone” dinner. They enter and Benson asks what is going on. Carisi explains they got a credible tip about a serial sexual predator and Garland says it could wait until morning. Rollins adds the informant claims it is someone Garland knows and wants assurances he will let the investigation proceed. He says of course he will, asking who is it? Rollins states it is Reverend Delman Chase. They all turn to look at him at the dining room table and he smiles back. Garland’s face gets somber.

At SVU, Fin recaps that Garland’s minister is doing teenage girls at his church, and Benson chides him, saying they don’t know that. He asks why the accountant would make it up, and Benson explains she is facing serious fraud charges, and Garland doesn’t believe it. Fin asks if Garland is going to shut them down, and Benson replies that is not his way – or his call. With Rollins, Kat plays a video of a lively church service with dancing and singing. Benson says it is praise dancing at Harlem Height Baptist. Rollins says Reverend Chase is a big supporter of the church’s all-girl dance troupe who performs all over the country and has won awards. They see Chase and his wife and co-pastor, Laura. Rollins explains they’ve been at Harlem Heights 20 years and their sermons are nationally broadcast. Fin comments they are for-profit, and Rollins confirms they have two mansions, a church-leased private plane, but they also run a charity with a local non-profit. Kat adds he started a charter school for underprivileged girls and the church finds a dorm for at-risk youth. Benson comments that could be a hunting ground. Rollins states that Chase told his bookkeeper that the checks paid out were for families in need for the girl’s college fund – and Fin thinks this is hush money. Kat comments there are over 50 checks over the last 7 years in all varying amounts, almost all $15K or under. Garland enters and apologizes for interrupting but motioning for Benson.

They step into her office and he thanks her for coming. She says it was a wonderful evening, and he says until wasn’t. It crossed his mind to talk to Chase for a heads up but his wife had the legal sense to convince him not to. He tells Benson she is in control of the investigation and he will recuse, telling her to report to the Chief of Ds. She says because Chase and the community trusts him, she may need his help. He nods and says okay, and then says Laura Chase pulled him aside last night, worried about the embezzlement, thinking it is an opening.


At Harlem Heights Baptist Church at 1424 Amsterdam Avenue on Monday, March 9, Benson, with Carisi, explains to Laura that Garland asks them to look into this on behalf of Special Frauds. She was sickened when she heard about Sherry Blake stealing from collections. Carisi clarifies they flagged some checks that may or may not be legitimate and asks if she can take a look. Laura agrees. In her office, they discuss some of the checks and one for a young girl got $10,000 which Laura says they sometimes helps young girls with family need. She sees one for Destiny Hall, and then three for Renee Lee, one for $75,000, and Laura is shocked. She then sees a few more for Sade Ferguson, the Praiseraise Fund for Sade Lee, all totaling almost a quarter of a million dollars. She explains Renee is a student and Sade is her mother and they were struggling but no way the church would have paid this out. She thinks her husband will be beside himself.


Meanwhile, Fin and Kat speak with Breyona Taylor who confirms her check and she told the reverend she wanted to go to school and be a pediatrician and he said he would help. They put it in an account. He just wanted her to keep working toward her dream and give glory to god.

Law & Order SVU “Solving For The Unknowns” Promo

Here is the promo for Law & Order SVU, “Solving For The Unknowns” which will air on Thursday, April 16, 2020 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, April 2, 2020

Law & Order SVU Season 21 Finale Date

FYI – The season 21 finale of Law & Order SVU will air on April 23, per NBC media release (see photo).



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, March 27, 2020

Law & Order SVU “Garland’s Baptism By Fire” Promo

Here is the promo for Law & Order SVU, “Garland’s Baptism By Fire” which will air on Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 10PM ET on NBC.

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “Garland’s Baptism By Fire” can be found at this link.








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 “Garland’s Baptism By Fire” Photos

Here are advance photos for Law & Order SVU, “Garland’s Baptism By Fire” which will air on Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 10PM ET on NBC. The photos feature Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Peter Scanavino, Demore Barnes as Deputy Chief Christian Garland, Rick Fox as Counselor Edgar Goodwin, Roger Cross as Rev. Delman Chase, Trian Long-Smith as Lamai Garland, and Uschi Ushmeid as Abby Garland.

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “Garland’s Baptism By Fire” can be found at this link.













Photos by: Karolina Wojtasik/NBC 2020 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.