Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Law & Order SVU “Bullseye” Recap & Review

All photos from NBCU

The second hour of the premiere of season 12 for Law & Order SVU - "Bulleye" - was another exciting hour, and it carried through one guest star from the first hour – Henry Ian Cusick. He continued his character Erik Weber, who is part of a citizen group organizing to fight sexual predators, and also a guy who seems sweet on Olivia Benson. I use the word "seems" because by the end of the episode, we find out how he really feels about her. Erik Weber’s real persona comes out, and he’s not the sweet guy that he appears on the outside. Instead, he’s a sexual predator, using other predators in the neighborhood as a distracting cover, and goes so far as to frame one of them for rape. It tragically leads to the man’s suicide. It only took to nearly the end of the second hour before the word “bitch” is used to describe Olivia, and it comes out of Erik’s mouth shortly before he takes a swing at her. But, this isn’t Olivia’s first trip around the block, and when Erik swings, she punches right back and knocks him out with one hit. Very satisfying!

While I suspected from the onset that Erik Weber would turn out to be the same thing that he outwardly professes to hate, it was still very compelling to watch the story unfold and also see the look on Olivia’s face when she realized who the real rapist was.

We also get a few diversionary nut jobs to make things interesting, like the nerdy loser who is a video game addict and his wife with Capgras disorder, which makes her believe her daughter has been replaced by a duplicate (like the film “Invasion of the Body Snatchers" but without the pods). Of course, since they are identified early on, it’s clear that they had nothing to do with the rape (although they are not without "issues"). And since the main suspect, Edwin Adelson, was dead with plenty of time left in the show, the handwriting was on the wall that Erik would be exposed. The surprise comes when Stabler brings in his “dead” sister who is very much alive, and Erik is trapped. It’s been a while since I have been surprised by an SVU twist. Great episode!

Here is the recap:
Detectives Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) are called to the hospital to investigate the rape of a 10-year-old girl who is so traumatized that she will not speak to anyone. She freaks when she sees the nurse enter the room with a camera in order to photograph the girl’s injuries. The girl finally speaks and says the man took pictures of her.

Back at the SVU precinct, the detectives bring Captain Don Cragen (Dann Florek) up to speed. No one has reported a missing child. They check a census data base and get a listing of possible households with children in her age near where she was found. Benson and Stabler, along with Munch and Fin, canvas the area households. Benson and Stabler find a pizza place who has delivered to her home. They head there – the apartment of Jeff (Daniel Stewart Sherman) and Amber Samonsky (Melissa Rain Anderson) – and they hear a child calling for help, so they break down the door. They see a nerdy slobby couple playing a video game and they are oblivious to the detectives, who stop the game and bring them down to the precinct.

In interrogation, the couples are questioned separately. Jeff says Rose is not his child, she is Amber’s. Benson accuses him of rape, and he denies it and upset that Rose escaped. Amber says Rose looks like her daughter but is an imposter who even calls her mommy. Amber denies Rose is hers. Doctor Huang (BD Wong) is called in to consult, and says Amber is suffering from Capgras disorder, where they think their loved ones have been replaced by duplicates (like the film “Invasion of the Body Snatchers). It is from a brain injury, likely after Rose was hit by a bus. Huang thinks Jeff is just a jerk. They think if Amber hears Rose's voice that Amber will recognize her. They have Rose speak through the intercom and she asks her mother to tell them what Jeff did to her. Amber says that Jeff says she was fine and some other girl came to stay. Rose (Ruby Jerins) runs in and Amber sees her and says she is not Rose and pushes her away, saying she was tricked and says she is not her daughter.

Later, Benson tells Rose that her mother is sick and her step father won’t hurt her anymore. But Rose says that wasn’t him who did that, it was the other man, after she ran from the apartment. She says he had something over his face but his voice was mean. It was at the Laffy Time Kids Club.

Later, Munch tells them there is a “perv” on the Laffy Time payroll, where Stabler had been yesterday questioning the manager. Munch also found something on the readers section for Laffy Time telling people not to go there as they have a guy there who touches kids. Benson and Stabler head back there, and the manager (Iris Little Thomas) says they have no men on the payroll. The see a man there with the kids and it is her son (Adrian Martinez). He seems to be simple minded. He admits he is a registered sex offender. He has Noonan’s syndrome and he peed in the bushes, someone saw him, and that is how he got the child molester charge. She says she thinks the same people who are making comments on her web site are putting up fliers of her son saying he is a molester, and the fliers are from COAP – “Citizens Organized Against Predators.” Benson adds that they know one of these concerned citizens.

They go to the studio of Erik Weber (Henry Ian Cusick), who is teaching some kids self defense. They show him the flier and he sees nothing wrong with it. They tell him some people may be on the registry by mistake. Benson says if they he wants to help them - legally - to show Rose’s photo around and call them if anyone saw her with a man on Tuesday night. He tells Benson he is still available for coffee as she and Stabler walk off, and Stabler quips that he thought he’d never ask.

Meanwhile, Munch and Fin are at Laffy Time with a crime scene crew. A kid barfs at Munch’s feet.

Elsewhere, Benson and Stabler get ambushed by the press about the case, and the reporter has Rose’s photo. Benson tears the photo away from the reporter, to protect the victim’s privacy, and the reporter claims they just violated the freedom of the press.

Inside SVU, Benson says she is going to kill Erik. Cragen tells them another girl has been raped.

Later, Stabler talks to Mandy’s mother, June, while Benson speaks with Mandy, the girl who was raped. Mandy says the man had on a mask, it was dark in there and he took her picture. She tried to make him stop. Stabler scans the crowd and sees Erik Weber there and pulls him aside and chews him out about the photo of Rose. Erik says he gave it to COAP members, and Stabler says one of them gave it to a reporter, and calls Erik and amateur. Erik shows Stabler a list of suspects from his “perv pointer” phone app and Stabler grabs Erik’s phone, telling him not to shove things in his face, and he tosses the phone away. Benson speaks with Erik after Stabler walks off and she tells him to let them do their jobs. Benson says his personal connection to the case is blurring his judgment but he says he is seeing clearly. She tells him to trust her and they will get the guy the right way.

Back at SVU, Cragen tells Fin to start corralling all the neighborhood creeps. Later, the SVU precinct is full of people and their lawyers who are waiting to see their clients. The detectives are questioning all of the local perverts. The effort nets them nothing as they clear all of them. Cragen tells them all to go home. Stabler and Benson start thinking that Benson should take up Erik’s suggestion to meet up with Benson as he said he has some “secret” information. Benson worries what it may look like later, but Stabler says it will just look like she’s having coffee with a guy who thinks she is cute.

Benson meets with Erik at his place, over wine. He is a graphic artist, which is how he hooked up with COAP. They look at his painting of his sister Grace, who Erik says had been raped when she was young. He went to a “dark place” after that time bit later realized he could make a difference. He says he keeps up with the offenders using his security system he called “Drive Annihilator” and he did it over the internet, never going into their apartments. The software was purposely not 100% secure, it installed a Trojan which allows Erik to view everything they have downloaded and traded. Benson says she can’t see it because it was collected illegally. He cites a California case where information obtained from a hacker was used against a judge in a case. He searches the database for her and Benson looks and sees Rose’s picture. He says the computer was on the upper east side, and they also see the girl form yesterday.

The detectives arrive at the home of Edwin Adelson (Stephen Tobolowsky) , just as he is kissing his pregnant wife Louise goodbye, and the detectives arrest him. CSU enters the home to get all the computers.

In the SVU interrogation room, Benson and Stabler question Adelson and bring up his past sex crimes. He says he doesn’t know those girls and says he didn’t take the pictures. He denies everything and says Louise knows nothing about his past. He asks for his lawyer.

Afterwards, Benson and Stabler talk about how happy seeing Adelson cry makes them happy, and are stopped by Brenda Fairchild (Janet Carroll), the Adelson attorney. She tells them they are making a mistake. She says he is a church deacon and pillar of the community. But their discussion is interrupted by sounds of Adelson getting beaten in the holding cell, by a police officer. The detectives pull the officer off of Adelson and he is on the floor, pleading for help.

In Cragen’s office, they question Officer McCutcheon, who lied in order to get into the cell. His daughter was in the same class one of the victims. Cragen tells him his career is over. He says he should have never signed up for “Creep Tweets” a group that watches predators in the area.

At Adelson’s arraignment, Fairchild tells the Judge (Anita Gillette) that Creep Tweets sparked vigilante violence against Adelson. The prosecutor, Miss West (Francie Swift) assure that it won’t happen again. The judge asks Cragen to step up and she questions him about how this could happen. Cragen asks that Adelson not be released on bail, and that the community needs to be protected from him. Adelson wants to be protected from the police, and the judge seems to agree, granting Adelson $50,000 bail. Adelson tells Fairchild that his wife can’t know about this.

Meanwhile, COAP, along with Erik Weber, are outside the courthouse talking about Adelson and reporters are also present. Stabler tells them that Adelson was assaulted after COAP’s “Creep Tweet” riled up the mob. Benson urges Weber to go home and let them keep their eyes on Adelson. The reporters see Adelson trying to slip away and they chase him down. He sees his wife and she gets out of the car. He gets in the driver’s seat and speeds off, leaving her there, yelling to him. He dives directly into a parked truck, and as Benson and Stabler race to follow the car, it explodes, throwing them to the ground. The car is engulfed in flames, and everyone looks on, horrified.

Back at SVU while Benson and Stabler watch the news footage, Mandy, one of the victims, asks if it is true that the man is dead. Benson says yes, that he felt guilty about what he did so he took his own life. She takes Mandy and her mother June into the interview room, as Erik races in and calls out to Stabler. Stabler tries to blow him off but Erik has all the evidence from his hard drive. He wanted to give it to the real cops. Meanwhile, Benson talks to Mandy and June about counseling, and suggests she learn karate, and she calls in Erik. He introduces himself and as he is talking, the look on Mandy’s face changes and Benson picks up on it.After Erik leaves, Benson asks Mandy if she is OK, and Mandy asks to go home. After Mandy gets up, Benson sees that Mandy has urinated all over the chair. She tells Stabler that Mandy just told them who really raped her.

Later, Benson stops by Erik’s apartment; he gets standoffish and she says he’s not interested in seeing her. He says he just got all wound up with all the neighborhood watch business and it brought up painful memories. She says that she is not his type, she is a little old. She says everything he said since she met him is a lie, especially about hating pedophiles and rooting out pedophiles, and Erik yells for her not to call him that. She says she didn’t and it’s weird that he thought she did. She tells him to tell the truth just once, saying that he just wanted to find out what the cops knew and used his software information to make sure they were looking at the other guy. She says he moved into the neighborhood as the perfect cover for a rapist. He wants her out of there, and she says he is the karate expert so she can make her. He says he is going to call the police. She accuses him of setting up Adelson for a crime Erik committed, and hacked the computer and planted the photos in to make sure Adelson looked guilty. She says she drove Adelson to kill himself just like he drove his sister to, but he says she hung herself in 1982. But a female voice asks, “Then how can I be standing right here?” and woman walks in, with Stabler behind her. Erik looks stunned to see her - it is his sister. Stabler says she was right there in the Delaware phone book. Benson adds that Erik needed her "dead" for his sob story so no one would "peek under the mask." Grace accuses Erik of raping her when she was 9 and tried to convince her it was a mistake and said it would never happen again, but he kept on raping. She asks how many other girls and he breaks down, saying he is sick and they have no idea how it is like. He says he tries so hard not to look at little girls and he fights against it and every time it wins. When Benson tells him enough of his sob story, he says, “Don’t you judge me, you bitch.” He adds that Benson makes him sick and every time he stands beat her he has to hold his breath. When Benson sarcastically retorts, “Well, lookee here, he CAN tell the truth” Erik takes a swing at her and she punches right back and knocks him to the floor. Stabler races over and holds his gun toward Erik, but Grace grabs a sharp object and seems to first lunge at Erik but then stops, and then proceeds to slice up and destroy the painting that Eric made of her. She sobs and collapses to the floor, while Erik also lay, unconscious. Benson and Stabler look on as we fade to black.

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nygma619 said...

Unlike the last episode, THIS one had the guest star being the perp. But despite that I enjoyed the ride. And it was a good follow up to the last one. The writing did a good job making it seem like Eric Weber was innocent, and I agree that the twist was a good one.
The explosion didn't come across as cheesy as I thought it would by the screen caps.

Two great episodes in a row, munch and fin utilized, along with a nice scene with Cragen in the courtroom. My only criticism of the episode is that Stabler came across as a bit of a jerk when he threw Erik's device on the ground, but even that could be over looked considering how good the episode was. Maybe this is a sign that SVU is returning to form. All we need now is for Melissa Sagemiller not to wander anywhere, and some more of the court room element and the show might make a return to form.

Joshua Morton said...


I am just speechless right now. I just pray the rest of the season is as good as those episodes!

SVU deserves a 10/10 for those two episodes!

Anonymous said...

Wow, maybe not staying up for these was a bad move on my part.

Joe S. Walker said...

Two good episodes, a promising start to the new season. I actually thought maybe they were going to do a storyline with Erik and COAP running through the season, and Olivia getting close to him and not finding out that he was the bad guy*, and was a bit disappointed that they wrapped him up so soon.

(*Which made the scene where she introduces him to Mandy EXTREMELY creepy for a moment...)

Jojo said...

I watched the episode without a clock around so I actually thought the episode was pretty over after the explosion. The twist at the end was quite surprising for me! Pity that it means Henry Ian Cusick won't likely be back.

I thought it odd that after Olivia's awesome right hook, she and Stabler both grabbed their guns out and stood at a distance. Isn't that where you usually get on the ground and subdue the suspect, seeing as though he had no weapons on him and he had just been knocked out?

Really good episode, I hope these two opening episodes are setting the tone for a great season.

Anonymous said...

While L&O SVU may be an entertaining show, it also relays information to the public regarding health conditions and many other subjects. On last night's episode the suspect (who was said to be somewhat mentally challenged as well as peeing in the bushes) was said to have a condition called Noonan's Syndrome. This portrayal was way off base and it was very obvious that the writer's of this episode did not do their homework! First of all, the person playing the part was large whereas people with NS(for short) are usually short and petite in stature. Secondly, for the most part, NS is compililation of health issues that include the heart, bleeding, feeding and stature NOT urinary or Competence issues. As a parent of someone who has NS, I am very saddened that this syndrome which does not have the recognition that it should (1 in 1000 to 2500 births are affected)was portrayed nationally in such a misinformed manor. Millions of people now will associate this syndrome with how this actor played the part.

Anonymous said...

Sure this episode was pretty good. However I couldve went without the reference to Noonan Syndrome. They should've taken the 5 seconds to google it, b4 making such an inaccurate depiction.

Anonymous said...

to the producers of this show: please educate yourself before using noonan syndrome as your topic, i found this to be offensive, and obviously uneducated. there is not enough attention given to noonan syndrome and now the attention is inaccurate. from the mom of a son with noonan syndrome.

nygma619 said...

to the first "anonymous" posting on NS your right and wrong.

While being short is usually a feature associated in Noonan Syndrome, it's not associated with EVERYONE that has it.
I work with someone at a nursing home who has NS and he is just as tall as I am (I'm six foot).

Also some who have researched it, also say that all symptoms of NS have not been made note of. But him wetting himself might have had something to do with mental retardation that appears in some of the people who have it.

I don't know, maybe I'll talk to my NS colleague about it on Monday.

Anonymous said...

While yes not everyone with Noonan's is short statured (I have Noonan's and am 6'4") being that big is bery unusual, same with have mental retardation. That is very rare with Noonan's. Mostly it is heart defects and gastrointestinal issues. I really wish they could just made him have a mental problem and not associate a rare genetic disorder that the 'typical' signs are not shown.

Ol Cranky said...

Noonan syndrome is a genetic disorder (autosomal dominant) and isn't caused by a traumatic brain injury so they really screwed the pooch with the mother's reason to only recognize her daughter's voice but think she was an impostor as a result of being hit by the truck. It sounds like they were trying to combine an inability to recognize faces, while still recognizing voices (prosophenosia) that can occur after a head injury or, more likely, Capras delusion which is more commonly associated with schizophrenia than brain injury

That said, it was good to see two good SVU eps in a row. I'd stopped watching last year when it went from routinely bad to worse with the addition of sharon stone.

Jojo said...

Ol Cranky - Noonan syndrome was not given as the reason the mother thought her daughter was an imposter, that was in fact Capgras delusion. It is indeed more common among schizophrenics, but it can occur with brain injury.

Anonymous said...

Nygma619...don't start correcting people about NS when your only point of reference is a co-worker not countless hours of sitting at Dr appt's with your brand new baby talking to geneticists, neurologists, audiologists, physical therapists, cardiologists, gastroenterologists, the list goes on. You know just enough to not know much.

nygma619 said...


Dude, calm down there's no need to start getting on a soap box here. All I told that person is that people that have NS don't all have the same symptoms. Now tell me where I'm wrong about that.

Also I talked to my coworker, and although I never went to those places with him, I told him about the symptoms of the portrayed guy with NS and he says it could happen; but I also told him since it was less than 3 minutes focused on him. He told me not to look too much into it either way.

I think people that have children with NS might be taking it a little too personally just because they didn't portray a "by the numbers person with NS". It's a tv show, people shouldn't take it personally just because they think people's first impressions of people with NS are going to stick just because of what they see on TV.

Anonymous said...

The Noonan Syndrome reference should have been left out as it was highly inaccurate. Yes there can be lower IQ's however those children/adult with lower IQ's usually have more higher medical issues. And sadly yes many many people think of TV giving them a first impression. NS is not understood by many medical professionals to begin with. To give 4 million viewers of an award winning show 4 seconds of recognition it should have been done differently.

Of course a parent or person is going to be offended when we live this everyday through your child and yourself. I'm a mom with Noonan Syndrome with 2 children who have Noonan Syndrome.

The show yes was good, but this 4 seconds just was incorrect.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, people. Your arguing over freaking 3 minutes of a TV show. I feel nowadays that if someone says "crap" on a Cartoon Network show, an explosion of controversy and epic comment-warring erupts. It really is that annoying.

Anonymous said...

I saw this last night (am in Australia) but I feel this.

I think it is important to catch preditors and protect children. I think television and movies should push boundaries.

However, I feel this show went too far. I mean here is Bundaberg Ginger Beer sponsering child rape. I'm sorry but it went beyond the bounds of decency. It just was not handled to me sensitivly but rather as entertainment. What next? Animal sexual abuse?

gloria said...

Just saw this episode. Odd that there was no word about what happens to Rose - was she put into foster care? Silly I know
but not good to leave this just dangling with no resolution.

Unknown said...

On my second watch of all svu. It was a good episode but the writers were playing dumb. If it were anyone else they would have checked to see if he had a sister who killed herself. They even claimed how it was easy to find her. Not lazy writing but I don't like how one moment they're super detectives who have eyes as numerous as flies on a carcess and the next they are oblivious to techniques they routinely use.