Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Law & Order SVU “Gray” Recap & Review

All photos from NBCU

This episode of Law & Order SVU certainly lived up to the hype. It was a very dramatic episode which easily drew me in. The story line is one that many can relate to: those college years where kids are on their own for the first time, with easy access to drinking, drugs, and sex, and anything can (and does) happen. "Gray" exposes “gray” rapes – when consent to sex is unclear, especially when alcohol is involved. The episode fixates on the issue of alcohol – not only with the rape victim and her rapist, but also with returning “temporary” ADA Sonya Paxton (played perfectly by Christine Lahti). Paxton was forced into alcohol rehab from events in am earlier episode of Law & Order SVU, “Hammered”. I enjoyed Lahti in her previous appearances on SVU and I thought she was fantastic in this one. Paxton works with the detectives despite the fact that they had a flimsy case to start and she thinks they expect her to work miracles. She’s right – the detectives seem quick to arrest their suspected rapist despite no evidence or witnesses, and they even arrest him again when someone assaults him with a pitcher of beer. Paxton also has to endure a few uncalled for comments from Stabler, one of them which prompted me to call Stabler a jerk (and a few other choice words) out loud.

Despite Stabler’s put down, Paxton still helps him by avoiding using his daughter Kathleen to testify on how Kathleen came into possession of the alleged rapist’s personal file from the university. Stabler can sure dish out the low blows, but it seems he can’t take the heat when his own daughter creates a mess that could get her kicked out of college. Personally, I think Stabler should have known that coming into possession of that file would risk raising ethical questions and exposing his daughter's involvement. He should have told Paxton immediately but we know that Stabler has a huge blind spot when it comes to his family.

The episode received a lot of press about its subject matter. Alcohol on college campuses - and related sexual assaults - is a problem, but it is not new. I recall this being an issue on college campuses (and even in high school) in the early 1970s. The big difference these days is there are many more outlets to talk about it – such as the Internet and television – and it gets far more exposure now. As part of the media blitz on the subject, Mariska Hargitay gave some of her own comments on the episode. I was slightly alarmed at what I perceive as a naïve and irresponsible attitude towards pot that came out of an in an interview that TV Squad conducted with Mariska where she commented about the buddy system:

“I think that my message to students is drinking impairs our judgment. That is a fact. You've got to take precautions if you want to do that, you have to find ways to take care of yourself so you don't put yourself in situations where you can't protect yourself.

You never hear anybody say, "Oh I smoked a joint then I killed my wife. I smoked a joint then I couldn't drive a car." You know what I mean? [Alcohol] causes fetal alcohol syndrome, it makes people make dumb choices, it makes people violent. People don't smoke a joint and then beat the sh-- out of their wife, right? They get drunk and then batter their wives. It's something people need to think about. “

I certainly hope she is not advocating smoking pot as a safer alternative to alcohol. It is not. I also hope that she is not saying that smoking a joint will not impair a person in any way, because it can. Alcohol and pot are two different drugs, but both can impair. The message should be that a person should take every precaution to make sure that they are not impaired in any way - by alcohol, pot, or drugs - if they are concerned their condition may affect their safety and the safety of others. (I'm not making an anti-pot rant here. I am 100% in favor of legalizing and regulating marijuana for medical use; as far as full legalization for everyone, I feel we should proceed - with caution.) As far as Mariska’s comment that one never hears anybody say, “I smoked a joint then I couldn't drive a car” – it sounds similar to the warped logic that some drinkers use when they get behind a wheel of a car ("I only had a few drinks, so I'm not drunk and I am OK to drive"). A person who is under the influence (drink or drugs) doesn’t always think they are impaired. Frankly, I am very disappointed in her cavalier attitude about marijuana in respect to this very serious issue that is raised in “Gray.” With drinking and sexual assaults being a problem in campuses, we don’t need anyone to imply that if one smokes grass there won’t be a problem with a impairment.

All in all, "Gray" was a very good episode which is sure to have people talking. Hopefully, it will also help people to start thinking and taking appropriate precautions.

Here is the recap:

At a “take back the night” rally, many women are recounting their rape experiences. Detective Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) arrives and sees his daughter Kathleen (Allison Siko). He discovers he has to speak at the event for Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) who could not attend. Before he starts to speak, Bethany Jennings runs into the crowd and accuses Chuck Mills of raping her. Chuck (Charlie Barnett) is also there and Stabler cuffs him.

Back at the SVU precinct, both Bethany and Chuck have conflicting stories. Munch (Richard Belzer) finds that Bethany has a web site, Mills claims the web site is a lie.

The detectives wonder if Bethany is out for revenge or justice. They also argue whose responsibility it is to prevent these kinds of situations - is the woman at fault if she gets too drunk or the man’s because he can’t get proper consent to sex? Fin (Ice-T) says ADA Hardwicke is in Albany meeting with the Attorney General, and find ADA Sonya Paxton (Christine Lahti) has been assigned to the case. She tells them there is no evidence and no witnesses, and while rehab did wonders it didn’t turn herself into a miracle worker. She calls it a “gray” rape (as in the case is not black or white and consent is not clear) and says to cut Chuck loose.
The detectives are at Hudson University with campus police; it seems they didn’t do much investigation on the initial claim of rape. The problem is that the case is handled by campus police and not “real” police who can actually make the charges. The Hudson dean and his committee had written off the rape claim as bad judgment. When the dean won’t give them access to the detailed file, Stabler wants the names of disciplinary committee members.

A woman who was on the committee now works at a woman’s crisis center and she tells the detectives she can’t speak about details but is unhappy with how things are handled at the university. She started a buddy system to make sure college students don’t do something stupid. She tells Stabler to ask his daughter about it.

Stabler speaks with Kathleen – her friends know she can’t drink so everyone asks to be her buddy. She was Bethany’s buddy and Kathleen became distracted and left Bethany alone when the rape occurred.

The detectives go to the bar in question where the rap happened and Chuck is there. When an altercation with Felecia Zorn occurs – she dumps beer on Chuck - the detectives arrest him.

They bring him into SVU but Paxton tells them to release him.
At home, Stabler and his wife Kathy (Isabel Gilles) talk about when they first met at college. Things turned romantic until their daughter Kathleen comes in to give Stabler Chuck Mills’ disciplinary file. A guy Kathleen likes stole it for her. She feels guilty over what happened to Bethany. She learned in a law class that as long as she didn’t act on behalf of the police, Stabler can use the file.

Back at the precinct, Stabler and Benson go over the file but find one incident where Chuck was the victim because Felicia publicly - on a bed sheet banner - labeled him a murderer. They speak with Felicia and she is being expelled for what she did and she decided to leave when they ordered her to apologize in writing. She accuses Chuck of killing Carla Vincent’s baby. He got Carla pregnant on their first hook up but she had a miscarriage and Chuck seemed to be happy about it.

They speak with Carla (Gwynneth Bensen) and she thinks Chuck is a nice guy and the girls are all lying. She said they had sex right before she miscarried. Chuck gave her something he called “love potion #9” that he mixed up himself. She miscarried the next day. The detectives convince her to help them get Chuck to use it again,

Later, when Chuck enters Carla’s darkened room, it’s Paxton in bed waiting and the detectives are also there and get the love potion from Chuck. Carla is also very upset with what Chuck did. They arrest him for abortion in the 2nd degree.

ME Warner later tells the detectives there is petroleum jelly in what Chuck gave them, plus an drug called misoprostol which is an OTC med for used for ulcers. It can cause contractions and had been selling a lot since the warnings came out. The drug has helped in poorer countries for abortions. Chuck is pre-med so he knows what the drug can do.

Back at SVU, Chuck is there with his attorney Carolyn Maddox (CCH Pounder) and he is willing to confess he used the drug. Sonya wants to go after him for depraved indifference for human life. Chuck claims he used the drug to treat his erectile dysfunction which was brought on by drinking. Maddox says all he is guilty of is poor judgment.
Later, the detectives and Paxton discuss that they need to prove Chuck intended to cause harm to the baby, and they hope maybe Chuck said something to the pharmacist (Lenny Wolpe). Lucky for them, the pharmacist does recall Chuck. He says Chuck was stressed out about getting the drug and said Chuck looked too young for a penis pump - the drug will not work without one.
Carla can’t recall if he used a pump, though. Carla also tells them she was pregnant once before in high school but had an abortion and worries that people will think she just wanted to have another abortion. She says Miss Maddox told her that is what would happen.

Later in Judge Quinn’s (Kate Nelligan) chambers, the judge is displeased with Maddox speaking with Carla and Paxton adds her two cents. Maddox thinks they are just going after Chuck. It comes out that Stabler has the confidential disciplinary files. Paxton later gives Stabler an earful about it and Stabler gets defensive. Stabler says “You know something? I hope you’re not on the sauce right now ‘cause I got a policy against strangling drunks.” Benson and Paxton both look stunned, and Stabler ads, “go have a drink.” He then seems to want to apologize but Paxton stops him and collects herself. Stabler tries to explain why Kathleen got involved but Stabler is not happy when he hears that Paxton will have to subpoena Kathleen because of it.

Stabler later visits Paxton in her office and apologizes for not telling her about the file and insists he did not tell Kathleen to get the file. Stabler is worried she will get kicked out of school but is also worried Kathleen will fall apart and begs Paxton not to do it. Paxton decides to refer to Kathleen as a confidential informant and not use her name and tells Stabler to be there at arraignment.

Chuck Mills is arraigned and he pleads not guilty. Judge Quinn sets a high bail as Paxton requests, but Maddox claims Quinn is biased because of the type of case and the judge calls a recess. Later, Paxton enters Quinn’s office with Maddox already there and Paxton accuses them of having an ex parte discussion. Quinn is recusing herself and Judge Ridiger (Dick Latessa) is replacing her, and Paxton wants another judge because he was on the ethics board that sent her to rehab. He says he will be impartial and wants a probable cause hearing.

Back at SVU, Paxton breaks the bad news to the detectives and wants to lower the charge. But Judge Quinn comes in and says nobody is making any deals and thinks Maddox dug into her past which is how she got all the inside information. She wants to help them win the case and wants to persuade Carla to testify.

Later, Quinn is with Carla and Quinn explains how she was raped 40 years ago and how she was forced fed pills to make it look like she overdosed. The police made her appear to be the guilty party and she never got justice. Paxton and Benson, who are also there, ask Carla not to let Chuck get away with it. She agrees to do it and will be there for the probable cause hearing.
At the hearing, they are all waiting but Carla does not show up. Judge Ridiger chastises Paxton and when she tries to stall he asks her to approach the bench. She accidentally trips on the leg of the table. The judge asks her if she has been drinking and she says no, her case is in order. She begs him to give her time for Carla, not for herself, and the judge gives her to the end of business that day or he will dismiss the case.

Back at the dorm, Benson gets access to Carla’s room from security, and finds her laying on the bathroom floor.

Later, Carla is on the table in the morgue, and ME Warner tells the detectives Carla died from toxic shock from an infection from the incomplete abortion/miscarriage. Her immune system was compromised by the misoprostol because it was applied directly to the cervix. They realize now they have Chuck.

Later, Chuck is drinking at a bar and Benson and Stabler, along with Paxton, enter and the detectives arrest Chuck for manslaughter in the second degree from the effects of Chuck’s “love potion.” As they walk him out in cuffs, we fade to black.

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Anonymous said...


nygma619 said...

Nice to see Stabler on good terms with his family for once; I can't remember the last time that he was. I think this was the harshest Stabler has been to someone all season, which is somewhat of a shock considering how he's acted in the past and last season. Compare him to how he acted last season and that season makes him look like a choir boy this season. I guess Christopher Meloni was telling the truth when he said the writers were going to tone down Stabler's attitude a little.

Christine Lahti, made a welcome return appearance. Whilst I didn't hate her as much as others did last season, her appearance in this episode is her best appearance, and easily trumps all her appearances last season.

I can somewhat sympathize with Stabler in this situation, I think he might of held back how he got the information due to Paxton's presence. It's easy to see her getting riled up over it, especially considering her and Stabler's history.

It was nice to see Kathleen again, and see that she's keeping her life together since season 10. I wonder if Kathleen's statement on the fact that as long she didn't act on behalf of the police a file can be used really holds water.

It's scary to think that there's a chemical of some sort out there that can be used to cause abortions without a woman's consent.

Overall, another fantastic episode to add to Season 12's growing pile; helped greatly with fantastic return appearances from CCH Pounder, Alison Siko, Kate Nelligan, Dick Latessa, and especially from Christine Lahti.

This season has been one of the best seasons this show has had in quite awhile, hopefully SVU can keep it up.

nygma619 said...

All things, have you heard anything on Christine Lahti making more appearances after this? Apparently Hollywood Outbreak did an interview with her in which she says that the writers are Writing a couple more episodes for her.

iHeartU said...

HA! Mariska's advocating pot! lol I can't say i'm against it but I think its friggin hilarious how she came out and said it so bluntly! haha thats funny. I do agree with her though, when your high your relaxed and happy. You never hear of men beating up their wives or raping women while they're high. Also you never hear of cases where someone got into a car crash because they were high.... SO just sayin
Well about the ep. I liked it// the storyline was good and Christine Lahti did great!! I wish Kathy wasn't in it but whatever.... I'd rather have Kathy in it then Calvin.

Anonymous said...

I liked this episode quite a bit. However, I continue to be very frustrated by the SVU writers' insult to our intelligence by not mentioning DA Jack McCoy by name, when there are clear instances where he should be.

Paxton at one point, when referring to her alcohol issue, said "have to prove to the DA..." -- why not say McCoy? Last year Paxton referred to McCoy by name several times -- why not in this particular case when you're clearly referring to your boss and not some committee or something? It would have made more sense to say "I have to prove to McCoy that my alcohol issues are in my past."

Last year, though I wish McCoy made more appearances, I was pleased that he was consistently referred to by the SVU characters, establishing the link between the shows of the franchise.

This year, when such references would even be more welcome given the cancellation of the mothership, all we get is references to "the DA" and "your boss" and "my boss". I understand the mothership is gone, but it's not as if the McCoy name went with it -- he was the Manhattan DA appointed in 2007 and elected in 2009, so therefore he should be the DA now. Not mentioning him -- let alone actually having Waterston appear on the show -- is annoying to me, because the fact I believe once you establish a character that is critical to the storyline of the show (as it would be as he is the DA and ADA's are all over SVU), then you should mention that character by name, even if the actor representing that character doesn't actually appear on the show.

Case in point -- Fred Thompson left the show in 2007 and yet the character name "Arthur Branch" was referenced several times after, including in the show "Reality Bites". Logan and Briscoe were referred many times after they were no longer on, even Greevey was several times.

This is what perplexes me about SVU's refusal to refer to McCoy by name, when there were several instances where one could have, particularly in the instance where the ADA was fired and now with Paxton. If Waterston is for some reason refusing to appear on SVU OR if for some reason they dont want to pay him, fine -- but that doesn't mean the McCoy name should be dropped.

Furthermore, if McCoy has somehow left or resigned, that should be explained -- not continually referred to simply as the "DA", as if it was some mystery man or woman we'll never meet like in CSI or other cop shows where the actual DA never appears.

The omission of his name is awkward and sloppy and taking away from the show, not to mention denying the show some even more compelling scenes and dialogue.

nygma619 said...

Maybe they're not mentioning McCoy by name because they don't want to get fans hopes up just to be disappointed.

All Things Law and Order said...

Chuck Mills was played by Charllie Barnett. It is in the first paragraph of the recap!

Anonymous said...

IHeartU check the CALM website, you will be shocked at how dangerous weed can be. People should not toke and drive:

Weed can be just as bad as drink when it comes to driving. People get pulled over for DUI and be stoned on weed just like they can get DUI for alcohol. Our local paper posts all the DUIs and in about a quater of them, the people are found with weed on them (or the cops smell it on them). Weed can be abused just like drink. I am shocked that Mariska said what she said. I don't have a problem with people smoking grass either, but think about this - would Mariska let her son be driven in a car with someone who had just smoked a joint? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Ironically, during an episode of S1 SVu,it was written that Olivia went to the local bar for drinks after work with the guys of the 16th, got very drunk and came home with Det. Brian Cassidy. The scene showed her waking up in her own bed with Cassidy,awkwardly as they were co-workers,after their hook-up!Several times,Det. Cassidy approaches Benson first to return her watch to her, then to ask her out again. She rebuffs him, telling him it was just them getting drunk, and hooking up-a one off!In the end she tells him their night together was "nothing personal', and will not happen in the future.I'm pretty sure this was the only time they really showed Benson behaving so "irresponsibly- and she wasn't a college student at the time.Anyone can be susceptible to poor judgement if they've had too much to drink.Point in case:Olivia Benson.Would've been nice if either she or Stabler had mentioned that incident(continuity) to tie past events/opinions together. I agreed with someone online that its getting to feel gratuituos that every episode more past victims of sexual assault reveal themselves to be victims. Judge, Quinn played by Kate Nelligan recusing herself because of her own experience with being gang-raped 40 yrs earlier seemed contrived to me. That experience would probably recuse her from being involved in every case imaginable- yet she's appeared several times in these high profile cases the SVU team only investigates.All in all, I liked s12 "Gray"- there is always some good take away from this show.Some are just harder to find than others...

Osiris said...

I've always liked how they never explicitly stated it but if you have sharp eyes, you can tell that Paxton likes every single episode that she has appeared in.

Anonymous said...

We must not confuse with Mariska Hargitay Olivia Benson. They may be similar but not identical. I think there was a misinterpretation. Mariska, of course, will never advocate the use of drugs, including marijuana. Mariska does not smoke or cigarette. I understood what she meant that alcohol is responsible for most crimes, including sexual and other more than drugs. But at no time did she defended the use of drugs. That's how I got it. Excuse my English. I'm Latin and I do not speak or write that language well.

Anonymous said...

orisis, I agree that on some level Sony a may admire Stabler's passion ,esp. where defending his children are concerned. I'm not sure if the writers are trying to convey that there is a strong chemistry between these two volatile characters:hatred often being akin to love!Stabler has had issues from the outset with every single female ADA they've brought in- he seemed to like Mikka Von from the get-go,for whatever the reason. In this season we've seen Olivia lock horns with the new ADA Hardwicke on one occasion. Maybe they're trying to just shake things up in the courtroom, create new alliances.It would be a wonderful coup if TPTB could actually sign the wonderful Christine Lahti for however long SVU lasts. She was earning Emmy's on tv for Chicago Hope long before L &O : SVU was even created...I live in hope....

Anonymous said...

Suprisingly good episode, not nearly as much Stabler/Kathleen/Kathy bullcrap as I was expecting.

As intense as Paxton's and Stabler's exchange was after she found out about the file, I thought it felt a little held back. I was ready for Paxton to absolutely explode and for there to be bedlam.

Stabler's dipshittery was at an all time high in this one, both towards Paxton and that Chuck guy at the start, but most of it was actually funny this time out so I'll let it slide.

I don't know about bringing Lahti on as the permanent ADA either. The five episodes she's been in she's been terrific (and all the episodes have been good-great), but I can easily see the character wearing thin with prolonged exposure.

Bash said...

Mariska wasn't saying that it's okay to smoke pot and she wasn't saying that it didn't harm you in any way. She was just saying that you don't hear in the news of people smoking a joint and then beating the shit out of their wife or getting into a major accident that takes lives. You always hear that with Alcohol. AND because this is a episode that deals with alcohol and rape, she was emphasizing on that.....and not specifically on pot. So don't let that change your view on her.

Anonymous said...

I loved the episode, especially when liv was so fucking blunt!! stabler didn't kiss anyone and I heard that he was supposed to kiss someone twice, what the hell happened to that?

Joe S. Walker said...

I'm afraid I thought this episode was dire - full of sledgehammer moralising (the title was hardly appropriate, since the story was all about GETTING THE BAD GUY), and the case decided less by law than by who could pull out the most emotional blackmail. (If Kathleen could be shielded as a confidential source, why didn't they just do it in the first place?)

One odd point: the credited writer was "George Huang"?

Anonymous said...

My opinion is Mariska's comments were in fact stating that weed is less harmful than alcohol. She makes it sound as if people who smoke grass never get violent. Well, I beg to differ. People can and do "go off" at times if they've had too much pot. Not every person reacts the same way. Her big mistake is she implies that grass does not impair like alcohol and it has been proven in many studies that it can slow a person's reaction and response times. It can make someone so mellow that they may not care if someone is taking advantage of them. People can and do get raped when grass is involved and she was wrong to imply they don't.

Mariska must not read the papers because I see news stories all the time about people getting in trouble while stoned on grass. Usually it is behind the wheel of a car. But just because SHE's never heard about someone kiling or beating someone after smoking a joint does not mean it hasn't happened.

Because she spoke more favorably of weed and less of alcohol, to me she is misleading others to think that it is a safe alternative. She should not have brought weed into the discussion at all, in fact, she should have said that women should take every step possible to avoid being drunk, stoned, or on any drugs that will put them in danger. But instead she makes that ignorant argument. Maybe she is too sheltered and doesn't realize how things are in real life with real people? Oh and by the way, some people kill others and beat their wives who aren't drunk or haven't been drinking. A drink or two doesn't make everyone dangerous and she was wrong to demonize the alcohol.

All Things Law and Order said...

nygma619, sorry I missed your question in you earlier message. I haven't heard anything about Christine Lahti having more appearance on the show other than that interview you mentioned that she gave to Hollywood Outbreak. Sorry!

Here's the article if anyone else is interested in reading it:

Osiris said... wasn't Mariska talking, it was Olivia. Olivia is a character on a tv show.

TV is not real and Mariska doesn't write Olivia's dialogue. *exits*

Anonymous said...

If Kathleen had simply dropped the report in the mail to her father at work - or to the NYPD - could they have used it? Do they need a potentially identifiable "confidential informant" in order to use information they haven't acquired by the book?

Anonymous said...

Information received from a confidential informant can only be used if that informant is deemed a reliable source. Information received anonymously is presumed not to be reliable on its own.

Anonymous said...

Osiris - which anonymous are you responding to? List the time the person made the post so they can respond. If you are referring to the comments about pot - that WAS Mariska, NOT Olivia, that said it, so I for one am confused as to just who you think is confusing Olivia with Mariska.

Anonymous said...

Osiris- the pot quote was from an interview Mariska did about this episode.

xfool said...

I believe that Mariska made a horrible mistake by making those comments in that interview. I does appear she is minimizing the used of pot and demonizing alcohol. Both alcohol and grass can cause problems when not used in moderation.

When I was in college years ago pot was a big deal, bigger than alcohol. People did stupid things on grass and there were sexual assaults on campus involving students who had been smoking pot. I think pot will eventually be legal and I don't have a problem with that but before they do so they need to be sure that they can regulate THC content or at least show what the THC content is in what the person is getting. They also need to make sure the weed is clean and free of moldm fungus, other additives, etc. Not all medical pot stores (where it is legal) are doing that now. If you get some bad weed you may not react in the way you think.

By Mariska making those stupid and thoughtless comments, she DID make it sound like it is OK and you are less likely to be raped or attacked when someone smokes pot. Big.Mistake.Mariska!

Anonymous said...

I feel dumb for not knowing this before, but Christine Lahti is fuggin 60?? Definitely doesn't look it.

Anonymous said...

Another horrible episode in a long string of poorly done episodes (last week's was the exception). Instead of taking a real look at the problems of alcohol abuse and acquittance rape on campuses, the script just glanced at them and moved on. It was a real disservice to the viewers. This is a problem that needs to seen from the points of view of all the parties involved. What SVU did was take their usual "All women are victims and all men are pigs" view of things. It is a very sexist position and it needs to go away.

Osiris said...

Whoops. My bad.

Apologies to anonymous *all of you* I missed the first 15 minutes and thought that that comment was part of the show. I've gotten used to Olivia saying/doing stupid things, this season.

nygma619 said...

I think common sense says that Mariska's comment is being taken out of context, and was just being used as some example. It didn't come across like she was endorsing it to me.

nygma619 said...

Anonymous at 7:24; how does only glancing at the college stuff make the episode bad, or make the episode a disservice to the viewer? The show is called Law & Order SVU, not Law & Order PSA.

Anonymous said...

rE:MH's marijuana usage/abuse- I'm kind of surprised when that entire article was proofread, a copy editor didn't point out to MH or her people that she would come off sounding as if she's pro-grass choice!Maybe she is- she's the same age as me,46, and no doubt grew up in a time when grass was a milder drug of choice than the highly-doctored drug it is today.I seriously doubt she's advocating the use of it,though, I think it's a throwaway comment she interjected that the editors perhaps should have thought twice about printing with the rest of her comments.We're all entitled to our own opinions and she speaks so publicly on these topics so often.We must not forget though: she's an actress playing a role.She's not an authority on the topics of domestic/sexual violence, simply a very vocal opponent of these forms of violence that lends her voice and her time to the cause.In the end, what she does in her private life is her own business.

Anonymous said...

RE; the subject matter of "Gray": there has to be a more personal tie- in any any episode than just the topic itself.It's not a documentary its supposed to be a police procedural crime drama.They may take topical issues like campus rapes, but how else could they personalize the stories enough to make us as viewers want to watch the outcome?I thought making Stabler's daughter Kathleen a key figure was very good writing and continuity.You can't please everybody, though....

Anonymous said...

This episode was offered up as a PSA. Neal Baer told everyone he could that this episode would deal with the issues of sexual assaults on campuses. And they spent all of ten minutes on the subject before moving on. That should have been the focus of the entire episode because the subject is far more complicated than what was presented.
This is a pattern with the writers for SVU. Starved, Loophole, Users,
Blinded,and Solitary are all examples of the writers using the pretense of a sex crime to write an episode about another subject. The Special Victims Unit handles sex crimes and crimes against children. There are far too many subjects within that category to bother with cases that belong elsewhere.
The other problem is that this is such a badly written episode. The characters are all stock: the abused girl, the entitled boy, the uncaring school officials. The detectives didn't even investigate either party's story. They just assumed Bethany was telling the truth and chuck was lying. That's bad police work. And by season 12, the writers should be able to do better.

Anonymous said...

To nygma619, I read the wrole interview and I don;t think her comments were taken out of context. They were an exact quote of response she gave to a question. It's very black and white. Face it, she messed up and her publicity people should have tried to get that quote taken out.

I know lots of SVU fans think Mariska is perfect, but this shows that not only is she far from perfect, she's not to bright. Now we can all see what happens when she isn;t just delivering lines that somebody else wrote for her. We see her REAL opinion, and it's that alcohol causes men to beat their wives and kill people but pot doesn't That's what she said!

nygma619 said...


I said common sense would indicate that. And from above, it seems your just reading into what you want to see. Mariska's not the only one who's imperfect, maybe the editors did too.

nygma619 said...

To anonymous at 1:57:
-"That should have been the focus of the entire episode because the subject is far more complicated than what was presented."

Should've been the focus? Says who? Because it's more complicated than what's shown you think it should've been the focus? And I think you read too much into Neal Baer's comment.

-"This is a pattern with the writers for SVU. Starved, Loophole, Users,
Blinded,and Solitary are all examples of the writers using the pretense of a sex crime to write an episode about another subject."

It's called not making all episodes feel the same, if the focused SOLELY on sex crimes and that alone, it would probably get boring. And sometimes they get cases that aren't specifically sex crimes but they seem that way at the beginning, so they see it through because it's easier than having someone new who's unfamiliar with the case. It just wastes time.

-"The other problem is that this is such a badly written episode. The characters are all stock: the abused girl, the entitled boy, the uncaring school officials. The detectives didn't even investigate either party's story. They just assumed Bethany was telling the truth and chuck was lying. That's bad police work."

Even in SVU's best episodes the characters have been stock ones, and maybe you missed the part where some of the four were skeptical of Bethany when visiting her website. All that stuff when talking to the school officials that WAS INVESTIGATING. And I don't know if you've ever been to a campus or not, but most campuses are reluctant to let news like that get out, some feel it's best to keep damage like rape contained, because if it gets out to other people like the media, it makes their school look bad and/or unsafe in their view.

It just sounds like your labeling this episode bad because it wasn't a PSA like you wanted or thought it would be.

Anonymous said...

This episode was a stereotypical look at drinking on campus. The truth is that grass is used a lot and sometimes grass and acholol are mixed.

mariska was flip about grass and clueless about what is really happening on campus. She should have kept her mouth shut on the subject.

Jojo said...

I hope Mariska's comment was taken out of context, but I have a feeling it wasn't. It was probably just a silly throwaway comment that her publicity people should have gotten rid of.

As for the episode, I thought it was pretty cliché and far from the strongest this year. Christine Lahti did well, though.

I also don't like how the vitriol is always placed on the person "taking advantage" of a drunk person - people who get themselves into a position of being drunk off their ass in the first place need claim some of the responsibility. Only exception is of course if they are forced to drink or if they are drugged, but other than that, drinking is a choice and when you are old enough to drink, the implication is that you are old enough to be responsible. Being young and stupid should no longer be a valid excuse.

Anonymous said...

This is the Neal Baer quote:
"I hope that it really brings the issue to the forefront that we need to talk about alcohol abuse on college campuses and its relationship to date rape. This is a problem that is not talked about and we want that problem to be discussed."
If that was his intention, this episode failed. But not what made the episode badly written. They started with one story and then jumped to another. They forgot the KISS principle. You tell one story at a time and you explore all the aspects. Then you cut back on anything that isn't required to tell the story in order to meet the time limits. You need to create characters to tell your story that are developed enough that viewers want to find out what is going to happen to them. You need to keep your ongoing characters consistent in their behavior but still let them learn from their experiences. And you need to research the back round material so you know what you are writing about. Those are the elements of good writing. Those were missing here.

nygma619 said...

You think they failed because they didn't talk about alcohol abuse on college campuses THE ENTIRE TIME?

"They forgot the KISS principle. You tell one story at a time and you explore all the aspects. Then you cut back on anything that isn't required to tell the story in order to meet the time limits."

They need to keep it simple ALL THE TIME? The audience is not THAT stupid. Nothing in this episode was beyond audience comprehension; well I was at least able to comprehend it. And I find it ironic that you pull out the KISS principle, but complain about the so-called stock characters.

"You need to create characters to tell your story that are developed enough that viewers want to find out what is going to happen to them."

Well they were developed enough for me to want to know what was going to happen. And when did you suddenly speak for all viewers?

"You need to keep your ongoing characters consistent in their behavior but still let them learn from their experiences."

You say this, but you give no real example of it.

"And you need to research the back round material so you know what you are writing about."

You thought the college stuff wasn't portrayed with any realism? Did you miss the part where I brought up Hudson wanting to sweep the rape that happened under the rug, and how it's accurate with how some colleges/universities handle things such as rape? You've only brought up how you thought the characters like the perp weren't realistic, but it doesn't seem like you think someone like that could exist in real life. What did you not find accurate?

Anonymous said...

It is clear that Mariska is not perfect. Nobody else in the world is perfect. But it's hard to believe that Mariska, do not even smoke cigarettes, will defend the use of drugs. Just his words were misrepresented. My admiration for her remains unchanged. She has done much for women and I'm sure will continue doing. As for the episode I found it excellent. This 12th season has maintained a good level and SVU is now one of the most serious and educational television programs.

janethyland said... is reporting that Neal Baer is leaving SVU and has just signed to CBS.

Did anyone else pick this up?

janethyland said...

contract with CBS begins on June 2nd.

Jeannette said...

>>Nice to see Stabler on good terms with his family for once; I can't remember the last time that he was.<<

Turmoil in the beginning, Elliot smiled at Kathy and Eli. He only had trouble with Dickie then.

>>stabler didn't kiss anyone and I heard that he was supposed to kiss someone twice, what the hell happened to that?<<

It was said that Elliot would be kissed twice and he was: Kathy and Kathleen. Kathleen walked in on Kathy and Elliot kissing on the chair and then when she was leaving, Kathleen pecked her father on the cheek.

Pedro said...

Honestly, kinda let down by this episode...I mean, sorta tired of SVU's whole "men are evil" deal.

At the beginning of the episode I thought it would be different, where the rape wasn't truly a rape and that the guy was getting more than he deserved...but no, not in this universe, he's jerkass who rapes women like one pops skittles and murders babies on his free time, just like every other man that's not a cop in this series.

Oh wait, every man who's not a main character, 'cus there are killer cops...MALE killer cops, mind you.

Matthew Wilson said...

seriously did i just watch the same episode as all of you. i saw a witch hunt without any real ethics.

ok if i am suppose to hate the guy for being a bad guy can you please make it clear that he actually did anything wrong. so he had sex with a drunk girl and they call it rape. its a bit of a he said she said. spend a bit more time on that but no they just cut him loose then he gets attacked in a bar and they arrest him. the woman who attacked him fails to show up but instead of dropping the matter they go out of there way to continue a witch hunt.

at this point of the episode there is no real established evidence that they guy has done anything illegal and yet they are acting as if he is a violent predator who is just waiting to pounce again

following a borderline un ethical manoeuvre they pursue more evidence to try and build a case against this guy and even after he admits to using a sexual aid for ED, which they never actually disprove btw. they then go and bully the woman into testifying as if its the right thing to do. which it may or may have not been but they pushed very hard to make that happen.

after all this she dies. seriously they were all so busy trying to get this guy no one stopped to check if she had received appropriate medical care after her miscarriage.

and finally where is the end of the show!!! they arrest him on a charge and what are we meant to just accept that he is a guilty scumbag and assume that he is just guilty.

they might as well have just said he is black of cause he is guilty. at least then people would have poked wholes in the logic of the whole episode

the whole thing is a bit ridiculous. the alleged rape which started the whole thing was a bit of a grey area regarding consent. and sure maybe they guy was a scumbag but did he rape her. well they never really addressed that properly.

instead they just decided that he was guilty and the scum of the earth and moved on to what else can we get him for.

at the end of the episode i felt sorry for they guy. what could have been just as easily a series of misunderstandings turns into a murder charge. its all a bit much to swallow.

prove to me that he is guilty beyond reasonable doubt and make someone who i can want to see go down for what he has done. thats good writing.

they could have done one confession scene where he said something like "i didn't want a kid it would have ruined everything for me. that bitch was trying to trap me and i did what i had to do". then i would have said great episode well written.