Thursday, September 30, 2010

Law & Order: LA Behind the Scenes & Video Production Diary

Here is a behind the scenes look at Law & Order: Los Angeles with Terrence Howard, showrunner Rene Balcer’s video production diary, and the Law & Order: Los Angeles “Echo Park” promo.

Behind the Scenes Terrence Howard

Rene Balcer

“Echo Park” Promo

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Law & Order UK Opening Theme

To get everyone in the U.S. ready for the premiere of Law & Order UK on BBC America this weekend (check your local listings) , here is the opening theme from Series 3. I love this theme - it's big and bold! Law & Order UK stars Jamie Bamber, Bradley Walsh, Ben Daniels, Freema Agyeman, Bill Paterson, and Harriet Walter.

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

Law & Order: Los Angeles Opening Theme

It’s pithy. It’s succinct. It’s the theme from Law & Order: Los Angeles (airing Wednesdays at 10 PM ET on NBC).

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

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

Law & Order: Los Angeles “Hollywood” Recap & Review

All photos from NBCU

Law & Order: Los Angeles (LOLA for short) premiered with the episode “Hollywood” and it’s the same Law & Order…only….different. The formula is the same, the “doink doink: is the same. But let’s get this point out of the way right away: Los Angeles is not New York. Both cities have different cityscapes, different weather, and different light. New Yorkers are often described as being “real” people while Los Angeles is known more for its “fake’ and superficial people obsessed with appearance and cosmetic surgery. I did not expect to tune in to Law & Order: Los Angeles and see the same Law & Order that had been on the air for 20 years, I was going into it thinking there would be change and I should just accept it. The original Law & Order mothership had been ditched and like everything in Los Angeles, some felt the show needed a facelift. (I wasn’t one of those people; I loved the last two seasons of Law & Order). LOLA seems an attempt to breathe new life into a formula that viewers enjoyed over the years but that some thought had become tired and old.

The first obvious difference is the absence of the usual intro with Steve Zirnkilton, AKA “The Voice of Law & Order”. By now everyone expects any episode of any show in the Law & Order brand to open with it, but I have to admit that it has become so routine that I don’t even hear it anymore. I don’t think I will miss it. There isn't an opening theme that plays off the original, and no title cards with the pictures of the key players. The three second tune which plays between the end of the first segment and the first commercial break hardly counts as a theme. Intro music sometimes puts a stamp of personality on a series, and I think it will be missed at first. I understand that most shows are getting away from lengthy intro themes so they can spend the time earning money from commercials. I’m sure I will get over an absence of a Law & Order theme just made for LA. I am just grateful they didn't name the show Law & Order: RHD after the robbery-homicide division.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on critiquing the episode – it was OK and entertaining, despite being predictable. I was more focused on getting a good feel for the cast. My first reaction is that Alfred Molina and Corey Stoll were better than the rest. Molina seemed comfortably authoritative, and Stoll seems to light up the scenes with his personable approach. I laughed a bit when the photographer wanted to photograph Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich) as if to highlight that he’s supposed to be the attractive one. Me? I would have rather photographed Corey as he has a much more expressive face. Skeet Ulrich seems too flat and bland for my tastes, with his monotone delivery of his lines. Again, this is only the first episode so I may feel more comfortable with his style as the show progresses. Regina Hall also seems to be going through the motions with her lines and there is no spark.

Los Angeles is a lot brighter than New York City, and the landscape more colorful. There are other crime shows set in LA ("The Closer" and "Southland" for examples), so I find the brightness and vibrancy of the scenes were nothing new. But the glossiness does seem to take the grittiness away, and the grittiness is what I love about the other Law & Orders filmed in New York (especially in the first few seasons). Again, I will get over it and I view it as a non-issue.

The bottom line is that Law & Order: Los Angeles is what I expected – the same show, the same format, just in a different place. This may help to keep fans of the original watching the new show, but is it enough to bring in new viewers, or viewers in the coveted 18-49 demographic? Only time, and a few more episodes, will tell.

Here is the recap:

Chelsea Sennett (Danielle Panabaker), and her mother Trudy (Shawnee Smith) are riding in their convertible and arrive at a nightclub to many paparazzi. Club owner Nick Manto (Oded Fehr) directs them to a table. Colin Blakely (Travis Van Winkle) is also there, but Colin’s girlfriend Miranda Clark is at home. Chelsea and Colin meet up at the club, but at home, Miranda hears a noise. When she runs to check it out, she is surprised by an intruder and is beaten.

The next day, Detective Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich) arrives on the scene, Detective Tomas "TJ" Jaruszalski (Corey Stoll) is already there, working the scene. TJ tells Rex to tell Casey he is sorry, it sounded like he woke the baby. Rex says the baby is cutting his first tooth and nobody sleeps. The blood on the scene belongs to Miranda Clark who is in the hospital with multiple cuts, bruises, concussion and a possible skull fractures. Her boyfriend Colin Blakely – the new “Shadow” - appears to have an alibi. There are 8 other similar crimes where the victims are high profile Hollywood, there was no forced entry and no prints. Rex asks where “The Shadow” is now and TJ tells him he’s at Kaiser; he insisted on riding in the ambulance. The burglars stole $3,000 in cash and what looks like 8 Rolexes, as evidenced by the 8 empty Rolex boxes. He also had a safe, which he didn’t use. Rex comments “Genius” and TJ quips, “Actor.”

Winters speak with Miranda in the hospital and she tells them about her attack. She tells them Colin was with someone else. TJ speaks with Colin who said he spend the night with a buddy ay his place. When TJ presses Colin for a name, he balks, then says he loves Miranda and admits he was with another woman who is also in the business, and denies cheating on Miranda.

TJ says Colin cheated on Miranda with Chelsea Sennett. They did E at the club and did coke back at her place. Rex says his daughter loves her and that 99% of girls would kill to be the illegal drinking, E-popping, club crawling Chelsea Sennett. TJ responds, “Ain’t America grand.” Rex says, “Not if you have a 12 year old daughter.”

The detectives question Chelsea with her mother present, and Winters takes her mother off to the side while TJ continues to question Chelsea. He tells her that they are tracking a burglary ring that up until now had only targeted empty houses. She looks at a sketch and she tells them to ask her friend Vicki as she had some stuff taken a few months ago.

At the Style One Salon, they speak with Vicki DeMille who tells them about her robbery, which she never reported. A one of a kind t-shirt was stolen, and she shows them a photo. It was worth about $2,000. The night it happened she was out with Chelsea.

Afterwards, TJ says there are probably 20 more Vicki’s out there who don’t know they’ve been ripped off. Rex says burglary is still burglary and Miranda is not Vicki. TJ asks how do you fence a $2,000 one of a kind t-shirt? Rex says first you have to find somebody willing to wear it. TJ thinks you’d wear it where it would be noticed and think the t-short needs its own Facebook page.

Later, Rex and TJ speak with a girl at a nightclub who was wearing the t-shirt who said it was from a 3 year old collection. She bought it from an Asian girl, Kai, who was at that place at Sunset Plaza and she had shopping bags full of clothes and she really wanted it.

They take her down to the division. TJ sees photos of Chelsea and Colin on the web. Winters ran some IDs and the girl in the stole t-shrt picked out Kai Ng. They wonder if Kai was also at the club at the same time as Chelsea and Colin so they decide to talk to the photographer who took the photo.

At X-Ray Photo, the photographer shows them the video he took and Kai is in it with another blond girl. He can’t ID the person in the sketch. Winters asks if they can give him a list of the other burglary victims to see if he can find them in his footage. When TJ returns later with some food, he shows them the videos her found. One video shows Vicki, Chelsea, and Kai. They also find Chelsea Sennett on the footage for February 10th, March 5th. It seems all 4 times Chelsea was with the burglary victim the night they were robbed. It’s a pattern.

Elsewhere, Sam is showing the stolen Rolexes to Manto and Manto lowballs an offer since the media is all over the case. Later, in a car, Kai (Jessica Lu), Tanya (Lauren Sweetser) and Sam (Wyatt Russell ) are in car talking over their situation and Kai wants to do one more job. The burglary team enters a house and Sam heads upstairs and sees a necklace lying on a table. He hears the floor creak and turns around. Outside, several two gunshots can be heard, and the two girls race from the house.

At the house, the detectives ask Chelsea’s mother if she’s ever seen the dead guy before; she hasn’t. She later recounts what happened that night which caused her to shoot him. She says she wasn’t supposed to be home that night. Chelsea, meanwhile, is speaking behind the gate of their house to the throngs of press about her mother’s bravery and TJ watches.

Later, back at RHD, DDA Evelyn Price (Regina Hall) meets the detectives and asks if they have a minute. She says Morales wants a copy of their report on the Sennett house shooting, and with all the press he does not want to let it hang. The detectives tell her that the rest of the crew is still out there and Chelsea Sennett is in too many right places for it to be a coincidence, that she may be part of the burglary crew. Price is shocked, commenting that Chelsea’s mom just shot one of burglars. TJ tells her mom wasn’t supposed to be home. Rex adds Chelsea had a necklace on loan for a magazine shoot and thinks she set up the crew up to steal it but mom got a migraine and got in the way. Rex says she is a neurotic star who got fired off her last two jobs and she pours through money like it is water. TJ says she is also single handedly supporting two agents, 3 publicists, and her mother. Price says she will tell Morales to stall the press while they take a hard look at Chelsea but be quick about it. Rex says they should talk to Chelsea’s ex, the one she threw her drink at, TJ commenting he’s the kid with the reality show.
Later, KK (John Patrick Amedori) is filming his reality show when the detectives arrive and show him the photos of the suspects and he says he took and acting class with the guy. He says Chelsea is the best.

At Jay Bickson Acting Studio, they speak with Bickson (Jim Piddock) who identifies the guy as Sam Masterson. They also find the photographer for Sam’s head shot was Maria Olson. TJ is amazed because Olson only shoots famous people. Winters wonders how a jobless kid paid for world class photography.

They speak with Maria Olson (Mira Furlan) who says Sam paid cash. She met the girl – Tanya Green – who was doing his makeup which was a disaster, Tanya’s friend was Asian and she identifies Kai form the photo. Olson asks to take Winter’s picture and he refuses. She tells them did the shoot for Sam at the SLS Hotel.

At the hotel, they find there is no information under the name of Sam Loomis, Sam Miller, or Sam Masterson. Chelsea has been banned for the hotel for two years as well as her mom for an “encounter” in an elevator. They later see the tapes, and Chelsea’s mother Trudy is in the elevator with Sam.

Later, at a press conference, DDA Morales (Alfred Molina) steps up to the podium for a press conference. He makes his statement that death is tragic in any form and the LA County District Attorney’s office, in conjunction with the LAPD, will conduct a full and comprehensive investigation into the shooting at the Sennett home and until that is complete the case will remain open. He is not considering any charges until the investigation is complete.

When Morales returns to his office, Rex and TJ are waiting to tell him that Trudy Sennett was sleeping with Sam Loomis and that Trudy lied about not knowing Sam, maybe to protect Chelsea. Morales thinks maybe she was distraught or she couldn’t see him in the half light. Or, maybe she didn’t look when they showed her the body. He wants to prosecute somebody for those burglaries, and tells them don’t look at him like he just stole their lunch money. Rex tells him that Sam’s father is coming in from Houston and they will see what they can get. Morales tell them to bring him some good news.

A City Center Motel, the detectives speak with Sam’s father Frank Loomis (Jim Beaver). He tells them that Sam called home every week and sent home money from a commercial her did. TJ tells Loomis he was never in a commercial. The only address he ever had was POP box in Hollywood and he also stayed with a friend Tanya Green, it was her grandmother’s place. Later, the detectives enter RHD with Tanya and Kai, they found them at grandma’s pool.

TJ questions Kai and Winters questions Tanya while Morales and Price watch. Tanya tells them that Nick Manto fences the stuff and it was Sam’s idea to rob Chelsea’s place. Morales tells Price to move up the food chain and get warrants for Manto’s home, car and the club.

Later, with Manto in for questioning, Morales shoves the bag of watches over to Manto that were taken from Colin Blakely’s house that were found in his desk. Morales reminds Manto’s lawyer, Mr. Corker (Bruce Katzman) that those watches make Manto an accomplice in the attempted murder of Miranda Clark which, along with the 9 burglaries, means Manto is facing 25+. Corker says that Manto can give Morales the real leader of the burglary crew, but he wants transactional immunity. Morales says, “No chance.” Manto asks Corker if he can give him a hypothetical, and Corker allows it, with no admissions. Morales says, “Wow me.” Manto tell him about a woman with money problems and a boy on the side with a plan to steal jewelry that she has on loan and refers him to others that are better targets. He would cut her in for half and use her daughter to keep the marks out of the home. Morales is surprised that Manto is selling him Trudy Sennett as the leader of the burglary ring. Corker reminds him they are still hypothetical. But Manto says Trudy played on Sam’s ego and when he realized she was using him, he threatened to tell Chelsea. Morales wants corroboration and Manto tells him to cheek the TMZ tip line. Later, the police are arresting Trudy, who says it is all a mistake.

Trudy is being questioned by Morales and Price, and they play her a recording of Sam Loomis implication Trudy on a tip line. Her lawyer (Michael O’Neill) says it all rests on the work of Nick Manto, and Trudy says Nick is her husband. He attorney says they re asserting spousal privilege.

Later, Prince and Morales speak again with Manto and he said they are separated and that Trudy was supposed to take care of it. Later, with Manto’s lawyer, they argue marital privilege with a judge. The judge says privilege can’t be used to hide a conspiracy and she agrees with Morales.

Later, Price and Morales question Chelsea and Chelsea says she will lie for her mother. Morales seems to cave in too easily and leaves the room, Price chasing after him. He tells Price he does not want to bully Chelsea into getting information as the jury will hate him. He says she won’t testify

At the Supreme Court Building, Chelsea and her mother arrive to paparazzi. Later, on the stand, Rex Winters says when they interviewed the defendants she claimed not to recognize the victim and he found that 9 months earlier she and the victim were filmed by a security camera making out in a hotel elevator. Morales brings out the stills from the video recording and hands them to the jury. Under cross examination, he implies that Trudy was in shock and that Trudy didn’t really look at the body.

With Nick Manto on the stand, he tells them Trudy got a cut from the robberies and that Trudy promised Sam a career but just strung him along. Under cross, he admits that he suggested the targets but denies he was the mastermind. He said it was all based on Trudy manipulating Chelsea to keep the marks away from home. He admits he is still attracted to Trudy but denies that he saw Trudy making out with Sam at her club, and the defense attorney makes it sound like Manto hated her. He adds that he lent Trudy $400K and she paid him back in 3 weeks.

Later, back at the DA’s office, Manto tells Morales and Price that Trudy was dipping in to Chelsea’s accounts and needed money to cover it. He doesn’t know where she got the cash to pay him pack, but Price finds there were three deposits from three into Trudy’s personal account totaling exactly $400K. Morales tells her to have Winters and TJ check back to find the sources.

At the home of K.K. Culllen, at 1529 Blue Jay Way, he says the $400K it was a producing fee but they know that is not true. He admits he paid her off because Trudy said she could get Chelsea to date him for 6 months but said Chelsea did not know.

At Superior Court, Trudy is on the stand testifying in her own defense. She denies Sam was part of a theft ring and didn’t realize Sam was the boy she was shot. She said she was concerned for Chelsea. Morales questions her about how she made Chelsea into a star but couldn’t do the same for Sam. She did not want to trade on Chelsea’s name. But Morales brings out how Trudy is taking advantage of Chelsea’s money and only benefits because of Chelsea. She denies exploiting her or getting money to have Chelsea have sex with a boy. Morales calls K.K. as a rebuttal witness and before he can do so, Trudy asks for a moment with her lawyer.

Later, she begs Morales not to do this and that K.K. has nothing to do with Sam. She says she loves her daughter. Morales says he will take second degree murder with 15 to life. When her lawyer says her deal with K.K. stays secret, Morales says he’ll tell the judge.

The judge later accepts her plea and sentences her to 15 to life and she is remanded. Chelsea is crestfallen and hugs her mother. Winters and TJ watch from behind, commenting that someone should tell her the truth, but she wouldn’t believe it. Winters looks back to see Chelsea standing alone, sobbing. When Chelsea exits, the paparazzi are waiting for her. Winters steps in and asks her if she needs someone to take her out the back. They step into an elevator and she looks back and as the cameras flash, the elevator door closes and we fade to black.

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

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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Law & Order SVU “Behave” Recap & Review

All photos from NBCU

This riveting episode of Law & Order SVU brings to light the backlog of untested rape kits in many cities across the country. (See an editorial on the subject: “Neal Baer and Mariska Hargitay: Ending the Backlog”.) Rape is traumatic and the process of collecting evidence as part of a rape kit can only add to that trauma. If that evidence sits collecting dust, not only does the victim risk not getting justice and closure, it could cause other cases to go unsolved, or for further attacks to take place. If the victim believes that the attacker will not be caught, all the victim has left is fear that it will happen again.

Jennifer Love Hewitt’s excellent performance conveyed her character’s fear and her subsequent withdrawal from living a normal life. It was hard not to feel her anguish as she goes through the rape kit process again, knowing that previous rape kits have gone nowhere. As the detectives themselves staked out Vicki’s place in order to try to catch her exiting her home, it only added insult to her injury; nothing like being stalked by an attacker AND the police. It was one of those cases where they almost had to treat the victim as they would a suspect; there was no other way they could help her and get her to open up about her attack.

It was very satisfying when Benson turns the tables on the rapist by having detectives constantly hound him and humiliate him in public with their accusations. Lucky for them he was their man, otherwise their taunts about him being a rapist could get them in legal trouble. I laughed when Benson told the suspect, “You’re MY bitch now,” since the word bitch is spoken by Benson, rather than being yelled at her (which is the norm).

The episode highlights that there is still a stigma attached to women who make accusations of rape. In Vicki’s case, her past reports of rape never fell on the ears of anyone who really listened to her story or cared enough to follow through. At first, even Stabler seems to dismiss her accusations, especially when he hears that the attacks have happened more than once. I suspect that most rape cases are not like this one that would require a detective to travel to three different cities to get evidence, but if rape kits were processed in a more timely fashion, it could help to expedite catching serial rapists that are operating locally before they get a chance to expand their range. It could also give the victims the sense that they have value and their case is important - especially if the rape kit helps catch the attacker.

There was only one thing that really bugged me about this episode. Benson was a little sanctimonious when talking to Rex Winters about the fact that New York had no backlog with rape kits. She failed to mention that one of the precincts completely lost the police report from one of the rapes, which caused a disconnect with the evidence they had collected at that time. Since it was that evidence that eventually nailed the rapist (for kidnapping), it seems to me that poor or careless record keeping by New York law enforcement contributed to the delay in solving Vicki’s crime. I know this is not the first time in the Law & Order universe – or the universe of other crime shows – where police files got lost and/or evidence misplaced. Maybe we need a Law & Order: File Room Unit to police that issue?

By the way, a web site has been established to bring attention to the issue of ending the backlog of rape kits, and it is scheduled to be active on September 29, .

Here is the recap:
A woman is found, curled up and bleeding on a bus, and claims she has been raped – again. Detective Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) arrive at the hospital where they are told the victim, Julie (Jennifer Love Hewett), has been raped 4 times by the same man over the last 15 years. The doctor says she reeks like a wino. As Julie tries to leave, the detectives stop her, Benson telling her they need to do a rape kit. But Julie races off and Benson yells to her to not to take a shower in case she changes her mind.

Later, Benson and Stabler, along with Fin (Ice-T) visit the alley were Julie was picked up by the bus. There is blood, the same type as Julie’s. There is also broken glass and a broken bottle of booze, the same color of glass found in Julie’s scalp.

Back at the precinct, Benson says the doctors say that Julie wasn’t drunk. They learn that her name is not really Julie, it is Vicki Alicia Sayers, they got the ID from her thumbprint on the bottle. Her prints were in the system because she applied for a civil servants job. The address on her ID is bogus. Captain Cragen (Dann Florek) suggests they check tax records as she would have had to use her real name.

At the residence of Vicki Sayers, the detectives see her peering at them through the window. She refuses to come out so they decide to wait in their car. They later see someone making a delivery of groceries and office supplies, and the delivery woman knows Vicki’s door code. They decide to question that woman, and despite her reluctance to speak, she says she runs all Vicki's errands so she does not have to leave the house and pays her bills so she can’t be traced. Vicki has a job working in medical accounting and works from home. She only goes there once a month and last went there yesterday. Benson tries again to get Vicki to let her in, telling her she knows what is going on and can help her. No luck. The detectives continue to watch her from their car. Stabler has to go back to prep for court and Benson stays behind.

As Benson waits, she sees a car pull up and Vicki leave and gets into it. Benson flags down a cab and follows. Vicki gets out of her car and Benson follows and sees her meet with a man and they exchange something. When they see Benson they both run off and Benson chases Vicki. Vicki stops and She pulls a gun out of the bag, and Benson pulls her own gun and tells her to drop it. She does, and Benson arrests her for criminal possession of a weapon.

At the SVU precinct, Vicki is in interrogation. Vicki says she had to protect herself, and says Benson is stalking her just like he is. Benson admits she pushed her, but adds the man is escalating and may kill her the next time. Benson notes that Vicki hasn’t changed her clothes or showered, and convinces her to go to the hospital to do a rape kit. Vicki asks her to stay with her, and Benson says for as long as it takes.

At the hospital, while the rape kit is being done, Vicki says the first time he raped her was in 1995 when she was 16 working as a candy striper at a hospital. He raped her in a storeroom closet. She had never seen him before. He told her she’d better be a good girl and behave. He threatened to kill her parents if she told anyone and took her driver’s permit so he would know her name and where she lived. He raped her again in November of 1998, she was a sophomore at Hudson, and he said she had been a very bad girl. He broke into her apartment and tied her up and repeatedly raped her, saying she was his forever. She did call the police and they did a report but she did not want to go to the hospital. On her 20th birthday, she got a jack in the box with a card that said he is watching her and to behave herself. She was too scared to tell the police so she ran, going to Los Angeles. She got a job and met a guy and got engaged but her rapist followed her and raped her in July of 2000, one week before the wedding. He was waiting when she came home from her bridal shower and punched her and broke her nose. He took her engagement ring and California driver’s license. The neighbors heard her crying so they called police. They did a rape kit at the hospital. She cried all the time, and could not eat or sleep. It ruined her relationship with her fiancĂ© Scot but she broke off the engagement and moved. She became a hermit and worked at home. One day she left the house and found her underwear gone and knew he was there. She came back to New York to live with her mother but when she died she moved elsewhere. When she came out of the subway last night he pulled her into the alley and raped her. He told her behave herself or she would die, and she started screaming and he hit her with the bottle.

Back at SVU, Benson brings Cragen up to speed and he says he will have a protective detail assigned and tells her to get the sketch out city wide and also to LA. A detective with the LAPD is getting information on the case out there. Fin tells them that the report of Vicki’s rape in 1998 got lost when the 3-5 moved to their new precinct. Someone form CSU enters and tells them they found fluids, not semen but found something that is like a lubricant called Heavenly Touch, a bottle which was found at the scene, no prints. It came from the Amsterdam Hotel.

Benson and Stabler take the sketch to the hotel and show it to a woman who works there who says it could be Mr. Harris (James Le Gros), who entertains clients there in their lounge. The detectives see Bill Harris there and speak with him and show him the sketch and he agrees to come down to the precinct. They have Harris in a lineup and Vicki identifies him as her attacker. Later, in interrogation, he denies everything. They show him the bottles of moisturizer from the Amsterdam but he continues to deny everything. He said he was at a trade show in Providence for surgical equipment 2 says ago. He has a copy of the hotel in his briefcase.

Fin later tells the detectives and Cragen and it seems that Harris was where he said he was. There is video of him checking in and out and security said he never left the room. Cragen tells them to check back with the Amsterdam and recheck. Vicki later says this is not a mistake, and is upset that they are going to let him go. When she sees him being released, she runs after him and begs Harris to forgive him and not to hurt her. They have to pull her away from him.

The next day, the detectives are still working the case. Benson says her gut says Vicki is right. Harris is a rep for Qualitas Surgical for 22 years, has many community awards, and never been married and has no kids. She wonders if he has a problem with women. Benson gets an email from the desk clerk in Providence, Benson told them to go back over every inch of his hotel room. The desk clerk said that Harris had taken apart the window in his first floor room as it didn’t open all the way. Benson also finds he rented a car just before he checked in and returned it the next morning. She thinks he drove down to rape Vicki. They wonder if he took and alternate route in order to miss the toll cameras. The alternate route matches very closely the mileage on his rental car. The detectives think that Harris thinks he is Teflon, and Cragen tells them to find something that will stick.

Benson goes back to Vicki’s home and tries to convince her to continue to living her life and to take the power away from Harris. Benson promises Harris will never touch her again. Vicki comes out and Benson tells her they are going to give him a taste of his own medicine.

Later, Benson is tailing Harris and asks him if he is behaving himself. Fin and Stabler also follow him and make comments. In one of Harris’s presentation to a group of people, Stabler asks Harris why he raped Vicki, identifying himself as NYPD. Fin is also passing out fliers with Harris’ picture. Vicki also makes an accusation at a cocktail party and calls out Harris as her rapist. Harris steps aside and tells Benson he will sue for harassment, and she says to go ahead, he will have to testify. Benson continues to pressure him, and when he tells her to get out of his face, she says, “You’re MY bitch, now.” Harris says that they are all alike, “every one of you” and they are screwing with the wrong guy. As they walk away, Vicki is concerned about what happened, but Benson said he just slipped.

Back at SVU, Benson said Vicki is not Harris' only victim, saying that his comment about all women being the same means that he probably did not stop at raping one. Stabler shows by matching his travel dates with attacks in the cities he visited, they found 10 rapes with the same MO. Based on the victims, they think he hunts them in his comfort zone – hospitals. He stalks them and rapes them multiple time and has been terrorizing women across the country for 20 years,

Benson confers with ADA Sherry West (Francie Swift) and presents her evidence. There isn’t enough evidence to arrest him for the current rape and the statute of limitation has run out on the 1998 rape. Benson says they have DNA from his other victims, and West thinks she may be able to get those rapes in as prior uncharged crimes, and tells Benson that she thinks Benson has some calls to make.

Benson gets on the phone and finds out Houston has a backlog of 4,000 rape kits. Birmingham has 2,000 untested kits, Phoenix 4,100, other cities confirm they have victims that match his MO. Benson decides to give them a hand in tracking down the rape kits. In Detroit, she sees there is a huge amount of kits, maybe up to 16,000, and only about1,200 have been tested. The precinct where the rapes occurred was boarded up and then it burned down last month. She heads to Chicago and finds one case with evidence missing and another contaminated with mold. She gets a call that LAPD has something for her.

Benson heads to LA and meets with Detective Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich) and he says that the lab is processing the DNA, they had thousands of kits in the freezer. New York has no rape kit backlog. Winters says they found Harris has a storage locked in the area and he’s had it since August 2000. He already has a warrant. At the locker, they break the lock and find a room full of large photos of the victims and a large television. Benson calls it his safe place. They find a book full of victim driver’s IDs with the dates of attack. He also has movies where he is stalking the victims, and Benson sees Vicki on one of them.

Later, Winters gets a call from the lab and tells Benson that the DNA from Vicki’s kit is degraded but the tech is willing to testify he can make enough of a match to Harris. Benson says she is going to collar Harris’s ass and send it to Winters on a silver platter. Winters says it is hers; California has a 10 year statute and the clock ran out on Vicki’s case 3 weeks ago, but Benson can still get him.

At a Supreme Court evidentiary hearing, ADA West shows the videos found. Vicki is on the stand and says it is her in the video and also IDs Harris as the man who raped her in LA and in NY. Defense attorney Trevor Langan (Peter Hermann) gets her to admit she did not see Harris this last time. He also mentions the DNA from California is not an exact match and could she have made a mistake. She is steadfast it is him. Judge Donnelly (Judith Light) says it is a travesty that the evidence sat untested for more than a decade, but, this happens every day all over the country. She says because the DNA is degraded and the chain of custody can’t be preserved, she rules the DNA is insufficient to use as corroboration to identify Harris. Benson is shocked, her mouth agape. Harris has a creepy smile on his face. Donnelly dismisses the case without prejudice and says they can represent if they get better evidence. Vicki is upset with Benson and tells her to stop making promises she can’t keep, and she runs off.

Back at SVU, Stabler tells Benson the FBI is taking over Harris’ case. Benson wonders how many of those cases would have been stopped if the kits had been tested, and it like telling the victims they don’t matter and telling the perps they can get away with it. She looks down at a roll of duct tape in an evidence bag and has a revelation, saying they may have had him all along.

She races to Vicki’s home, and asks Vicki about the 1998 attack and wonders how long he stayed. She says he was there all night and into the next day and that he tied her up with duct tape. He never took it off her and the police collected it as evidence. No one ever called her about it. As Benson tells Vicki her police report had gotten lost, they never knew it was there. We see Fin finding an evidence box and opening it to find the duct tape.

As Harris is meeting with a woman in a restaurant, Benson and Stabler arrest him for kidnapping in the first degree. As they lead him into SVU, they tell him they have the duct tape to prove it, and Vicki is also waiting there, staring him down. As they lock him in the holding cell, Stabler says there is no statute of limitations on kidnapping. Harris pleads to Vicki to tell them they are wrong and that he loves her. As they begin to close the cell door, Vicki races up and grabs the cell door, stopping it. She says, “Now I’ll always know where you are. Be a good boy.” As she slams the door, she says, “Behave yourself” and walks off as we fade to black.

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Alfred Molina Appears on The Today Show for LOLA

Today, Alfred Molina appeared on The Today Show to discuss tonight's NBC premiere of Law & Order: Los Angeles, 10 PM ET (check your local listings). Note: The video has a limited life so catch it while you can!

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Law & Order: Los Angeles “Echo Park” Advance Photos

NBC has released a few photos from the new October 6 episode of Law & Order: Los Angeles titled “Echo Park” which include Cory Stoll as Det. Tomas "TJ" Jaruszalski and Skeet Ulrich as Det. Rex Winters.

Photos by Dean Hendler/NBC

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Law & Order: Los Angeles Premiere Party – More Photos

Here are more photos, released by NBCU, from the Law & Order: Los Angeles premiere party which include cast members Alfred Molina, Terrence Howard, Regina Hall, Rachel Ticotin, Megan Boone, Corey Stoll, and Skeet Ulrich. The photos also include Dick Wolf, Angela Bromstad, President Primetime Entertainment NBC and Universal Media Studios, Jeff Gaspin, Chairman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment, and Marc Graboff, Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios. The event was held at Drai's Hollywood on September 27, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

Photos by Paul Drinkwater/NBC

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

Law & Order: Los Angeles Set Tour (Photos)

Here are several still photographs from last week’s set tour of Law & Order: Los Angeles, which include cast members Regina Hall and Alfred Molina. If you missed the videos of this event, which included a great tour of the set, you can find them here:Law & Order: Los Angeles Behind The Scenes and On Set Interviews.

(Photos used with permission)

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

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