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.

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Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Sgt. Tucker is an ass and an idiot that I wouldn't trust to sit the right way on a toilet seat.

BTW, the lab tech that fabricated the DNA, he did break some laws. He knowingly fabricated evidence that was used in a criminal trial, making him guilty of obstruction of justice.

You wanna know what's creepy? I figured that the type of car that Liv would own would be a late-model Mustang, though in Kona Blue not black. Oh, I really don't want to see the part where her car is damaged--that's worse in a way.

Teena said...

Great episode and great recap All Things and the cast was as well. This episode proves why I still love this show. LOVE IT!!!

AND I loved the little funny tibits - Stabler trying (trying is the operative word here) to kick down the door and Munch being called Skelator. TEE HEE!!

I felt a little sad for Benson though...not because she was in trouble with the law but how can a woman live on a half eaten bottle of pickles and two sticks of butter. HELLO!! I would die if that was all I had in my fridge. Well okay maybe not die but I would definately be a lot slimmer. TEE HEE!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my god, a classic 1965 Mustang convertible? Oh, that's even worse. Damaging something like that is just wrong.

I wonder, can cops file complaints against IAB cops?

Shelly said...

This was a great episode! It's been a long long time since I thoroughly enjoyed an ep of SVU as much. I too chuckled when Elliot couldn't knock the door down, and while it was gimmicky, I did enjoy the chance they gave Mariska and Peter to act with each other.

I was a little surprised Elliot ragged on Warner so much at first. He should know that the last thing she'd ever want to do is find evidence that Olivia or he ever did anything wrong, and he should have known she'd check and double check first.... but I did love the trust Olivia had in Elliot when Tucker said he got that info from Elliot, and she knew it was a lie.

And any episode where we get that much Munchkin is always a great ep... and it was great to see the entire cast getting more than a cursory scene...

Thanks as always All Things for the great review...

Rob said...

I hope that Olivia was sincere when she told Harrison how sorry she was. The guy playing Harrison did a great job of acting, of conveying just how traumatic it is to get raped not just once or twice, but day after day after day for years. Being turned into somebody's bitch in prison is a punishment that exceeds most crimes, which is why I've always hated it when the SVU detectives tell a suspect that they're going to be raped in a taunting manner.

Not that I don't care about what Harrison did by date-raping women, mind you, but after the first time he got raped I think it became all too clear to him how it felt. But he got raped again many times after that--I'd guess hundreds or maybe even thousands of times--and it wasn't long before what he suffered dwarfed the suffering of his victims. How much punishment does a human being deserve after he's tortured so much that he's completely broken? And in the meantime, guys like Vandyne are pretty much running things in prison and enjoying themselves by preying on weaker inmates, the same way they preyed on weaker women (like Starla) on the outside. In real life, as in this story, guards either let this stuff happen or are powerless to prevent it. The prison system is an absolute disgrace.

Benson's question concerning why the guy didn't report the rapes was extremely naive. Literally just last night I saw a rerun of an early SVU episode where a guy named Eric Plummer was out to get Benson just like Harrison was, because she'd put him away for rape (although in his case he was completely innocent and DNA later exonerated him) and he'd been raped, beaten and tortured inside. There was another episode where another guy, Bobby Trapido by name, was frequently gang-raped in prison, which screwed him up so badly that he became a serial rapist of men after his release. In another early episode, Benson investigated a rape/murder that was ultimately found to be the work of an ex-con who started out his prison sentence being preyed upon before bulking up and becoming a predator himself. Those are just the ones I know about and remember. So you'd think that after over ten years in this job, Benson would be familiar with the realities of prison life.

Ali K. said...

I think the reason the undercover cop caused a scene was because he was going against protocol to alert Stabler to his presence, and maybe felt making a phone call was too risky? And this way they conveniently set up a "rapport" of sorts so that Stabler could question him later in the show.

I love your recaps! Thanks for this!

Anonymous said...

This was a great episode. Maybe this should be a clue to Neal Baer that just because you add a big name star doesn't mean an episode will be good. This episode was filled with nobodies as supporting players, and it was probably the best episode all season.

John K. said...

Yes, Skeletor is the perfect nickname for Munch. I guess the writer decided to amuse the 80's children watching the series, now.

As for Tucker, the franchise is always horrible to IAB characters, so don't blame him, as such. Yes, he's a jerk, but he is a series essential.

Good recap, as always.

Anonymous said...

Tucker isn't as smart as he thinks he is. If he goes after her again, he's going to be at a disadvantage.

Joanne said...

I'm so glad to read the positive review and all these positive comments because I really enjoyed it and I was hoping that everyone else did too!

The Benson/Langdon thing was very gimmicky, but I loved it. He is one of my more preferred defense lawyers, so I'm always happy to see him around. I wonder who exactly paid his retainer?

I hope Benson is more careful about what she says to perps now. I like that they've shown that sometimes the throw-away comments that the cops make can really affect a person, especially because it is exactly a quote that I can see Benson saying.

I had a laugh at Liv's "mid-life crisis" purchase of the classic Mustang - it seems like such a guy thing to do. I could picture Cragen or Munch buying something like that.

What I am wondering about is, will there be a problem in Liv being reinstated? Does being arrested - even if the charges are dismissed - at all affect the persons position?

Dick said...

Great episode in a very strong season. Lots of red meat for SVU fans and I look forward to watching this one again.

Katie said...

Very good recap but I'm a little confused when Tucker was interrogating Olivia when she asked how her blood was found on the knife and he said she had a bloody nose during the struggle. What struggle is he talking about?

Chris Zimmer said...

Katie, earlier in that same section, Tucker theorized that Clyde had attacked Olivia in an alley and thinks she got a bloody nose during that attack. Of course, the attack didn't happen, it was just his guess as to what happened.

daniel said...

just watched this episode now and also thought it was great, for me i think that this season at the moment is going much better than season 10 did.

daniel said...

just saw this episode now and i also thought that it was great. At the moment i think that season 11 is going going much better than season 10 did. As usual thanks for the recap!

NikkiBubbles said...

Hey, when Stabler is talking to that dude,
& asks-
"Why do you have her Jacket?"
Doesn't the man reply with
"Worried you have her robe, detective?"
Cuz you said 'worried you have the rogue.' which didn't make much sense to me

Chris Zimmer said...

NikkiBubbles, the guy asks Stabler if he is worried he has "a rogue" - meaning a rouge detective, as if Benson is "going rogue" and doing her own thing wihtout proper authorization.

nygma619 said...

This comment is a little late "All Things" but do you (or anyone else for that matter) know why the episode title was called Perverted? I didn't really get why it was called that.

Anyways I LOVED this episode, it felt like the good days of SVU, this one is not only season 11's best episode, but I dare say it's one of the best episode's in the entire series.

Obviously the subject of DNA fabrication would be a nightmare in real life for Forensics. But for crime shows like SVU to strike on this subject while the iron's hot is a dream, and I'm glad they did. I'm wondering how well this episode will age in like say 5 years from now.

There were other things I liked:
-Majority of the main cast was utilized (including Munch).
-I loved Olivia's line, "Your lying. And not suprisingly, you suck at it."
-I also loved Elliot's "Don't drink and drive." As the bikers gloat at him.
-I love how Olivia was the one who got to take down Clyde after being a victim to him the whole episode.
-Joseph's: "I guess your free ride is over." Was a creepy way to end the episode. But I'll bet science will catch up to this epidemic in one to two years. It's just a matter of time.

Unknown said...

Hey, does anyone know what the phrase "did a nickel" mean?

Chris Zimmer said...

To do a nickel means five years in jail/prison.

Unknown said...

Thank you! I was wondering what that meant, so this answers my question.

Anonymous said...

This guy that sets Olivia up for murder talks about how she put him away years ago. He said that Olivia told him, "A pretty boy like you will be real popular in prison"

This sounds soooo familiar like there is a previous episode with this guy. Does anyone know which episode this is? I have been trying to google it, and can't find the answer. The guy is not the same actor, I looked him up on imdb. But I know I have heard Olivia say this before. Maybe it was to someone different. So there has to be a episode with the rohypnol rapist as Craigan calls him. They said in this episode it was 5 years ago, so should it be around season 4-6? Someone please help, its driving me crazy! You can email me here:

Gemma said...

I loved this episode and i could not believe when the IAB bloke accused olivia of being assaulted, thought she was going to slug him.
I also loved how with this episode we got to see another side of the olivia and elliot partnership

nygma619 said...

@ Lux: Olivia said something similar to a perp in Season 8's Florida. The 2nd episode with Olivia's brother. Personally I was kind of hoping it was that guy, for a nod to continuity.

Anonymous said...

I do not understand why benson was not handcuffed? then they wast arrested in her home

Unknown said...

How is it that every NYS driver license we see on screen (mostly of victims, some very young) has a motorcycle endorsement, but the Death Knight's (sic) rider doesn't?

Unknown said...

Ya know I don't feel sorry for Harrison at all. To rape women with no remorse. I feel he deserved everything that's happening to him.

Christine said...

How has this discovery never been explained in other episodes? Brady took Benson’s DNA, amplified it, and put it in someone else’s blood, essentially making the entire sample Benson’s.