Law & Order SVU “P.C.” was one of those episodes where a murder can actually present an opportunity for comedy. They could not have cast the role of Babs Duffy any more perfectly, with Kathy Griffin playing a LGBTQIA (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning Intersex Allies) advocate, who is focusing more on the lesbian angle. But – and this is a big but – the episode was filled with clichés and negative stereotype, portraying lesbian women in the extreme, such as being overly bossy and/or violent; man-hating; single minded to their cause; and compelled to hit on every woman in sight. The episode was heavily promoted, with video released of Babs Duffy landing a kiss on Olivia Benson, the scene finishing with Benson telling a female cop sent to relieve her “If I were you, I’d stay outside.” When outrage brewed over that statement as it was viewed as homophobic, the scene was changed, but not as one would expect. They removed the kiss (making it a “lunge” instead) but left in the line. Go figure. Babs also seems smitten with Alex Cabot, and it’s at that point when I realize that this episode was written by a bunch of fanfic writers, and/or Benson/Cabot “shippers”, and/or fans who believe that Mariska Hargitay and Stephanie March are as gay as the Easter Parade. I’m not going to make any comment about whether they are or they aren’t, because I really don’t think an actor’s sexuality is my business unless they want it to be. Bottom line is that the quality of the series is beginning to suffer as someone is catering a little too much to the whims of some fans.
The case itself had the usual red herrings, for example, the vampire rocker. I’ve come to the conclusion that the Law & Order franchise as a whole hates any music that is not mainstream, as it seems that they are always showing “fringe” music as being a haven for nut balls. There are plenty of nut balls in mainstream music, too.
Clearly this episode was a vehicle for Kathy Griffin, and I enjoyed her performance, despite the stereotypes. Sadly, the investigative work was weak. Why did it take them so long to get security footage of the area where Allissa was killed? It would have saved them a lot of trouble and may have helped them to notice the tattoo on the print shop guy much sooner. Fin seems to have been relegated to working in the squad room doing research, and Munch is missing in action AGAIN, and I would really like to hear an explanation of his absence. I swear that Law & Order SVU may be the only show in television which has a big list of names in the opening credits, yet some of them rarely show up in the episode.
Here’s the recap:
The case involves the murder of a “Jane Doe” who Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Chris Meloni) first think was killed as part of some wacky vampire rock band guy. When Captain Cragen (Dann Florek) tells them that the Jane Doe had a blood disease like hemophilia, they think the death may have been accidental. When a group from “LesBeStrong.com) enters the SVU squad in protest with their leader Babs Duffy (Kathy Griffin), the detectives find the dead woman is a lesbian named Allisa Davies, and Duffy, who says she is the president, founder, and spokesperson for LesBeStrong, says “We’re dykes, we’re pissed, and we’re not leaving ‘till we get results.” After back and forth name calling, she finally gives them the name and location of Allisa’s girlfriend, Sharon Harris.
When the detectives speak with Sharon, they hear a story of an idyllic romance, This turns out to be false, when they later find that Sharon is a nasty, angry, violent lesbian. Allisa’s last word was “Mitch” and it seems this was not a man’s name, it was a pet name between used by Sharon which was short for "my bitch.” When they track Sharon down, she clocks Stabler when he calls her “Mitch” and she is arrested.
In the SVU squad, Benson gets Sharon to talk, using her soft touch method of interrogation. Sharon denies killing Allison. When Fin (Ice-T) enters and tells Benson there has just been another attack, Benson and Stabler race to the hospital to talk to Rosemary, one of Babs’ helpers, who said the attacker complained that the “dykes” have ruined the neighborhood. She also realizes that her Blackberry has been stolen and it contained all the information on the LesBeStrong members. She also remembers that the attacker made threats against Babs.
Babs reluctantly goes in to protective custody in her own apartment, with Benson standing guard. While having a nice chat, Benson using her whispery reassuring voice at one point, Babs misreads Benson intentions and Babs makes a move to kiss her, Benson puling back, emphasizing she is straight. When Benson's relief arrives, Benson urges her to stay outside.
Back at SVU, while they look over the security video taken at the scene of the murder, they see a tattoo on the perp’s hand. Benson uses this as a time to ask Stabler:
Benson: Do you ever get a gay vibe from me?
Stabler: Would it matter if I did?
Benson: You’re not answering the question.
Stabler: It’s not like you’ve had a lot of luck in guys.
Benson: It’s called being married to the job. (The phone rings and Benson moves to answer it)
Stabler: Did Babs make a move on you? (She nods yes) I get hit, you get hit on.
It seems that the officer watching Babs' place shot someone who appeared to be breaking in to Babs' place with a tire iron. When the get to the hospital, they find his ID – Larry Luft. They soon confront Babs with the information that they looked at Larry’s cell phone and he had pictures of Babs and him together, plus tons of text messages between the two. Babs admits a relationship with Larry and they tell her she is going to have to come clean about it.
At a rally, Babs gets up in front of the crowd and tells them that the person in custody is not the person who killed Allisa and drops the bomb that she was in a relationship with him. They are shocked and appalled. Benson, who is on stage with Babs, and Stabler, who is in the crowd, keep an eye out for a man there with a spider tattoo on his hand like the one seen in the video surveillance footage. Stabler spots him and nabs him. It’s Ronnie Whatley, who runs a nearby print shop and whom they saw earlier in their investigation when Babs was screaming at him for misprinting her name as “Babs Daffy” on a flier.
Stabler works Ronnie in interrogation, and as Benson and ADA Cabot (Stephanie March) observe, Sabot is worried Stabler is moving too slow. Benson enters and proceeds to put on a macho lesbian act in order to get Ronnie enraged. She brings up the fact that his neighborhood has changed, she insults his appearance, and comments he is unable to get a woman. She gets in his space, saying that Ronnie wants to correct all the lesbians, and wants to make her “right” and “correct a bitch like me.” She moves closer and puts her hand right near his crotch and continues to talk. He grabs her hand and places is squarely on his crotch and makes an admission of guilt in the death and attacks. Benson smiles and says “Goodbye Ronnie” and storms out as he screams she is a bitch.
In the squad room, Babs is thrilled at the outcome. She thanks Benson for making her realize who she really is, and apologizes to Benson for the “awkward lunge” adding that her gaydar was off but that Benson is incredibly hot. She also apologizes to Stabler, and as she moves to leave, she tells him she has one more thing, and she pulls him to her and kisses him, asking him to call her sometime. As she walks off, we fade to black.
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