Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Law & Order “Crashers” Recap & Review

All photos from NBC

Law & Order “Crashers” was one of those episodes that was plain and simple and told a decent story. I had the Senator’s wife pegged very early on, and was a little surprised when someone else admitted to the crime. (My instincts proved right at the end.) I had a few issues: I thought they should have looked at the Senator’s wife at the same time they looked at the senator’s office staffers when it seemed clear someone with access to his money was involved with Dustin. And Dustin was so wacky in the head – and with him being on suicide watch - I was surprised that no one asked for a psych exam.


Somewhat worrisome to me is what is going on with Anita Van Buren. While her hair is growing back and she is has finally taken off the wig – and maybe the first time we’ve really seen S. Epatha Merkerson in the 2-7 with her real hair – it was sad to see her worry over medical bills. While some may see this as the show preaching about the high cost of medical care, I didn’t mind it so much. Having lost two siblings to cancer, both at a very young age, I have seen firsthand what the cost of cancer care can do to a family’s finances. If the disease does not get you, the hospital and doctor bills will. But my worry is more for how they will write Anita Van Buren out of the show when S. Epatha Merkerson leaves at the end of this season. I can only hope that she leaves alive and well, and also not broke. Maybe she and Frank will ride off into the sunset to a happy life.

I loved that look on Alana de La Garza’s face was when, in the plastic surgeon’s office, she finds out the procedure is for a vaginoplasty and her mouth is agape. I wouldn’t have had any words for that, either.

Tony Roberts (who looks ancient by the way) and Kathy Baker made the perfect, vain couple who are fighting their age by using Viagra, cosmetic procedures, and hormones. Sadly, not much can be done for “old man smell.”



Here is the recap:
We see a young woman on the phone who tells the person on the other line that he can’t stop her and she loves him and she will do whatever it takes. She gets dressed. We later see a large trash dumpster on fire in an alley, and when a man puts out the fire with an extinguisher, he sees a body. Later, Detectives Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson) are on the scene. Nobody saw anything but there was an empty can of turpentine in the dumpster.

In the morgue, ME Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix) says the Jane Doe is a woman in her 20s, with blunt force trauma to the head. She had recent hair extensions, knotted not glued. There is a key in her pocket stamped “West Village Hardware”. They think she lived in that neighborhood and maybe that is where she got her hair done.

At Fabio Scalia Salon, the owner (Constantine Maroulis) thinks the extensions belong to someone named Brenna who paid cash. She said she had a date at Gracie Mansion that night. They later find that the mayor had a reception but are told no one gets in without a full name. The detectives pick out a photo from the event of someone with long blonde hair and when the woman and the man accompanying her can’t be identified, the detectives assume they are party crashers. Someone did let her in after she gave them a sob story and they find she was working on a photo shoot around the corner the next day. The woman and the guy didn’t stay long as they had an argument.

Meanwhile, at home, Anita Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson) is at home with Frank (Ernie Hudson) going over bills and he wants her to “lie down” – she wants her old body back, and he wants to just hold her. She says she is going broke over the medical bills. It seems her hair is growing back. Anita cries.

Back at the 2-7, they believe the woman is Brenna Lane who was booked for a photo shoot near Gracie Mansion. Her landlady says she moved out a month ago. They see many calls in her phone records to Lucy Hughes.

At Lucy’s apartment, they find Lucy is in Australia and Brenna may have been staying there. They hear her cat meowing and see what looks like the crime scene with blood on the floor. They find her ID with cash still inside, and a Florida ID. They see airline boarding pass for a flight to Washington DC.


At the TSA office at LaGuardia, they find her on a security video arguing with a man – the same man with her at the party at Gracie Mansion - who prevented her from getting on the plane. The man blew right past security. The detectives worry that it may have been a dry run for a terrorist attack.

In a meeting with airport security forces, the FBI and DHS are there, and the detectives ask for any information on Brenna and her companion. One person noticed there was a vehicle double parked in a delivery van for a florist shop. Bernard recalls a phone call on her records to a florist shop.

At James Wier Floral, they stop the van driver, Dustin Henry (Ben Schnetzer), and bring him in for questioning. They show him the footage of sneaking past security and he said he had to catch his sister Brenna. He was supposed to feed Brenna's cat when she was gone and he needed the key. He said she decided the photo shoot wasn't important and he just dropped her off at her apartment. He admits to being at a party with Brenna the Saturday before at Gracie Mansion. He admits they crashed the party as they heard famous people would be there. They had a fight because he wanted to leave and she didn’t want to. They tell her Brenna was murdered and he is shocked. He says he was at home by himself that night. He seems genuinely upset.

Later, with Van Buren, the detectives review the case and think this was no terrorist plan but wonder why they risked security twice. They see pictures of Brenna from the party with Senator Bryce Peterson and finds records of phone calls she made to the Senator's office.

At the office of Senator Peterson, Bernard and Lupo speak to Andrea (Lily Rabe) the office manager, and show her a photo of Brenna and Dustin. She said the woman approached the Senator and tried to strike up a conversation. She recognizes Brenna’s name, saying that she called several times for the Senator. They tell Andrea that Brenna was killed and all roads lead there, but the woman says there is nothing going on and the Senator is happily married. When she walks off, Lupo thinks Andrea is protesting too much, and Bernard suggests they get something to eat and wait for “old faithful” to come home.

At the home of Senator Bryce Peterson (Tony Roberts) and his wife Camille (Kathy Baker), the detectives ask him questions about a security breach at Gracie Mansion. They show him a photo of Brenna and her brother. He doesn’t know them and didn’t know about the phone calls. She introduced herself and her “date” dragged her away and he thought he was going to smack her. He said he was in Washington last Monday and swears nothing was going on between them.

Back at the 2-7, the detectives tell Van Buren they verified he was in Washington as he said. She tells them she made a few calls; the Senator has been known to tip a glass or two, but has no reputation as a philanderer. Bernard states that Brenna’s brother Dustin has two juvie arrests in Florida and a year ago EMTs transported him to Bellevue after he OD’d on pills. He sounds unstable and wonder if he really is her brother, so they decide to bring him back in.

Later, as Van Buren talks with Dustin in interrogation, he said Brenna was embarrassing herself. He gets very complimentary to Van Buren. As Van Buren continues to question him, she implies he is being overly protective and maybe something was going on with Brenna and Dustin while they were in the foster home, and they were “experimenting”. He is getting uncomfortable and she really begins to press him. He says she has a dirty mouth and won’t talk to her anymore. Outside the interrogation room, Van Buren tells them to check his apartment, since he breached airport security it should be easy to get a warrant.

Later, at his apartment, the detectives see a receipt for Brenna’s hosiery, wine information, and kitty litter and what looks like blood on his shoes. Back at the 2-7 with Dustin in the holding cell, they tell Dustin he is being charge for her murder. He denies touching her, and when Bernard says he wanted to touch her, Dustin gets upset.

In court, Dustin’s attorney Dibbins (John Ventimiglia) who moving to suppress the blood evidence and lingerie receipt found in Dustin’s apartment, but ADA Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) says they had a valid warrant. Dibbins says the warrant was for terrorism, even after terrorism had been ruled out. Dustin stands there, clearly upset. They continue to argue the point and the judge says that no one found any link to terrorism, and the judge, noticing Dustin is very upset, asks if Dustin is OK. Dibbins says incarceration has been hard on Dustin and he is on suicide watch. The judge grants the defense motion.

In EADA Michael Cutter’s (Linus Roach) office, along with Rubirosa and Van Buren, DA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) moans that now they have no case. Van Buren takes the blame, and he gets on her and Rubirosa both. He tells them he hopes them getting Dustin’s records while in foster care, his juvie arrests, and records on his suicide attempt don’t help the defendant as it looks like Dustin is crafting an insanity plea. After McCoy leaves, Cutter is more worried about tying Dustin to the crime scene and notes that there was recently dried paint in the florist van, and Van Buren comments that the accelerant used to burn the body was turpentine.
With Lupo, Bernard, and Rubirosa back at the florist, the florist said Dustin did help him paint display case. He says Dustin has been happy lately. They see a lot of wine stored in the shop and find that Dustin has been stocking wine there until he can open up his own shop. One box has the Senator’s address on it.

Back at Senator Peterson’s home, Camille tells Rubirosa that they entertain at home all the time and order a few hundred cases a year. Rubirosa wonders how Dustin got his hands on several cases of the wine, and Camille says there must be some misunderstanding. As her assistant, Helen, walks Rubirosa out, she tells her the wines are “boutique” wines and she would never order them for a party as they are too expensive and if they were ordered it wasn’t by her.


Back the office, Rubirosa brings Cutter up to speed about the wine, wondering if the wine was a bribe. Rubirosa said in Peterson’s campaign filings that he extended the lease on his campaign headquarters in Brooklyn and wonder why he would pay rent if he is not running for 6 years. They wonder if it was a love nest. When they both later visit the address of the campaign headquarters, it looks like a wine shop is being built there. Later, At the Senator’s office, they question Andrea about the campaign headquarters space and she tells them they have a sublet for the space for a wine store and the funds help keep the office going. She refuses to give them information on who is leasing the space.

At Rikers Island, Cutter and Rubirosa question Dustin about the wine shop and accuse him of blackmailing Peterson over an affair with Brenna. But Dustin says Brenna would never be with that phony, he was too vain. He said Brenna just wanted to have the shop, she gave it to him. He says she held her in his lap and stroked his hair, and he says Brenna is dead but as he goes on talking about how this woman loves him. He begins to beat his head on the table and he must be restrained. He continues to profess his love. As they take Dustin away, Cutter says it is hard to figure this kid out when he is busy playing spin the bottle.

Back in Cutter’s office, he says they put Dustin on Demerol and he is in a hospital ward. They wonder who he was really involved with. They wonder about female staffers, and wonder if some of the Senator’s stimulus money is going to “stimu-lust.” Back at the Senator’s office, they question the office manager about the stimulus funds going to the wine shop, and tell her they have a subpoena for her financial records. They ask her to save them the hassle and tell them who Dustin’s sugar momma was, and when she asks what if she cooperates, Cutter says it depends on what she has to say. Behind a closed door, she tells them it was her, and she was having the affair. He husband was pressuring her to have kids. She met Dustin at one of the parties and it was sex with no strings. She wanted to keep him happy and keep him quiet and his sister found out. She thought she was taking care of his emotional issues and threatened to tell her husband and the Senator. He says they did not kill her and she thinks Dustin went crazy. When she moves to call a lawyer, Cutter tells Rubirosa to let the judge know that he is coming over to get a search warrant for Andres Wheaton’s office.

Later, Lupo and Bernard search the office with Rubirosa. Her schedule shows her at the night of the murder at a dinner, and they find the reservation was at Ruth’s Chris with a party of 6. When pressed for more details, she admits the dinner never happened. Andrea called her and said here was an emergency with the Senator and Andrea needed a rental car. She got her a car, and when she returned it something in the car set off her allergies – she is allergic to cats. Lupo says he turned over the cat to a no-kill shelter so they can get DNA, and they also decide to get the rental car.

Back in Cutter’s conference room, he tells Dibbins and Dustin that they arrested Andrea for murder as the found cat hair in a rental car that is a DNA match to Brenna’s cat. But he says there is a matter of the bloody kitty litter on his shoe, and Dustin agrees that Andrea framed him with it. When Cutter refers to Andrea as the woman Dustin loves, he says he is not in love with her. When Cutter comments that Andrea is the one Dustin is having an affair with, Dustin doesn’t answer. Cutter presses him on this, and Dustin asks to be left alone. Dibbins wants some time to talk to Dustin alone.

Cutter complains about Dustin’s changing stories, and Rubirosa tells him she found a check in Andrea’s records for $4,000 written to 5th Avenue Plastic Surgery. Later, at 5th Avenue Plastic Surgery, Rubirosa goes in under the guise of wanting a procedure, and asks about a check that a friend of hers wrote to them and finds that the procedure for that payment is not scheduled until next month. She also finds out that it is for a vaginal rejuvenation, leaving Rubirosa speechless and her mouth agape.

In McCoy’s office, Rubirosa tells McCoy, Cutter, and Van Buren them that vaginoplasty is usually done on a woman who has had more than one vaginal delivery or is post menopausal. There was also a disbursement for bio-identical hormones from Eternal Eve Wellness Center in California which points to an older woman who wants to make herself more sexually attractive. Cutter comments that there is one older woman who has access to the Senator’s money and wine – the Senator’s wife Camille. Van Buren says it explains Dustin’s behavior – he seemed to flirt with her. McCoy tells them it is time to prep the witnesses for trial.

In the conference room, Dustin is there with Cutter as Rubirosa brings in the Senator and his wife Camille. Cutter says they need to get their facts straight. Dustin says he knows Mrs. Peterson from the florists. He begins to recount his affair with Andrea. He said he started it a year ago and Brenna said it was bad for her. Cutter presses him about the relationship and Dustin seems reluctant to talk about it. Cutter presses him for details on the sex, and Dustin begins to get more upset. Rubirosa asks why he made a payment for a vaginoplasty out of his wine account, and the Senator asks what this has to do with him and his wife. Cutter says they are getting to that. Dustin asks about a vaginoplasty, and they tell him what it means, and also comments about the hormones, and he looks at Camille and asks her why. She says she thought she would lose him, but he said he likes her the way she is. The Senator gets upset about what Dustin is saying and calls him a pervert. Camille asks if he is a pervert because Dustin finds her beautiful, and the Senator asks if she was having an affair with him. She says he paid attention to her and he didn’t treat her like a hostess and he cherished her. When he says she paid for his affections with a wine store and she could have just gotten a gigolo, she slaps him and digs at him about his Viagra and hair transplants and his “old man smell.” Cutter yells for her to sit down. The Senator looks shocked, but then he gets up and leaves. Cutter tells Camille again to sit down and presses her on where she was when Brenna was murdered. Camille reminds them they have Andrea for that, but Cutter says that Camille had more at stake. Dustin asks what she did, and asks why she had to kill her. Camille said she was going to come between them, that Dustin had a breakdown and he was damaged. He says it is because of his first time was with a lady in their building when he was 14 she seduced him, and Brenna found out and she freaked out. She told him he had to date girls his own age but he couldn’t stand it so he tried to kill himself. But with Camille he felt something real and it he can't any more. Camille said that Brenna said what she was doing was wrong and she was going to tell Bryce and that she could never see Dustin again. She said there was an exercise weight on the kitchen counter and Brenna turned her back and she hit her on the head but only to stop her. She called Andrea and Andrea said she would clean up the mess and Andres planted the evidence in his apartment. She said she had no choice. She strokes his leg and says she is sorry, but he made her feel beautiful again.

In McCoy’s office, Cuter tells him that Camille will plead guilty to man 1 for 12 years, and Andrea took 5 years as an accessory. Rubirosa says that the Senator is not resigning and he is standing by his wife. McCoy calls it too little, too late, as we fade to black.




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18 comments:

John K. said...

Great recap, and right as Dustin was headdesking into suicide, I also thought of the wife. Great minds, eh?

I need a mini-transcript request. I need the part where Andrea was speaking to Cutter, and how "you want to put another Democratic seat in jeopardy?" I believe it was their second scene, together.

Take your time, and, thanks, as always.

Shelly said...

Good, not great, episode. As All Things said, very cut and dried, simple, and there's nothing wrong with that. I too, figured the wife would be involved, but mainly because it was Kathy Baker, and I doubted they'd have her on there just for a couple of minutes of screen time.

I too wondered how the guy got that knife into Rikers. They don't have security?? If not, why hasn't anyone attacked someone before?

And an off-the-wall question/thought. How come the ME's office that Rodgers uses is different in the Mothership and LOCI? You would think she'd have one office?

Anyway, thanks for the recap All Things...

tripp3235 said...

I wondered how they got so heavy on the incest. He makes one rather minor remark to Anita's sweater, and instantly he MUST be sleeping with his sister. What?

I felt the end dragged on too as well. I'd rather watch our stars converse than listen to two strangers talk about their love life.

However, nice moment with Anita and her boyfriend as well as enjoyed Lupo caring about the cat.

Heather said...

All Things...,

This was the only place that I was able to find out who the actor was that played Dustin: Ben Schnetzer. Thanks so much!

Also, regarding a comment above about a knife being at Rikers, was that pertaining to "Crashers?" Did I miss something, because I don't remember a guy with a knife at Rikers?

Thank you again.

Shelly said...

Oops, my bad. I watched last week's SVU after this and I got the two eps confused. Sorry about that. I should learn to keep my episodes straight....

Heather said...

Shelly-Haha. No worries. It's a lot of content to keep straight!

Scarlet said...

Excellent recap. Too odd of a plot for me.

Just a small thing in your recap. It says, "Cutter complains to Cutter about Dustin’s changing stories, and Rubirosa tells him she found a check in Andrea’s records for $4,000 written to 5th Avenue Plastic Surgery."

I'm guessing that Cutter didn't complain to himself. :)

Jachelle said...

I thought this was a pretty good episode. It really kept my interest in the beginning trying to figure out what exactly was going on with the Senator, Brenna and Dustin. Also, I was thinking the same thing as ATL&O about Anita Van Buren. I hope they don't have her die at the end of the season. I, too want her well and happy.

Bill said...

I am curious that neither IMDB nor NBC website for the episode credit Lily Rabe at all.

Bill said...

Thanks for id'ing the actress who played Andrea. I am curious that neither NBC nor IMDB give credit to Lily Rabe.

All Things Law and Order said...

Thanks Scarlet, I fixed it! Sometimes I re-read these recaps so many times that I actually miss stupid, obvious mistakes like that!

All Things Law and Order said...

John is this what you are looking for?


Andrea: We help our constituents all the time; I have no idea who intervened on behalf of this business.

Cutter: Well, that’s we got a subpoena for your financial records.

Andrea: It’s a great idea shining a light up the ass of a US Senator. You really wanna put another democratic seat in jeopardy?

John K. said...

Yep, that's it. Thank you ever so.

Anonymous said...

Who was the actor who played the owner of the floral shop? he looks so familiar?

Anonymous said...

The record should reflect that this episode was truly "ripped from the headlines," with its story line (minus the murder) taken almost line for line from the "Mrs. Robinson" sex-and-politics scandal that rocked the nation of Northern Ireland earlier this year.

Iris Robinson, 61, a prominent conservative politician and wife of the nation's First Minister (the equivalent of prime minister), admitted to having an affair with a 19-year-old man when she was 59, and channeling funds to him to open a cafe.

It was widely covered in the UK press, i.e.: www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1241802/MP-Iris-Robinson-teen-toyboy-The-affair-threatens-destroy-powerful-couples-politics.html

Anonymous said...

Another excellent link that explains the story in greater detail:

www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/jan/08/iris-robinson-kirk-mccambley-belfast

janethyland said...

I hope they managed this episode with sympathy, not hostility.
Iris robinson is now in hospital in London receiving psychiatric treatment, and Robinson just lost his seat in the recent general Election. No one wins here. It was tragic.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, Jane, and the Dustin character at least comes across as tragic/sympathetic, through back story - irreparably damaged after being seduced at age 14 by a predatory older woman. The ending was pretty sad, I thought, all the characters saw ruin.