Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Law & Order SVU “Users” Recap & Review

All photos from NBC

It’s a rarity, but I thought Law & Order SVU “Users” was a dog, and one of those rare episodes where recapping it makes it seem twice as bad. The story had too many twists and turns, eventually ending up in a preachy finale that spoke to the issue of the drug ibogaine being banned in the United States. Their lecturing made it sound like the only reason why it is banned is because the big bad capitalist drug companies can’t make any money off of it, and no one will pay for it to go through FDA trials. It is a lot more complicated that that; the drug is in a class of drugs along with psychedelics such as LSD and mescaline, and does have risks. But I am sure it is easier for them to blame the drug companies for the purpose of their story. I find myself wondering if Law & Order "The Mothership" will cover the legalization of medical marijuana, seeing that our beloved Anita may have a need for it as she goes through her cancer therapy. I would prefer the franchise to advocate for or simply raise that issue rather than highlight ibogaine - but I don't think the writers could use the drug companies as the scapegoats for the marijuana issue.
This episode also seems to harp on the usual franchise mantra that the Internet is a big bad scary place where nothing but perverts lurk. Benson’s comment, “People trawling the web for blood and guts, what a lovely world.” If you watch nothing but Law & Order, you would think that every person who goes on the Internet is some sort of whack job. It is getting old. We get it already; the Law & Order franchise seems to think the Internet a haven for all that is evil. I suggest they take a hard look at their fan base, and realize that were it not for the Internet and all the fans out there, the franchise would be long dead by now. So c’mon writers, you can do better than invoke the seedy side of the Internet week after week.

For me, what makes for a good episode is when I find myself feeling something for the characters, either good or bad. But in “Users” I didn’t care about any of the people in the episodes, the victims, the perps, even drug addled Enzo. I was really turned off by Huang and his sanctimonious behavior. In fact, I find myself wondering just what in the world is going on with Huang this season? He used to be so controlled and a very rational thinker, and now it seems he breaks rules and goes off the deep end at the drop of a hat. And going through Olivia’s desk – that was just way out of character.

But the hard part of writing my comments this week is that I can’t really find much to say about “Users”. The story just seemed all over the place and it left me with almost nothing, only a good feeling that it was over.

Here is the recap:
A young woman, AJ, enters a hotel room gets undressed, and gets on her cell phone. Meanwhile, a young man is in a car, shooting up with some drug. He gets out of the car and walks toward the Ascot Hotel. AJ, still in the hotel room, gets a text saying “I’m on my way.” Her mother calls but AJ doesn’t answer, telling the phone she is busy. Her mother gets her voice mail, and says for AJ to call her back now. While AJ calls someone saying she is still waiting, her mother calls her husband Greg, saying AJ isn’t answering her phone, and she wants to know where Greg is too. Meanwhile, back in the hotel room, AJ is with her man friend, who proceeds to choke her, while her mother continues to call on her cell phone. Outside, the young guy gets back to his car, while a police car races past him. He drives off as more police cars arrive.

Later, with Detectives Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) on the scene, the girl is dead, there is no purse in the room. Fin (Ice-T) brings the desk clerk Richard into the room, who said the girl paid cash and registered as AJ Gold. He found her when he heard from the next door guest who heard yelling. She was alone when she checked in, but said she was expecting a visitor. Benson gets on him for not checking her ID, but he says she is turning tricks so any ID would be fake. Stabler asks if because this one wasn’t legal, and Richard says they get old before their time. Stabler says she will stay young forever.

At the morgue, ME Warner (Tamara Tunie) tells the detectives that the cause of death was compression of the trachea and larynx, and the perp left bruises on her throat and also raped and sodomized her. When Stabler asks if she is sure it wasn’t just rough sex for pay, Benson says that she doesn’t care if she can tie a cherry knot with her tongue, she is not a prostitute. There are no tattoos or hooker makeup. Stabler says everyone has a first day one the job, but Warner says she fought against her killer, she found blood in her mouth that was not hers. Stabler suspects she bit him while fighting for her life. Fin enters and says Jane Doe is getting her 15 minute of fame post mortem, one of the photos of the crime scene just went viral over the net.

With CSU Tech Morales (Joel de la Fuente) he says the photo is not one of theirs as it was taken at least an hour after the time of death, and from the sunlight from the windows it is clear the photos were taken before the police arrived. They wonder if someone was trying to make money off of it. Benson comments, “People trawling the web for blood and guts, what a lovely world.” If the killer didn’t take the risk in publishing the photo, they wonder about the hotel clerk.

Back at the Ascot Hotel, Richard denies taking the picture. But Stabler pulls off a band aid off Richard’s arm and sees a huge red mark, saying that AJ must have bitten him. He said he burned himself cooking, and he says he uses, big deal. But they hear a cell phone with a musical ring tone, and Benson finds a phone in one of the room mail slots. Richard admits she was already dead so he took the phone. He admits to taking the photos but not to killing her. Benson sees a text come in to the phone from Heather, asking, “What’s up Psycho Whore? Still humping Daddy?” Stabler suggest she text her back, and Benson does, saying that she is done and asking where is Heather. She says she is at Mocha Dick’s at 74th and Broadway.

At Mocha Dick’s, a few girls tell the detectives that AJ said she met an ancient guy – “like 40 maybe” – and he was hot. She says she was not a hooker and she was supposed to be hooking up at the Mercer. They wouldn’t tell AJ’s dad about it because he was a creep, AJ said he molested her when she was a kid.

At the Dunne residence, they speak to AJ’s mother (Maddie Corman) who did not know that AJ said her father molested her. She knew there was something wrong but AJ wouldn’t talk to her about it. She does not know where her husband is, he stormed out after breakfast. He and AJ fought at breakfast and he slapped her and threatened to kick her out. He called this afternoon and said he would take care of everything. A door opens, and Greg Dunne (James Colby) enters, his wife flailing at him asking what did he do? He says it was something he should have done a long time ago. He has blood on his shirt, and Stabler cuffs him, Benson saying he is being arrested for raping and murdering his daughter

In the SVU interrogation room, Greg says he would never hurt AJ, he didn’t kill her he loved her. When Stabler mentions Greg taking her to the hotel, he says he doesn’t know what he is talking about. He says AJ had a lot of troubles, she was out of control.

In another room, AJ’s mother says that AJ was being treated for oppositional defiance disorder. They tried behavior modification, confrontational therapy, medication but she fought against it. She did not get better until she got in to ASP, A Sheltered Place, and she adds that Martin Gold was a godsend.

But Greg, with Stabler, says that Martin Gold was a lying prick, and his wife fell for Gold’s act. He says Gold convinced AJ that she had repressed memories of him molesting her. She accused him of it last week. Greg’s wife tells Benson that AJ had to conquer her fears, and that was the guiding principle of ASP. ASP is a treatment center and is strictly by referral. A few days ago Greg said they were stopping treatment. Greg tells Stabler that Gold filled her head with lies. Greg says between 10:30 and 11:00 AM he was in jail, he went to confront Gold and Gold started in with his psychobabble and he went off on him. He got the blood when Gold stabbed him with a pen. He went after Gold today because he thought he could make AJ see the light. He found a picture on his windshield this morning, and it is a picture of AJ and Gold, which is captioned “Martin Gold is raping your daughter.” Greg says if they want to know who killed AJ to start with Gold.

We then see Martin Gold (James Frain) telling his group about AJ being dead. He tells them to keep their heads high and that what challenges us makes us strong. One girl, Tina asks him why AJ had to die, and Gold comes back with a bloated answer about it being a timeless question of the cosmos. Benson and Stabler watch, with their body language saying that they are hearing a load of BS. Stabler announces their presence, but Gold goes on talking to Tina. The group breaks up, and Gold says he should have called and saved them a trip, he is dropping the charges against Greg Dunne. He says Greg is not a killer, Stabler shows him the photo with Gold and AJ and he says the photo is a fake, that competitors are trying to destroy what is going on at ASP. He says he is reaching kids through art, therapy, and whatever it takes. He says at the time of the murder he was at ASP, alone. He says there are security cameras that should have recorded him leaving about noon, and when Stabler asks if he minds that they look at them, he says he does. He constantly preaches to the kids about maintaining boundaries and what would they think if he le them cross them. Stabler says that AJ was lucky seeing a therapist with such high standards. Stabler ask why Gold thinks AJ checked into the hotel using his last name, and when Gold says he has no idea, Benson tells him to think about it while they get a search warrant. She also tells him not to accidentally erase the surveillance tapes.

At ADA Alex Cabot’s (Stephanie March) office, Stabler tells her how cool Gold acted, Benson adding he is either innocent or a complete sociopath. She tells them they should have seized the tapes, and Benson said all they saw was the monitor, plain view doctrine doesn’t apply. But Cabot says neither does the 4th Amendment, surveillance tapes are meant to be seen and there is no expectation of privacy. When Stabler says they will go back and get them, she says now they need a warrant, and to give her a couple hours.

Later, viewing the surveillance tapes, they see at 11:58 AM, Gold did leave ASP. Fin calls ASP’s web site cheesy; it shows pictures of squeaky clean kids and a lot of “ass-kissing” from satisfied customers. There was also a note from the Dunne’s saying Gold saved their family. Fin thinks that everyone is taken in by Gold’s mission statement: "At ASP we diminish the power of unwanted thoughts and impulses by embracing them,” Benson says it sounds like a crock, and Captain Don Cragen (Dann Florek) enters and asks why does Gold have a documented success rate of 83%? Fin thinks anyone can cook their books, but Cragen says tell that to Paul Fordies, the deputy mayor for legal affair who has a daughter under Gold’s care. Apparently Fordies called to convey his vote of confidence that they will all handle the investigation with discretion. Benson says, “In other words, tread lightly” and Stabler adds, “If at all.” As they walk off, Cragen tells them to just be sure they are right about this one.

After Cragen walks off, Stabler says Gold must have people in high places, but Morales enters and says he might not have to use them. Morales says he put the photo of AJ and Gold under the microscope and it is photoshopped with Gold’s face being put over someone else’s body. This may let Gold off the hook for statutory rape, but Morales says they may get him for violating his license. Morales enhanced the time stamp and the picture was taken on 10/21/09 at 2:49 AM. Since Gold’s web site says A Sheltered Place is only licensed as a non-residential facility, and kids can’t stay there past 10 PM. Benson wonders what AJ was doing having a sleep over with the love guru.

Back at the Dunne residence, Greg says AJ was in the program for 6 months but her behavior did not improve. Gold said it would help to get her out of the house for a while, saying that Gold said he could intensify the therapy if they spent more time together. He knew Gold wasn't licensed for live ins but they were desperate. Greg’s wife said they knew it was illegal but were willing to do anything to help AJ. Benson’s phone rings, it was Warner and she needs to see them.

At SVU, Munch (Richard Belzer) asks Fin where are Benson and Stabler, and Fin tells him Warner got a lead. Munch said someone just used AJ’s credit cards at Aurora Spirits in Washington Heights. Fin gets his coat to leave, and tells Munch to call the liquor store and radio Fin the description.

At the morgue office, Warner tells Benson and Stabler that the lab report on the blood found in AJ’s mouth shows high concentrations of ribavirin and interferon, drugs to treat hepatitis C. They hear a voice outside the office and move to check it out.

Meanwhile, Fin is outside the liquor store talking with Munch on the radio. Fin sees the man that Munch describes and moves toward him. They guy looks around uncomfortably and then breaks out into a run.

Stabler and Benson enter the morgue area and there is a young man standing over AJ’s body saying he is sorry he killed her. When Stabler asks what he is doing, he knocks over some instruments and runs.

Fin is chasing the liquor store guy and tackles him.

Benson cuts off the young man at the other end of the hall in the morgue area and yells, “Police!” She has a gun on him ad tells him not to move as Stabler walks up behind him.

In SVU interrogation, Benson tells Cragen the young man’s name is Enzo Cook (Ryan Kelley); he is 16, from Connecticut, with more “tracks” than Grand Central. The other guy that Fin caught is Ramsey Vicars, 45, from Queens. Enzo bangs on the wall, calling out for someone as he has to go, but Stabler tells him to sit down, as he will talk to him first. He tells Stabler it was his fault. Meanwhile, Fin is in with Vicars asking him where he got the wallet. Vicars looks very uncomfortable as he says he had to get out of there, he says he found her wallet on Broadway. He says he wants a lawyer. He then starts to look very rattled and sick, and he stands up and then collapses. Fin calls for a bus.

At the hospital, Munch and Fin are told that Vicars has toxic shock caused by an infection from a bite to his penis. The doctor thinks the victim experienced cadaveric spasms at the moment of death and clamped down on the killer. They go in to see Vicars, and he says he found her credit cards, and Fin said they found his blood in her mouth; the Hep C was a giveaway. He said it got it from a hooker. He is addicted to sex. His wife found out about his ways to satisfy himself and she divorced him and then he got laid off. He said AJ was into it, he answered her ad on Craig’s list. She got the room. Vicars says he got excited and did not realize how hard he was squeezing her neck, he didn't mean to hurt her and says he is sorry.

Back at SVU, Benson reads AJ’s ad, which says, “I need a daddy who will make me behave. If you show me the ropes, I’ll open up to you.” Benson wonders why AJ was hooking up with pervy guys, and Stabler wonders why Enzo copped to a murder he did not commit. Stabler says it’s time for Enzo to man up.

In interrogation, Enzo says Gold was treating him for heroin addiction and that is where he met AJ. It was love at first sight. Gold does not allow memberships between members and that stopped AJ, she was afraid they would get caught by AJ or her dad. He admitted he put the photoshopped picture on Greg’s windshield to get him to stop Martin from raping AJ. He insists it really did happen, he saw it when he was hiding behind the door but did not have his camera. It made him sick. He watched him have sex with her and she said wait, we should stop, I don’t want to do this. Gold told her it was OK, she was doing fine, to conquer her fears. Enzo could not take it anymore and he left. I he would have stopped it, maybe AJ would still be alive. Benson asks him what he was doing at ASP at 3 AM, and he says he lives there, they both did. The day she went to the hotel, she told Enzo she had an appointment and he thought she was meeting Gold so he followed her there. He got scared and did some junk and then he wasn’t scared anymore, he wasn’t anything. He let her die. He cries as he says Martin affects you in ways you never expect, and as much as he hates him, he still says, “Martin used to say.” Gold smiles when he is good and smiles when he is cruel. Same smile. Stabler says Enzo can help her now and will he testify against Martin Gold and be able to tell a jury he saw Gold having sex with AJ? He says yes.

In the observation room, Cragen asks Dr. Huang (B.D. Wong) if Enzo can help them nail Gold, and Huang says if he gets off the heroin. He says Gold’s treatment is bogus and narcissistic manipulator who gets off on the kids who adore him and the parents who depend on him. Cragen asks if Huang thinks AJ’s dad really abuse her.

Later, Huang is talking with Benson and Stabler, and says the theory with repressed memory is the people often block out the painful experiences of their childhood sexual abuse. Stabler says everyone knows it is a sham, and Benson says AJ didn’t. Huang said Gold prescribed sex with himself to jog her memory. Huang thinks Gold told her to put out the ads because he gets off on humiliating the kids, their self esteem plummets and they need him even more. Huang says they need to shut him down.

At Family Night at A Sheltered Place, Gold is talking to a group of people, and Benson and Stabler walk in, Benson saying family night is over. Gold says they are having a therapy session, but Stabler says not any more. Benson reads Gold his rights and they arrest him for violating state licensing laws. Huang identifies himself as a psychiatrist to the group, and says if anyone needs a referral to a legitimate therapist to talk to him. Deputy Mayor Fordies is there and asks why they are harassing Gold as they have a man in custody who confessed to the murder. Benson tells him Gold broke the law. As they lead Gold out, he tells them not to worry, there has been a misunderstanding and they will conquer it, just like they conquer their fears.

Back at the SVU squad, Cragen approaches Benson and comments that they arrested Gold in front of the deputy mayor. Benson said they had no idea he would be there, and Cragen said the whole city knows now. Fordies just held a press conference blasting them for targeting Gold. Benson said they targeting Gold because he is dirty. Cragen reminds her that Gold broke licensing laws, which is a misdemeanor. She says if he sent AJ to that hotel room, it is accessory to murder. He tells her to prove it.

When Gold sees Enzo in the interrogation room, he asks Stabler what Enzo is doing there. Stabler responds that Enzo was just telling them about their little tea and club house, the one they are going to close down. Gold laughs at the licensing violations charge, but Stabler says it is child endangering, sodomy, and statutory rape. Stabler says Enzo saw them having sex with AJ but Gold says the kid is a screw up. Stabler says they believe Enzo, and AJ’s parents, and the jury will too. Gold says AJ’s parents can’t testify, as it is hearsay. AJ lied to them all the time and Enzo is as believable as Dick Cheney. He says it will never make it to trial, but Benson enters and asks if he wants to make a bet. Gold insists all the kids that come through his door are liars. Stabler wonders what is in Gold’s head that would make him bang Enzo’s girlfriend and then make her screw guys that look like daddy. Gold says Stabler is not the first person Enzo has conned.

Meanwhile, Huang goes in to see Enzo ad asks how he is doing. Enzo is not doing well at all as he is in withdrawal. He tells Huang he has to get him something and Huang says he can take him to the hospital. But Enzo says no, and asks where is Martin. Huang seems shocked, and asks if Gold is supplying him. Enzo gets enraged and tells Huang to help him. Huang says he can get him into rehab after the go to the hospital, but Enzo says no one gives a damn about him, only Martin. Huang tells him he will not go back to ASP, but he begs for help. Huang says they will do the best thing for him and they have to stop Gold.

Stabler and Benson are talking with Cabot, who says they want her to prosecute Gold on rape charges and as an accessory to murder. Benson said Gold pushed AJ to seek out strangers for sex, and Stabler says he has a hold on those kids. Cabot says they can’t get him as an accessory. Benson reminds her that Gold raped AJ, but they can’t prove that without her. Cabot says even if they move forward, bail is a no-brainer. Gold has been filing his taxes from the same address for the last 12 years, he fought in Desert Storm, and he is squeaky clean. Stabler says none of the other parent will cooperate and they are also far up Gold’s ass. Stabler says they have an eyewitness to the statutory rape, and that Enzo is willing. But when Stabler looks into the room where Enzo is supposed to be, he is gone. Stabler runs off to find him, and Enzo throwing up in the bathroom, with Huang standing by. Enzo is begging for a fix, and Cabot says it looks like their case just went down the toilet.

In the hospital, Enzo is being treated, and Huang says Enzo’s parents are art dealers and spend most of their time in Europe. They paid over $1 million to park Enzo at ASP. Huang says he needs to go to rehab and that methadone could help. But Huang says there is another option, ibogaine hydrochloride that is successful in treating opiate addiction. Within 24 hours he would lose his craving for heroin without any withdrawals. But he can’t do it, the drug is illegal here. Because the patent expired, no drug company cam make a profit off of it and no one will pay for it to go though trials. While they talk the merits of the drug and the system that won’t allow it to be used in the US, Gold walks in. He came to take Enzo back, as he is Enzo’s legal guardian. Gold and Huang verbally spar, then, as his guardian, Gold asks them to leave.

They later look into the room and Huang says that Gold is a quack, saying he is putting on quite a show. Benson thinks that Enzo is his stay out of jail card and she thinks Gold would keep him high, anything to keep him from testifying. Huang thinks with Gold playing puppet master that Enzo has no chance of getting clean, unless someone cuts the strings.

Later, as watches Gold walk one of the young girls out of ASP, Huang watches from behind some bushes. He watches Gold get into his car and the infatuated look on the girl’s face. Huang walks into ASP and asks the girl that he is looking for Enzo, and she says he left, Gold saying that Enzo needed to conquer his fears in a special place. Huang asks for Enzo’s cell phone number, and she says Gold took his cell phone away while he is in treatment. Huang tells her he saw her outside just now with Martin and that she should be careful. But she tells him he has a dirty mind and that Martin loves them and wouldn’t hurt her.

We then see Huang in the darkened SVU room, it seems everyone has gone home. He is looking through desk drawers. He finds a list of Gold property holdings and takes it. Benson walks in and asks what he is doing there so late and he says Fin left him some papers so he could fill out his report on Gold. She says she is just about to do that herself, and Huang says, ‘great minds.” She asks if he is forgetting something like the papers Fin left him, and Huang says it turns out he didn’t need them and he had everything he needed and he leaves. Benson sits down at her desk and notices a drawer is partly open.

We then see Huang banging on a door, and Enzo answers. Huang says he is coming with him, and implies it is OK with Martin. He gets Enzo in the car, and then sees Benson walking up to him. She says what he is doing is illegal; and he tells her to stay out of it for her own sake. She reminds him ibogain hasn’t been approved, but he says it is because the drug companies don’t want it approved. One dose and Enzo is clean. He tells her they are leaving and she says it is kidnapping and conspiracy to provide a controlled substance to a minor. But Huang argues that Enzo is sick and he is a doctor and has a moral obligation to treat him. She reminds him he is an FBI agent and he is breaking the law, he took an oath. But be says, “First do no harm. That is the oath I took as a doctor and that is what I live by.” He asks what kind of a doctor is he if he doesn’t save Enzo’s life? He gets in the car and leaves.

At The Ibogaine Clinic, the doctor tells Enzo about having to take one 750 mg capsule of the drug and 20 minutes he will feel a warm tingle on the back of his neck, followed by euphoria. For 8 hours he will trip with waking dreams and body rushes. He assures Enzo he will not freak out. The doctor admits that 3 years ago he took the same gamble and won his life back and has been clean ever since. Huang asks him if he is ready, and Enzo says he is scared. Huang says on the other side of this will be a much brighter picture. Enzo takes the pills. Huang asks how they will know if it works, and the doctor says Enzo will be clear headed and will be able to testify. Huang says if it doesn’t work Enzo will go back to ASP. Huang watches over Enzo as Enzo goes through the process.

At A Sheltered Place, Enzo is back, gripping his arm, saying that they fooled him and he wants to come back. Gold says he broke his promise to stay at the apartment, but Enzo said he did not know what he was doing. Gold says he fled form his fears instead of embracing them, but Enzo begs for forgiveness. Gold embraces him and says he is home now. Enzo says he hurts all over, and Gold says he will take care of him, he always has, and hands him a small white packet. We hear Benson calling out Gold’s name and saying he is under arrest for possession of narcotics and accessory to murder. She reads him his rights, and Enzo hands Stabler the packet. Gold looks at Enzo and says whatever they did won’t cure him and Enzo will use again. Enzo says that Gold better hope it is before he testifies, and he walks off. Gold looks at Stabler and says he has no understanding of what he does here, he is helping kids when no one else will. Stabler says he is helping them stay high and dependent and screwed up so he can make money off their misery. Gold says to Enzo he is a screw up and pathetic and he will come crawling back, calling him a Judas. Enzo says that he is clean and Gold can rot in jail. Gold looks to Huang and says if he gave him ibogaine he will lose his license and he will report him. But Huang says he already reported himself, he has a 30 day suspension of his license, and it was worth it. Gold stares back at him as Stabler hauls him off. Huang looks back an Enzo and smiles as we fade to black.

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“Users” Two Minute Replay


Anonymous said...

I've also been wondering why the writers decided to change Wong's character so much this season. And the outing of that substitute DA a couple episodes ago was equally awkward. I guess they're experimenting with new concepts. I dont know what the ratings were looking like, but for me, the SVU formula was still keeping me pretty entertained. All that said, I'm wondering how realistic it is that Dr. Huang would only get a 30 day suspension for stealing a minor and giving him a non-FDA approved drug (putting aside the argument regarding it's beneficial nature)

Anonymous said...

I agree, that last point is questionable. What about kidnapping charges?

On the other hand, Huang was up against a man who abused his position of power to hurt his patients and steal money. As a medical professional, that would understandably tick him off. He is human after all, and he's allowed to be angry and to make crap decisions just like anyone else.

Anonymous said...

ALL THINGS I have to disagree with you...I am sorry but I think you were not watching the same episode as me. I liked the episode and I didn't find it confusing at all. It wasn't my favorite but it was good. I did notice a new writer though..perhaps we should give him the benefit of the doubt and say he is new to the game and is still learning. No one is perfect right??

I thought that doctor was very creepy and it just goes to show that he manipulated those teens to make money and I hate to say it but I think that is more common than we think. Shrinks always try to bring up "repressed memories" which turn out to be not true and they are laughing all the way to the bank. Have you ever met a poor shrink that lives in a shack...NO.

I was not that impressed with BD Wong's performance though..I will have to watch it again online..he just seemed weird to me. And I really wished that Liv would have gotten more angry when he rifled through her desk. I am thinking he only got 30 days suspension because he turned himself in which shows that he know what he did was wrong and feels remorse over it.

I have to agree with the first poster that I am always kept entertained by SVU. I am NOT a shipper like those teeny girls on and frankly I hate the fact that people talk like that.

All in all it was a good episode perhaps I wouldn't have started November sweeps with it but it was not bad.

Amaya said...

Yeah, I've noticed the sudden shift in Huang's behavior. I'm not complaining, though. In fact, it intrigues me. It makes him seem more ... human. Then again, he's my favorite character so my opinion is biased. It's nice to see him take a more active role in the SVU cases. Actually, it's nice to see him more active, period. It's unfair that he's a main character yet most of the time is only on for about a minute and a half.

I figure he was acting a little aggressive since, as a doctor, he would be compelled to bring down an abusive therapist. Recall the episode "Monogamy" when he got all cocky in shrinking the shrink that ripped the baby from his wife's stomach. Maybe it's a "thing" with him.

So, even with the shift in character this season, I'm just glad to see a more personal side of Dr. Huang. He mentions in one episode that he joined the FBI to better study the criminal mind, but he never elaborated on why he wanted to study it in the first place. Perhaps we will finally learn more about his personal life and past, about his reasons for being a psychiatrist.

Oh well. I can dream, can't I?

Jojo said...

Thanks for the review ATL&O, especially since it was rather painful for you!

I didn't mind the episode. This must have been Huang's "big storyline", and it wasn't as good as I'd have hoped. I agree with the previous commentator who said BD Wong seemed a little odd. He seemed passionate, yet really stiff at the same time and it just came off as detached.

The overly preachy nature of the episode was very jarring though, which kind of made me inwardly cringe. I didn't hate it, but SVU has seen better days, and I'm still hooked so I'll let it pass.

Anonymous said...

Children with oppositional defiant disorder will lose their temper quickly and often. Parents should look into a child behavior modification program to help them get a handle on their defiant behavior.

Anonymous said...

One good thing about this episode was that the whole cast got some screen time. That rarely happens anymore.

Anonymous said...

Interesting choice of iJustine as the deceased victim who Fin describes as a Jane Doe getting her 15 minutes of fame. Google iJustine if you need to.

Anonymous said...

This particular episode distressed me with regard to the references made about Hepatitis C. When they discovered the that blood in the victim’s mouth was tainted with Ribavirin and Interferon, it was established that the murder had Hepatitis C. Then when they questioned the suspect, they accused him of passing the disease to other partners through sexual activity.

I am married for 26 years to an Hepatis C victim. There is no evidence that this disease is transmitted by sexual activity. Many movies and televison shows seem to always describe the Hepatitis C carrier as someone who uses intravenous drugs and having multiple partners. Hepatitis C was not diagnosed until the later 1980s and was not only transmitted by intravenous drugs, it was also spread by blood transfusions in blood not tested for the disease prior to 1990. The is no evidence that the disease can spread by sexual activity.

Someone has to monitor what is being put out there! While the information about Ibogaine was interesting, who could believe any of what they say when they are giving inaccurate information about other things. I realize with many celeberties being diagnosed with Hep C, it is a crowd pleaser to talk about it on the show, but let’s be accurate.

Many television shows talk about rare diseases, drug treatments and assorted other medical issues. All they have to do is google the information to see if it makes any sense before they put it on television.

Whitney said...

well said!

Anonymous said...

Just enjoy the show please...or buy yourself a new remote control. I like SVU as it is...challenging. Good on you writers...time to incline to 'centre-left' rather remained fixated on 'right' anally!

nygma619 said...

"He used to be so controlled and a very rational thinker, and now it seems he breaks rules and goes off the deep end at the drop of a hat. And going through Olivia’s desk – that was just way out of character."

Is it really out of character for him? I mean from what we've seen from him he's just been a guy spouting off exposition on the show, it's rare that we've ever seen him heavily involved.

I also didn't think the issue over the banned anti-drug was terribly preachy, if it was IT would've been the focus of the entire episode.

And while I don't condone what Wong did, I can understand why he did it. And I thought he brought up a valid point with Olivia when he told her "if I know one of my patients is just going to get sick again, and I don't do what I can to help him, what kind of doctor am I?" or something like that. Sure if Enzo were just a run of the mill junkie, I would say Wong stepped out of bounds. But this was someone that he knows would get hooked again, and knows the therapist has been hooking teens for his own personal gain.
And it's not like Wong didn't take responsibility for his actions.

I remember after the season 3 episode Guilt, some people were complaining about how Cabot lying about having a search warrant, was out of character, just because we rarely (if ever) saw her emotionally involved in a case before that. This episode somewhat reminded me of that episode.

Bri Rod said...

I'm sorry but who killed A.J?

Chris Zimmer said...

@BriRod - I copied the paragraph from my recap above that has your answer:

"At the hospital, Munch and Fin are told that Vicars has toxic shock caused by an infection from a bite to his penis. The doctor thinks the victim experienced cadaveric spasms at the moment of death and clamped down on the killer. They go in to see Vicars, and he says he found her credit cards, and Fin said they found his blood in her mouth; the Hep C was a giveaway. He said it got it from a hooker. He is addicted to sex. His wife found out about his ways to satisfy himself and she divorced him and then he got laid off. He said AJ was into it, he answered her ad on Craig’s list. She got the room. Vicars says he got excited and did not realize how hard he was squeezing her neck, he didn't mean to hurt her and says he is sorry."

Hope this helps!