Friday, October 19, 2018

Law & Order SVU “Accredo” Recap & Review

Law & Order SVU “Accredo” was ripped-from-the-headlines, drawing from the news story of a group called “NXIVM” which  was charged with trafficking women and using them as slaves. (The episode also had a dash of influence from the series “The Handmaid’s Tale.”) They couldn’t have picked a better person to play Arlo Beck, the leader of the group: Law & Order “repeat offender” Sebastian Roché. (He previously appeared in Law & Order “Patsy” (season 10 episode 7) - one of my favorites – and Law & Order “Discord” (season 4 episode 3).)  It was a given that he’d be the one at the head of the problem, but that didn’t make the episode any less enjoyable. It was predictable that he’d be controlling women under the guise of making them think they were the ones being empowered;  he played that role perfectly which made this a worthwhile watch. 

One of the women in the group -  Lilah -  seems to think that being empowered and in control means having her own business and hiring only women. This is not empowerment; if she can’t even have a man work for her, she’s admitting she still isn’t confident in herself. She also had no problem killing for a man.  She was a perfect patsy for Arlo and she'll be working out her issues in prison.

This episode had a balanced blend of detective work and personal issues; sorry, no Philip Winchester. Whatever legal work was needed from the DAs office happened outside of our view, but that did not detract from the story.

Arlo did have the perfect read on Rollins, but Rollins wasn’t allowing that to slow her down. If anything, it only strengthened Rollins' resolve to hold Arlo accountable. While on the subject of Rollins, I hope she doesn’t have to notify anyone in person at One PP that she is pregnant. If this was the case, there is NO WAY anyone would believe Rollins saying Benson didn’t know about it, seeing that Rollins already looks well into her pregnancy.  (She also admits to Benson that Dr. Al Pollack is the baby's father, the "doctor" part impressing Benson.)  Rollins also got violent with a suspect and  later gives Benson a story about violence in her own home when she was younger.  Benson chastises Rollins for her behavior in interrogation but it's not a harsh reprimand, likely cutting Rollins some slack due to her pregnancy.  Carisi and Fin also seemed frozen in place when Rollins acted out,  as if they didn't think there was anything wrong with it.  I don't like it when there doesn't seem to be any repercussions to a detective becoming violent.

Benson is working hard to get herself into shape; she is now exercising with a trainer. I could have done without the mental image of her doing squats while cooking dinner, however (wink). She’s also wearing a fitness tracker. Her next problem will be Noah. I’m still not sure if he’s just being bratty or he is showing tendencies of going full psycho. It’s possible that he is lashing out because Benson spends more time on the job than with him. Seeing that his biological mother was an addict, he could develop all kinds of mental/behavioral problems from that – or he could be completely normal. They are setting the stage for something, and I’m not sure which direction I would find more interesting. Being normal wouldn’t give them a very meaty story.

Benson gets in wrong,  in my opinion,  when she tells Arlo he is the worst kind of predator. They’ve shown far worse in previous episodes, and any predator dealing with kids is probably the most heinous.  I can only assume that Benson said this to try to rattle Arlo,  but he didn’t seem to take her words very seriously. At least Benson’s speech worked on his lawyer, Claudia;  I don't think that was Benson's  initial intent.

The 10 PM air time has allowed the show to provide more adult story lines with slightly more adult language and more gruesome crimes. Granted, the language doesn’t come anywhere near what one can hear on streaming shows or on cable, but for SVU it may seem a shock to some fans. I think it’s a welcome change and fits the type of work done by the SVU and the environment in which they work.

One question – Carisi mentions that TARU got Lilah’s GPS information from her fitness tracker. After last week’s episode – “Revenge” – made such an issue about a law saying that a warrant is required to get GPS information from a person’s phone, how did they get the warrant for Lilah’s tracker, especially when her phone GPS placed her away from the crime scene? Once they get the phone, does that give them full access to any apps on the phone and the data that is stored in the cloud from those apps? I was also curious as to how they even got her phone in the first place; I don't recall them getting a warrant for it or Lilah giving her phone to them.  With Stone having so many issues in “Revenge” getting the GPS data, it simply seemed way too easy for them to get their hands on her phone in this episode and I don't know what justification they used to get it.    Did I miss something?

I’m really liking what I’m seeing from the writers and production team as of late. It’s not just the interesting stories and well written dialog, but it’s also the location shots and the pacing of each scene. I enjoy episodes that are visually interesting, and spending less time confined in the 4 walls of the interrogation room or in the courtroom is a plus for me. This episode hit all the right buttons for me.

Please bear with me - I am still proof reading!

Here is the recap:

Benson is exercising with a trainer, but can’t come the next day as she has a parent-teacher conference. She can’t come at 7 PM as she spends time with her son. She jokingly suggests the trainer move in with her and make her do squats while she cooks Noah dinner. She says she will text time.

Meanwhile, Lilah Finch begins speaking at the Accredo Female Entrepreneurs Workshop. Claudia is the hostess and she explains how the group gave her power. Lilah asks a woman – we later find she is named Vicki - to share her story, and she says how it helped her make her stronger. Later, Lilah suggests to Vicki that they go to lunch but she can’t, saying she is busy. At home, Vicki tells someone on the phone to stop calling her and that she is hanging up. As she is getting ready for a bath, she hears a knock on the door and looks to see who it is.

At SVU, Benson is in her office sitting at her desk and comments to Rollins she did 12,251 steps today, then tells Rollins not to ask her about her pulse. Rollins explains that Fin and Carisi both have Knicks tickets but if she is more than happy to stay if Benson needs her. Benson tells her to go; Benson promises to be out of there shortly as she promised Noah she would have dessert with him. Rollins states she doesn’t want any special consideration. Benson replies Rollins is pregnant and can hide it with clothes but…and Rollins says they will have to notify One PP. Benson explains she can give her a week, max. Benson gets a phone call and asks the caller if homicide was notified. She says she is on her way. She tells Rollins it is a rape/homicide in SoHo and it sounds brutal. Rollins says she will come with her and Benson tells her no. But Rollins reminds her she said she had a week, and Benson sighs.

At 93 Thompson Street on Thursday, October 11, Benson and Rollins are on the scene at Vicki’s home. Her bathtub overflowed and alerted the neighbors. She was mutilated, her ribcage cut out. The scene is gruesome and Benson tells Rollins to get back but Rollins pushes forward, saying she is fine, but she quickly looks like she is going to throw up and she quickly moves off.

Later, Fin is on the scene as Benson explains that Vicki was stabbed multiple times in the chest and torso and sexually assaulted with a table leg. They don’t know who she is, there is no ID, cell, or computer in the loft and no mail in the mailbox. With the sexual component, homicide wants the SVU to take the lead. Fin says he will check the traffic cams and canvas the area. Carisi asks Rollins if she is okay; she says it is just hormones. She thinks the attack was personal, describing it to Carisi. She got something on the address; the owners of the house are Richard and Laura Shane with a Connecticut area code. Benson tells her to have them meet them at the morgue.

At the office of the Chief ME on Friday, October 12, Laura and Richard speak with Benson and Rollins. Their daughter Abby lives there when she is working out of town. They asks her to make an ID by a photo but Laura wants to see her. It is not Abby. They do not know who she is. Laura tries to call Abby again but is going straight to voice mail. Abby is doing one of those dystopian horror stories in Pennsylvania where women lose all rights and get hung from trees. Rollins asks where.

At 2551 Long Pond Road in Poconos, Pennsylvania on Friday October 12, on the filming scene, a woman speaking with Fin and Carisi identifies the victim as Vicki Parson. She moved in a week ago after breaking up with her boyfriend Brad who was stalking her. She says her mom ran off when she was five and her dad died last year, she was messed up. She seemed better lately, confident and happier. She joined a women’s empowerment group.

Law & Order SVU “Exile” Promo

Here is the promo for > Law & Order SVU “Exile” which will air on Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 10 PM 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.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Law & Order SVU “Accredo” Photos & Promo

Here are advance photos and promo for Law & Order SVU “Accredo” which will air on Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 10PM ET on NBC.  The photos feature Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, Peter Scanavino,  Sebastian Roché as Arlo Beck, Sarah Carter as Lilah Finch, Alice Hamid as Nanette, and Chase Burnett as Tyler Goodrich.

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

Photos by: Barbara Nitke/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.

Law & Order SVU “Accredo” Sneak Peeks

Here are preview clips from Law & Order SVU “Accredo” which will air on Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 10PM ET on NBC. The videos feature Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Kellie Giddish, and Peter Scanavino.

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “Accredo” 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.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Law & Order SVU “Revenge” Recap & Review

Law & Order SVU “Revenge” depicted the incel (“involuntarily celibate”) version of “Strangers on a Train”, with members of an incel group thinking they could exact revenge via getting revenge for others in their group. By doing it under the guise of not having a connection with the victims, they think they can get away with it. Unfortunately, one of them does have a solid connection, and this is his undoing.

Despite the fact that the case was solved almost too easily and the story itself not too compelling, I was surprised that I liked this episode. I don’t know why. Sometimes when I view the NBC promo clip for an upcoming episode, or even read the description, I get turned off. But in this case, my instincts were wrong. I liked the pacing of the episode and the writing. It felt comfortable, like one of the older Law & Order SVU episodes, maybe because there wasn’t any personal drama for the lead characters. This kept the focus on the case.  There was a nice balance of detective work and legal wrangling and the hour moved quickly.

The legal case hits a bump when the detectives use GPS information received by accident from the phone company. Carisi is kicking himself for using the GPS data, saying he should have known better. Benson gives him a pass on this, reminding him he is a cop, not a lawyer, despite his law degree. I would not have been so forgiving. First: they got a memo from Stone saying that data like this can’t be obtained without a warrant due to a recent Supreme Court ruling. Second: they knew it was data they weren’t supposed to have, even if the phone company sent it in error. Third: how hard would it have been for Carisi, knowing the new law and having a legal education, to ask Benson in advance about using the information during interrogation? Benson could have conferred with Stone first,  allowing Stone to go for the warrant - maybe the judge would have granted it. If I were Benson, I would have been harder on Carisi.  He SHOULD have known better.

Here is the recap:

Rick and Ann are having intimate time in bed when a knock comes at the door. Rick answers it to find a man with a pizza, wearing a motorcycle helmet, who forces his way in and attacks them both at gunpoint. Later, with police on the scene, Benson and Fin question Ann and Rick about the incident. During questioning, they find that Rick and Ann didn’t order a pizza and that the attacker kept calling Ann “Stacy” and Rick “Chad”. The detectives wonder if the guy hit the wrong apartment

Carisi and Rollins speak with the doorman who was away from his post as he had to pee. There are no “Chad” or “Stacy” named tenants. Carisi looks at the tenant list and sees the name Chad Moore, but the doorman says Chad’s wife is Brianna. Benson and Fin confer with Carisi and Rollins; Benson tells Fin and Carisi to check pizza joints within 30 blocks and Benson and Rollins go to speak with Chad.

The discuss the situation with Chad and Brianna. They say they don’t know Ann or Rick. Rick knows nothing but Brianna seems unsettled. Benson gives her her card.

Back at SVU, Rollins explains they have the pizza guy on security camera but his face is covered. Fin got nothing from pizza joints. Brianna arrives at SVU and speaks with Benson and explains that she had an affair a year ago, his name was Jake Sanders and he taught her spin class. She broke it off and Jake did not take it well. Jake has a gun,

At Pro Cycle on Friday, October 5, Carisi and Rollins arrive and Jake, on a bike, tries to flee. They chase Jake in their car and quickly apprehend him. Carisi finds a gun on him and they arrest him. At SVU in interrogation, Jake says the gun is legal but he denies attacking Chad. Benson observes and Fin says Jake is not the attacker; video shows him teaching a spin class at the time of the attack. Benson gets a phone call and tells Fin they have another rape, same MO.

At the apartment of Paolo Ricci and Beth Palmer on Friday October 5, Fin speaks with Paolo who does not know a Chad. He did not buzz the man in. Beth explains how the attacker called her Stacy. The man was short and shoved her face into the couch and pulled her hair and screamed at her like he hated her. Benson wants to get her and Paolo to the hospital. Beth says she opened the door and didn’t ask who it was. Fin enters and tells Benson they have yet another Chad and Stacy.

Back at SVU, the detectives discuss what they know so far. Carisi put the names Chad and Stacy through RTC, Accurint and TLO and got nothing. But he tried the Dark Web and found that Stacy is not a specific person. A Stacy is any woman that an incel wants but cannot get because of guys called Chads. They mention a guy in Toronto who drove his van through a crowd of people because he wasn’t getting any. Fin states there is no reason for anybody to be involuntarily celibate, this is why god invented hookers. Carisi counters that sex workers are part of the problem; these guys think they should not have to pay for sex and woman should want to please a man at any time. Rollins comments “Welcome to the 17th century.” Carisi says there are 6000 guys willing to write about this stuff on line.

Benson speaks with Ann but she doesn’t know anyone who would do this. Rollins speaks with Beth about the same issue and she mentions a time before Paolo a year ago she wanted to meet people. She went to Tudor Mansion where they throw parties so people can hook up. They vet everyone and she met a creepy guy outside there who they wouldn’t let in. . He said that “Riley’s cool” in the third person and then saw him in other places later as if he was following her. He had red curly hair and was weird. She gives Rollins information on Tate Brightman who runs the place.

At the Brooklyn Heights Promenade on Saturday, October 6, Tate tells Carisi and Fin it is like a traveling party. People pay him to make sure they are mingling with the right sort of people. He maxes out at 200 people out of 1000 applicants. He says his applicant list is confidential, and Fin counters he has never heard of pimp/john confidentiality. Narcotics are forbidden. Carisi suggests they show up to make sure that is the case, and Tate decides to cooperate. He finds a Riley Porter on his list, who applied five times. He shows them Riley’s address.

Later, Riley is in SVU interrogation with Fin and Carisi. He explains his line of work. They speak about women in derogatory manner to get Riley to start talking, saying that their boss Olivia has buffalo nuts and too good for mortal men and that somebody needs to give it to her good, like Riley gave it to Beth Palmer. Riley plays dumb but they continue to press him and denies raping Beth as there is no such thing as rape. He says it is in the Constitution; all men are created equal and entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Sex makes them happy and taking it is a fundamental right. Carisi tells him they will check his cell phone and security cameras and if he was anywhere near Beth Palmer’s apartment last Tuesday he will be pursuing happiness in Ossining for the rest of his life. As Benson observes, Rollins enters and tells her they have another one, this time he shot the boyfriend.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Law & Order SVU “Revenge” Photos

Here are advance photos from Law & Order SVU, “Revenge” which will air on Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 10PM ET on NBC. The photos feature Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, Peter Scanavino, Eric Freeman as Rick Karsch, Sarah Rich as Anne Whitman, Kyle Decker as Tate Brightman, and Peterson Townsend as Jake Sanders.

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

Photos by: Barbara Nitke/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.