Thursday, November 10, 2016

Law & Order SVU “Broken Rhymes” (AKA “Bad Rap”) Recap & Review

Maybe I was still in a bad mood from the results of the presidential election the day before, but I could not get into this episode. There wasn’t much of a story to grab onto. It’s another episode where I felt nothing for the victim. It was not because of the issues that a transgender person might face, it was because the victim seemed to be coping well with her life. The problem was that others couldn't cope.  Having to encounter transphobic people must be very difficult but because we never saw Eva having any discussions or arguments with the transphobic Vincent Love and Cash, we never got to see any of what she had to endure. Rather than showing that first throwaway scene at the art studio, I would have preferred seeing her tearing up the $50K check or arguing, even on the phone, with an unseen Cash or Vincent. It was another episode with no suspense.

Fin probably had the most relevant commentary on the issue of transgender people when he said that gender fluidity is coming out more these days and that was cool, but it’s confusing and a lot of people can’t make sense of it all. I wish they had continued this thought and have a deeper discussion on the actual viewpoints people have regarding gender and gender identity.

Benson really twisted things up when she defended Hype’s murder of Cash, trying to convince Barba it was a “heat of the moment” situation to her. Barba was right, this was a premeditated murder. I can see her point of trying for a lesser charge and sentence, but for her to even begin to defend his actions and not see that it was cold-blooded murder was a head-scratcher. Another head-scratcher was when she tried to convince Barba that the lawyer was in a conflict of interest situation. Barba is not an idiot; he would easily conclude this on his own. Yet they continue to write Barba in a manner that Benson always has to be the one to explain things to him. I loved it when Barba said “Oh, you are not gonna let me get outta here” because I felt the same way about this episode.

Here is the recap:

Mariska Hargitay - Lieutenant Olivia Benson
Ice-T - Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola
Kelli Giddish - Detective Amanda Rollins
Raúl Esparza - ADA Rafael Barba
Peter Scanavino - Detective Dominick “Sonny” Carisi, Jr.

Guest stars:
Wyclef Jean - Vincent Love.
Mitchell Edwards – Hype
Okieriete Onaodowan - Cash Lewis
Will Swenson - Attorney Mitch Hampton
C. David Johnson - Mark Carson
Jacqueline Torres - Nina Carson
Rodney Richardson - Logan Blake
Sabel Gonzales - Eva Carson
Jay Klaitz -
Ngozi Anyanwu – Officer Perlina Edozi
Sonia Manzano – Judge Gloria Pepitone
Alet Taylor – Liza Johnson
Ruby Taylor – Sophia Johnson
Renata Hinrichs - Professor
Molly Leland – SANE Nurse
Rae Nelson – Kate
Matthew Vitticore = Jury Foreperson
Matthew Wechsler – Employee
Dewey Wynn - CSU Tech

A woman leaves an art class and goes to a mall. She looks at her watch and sits down at a table to wait and then walks to the ladies rest room. While she is in there, someone breaks into her stall and she screams.

Later, Benson and Rollins are on the scene. An officer tells them the vic took a bad beating and lost a lot of blood. There were obvious signs of sexual assault; someone did it with a pipe. Benson asks if they recovered it, and the officer replies yes, they didn’t have to look too far, it was in the bathroom next to the vic. A mom and daughter found her, they saw a male, black, 30s. They are looking for other witnesses but nothing so far. There are no security cameras in the hallway or the bathroom. The officer hands Rollins the victim’s ID and tells them to look at it. As the EMTs wheel the victim past them, Benson comments that it was a public bathroom in a crowded mall in broad daylight, adding this is a hell of a place to attack someone. Rollins counters “or the perfect place,” holding up the victim’s ID, saying the victim is transgender.

Benson and Rollins question the mother and daughter, Sophie, and the young girl knows something but her mother is reluctant to cooperate. The mother tells the detectives Sophie doesn’t remember anything else and Sophie reluctantly agrees. Benson thanks Sophie and as mother and daughter walk off, Benson sarcastically thanks the mother for cooperating. Sophie’s mom comments it is just a matter of time before something like this happened, they have to make a big fuss over this transgender issue. She asks why can’t people use the damn bathroom they were born to use? Benson gives her a business card and say they will be in touch and she thanks Sophie.

At Mercy Hospital at 365 West 32nd Street on Monday, November 14, Carisi explains to Benson and Rollins that the vic’s legal name is Eric Carson and she is a 24 year old art student from Montclair New Jersey who goes by the name Eva. Fin adds the parents are on the way. The nurse explains the rape kit showed forced penetration and severe tearing and bleeding; a perforated colon and significant blunt force trauma to the head and the torso as well and she is lucky to be alive. No semen,  and there are bruises on her wrists and arms and they are checking her fingernails for DNA. Carisi comments this happens just after New York signed the gender-neutral bathroom bill, adding the media will be all over this. Benson states this is for good reason – this is a hate crime.

Afterwards, Benson approaches Mr. & Mrs. Carson and introduces herself. Mrs. Carson asks when she can see her daughter. Benson says she is not sure but the doctor will be out shortly to give them an update. In the meantime, if it okay with them she would like to ask them a few questions about Eva. She asks when in the last time they saw her, and Mr. Carson replies last night, she called him around midnight. She was upset and said she was having relationship issues. He asks who would do something like this; she is 5’7” and 120 pounds. Mrs. Carson thinks it is some religious, transphobic monster, afraid of a man living as a woman. When Eva said she wanted to transition they supported her but she was afraid she might get targeted, so many of these young women get assaulted. Mr. Carson tries to comfort his wife, saying it is okay, she is going to be fine. Benson comments that they said she was having relationship issues, asking if she had a boyfriend or girlfriend. Mrs. Carson says Eva had a boyfriend, Logan, but they broke up. Mr. Carson explains they got back together last week, adding Eva confides in him which is why she called him last night. They were fighting. He thought she was seeing somebody else; he is not sure that she was.

At the Law offices of Shannon & Whitmore at 198 Lafayette Street on Monday, November 14, Benson and Rollins speak with Logan who is upset at the news. He wants to be there but Benson wants to talk to him now. Rollins asks where was he between 12 and 1 PM, and he says he was here in the office all day. He ate at a diner in Tribeca. Benson brings up the argument that Eva’s father mentioned and Rollins reads back some of the nasty messages he sent to Eva. He states he lost his temper, saying the relationship is complicated because she is transgender and no matter how open minded you are, it is still challenging. She started working as a model and going to parties, getting paid $1000 a night. She started falling in love with the “it” crowd and the scene. The agency fired her last week because of an altercation with a guest last Thursday. Rollins asks where was that?

Later, at the Panda Club at 949 Washington Street on Monday, November 14, Fin and Carisi speak with someone working there who thinks he recognizes Eva but doesn’t want a law suit from trans-people who he thinks can sue you if you look at them sideways. He explains a big music company threw a party Thursday and there were a lot of models there, a few of them were transgender. Eva slapped one of the guests and made a scene, so they tossed her ass. Fin points to a camera on the wall and asks if they have any of that one video. Soon, they are looking at the video and Carisi spots Eva and when they see the slap, Fin thinks it looks personal. The worker doesn’t know the name of the guy who she slapped so Carisi asks for the person who tossed her.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Law & Order SVU 400th Episode Celebration

Here are photos from the Law & Order SVU 400th episode celebration which was held at Pier 59 (location of SVU studio). Congratulations to all involved and best wishes for the next 100!

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 400th Episode Celebration -- Pictured: (l-r) Pearlena Igbokwe, President, Universal Television, Kelli Giddish, Executive Producer Rick Eid, Executive Producer Julie Martin, Ice-T, Mariska Hargitay, Executive Producer Jonathan Starch, Raúl Esparza, Peter Scanavino -- (Photo by: Michael Parmelee/NBC)

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 400th Episode Celebration -- 
Pictured: (l-r) Kelli Giddish, Ice-T, Mariska Hargitay, Raúl Esparza, Peter Scanavino -- 
(Photo by: Michael Parmelee/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, October 28, 2016

Law & Order SVU "Broken Rhymes" (AKA “Bad Rap”) Sneak Peeks

Here are preview clips for Law & Order SVU "Broken Rhymes" (AKA “Bad Rap”) which will air on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 9PM ET on NBC. The videos feature Mariska Hargitay and Kelli Giddish. (Note: NBC released an episode name change on 11/3.)

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “Broken Rhymes (AKA “Bad Rap”) 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!

SVU_1807Clip1_16x9 from Chris Zimmer on Vimeo.

SVU_1807Clip2_16x9 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.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Law & Order SVU “Rape Interrupted” Recap & Review

“Rape Interrupted” was inspired by the story of Brock Turner, a Stanford student and - depending on what news outlet you read his story and how they framed the headline - a rapist, who had sex with an unconscious girl on campus and who was later found guilty of felony sexual assault. In this episode, we see the clearly drunk victim coming on to the young, recently promoted Ellis Griffin, but we never see her give any consent to sex. Lucky for the victim that there was a witness to the assault, otherwise the the DA would have had real trouble with a rape case.

This episode reunited Mariska Hargitay and Anthony Edwards, who appeared together on the NBC series ER. I always enjoy seeing Anthony Edwards but admit that it doesn’t matter on which show he’s appearing, I always get a twinge of sadness when I see him. His character’s death on ER is probably the most memorable, tragic, and heart-wrenching death scene ever shown on network television. In this episode, Edwards plays Benson’s first work partner and mentor when she worked at the five-five precinct.  The chemistry felt very real between Benson and Patrick Griffin, probably because the two actors had worked together for many episodes on ER. In fact, Edwards’ appearance was the best part of this episode, and I think that it brought out the best in Mariska’s performance.

It is revealed that when Benson was just a newbie on the job at the five-five, she was investigated by IAB for a claim that she stole drugs and money during a bust. It was Patrick Griffin who made up a story that he was with Benson the whole time, supporting her claim that she stole nothing, which cleared her with IAB. Now, with Patrick’s son being accused of rape, Patrick expects Benson to return the favor. Of course, Benson never stole any money or drugs and didn't want Patrick to cover for her, and her standards are higher than ever today. She refuses to cave in to Patrick’s pleas for her to bail out his son. She rightly decided to chose her job and her duty to uphold the law over an old time partner and friend who she has not seen in decades, one who expected her to cover for his rapist son.

Earlier this season, we hear Benson say she has “never been happier," but now when Fin asks hew how things are going with Tucker, she looks strained and says it’s “complicated.” It’s enough to give fans whiplash. What could be the problem with this relationship?

I don’t know how to say this about Law & Order SVU but I think I have a case of  “rape fatigue.” I feel like the “rapist-of=the week” stories are getting repetitive and I am losing interest. Aren’t there other “special victims” crimes that the team can investigate?

Here is the recap:

Mariska Hargitay - Lieutenant Olivia Benson
Ice-T - Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola
Kelli Giddish - Detective Amanda Rollins
Raúl Esparza - ADA Rafael Barba
Peter Scanavino - Detective Dominick “Sonny” Carisi, Jr.

Guest stars:
Anthony Edwards - Sgt. Patrick Griffin
Corey Cott - Ellis Griffin
Kelly McAndrew - Diane Griffin
Anna Osceola - Janie Spears
Jenna Stern - Judge Elana Barth
Joseph Lyle Taylor - Mickey D'Angelo
Kelly McAndrew -Diane Griffin
Jillian Mueller –
Cindy Cheung –
RJ Brown –
Liam Lane - Brian Dancy
Rachel Womble – Maya
Katie McCarty – Kira
Gabriel Ellis – Diego Perez
Cathryn Basile – Uni #1
Jessica Noboa – Protester

Ellis Griffin arrives at the home of his parents, Patrick and Diane Griffin. He arrives with expensive wine and flowers and they are happy to see him. They are also happy to hear he got a huge promotion to fixed income trade at Goldman Sachs. He can’t stay long, his mother knowing it is Halloween weekend and he has parties but his father wants him to help clean out his garage.

Later, Ellis is at a party where he has his eye on one girl – Janie. Later, when Janie tries to pour herself a drink and the bottle is empty, he finds more alcohol for her drink. Later, he goes to use the bathroom and when he thinks no one is in it, he opens the door to find Janie in there, obviously tipsy. She says it is really hot in here, and seems to come on to him.

Sometime later, as police arrive at a scene outside, a British man is telling Ellis to get off of her. As they begin to argue, the man says that Ellis raped that girl, and Janie is laying on the ground, apparently unconscious. Ellis insists he did not do anything. He looks stunned.

Afterwards, Benson is on her way home from the office as Carisi and Fin bring in Ellis and the witness. Carisi explains that the vic is at Mercy hospital and Rollins is on the way. She tells Carisi to put Ellis in interrogation. Fin takes the witness into the interview room. As Carisi walks off with Ellis, Ellis tells him the other man didn’t witness anything and what he thought he saw, he was mistaken and asks to explain and this will all go away. Carisi replies he doesn’t think so, saying it has already gone viral, showing Ellis a photo on social media of Janie lying on the ground.

Back in her office, while Carisi and Fin wait, Benson is on the phone with Rollins and asks that she keep them posted. After Benson hangs up, she tells Carisi that the victim, Janie Spears who is still unconscious and has high blood alcohol and asks if Ellis claims it was consensual. Carisi says yes, that Ellis says he met Janie at a party and they had al fresco sex in the park when a tourist, Brian Dancy, misinterpreted and called 911. Fin calls it a “he said - he said – she can’t say.” Carisi confirms Ellis was drinking. He has not asked for a phone call or lawyer and is eager to tell his side. Benson tells them to get him some coffee and get his statement. Fin goes back to speak to “British Brian.” Benson makes a call to Lucy and tells her she will be even later.

Carisi enters the interrogation room and tells Ellis that he brought him some coffee, but Ellis says he is okay. Benson enters and introduces herself, adding she wanted to make sure he was clear-minded enough to answer some questions. She asks him to tell them what happened tonight. Ellis explains he was at a Halloween party. Janie and he met and they were drinking dancing, and hanging out, etc. Carisi says they need details and asks him to expand on that et cetera part. Ellis replies he is a little nervous, not because he did anything wrong. He takes a breath and Benson tells him to take his time and just tell them what happened. He said it really started when he ran into her in the bathroom. She said she wanted some air so they went outside. He thinks it was after midnight and she seemed drunk but she was fine. Benson asks what does “fine” mean, and he explains she was talking and laughing. They walked to the park and that is when she kissed him. He swears to god she was into it.

Meanwhile, in the interview room, Brian says that girl was NOT into it. When Fin asks how could he tell that, Brian says she wasn’t moving and Ellis was on top of her, thrusting. He shouted STOP, the perv didn’t hear him, he was getting off on a helpless girl so Brian called 911. Fin asks what did he do till a cop showed up? He states he went to pull Ellis off her and Ellis stood up and zipped his fly and said she was fine. Fin comments that she wasn’t.

Back in interrogation, Benson recaps that Ellis and Janie are kissing and inquires how it moved past that. Ellis says they were getting into it and he felt her pull at his belt. She fell back on a pile of garbage bags that were stacked up and he fell on top of her and when they got their bearings – Ellis begins to laugh – he says it felt kind of romantic. He kissed her again and they started to have sex. He comments that he knows, it’s not great to have sex like that by the garbage but he insists that is what it was. It was sex between two consenting adults. Benson questions that she consented, asking if Ellis heard her say yes. He replies yes, yes, they were enjoying each other the whole time until the British guy started yelling at them and the cops showed up. Benson counters that the British guy – their witness – said it seemed like she was unconscious. Ellis wonders maybe she fell asleep, but saying he raped her – that is crazy. Carisi comments that he can see why Ellis may feel that way, and Ellis states he feels that way because it is the truth. He tells them to ask Janie. Benson gets a text message and then shows it to Carisi, saying that they will – Janie just came to. Benson and Carisi leave the room, leaving a stunned Ellis to sit there.

At Mercy Hospital at 365 West 32md Street on Saturday, October 29, Rollins speaks to Janie who calls herself an idiot and got alcohol poisoning. Rollins explains to her where she was found and asks if she recalls being there with anybody or having sex. Janie does not recall. She remembers the party but doesn’t know who she was with. She realizes what has happened and says that is why she is sore down there. When Rollins mentions a rape kit, Janie is upset as she does not have insurance, but Rollins explains it is no charge. Janie’s cousin Leah arrives who is concerned and tells Janie she was raped, showing Rollins it is all over the internet, people are tweeting about it, calling her “garbage rape girl,” all thrown out with the trash. Rollins sees the photo of Janie. Janie is upset that they are saying someone had sex with her while she was passed out, and Rollins explains she had a lot to drink last night, asking if she recalls consenting to sex. Janie insists she would have never said it was okay in the ground like that. Leah says that son of a bitch raped her cousin.

Law & Order SVU "Broken Rhymes" (AKA “Bad Rap”) Photos

Here are advance photos for Law & Order SVU "Broken Rhymes" (AKA “Bad Rap”) which will air on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 9PM ET on NBC. The photos feature Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, Peter Scanavino, Raúl Esparza, Mitchell Edwards as Hype, Okieriete Onaodowan as Cash Lewis, Will Swenson as Attorney Mitch Hampton, C. David Johnson as Mark Carson, Jacqueline Torres as Nina Carson, and Wyclef Jean as Vincent Love. (Note: NBC released an episode name change on 11/3.)

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “Broken Rhymes (AKA “Bad Rap”) can be found at this link.

Photos by: David Giesbrecht/NBC and Craig Blankenhorn/NBC 
 2016 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.

Law & Order SVU "Broken Rhymes" (AKA “Bad Rap”) Promo

Here is the promo for Law & Order SVU "Broken Rhymes" (AKA “Bad Rap”) which will air on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 9PM ET on NBC. (Note: NBC released an episode name change on 11/3.)

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “Broken Rhymes (AKA “Bad Rap”) 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.