Sunday, February 27, 2011

ITV Premieres Law & Order UK Series 4 on March 7

ITV will premiere series 4 of Law & Order UK on March 7, 2011 with the episode “Help.” These episodes already aired in Canada on CityTV several months ago, and are also on the schedule to begin airing on BBC America on March 4, 2011 at 9 PM ET with the episode titled “ID.” If you are confused about the series numbering for Law & Order UK, series 1 and 2 were split to form 4 separate series in the UK, but were aired as season 1 and 2 in Canada and in the US.

Whether you’re in the UK or the US, these six episodes are all exceptional and should not be missed. I’ve already recapped and reviewed them all and the links are below. Keep in mind the recaps are no substitute for watching these episodes. They also mark the last appearances on the series for Ben Daniels (who was consistently exceptional playing Crown Prosecutor James Steel) and likely for Jamie Bamber, who has signed on for the new NBC series, “17th Precinct.”

Recaps & Reviews
Law & Order UK “ID” recap & review
Law & Order UK “Denial” recap & review
Law & Order UK “Shaken” recap & review
Law & Order UK “Duty of Care” recap & review
Law & Order UK “Help” recap & review
Law & Order UK “Skeletons” recap & review

Here’s the press release from ITV:

Law & Order: UK Episode: 1 of 6 (“Help”)
Monday, 7 March 2011, 9:00PM - 10:00PM

In the new six-part series of LAW&ORDER:UK the critically acclaimed cast; Bradley Walsh, Jamie Bamber, Harriet Walter, Ben Daniels, Freema Agyeman and Bill Paterson tackle more emotionally gripping, unmissable stories.

Series four sees DS Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh) and DS Matt Devlin (Jamie Bamber) investigating the death of an ex-Premier League Footballer and the witness intimidation which follows; the murder of a junior doctor which unravels into a conspiracy involving senior level government officials and the attempted murder of a high court judge. Meanwhile Senior Prosecutor James Steel (Ben Daniels) is accused of tampering with evidence and perverting the course of justice after an old case is reopened…

A quality array of guest stars including Juliet Stevenson, Eddie Marsan, Tobias Menzies, Nicola Walker and Matthew McNulty will join the cast for series four.

In Help, the first episode, ex-Premier League Footballer, Robbie Nichols, is beaten to death with a tyre iron on a London street one evening in what looks like a robbery gone wrong. Investigations lead DS Matt Devlin (Jamie Bamber) and DS Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh) to everyman, Mike Jones (Lorcan Cranitch). He was seen in the area at the time of the murder, has motive and, once arrested, has his DNA matched to the murder weapon. Proclaiming his innocence, Mike points the finger at a well known East End gangster who he says he saw at the scene of the crime on the evening in question. The police are at odds as to who to believe.

Trying the accused is no mean feat for Senior Crown Prosecutor James Steel (Ben Daniels) who is up against the eccentric defence barrister Jason Peters (Eddie Marsan). Witness intimidation, false plea bargaining and corruption stand in the way of the truth but in the end, will the decency of one good samaritan be enough to finally put a murderer where they belong? Michael Cochrane is Judge Burchville.

Freema Agyeman, who plays Alesha Phillips, believes this is the kind of storyline that makes LAW&ORDER: UK so pertinent to today's society.

"This episode is addressing the culture of fear that has come to the fore of late when bystanders have to face the possible consequences of doing the right thing. Everyone will have an opinion on this subject; we've all thought about and considered what we might do in a similar situation," says Freema.

"That is one of the things I love about this show that the stories are so relevant in 2011 even though they are based on much older episodes from the US. That and the fact that we tackle dramatic storylines which address completely different issues each week whether it be racism, conspiracy, mental health or corruption.

"Some of these subjects will never be easy for me to deal with but paradoxically I always feel better after we have tackled a traumatic episode because I feel like I have contributed in a public forum; we are able to air it and discuss it. Apart from being a great hour's entertainment, one of the functions of this show is to provoke and promote discussion and that all starts with the cast and crew."

Freema is very excited at the reception LAW&ORDER:UK has received in the US.

She explains: "It's the biggest relief that they like it! A real buzz has been generated over there about our show. I feel a real sense of pride on behalf of the show."

And Freema admits the US has shown an interest in her as a result. "My agent is getting requests so I might just give it a try later this year. I've never really had the confidence to go over and self promote before but it is something I have always wanted to try - although I'm fully expecting it to be a totally different world than I'm used to."

Having now filmed four series of the show, Freema says she feels 'completely at home' in the role of Alesha. And her new found self-possession has translated into her character as well.

"I'm really comfortable in the role and have a real sense of pride on behalf of what all of us have achieved with the show. And I think as I get more comfortable playing Alesha so she gets more confident.

"A director who we worked with back at the beginning and who recently returned for another episode told me he loved the headmistress in Alesha which he'd never seen before. I think she's outgrown that rather Victorian child aspect of the role where she was there to listen and learn. There has been a change in her status and there is certainly plenty more room for her to grow which keeps me interested in the part. I can see the journey we've come on and the one ahead; I really enjoy playing Alesha."

This episode is produced by Richard Stokes, directed by James Strong and written by Terry Cafolla. The executive producers are Andrew Woodhead, Stephen Garrett and Jane Featherstone. Dick Wolf is creator and executive producer of the series. A Kudos/Wolf Films/NBC Universal Production.

Last edited: Tuesday, 22 February 2011


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

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Law & Order CI: New Promo With Vincent D’Onofrio, Kathryn Erbe

Here’s a great new USA Network promo for the May 2011 return of Law & Order Criminal Intent - for its final season - and with show stars Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe.

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.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mariska Hargitay, Chris Meloni, Jeremy Irons SVU Location Photos

Law & Order SVU’s Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni, along with special guest star Jeremy Irons, were spotted on the New York City on location set of Law & Order SVU this week. This is for Jeremy’s second appearance on SVU.

Added February 26, 2011

Photos by

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.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Law & Order SVU “Bully” Recap & Review

All photos from NBCUniversal

Law & Order SVU “Bully” should have been called Law & Order SVU “WTF?” because I kept muttering "WTF?" while watching it. It had everything but a dog-napping; there was an apparent sex crime and murder, harassment, suicide, a hit and run, and a workplace bully. If they could have worked a dog-napping into this case they I'm sure they would have done so. There was also something oddly comedic about this episode but I can't quite put my finger on why. It could be because the bullying boss bears a striking resemblance to a toxic boss I had in the early 1980s (she made this episode's boss look as innocent as a lamb).

The initial case appeared to be a special victims case, although ME Warner waffled on that issue throughout the episode. The SVU team proceeds as if it were a special victims case, and along the way they stumble into a truly toxic workplace with a bully of a boss. Enter the red herring: a business owner who was harassing the murder victim. While SVU is arresting him, he gets shot by a man whose wife (who suffered from early Alzheimer’s) spent a lot of money at the harasser's business. She died from the stress of the business owner's harassing phone calls because her husband wanted his money back and the business owner wouldn't return it. The business owner was hoping they would make negative comments about his business on the internet and he was also harassing the murder victim for the same reason, in order to increase his Google ranking. This scenario seemed like a complete waste of time in order to make a statement about Google’s search algorithms and subsequent rankings. By the way, I wonder why SVU usually invents fake web sites like FacePlace (rather than say Facebook) yet they mention Google by name in this episode?

All signs point to the bullying boss as the murder suspect after Stabler uncovers a flash drive at the victim’s apartment showing web cam video of the boss going on many crazed tirades. Stabler finds the flash drive with the videos in a matter of seconds, yet it seemed to have completely eluded the CSU and TARU teams when they initially searched the crime scene (the fact that the flash drive was disguised as a panda bear should not have fooled them). But the detectives found the flash drive too late - the murder victim sent the videos to the news media before her death, allowing the episode to insert a plug for MSNBC.

The story goes from bad to worse when the bullying boss decides to hold a press conference to defend her behavior. She points the finger of blame on the victim, the NYPD, her colleagues, etc. and then pulls out a gun and kills herself. Later, we find that ADA Hardwicke (who doesn’t make an actual appearance in this episode, my guess this is a money saving move) decides that she is taking the bullying boss’ comments as a confession of murder. Well, I am not sure what press conference she was listening to but I didn’t hear what I thought was a solid confession. The fact that the boss singled out the murder victim in her tirade doesn’t mean that she actually killed her. And again, no John Munch (Richard Belzer) in this episode, plus there was no Captain Cragen (Dann Florek). I dread to think what SVU will look like next season – if there IS a next season – if they can only afford a partial cast now.

Despite the invisible ADA Hardwicke determining the case was solved, when SVU hears one of the company employees was in the hospital due to injuries from a hit and run, SVU investigates. Why? A hit and run is not an SVU case. Of course, had they not checked on the accident, they would never have exposed the identity of the real murderer.

Stay tuned for a possible sequel, Law & Order SVU "Woof" where the dead bully's dog, who inherited her estate, is dog-napped and held for ransom. Maybe they can get Ice-T's dog Spartacus for the role, that is, if they can afford him.

Here is the recap:

At an art gallery, Cindi (Luanne De Lesseps) and the artist Andreas Hemming (Brendan Donaldson) discover that what Cindi thinks is artwork is really blood from a dead body from the floor above. Detectives Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) are called to the scene, along with ME Warner (Tamara Tunie). The dead woman is Ellen Sazelin, CFO of Luscious Grape Distributors, a pricey wine company; she bled out from a severed carotid. There are signs of anal trauma but no DNA. A broken champagne bottle is on the floor. The art show was called “Dollars and Death, the Politics of Blood.”

The detectives check her computer and see a company promotional video of Annette Cole (Kate Burton), the president and CEO of Luscious Grape, and Ellen is also in the video. Bruce Clarkson (David Costabile), head of the advertising department, new staffer Corrine Stafford (Emily Meade), Justin Jennings (Shane McRae ) star salesman, and David Watson (Michael Siberry) , wine buyer, also appear in the video. Everything seems to by idyllic at the company. The detectives also speak to the three other tenants in the building, and one, Maureen, who tells them to talk to Andreas, the artist who owns the gallery, who once tried to rape her.

They speak with Andreas, and Cindi is also there, dressed only in a sheet. Stabler sees what looks like blood and it appears that Andreas was painting with it. They take him in to SVU for questioning, but he has an alibi for the time of Ellen's murder; he was being interviewed on line for a blog. Later, Benson and Fin (Ice-T) see the video interview which confirms Andreas’ story. Fin says Ellen is an only child and never married. She also appeared to have no social life, so they wonder if she knew the killer from work. They look at some of the testimonials for the company and think it sounds too nice. They decide to talk to CEO Annette Cole.
Benson and Fin speak with Annette, who seems to be upset over Ellen’s death and says the company is more like a family than a business. There aren't any disputes with customers. Ellen seemed friendly with Bruce, but the detectives are told Bruce is gay. Benson and Stabler speak with Bruce and he describes Ellen in glowing terms. He said Ellen socialized in his gay circle, and also said she had a drinking problem. He said he saw Ellen working late years ago and she was bombed, and they later went to AA together. He seems shocked she was drinking the night she was killed. He said last week he heard her on a call screaming at someone.
Back at SVU, Fin goes over Ellen’s call logs with Benson and Stabler, and one person called her 63 times at all hours of the day. They hear a voice mail to Ellen threatening to kill her unless she gives him what he wants, and the call came from a business called “My Leather Fantasy” which sells high end leather goods. It is owned by Edward Ross Stanton but the phones come from a “two-time hump” called Juan Alvarez.

Fin and Stabler go to the warehouse of My Leather Fantasy, and when Alvarez tries to run, Fin nabs him. Alvarez swears he threatened no one. But as they walk him out, a man comes up and shoots Alvarez point blank, and the man says Alvarez killed his wife.
Later, at SVU, the shooter, Mr. Gilchrest, is being questioned by Fin. He claims Alvarez murdered his wife Peggy but Fin tells him there are no records of this murder. Gilchrest said she had early Alzheimer’s and started shopping at lot at My Leather Fantasy. Stabler, meanwhile, speaks with Alvarez who is in the hospital, and he said Gilchrest was mad because Alvarez would not give him his money back. Gilchrest describes the repeated harassing calls and said this cause his wife to die from the stress. Alvarez says he told her if she was unhappy to post negative stuff about him on the internet as the more comments he gets on his web site, good or bad, the higher his Google ranking and this translates to more sales. Stabler talks to him about Ellen’s death and he denies having anything to do with it. He says he was busy scaring someone else. Later, Stabler returns to SVU and tells Benson and Fin that Alvarez’s alibi checks out. ME Warner enters and says Ellen’s death may not be murder, she is ruling the manner of death as undetermined. There was no DNA or fingerprints and she wonders if she was drunk and fell on the vase, which cut her. She may have been pleasuring herself with the bottle of champagne. She also had bald spots she was hiding with hair extensions, from trichotillomania, where people pull out their hair as a reaction to stress. She may have been under stress for months. Benson wonders about what is really going on at Luscious Grape.

Benson speaks with Bruce, then later David, Stabler speaks with Corrine, and Fin speaks with Justin, and they all seem to think that things at the company were fine. As Stabler speaks with Annette, Benson, and the other employees approach, and Bruce tells Annette it is time - they are going to the memorial service.
Back at SVU, they note the employee responses all seemed as if someone told the them what to say. Benson gets a phone call from Andreas saying he heard loud noises in Ellen’s loft. Later, at the loft, the crime scene seal had been broken and the loft is in complete disarray. When the patrol officer arrived she saw a figure exiting the loft using the fire escape. Stabler finds a flash drive on Ellen’s desk.
Back at SVU, Morales (Joel de la Fuente) opens the files and they are video files from a web cam, showing Annette going on an enraged rant, and Ellen appears terrified. Annette really rants on Ellen, saying she has been carrying her for years. Annette wants to take her into her office, but Ellen refuses to go until Annette lowers her voice. Annette slaps her. Stabler comments, “Luscious Grape on the outside, poison on the inside.” It seems the employees are terrified of Annette.

Later, with Annette in SVU interrogation, the detectives play the video back for her, and she says she and Ellen were friends and she was just having a little disagreement. She says someone is trying to make her look bad. She denies breaking into Ellen’s apartment for the video. They tell her there are 20 recordings, all starring her. She says she pushes everyone hard like she pushes herself, but Stabler says she is a bully. Annette places the blame on Ellen, who threatened to buy her out. The detectives tell her a waiter said Annette threw a coffee cup at Ellen, but Annette says he is lying. She said she went home after dinner that night and she denied hurting her. Annette called Ellen a recluse and a drunk, and Stabler says Annette is a pissy tyrant and Ellen was the perfect victim because she never fought back. When Stabler admits they are not charging her yet, she leaves.

After Annette leaves, Benson, Stabler and Fin discuss the next steps. Stabler will ask Hardwicke to get the company’s financials and get any of Ellen’s disability and medical claims. Fin wonders if they can get someone else to talk.

Later, Stabler speaks with Bruce about the truth of Annette’s behavior and Bruce’s expensive car, which he said was a bonus. Fin speaks with Corrine, but she said Annette is a great boss. Stabler speaks with Justin who also has nothing bad to say about the company, and his mother calls from upstairs for her juice. He says his mother is disabled and he takes care of her. He says Annette’s generosity is a godsend. David tells Fin working for Annette is a dream job. He says none of them will ever say a bad word about her. Fin asks, “What’s wrong with you people?”

Back at SVU, Dr. Huang (BD Wong) says this is a form of Stockholm syndrome, where they are bonded to her emotionally so they can survive. Benson wonders if it is good old fashioned greed. Stabler finds out a company is ready to buy Luscious Grape for $500 million. Next month the company is coming out with a premium vodka. Huang says Annette’s hold over the employees will only get stronger and subpoenaing them as hostile witnesses won’t get them anything. Fin tells them that the videos of Annette’s behavior just hit the news, and MSNBC reported that the information came in a package from Ellen herself. The story is also all over the internet.

Later, as Annette arrives at work, news crews are waiting, along with Benson and Stabler. Annette says she thinks they leaked the tape, there is no way Ellen sent that, and she is going to sue the NYPD for emotional distress. As the press hounds her, she asks SVU to protect her it is their job, but Stabler calls her a bully and says she should show them who’s boss. Annette screams at the press to get out of her way.

Back at SVU, the story is on the cover of the local papers, and also on television. The offer to buy the company has been withdrawn. Benson says Annette’s lawyer set up a press conference for the next day to explain her actions on that tape and she wants Benson and Stabler to be there.

At the press conference Annette says she never meant to harm anyone and is mortified at how she looked on the tape. She says to her business partners: screw them for abandoning her in her time of need. To her customer who cancelled their orders and left hateful messages: they can all go to hell too. Bruce is shocked and asks her to stop. She also says to the press and NYPD who hounded her: they are all scum. She calls her family at Luscious Grape – a lying, backstabbing and ungrateful family – that they are all fired. She says they are dragging her down. She wants them to remember one thing – they made her do this. She pulls out a gun, places it under her chin, and shoots, killing herself to the shock of all.

Back at SVU, Huang says it's Annette’s final act as a bully, feigning contrition to draw in her victims and then traumatizing them by saying they made her do this. Benson said it worked, and Huang says when you mix a sociopath and a narcissist you get a ticking time bomb. Stabler enters and says that Hardwicke will take Annette’s rant about Ellen as an admission of murder, and that Annette’s attorney has petitioned a judge on behalf of her estate to leave every penny of it to her dog. Fin tells them that Bruce is also having a bad day, he got nailed by a hit and run.

At Mercy General Hospital, Bruce explains how he was hit by a car, saying he did not look when he crossed the street. He says it was an accident. A witness said the car never stopped but Bruce said it was his fault. Stabler says they will find out who did it.

Back at SVU, they look at surveillance footage, but they see Bruce speaking with the driver of the hit and run car. The car backs up and hits him. They wonder why Bruce lied. They also have a clear picture of the license plate on the car.

Benson and Stabler speak with the owner of the car who tells them someone backed into his car. He says he doesn’t drive anymore and that his granddaughter borrowed the car and told her someone backed into it.
At SVU, his granddaughter – Corrine – is in interrogation with Stabler. She denies running over Bruce. Stabler shows her the photos from the surveillance camera. Benson brings Bruce in to watch the questioning and he tries to get Corrine to stop talking. She says Bruce killed Ellen. He storms in the room and says Ellen was dead when he got there and says Annette did it. The two of them argue and Corrine said Bruce killed Ellen and ruined their plan. Benson asks what plan, and Corrine says they had a plan to keep Ellen from revealing their secret at work. Bruce said the bullying and the bonuses and payouts were to keep them all quiet about Annette. They had a lot to lose if the buyout did not go through. Bruce said Ellen was always weaker than the rest of them but she was coming unglued. Corrine told the others – Bruce, Justin, David - that Ellen was losing it. Annette never knew about the tapes. Benson said they all killed Ellen with their greed. Bruce said she was already dead when he got there. Corrine admits David broke back in to find the flash drive, but Ellen had already sent it to the TV station. Corrine said they just wanted to be rich.

As Benson and Stabler leave the room, Warner tells them Ellen’s death was not an accident. Ellen was intoxicated but someone else got her drunk. She found no alcohol in her stomach. She found cells only found in the anus on the rim of the bottle. Taking the alcohol in that way gets it into the system faster.

At Justin’s, he admits bringing champagne to Ellen’s but Benson said it was not a Luscious Grape product, he got it from a liquor store down the street from Ellen’s apartment. Stabler tells him that Bruce and Corrine’s sworn statements put him on the hook for murder. Justin laughs it off as his mother calls for more juice. They tell Justin they think Justin was called in as the man for the job as he knows how to close a deal with a woman. Justin says when he got there that Ellen was crying over Annette and Justin told her to get over it, bitch, she’ll be worth a fortune. He tried to give her champagne but she said she was sober. He admits she rejected his attempt to kiss her and she slapped him. He pushed her, not hard, and she fell against the coffee table and a vase broke. He leaned down to help her up and saw the glass in her neck. He freaked out, and he thought he had to make it look like an accident, like she was drunk. Stabler cuffs him and arrests him. He asks how did they know it was him, and Stabler says Justin’s mother was an operas singer and he needed to save those vocal chords so she downed her booze through the back door. Justin says mother is very clever, she taught him a lot of things. As Justin’s mother calls out for him, they take him away and we fade to black.

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

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More SVU-30Rock Crossover BTS and Interviews with Ice-T & Richard Belzer

From Wolf Films, here is a video with a behind the scenes look and interview with Ice-T and Richard Belzer, for their Law & Order SVU/30Rock crossover episode which aired a few weeks ago. The actual episode, plus NBC interview and behind the scenes videos were posted on my blog at this link: Law & Order SVU, 30Rock Crossover BTS and Interviews with Ice-T & Richard Belzer

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

Friday, February 18, 2011

Law & Order SVU Russian TV Promo

I was cleaning up some of my older video files and found this Law & Order SVU promo for Russian television from around 2008-2009. (I wish I could understand what the person in the voice over was saying.) Here it is – enjoy!

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Law & Order SVU “Spectacle” Behind The Scenes Videos

From Wolf Films, here are some behind the scenes videos and and an interview with guest star Spencer Treat Clark from Law & Order SVU “Spectacle.” (Check out one of the settings in the first behind the scenes video – one of the walls looks like the Law & Order court room.)

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.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Law & Order SVU “Pursuit” Recap & Review

All photos from NBCUniversal

I always worry when there is too much hype over any episode of Law & Order SVU, being burned many times by those who over-promise and then under-deliver. But not this time. “Pursuit” was an excellent episode with an interesting case, a solid and well written story, and a death that may have shocked some. (Some of you who were following the sneak peeks I’ve posted here. and showrunner Neal Bear’s Twitter feed, were able to figure out who died without even watching the episode.) This episode featured guest star Debra Messing, playing Alicia Harding, the host of a TV show who traps and exposes predators. She also had a sister who was murdered years back. Christine Lahti, playing Sonya Paxton, the prosecutor some of you love to hate, worked the case, but it had gone cold long ago. When Harding appears to have a stalker, the SVU team works to identify him. In the process they stumble into several murders and now believe the stalker is also a serial killer. Things take a tragic turn when Harding taunts the stalker/killer on national TV, and in retaliation, Sonya Paxton is later found brutally murdered in the rest room of a church hall, where she had been attending an AA meeting. Some viewers disliked Paxton, but I always thought Christine Lahti injected a spark into every episode in which she appeared. She made the perfect retort to Benson’s comment that Harding should not be digging into her sister’s murder. Sonya was right - Benson carried the baggage of her mother’s rape for a long time, and Benson should be showing more understanding toward Harding and Paxton and their own desire to find the answers to an old, and cold, case. It was easy to see, though, that Paxton regretted her own bluntness. We also find that Sonya’s alcoholism stems from a promise she made to find Harding's sister's killer and her inability to close that case.

There was a lot of excitement about the previewed embrace between Stabler and Benson, but to paraphrase a Freudian concept, sometimes a hug is just a hug. I’m not an Olivia/Elliot “shipper” so I read Stabler’s embrace of Benson as more of a consoling, supporting, and reassuring hug to a very close, beloved friend. I know many people want that hug to mean much more between those two, but I’m fine with them being two adults who love each other as very close friends.

There was only one scene that seemed questionable; it was when Benson went alone to the apartment of Donny Spencer, who was a suspect in Harding's stalking. I could understand any detective going alone to question someone if they were going to a place where other people were around, but not to someone’s apartment. I never really pay attention to how many times the detectives go to question someone alone, but it seems that they usually go in pairs if they think that they have a viable suspect.

Despite the very tense nature of the episode, it wasn’t without some light spots, like Fin, talking about Benson, telling Stabler, “I actually watch her back and not her backside” and Harding telling Benson “Has anyone ever told you you’re a manipulative bitch?” That actually made me laugh, seeing that I've long ago lost count of the number of times Benson has been called a bitch. At least they found a slightly nicer way of doing it this week.

My guess is that they should just box up the whole episode and send it to the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for their consideration for an Emmy.

Here is the recap:

A young girl lets an older man into the apartment. It is clear his intentions are not innocent. But it’s a set up. Alicia Harding (Debra Messing), host of “Neighborhood Predator” is there waiting and cameras have captured the man’s lecherous behavior. Detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), Odafin Tutuola (Ice-T) and Sonya Paxton (Christine Lahti) also monitor the activity from another room. Harding confronts the man as SVU readies to move in. He tries to flee and SVU moves in, but before they get in the room, Harding subdues the man with a taser.
Later, Fin demands that Harding turn over the taser but the police have already taken it and Harding senses Fin does not like her. A package arrives for Harding and when she gets blood on her hands from it, Benson opens it to find a bloody scarf, which Harding identifies as her lucky scarf which was last seen on her bed that morning. Benson declares that Harding has a stalker.

At SVU, Benson and Paxton speak to Harding about the possible stalker but Harding seems unruffled, despite receiving other threats. Harding is still working on leads from the abduction of Harding's 13 year old sister Vanessa who went missing 25 years ago. The scarf that was delivered in the box was Vanessa's. The abduction was Paxton’s case and it is still open. They ask Harding about her sex life, whether she’s fired anyone recently, but Benson thinks it is someone Harding knows and trusts and wonders how the person could have access to her private email. Harding does not know and Benson offers to find out.

Outside the room, Fin tells Captain Don Cragen (Dann Florek) that the lab is still working on the scarf, the blood is human and no more than 2 days old. Cragen thinks that Harding doesn’t report the news, she makes it. Benson does not think Harding used the scarf of her dead sister for a hoax. They also believe the stalker impersonated a cop to deliver the package. Cragen says he forwarded the threatening emails to Stabler to work on while he is off training at Quantico. He tells Fin and Benson that in order to find out how the person got into Harding’s house to go there with CSU.

At Harding’s apartment, CSU found the perp’s panties soaking in the sink, in chlorine. No signs of forced entry and there are no security cameras. They see a wall full of photos of her sister and book with DD5s, lab reports, and crime scene photos from Vanessa’s case, and wonder how she got all this information. They wonder, as Paxton has been close to Harding and the case, if she handed the files over to Harding. They wonder if the Feds may have someone who matches the perp’s profile.
Back at SVU, Benson speaks to Stabler via a live feed. He looked through Harding’s emails as did the behavioral guys at Quantico. They think this is the worst kind of stalker, he’s smart, he resourceful and experienced. They think he was set off because Harding is a high profile target and while she hunts down predators she’s never met one. They think he is a hard core predator and will show himself soon, and if he can’t get Harding he will go for someone else soon. Stabler tells her to make sure it is not her. Fin approaches and Stabler says that Fin may have her six but “he’s definitely is not me.” Fin retorts “I’m better. I actually watch her back and not her backside. See ya” and he shuts off the monitor. He then shows Benson crowd shots from a neighborhood predator sting, and one face keeps sticking out – an IT engineer names Scott Laskie who got caught in a Brooklyn net last year. Fin had him picked up and he is in interrogation.

In interrogation, Laskie (Scott Parkinson) invokes and is hostile about Benson’s questions. He denies involvement with Harding, calls Benson “peaches” and tells her to try again when his lawyer gets there. Later, Benson talks with Cragen and Paxton about Laskie and they wonder why the Brooklyn charges were dropped against Laskie. Fin shows them video of the sting, and is seems Laskie is more concerned of the young girl’s age and that she is alone, and he tells her to call the police, and she can’t send men emails saying she will get naked and they can touch her. Neighborhood Predator aired an edited version which makes Laskie out to be a pervert. Despite the doctored footage, Paxton still thinks they guy arrived there with bad intentions. They wonder who else Harding framed.

Later, Laskie is there with his attorney Hashi Horowitz (Joe Grifasi) as Benson and Paxton enter the room. When it is clear they have no evidence, Hashi says they are leaving but Laskie won’t go unless they promise to leave him alone. It seems Laskie had called the police about the girl from the sting but they didn’t respond. Laskie says he worries about his kid on the internet and when he saw that site, he was concerned about what the other men were saying. He didn’t want to stick his neck out but wondered what if it was his kid? He admits to hacking into the server to get her address and Horowitz says the questioning is over unless they read him his rights or decline to file. Paxton says she doesn’t want the paperwork and to tell his client to obey the law from now on. But Laskie says the law wasn’t going to protect the girl – he went there only after he went to a precinct and handed the chat logs to a desk sergeant who called him a kook.
Later, Benson and Paxton review this with Cragen. Fin is talking to the 7-2 precinct where Laskie tried to first make the report. Paxton wonders if they are blaming Harding for this and she gets defensive of Harding and reminds them Harding is the victim. Benson tells Paxton she may be too close to judge. Paxton says many things have changed since the sister’s murder occurred. She tells Benson if she thinks she held Harding’s hand too long, or gave her too much information, that’s tough. Benson says she should not be digging into her sister’s murder and it’s not healthy. Paxton retorts, “And how long did you search for the man who… raped your mother?” Both Cragen and Benson get mildly shocked looks on their faces, and Paxton looks down. Fin walks in and says that Laskie’s story was corroborated by the sergeant but they arrested him anyway based on the tape. Benson is still glaring at Paxton, who looks uncomfortable. Cragen tells Fin to void the arrest and then go shake Alicia Harding’s tree. Benson leaves, clearly pissed.

At the offices of Neighborhood Predator, Harding’s assistant Rachel (Ashlie Atkinson) tells Harding that she changed Harding’s locks, and Benson tells her no one else gets copies of those keys. After Rachel leaves, Benson asks Harding who else has her keys and when Harding mentions much of her staff, Benson asks for names. Benson asks her how many people she railroaded and Harding admits some mistakes were made but there were no others. Harding explains that the night Laskie showed up more men kept coming. The cops brought them in before she could interview them. She says she did not doctor the footage and a producer did it and she did not know. She fired him 6 months ago and has since rechecked all the footage. Donny Spencer was the producer and Harding tells her to get the address from Rachel.

At Spencer’s apartment, Benson asks him about Harding and he says Harding altered the interview and now she is sandbagging him, saying the bitch has to be stopped. He denies stalking her and when he complains Benson is in his face over a couple emails, she tells him she never mentioned emails.

Later, at SVU with Spencer in cuffs, Benson tells Cragen to tell Harding she found her stalker, Spencer confessed in the car that he sent the emails. Cragen isn't so sure, he tells her that Harding brought in another email with an attached photo that looked authentic so they had it processed - it was of a body dump of a young girl.

Fin shows Benson, Cragen, Paxton, and Stabler (via live feed) the photos of the location of where the body is dumped. The source was from an internet cafĂ© and the person paid cash and there are no surveillance cameras. Stabler says the picture is real and is similar to a dump in Maryland. Harding walks in and Stabler wonders if they should be talking about it in front of a civilian. Paxton says Harding needs to know what she is up against. Stabler says that the perp is a sociopath and she deals with teachers diddling their students. Harding asks if knowing the dead girl’s location earn her a seat at the table? She tells them the location is the photo is the last place her sister was seen alive and says she interviewed a woman who saw Vanessa in that park. It was one of the thousands of calls into the tip line that the cops couldn’t get to. Paxton wonders why Harding didn’t call her about it, and Harding is upset, saying it is a cold case and she’s the only one working it. Paxton says she’s also been chasing the bastard. Harding says the man is stalking her but Benson says it is not the same guy, this guy is fixated on her not her sister. Stabler says the analysts there says the guys is in his early 30s to mid 40s which makes the guy too young to have killed Vanessa. But Harding cites other big cases where this was not the case and his analysts don’t know dick. Cragen asks her where is the park, and when she says she can show them, he says that is not gonna happen. She says good luck finding the body without her. They either take her with them or follow her there.

They arrive at the location with Harding and Paxton and as Fin and Benson search the area, Fin finds the body and calls out. Paxton says she will call the Staten Island DA to tell them they are here. But then they find two more bodies of young girls.

Later in the morgue with Benson and Paxton, ME Warner (Tamara Tunie) is reviewing the bodies of 5 young white females found at the dump site, possibly dumped over 3 months to 2 years ago. She is looking for stab wounds, and has a 6th Jane Doe which died 3 days ago from three stab wounds. Paxton says the wound pattern matches Vanessa’s. The stab wound on the recent body shows she was paralyzed from the first stab wound. The girl was repeatedly raped but no fluids. Warner says the stab wounds were precise, and Benson thinks the person has police or forensics or medical knowledge. Paxton says unless he makes a mistake they won’t get close. Paxton walks out and Benson follows her and Paxton says she will not stop until she gets him. She said she made a deathbed promise to Harding’s mom before she died that she would catch the guy. She admits she let herself get too close and knew she was in trouble when she started drinking just to face them. Now she is sober and she has another chance, the case is not cold now and thinks Harding is right, it is the same killer. Benson asks what was the last lead Harding followed, and Paxton says 3 months ago Harding appealed to the public for the whereabouts of the kid who found Vanessa’s clothes for an interview. His name was not in the file. Benson wonders if the person may have been a volunteer helping the police on the initial search party, Benson suggests they get those sign in sheets – maybe one of them was the eager killer. If they compare the sign in sheets to the witness list, they may find the killer. Paxton says if the prick is in there, “he’s mine. “
Back at SVU, Benson and Fin work the lists. Cragen wonders why, if this other guy is stalking her why Donny Spencer confessed. Spencer did send a threatening email – a message saying he is watching her with photos taken from a distance. She got another message with photos taken at a closer range. The killer found out about the threat when he got access to Harding’s email and then he slipped into her house to check her murder book. The body dump may be misdirection – murder trumps stalking. Benson thinks if they focus on Harding they will find the killer, and suspects he got her personal information from someone on the show. Cragen wonders if he works there but Fin says employee backgrounds all check out. Benson thinks it is an outsider with access. Cragen tells them to check the security log and every male visitor they find.
At Harding’s office, Benson and Fin speak with Rachel and find that Harding taped a message the night before to the guy stalking her. They play the video back, and see footage of the crime scene people working on the area where all the bodies were located. Harding says the man murdered the girls the same way her sister was killed. She says she knows the man is watching her and calls him a deviant suffering from erectile dysfunction so severe he has to rape with a knife. She says state prosecutor Sonya Paxton believes he should be put away for life, but Harding thinks he’s not worth it and he should be put down like a rabid dog. Benson is worried that Harding is setting herself up as bait. Fin calls her a dumbass who belongs in jail for leaking 6 open homicides. Rachel tells them it will air in about an hour and Benson hopes Cragen can get the network to hold it.

Back at SVU, the network won’t stop airing the footage and Cragen tells Benson and Fin that the Chief of Ds is on the way and they have a new task force. Fin says they are putting a show on for the public, and Cragen says that’s what happens when a news feed goes national. Cragen asks them how Harding managed to record all of the details of the crime scene, and Benson says she took her cell phone but Fin says she did not take Paxton’s. Cragen tells them to find Paxton and he will handle it from there.

Fin and Benson arrive at Harding’s apartment and they chastise her. It was her idea to bait him. Harding says she had a back up phone, and adds that Paxton wanted a drink but she went to a meeting instead and Paxton is not happy with her either. Fin asks her where the AA meeting is being held.

At Saint Avila Church, Benson and Fin arrive and she isn’t in the group but her car is outside. Benson goes to check the ladies room and sees a broken mirror and then is horrified to see Paxton on the floor, bleeding from her neck. She yells for Fin, who calls for a bus and a BOLO for someone in the area with bloody clothes. Benson attempts to tend to Paxton, and Paxton whispers it will be OK, she got him. She dies and Benson is clearly shaken.

Later, with Warner and crime scene people on the scene, Benson tells Warner the place was trashed and thinks Paxton fought back hard but she says he got him. Her cell phone is broken in the sink, and Benson thinks Paxton went down swinging. Benson thinks Paxton knew she was going to die so she went for DNA and bit her attacker. Warner opens Paxton’s mouth and finds a hair in her throat and will swab her mouth for DNA and check her stomach for his blood.

As Benson leaves the room, she sees Stabler approach and he runs to her. She says “I’m really glad you’re back” and as they console each other with a long embrace, he says, “I should have come back sooner.” She says she is fine, and he says, “Like hell you are.” She asks him if he checked the security logs from Harding’s office. He checked on every male who signed in the last 6 months and one name rang a bell, David Adams, but he doesn’t exist. He’s been coming to see Rachel, Harding’s assistant.
At SVU, Benson and Stabler speak with Rachel who says David is a good guy and she has been seeing him for months. She admits she did not sign him in all the time. She seems clueless that he was likely conning her, and Stabler says only David can straighten this out, and he asks where they can find him. She says she will fax them his address and says he does not have a phone. He calls her and checks in every day. As Benson and Stabler leave the room, Benson wonders if Rachel will call him. Stabler comments that Rachel is in love with the sick bastard, what does she think?
Later, Fin tells them he set up a trace of Harding’s office lines and on Rachel’s cell. They see she calling out to a burn phone, and they get an address.

Benson and Stabler wait in the car, watching Harding’s home. They radio in to tell someone to send Harding out. They think the killer is rattled enough to make another mistake. They get out of the car and see a man rounding the corner and walking behind Harding. She turns around and glares at him, and then lunges at him. She starts to flail at him and he restrains her, and she yells at the detectives to shoot him. As Stabler pulls a gun, the attacker pulls out a knife and holds it at Harding. Benson is also there with a taser. Benson gets a shot and tasers him and Harding breaks free. He drops to the ground moaning.
Back at SVU, the man is indentified as Adam Grafton (Christian Hoff), a physicians assistant. He lived 8 blocks away from the Harding’s and he spent 5 years in Lorton for rape an aggravated assault. The victim was a prostitute, and Benson suspects the other bodies were also working girls. Stabler thinks Grafton won’t talk to them, and Benson wonders if he will talk to someone else.

At Harding’s apartment, she appears to be packing to move. She says she can’t stay there as he was in her bed, touching himself. Benson tells her to make sure she burns the mattress. Harding says the killer is caught and there is nothing left to do, but Benson reminds her they still have to identify the other victims. Harding says they have their work cut out for them, and says she doesn't have the stomach for it anymore. She is upset over Grafton’s light sentence while his victims rot. Benson begs for her help, but Harding refuses. Benson says at least Harding has closure, the other victims don’t. Harding says she will not have closure until she gets Vanessa’s remains home and he likely won’t tell her where she is. Benson reminds her of the families with missing daughters, and asks if she forgot what this feels like. Harding laughs, and says, “Has anyone ever told you you’re a manipulative bitch?” Benson stares at her but does not respond.
At the Rikers interview room, Benson and Harding speak with Grafton who says he has nothing to say. Harding says she can do the news segment without him, but he says she is there to find out about her sister. Harding coldly glares at him and says her sister is dead and he killed her, Benson adding that he planted the clothes so he could find them later. He says that does not mean he killed her. He says maybe Vanessa just ran away. Harding says she is not interested, she wants to hear about the six women he dumped in the field and asks where did he meet them. Benson brings out a recorder and sets it on the table. He comments that Harding usually works with a camera crew. She says after she hears what he has to say, and then check her facts, and adds that he needs a shave. He laughs and asks if this is real, and then says he will give them names, dates, and location and then Harding should tell his story. Benson adds if he cooperates and tells them the truth. He says this could take a while – there is one for each year he has been living. He took them in clumps, some years he did not hunt at all. Benson asks if he killed 43 women, and he says 44, if you count the lawyer. He says the meat sack was asking for it. Benson says it was because she beat him, and says Sonya Paxton is the reason he is going to death row. He retorts that he will die of old age first. He said the only reason he did her was because Harding told lies, and she had to pay. Harding calmly asks him to start with the names of his New York victims and then move on to his Maryland dumping ground. He comments – so you know about that? She says she’d like to know more – whenever he is ready. He smiles, and says it was mostly girls, runaways, a couple he snatched. None of them put up much of a fight. He asks if she wants him to go in order, list them from front to last, and the says her name was Annie Pruitt..and as he goes on, Harding sits with a numb look on her face as we fade to black.

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Law & Order SVU “Bully” Advance Photos

NBCUniversal has released some advance photos from the new episode of Law & Order SVU “Bully” which will air on Wednesday, February 23, 2011. The photos feature Chris Meloni, Tamara Tunie and guest star Luann de Lesseps as Cindi

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU "Bully" can be found at this link.

More photos added February 24:

All photos by Will Hart © NBCUniversal, Inc.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Jamie Bamber Likely To Exit L&O UK For NBC Pilot? is reporting that Jamie Bamber is taking a role in Ron Moore’s (Battlestar Galactica) NBC pilot “17th Precinct”. Several sources report that this means Jamie will be leaving Law & Order UK. Bad news for Law & Order UK fans, but hopefully we’ll get to see plenty more of Jamie in the new series. You can read TVLine’s full story here:
Exclusive: Jamie Bamber Reunites with Battlestar Boss Ron Moore for NBC's Precinct

Update:  "!7th Precinct" was not picked up by NBC or any other network and there have been no announcements as yet regarding any change in his status with Law & Order UK.

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SVU on Location with Chris Meloni, Mariska Hargitay, Rose McGowan

Here are several photos of Law & Order SVU’s Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay working on location in the Upper West Side on New York City on February 14, 2011. Also featured is guest star Rose McGowan.

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