Friday, November 27, 2009

Benjamin Bratt Talks About Returning to Law & Order

Here’s a short video (below) from NBC with Benjamin Bratt talking about his upcoming return to Law & Order.

Note: This video will be removed within a week of when the episode first airs!

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Jeff Goldblum, Saffron Burrows on the Law & Order CI Set

Jeff Goldblum and Saffron Burrows were recently photographed on the set of Law & Order Criminal Intent. Here are a few photos that I am sure the Jeff Goldblum fans will enjoy.

The names of some of the episodes for the upcoming season are also out there. I have them listed below, but I have no firm dates. Frankly, after how the schedule for CI got so messed up last season, I am not sure if I would want to publish any date even if I had it. The show is scheduled to start up in March of 2010:

1. Puntland (part 1)
2. Puntland (part 2)
3. Love Sick
4. Abel and Willing
5. Love on Ice

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Law & Order “Shotgun” Recap & Review

All Photos from NBC

Law & Order “Shotgun” was one of those episodes that I was on the fence about it as I watched it, but as it wound down, I found that I liked it more after I saw the outcome and had time to think about it.

In this episode, an elderly man, played by Elliott Gould, shoots three people in defense of what at first appeared to be a robbery of his tax service business. But things are never that cut and dry in the Law & Order Universe. It wasn’t a robbery, it was a shakedown at the hands of someone who wanted to buy the man’s property for his own personal gain. Elliott Gould was perfect for the role as a store owner, as he seemed to play the innocent act very well. But the proof of Gould’s acting skill is at the very end, where the look on his face changed while he was talking with Bernard, commenting how the situation just fell into his lap. It was a very brief, calculating look that spoke volumes.

This episode had a very “Criminal Intent” feel to it, which is why I think it took me a while to warm up to it a bit. I haven’t always been a fan of the way Law & Order CI tells their stories. In fact, this would have been a great case for Goren and Eames; too bad that ride is coming to an end.

Cutter (Linus Roache) seems to be a totally different man this season. For some reason I felt that last season he was a little cold, distant, and power hungry; this season he seems to be letting more of his personal beliefs creep into his case, sometime showing more emotional involvement in the case. But the old Cutter is still in there, he jumped at the chance to give Stan the citizen award, only to have Jack (Sam Waterston) toss it right back in his face when they had to prosecute Stan. (I think Jack enjoyed that a little too much.) I was a little surprised that Cutter had to be told what a “ho” phone is; I’d never heard of one either but it seemed easy to figure out.

Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Bernard (Anthony Anderson) are a very comfortable pair. In this episode Anderson received a little more of the focus, as he tried to be friendly with Stan, only to feel deceived and betrayed later. After Bernard shared his own personal story from growing up, it seemed Bernard trying to help Stan may have been his way of paying back the store owner who helped his family when Bernard was a child. Anderson did a great job in conveying his disappointment with Stan just by using facial expressions. I have to admit, though, that I thought it was just plain mean when Bernard sat himself on Angel’s hospital bed, clearly with the intent to cause pain. I have always been under the opinion that type of behavior is low for anyone in law enforcement (or anyone else for that matter).

Somehow, I get the feeling that the annoying reporter Len Pewls will be someone who pops up frequently whenever they need someone to reflect the media’s political commentary. Of course, McCoy is also getting to be the designated bearer of the political comment for the show, this one being a “Joe the Plumber” reference. Personally, I agree with his assessment of these kinds of media created folk heroes, but I thought using “Joe the Plumber” was a rather dated reference.

As far as the crime itself, I think that anyone willing to commit armed robbery – even if the real intent wasn’t really armed robbery in this episode – should be aware that they are other people out there that carry guns and they have a right to protect themselves and their property. I am not saying that it is right that store owners just shoot to kill with any threat, just that criminals can sometime get more than they bargain for. Stan was very wrong to shoot to kill, but was able to get away with it, seeing that he had a perfect explanation for his actions.

Here is the recap:

Stan Harkovy (Elliott Gould) and his assistant Gregory (Armando Riesco) are closing up shop early at “Your Friendly Tax Service.” Meanwhile, three men, one of them with guns, ready themselves for am “easy score.” The next we see of them, one are being carted away by EMS at Your Friendly Tax Service, and there is a bullet hole in the front window and blood everywhere in side. An officer on the scene tells Detectives Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson) and Cyrus Lupo )Jeremy Sisto) that it appeared to be an armed robbery. Two men lie dead on the floor, assumed to be the robbers. Apparently they asked for money and one of them began to beat an employee. The owner, using a scatter gun took them out. They look to Stan Harkovy, sitting in the back area, seemingly dazed. Lupo notes that the gun is a Remington pump, and says, “Don’t mess with grandpa.” Bernard asks Stan how he is doing, and he says they wouldn’t leave, and he didn’t want to do it, he didn’t want to kill anybody.

At the 2-7 in interrogation, Stan said that he and Gregory started to close up. Three kids bust in, one of them had a gun out, waving it around. He emphatically says he never saw them before. They yelled at him to give up his money and there was only $30 in his cash box and he said they were wasting his time. The one with the gun started to his Gregory, kicking him the face, and he thought this was it, they were both dead. The guy kept hitting Gregory and he was like a son to him, he had to do something. When Bernard asks who he shot first, Stan says he is not sure. Bernard asks what Stan did when they started firing, and he says he doesn’t know, it was so fast he just kept shooting until they were all on the floor. Lupo asks if he ever used that gun before, and he says no, he bought it when he first started his business. He takes it out only to clean it. Bernard asks if this is his first time in being robbed, and Stan quietly says yes, adding that in 45 years he has never had any trouble. He gets along with everyone. Lupo questions “with everyone,” adding he is one of the few white owned businesses in that neighborhood, asking that he be never had an issue. Stan says he is no racist, commenting that brown, black, purple – people have to have their takes done. But Lupo questions if he never had any trouble, why did he buy a gun in the first place? Stan clarifies that when they first opened, they stayed open late, and Evelyn, his wife, “god rest her soul” thought they needed protection. Today was the first time he ever had to use it. He adds, “All this for $30.”

At the emergency room at St. Justin’s Hospital, the detectives speak with Gregory while his injuries are being tended to. He seems to confirm Stan’s story. He says Stan did what he had to do and he thought they were going to kill them both. He never saw these people before. Stan got along fine with the people in the neighborhood. Bernard notices a tattoo on Gregory’s arm and ask if he runs with a gang. He says no, it is Japanese, and Lupo recognizes it as meaning “the fist and Zen are one” and asks if Gregory is into martial arts. He is a second degree black belt in karate, saying a lot of good it did him; when he saw that gun he froze. Stan saved his life.

Bernard tells ADA Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) that Stan and Gregory corroborate each other on the sequence of events and it looks like the beat-down set it off. She noticed that Duane Jefferson had priors for bank robbery, Pierre Hobbs had car jacking, assault, CPW. Van Buren adds that the third accomplice Angel Colon, who survived, had no record, and is an applicant to become a corrections officer, adding it seems like a big step from there to armed robbery. Bernard wonders if he was building up his resume. Rubirosa says they will charge him as soon as he gets out of surgery, and says as for Stan Harkovy, it seems like textbook justification with no charges. But Lupo asks what about his unregistered shotgun? She says she doubts anyone in her office is going to want to pursue a misdemeanor against a 70-year-old hero who just saved his employee’s life. After Rubirosa walks out, Lupo comments that a guy kills two people and he just walks out of here like nothing happened? Bernard says he gets the feeling Stan is going to remember every day what happened. Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson) adds that two doers with serious priors target a store front tax service, they’d have to know that there’d be slim pickings. Bernard wonders if they thought it was an easy mark. Van Buren goes on that this boy wanted to be a corrections officer, then tells them to send Stan home and talk to Andrew Colon’s people and find out how he got mixed up with these thugs.

Lupo opens the interrogation room door and Stan gets up, asking he can leave? Lupo says for now, and that the DA may have more questions, telling him just don’t leave town. Stan asks where else is he going to go, he had blood on him. Bernard tells him to go home and take a shower. Stan asks how is the kid that went in the ambulance; Lupo informs him he is still in surgery. When Stan asks if he is going to make it, sounding concerned, Lupo motions and says nothing, meaning that he does not know, and walks off. Stan tells Bernard he hopes he pulls through, he didn’t think they would all die. Bernard warns him there are going to be a lot of reporters outside and asks if Stan has anyone who can come pick him up. Stan’s son is in California, and he doesn’t want to talk to any reporters. Bernard says he can use the back door and put him in a cab and asks if he has fare, and Stan says yes. He thanks Bernard for sneaking him out. Bernard tells him not to be surprised when the reporters show up at his door. Stan says when his wife died, he thought that was the worst day of his life. Bernard tells him he knows it can be hard, but gives him his card to call him, night or day, if he every needs somebody to talk to. As they walk out, Lupo watches from the other side of the squad room window After he closes the door, Bernard turns back to face the squad room, likely looking back at Lupo.

At the apartment of Sonya Colon, she doesn’t know the other two robbers, and she first gets defensive about her son. But then tells the detectives that Angel he was waiting for that job and wanted to get a bigger apartment. She did not know if he had a girl. Lupo notices a photo of Angel and asks if he is a black belt. He is second degree. When Sonya moves to answer her phone, Lupo speculates about two guys in the name neighborhood being black belts, Bernard noting Angel was at the Way of the Warrior Dojo.

They talk to the owner of the Way of the Warrior Dojo, who said Gregory and Angel took night classes a few years back. He thought they were friends, but a sparring episode turned into a street fight and he had to pull them apart. He doesn’t know what it was about, he just told them to come back as karate is about maintaining control. As they detectives leave the Dojo, Lupo says “So Gregory lied to us. That’s not very Zen of him.”

Speaking with Gregory outside the tax service, he is shocked to find that it was Angel that was robbing them. He did not recognize him with the hood and shades. He said the fight they had was over a girl, Alicia Rodriguez, who left him to hook up with Angel. He says he got past it about it. When Bernard implies that Gregory was the inside man on the robbery, and Lupo indicates Gregory planned that Stan would take them out with the shotgun, he says that is crazy. He suggest they talk with Alicia, she is pregnant, he saw her recently and said it is all good, there are no hard feelings. Stan walks up, upset and asking when they are going to let him open up, and Lupo tells him it is still crime scene and they will let him know when he can open up. Stan says that the phone in his apartment is driving him crazy, they want to take his picture and interview him. A man yells out from a car nearby in support of Stan. Stan says he didn’t ask for this, wondering why they can’t leave him alone. Gregory walks Stan away, and Lupo wonders about Alicia’s baby and maybe Angel is the father and that is why he needed a bigger place?

The detectives speak with Alicia, who said Gregory seemed happy for her about the baby. She did not tell him that Angel was the father. Alicia seems upset with Stan, saying he could have shot them in the leg. Angel just wanted money to get a better place for her and the baby, but when Lupo mentions the $30, she says Angel said there were gold coins in the place in a cigar box. Angel heard about it from the guy who set up the robbery As they walk off, Bernard says, “Gold coins in treasure box” and Lupo answers, “Arrrg.”

At the hospital with Angel, he doesn’t want to talk to them, but Bernard raises the level of his bed to force him up. He admits that Duane told them there was $100 grand in Krugerrands there. But Angel said he knew somebody who worked there would have told him there were coins. But he didn’t know Gregory was working there and as soon as he saw him there he wanted out. He stood by the door and hoped he didn’t recognize him. Bernard sits down hard on the bed, causing Angel to groan in agony. When he told Duane there were no coins, he said to keep his mouth shut, and not to tell Pierre, saying coins or no coins he would put money in his pocket, so he went along. He screams to the nurse for painkillers. As Lupo and Bernard exit the room, Bernard saying money or not, Duane Jefferson was walking into that store, and Lupo said that the coins were a story to get his crew to go along. Bernard wonders if Duane was not in it for the money, why did he and his friend die?

At Stan’s place, the phone is ringing, and Stan says, “Krugerrands? I don’t have any gold. You can search the office.” As Lupo says they did, Stan answers the phone, and then says no comment and don’t call back. He tells them it was a reporter wanting to know if the police gave him back his shotgun. When Bernard calls him Mr. Harkovy, he tells him to call him Stan. Bernard tells him to look at the picture of Duane Jefferson again, and asks if he is sure he never saw him. He says he is sure. Lupo asks if he can think of anyone who wanted to hurt him, and Stan says yeah, the three guys he shot. His phone rings again.

Back at the 2-7, the detectives enter Van Buren’s office, and she is on the phone and is on hold. Bernard tells her that Stan has been living about his office for the past 30 years and he owns the building and has little money and that’s about it. There is no evidence there of a safe or Krugerrands. She gets back on the phone, now off hold, asking when the doctor can call her back. She then says,” What…yeah, you have a nice day too” as she hangs up the phone in frustration. She tells the detectives that Duane’s brother claimed the body from the ME and, handing them the file, tells them maybe he knows what his brother was after.

At the funeral home, they speak with Duane’s brother, who is not sorry his brother is dead. They are not close and didn’t talk. He says Duane worked the door at an after hours poker club and the last time he saw him, he wanted him to meet him at a diner down the street to pay him back the $1,000 he owed him. Duane was flashing cash and had a new leather coat – the one he is wearing in the casket. Bernard asks where his good fortune came from, and he tells them there was a white kid in the diner – Max – who was a poker regular who was going to set up Duane on a score. He told Duane whatever.

Later, waiting outside the poker club, they see someone matching Max’s description leaving the poker place, and the detectives stop him. Asking hi for his ID, as he was patronizing an illegal gambling operation, they find it is Max Purcell (Jack T. Carpenter). The ask him about Duane Jefferson but he plays dumb. When Lupo says they have a witness from the diner down the street who saw him talking with Duane, Max admits that the cards weren’t going his way in the poker game, somebody had aces and was “sitting on the nuts" burned him for 8 grand. Duane fronted him a loan, he said Duane works for a loan shark. He insists he paid Duane back a few days before he got killed. He swears he is a guy who just really sucks at poker.

The next day in the 2-7, as Van Buren is moving to answer her ringing phone, the detectives tell Van Buren about Max Purcell. He is a trust fund brat and his parents are deceased, he lives in an apartment on 5th Avenue. She asks what is his connection to Max and the accountant, and there is non they can find. She answers her phone, it is her doctor’s office and she is told her doctor is not available now. Bernard gets a message and tells Van Buren that it is about Stan and it is urgent. She tells them to go. As they leave, she gets back on the phone, saying between 4 and 6 will work and asks if they will have her test results. She says “Alright, thank you” and slamming down the phone, adds, “Have a nice day…have a nice day when I’m cured.”

At the hospital, a security guard tells them that the old guy showed up with flowers for Angel Colon and the mother freaked out. Sonya is screaming for Stan to get out of there, and he innocently says he was just trying to see how he was doing. As Bernard moves Stan out saying they should get a beer, Stan said he just wanted to say he is sorry. Sonya continues to scream as Lupo tries to calm things.

At a bar, Stan and Bernard are having a beer, and Stan said he just wanted to show them he is not a monster. Bernard tells him a story about and old Japanese guy in his neighborhood that owned a bodega who paid him $20 a week to sweep the floor every day. Bernard says he looked out for them and let his mom ran up a tab when she was low on cash. Stan says that is what makes a neighborhood – people looking out. Bernard tells him he will get that back. But Stan says it is to much, he got a call from the councilman’s office that they want to give him an award. He is not a hero and does not think he can go back into his office. Gregory walks in and asks if Stan wants to go, and Bernard asks Stan about retiring, saying the neighborhood is gentrified and he could get a good deal. Stan says he doesn’t know about that. Gregory says that Bernard is right, “you are sitting on the nuts.” Bernard pauses, and asks Gregory if he plays poker, commenting about the expression. He said he heard some guy say that when he came into the office a few weeks ago, asking Stan if he remembers, he is the one who wanted to buy the place. Stan says, “Oh yeah” and referred to him as a punk saying he was full of crap and looked like a drug addict. Bernard asks if he left a name, and Gregory said it was Max, with a crazy haircut and a silver earring. Stan motions for them to leave, and Bernard thanks them Lupo walks in and Bernard tells him it wasn’t robbery, it was a shakedown. Max Purcell sent Duane in to scare Stan into selling his place.

Max walks out of The Grinnell with his grandfather Julian Hayworth (John McMartin), wanting to get out of going to the ballet but his grandfather won’t hear of it. Lupo and Bernard approach and arrest Max. His grandfather tells him to keep quiet and tells someone to call Otto Bradshaw, that he need him right away. Hayworth asks if they are arresting Max for his gambling, but Lupo says they don’t arrest gambles. Bernard adds, Shakedown artists yes, but not gamblers.”

In court, Max is being arraigned for one count of attempted robbery and two counts of second degree murder. Max says he is not guilty. The judge is surprised to hear that this relates to the accounting office robbery, and Rubirosa clarifies that he was acting in convert with the dead robbers, saying Max orchestrated this to coerce the owner to sell the building. Bradshaw contests this, and asks where the vigilante who gunned down three men. EADA Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) who just raced in, says they are not prosecuting Harkovy. Bradshaw says Jack McCoy is telling them to arm themselves with unlicensed weapons and fire away at the least provocation. Cutter counters that Stan acted in self defense, it was Bradshaw’s client that put these events into motion. The judge says it is a tough sell, and sets bail at $100K. Cutter says to Rubirosa that Stan deserves a medal and if their strategy is to turn him into some crazed vigilante it won’t work. But Rubirosa is worried about proving motive, asking what is a trust fund kid like Max wants a building so badly that he terrorizes the owner. Cutter notes that Max’s grandfather didn’t bother showing up for the arraignment, and maybe he is ready to throw the kid to the wolves?

At the Hayworth Group offices, Cutter and Rubirosa speak with Hayworth. When Cutter says Max doesn’t understand the trouble that he is in, Hayworth says that is the pathology of gambling. Max got that bad gene from Hayworth’s late son in law. He says maybe he wanted to turn the building into a craps parlor. He adds that Max gets a modest stipend from a trust fund and couldn’t afford to put a down payment on it, much less buy it. When Rubirosa notes all the photos of buildings on the wall and asks if Hayworth owns all of them, he said he has, one time or another. He sold off most of his blue chip properties and the recession put his portfolio in the crapper. As they walk into his office, Rubirosa asks that maybe Max thought that he would get into the family business but says he and Max don’t have that kind of relationship. Cutter notices a model of the Caroline Hayworth Library at Hudson University and Hayworth said his daughter went there, she was an only child and Max’s mother. He promised everything he had after he died to Hudson to build it in her memory. Rubirosa comments that Max could not have been happy with that, but he said a deal is a deal and Max has his trust find. Hayworth asks if there is anything else, and Rubirosa says she does not think so, asking a distracted Cutter for his input. He says there are no more questions. As they exit the office, Cutter comments that it is a nice library, and not something you can just put anywhere.

At the university, they are told that Hayworth promised to donate the money at the end of the year in the form of an annuity and will receive an annual payout on the interest until the time of his death. The library will be fully funded. She tells them that Max came in a few weeks ago, claiming that his grandfather lost a lot of money since he made the donation and wants them to tear up the contract. They declined. But Cutter is looking at the maps of location for the library, and finds that the current location for the library and that Max saw the map and that he knows they are expanding in to Spanish Harlem, right through Stan’s building.

At DA Jack McCoy’s (Sam Waterston) office, he, Cutter, and Rubirosa watch a news story about Stan Harkovy day in Spanish Harlem where thousands came to celebrate. The reporter, Len Pewls (Jason Jones) says he wants to applaud Stan for defending his employee and his business against armed predators. Rubirosa comments that Pewls jumped right on this bandwagon, and McCoy replies that Stan is a perfect excuse for his thinly veiled racist commentaries. Cutter gives McCoy fair warning that he will be giving Stan his award at a ceremony tomorrow. McCoy asks why, and Cutter indicates that when the defense is calling Stan a vigilante, he thought it can’t hurt to showcase his heroism. He adds that he respects Stan as it could not have been easy persevering in that neighborhood all these years. McCoy adds that it is a free country, and says he is more interested in his case against Max. Cutter thinks they nailed his motive as Max’s grandfather is about to give away his inheritance to build a library at Hudson University and there was nothing he could do about it. Rubirosa adds that Max found out that Stan’s building is located at the new location for the library. Cutter says that if Max got control of that property he could hold it up and force Hayworth to pay him off. McCoy comments that was too bad for Max that he ran into someone more stubborn than his grandfather.

At the Citizen Commendation Awards Ceremony in the courthouse, Cutter is giving a glowing opening to Stan. Stan rises to great applause and gives a humble acceptance speech. After it is over, Rubirosa comments to McCoy that it looks like Hudson University sent someone to kiss Stan’s ring – the development officer handling the library gift. Now that Harkovy has all this public sympathy, it may cost them.. Bradshaw walks up to them and hands Rubirosa a motion to dismiss.

Back at Supreme Court, Bradshaw argues that a person can’t be charged with felony murder if his accomplice are killed in the crime. Cutter counters that presumes a comment intent among participants, while robbery was the intent of Max’s accomplices, Max’s intent was intimidation. But Bradshaw asks for the proof that Max sent those men into the store, saying it is speculation based on a coincidence that Max knew one of the robbers from a poker game. Cutter says one man’s coincidence is another man’s circumstantial evidence. But the judge isn’t buying it, and dismisses the indictment until there is proof.

At the prison interview area, Cutter and Rubirosa speak with Angel and his attorney. Angel admits he should not have been there and asks if there is anything they can do for him. Cutter wants him to do something for them first, and Rubirosa shows him Max’s photo, asking if he knows him. Angel does not know him, and Duane never mentioned them, and asks if they can’t just check his phones, He tells them Duane had to cells, his regular one and his “ho” phone. When Cutter seems perplexed as to what is a “ho” phone, Angel clarifies that it is a disposable so he can run around on his ladies. Rubirosa says they only found one cell phone, asking if Angel knows any of the ladies Duane called. He said he called Pierre’s sister a few time, and Pierre was not happy about it.

Back at the 2-7 the detectives tell Rubirosa that they traced 15 calls to Pierre Hobb’s sister, back to a cell that had calls to other women, but no calls to Max. Lupo notes calls to a Desiree’s House of Beauty, located on the same block as Stan’s store. The calls start the day Max went to visit Stan about buying the place.

With Lupo, Bernard, and Rubirosa at Desiree’s House of Beauty, a woman admits that she gave Duane her number and he called her that night. She doesn’t know why Duane was there, but another woman says Duane was waiting on a white guy. He leaned on his car across the street staring through their window, it was a blue BMW. Lupo shows her the photo of Max and she says that is him. She said Harkovy was chasing Max, and then Duane ran out there, and then Max went into his shop, implying Stan saw Duane. As they leave, Rubirosa comments that she thought Stan told them they didn’t see Duane until the day of the shooting, and Bernard unhappily confirms that.

As they walk outside in the rain, Cutter asks Rubirosa how they can be sure that Stan lied or that he even got a look at Duane. Rubirosa says the woman at the salon is pretty sure he did and he backed off when he saw Duane. Cutter reminds her Stan is 68 and in the fear and confusion of a hold up he might not remember a face he only saw for a few seconds. Rubirosa reminds him he was sharp enough to kill three men. She acknowledges Cutter is in Stan’s fan club but Stan has been looking at Duane’s mug shot for two weeks and she thinks it is incomprehensible he did not remember seeing him. Cutter says that maybe Stan did recognize him and did realize it was just intimidation. Rubirosa adds that his life and Gregory’s never were in danger.

Back at Stan’s business, Gregory recounts the crime for Lupo, Bernard, Cutter and Rubirosa. But while doing so, the detectives notice an inconsistency with the location of the blood spatter and Gregory’s story about who was shot first. Gregory admits that Duane, not Pierre (who was beating Gregory) got shot first. He lied because before the cops came, Stan said it would look better if they said the first guy they shot was the one who was beating him. A silence hangs over the group as they mull over what they just heard, and Bernard says before they jump to conclusions, let him talk to the man.

Lupo and Bernard are back at Stan’s place, and Stan is vacuuming He says the kid was by himself when he came into his building. Bernard, raising his voice over the vacuum, says but he had an argument, and he chased him outside. Stan seems to ignore the question so Bernard unplugs the vacuum, telling Stan that this is important. Stan says maybe he went outside. He didn’t see any black guy, but Bernard says there is witness who says he did. Stan gets angry, asking there is a witness knows what HE saw? He asks the detectives who is that person, but Bernard says it doesn’t matter. But Stan, in a raised voice, says it matters to him, and asks why he is doing this, he thought he was his friend. Bernard counters that he recognized one of the robbers, the guy that was with Max, and asks him to tell him the truth. Stan is silent, and Bernard states, “You did, didn’t you?” Stan says, “I am an old man. I don’t remember what I saw.” He looks back blankly at Bernard, who doesn’t look too happy with Stan. Lupo pipes up and says he sees that Stan has something from Kingsley properties, a commercial real estate broker. Stan asks how does he know, it’s junk mail. But Lupo notes that it is hand addressed junk mail. Bernard gives a questioning look back to Stan, and Stan looks back at him without responding. Lupo and Bernard walk out without saying a word, leaving Stan there standing silently.

At the office of Kingsley Properties, a woman says Harkovy came there to get an informal appraisal on his property, before the robbery. Someone had made him an offer and he wanted to know if it was a good deal. But she says it wasn’t’ she knew Hudson U was eyeballing the area and she confirmed it. She told Stan to sit tight and that Hudson would pay far more than any private developer. And now with all the attention for Stan, he can tack on another 10% just for the sympathy factor.

Back in McCoy’s office, Rubirosa tells him that Stan knew before the guys come into the store that he was sitting on a gold mine and has been milking it to drive up the price. Cutter says assuming that was true, why would Stan intentionally gun down men he knew were only sent to intimidate him. Rubirosa wonders if he just wanted to get Max off his back or send a message to Max that he could not be intimidated. Cutter comments if Stan could have made all those assumptions in a split second. McCoy wonders if he was just pissed off that the men who were trying to scare him, and Cutter, at a loss, says he does not know. McCoy says, “You don’t know, or you don’t want to think about all the crow you’ll have to eat if we charge him? Folk heroes. That’s the problem with these “Joe the Plumber” types. More often than not they come back to bite you in the ass. You now have a witness who can put Max Purcell with Duane Jefferson. Re-charge him, see if he’ll deal.” Rubirosa asks what about Stan, and McCoy glances to Cutter who is pondering. McCoy tells them to go to the grand jury and act for an indictment for murder. Cutter asks, “You sure? Even if he recognized Duane Jefferson, his office was still being robbed, his employee was still being beaten. The homicides were legally justified. “ McCoy, grinning a knowing grin, says Stan recognized Jefferson and he lied about it and that is consciousness of guilt, adding he shot those men because he had his own agenda. Cutter, silent, reluctantly nods.

In the grand jury, Max testifies about the Hudson University library plans and admits he targeted Stan’s property because that was all he could afford. He took Duane because he was nervous about the neighborhood. Duane waited outside but Stan would not listen to Max, chasing him out of the store, calling him a punk. Duane ran out of the hair salon and when Stan saw Duane coming he ran back into the store. Max is sure Stan saw Duane. He also admits he paid Duane $8,000 to send some guy to shake him up and look like a robbery and never thought Stan had a gun. He also admits he is taking a plea deal for his grand jury testimony.

Stan, on the stand, talks about opening the office 45 years ago and that he and his wife put everything into it. He talks about how supportive of he is of the neighborhood, saying the office is like a part of him. He adds when these punks came in to rob him and beat up Gregory, he couldn’t stand there and let them do it, he just couldn’t. He admits he is not happy he killed them, but they should not have come into his office and do what he did. When Rubirosa asks about Max offering to buy the place, he told Max to go to hell. He admits he followed Max to his car to tell him what he thought about his offer. He says he did not see Duane and anyone who says that is a liar. But Cutter takes over the questioning, asking why did Stan shoot Duane first? He insists he didn’t. Cutter adds that they gear forensic testimony saying that Stan shot Duane first. He says he was scared, they were beating Gregory. Cutter presses as to why he didn’t shoot the man first who was beating his employee? Stan says he could have shot Gregory. But Cutter counters that Gregory was on the ground and Stan had a clear shot at the man who was kicking him, the only man who was armed. When Stan says he was confused, Cutter brings up the fact that the realtor told Stan about the value of his building and that Stan recognized Duane and knew it was just a shakedown and he was going to send Max a message. Stan is emphatic when he says he didn’t plan this, all he wanted to do was go home at night, watch his programs and do a crossword puzzle, but they came in looking for trouble. He stood up for himself and there is nothing wrong with that, and he knows it. But Cutter looks at him with disdain, shaking his head. Rubirosa looks at the jury.

Outside the courthouse, Len Pewls is reporting as McCoy walks up, Pewls is referring to McCoy saying that since he took office, he is using it to pursue his quixotic, liberal wet dream. He ambushes McCoy and asks why is he prosecuting Stan Harkovy. McCoy says he can’t comment as grand jury proceedings are secret. Pewls asks when he is going to stop displaying such a liberal bias in his prosecutions. McCoy stands his ground, asking since when is it liberal bias to stand up for human dignity, human life, and fairness under the law? He tells Pewls he should re-examine his own values before he starts questioning his.

Outside the grand jury room. McCoy approaches Cutter and Rubirosa who are waiting for the decision. The jury has been deliberating for 4 hours and they heard some raised voices. McCoy says it is a hot potato, and Rubirosa adds that Stan is a charmer. The buzzer rings and the decision is handed to Cutter, who opens it – it’s no true bill. Rubirosa says, “Sorry Jack.” He responds, “These are the rules we play by” and he walks off.

Stan is in his office, on his phone with a reporter while packing. Bernard enters and Stan asks him if he has a 1040 he wants him to take care of. He says he just came to see how he was doing, and Stan says fine, the University made him an offer and he is going to buy a condo in Palm Beach and move down there. Bernard says he got what he wanted, but Stan says he didn’t want it like this, and his face changes a bit as he says it fell in his lap. Bernard says maybe so, but he knows he felt bad about it and had a chance to come clean and he didn’t. Stan looks a little angry, asking what does Bernard know about anything? He adds, “Talk to me in 40 years” and they glare at each other. A customer walks in, and Stan asks if he can help them. She says she does her own taxes, but wanted to bring her young son to meet a real live hero. While Stan asks the boy what is his name, Bernard walks out of the store, and Stan’s eyes follow him. Bernard turns back and Stan looks at him with a half smile, and as Bernard shuts the door, Stan’s face gets serious as we fade to black.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Law & Order “Shotgun” Interviews and Behind the Scenes Video

Here are two videos to get you ready for Friday’s episode of Law & Order, “Shotgun” which features guest star Elliott Gould. One video includes interviews with Anthony Anderson, Jeremy Sisto, and Elliott Gould. The other video is a behind the scenes look at the filming of the episode. Note: These videos will be removed within a week of when the episode first airs!

Don’t forget – Law & Order, Friday night at 8:00 PM (7/C) on NBC. My recap and review of Law & Order"Shotgun" can be found here.

Interviews with Anthony, Jeremy, and Elliott

Behind the scenes of “Shotgun”

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Law & Order SVU “Perverted” Recap & Review

All Photos from NBC

There was big trouble for Detective Olivia Benson in this excellent episode of Law & Order SVU, “Perverted.” And there may be even more trouble brewing down the road for the SVU team, as they find that Israeli scientists have discovered a way to fabricate DNA. ( A New York Times article from August of this year says that “Any biology undergraduate could perform this.”) Imagine what this can do to forensics, not to mention all the crime shows on television these days. But I shouldn’t get ahead of myself.

The squad gets a rude awakening when one of their own, Olivia Benson, is arrested for the murder of a biker. But it wasn’t your typical “damsel in distress” story. Olivia's career and life weren’t the only things under attack, Stabler’s career could also have been at risk had Benson been found guilty. The presence of IAB always creates tension within the group, but in this case, Lieutenant Tucker was particularly nasty about the whole thing, almost thrilled at the fact that he had a murder charge to hang over Benson and by association, over Stabler. Mariska did a great job in conveying a varying range of emotions: fear, anger, confidence, and frustration. It was also the first episode that I can recall in a long time where I felt that her relationship with Elliot seemed very comfortable and real, especially when he was doting on her when she was laid up with the flu.

This was one time that Stabler kept his raging emotions in check, and rather than lashing out verbally or physically against IAB, he kept his cool and kept himself focused on finding out who was setting up Olivia. This is the Stabler that I like and the one I want to see more often. By the way, I laughed when Stabler told Olivia “Let’s get you into bed” as I found myself thinking, he wishes! Likewise, I was thrilled when Stabler went to kick down the door and was unsucessful. Doors seemed to be kicked in so easily on TV crime shows, and this has always been one of my pet peeves. The only time Stabler may have run at the mouth a bit was with Warner when he questioned the accuracy of her DNA testing. Considering what was at stake here, I think it was a wishful thinking that the tests were wrong, and maybe it was Warner who overreacted a bit. But unlike the other dust-ups in the past few episodes, this one seemed very natural and expected, with neither of them really at fault for saying what was on their mind as they were both very concerned for their colleague.

Likewise, the rest of the team had a big role in cracking the case, and every one of the actors delivered their best. Munch as grammar police (the Knight’s with the apostrophe issue), Munch being referred to as Skelator, his car Bessie, the Higgs bosun reference, well, I could go on and on about the great Munch scenes here. I loved it when he stood up to IAB and tried to get Olivia to remember, and invoke, her rights. Munch always adds that special something to each episode and I really wish they would use Richard Belzer more.

The one thing I didn’t quite get was when the SVU team told Benson they could not talk to her about the case because it involved her, and she responded that they CAN discuss things that don’t involve her. This confused me because how would anyone truly know what did, or did not, involve her? I would think that they couldn’t discuss ANY part of the case, since they don’t really know how much she was involved and/or at what point she may have been involved. I think that they should have offered her no information about the case, period.

A nice turn of events – albeit a little gimmicky – was having Benson being defended by Trevor Langan, played by Mariska's real life husband Peter Hermann. Personally, we don’t see enough of the sleazy (yet very skilled) lawyer Langan, so I ignored the gimmick and just enjoyed the scenes.

I wonder if Stabler will ever tell Kathy that he morgaged the house to bail out Olivia? And how exactly was Tucker able to get his hands on Benson's personal medical information? It was nice, though, when Benson called Tucker on his lie about getting the information from Stabler. It was the one time I think she felt like she suddenly had the upper hand in the interrogation.

Can someone explain to me why the undercover guy had to create a scene so Stabler could cuff him so he could tell him about the surveillance of the biker group. Why he didn’t just pick up the phone and call someone like Cragen to tip them off? It’s not like Stabler had walked into the biker club and had a problem arise while he was there; Stabler was just sitting in his car minding his own business and probably could have just obtained the information via a simple phone call.

All in all, this was a great episode, with the entire Law & Order cast at its best!

Here is the recap:

A family is sightseeing, and the daughter sees a body in a treed area. Later, Detectives Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Fin Tutuola (Ice-T) are on the scene with ME Warner (Tamara Tunie). Stabler says dispatch is a comedian, he wrote it up as a sexually mutilated tree-hugger. Warner tells him that someone did some illegal pruning, left the berries and chopped the branch clean off. She thought the perp took it as a trophy at first until CSU saw a squirrel run up a tree with it. Fin quips that he thought squirrels preferred nuts. Stabler says the victim is a big guy, and are they thinking more than one human attacker. Warner says he was tasered. Fin sees a jacket that says “Death Knight’s NYC” and says it was obvious the victim was in a motorcycle club, adding they are an outlaw gang out of the East Village, involved in drug running, prostitution, and contract killing. He finds his name was Clyde Vandyne. Stabler wonders if Clyde pissed off a rival gang. Fin answers “or payback.” He asks if Stabler or Benson ever questioned Clyde on a rape case or a domestic, and when Stabler says he doesn’t think so, Fin asks what Clyde was doing with Olivia’s card.

Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) wipes her nose and then answers the door. It’s Stabler, and he tells her she looks terrible. She tells him to stop with the sweet talk. Stabler hands her the file on Vandyne the dead biker “with a missing kickstand,” and asks her if she has seen a doctor. She says it is just a bug. Stabler says the swine flu is just a bug. She looks at Clyde’s picture but doesn’t recognize him and wonders if he found her card on one of their victims, and maybe the victim got revenge. Benson lays down on the couch and Stabler covers it up, saying he will figure it out and tells her to rest. She insists she is fine put he puts his hand on her forehead and he says she is burning up. She says her temperature is 101, down from 102 from last night. He says he is going to make her some tea. She comments that the murder happened outside St. John’s, and Stabler says they checked and to no one’s great surprise, Clyde did not worship there. Stabler looks in Benson’s refrigerator and it is almost bare and says she has no food in this house. She responds they invented this great thing called delivery. He sees travel brochures on her counter and asks if she is planning a tropical getaway. She says a girl can dream, and tells him to stop snooping. Benson comments that Clyde did a nickel in Attica for assault with a deadly weapon and wonders if it was over a woman. Stabler says it was a brawl at a bike expo, and then says, “Let’s get you into bed.” He adds that he should get hazard pay for coming to see her, and that Fin is at the clubhouse.

At the Death Knights Clubhouse, Detective John Munch (Richard Belzer) is arguing with the bikers for not cooperating. Fin says they will have to put eyes on them 24/7. Munch asks them if anyone ever pointed out the grammatical error in their logo, saying the apostrophe is extreme. One guys, responds, “Listen Skelator, get your bony ass out of here before someone mistakes you for a pool stick.” But Fin steps in, saying they just came there to make notification. Munch says they are not leaving until they get an address, and asks where Clyde was crashing. They get a laugh for an answer.

They both walk out of the clubhouse, Munch griping. Fin thinks they need to separate one from he herd, and one lone biker drives up. They ask for his license and registration for driving his bike on a sidewalk, and he says a piece of crap Crown Vic is in his space. Munch says “No need to insult Bessie” and asks again for the license and registration. The biker pulls it out, and Munch says it is a class D license, calling him Timothy, who corrects his name as T-Bone. Fin says he needs a class M to operate a motorcycle, and says he has to come with them, calling him “Bone.”

As Munch and Fin bring T-Bone into the SVU squad, Captain Cragen (Dann Florek) is waiting, saying “15 of you against one defenseless girl.” T-Bone says that sounds good, to sign him up. They bring him over to a video screen where Stabler is watching a video of a woman being attacked on the club’s web site. T-Bone says it was just a typical Saturday night, he says Starlet was just enjoying it. Fin says the girl was unconscious and she can’t give consent, and Stabler adds that he and his pals will be having their club meetings in prison for the next decade two. T-Bone says, “Back off, steroid” adding it was all in good fun. Cragen says it is all fun and games until somebody loses a penis, and the look on T-Bone’s face changes. Cragen said the video was from the day Clyde got back from Attica, and Stable asks if Starlet was Clyde’s welcome home present. T-Bone said Clyde was late coming from upstate and they got bored. He said Clyde made Starlet his old lady, adding she is a step up from a mamma, meaning a sheep, for anyone to use. He said until Clyde took possession of her, nobody cared about Starlet. Cragen asks where is she, saying unless Starlet tells them different, he is locking his ass up for rape.

Elsewhere, Stabler tries to kick in a door but it won’t budge and he hurt his foot. As he groans, he makes a phone call, saying Starlet is not home. He adds that he tried that, either he is getting old or the door is getting stronger, saying he will look for the building manager. As he walks down the hall, he walks right into Starlet. He identifies himself as a police officer but she begins to run off. He chases her and grabs her purse, knocking it to the ground and papers fall out. She stumbles on the steps and he asks if she is OK. She says she is not, someone whacked her old man last night and the last thing she needs is to get busted. Stabler says if she had anything to do with Clyde’s murder he would understand, but she asks why would she kill Clyde. He says he saw the video and she says it wasn’t rape. She adds she works in the City Clerk’s office and it is on the up and up. But he sees the papers that fell out of her purse are blank birth certificates. They go into her apartment, and she says she just did what Clyde told her she doesn’t know what he did with them. She has a tattoo on her back saying she is the property of the Death Knight’s, and she says this means she belongs, and it got her out of Sturgis, SD. She has sex with the club anytime they want it. She says she is 19. He asks why she talked to Benson but she says she never heard of her, adding that Stabler is the first "pig” she even had a sit down with. He asks what Clyde was doing with her card, and she says he didn’t get it from her. She asks where is Clyde’s hog, and he says it was not at the crime scene or the clubhouse. She says after he slapped her around last night he rode off on it. She says she loved that bike.

Back at the SVU squad, Cragen tells Stabler they found the Harley, highway patrol responding to a 911 call the night before. Cragen plays back the recording of the call, it was a hit and run at 113th and Amsterdam that a brunette driving a black Mustang rear ended him and drove off and got a partial license number, HWC. Cragen brings up a list he was given of black Mustangs matching that partial plate, and are shocked to see Olivia Benson’s name on the list.

Cragen is talking to Benson in a parking garage, with Benson saying she never saw Starlet before. Cragen says Starlet if going to jail for her misuse of her clerk’s office job. Cragen walks over to Benson’s car. She tells him she never needed a car but hit a mid-life crisis last year. He asks what else she hit, seeing her front end damaged. She is shocked, saying she hasn’t driven the car in a month. She says the parking attendant must have dinged it up, but Cragen says that is a pretty big coincidence. When she moves to look closer, he stops her saying they have to get crime scene down there, and he has to notify IAB. She looks stunned, and says she did not do this. He says he believes her, but he tells her to go home and get over the flu and take a couple of days.

But she goes into the squad, and Stabler asks what she is doing there, she is sick. She comments that she has bigger headaches, and when she asks if there are any breaks in the Vandyne case, Munch says Cragen says they have to follow procedure and not talk with her about it. She insists someone is framing her. She asks to be informed of any details that do not involve her, and Stabler indicates that CSU expanded their sweep of the crime scene, and the found a bloody bowie knife in the trash bin, no prints, but found two blood types and they are running the DNA. Fin adds that assuming the perp didn’t attack another victim, it could he is, and Benson adds, or hers. Stabler reminds her there are 2 other matches to the partial plate, but she asks how many are brunettes with front-end damage to her car? Munch says someone could have taken a tire iron to it in her garage, but she says there is no sign of debris. Fin says no one is thinking she did this, but she asks, “Really? You should have seen the looks I got coming in downstairs.” Munch tells her not to be paranoid, it is not about the case, it is about how contagious she looks. She asks about the 911 call, Fin responds it was traced to a Kahlil Assad and when she asks if she can tag along when they check it out, Stabler says that is probably not a good idea, citing procedure. After a pause, Benson says. “And I’m the prime suspect.” She walks away and Stabler asks where she is going, and she says to clear her name.

At the morgue, Benson is standing over Clyde’s body, and Warner enters. She tells Benson there was residue over his mouth as it had been taped at some time. The wound is consistent with the bowie knife that was recovered. The right femoral artery was transected, probably inadvertently. Benson said she came by to ask a favor, and that Warner needs to take a DNA swab from her.

At Columbia University in Pupin Hall, Fin and Munch enter a lecture in process. Fin holds up his badge and asks which one of the rocket scientists is Kahlil Assad, and he raises his hand. Munch says he was harder to track down than the Higg’s bosun particle. He says his class load was very heavy, and says he did not make a 911 call. He said a stranger pulled up in a car and said his battery was dead and asked to use his cell, and they find the call was made three blocks from where the accident occurred.

Back in Cragen’s office, Munch gives Cragen the description of the person who used the cell, a Caucasian male, 5’ 10” to 6’, brown hair and nicely dressed. Cragen says that is a dead end. Fin adds Kahlil thinks the guy was driving a silver Mercedes but did not get a plate. They wonder about the coincidence of someone speeding away from an accident yet still having time to get Benson’s partial plates. CSU is still going over her car and her garage security tapes for that day have already been recorded over. Fin says somebody is setting her up. Cragen sees Benson in her desk and tells her he ordered her on bed rest. She says she is reviewing her cases as there must be a connection for Clyde to get her card, insisting it has to be through a victim because they always hold something back. He takes the files, and says he will have her partner follow up on them, and tells her to go home.

Meanwhile, Stabler is staking out the clubhouse, on the phone with his wife. He cuts the call short when he sees a biker pouring something from a bottle in front of his car. Stabler tells him to drop the bottle and put his hands on his head, but the guy says he will put them up his ass, saying to stop messing with his brother’s bitch. The biker swings at Stabler, and Stabler slams him against his car, asking him if he is a moron for assaulting a police office in broad daylight. As Stabler cuffs him, he whispers that he is undercover, and to watch his back. Stabler turns to see a wall of biker’s approaching. Stabler identifies himself as police and tells them to stay where they are. Stabler asks what is the color of the day, and the biker says indigo. He says his partner is running surveillance in the building he parked in front of, 3G. He says they are coming out in a hour and go see him then. Stabler pulls him up and says he has to go to his kid’s school play, otherwise he would be doing paperwork on that idiot all night long. He takes off the cuffs and says the guy just used up any of the free passes they are going to get.

Later, in the building, the partner is upset that he can’t believe that Russell jeopardized a six-month covert operation, and Stabler says he can’t believe they knew he was investigating Clyde’s murder. The guy in charge is pissed, but adds he doesn’t know who killed Clyde and had no bad blood with anyone in the group. Stabler knows they have been doing a lot of wiretapping and asks if Benson’s name ever came up. He brings out a file and shows him Benson’s photo, and asks, “You mean her?” Stabler asks why he has her jacket, and the guy asks if Stabler is worried they have a rogue detective. He tells Stabler to relax, he has been monitoring their investigation and her name never came up. Stabler asks for copies of all his surveillance photos, but the guy says not until next week. Stabler says he will lose his undercover today if he finds out he was involved in Starlet’s gangbang. He says he is only a prospect and those perks are available for full members only. Stabler says Benson if facing a bogus murder rap, and he needs his help. He says he will show him one picture. They have a photo of an unknown man putting something on Clyde’s motorcycle last week, and found it was a GPS device.

Back at the SVU squad, Benson is laying on a couch and Lieutenant Tucker (Robert John Burke) from IAB wakes her. She says it is a little early for internal affairs, and he comments that she knows why he is here. She starts to explain about her car, but he stops her, saying before she says anything else, that Clyde’s killer had been identified – it’s her.

As Tucker reads Benson her rights, Cragen asks him if he ever heard of profession courtesy. Tucker ignores him and Cragen is apoplectic. Fin yells out for her not to say anything to the rat squad, he is calling the DA’s office to get a lawyer. Tucker asks if she understands her rights, and she says yes. Munch pipes in about the Supreme Court and Tucker is ignoring him, telling Cragen that Benson is suspended. Munch asks if they are talking her to central booking, and Tucker says he knows the drill. Benson stops, and says she has been locked up twice under cover, and this is not right, just talk to her. He asks if she is waiving her rights, and Munch pipes in that she knows better than that and tells her not to say anything to anyone but her lawyer. Tucker suggests they get her a good lawyer, and she asks if there is an interview room open. Cragen says no. She says she wants to do this, and Tucker says for her to tell him about Sunday night.

In an interrogation room, Benson tells Tucker that on Sunday night she was home, in bed, sick and alone. When she asks what his probable cause is for the arrest warrant, he says for her to hold her questions until the end. He comments that she is single, and she says yea, and when he asks about a boyfriend, she asks if he is interrogating her for a murder or a dating service. He says he finds it odd nobody stopped in to check on her. He asks what her relationship was to Clyde, and he says she has no history with him. While she is talking, Stabler runs into the observation room wondering what is going on, and Cragen says he tried to stop her but she waived her rights. He bangs on the window but Cragen tells him he is not supposed to be there. He shows him the surveillance photo he obtained as Tucker gets up to leave the interrogation room. He asks if there is a problem, and Stabler says he needs to talk to his partner. Tucker says to Cragen as her commanding officer he is allowed to observe but Stabler is not, and tells Stabler he will let him know when he will be interviewing him. Stabler tells Cragen to shut it down, she’s not thinking straight, she’s sick. Tucker questions that Stabler never interviewed a sick perp? Stabler says she is not a perp. Tucker says where there is one dirty cop, usually the partner is dirty too and the only reason why Stabler is not in the hot seat is because he has nothing on him – yet. Stabler gives him a bit of a look, but then asks if he can talk to her for a minute. Tucker says no, but if there is something he would like to relay he would be more than glad to. Stabler says no, and Tucker responds that he guesses Stabler will be on his way.

Tucker returns to the interrogation room, and asking where were they, Benson says he was trying to put her in an alley where his wasn’t. He asks why she saw a psychiatrist last year, and when she is stunned at the question, he says rumor was it was posttraumatic stress. She is appalled, and says, “Wow. Munch was right. Big Brother really is watching.” He comments she wasn’t shot in the line of duty, and said she sought help for an issue she was having and she didn’t see a company shrink so how did he get this information? He said it was from Stabler, and she says he is lying. She adds that surprisingly he sucks at it, and then presses for who told him. He goes on saying that she deals with a lot of rapists on the job, and asks if one of them attacked her. She says it has nothing to do with this case, but he says it does if she had a flashback as people with PTSD get them all the time. He thinks Clyde attacked her in the alley and she had a flashback, but she says he is wrong. As he continues to push his theory, she says to stop playing games and tell her what he thinks he has on her. He says her DNA was a positive match to the blood on the knife. She looks surprised at first but then a little happy, saying that she told Warner to run the DNA, and why would she do that if she was guilty? Tucker says she would if she wanted to be caught. She is incredulous, and goes on to say there are no cuts on her, pulling up her sleeves and pulling open her shirt top. She asks where the blood came from, and he says she had a bloody nose during the struggle, and they will document all her wounds at a strip search during intake. She suddenly gets a slightly concerned look on her face, and then says she made a mistake. He says then she needs to make it right. She says she means talking to him – she wants a lawyer.

Outside in the squad room, ME Warner calls out to Stabler, and he asks her to hold on. Cragen tells him he showed Benson the photo as Tucker was taking her out the back, and she doesn’t know him. Stabler says they have a problem because he got this from the gang unit and he can’t show it to the Death Knight’s because they will know they are under surveillance. Cragen says odds are slim they would have helped and even money they just killed a guy. He says he will show it to Starlet, and Cragen says to blow it up out of context, and distribute it to the other houses and release it to the media as a person of interest. But Stabler worries that he will get spooked and be in the wind and asks where does that leave Liv? Cragen says right now, Central Booking – it’s bad, they have her DNA on the knife. Stabler claims it is not possible, and Cragen says try telling that to a jury, especially with her – pointing to Warner – as a witness. Warner tells Stabler that Benson told her to run her DNA. Stabler feels that Benson is sitting in a cell because Warner screwed up, saying she made a mistake and tainted the evidence. Warner is about to bitch slap Stabler, saying she is re-running it but did not make a mistake and taint the evidence. She does not know how, but that is Benson’s DNA on the knife.

At Central Booking, Benson is waiting and attorney Trevor Langan (Peter Hermann) walks up, adding that he always felt he would find Benson’s partner there one day. She tells him to keep walking; she wouldn’t want to keep one of his "skel" clients waiting. He says that skel client would be her. She says her DEA rep is on her way now, but he says she does not appreciate the seriousness of the charges against her. She comments that even if she wanted his representation, she can’t afford it. He says his retainer has already been paid. When she asks by who, he says some friends. He says it is nice she is getting preferential treatment, keeping her out there rather than in the bullpen with the crack whores and schizos. She quips she is getting breaks all over the place. He adds it won’t be her buddy Cabot throwing softballs in court, Public Integrity handles all misconduct by cops. She comments he assumes she is guilty, and he clarifies of course not, but they will go over alternate theories of the crime later. She says this will not be his usual smoke and mirrors, this will be the truth. He indicates they only have a few minutes, this is usually where he introduces himself and explains how the process works – she says she knows.

At arraignment court, Benson is being arraigned for murder in the second degree. She pleads not guilty, but a biker, entering the courtroom with a group of bikers, shouts “guilty!” The judge yells for that person to be removed. When the judge hears bail, the prosecutor asks for remand. Langan counters that ROR is more appropriate, citing that Benson is a decorated officer with significant ties to the community. The prosecutor says she has no family and should be considered a flight risk. Langan says her family is 40,000 strong – her brothers and sisters in blue. The prosecutor brings up the positive DNA identification. The judge sets bail at $250K, and she will be held for trial until bail is posted. As she is being led off, one of the bikers whispers that they have friends at Rikers and he will make sure they stop by and say hello.

As Benson is being released, Stabler is waiting for her and she asks what did he do. He said what was he going to do, let her get shivved in Rikers? She asks if Kathy knows he mortgaged the house for her, and he says there is no risk, she is innocent. She asks where are they with the real killer, and she shows her the newspaper with a large photo of the man tampering with the motorcycle, with the headline “police seek man for questioning.” Stabler adds that somebody has got to know him.

Back at the SVU squad, Munch says that a woman just called the tip line and swears the guy in the photo is her ex, Lawrence Jasinski. Fin adds that he is a private investigator out of Jersey City until they yanked his license two years ago for illegal wiretaps. Cragen tells them to track down Stabler as he is sure he will want to be there when they pick Jasinski up.

At the office of Lawrence Jasinski, Fin and Stabler enter to find his office in complete disarray with papers strewn everywhere. Someone found him before they did. They find pictures of Benson on the floor, and Stabler comments someone has been tailing her. Her business card is there, they hand out so many when they canvas and they think Jasinski was scooping them up when they left. This explains how her card got on the victim. They hear moaning and find Jasinski under a bookcase, badly beaten. As Fin calls for a bus, Stabler asks Jasinski who did this to him – they were bikers. He denies killing anyone, he just followed Benson for a client. When Jasinski looks as if he is blacking out, Stabler smacks him with some papers and asks again, this time Jasinski answering that the bikers took his file - Brady Harrison's. Stabler gets a look of realization on his face – Brady Harrison is someone he and Benson put away six years ago for a string of date rapes.

Back at the squad room, they have Brady’s picture up on the big screen, Cragen calling him the “rohypnol rapist.” Munch says that Brady’s and Clyde time in prison overlapped and they had an altercation while in there. Clyde came out without a scratch but Brady went to the infirmary. Stabler and Fin are going out to pick him up – hopefully alive.

When Stabler and Fin arrive at Brady’s place, his home is also in disarray. Fin calls out to another officer but there is no answer. They split up to check the house, and while doing so, the officer walks in the back door. She said she found a dogs body in the yard, the throat slit. No sign of Brady.

Later, the police raid the biker club. Stabler asks where is Brady but they don’t give him any information. Russell, the undercover guys, tells Stabler they don’t have him, and runs off, Stabler chasing him. They run into another room and fake some noise. Stabler asks what did they do to Brady, and Russell said he wasn’t home, they don’t have him.

Benson is at home, on the phone with Stabler, looking at the police car parked below her apartment. She complains she does not need a baby sitter. Meanwhile, in the squad room, Munch says they found Brady took his silver Mercedes to an auto body shop to repair a front bumper. But Stabler reminds them that Benson’s DNA is still on the knife. Cragen and Warner enter, Cragen saying that he talked to Brady’s PI in the ER, and was told Brady to follow Benson into a diner and bag her utensils after she left. But Warner says the sample off the knife was her blood, not from saliva. When Stabler asks her if she just stopped by to throw another monkey wrench into the case, she retorts that she hasn’t stopped running tests since this went down. She found a small anomaly. In normal DNA, 80% of the markers are methylated, but in Benson’s sample on the knife, none are. When Warner said she had to get information from Israel to find the answer, Munch asks, “Did my people help you?” She said maybe, but they just set crime investigations back about 20 years. Last summer, the scientists there found a way to fabricate DNA. She says someone can take a random vial of blood and spun out the white blood cells, which are the only ones that contain DNA, which means the blood sample would have no DNA. Brady took Benson’s DNA, amplified it, and put it in someone else’s blood, essentially making the entire sample Benson’s. Warner adds it is brilliant and frighteningly simple. Cragen asks Munch if he has anything to connect Brady to the scientists in Israel, but he found something interesting on Amsterdam.

At the RPG Research Facility on Amsterdam, Fin approaches a man in the lab, Joseph Soltice (J. Robert Spencer). He says a man upstate hooked him up for her services and wonders why he hasn’t heard from him. Joseph says he does not know what he is talking about. He says he is talking about the blood trick he did for Brady Harrison, and asks if $25 g’s is still the going rate, putting down a brown bag with what looks like money inside. He looks in the bag, and then says it was to sequence his genome, to find out what genetic markers he is carrying, and asks if that is what he wants done. But Fin says no, he wants to set someone up for murder. He says he won’t do anything without the proper references. Fin says he appreciates that he takes precautions but Brady is not answering his home or cell phones and he misplaced his track phone number, asking Joseph if he has it. He has the contact number he gave him, and Fin hands him his phone, telling him to call and check him out. Joseph sees Fin’s gun in his pocket, and dials the number. Fin says to tell him it’s Fin from cellblock 8. Meanwhile, the call is being tracked by the police. They get a message, but they also got the general vicinity, and they see it is in Benson’s neighborhood. Stabler shouts to radio the patrolman and tell him not to let anyone in her building.

At home, Benson hears a knock on the door, and comments to who she thinks is officer Callahan, saying he has a bladder the size of a pea and asks how many bathroom breaks does this make? Before she gets to the door her phone rings, but someone breaks in and it is Brady (Patrick Heusinger). He says if it (the phone) is for him he is not here. Benson runs to her room and tried to lock her door and screams, but he pushes it in. She picks up a lamp, but he points a taser at her, saying that they are not very evenly matched. She asked if that is the taser he used on Clyde, and he comments he thought she would use her gun, and then digs that they take them away from her when she is facing trial for murder. She says there is a copy downstairs watching the building, but he just laughs, saying not anymore. Her cell phone rings, but he picks it up. He says they only have a few minutes so she’d better ask her questions now. She asks why did he set her up. He asks why she had Clyde terrorize him in prison. She says she did not even know Clyde and, shouting, asks if he thinks she arranged some jailhouse brawl. Brady shouts back, saying she know what she is talking about. She says, “Oh my god, he raped you.” Brady said Clyde brutalized him and told everyone that he was a punk there for anyone to sodomize, to trade as a sex slave. She asks why he didn’t report it, but he comments like she didn’t know, like the guards didn’t know. Benson emphatically states that she did not know. He counters that she couldn't stand that he had no remorse for what he did to those women so she set him up. When she questions who told him that, he screams, YOU! DID!” and asks doesn’t she remember? “A pretty boy like you is gonna be real popular in prison. Maybe when you’re raped, you’ll understand what you put those women through.” But Benson says she never should have said that, even to scare him. She swears she did not arrange for him to be raped, and says she is so sorry. He says he is not sorry for setting her up for Clyde’s murder, DNA still trumps this hearsay confession. She asks where he got her blood, and he says that one he is taking to his grave. He pulls out a gun and points it at his own chin, but Benson yells "don’t" and manages to push the gun away before he can fire. The gun is knocked to the ground, and he calls her a bitch. They struggle and she manages to get her hands on the taser and zaps him in the back, knocking him to the ground.

Stabler comes into the room, gun drawn, asking if she is OK. With Brady's gun in her hand, she says she is OK. As Stabler cuffs Brady, she adds she thinks she is finally getting over this damn flu. He says good, she will get to meet the guy who helped set her up.

Back at SVU, Benson asks Joseph how many other innocent people like her did he set up? He says there is no law against what he did. Stabler says that when they raided his lab they found the bookkeeping and that he had other customers. Benson adds there are at least a dozen people standing trial, or are already in prison for crimes they did not commit because of his fabricated DNA. He says it is nothing personal, it is a brand new market, and he cornered it. She yells at him, asking if he knows what this means, and Stabler says every perp will claim their DNA was cooked up in a lab. Joseph said it is so easy, any biology undergraduate can do it, it is a whole new world. Benson looks stunned, and Joseph laughs, adding “Guess your free ride is over.” Both Stabler and Benson look concerned, as we fade to black.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sisto, Anderson, Meloni, Tunie on Being Green

As part of NBC Universal’s Green week, some of the Law & Order and SVU stars recorded some PSAs on what people can do to support the green effort. Here are the videos featuring Chris Meloni, Tamara Tunie, Anthony Anderson, and Jeremy Sisto – catch them while they are available!

Behind the scenes

Anthony Anderson, Jeremy Sisto

Chris Meloni

Tamara Tunie

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Law & Order Paley Center Event Photos

Here are some of the early photos from the “Law & Order: Twenty Years and Counting” event, which was held today at The Paley Center for Media in New York. Hopefully, there will be more photos released in the next day or so, and I will post them if I can get them.

Executive Producer Rene Balcer, Series Creator Dick Wolf, Sam Waterston, S. Epatha Merkerson

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Law & Order “FED” New Episode Information

NBC has released the episode information for a new episode of Law & Order, titled “FED.” This episode will feature former Law & Order star Benjamin Bratt(as Rey Curtis, of course). Here are the details:

Law & Order “FED” Air Date 12/11/2009 (8 PM ET/ 7C Friday NBC)

As election day rapidly approaches, Detectives Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson) discover the disfigured remains of a man with the word "FED" written across his bare chest. Missing a crucial piece of evidence, the detectives decide to retrace the steps of the victim, a campaign volunteer, to hone in on the challenging investigation. After the victim's perplexing past emerges and the list of suspects multiplies, the detectives find themselves dealing with more than just dirty politics. S. Epatha Merkerson, Sam Waterston, Alana De La Garza and Linus Roache also star.

My recap and review of Law & Order "FED" can be found here.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Anthony Anderson Pretty In Pink At DEF Event

Anthony Anderson (Law & Order) was in attendance at fundraiser for the Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F.) in Dallas, Texas, on November 14, 2009. The D.E.F. is a nonprofit organization with the mission to raise money to support education initiatives that develop and empower economically disadvantage people in African nations where diamonds are a natural resource.

Here is Anthony, looking pretty in pink, along with Barbara Bush (daughter of former President George W. Bush), Dikembe Mutombo, and Russell Simmons.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mariska Hargitay, Naveen Andrews on SVU Set (Photos)

Here are a few photos of Mariska Hargitay and guest star Naveen Andrews (“Lost”) on the set of Law & Order SVU as they film an episode in lower Manhattan. I don’t believe the name of the episode has been released, but I did hear that it will air in January. Naveen will be an excellent guest star; I really enjoy his work on “Lost.”

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Law & Order “For The Defense” Recap & Review

All Photos from NBC
Law & Order “For The Defense” was another highly satisfying episode for the mothership, proving that there are writers out there who can bring personal matters into the cases without having those situations smother the episode. In fact, the writers seem to have a very good feel for all the main characters, and as a result, we get dialog that sounds real, and that makes the characters very believable.

This case brings back the smarmy, slimy, and slippery Marcus Woll, to whom we were introduced in last week’s episode, Boy Gone Astray. Jonathan Cake did a fantastic job at playing the former ADA now defense attorney, who seemed just a little to sure of himself in more ways that one. We find that he and Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) had a brief fling, a fact that takes Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) by surprise. A scene which had me laughing was when Cutter, in speaking with Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) about this affair, says, “We’re supposed to be smarter than that here, aren’t we? I mean, who’d put themselves in a situation like that?” We all know that Jack wrote the book on that matter, and I think Cutter knew that too, he just plain forgot. Of course, Jack has no shame in quickly reminding Cutter that Cutter means everyone but him. During Linus Roache’s first year as Michael Cutter, I wasn’t quite sure if I liked Cutter very much, but I think they have tweaked the character a little bit and I find that now I like him a lot. Roache and Alana De La Garza make a great team and I find myself getting more interested in their characters with each episode.

It was good to see Cutter turn the tables on Woll at the very end. I wondered if he had let Connie in on his ruse, or if he was just making her squirm by his questioning on purpose, maybe to make her think about what a stupid thing it was that she did by getting involved with Woll. Somehow, while Cutter says he has a rule about not having sexual relationships with a colleague, I bet he would break that rule for Connie, given half a chance.

The “dirty ADA” story has been done before in the Law & Order universe, but it wasn’t too bothersome that they resused the threat of reopening all those cases. Jack’s sanctimonious comment about not being afraid of some paperwork was promptly deflated when he was stunned at seeing only a portion of what paperwork was to come. I found it to be another great scene that humanizes the characters.

Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Bernard (Anthony Anderson) have also become a cohesive pair, and I was glad to see the writers work in some action for both of them while they were hiding a witness. It never ceases to amaze me, however, at how dumb some people can be. Really now, if you were in protective custody, would you open a door without looking who was behind that door? Personally, I wouldn’t even go NEAR a door or a window. By watching Law & Order, one would think that all New Yorkers are idiots when it comes to personal safety like that. I suppose that they wouldn’t have been able to work in that dramatic shooting scene if they didn’t have an idiot for a witness.

I was also highly amused at Anita’s (S. Epatha Merkerson) serious case of the munchies. I am glad to see that her off-book treatment is working for her. Epatha did a wonderful job is showing how she was enjoying eating and that look on her face when she was practically praying they would bring her back a pie. I loved it. It also made me very hungry.

All in all, another excellent episode from Law & Order, a show that despite being on for 20 years, is showing no sign of old age.

Here is the recap:

A prosecutor, Max Cavanaugh, is in the courtroom making his opening statement. The defense lawyer reserves his opening statement. When the Cavanaugh is asked to call his first witness, he says that his witness is not there.

Elsewhere, there is a woman’s body lying on the sidewalk outside a hotel. The doorman tells Detective Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson) that she was a guest for a week but her did not see her until today. She came out and he asked if she needs a cab and all of a sudden, a blue Audi parked nearby started up, drove over, and started shooting. The woman went down and the car took off around the corner. He saw that the plates were from New York and missed the last few plate numbers. Bernard walks over to Detective Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto), who is looking over the body, and says the woman took one to the face and one to the body. A crime scene guy notes that it got a pigeon too, as one lay dead nearby on the sidewalk. Lupo says there are two shell casings from a .45 and there might be some more around. Bernard gets the woman’s ID; her name is Maggie Hayes, with an address in the Bronx. As Lupo wonders out loud why she would stay there, Max Cavanaugh runs up, frantic, and identifies himself as being from the Manhattan DA’s office. Lupo comments that he is a little early as they don’t think they are ready to arrest anybody yet. Cavanaugh tells them she was supposed to testify for him today in a murder case. Bernard comments that she stayed there to hide from somebody, and Cavanaugh says that her ex-boyfriend is one of the defendants and made some crazy threats. She lived and worked in the Bronx so they figured that putting her in Manhattan was good enough. He adds that it doesn’t do his case any good. Lupo asks if there was any way her ex knew she was staying there, and Cavanaugh says he told her not to tell anyone. Bernard quips that maybe a little birdie told him, as we look down on the dead pigeon.

At the 2-7, the detectives have Maggie’s ex, William Avery, in custody, but he denies doing anything, saying he was in court at the time.

The detectives enter Lt. Anita Van Buren’s office, and she has a serious case of the munchies, saying it’s the first time she’s had an appetite in 6 weeks. She said that the partial license plate and there are 100 possible matches and not one is an Audi, so she wonders if the doorman got the make wrong or the number. As Van Buren continues to eat, Lupo said Maggie’s boyfriend used to meet her after work in a bar in Greenpoint but the DA said she worked in the Bronx, he thinks Maggie lied to the DA. Her payroll record was in the Bronx but she actually worked at Amstrad Shipping in Brooklyn. Van Buren says there are docks in Greenpoint, and then adds there is a bakery down there that makes an amazing key lime pie, folding her hands as if praying they will bring one back for her. Bernard says they are on it (the pie, that is).

At Amstrad Shipping, they question Paige Regan (Betty Gilpin), who ran the office with Maggie, and Bart Rainey (Casey Siemaszko). Rainey thinks it was her boyfriend Avery as he knew she was testifying and she was afraid of him. He didn’t know where Maggie was staying and Paige says she didn’t know either. When Bernard asks what kind of business Rainey has, he says he exports cars to Latin America. While Bernard talks, Lupo goes to check out the cars and snaps a photo. Rainey says a shipment just went out. Lupo asks if one of the vehicles, a 95 Eddie Bauer Bronco, is for sale, saying he used to have one in college. Rainey tells him 9 grand and Lupo says he will check his piggy bank. As the detectives leave, Bernard asks if he got the numbers. Lupo says yes, and asks if he thinks he fooled him. Bernard says nope.

Back at the 2-7, Bernard tell Van Buren they ran the plate and it is supposed to be n a Miata. Van Buren comments it could be mismatched plates, just like the blue Audi the shooter was driving. Lupo says maybe the doorman wasn’t wrong after all. Bernard says the Feds have Rainey on their radar as an associate of the Pontano family – loan sharking, extortion, Van Buren adding now exporting stolen cars to Latin America. But Bernard shows her that they ran the Bronco’s VIN, and find it was turned in on the cash for clunkers program. Bernard says the point of the program was to get the gas-guzzlers off the street and Rainey found a way to put them on someone else’s. Van Buren adds that the ozone still gets messed up down there it is still going to bite us in the ass up here. Lupo thinks Rainey was worried that Maggie was going to spill the beans as he knew she was talking to cops and the DA. But Rainey said he didn’t know where she was staying, and they chuckle that he wouldn’t like about that. Van Buren reaches down and grabs the box with the pie in it, and tells them to check the hotel surveillance video, and says thanks (for the pie).

The detectives watch the surveillance video and see Paige knock on her door, and when Maggie steps out, they lock lips. Page had told them she didn’t know where Maggie was, and Bernard says, “liar liar pants on fire.”

Back at Amstrad, they stop Paige as she is leaving and they tell her about what they saw on the video, showing her a picture. She says she has a boyfriend and she was seeing Maggie on the down low. Maggie was lonely. When they ask her if she told Rainey and if he ever drove a blue Audi, and when they tell her that is what Maggie’s killer was driving, she gets rattled and says she can’t talk to them and she has to go.

Back at the 2-7, they tell Van Buren that they think Paige knows Rainey did it. They also tell her the car is already on a cargo ship to Columbia.. There is an NYPD detective in Bogotá doing intel and they will have him intercept the car.

Later, the detectives tell EADA Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) that they found the Audi in South America and it is in the personal custody of an NYPD detective. He searched it and found a .45 shell casing and it matches the casings found at the crime scene. ADA Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) says all they have to do is put Bart Rainey in the car at the time of the murder. The detectives think they have someone who can, and Cutter comments that would be the victim’s lesbian lover who is too scared to testify. Lupo says they were thinking of making her too scared not to, and shows Cutter Paige’s signature on the ship’s manifest. As Cutter begins to outline what they can get her for, we cut to Bernard in the 2-7 interrogation room, who finishes the list. Paige says Rainey will kill her, and Lupo reminds her - like Maggie. She begins to cave, and says he told her to find out where she was, he needed to see her about a problem with the books and she believed him. She wanted to see her anyway. She told Rainey where she was. They next day when Maggie was killed she told herself it was her old boyfriend, but when they told her about the blue car, she said that Rainey drove it that afternoon.

There is a knock on the door and Van Buren enters, telling Paige there is a lawyer out there who says he represents Miss Regan and she said she would see if there was anyone in her by that name. Paige says she didn’t send for a lawyer. Lupo gets up and tells her to wait there.

Van Buren asks Lupo and Bernard if they remember Mr. Woll (Jonathan Cake) and Lupo says he represented the Mexican drug cartel. They play dumb about Paige. He says that Paige did not come to work and her employer, Mr. Rainey was concerned and called her apartment and her roommate said the police had taken her. When he asks if she is here, Lupo says Rainey got bad information. Woll smiles and says, “Well then, sorry to bother you” with a suspicious grin on his face. When he walks out, Lupo thinks Woll is going right back to Rainey to report. Bernard says they could have asked him for a ride.

When the detectives arrive at Rainey’s, Woll is already there, and said he could have given them a ride. They arrest Rainey for Maggie’s murder, and Rainey said whatever Paige said, she is lying. As Bernard reads him his rights and says he has a right to an attorney, Woll says they have that covered.

At a Supreme Court motion hearing, the judge (Jenna Stern) hears Woll’s motion, saying there was a flagrant abuse of prosecutorial power. She says again, not like when he was a DA. He gives her a motion to suppress the blue Audi, who says that the Columbians are tainted. But Cutter reminds him that Woll may be generalizing from the Latin Americans that he hangs out with, but there is no evidence of corruption in this case, Rubirosa adding that an NYPD detectives was involved in every step of the way. The judge denies Woll’s motion.

Outside the court room. Marcus says win some, lose some, he will just have to beat them the old fashioned way. Cutter says - nice to see you again too. Woll says, “Frankly Mike, you I can take or leave, but Connie, when are you going to leave these bureaucrats and come work for my firm?” When Rubirosa says she really couldn’t say, he says, “Ooooo, heart breaker.” Woll says to Rubirosa, while Cutter looks on curiously, that he knows they are not obligated, but can he take a look at their witness Miss Regan and just ask a few questions. Cutter interrupts, saying no offense but the last time Woll beat them the old fashioned way, it was because their main witness was terrified out of testifying by the murder of one of his friends. Cutter says he can peek at Miss Regan all he wants when she takes the stand. Cutter and Rubirosa step into the elevator. Woll looks at Rubirosa, she looks back at him looking a little uncomfortably.

At Manhattan Towers Hotel, Paige is in protective custody with Lupo and Bernard. She asks what happens to her after the trial. Lupo tells her that the DA will look at the situation and if Rainey was convicted and there is still a threat to her…she finishes that they will move her to some little town in North Dakota, and she does not know how to grow wheat. Lupo heads to make a bathroom break, and Paige asks Bernard if Lupo has a girlfriend. Bernard says he thought SHE had a girlfriend. When a knock comes to the door and Paige goes to answer it, Bernard stops her and gets it. He looks through the peephole and sees it is Rubirosa and he opens the door. She needs to go over a few things with Paige about her testimony. Another knock comes to the door, saying it is room service, and Paige, standing right by it, moves to open it (idiot!). Rubirosa tells her to wait, but Paige says it is just room service. Lupo sees a man with a gun at the opening door, and as the man begins to shoot, Rubirosa pulls Paige away and Lupo steps in to cover Paige. Bernard runs out into the hall and chases the gunman. There are other people in the hall and the man continues to shoot. But Bernard is able to shoot the guy as he gets in the elevator.

The detectives try to remove Paige from the hotel to go to another one, but she’s fed up. Lupo says he will take her wherever she wants. Lupo tells Bernard it looks like he is going for a drive, and Bernard says the shooter team is waiting for him upstairs. Lupo asks if her is OK, and Bernard says yeah.

Meanwhile, in the office elevator, Rubirosa is telling Cutter that Lupo drove Paige to her sister’s house in Watertown and that she said she will not come back for the trial. She said they can try to convince her or arrest her as a material witness. Cutter, looking concerned, asks Rubirosa if she is sure she is alright. She says she is fine, it all happened so fast. He asks if she needs some time off, but she wants to keep working. As they enter the office, she tells Cutter the shooter was a freelancer from out of town and they are still looking for connections. Cutter wonders how he knew Paige was in that hotel, and Rubirosa said only Cutter, Lupo, Bernard, and she knew. Cutter says all they need is another witness but Rubirosa tells him people aren’t lining up to testify. Cutter wonders if someone told Rainey that Maggie was ratting him out, someone who knew that Rainey would kill her, and Rubirosa says it could be someone like William Avery. Cutter comments it is in Avery’s interest for her to be killed.

At the office of Les Gomez, Avery’s attorney, thinks that Will Avery is too dumb to pull it off. He was convicted after the DA found a video that Avery put on YouTube waving the murder weapon. He adds that Maddie’s testimony would not have helped the DA anyway, Gomez knew she worked for Rainey and was going to slam her on cross with the fact that she worked for a mobster which would expose Rainey in open court. He did not mention it to Rainey. Rubirosa looks at the motion that Gomez was planning to file on the case and wonders how he had the time to do it, but he says he had an outside consultant who did it pro bono, and they find it is Marcus Woll.

Later, with DA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) at a formal affair, they tell him about Marcus Woll’s knowing about Maggie and Rainey. Cutter says in every case Woll touches someone drops dead. Woll got involved in the Avery case to find out what Maggie knew about Rainey, and when he found out she would be trouble, he reported back to Rainey and Maggie got killed. McCoy asks about the attempt to kill Paige, and Rubirosa tells him Rainey needed Woll to find out where Paige was located. When McCoy asks how he would know that, Rubirosa said when she worked with Woll when he was an ADA, they used a few hotels to hide witnesses, and she used one of those hotels to hide Paige. McCoy says Woll told Rainey where to look, and adds that Woll is a serial killer – and he used to work for them. He tells them to apply for a warrant to bug his conversations with Rainey.

At the chambers of Judge Gus Ishikawa, Cutter and Rubirosa make their case for the warrant but are turned down. When they exit the judge’s chambers, Woll is there and asks how it went. He worked in the DA’s office long enough that if someone goes to a judge ex parte he will hear about it. Cutter tells him that it was a false alarm and it wasn’t about him. But Woll goes on to talk about all the cases he worked as and ADA he got 102 convictions and he put a lot of people in jail, asking Rubirosa if she remembers. She says they only worked together briefly. Cutter stops walking and turns and faces Woll, looking up to him. Woll goes on to say that if word got around somehow that he was the kind of lawyer that crossed the line or was dirty, how long do they think it would be before 102 attorneys came up with 102 motions to overturn every one of his convictions? Cutter glares at him, and Woll asks if he really has that kind of spare time on his hands, and he smirks and walks off.

Back at the DA’s office, McCoy comments about Woll’s balls, with him blackmailing them. Cutter asks if they really want to deal with all the appeals, and McCoy said they are not going to let a killer go free because they are afraid of a little paperwork. McCoy enters the meeting room and sees Rubirosa at the table with tons of paperwork. He says, “On second thought…” and when Cutter says it is a sampling, McCoy says it is a nightmare. He asks if Woll was dirty when he worked for them, and Rubirosa one defense witness who did not show up for trial, and McCoy says they tend not to be perfect witnesses. Rubirosa said there was a case she worked with Woll in her first month when he convicted Alvin Jackson for murder. McCoy refers to him as Alvin “mad dog” Jackson, a drug lord. Cutter says the case made Woll’s reputation. There was an eyewitness for the defense, a pharmacist named Henry Lovett, who swore someone else committed the murder. Lovett never showed for trial, and Rubirosa sees that he was found dead, 2 years after the trial, already decomposed and found in a construction site. Cutter says since he was found two years after the trial, no one made the connection. McCoy says it may not be too late, and tells Rubirosa to call the police.

The detectives are visiting Jackson (Ty Jones) in prison, who says that one of Eddie Rice’s boys did it. The pharmacist would have cleared him, and Woll said he didn’t want to hear that. Jackson says of course Lovett is dead. When Bernard says that Rice got him killed to protect himself, and have Jackson sent away, Jackson said now he is detecting. It is too little too late now that Eddie is dead too.

At the home of Shelley Lovett (Irene Glezos), she tells the detectives that the last time she saw her husband, it was the Friday before he was supposed to testify. He saw some suspicious characters in front of their building so he decided to spend the weekend with cousins in Queens. He took a walk Sunday night and never came back. She didn’t tell anyone where he was, except someone from the DA’s office who called to arrange protection, and she has the name.

Outside near the court house, the detectives speak with Cutter while Rubirosa is off getting coffee. They tell Cutter that Woll wasn’t the one who called the wife about the protection. When Cutter asks who, they look uncomfortable, and as Rubirosa walks up with the coffee, they tell him it was Rubirosa. He looks stunned as Rubirosa hands Cutter his coffee, and he looks a little distressed.

In McCoy’s office, she tells him about the matter, and that she was helping 5 lawyers at the time and it was her first month and she didn’t recall at first. Woll asked her to find the witness so he could talk to him before he testified, and she adds that it wasn’t for protection but Woll told her to say that to improve their chances of getting the information. She says she got that man killed, but McCoy tells her Marcus Woll did that. Cutter thinks Rainey will roll on Woll.

At Rikers, they talk with Rainey, saying that if he tells them about his attorney aiding and abetting the murders of Maggie and Paige they will talk a deal. But he isn’t having any of it and refused to tell them anything and he leaves. As they leave the room, Rubirosa says Woll kills or tries to kill three witness, the pattern is consistent but there is no evidence because he murders the evidence. Cutter asks what if the pattern IS the evidence. She says legally it isn’t and he agrees but says if they get multiple murders in front of a jury they won’t split legal hairs and they will convict. Rubirosa says this is why a decent judge won’t allow it. Cutter says a decent judge says 50-50.

They take it to the judge and the both seem late in arriving to respond to Woll’s motion to dismissing the charges against Rainey. They tell the judge they have no evidence, and as she is getting ready to dismiss, Lupo and Bernard walk in and arrest Woll for the murders of Maggie Hayes and Lovett, and the attempted murder of Paige. As they cuff him, he asks the judge if she was about to rule, and says his trouble should not be taken out on his client. She says that is fair enough and dismisses the charges against Rainey, and tells Cutter and Rubirosa they can bring the charges again if they get enough evidence. Woll thanks her and says he will have a motion on his own behalf later today. ]

In the judge’s chambers, they confer with her on the case with Woll, his attorney (Kate Burton) present. They speak of the pattern which is his signature, but Woll calls it bootstrapping. The judge says that the arraignment judge agreed as his bail came quick and easy. She tells Cutter it is a stretch with the indictments coupled together. Rubirosa jumps in and says they will amend it to a single charge of conspiracy to murder Henry Lovett, saying there is a co-conspirator who is alive and willing to cooperate with the prosecution. Wa=oll looks stunned and asks who, and she says “me” as they all look at her with blank faces. The judge clarifies what Rubirosa is saying and then says the hearing is adjourned pending a superceding indictment and tells Woll his bail is continued, and tells Rubirosa to get a lawyer.

In the hallway, Cutter tells Rubirosa she does not want to do this, but she said that sonofabitch was about to skate. He says they will find another way, she says they have a way, and walks off. Woll approaches Cutter, and says, “You too, mate?” When Cutter doesn’t understand, Woll adds that she is hot as hell, and just do it – he did. He gives Cutter a creepy smirk and walks off, leaving Cutter with a determined face.

In McCoy’s office, Cutter says that Woll claims he and Rubirosa had a sexual relationship and did everything but show him the dirty pictures. When McCoy asked if he asked her, Cutter says that would be crossing the line. He doesn’t have sex with people that he works with and he doesn’t ask them about their sex lives. He says, “We’re supposed to be smarter than that here, aren’t we? I mean, who’d put themselves in a situation like that?” McCoy looks at him with a half smirk, and says, ”You mean besides me?” Cutter says it is worse for a woman, it demeans them and a calls into question everything they have accomplished. McCoy says she deserves extra credit for stepping forward, and says he assumes Cutter still finds her competent. He does, but they are colleagues, not lovers and that is the way it is supposed to be.

Back I Supreme Court, Jackson is on the stand talking about the case involving Eddie Rice. He says that Woll came after him and got his headline. He found Woll a witness who saw it wasn’t Jackson, and that witness was gong to testify until he got killed. Under cross, the defense attorney only asks him about him being convicted for murder, clearly trying to discredit him.

Later in Cutter’s office, he and Rubirosa talk about the case, asking about how to address her relationship with Wol When she says she wants to jump into a time machine and make it never happen, Cutter looks at her and says he never would have thought, her and Wol. She says that’s life, things happen. He says it was dumb and she is not dumb. She says thank you with some sarcasm. She asks if maybe someone else should be handling the trial, and he laughs and says he is afraid she is stuck with him. She says then they should probably get back to work. He asks how to deal with her relationship with Woll, and she says tell the truth, keep if brief, and move the focus back to the crime, that’s what he tells her to do when they have a damaged witness. He says yes.

Outside her apartment building, Wol is waiting for Rubirosa and asks if he can give her a lift, they are going to the same place. She says no. He says they are co-conspirators, it seems natural to spend time together. She comments that it’s the day she is going to testify against her, is he planning on having her shot like the others? He says she does not have to do through it, it isn't going to do her any good. She tells him that he has no idea how much good this is going to do her. He smiles, commenting that it is tragic, the whole thing is breaking someone’s heart, saying it is “poor Mike Cutter. ” When she turns back in surprise, Wol adds that Cutter never realized she was available.

At Supreme Court, Rubirosa is on the stand and talks about her involvement with Lovett and Wol’s asking her to call him and get the information where Lovett was hiding. She spent the weekend working on the case, and Wol never interviewed Lovett, even after she found him for Woll. She did not think it was odd at the time and when Lovett didn’t show up, it was moot. Cutter comments that Lovett did not show up because he was dead. She did not know that then. Woll  also asked her to work on a draft of his closing statement for Monday, but that was when Lovett was supposed to testify. Cutter implies that Woll seemed to know that Lovett was not going to be there.

Under cross, Wol’s attorney reminds Rubirosa she has not been charged as yet, and implies she wants to get Woll.  Rubirosa says not any more so than any other murderer. The attorney asks her how many other accused murders she has slept with, and as Cutter objects, she withdraws the question. She then implies that Rubirosa had sex with Woll that weekend she was supposed to be working with Woll. She admits she did have sex with Woll other times, once or twice. Rubirosa says the affair ended when she came to her senses. She says there was nothing to get even for, she had practically forgotten about it, it wasn’t that memorable. Woll smiles but looks annoyed. Cutter looks at Rubirosa with an approving smile.

Woll is now testifying. He says that he tried to contact Lovett himself over that weekend and he did not arrange his murder. He never thought Rubirosa would go this far, and thinks she actually believes her version of what happened, and that is what is really scary. Under cross, Cutter – with someone else as second chair – finds no phone calls to Lovett on Woll's  phone records. Woll implies he made a call on another phone. Cutter did find calls to Eddie Rice, saying that maybe it was done at the suggestion of the defendant. When Cutter comments that Woll thinks Rubirosa is delusional, Woll says he is not a psychiatrist. Cutter then seems to imply that Rubirosa was the one who called Eddie Rice to tell him where to find Lovett, in order to help Woll and that maybe she was in love with him. Rubirosa looks a little uncomfortable that Cutter seems to be implicating her. He adds that maybe they were in on it together and she was an equal partner and she should be charged right along with him. Woll says nobody should be charged because nobody was murdered. Cutter says somebody murdered Henry Lovett, and nobody knew where he was except Woll and Rubirosa. Woll blurts out to have it Cutter’s way, she did it, and he doesn’t murder witnesses. This is exactly what Cutter wants to hear, because now he can bring in all those other cases to discredit Woll, much to Woll’s dismay. Woll has to admit he has heard of those other people who were witnesses who were murdered or attacked. As Cutter continues to press on details, Woll complains to the judge, and Cutter says he will make it simple, why is it that witnesses opposing his interests have a consistent habit of getting killed? When Woll complains, “Your honor!” Cutter withdraws the question. Cutter stares back at a rattled Marcus Woll, and Rubirosa looks on, satisfied. When Cutter wants to begin talking about Maggie Hayes, Woll looks beaten.

In the DA’s office interview room, Woll is there with his attorney, who comments that Cutter got his pattern in. Cutter indicates the jury noticed it too. She suggests they drop the case and they will give him something real, and Woll says he has never shot anyone or carried a gun. Woll says he will give them everything they need on Rainey. His attorney suggests that Woll will get a walk and Cutter will get a stone cold killer. Cutter replies that he would rather make the deal with the stone cold killer, and is sure Rainey will find the recording he just made very interesting. Woll has that “I am royally screwed” look on his face.

Later in McCoy’s office, Cutter says they cut a deal with Rainey for 12-14 years and he will give them Woll. McCoy is happy they will both be in Attica, adding that it is charming. He says the appeals for Woll’s cases are already coming in and they will have another 100 by the weekend, saying ”You two will have to work together day and night, that won’t be a problem, will it?” he walks away for Cutter and Rubirosa to ponder that, and as Cutter looks a little blank Rubirosa gives him a small smile as we fade to black.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted
Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.