Friday, February 22, 2019

Law & Order SVU “Facing Demons” Recap & Review (450th Episode)


The last time we saw Brian Cassidy was in the SVU episode “Chasing Demons” (which aired on February 28, 2018). In that episode, Cassidy admits to Stone he was molested when he was playing on a little league team .The title of the current episode – “Facing Demons” – made it obvious on how this story would play out; Cassidy would eventually reveal his secret to Benson and tell his story on that stand.  This was Law & Order SVU's 450th aired episode.

This didn’t make the story any less compelling, with Dean Winters aptly depicting how this abuse has affected Cassidy over the decades. Benson moans that she lived with Cassidy and thought about having his children but he never told her his dark secret, yet Cassidy told Stone, someone he barely knew. But dealing with victims for as many years as she has, she still doesn’t get why Cassidy didn’t confide in her, and it takes Rollins - of all people – to offer an explanation. Benson’s “spider senses” should have kicked in to overdrive when she saw Cassidy in a youth league team photo in the home of someone they suspected was a pedophile. She knew something was off but didn’t press the issue firmly enough with Cassidy.  She may have been stunned by seeing another woman freely enter his apartment, but that was no excuse to not pursue the matter with him at a later time.  Benson was not smart to go off alone to arrest Gary, at least for her own safety.  I suppose we are to believe that Benson did this with the purpose of roughing him up, which was another stupid move on her part.  Why risk creating problems for a case that was already hard to make with the slim evidence they had?

It was interesting to see Stone take a deeper, personal interest in the case and become more passionate about the prosecution once he realized that Cassidy was one of the suspect's victims. Thankfully he stopped Cassidy by doing something he’d regret.  In the end, it’s Benson who is able to connect with Cassidy to help him find the courage to testify, and hopefully this will be very healing for him. It’s a fitting close to this story line, and maybe the next time we see Brian Cassidy he’ll be much happier with his life. Maybe something is brewing with him and his female neighbor friend who is doing his laundry?

Parts of this episode also takes place on the same day as the previous episode “Brothel”. It’s not impossible that they could be working both cases simultaneously. But a cursory glance at the time cards and related scenes for both episodes, the clothing that Fin and Carisi are wearing on February 11 doesn’t seem to match between both episodes. It’s a nitpick I know, but it’s just a pet peeve with me. If they use these time cards, then they should make sure there are no inconsistencies.



Here is the recap:

At a bookstore, Micah Fuller leads a group of kids discussing a book. Later, he drops off his dog with a friend as he will be gone 2-3 days. At a later time, when the friend tries to walk the dog, the dog pulls her to Micah’s apartment, and the door is open. She finds him on the sofa, suffocated to death.

Later, Benson and Carisi are at the scene; Rollins is not there as Jesse has the flu. The officer on the scene explains how the body was found. No sign of a struggle and there were a few sleeping pulls from an almost empty bottle on the nearby table. It looks like a suicide but SVU was called as there were pictures on the floor of young children and one photo is marked “I’m sorry.” Carisi thinks being a pedo caught up with him, and Benson says Micah may be dead but his victims aren’t.

At SVU, Rollins tells Benson TARU is doing a sweep of Micah’s devices and he took Polaroids and so far the kids are not identified. Rollins uploaded them to NCMEC and sent the originals to the lab. The neighbors say he was quiet and polite and had a girlfriend briefly; his parents are at the morgue. He worked at Alistair Bookstore downtown. Benson tells Rollins to stay with the photos and she will have Carisi hit the bookstore.


At Alistair Bookstore at 154 Duane Street on Monday, February 11, Carisi speaks with a co-worker who says Micah ran their YA reading group on Saturday. Micah did not want the parents there, feeling more comfortable with teenagers. The kids were aged 11-15 and 2 boys were Caucasian. Carisi asks for their names.

Meanwhile, at SVU in the interview room, Rollins speaks with one of the kid’s parents – the Fullers - and explain the situation. The photos are not of their son Jason. Benson speaks with another parent – Mr. Meyers - who says the same but says Tommy spoke of Micah all the time. Micah’s parents arrive and Mr. Meyers confronts them and Benson and Rollins separate them.

Benson and Rollins speak with Micah’s parents who explain Micah broke up with this girlfriend Helen a week ago. Benson explains the Polariods and Mr. Fuller wants to see them, saying her son is also a victim. They show them the photos and Mrs. Fuller recognizes Micah in one of the photos – then in all of them. She recognizes their rooms in their home. Benson urges them not to jump to conclusions and asks for Helen’s last name.


At Nish Nush at 88 Reade Street on Monday, February 11, Rollins speaks with Helen. Helen says Micah took things slow and did not kiss her until the fourth date. They never had sex, Micah wanted to wait. She thought it was her. They finally decided to sleep together and he couldn’t and he explained he was molested as a kid. He never said who, he did say the guy asked him to take pictures of himself. She felt like a jerk about breaking up with him but at 20 years old she wanted a normal relationship. When Rollins asks if Helen would know anyone who would know, she mentions a guy named Billy Ryan who used to be his best friend.


Fin and Carisi are at Billy Ryan’s place as he plays a video game. He asks how did he… then says sorry, don’t tell him. Carisi explains that Micah’s girlfriend told them that they were pretty close in middle school, and Billy says yes, they grew up down the street from each other. Fin asks when was the last time he saw Micah, and Billy states not for a while. He recalls that Micah emailed him 2 days ago and he hadn’t opened the email yet. He gets his phone and says the message was from Saturday night. He reads the message where Micah says sorry for being out of touch and that he might be hearing some things about him in the near future that will be hard for him to understand and that if he wants to know why, ask Gary. He doesn’t know who is Gary. He comments if he read this, maybe he could have…Fin asks him to go back to the beginning, asking what he and Micah were in to when they were 12 or 11 years old. Billy replies playing video games at their apartments, went to movies, the park. Fin asks if Micah was in to anything else, and Billy remembers Micah used to do magic tricks. He made nerdy YouTube videos with a costume and props and Gary was the guy who taught him magic. One day, Micah threw away all of his magic stuff; he remembers that being super weird to be so into something and..,game over.


Back at SVU, the group watches videos of Micah as a young boy doing magic tricks. Fin spoke with the Fullers who have no idea who Gary is. Micah made 9 videos and the last one was June 20, 2009, the same age as he was in the Polariods. Benson sees a poster on the wall for the Gray Rabbit Magic Shop. She tells the guys to go.


At Gray Rabbit Magic Shop at 198 East 39th Street on Tuesday, February 12, Fin an Carisi speak with Gary, who says he’s worked there 15 years. Fin shows him Micah’s photo and he says he does not recognize him. He walks off. The detectives notice “customer appreciation” Polariods and when Carisi asks to see the camera, Gary said it broke a long time ago. He still does not recall Micah. The detectives leave.

Law & Order SVU “Missing” Promo

Here is the promo for Law & Order SVU “Missing” which will air on Thursday, March 14, 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.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Law & Order SVU “Facing Demons” Photos (450th Episode)

Here are advance photos for Law & Order SVU, “Facing Demons” which will air on Thursday, February 21, 2019 at 10PM ET on NBC. This is Law & Order SVU's 450th aired episode. The photos feature Mariska Hargitay, Kelli Giddish, Philip Winchester, Dean Winters as Brian Cassidy, Virginia Preston as Madison, and William Sadler as Gary Dolan.


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















Photos by: Peter Kramer 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, February 15, 2019

Law & Order SVU “Brothel” Recap & Review


“Brothel” was an interesting, fast-paced episode featuring some personal drama for Fin. He enlists the help of a past girlfriend/colleague to solve a case, later suspecting she’s a dirty cop. It was refreshing to have a case that put the spotlight on Fin, and to watch him mentally struggle with suspecting that his friend was the mole behind the leaks.  I felt sad for him at the end when I saw his hope for rekindling their relationship flame out in his eyes.

Before I get into the case, I’d like to bring up the elephant in the room: Apparently everything is now back to normal with the SVU despite their huge "blow up" in “Part 33” (which aired last week). This didn't feel right. The timeline shows “Brothel” occurred only one day later (February 8) from “Part 33” (February 7), yet Benson and the detectives act like nothing has happened. NOTHING. I find it hard to believe there would be such a huge disagreement with work colleagues and not see any evidence on the next day that it occurred. There was no palpable tension remaining between them. There should have been some evidence of either the disagreement or that they’ve moved on, even if it was one line thrown in to bring some closure. It’s a missed opportunity to create an entire episode around the team arguing and then not continue to capitalize on it in the next episode.  It's a gaping continuity hole.

Fin’s girlfriend from many years ago, Phoebe Baker, was wonderfully portrayed by Law & Order and SVU “repeat offender” Jennifer Esposito. She previously appeared in the excellent season 1 Munch-centric episode “Remorse”, plus two episodes of Law & Order (season 7 - “Good Girl” and season 17 – “In Vino Veritas”). She was perfectly believable in this role, playing someone who was willing to support Fin and the SVU, and then someone who was both insulted and hurt at Fin’s accusations.

This is not the first time in the Law & Order universe that a judge has been dirty, but it was still a bit of a surprise when we find that Judge Kofax (John Rothman), who has appeared in quite a few SVU episodes, is “helping” addicts by NOT helping them. His idea of help is far from it; it gets them in deeper with addiction and a life that can, and does, get them killed. Even though he’s driven to this action because of the death of his own daughter from addiction, it makes no sense he’d be driving girls back into the same environment that encourages their drug use. It was a head-scratcher to say the least. It was a nice touch bringing in Judge Barth (Jenna Stern), first putting her in a relationship with Kofax, and then helping to bring him down.

Rollins had her baby on (or about) January 18, but apparently she’s back to work on February 8, a 3 week maternity leave. (She was in court the day before in "Part 33", but I don’t think appearing as a witness in court would count as a return to work.)  With Rollins already having a young child at home and now an infant, I was surprised she needed - or wanted - so little time away from work, considering she detached herself from Dr. Al during the same time.

While I am on the subject of Rollins, I get this sense that the writers are trying to make her appear insensitive to special victims or that the job is getting to her. Her comment that the SVU was “wasting their time” because the victim was a relapsed junkie/prostitute felt out of place for someone who routinely deals with special victims. If Rollins can’t muster a glimmer of care or concern for someone that was clearly brutalized, she has no place in the job. I have no issue with her raising the issue about the victim’s life circumstances, it was the coldness of her prefacing it as “wasting their time” as if she was ignoring the physical abuse the victim appeared to have suffered.

A tidbit of trivia: Next week’s episode, “Facing Demons” will be SVU’s 450th aired episode. I specify “aired” as, technically “Brothel” may have been the 450th filmed episode. The episode “Unstoppable” from Season 18 was produced but never aired. I don’t know the specific filming sequence for this season, but in my mind, “Brothel” could be the 450th as far as episodes filmed and produced, “Facing Demons” will be the 450th “aired.”  It's my way of saying that I will never forget "Unstoppable", the episode we will likely never actually see.





Here is the recap:
A man arrives at a building and tells another man, Devon, waiting outside he is there to play. He gains entrance. At the door to the room, he tells another waiting man he is a friend of the house, and he is told to enjoy his night, and is allowed into the room. As music plays, a woman approaches the man and says he must he the world-famous Collum. She asks if he had trouble finding them. He says no and thanks her for getting back to him, adding that Corey mentioned they don’t always take referrals. She said the screening process is just for his first time. She checks to make sure he is not a cop, then welcomes him to the Doll House. As more women appear, she explains that it’s 55 for 15 minutes and an hour starts at 200; tips are between him and the girls. He picks Torie.

Later, Torie screams that it hurts and to stop it. The host woman tells the others to get Carlos, who enters the room. He sees Collum tied up on the bed and is quickly hit over the head with a bottle by Torie who takes his gun and points it at the host woman and runs upstairs to the roof. Devon gets to the roof and points a gun at her. She tells him she will be good but he says he is not asking again, telling her to put the gun on the ground. She continues to hold the gun on him, crying.

In the morning, Benson and Rollins walk down an alley and an officer states the victim is in her 20s, no ID, they thought it was a jumper but it looked like somebody roughed her up. Benson asks if she was sexually assaulted, and he replies she is half undressed, thumb marks on her biceps, bruises on her thighs – he made a judgment call. It is Torie’s body. Rollins sees cuts on the woman’s right hand, thinking defensive wounds, The officer states there was a handgun near the body, blood on the pistol grip. She fell/jumped from the roof of the building and the roof access door alarm was going off and there were a couple of bloody handprints up top. Benson tells him nobody goes in or out. As they walk away from the body, he says his partner has already secured the building.

A second officer approaches and says they will both want to see this. Inside the building, he explains to  Benson and Rollins that when he got there, the front door was wide open. No one was home and whoever lived there left in a hurry. Benson and Rollins continue to walk through the apartment. Rollins sees a mess of toiletries, lingerie, and other items at the bathroom sink. Benson looks in another room and sees what looks like clothing and accessories for sex play. The bedroom looks similarly outfitted. Rollins suspects she knows what the vic was running from. When the other officer doesn’t understand what she means, Benson asks “First time in a brothel, fellas?” Benson and Rollins walk out of the apartment and the two officers give each other a look and follow them out.


Back at the SVU squad room, Benson says the Jane Doe looks like a sex worker who had jumped or fallen to her death. Fin wonders if she got pushed, saying she would not be the first hooker to get thrown off a roof. Benson thinks it could be as sexual assault or murder. Carisi says the prints identify her as Torie Meeks. Rollins says she was popped twice for heroin possession and once for breaking and entering. Carisi said she had heroin in her system, Rollins explaining after the b&e, she qualified for drug court, pleaded guilty and entered the program. Benson tells them to talk to whoever handled the case.

At Manhattan Treatment Court Part 43 on Friday, February 8, Judge Kofax is hearing a case for a Mr. Perillo, with his case manager Mr. Morris, as Carisi and Rollins arrive. He passes sentence and breaks for lunch. Carisi and Rollins stop the judge, who is there his one day a month at drug court. They explain about Torie’s death and he thought she was on the road to recovery. His case manager was just there with Mr. Perillo so they race off to catch him.

They speak with Morris who lost track of Torie a few months back and she went off the grid. She tried hard to save her. She has no next of kin; she was in foster care her whole life, drinking young and was sexually abused in one of the homes and was on the streets at 16. When Carisi thinks he is saying this is inevitable, Morris explains you can’t save them all.

Back at SVU, Rollins explains Torie’s relapse. Benson asks if they can track down who ran the brothel. Fin explains the building owner is a slumlord. All he can recall is the tenants offered to pay twice his asking fee. Carisi says they are waiting for ballistics on the gun and there was no usable DNA at the scene, no prints, nothing on the cameras. Rollins wonders if they are wasting their time, Torie was a relapsed junkie, turning tricks, high and on the run, saying she might have just jumped. Benson counters whether she jumped or was pushed, she was still brutalized and just left in the middle of the night. Fin questions or she knew how to get away, saying all they left was magazines, some junk, and a random shoe. Carisi looks at the shoe and says it is not random, it’s a $2500 Paretto. He’s dreamed of owning a pair of them for years, they are custom made. Benson says the store would have a record of who bought them.

At Paretto’s Custom Shoes at 329 East 84th Street on Saturday, February 9, Fin and Carisi speak with Mr. Paretto and when he balks at giving them information, Fin comments “I don’t know anything about cobbler/client confidentiality.” Paretto is able to match it to the correct mold.


Later, Fin and Carisi speak with Collum O’Connor who admits it is his shoe. They show him the photo of a dead Torie and he says they killed her. Fin says, “Time to take a ride, Cinderella.”

At the SVU in interrogation, Benson and Rollins speak with O’Connor who thought what happened was a game. He explained what he saw and thinks one of them threw her off the roof. He was tied up. They later untied him; they were in full panic. Rollins sounds as if they don’t believe his story, and he denies killing her. He explains he heard about the brothel one night when it was snowing and there were no cabs so he hit the bar. The guy next to him gave him the number for The Doll House. As the detectives leave the room. He asks if he can go. Rollins says sure, asking if they can have his wife pick him up.

Afterwards, Carisi asks that they believe the guy; Fin does. Rollins says TARU ran the number he called and it is a burner. Benson says Torie said she’d rather go to jail, he attacked her pimp and tried to escape; they may be looking at trafficking. Carisi wonders if Doll House is in the database, but Fin suggests they go to the source – he has a friend in Vice that may be able to help. Benson tells them to check it out.

Law & Order SVU “Facing Demons” Promo; 450th Episode

Here is the promo for Law & Order SVU, “Facing Demons” which will air on Thursday, February 21, 2019 at 10PM ET on NBC. This is SVU's 450th aired episode; Dean Winters guest stars.


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




Thursday, February 14, 2019

Law & Order SVU “Brothel” Sneak Peeks

Here are preview clips from Law & Order SVU, “Brothel” which will air on Thursday, February 14, 2019 at 10PM ET on NBC. The videos feature Mariska Hargitay, Kelli Giddish, Ice-T, and Peter Scanavino.


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

Please note: These videos have a limited life and may be removed at any time, so catch it 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.