Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Law & Order SVU “Crush” Recap & Review

All photos from NBC

I am really unsure about what to think of this episode of Law & Order SVU “Crush.” I went from liking it to hating it to liking it to hating it so many times that my head is spinning. For example, the guest attorney, Samantha Copeland, went from being someone who seemed to want to help to someone who suddenly took an overly hard line toward the victim. When the mess got bigger than she could handle, she backed off, then suddenly later decided to help. Her constant changing was giving me whiplash. It appears there are few guest attorneys in the Law & Order franchise universe that actually seem to have a heart; they are all women who happen to be cold, calculating, unfeeling bitches. It doesn't matter if they are prosecutors or defeense attorneys. I am getting tired of the stereotype.

And the judge – let me see, where do I start? I think the best I can say here is that she should have just had the word “Evil” stamped on her forehead, because that would have been the only thing that would have made her appear even more dishonest. Can someone explain to me how they all managed to get away with rigging a fake case all on their own – and doing it so quickly, too? The last time McCoy did that, he had to jump through hoops and he caught holy hell for it. This seemed way too easy. And why did the SVU team handle what clearly became a case of judicial corruption? Was it right for Huang to fake he was an attorney? That whole scenario made me wonder if the writers were smoking some wacky tobacky when they wrote this episode.

I am also amused by the fact that when Olivia goes undercover, it usually involves wearing sexy outfits. When Stabler does it, he just puts on a pair of glasses. I think to be fair we need Stabler in an undercover role where he gets to wear sexy clothes too, maybe going undercover as a male exotic dancer?

I also thought the whole Kathleen Stabler acting as the expert in Kim’s problem was a little much. I didn’t see Kathleen’s problems as the same as Kim’s, and I just though that the scene was too contrived. It seemed to be a wasted scene. Why not bring in Huang to try to talk to Kim?

The whole issue with kids sending inappropriate pictures of each other is a hot button issue, that is for sure. Should a kid be prosecuted for doing this? I say it could depend, based on the circumstances. Clearly taking nude pictures is not a wise thing to do, and the pictures could always end up in the wrong hands. I would have to say that each situation would have to be handled on a case-by-case basis; I am not sure that where minors are involved that one law will fit all. Personally, I don’t understand why any kid would want to send anything via email or phone these says that could be incriminating, and it’s not like the media hasn’t been quiet on the issue. Maybe parents shouldn’t be buying cell phones that take pictures for any of their kids under the age of 18?

Are there any some law experts out there that can explain how someone can still have the freedom of speech, but then still be held in contempt of court for speaking their mind? I find those two things to sometimes be in conflict. I don't know how this judge even got away with what she did.

Now I am really hoping that Dale Stuckey will wind up being the person who gets killed before the season is over. Is it wrong to wish for something bad to befall him? In this case, I make will make an exception and wish the worst for him. I think what annoys me even more about him is that the writers seem to want to beat us over the head with him, making him annoying to the tenth power. We get it, he’s a jerk. Now make him and his bing bang bong go away!

Bottom line, now that I’ve written this all out and thought it over, this episode really was just a crushing mess.

Here is the recap:

A girl, Kim Garnet (Carly Schroeder) and a guy are in a school hallway, kissing at a locker. When she says she has to go to class, and they say they love each other, other kids in the hall taunt her about the guy loving her, and that they have seen what he loved. We then see her seemingly be pushed and then fall down the stair, another student calling out for an ambulance.

Later, Detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) are at the hospital, being told that Kim was in a coma from an inter-cranial bleed from the fall. Her parents are also there. The doctor says the girl has been physically abused, likely being kicked in the head a few days prior. He also ordered a full body scan and finds that she has many previous injuries, and Benson said someone is beating the hell out of her.

When they talk to her mother, she is perplexed that the police were brought in for a fall down the stairs. Benson explains the doctor called them because Kim has been injured a lot lately. Her mother says the dislocated shoulder was an accident, she got knocked into a wall playing basketball and hurt her face as well. When Benson asks if that is when she broke her ribs, her mother said she did not break any ribs. When Benson tells her what the evidence shows, Kim’s mother becomes upset because she did not know it. Meanwhile, Stabler is talking to Kim’s father Bill who also indicates he had no knowledge of her other injuries. Bill says her grades had slipped from As to Bs and she made her drop a sport and clean up her act. He says he has been out of work since last fall, and was a senior VP who was fired before the bankruptcy for opening his mouth and warning them they were in trouble.

Benson asks Kim’s mother about this, who says Bill has been angry about this and he still can’t find another job. She says Kim has always been daddy’s little girl, and when Benson implies he may be the one beating her, Kim’s mother gets annoyed with Benson, Meanwhile, Stabler tells Bill he knows how it is having a daughter that age and implies anger may be getting the better of Bill. Bill repeatedly tells him to stop it, and when Stabler does not, Bill begins to beat at a vending machine. As Bill apologizes and says that is not who he is. His wife comes over to him, and Bill says he will take a lie detector test. Stabler asks if Kim would confide in anyone like a boyfriend, and her mother says Steve Walker is her boyfriend, and Bill says they spend too much time together.

At the school swimming pool, the detectives speak with Steve (Alexander Nifong). He says he and Kim have been seeing each other about a year and they are good friends. They always have to go to his place because of her parents. He said he did not hurt her, and indicated she may have gotten hurt in her boxing class, but no one is supposed to know about that. Later, at Mike’s Gym, they speak with the teacher, and she said Kim was her best student. She says another “dirtbag” student named Rick Edwards puts the moves on Kim and she blew him off and he later tripped her. She suspended him for 7 days. Her problem only got worse, and Rick was bothering him again. When the teacher calls Rick over from the boxing ring, he calls her a bitch. Stabler shows him his badge, and Rick blows him off. As Stabler walks up onto the ring, Rich takes off his helmet and asks his partner for a minute, asking Stabler what is his problem, asking if the bitch Kim called the cops. He takes a swipe at Stabler, who kicks him squarely in the groin, Rick falling to the floor in pain. When Rick calls it a cheap shot, Stabler said he thought it was a street fight.

Stabler brings Rick into the SVU lockup, and Fin (Ice-T) introduced him to “Little Pete” who is already in there, who raped a 13-year-old boy. Rick gets worried and says he will tell them everything. He shouts out that last week he tried to apologize to Kim but she wouldn’t give him the time of day. He swears he did nothing. Fin says to Stabler as he is looking over to annoying CSU guy Dale Stuckey who is talking with Cragen, “You really want to put the screws to him make him go 10 rounds with you know who.” Stabler says, “He’ll talk too much tech.” Fin tells Stabler to go save the captain and he’ll go lock up “Rocky” downstairs.

Cragen, to Stabler "Please save me from this annoying tech geek."

Stabler walks over to Cragen (Dann Florek) and is greeted by annoying SVU tech Dale Stuckey (Noel Fisher). Stuckey asks Stabler, calling him “The Ellster”, “how’s it hanging” and Stabler, looking perturbed, ask him what he’s got. He says he has an updated 411 on the stuff he pulled out of Kim Garnet’s school locker. Cragen adds “ which he neglected to forward to TARU as instructed.” Stuckey says yeah, he took a little peek-a-boo at it himself, he knew Stabler wanted to take a look at what was on there ASAP. He says the victim has bee “sexting.” When Stabler asks, “sexting?” Stuckey says she sent nude photos of herself on her cell phone. When Stuckey says the girl is smokin’ hot, Stabler moves to take the cell phone. One message says “I luv u” and Stuckey says there is a lot more, including full frontals, close-ups, and he suspects that judging by the amount of hate mail she got, someone made those pictures go viral to her school. He says anyone with access to her phone could have done it. One message says “Ur gonna die” and Stabler asks who sent that text. Stuckey says, “She did” and Stabler asks “What?” Stuckey confirms it came from her number. Cragen asks, “Why would she send a death threat to herself?”

At the CSU lab, O’Halloran (Mike Doyle) tells Stabler that Kim did not send this message to herself, as he can’t see her number calling her on her cell phone. Stuckey wonders if someone “spoofed” her, faking the caller ID, making it look like she sent it. When Stuckey says he can show him, Stabler tells him “You sext me Stuckey you’re toast.” Stuckey shows them a web site that allows someone to fake a number. He enters in his phone number 646-555-0142, and then Stabler’s number 917-555-0122, and then the number he wants the call to appear as, 917-555-0122 which is Kim’s own number, and then bing, bang, bong (I am praying right now that Stabler will beat Stuckey on the head right now), it looks like Stabler called himself. Stuckey says you can even fake your voice. When Cragen questions if this is legal, Stuckey says that no one has shut it down yet. When Cragen asks how they can trace the death threat, Stuckey says therein lies the rub; there are dozens of spoofing sites on line. When Stabler states no judge will give them a subpoena for all of them, O’Halloran says that Stuckey is wasting their time again, but if they work the other way, they can find who she sent the naked photos to. It looks like she sent them to Steve Walker, but according to her cell phone bill, she first texted them to Ethan Morse who is in Little Neck, NY. When Stabler says he guesses he is going to Queens, Stuckey says he can save him a trip, Ethan is in Manhattan, he Googled him and he should try Grandview Prep. He says he got great reviews in Oklahoma that fall, and is the star of their theatre program.

At Grandview, Stabler and Fin talk to Ethan (Ezra Miller) about Kim. He says he and Kim are friends, and says he got the pictures first because she meant to send them to Steve. He wishes they were more than friends but girls don’t go for drama geeks. Ethan says he last saw Kim on Monday, at first bell before she got hurt.

Back at the SVU squad, Fin tells Stabler that Ethan isn’t telling them everything; they can place her cell phone in his area on Friday night. He also says Ethan has a temper, finding he was suspended twice for starting fights, kicked a student in the head. Fin says he got Ethan’s school file from a buddy who is head of security at Grandview who slipped him the file on the “down-low.” A lawyer walks in who overheard this comments, and tells them to give them back, he got them without a subpoena so for her they don’t exist. Cragen introduces them to Samantha “Sam” Copeland (Melinda McGraw), who is corp counsel. She asks them if they have any evidence she can actually use to prosecute Ethan. Stabler and Fin recap what they have so far, they assume she was attacked Friday night when they believe she was with Ethan. They think when he got the pictures he thought she was interested in him, and when she told him it was a mistake, he went ballistic on her. But Benson wonders if it really was a mistake, maybe she was dating Ethan behind Steve’s back. Benson shows them video surveillance from Penn Station on Friday night, and both Kim and Steve were there, Steve was going to Little Neck and used his credit card three minutes after Kim. It appears he was following her. Copeland tells them to bring Steve and Ethan in there and find out what happened.

In interrogations, Steve is there with his father. He says Kim asked her to go along because she wanted him to protect her from Ethan, she was afraid of what he would do when she told him of her mistake. In another room, Fin is talking to Ethan who is there with his mother, who said Kim said she just wanted to be friends, but admits Kim knew he had a crush on her and he has known her since September. As Cragen and Copeland watch room behind the glass, Cragen says that her head injury occurred in September, and Copeland thinks that this may be why Kim wanted Steve’s protection when she talked to him again. As they watch Steve and his father, they indicate that Ethan is out of control, and that it was Kim’s idea to use separate ticket booths at the train station so Ethan wouldn’t see them together on the train. The detectives continue to press both boys and they both deny hurting her and both parents say they aren’t answering any more questions without a lawyer present. Steve’s father says they are leaving, and Sam tells Cragen to cut them loose. When both boys find themselves in the main squad room at the same time, Ethan makes a run for Steve and they have to be separated. Benson walks in, and announces Kim is awake.

At Mercy General Hospital, Benson and Copeland talk with Kim, her parents present. She implies her head injury was an accident, and Copeland tells her if she is afraid of someone they can protect her. Benson asks about her broken ribs, and she says those were an accident too. When they tell her they know she went to see Ethan and about sending the nude pictures, her parents are shocked. She says it was a mistake, and Copeland says it is a mistake to protect her abuser; he could kill her and tells her parents they could be saying goodbye to their daughter on a slab in the city morgue. Benson tells them to excuse them both and she takes Copeland aside. Benson reminds Copeland the girl is a victim and browbeating won’t help. Copeland says then they will arrest her for possession and distribution of kiddie porn and she’ll turn around after a few days in jail. Benson asks her if she is out of her mind, she is not collaring a victim to make her talk. Copeland tells her to arrest her or she will find someone who will and she will report her to internal affairs for failure to take police action. Benson reluctantly arrests her and cuffs her to the bed. Kim wonders why they are doing this to her, she thought they wanted to help her.

Back at SVU interrogation, defense attorney Miss Pond (Alex Kinsgton) asks Copeland how low she can get. Copeland says she is trying to save her life. Pond says Kim committed no crime, and Copeland says she will not allow another to get victimized or murdered, but Pond says blackmailing her won’t get her to cooperate. Benson tells Kim she will not be safe until he is locked up, and begs her to talk. Kim is silent, and Copeland walks out, saying. “See you at trial.”

In the chambers of Judge Hilda Marsden (Swoosie Kurtz), she says this looks like kiddie porn and Copeland cites what precedent indicates this is kiddie porn and may only be a matter of time before they wind up in the wrong hands. Pond says she did not intend to distribute the pictures. Marsden asks Benson her opinion, and Benson says that by the letter of the law, yes, but does not believe that was her intent. Copeland glares at her and the judge thanks her for her honesty. Pond moves to dismiss the charges based on Benson’s statement, but the judge says not so fast. She says kids are doing this without any regard to consequences and they have an epidemic on their hands and it is time to send a message – enough - and the evidence is more than enough to proceed to trial.

Outside the courthouse, Pond wants more help from Benson but she says it is out of her hands. She gets a phone call, and says she is on her way, telling Pond she’d better come with her. It's Kim and she's been hurt again.

Back at the hospital, Kim is back in there, her face beaten and arm in a case, and she says it was an accident. She says she fell off her skateboard. She says to leave her alone and says she wants Benson out of there.

At the SVU squad, Cragen gets an update from Benson. He says he heard she sandbagged the prosecutor, and Benson said Copeland got what she wanted. Cragen says this does not give her license to defect to the defense. Benson says they are supposed to protect the victims, not throw the book at them. Cragen reminds her Kim committed a crime, and the law just hasn’t caught up with it. Benson thinks this is criminalizing private behavior, but Cragen disagrees, saying it is not private when they begin sexting others; college admissions, future employers, and even their own kids could see these pictures. Benson says Kim made a stupid decision but she should not go to jail or be labeled a sex offender for life. Cragen says it is not up to her, it is up to the judge.

In family court, Kim says she is ashamed, and she did not mean to send them for them to be forwarded to everyone else. Copeland asks about the death threat, and Kim says she does not know. Copeland thinks Kim was attacked in order to influence her and intimidate her as far as her testimony. She tells the judge she has an accident, but the judge presses her. Kim begs to not to have to tell her, and Marsden gives her one more chance to name her assailant or she will be in contempt. Kim still refuses, and the judge says that maybe a night in the court lockup will change her mind, much to the shock of her parents. As they take her away, Copeland says to Benson that at least she will be safe tonight. Pond approaches Benson, and says maybe this is the only way. Benson thinks she knows someone who may get through to her.

In jail, Pond and Benson bring in Kathleen Stabler (Allison Siko) to talk to Kim. When Kim asks her if Benson put her in jail too, she says “Yeah, and my dad’s detective Stabler.” Kathleen tells her she is glad Benson put her in jail, it made her stop hating herself. She explained her own situation and told her Benson is trying to help her. But she says he loves her and she feels like she is betraying him. Kim sounds like an expert on the issue, and Kim manages to break down. Kim says the first time it happened they were at a party, and he slapped her in the face for spilling punch on him, and later he would hit her for no reason at all. Kathleen says if someone really loved her they would never hurt her, they would treat her with respect. She begs her to let them help her. Kim says Ethan is always doing nice things for her, and they text each other all the time. She sent those pictures by mistake to Ethan. As we watch them putting cuffs on Steve we heard Kim say that Friday after school, she went to make a call and saw her cell phone was missing from her purse. Steve stole it because he is always taking it from her and he saw the pictures and he thought she was cheating on him. He sent the photos to everyone in the school and said if she saw Ethan again he would kill her. When she told him she sent the pictures by mistake, he called her a liar. While we continue to hear Kim’s story. they lead Steve into the SVU squad, and into the cell. Her story continues, and she says she took the train to Little Neck to explain to Ethan what happened, Steve followed her and kicked her in the head and she passed out. Now she is on the stand, saying that she was not dating Ethan, she just wanted to be friends. She adds that Steve attacked her the day before they came to court. Pond moves for a dismissal of charges, and Copeland has no objections. But Judge Marsden denies the motion, and Benson and everyone else is shocked. Copeland argues that the testimony shows Kim had no intent to distribute pornography, but the judge calls Kim to rise for her decision. Pond questions this, saying that they haven’t even delivered closing arguments. Marsden coldly says she is not required to hear closing arguments. She barks, “Stand up, young lady” to Kim. She finds Kim guilty of producing, possessing, and distributing a sexual performance by a child. She sentences her to incarceration to a secure facility for juvenile sex offenders in Wellsburg, Ohio, for one year. Everyone is stunned. As Kim is being led away, she says to Benson, ‘This is all your fault. I listened to you and you lied to me. You said that if I told you the truth I would be safe!”

Afterwards, Copeland tells Benson and Pond that this caught her completely by surprise, she thought the worst she would get was probation. Benson harps on her, saying now Kim is going to prison 500 miles away, and if something happens to that girl, it is on Copeland. Pond asks her how she is going to fix it. Copeland doesn’t know, and Benson tells her to talk to the judge. But Copeland says she has other cases with Marsden and if she challenges her it will make her life a living hell. Pond says she’s not the only one, she is filing a 440 motion to vacate the conviction and sentencing and she is reporting Copeland to the bar. Copeland says he is sorry, and walks off. Pond says her head is not the only one she wants on a platter, Marsden did not allow closing arguments, there was in instant sentence, why the rush to judgment? Benson asks why send Kim to a facility so far away? Pond wonders if she has a thing about sex offenders, and Benson said there is only one way to find out.

Benson and Pond arrive at the office of the clerk for family court, and she asks of they keep statistic on judges. They ask about Marsden, and he says it should not take long to put something together for them. But someone else overhearing that says actually it will take long. He tells them there is a certain protocol they have to follow, all requests have to go through him, Ed Mangini (Geoffrey Cantor), senior clerk. All requests have to go through him and if they put in a request in writing and he will get back to them. Pond says to let hew guess, they are really busy and it will take six weeks. He says yeah, and that’s if he expedites it. Benson asks why judge Marsden doesn’t want them looking at her stats, and the other clerk, who had received a phone call, says to ask her yourself, her honor wants to see Benson, pronto.

Back at family court, Benson and Pond arrive as Marsden is on the bench. She calls a recess. When Benson approaches, Marsden asks Pond if she is representing her. Pond asks does Benson need representation, and Marsden flippantly says “Of course not! We’re off the record! Join the party, counselor.” She asks why the sudden interest in her and why is she so hot for her sentencing stats. Pond says they are jus trying to understand her decision to send Kim away. She says there were no facilities with available beds in New York for sex offenders. When Olivia voices and objection, Marsden says she is so tired of these kids waltzing in there thinking they can get away with everything and she had to take a stand. When Benson asks her if she just gets off on the power, Pond seems to caution Benson and Marsden says,” Mock me again, Olivia, and I’ll hold you in contempt.” Benson asks, ‘How? I thought this was just a friendly chat?” Marsden shouts, ‘That’s it!” When Pond says that Marsden doesn’t have the authority to sanction Benson, Marsden curtly says, “Watch this. Officer, take detective Benson and Miss Pond down to the lockup. They’re in contempt.” As the both are taken away, Marsden says “Have a nice day, ladies.”

In jail, Cragen comes to see them, and Benson asks what is he waiting for, to spring them. He says, “After I am done savoring the moment.” When Pond asks if this is her boss, Benson says ‘Yeah, he’s very supportive.” As they leave, Benson states that they didn’t even get their phone call, and asks how he knew they were there? He tells her Sam called, and the find her there waiting for them. Pond thought Copeland didn’t want to cross Marsden, and says this will put her in the line of fire. Copeland says at least she will be in good company. She says she pulled up Marsden’s stats off her database and thinks she knows what Marsden doesn’t want them to see.

Back at the SVU squad, Benson says that Marsden has send 19 kids to Wellsburg this year, and 33 last year, all as teenage sex offenders. But Copeland says it all depends on how you define that term. Copeland says none of the offenses are sex offenses, and Benson adds that Marsden still took them to trial and shipped them off to Wellsburg. Pond adds she is taking minor offenses and turning them into felonies. Cragen says Marsden is a “hanging judge” and she is harsh but it is all within her discretion. But Benson asks why she locked them up for looking into her records, and Pond questions why Mangini tipped her off?

Elsewhere, we see Ed Mangini yelling out “Hey! Hey!” and yells at Stabler, who is sitting on his car. Stabler comments on Mangini’s nice wheels, saying it is pretty pricey for a government hack. Mangini says he doesn’t have to explain himself to him, but Stabler shows him his badge, and says “Actually, you do.” He gets on Mangini for ratting out his partner to Marsden. Later, he is in the SVU interrogation room, with Benson and Stabler both putting the heat on him. He says he would like to talk to his lawyer. Stabler says that is a good idea, maybe he can explain how Mangini can afford a Mercedes and a seven-figure condo in Boca. Benson tells hi tax evasion and corruption could men 20 years federal time. Stabler tell him if he tells them where the money came from, he could be a cooperating witness and not a co-conspirator. Mangini folds like a lawn chair and says that Judge Marsden likes a certain kind of case, and he makes up her docket. Marsden pays him to pad her calendar with the kinds of cases where she can send kids to Wellsburg, her cousin runs the place and she gets a commission for every bed she fills. He says he is so sorry, and when he says he will never do it again, Stabler says, “No, actually, you will.”

Later, we see Stabler, under a false identity, coming to see Judge Marsden. He says he grew up with Mangini. He says his 13 year old has been hanging out with a low life 15 year old kid who boosted his Deville and took his daughter for a ride car and totaled the car. The cops just busted him for joyriding but he thinks more should be done. She asks what he wants her to do, and he says Eddie says she knows how to deal with kids like this and is not afraid to deal with them and give them what’s coming to them. She says he just serves the public good. He gives her the kids name and says he is in the schedule for tomorrow, first up on the docket. She says she will read up on the case, and when Stabler thanks her, she says he can show his appreciation with a donation to her reelection campaign. He shakes her hand, and then pulls out a brown envelope, with what looks like money it, out of his pocket and drops it on her desk, telling her to have a nice day. She closes her folio over it.

Back in family court, Marsden is making her ruling, saying that the case has been woefully undercharged, and she is amending the complaint to grand larceny, custodial interference, and endangering the welfare of a child. Dr. Huang (B.D.Wong) who appears to be there pretending to be an attorney, objects, saying this is way out of proportion for the crime. She says this is his first time in front of her, and he should not tell her how to run her courtroom. The kid – who really is Ethan - yells at her, “You can’t do this! Who the hell do you think you are?” Cragen, in the gallery, says “Shut up, Paul.” Marsden says she is going to teach him a lesson. Huang objects, and she says object all you want, she is remanding his client to jail until trial. She tells the officer to take him into custody and adjourns the court. When she does so, Stabler stands up, shows his badge, and says she is the only one going in to custody. She asks, “What the hell is this?” Copeland answers it’s the end of a nightmare for hundreds of kids, as Stabler reads her rights. He places her under arrest for bribery, official misconduct, and false imprisonment. Huang adds federal charges of wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States. When Stabler says she ahs the right to remain silent, she says she knows her rights, she is a judge and has done nothing wrong. She says these kids need to be put away and adds it is people like her who keep this country safe. She says she has the balls to stand up for what is right, not like you lousy bleeding hearts. AS Cragen and Huang take her off in cuffs, she turns back and looks at Copeland, who seems happy. Ethan walks up to Stabler and asks how he did, Stabler says he has a shot at Broadway. He asks what about Kim. We later see Kim outside of the courthouse, calling out to Ethan ho is waiting there with Stabler, and she hugs him. Stabler asks how it went, and Copeland says the chief judge vacated the verdict and the sentence and Pond adds her record is expunged as if nothing ever happened. But Kim says a lot happened but they all helped her. Benson said she helped herself. As Kim smiles, we fade to black.

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Law & Order SVU Crush Clip # 1

Law & Order SVU Crush Clip # 2


samfan said...

I totally agree!!! Good review, hope you have a good day.

Anonymous said...

I didn't think the episode was a "crushing mess" but I do agree some scenes were not the greatest...the show still had potential. The Kathleen Stabler scene was a waste and I do agree that Mr. Huong could have done a better job. And Captain Cragan looked like he was in a daze the whole time...but other than that the episode was good.

Anonymous said...

I agree we need more sexy Stabler and less boring Benson

m lo said...

I was really panicking when the first verdict was given, but then I realized that there were fifteen minutes left. The Samantha character was really annoying too, but I'm glad it worked out in the end.

Anonymous said...

I was laughing at your intro to the recap- you must have really not know what to make of the episode! But I absolutely agree, since I got lost during the ep too.

John K. said...

I wrote an entry about sexting (a month prior to the episode), and I used some legal commentary from This may help you figure out some of the legal woes.

And I hear you on the recap. You're definitely improving your game. Heh.

By the way, Shadow was the Jack episode you were refering to. Good stuff.

John K. said...

Oh, or did you mean about "Invaders"? Silly me. Both fine episodes, though.

Anonymous said...

I was disappointed in this ep. Kathleen's been diagnosed as schizophrenic and wasn't the victim of abuse within a relationship (I almost puked when she said boys used her since she was hypersexual as many uncontrolled/undiagnosed schizophrenics are - not being used as the class toy). The ending seemed to be a last minute attempt to incorporate the horrors of the real case in PA in which a few judges sent kids who hadn't committed crimes to juvie "camp" prisons. They could have done a whole (and very interesting) episode on that situation alone.

All Things Law and Order said...

John, for some reason I can't recall the name of the episode where Jack worked with a judge to have a fake hearing or trial. I wish I could remember, after a while they all become a blur!

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, LOJ, I have to say that you hit it out of the park with this recap. I can't recall an ep that was so contrived as this one. They were on such a roll there for a while and now the eps of late have been so-so.

Could the Jack ep be the one with the Chinese Wall that he and Claire took part in? Or was it the one later on? Ah...those Jack eps were some of the best.


Anonymous said...

I'm starting to miss the old episodes of Law and Order: SVU, the ones that took place before Alexandra Cabot joined the show.
They were a lot more subtle than these, and I didn't see anything ripped from the headlines. This episode contained two ripped from the headlines storylines (the one about the judges in Pennsylvania who sent kids to prison in exchange for cash and that girl who was indicted for child porn because of her own pics) as well as an actual SVU-related crime (domestic violence).

The show was a lot more realistic then. I used to work with the Commonwealth Attorney in Virginia and cops are the same all over, even on TV (they have an over-inflated sense of what a "case" is -- they think that probable cause is the same as proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and confuse motive with evidence).

Mind you, this episode was a lot better than the last episode since it didn't really get stupid (as in contrived and unbelievable) until Stabler managed to fool a NYC Judge (who HAS to have seen him before or at the very least have done research on the detectives who are persecuting her!) with a fake pair of glasses.

John K. said...

Oh, definitely understandable, as some episodes really blur to me, too.

"Shadow" was a mock trial, which flushed out Jamie's corrupt A.D.A. friend. Your example, which you just cited, was alluding to "Invaders," which was Borgia's final episode. Okies?

The Chinese Wall, which was "Seed," that was more a creative way to have an independent version of an investigation to keep the case pure. Nothing involving a fake trial, at all.

Right, Kathleen's motivation was different than Kim, as she wasn't in complete control of her actions. It's kinda apt with the abuse (Swing implied she was with a lot of males), but I dunno.

I agree with the rest about the PA case, as that got me (lives in Pittsburgh). It had a chance, then blew it.

John K. said...

Oh, as for Elliot with glasses, um, did he already do that in "Undercover", posing as a lawyer for that prison? He just doesn't look for a lawyer. So, why re-tread the ruse? Bah.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think the Judge was arrogant and let greed and power blind her to her surroundings. She thought that between her position, and the clerk, she was covered. I think she simply didn't do her research, or she just started to but got caught. I certainly don't think that holding a lawyer and cop in contempt was going to stop them. If so she must've been a fool to think that. Or, she was planning something more sinister and didn't count on Copeland contacting Cragen and getting them out so quickly.

Marsden has likely never met Stabler. Even if she knew the name of Liv's partner, she may have not seen his face. She clearly didn't know anything about Liv or the squad, nor their connection to the FBI through Agent Huang (he is, and always has been, a Federal Agent).

But, I agree that it wasn't the greatest episode, and a bit of a mess. Maybe if they devoted more time to the corruption, it would be better. But, I'm for one glad that Liv got out of jail fast.

Anonymous said...

That's fair enough, although I know that if I was a corrupt judge and a cop was dangerously close to uncovering a massive fraud case I would at least try to look her up. Maybe Marsden was supposed to be short-sighted, which in that case helps me respect the episode a little bit more.

Something else good about this case -- I found out that in New York the Corporation Counsel prosecutes juvenile offenders in Family Court. His principal function is defending the city government.

Anonymous said...

I also agree that the corruption aspect was a lot more interesting than the rest of the episode (domestic violence was also compelling, even though they did feel the need to do that annoying thing where one character repeats True Facts statistics to another character in a blatant attempt to be educational). Stuckey didn't really piss me off, since he actually had useful information unlike his last appearance where he just showed up for no reason and didn't even try to help.

jason said...

Hi, I'm a prosecutor down in Texas and to answer your question about contempt of court, the way that it was done the first time in this episode is pretty close to how it's done in real life. The way contempt works is that once you are under subpoena to testify, you don't have the right not to answer a question unless you can assert a privilege not to testify (Fifth Amendment right to silence, spousal communications, etc.). Kim didn't have a privilege. The way it was done the second time is completely ridiculous and could never happen. A judge can't hold someone in contempt unless they have jurisdiction over the person. The court didn't have jurisdiction over Benson. She had the right to say what she wanted to say.

Anonymous said...

This episode will get a judge killed.

b.pomerleau said...

My favorite Law and Order SVU episode love it cause miss B* of a judge got her due and nice conspiricy episode on corrup officals great ending no cliff hangers