Thursday, December 7, 2017

Law & Order SVU “Intent” Recap & Review


Law & Order SVU “Intent” was the complete opposite of the previous episode “Something Happened”; the latter focused almost exclusively on Benson, while “Intent” provided something for everybody. This was a FAR better episode, giving viewers a lot of the expected and a little of the unexpected, just enough to make things interesting.  Noah goes missing while he is with Sheila (expected). In a West Virginia bar, Rollins tells Carisi that she once took a bartender “out back and banged his brains out” (expected - because  it's Rollins,  and unexpected - that she actually said it). Carisi and Rollins get in a bar fight (unexpected) and later have a “moment” (unexpected), a moment which Carisi finds shattered when he sees that Rollins hooked up with a West Virginia bartender that same night (expected). When Carisi seems to be in a funk over this (unexpected), Rollins tells him “You know I’m human, right? Right, and human people have sex, sometimes with people they love, sometimes with people they don’t even know…and sometimes with people who are pains in the ass” (expected…and which one of those could be Carisi?). Barba gets one in the win column (expected), but only after Benson seemingly had to push Barba to pursue a case (expected). Fin gets to add the comic relief (expected).

Peppered within this episode is the Benson – Noah – Sheila story arc. It begins with Benson finding out from Noah that during his time with Sheila that day, Sheila mentioned Noah’s mother Ellie. This does not please Benson one bit. She later makes it clear to Sheila that Noah’s family – Sheila’s family - is complicated and Noah is 5 and when he is old enough he will hear the truth but until then, Sheila has to discuss these things with her first. Sheila agrees it will never happen again, saying this has all been wonderful and she wants it to work, and she asks for Benson’s forgiveness. Benson grants it to her, reminding Sheila they are all new at this. At the end of the episode, Sheila is in a department store with Noah as he is trying on a coat, and a mysterious figure wearing a hoodie watches nearby. As Sheila turns away briefly to select another coat, she turns back toward where Noah had been standing and he is nowhere to be found. She looks around in desperation and panic. At the end of the episode, Benson gets a call from Sheila and her face looks stunned. The promo for the next episode shows the continuation of this story. The big questions: Who took Noah, and did Sheila have anything to do with orchestrating the abduction? Has she been ingratiating herself with Benson in order to get Benson to drop her guard or did she have nothing to do with this at all? If Sheila is not complicit, will Benson ever be able to trust or forgive Sheila? Can we finally bring a close to this story line once and for all?


Now, the SVU case of the week. A social media celebrity, Katy Miller, and MMA fighter “The Monster” arrange to meet and later find themselves at The Monster’s home which has a spectacular view of the city. Things look romantic at first but quickly turns bad when The Monster forces himself on Katy, despite her pleas to stop. Afterward, Katy is walking alone in the street, and a stranger walking by asks if she is okay. She collapses, saying she was raped. Later, with Fin and Rollins at the Mercy Hospital where Katy was taken, she denies a rape occurred. Benson and Rollins also have no luck in getting Katy to spill on her attacker, but The Monster proactively contacts the SVU about the matter, later telling Carisi and Fin that Katy sent him a text demanding $10,000 or she will tell them that he raped her.

The Monster is questioned at SVU and they find that he got messages from Katy that stated she wanted him to rape her.  Benson and the detectives set up a sting to have The Monster pay the money and to see if Katy shows up, and if she doesn’t, to charge The Monster with rape 1. Surprisingly, Katy does show up but she runs when she sees him. The detectives apprehend her and arrest her. While being questioned at SVU, she denies the demands for money. They later discover that Katy was lured to that location by another mysterious text. As the detectives discuss the case and the texts, they realize a third party is involved – Fin calling it a double catfish.

While they work to unveil this third party, Benson confers with Barba and he explains that for this third person to be charged with rape, The Monster has to be found guilty (or take a guilty plea). Later,  Barba and Benson lay out the facts for The Monster; Katy also shows up during this discussion and makes it clear that she told The Monster to stop. (She also throws in the fact that she was a virgin.) He does the right thing and takes Barba’s deal, opening the door to charge the catfisher. This was almost too easy. 

The catfisher is tracked to West Virginia, and Carisi and Rollins get the assignment to go there to check it out, giving viewers a stereotypical view of West Virginia life. Along with Deputy Sheriff Chuck Howley, they catch up with Heather Parcell, who is taking care of her very ill mother. They take her computer and she is arrested.  Later, at “The Barrel” bar, Carisi and Rollins are with the Chuck, who has too much to drink. As Chuck takes a bathroom break, Rollins questions the bartender, Buck, and they get slightly flirty. Afterward, Rollins comments to Carisi she spent too many nights in places like this. She recounts her experience with the bartender at one of her old haunts, and when she returned to see her mother last year, she admits that she “took him out back and banged his brains out.” They both laugh over this. Soon after, Chuck drunkenly comes out of the men’s room and as Carisi tries to help him, they collide with a server who spills her tray of drinks all over a group at another table. As Carisi tries to defuse the situation, a fight ensues, with Carisi and Rollins quickly exiting the bar, somewhat exhilarated over the experience. They later share a near romantic moment at Rollins’ hotel room door, but Carisi isn’t laughing later when he sees Buck exiting Rollins’ hotel room in the morning.

They take Heather to New York City to face charges and she eventually is represented by the attorney who she also catfished. During her trial, Katy and The Monster testify to their parts of the story, and Heather takes the stand in her defense, playing on sympathy about caring for her sick mother. It looks like it may work, but Barba quickly brings out the anger and resentment that Heather holds towards Katy, and the jury quickly finds her guilty of rape in the first degree.

The only thing that was a big hole for me was how was it so easy for Heather to catfish Katy, The Monster, and the lawyer? I suppose with people using texts and/or dating or hook-up apps with increased frequency and speaking less via phone or in person, it may be easier that I think to bamboozle so many people.



Cast:
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:
Brooke Shields - Sheila Porter
Steve Howey – The Monster Andy McPherson
Gage Golightly - Katy Miller
James Monroe Iglehart – Shaun Tompkins
Tenea Intraigo - Heather Preston
Nick Sullivan - Deputy Sheriff Chuck Howley
Glenn Fleshler - Counselor Phillip Altshuler
Erik Anthony Martin - Marv
Ben Roberts – Buck
Barbara Kingsley – June Parcell
Gillian Glasco – Uni
Valerie Kingston – Judge Martha Whiman
Anthoula Katsimatides – Meryl Smith
Ava Demary – Debbie
Violet Knobel – Amy
Melody Bates – Waitress
Erik Martin – Marv
Jenny Hickman – Missy
Christopher Tighe – Man
Lailee Clemons – Foreperson
Ryan Buggle - Noah Porter-Benson




All Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) Copyright © allthingslawandorder.blogspot.com unless otherwise noted

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 “Gone Baby Gone” Promo

Here is the promo for Law & Order SVU “Gone Baby Hone” which will air on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at 9PM 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.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Law & Order SVU “Intent” Photos

Here are advance photos for Law & Order SVU “Intent” which will air on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 9PM ET on NBC. The photos feature Mariska Hargitay, Kellie Giddish, Peter Scanavino, Gage Golightly as Katy Miller, Tenea Intraigo as Heather Preston, Ben Roberts as Buck, Erik Anthony Martin as Marv, Nick Sullivan as Deputy Sheriff Chuck Howley, Ryan Buggle as Noah Porter-Benson, and Brooke Shields as Sheila Porter.


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



















Photos by: Michael Parmelee/NBC 2017 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.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Law & Order SVU “Intent” Sneak Peeks

Here are preview clips from Law & Order SVU “Intent” which will air on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 9PM ET on NBC. The videos feature Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, and Peter Scanavino.


My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “Intent” 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 1908 Clip2_h264_sd_16x9 from Chris Zimmer on Vimeo.



SVU 1908 Clip3_h264_sd_16x9 from Chris Zimmer on Vimeo.

Clip added December 1, 2017



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 “Something Happened” Recap & Review


Something certainly happened in this episode of Law & Order SVU. The story spent most of the screen time on Benson and potential rape victim Laurel Linwood. A ticking clock on the occasional scene cards seemed to be an effort to add tension to the episode, but as this case didn’t seem to be time sensitive in any way, the effect was wasted.  (I believe Law & Order used this effect once in a "day-in-the life" episode and it worked very well.) With the exception of a few scenes with detectives outside the SVU, the detectives and Barba were reduced to real window dressing, spending much of the time at the observation window.  I applaud them for trying something different, but I’ll admit that I had a hard time connecting with this episode.

Laurel Linwood was found at the New York Natural History Museum by a class of 6th graders. She was shaken and crying; security called 911, and she was taken to St. Vincent’s hospital and the hospital then called the SVU. She told the doctor she was raped so they did a rape kit and the tox screen was clean. Soon afterward, Laurel is at the SVU in the interrogation room; Carisi says she’s in “real bad shape” and he and Rollins can’t get her to say anything. (Benson later throws this in Rollin’s face when Rollins offers to take over questioning and Benson jabs that Rollins couldn’t get Laurel to say word one.)  Quickly, after only a few words from Benson, Laurel speaks and doesn’t see the point of talking, they will never catch him as she can’t remember anything.

My question at this point in the episode is why did they bring Laurel to the SVU if she so traumatized? Desn’t Benson - or don’t the detectives - usually go to the hospital to conduct the first questioning of a rape victim, even if they are not sure an attack occurred? And, as Laurel seems increasing unstable as Benson interviews her, someone with psychiatric experience should have been consulted. Instead, we see the detectives and Barba watching through the observation window, at least until Benson closes the blinds and turns off the audio.

When the episode synopsis was initially released, it said “Benson must disclose the secrets of her past to help a rape victim.” An NBC promo mentioned “When Olivia tells her secret”. Did I miss the secret(s)? I didn’t hear anything new or surprising, even that Benson is “not Jesus.”   We knew that Benson beat William Lewis. Why did Fin say “We need to stop this?” when Benson started talking about her father? Was he worried that Benson couldn’t handle discussing the issue, after all these years? (I would have expected Fin to try to stop Benson when she brought up William Lewis as what she could have said there could have been more traumatizing for Benson to rehash.) We knew her father, “Joe”, raped her mother and Benson didn’t really know her father, Benson admitting it bothered her he never looked for her, and that she hated him. It surprises me that Benson would still be such a delicate flower on the issue of her father after all this time. So unless I dozed off and missed something major, the whole “When Olivia tells her secret” hook fell flat for me.

I’m not sure why I found this amusing, but the lightning storm during the scene where Benson talks more about her own issues with her father seemed like it belonged in a cheesy horror flick.

At least the episode provided one surprise: Laurel was no victim of rape, her recently deceased father sexually abused her sister, Laurel was jealous of her (wondering why her father didn’t pick herself instead), and she killed the person who reminded her of her father. Laurel waited until he was asleep and then she stabbed him. She stated she just wanted her father to love her. Before this reveal, Benson compared the situation to ripples created by throwing a rock into a pond, destroying everything in its wake, by her father throwing an “insidious rock” into Laurel’s family which covered all of the family. Benson, in her whisper tones, said they are all collateral damage, and Laurel notes it is like Benson. Laurel knows she is going to prison, finally admitting what really happened. More likely she will be going to a mental hospital.  Who knows what will come out after a medical expert questions Laurel?

The advance photos released for this episode included some images of Benson with Noah, yet those scenes were nowhere to be found. I assume we’ll eventually see a deleted scene covering those photos.

Update December 8, 2017 - a (long) deleted scene has been added below!


Cast:
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:
Melora Walters - Laurel Linwood
Joanna Going - Leah Linwood
Chris Cafero – James
Crystal T. Johnson – Meg
Lana Young – Mrs. Drayson
Kayla Diaz – Nancy
Tailyn Sandhu - Linda



Deleted scene added December 8, 2017 (Several minutes long)






All Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) Copyright © allthingslawandorder.blogspot.com unless otherwise noted

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 “Intent” Promo

Here is the promo for Law & Order SVU “Intent” which will air on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 9PM ET on NBC.

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