Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Law & Order SVU “Bombshell” Recap & Review

All photos from NBC

Law & Order SVU “Bombshell” wasn’t really a special victims case, yet they sure tried hard to make it one. A man gets stabbed in the crotch, which would give the appearance of a crime with sexual overtones. But even after it’s established that the crime is a simple case of a man who is a victim of his wife’s anger and jealousy, the detectives remain involved. When Capt. Cragen tells Benson and Stabler to follow the original suspect, Doug, apparently to make sure he didn’t take out his arrest on his swinging “girlfriend” Cassandra, they realize that they have a few grifters on their hands. Last time I looked, people who were scammed by con artists are not special victims; likewise con artists seem outside the purview of a special victims unit. Once it had been established that the victim was stabbed by his wife, SVU’s involvement should have ended there.

Besides being grifters, the detectives discover Doug and Cassandra are involved in a murder. But the big bombshell is that they are twin brother and sister involved in “twincest.” After hearing Stabler utter that word, I felt like the whole episode was born from someone thinking that "twincest" would make a good foundation for a “bombshell” of an SVU case. (They were wrong.)

One line from Stabler made me laugh but also made me sad – it’s when he said he saw a transvestite that looked like Munch. How did he know that it wasn’t Munch? Okay, I’m kidding there, but it did remind me that we almost never see Richard Belzer on the show, and it’s to the point that I find it annoying when they mention his name but don’t even show his face.

I found Rose McGowan somewhat distracting; she appears to have a case of what I call “pickle pucker” or "sour pout" lips, an affliction that affects many actresses in their attempt to artificially plump their lips. Still, I must admit Rose was perfectly suited for the role of a seductress and con artist.

I was also distracted by trying to find the special victim in this case. My suggestion is they should transfer Benson and Stabler to the 2-7 to work non-SVU cases and open up a whole new realm of stories for these two - and bring back the mothership in the process. It seems that the SVU writers are running out of real special victims.

Here is the recap:

A couple returning from a movie are in the parking garage when see a man who was stabbed in the crotch. The man pulls the knife out of the man who was stabbed, causing the man to bleed even more.

Later, Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) are at the hospital. The man – a John Doe - was stabled in a few places, was drunk, and also banged his head, requiring brain surgery and is now in a coma. The detectives wonder if it is a sex crime, botched robbery, or both.

The detectives check security tapes, and the attendant at the garage says he did not notice the man had been stabbed. Fin (Ice-T) radios for them to come to the east stairwell, where the victim’s car had been located. The find his real name is Jerry Bullard (Tom Irwin) and he works in a place called BAS – Bullet Aviation Systems.

At the Bullard residence, the detectives speak to his wife Jane (Kathleen McNenny) and daughter Janette. It appears Bullard wasn’t on a trip to DC as his wife thought. His wife and daughter both doubt there was an affair.

Back at SVU, Benson fills in Captain Don Cragen (Dann Florek) saying that patrol backtracked Bullard using the bloody footprints but came up with nothing. There was no bar in the area. Fin says some people saw the “neighborhood weirdo” – Aldo - wearing bloody clothes that night who once worked at a butcher shop.
Later, Benson and Stabler wait in the area and Aldo appears, still bloody. They bring him down to the precinct. Dr. Huang (BD Wong) questions him, Aldo keeps saying that he wants to sleep and he seems confused. Aldo tells him nothing helps him to sleep and it started a year ago.

Afterwards, Huang tells the detectives that he thinks Aldo has a degenerative disease called fatal familial insomnia. Aldo signals that he does remember seeing the man Monday and he recalls where. He takes the detectives to the location and says he was out walking and heard a commotion in the alley and the man ran into him. He points out a building where lots of people go in and out.
Back at SVU, Fin tells them the place is called the Swing Set, a new kind of erotic establishment and new members must be invited by a current member. Stabler says they will tell them their good friend Jerry invited them.
At the Swing Set, Benson and Stabler pretend to be married and first time swingers. Suzette (Jane Jensen) lets them in and tells them not to feel pressure to do anything. They ask about Jerry and Suzette tells them to look for Cassandra, and Suzette walks over to Cassandra (Rose McGowan) and whispers something in her ear. Cassandra walks over to them and asks Benson if her husband can buy her a drink. They speak with her about Jerry. Another man and a woman come on to Benson and Cassandra takes Stabler away to another room where many others are making out. Stabler speaks with her about Jerry and Cassandra comments that he asks a lot of questions. Meanwhile, Benson talks to the other couple and Benson mentions Jerry, saying Jerry only has eyes for Cassandra. The issue of jealousy comes up. Cassandra tells him one man, Doug, could not handle the lifestyle. The other couple also mentions Doug to Benson, saying that Cassandra’s ex made a big scene there a week ago. Apparently Doug came barging into the playroom and he tried to attack Jerry but Jerry said he would kick his ass. Benson finds out that Jerry’s wife was also there that night and very turned on by Jerry’s behavior.

Later, at the hospital, Benson and Stabler speak with Jerry’s wife about this and she said she is sorry she forgot to mention it but was afraid she’d get the looks about her lifestyle. She seems surprised Jerry was at the Swing Set without her. They ask about Cassandra’s ex but she does not know Doug’s last name. She will give a description to their sketch artist.

Back at the Swing Set, Stabler and Benson are inside while Fin waits in a car outside. He sees Doug arrive and he alerts Stabler that Doug is on his way in. Doug (Ryan Hurst) makes a move toward Stabler but Stabler slams him against the bar and Fin pulls out his gun and says they are NYPD. Cassandra walks off in a huff and when Stabler turns to take her to the precinct, she is long gone.

In interrogation, Stabler questions Doug Loveless. Doug refuses to drink the coffee just so they can get his DNA off the cup. Doug denies stabbing anyone and said he lost his knife when someone opened up his door in traffic and he had to lay his bike down. He asks for a lawyer.

Afterwards, Benson and Stabler speak with Cragen and ADA Hardwicke (Melissa Sagemiller), who does not think they have enough on Doug. Fin tells them Jerry just woke up.

At the hospital, Benson and Stabler speak with Jerry, his daughter is present. He explains his lifestyle to her and says he fell in love with Cassandra. He didn’t care about his work, he just wanted to be with Cassandra. He says his wife attacked him.
They take Jane Bullard down to SVU and Benson and Stabler question her. She says they do not understand, and said the Swing Set was her idea. She only cares about Jerry destroying their future, Jerry was taking money out of her checking account and Janette’s college fund for Cassandra. She knew he did not go to DC and she knew where he was. She got drunk and went to the club and waited in the alley and before she knew it she was stabbing him. She was happy to hear he was alive and was going to beg for forgiveness when he woke up.

While Doug still waits in interrogation, Hardwicke tells Cragen and Fin to let him go. They have nothing on him and the club has not pressed charges. Cragen tells Doug he is being let go, and Fin tells him to stay away from Cassandra. After they let him out, Fin worries Doug will go after Cassandra and Cragen says he will put Benson and Stabler in his tail.

Benson and Stabler follow Doug to Cassandra’s and he approaches her as she leaves her home. Benson and Stabler run to her, fearing the worst, but she kisses Doug. Stabler thinks they have been played. Benson and Stabler separate them and arrest them for ripping people off.
Later, in SVU interrogation, Stabler calls Cassandra a con artist for fleecing Bullard out of his life savings, using her fake fear of Doug as her hook. Meanwhile, Benson grills Doug on the same issue, calling him Steve, saying they tossed his grafter love nest and found many other aliases. Stabler also confronts Cassandra on her multiple aliases. Cassandra tries to come on to Stabler. Benson tells Doug they have a case against them for larceny, fraud, scheme to defraud, criminal impersonation. Doug tells her good luck in getting the victims to get on the stand. Both detectives bring up the issue of Bullard, and Stabler brings up a swingers club in Miami, the Open Door. Both Cassandra – under the ID of Priscilla Cruze and Doug are persons of interest in the death of a swinger, Claude Bailey, who was killed and his bank account drained. Apparently skin cells were found under Claude’s fingernails. Before Cassandra can answer Stabler, Dave Seaver (Michael Boatman) walks in and announces he is her lawyer, brought in by Jerry Bullard.
At Cassandra’s and Doug’s arraignment, Seaver seems to be prepared, but Doug’s attorney, Mitch Shankman (Jason Jurman) seems disorganized. Both plead not guilty. Hardwicke wants them held pending the information from the out of state murder, and Judge Andrews (Lindsay Crouse) says Hardwicke is tap dancing. Andrews sets bail at $250K for both, and orders them to surrender their passports. Afterwards, Jerry tells Cassandra he will post her bail, but when Cassandra blows off Doug, he calls her a back stabbing bitch. When Jerry moves to leave, Stabler tell him he is making a fool of himself and Benson says Cassandra is playing him.

Back at SVU, Fin tells Benson and Stabler that Miami PD just called, they faxed the DNA results and they have to read it to believe it. The skins cells under the fingernails match Doug’s, but it also reveals something else. They look at the information and seem shocked.

Later, the detectives tell Jerry that Doug and Cassandra are related – Cassandra and Doug are brother and sister and they are also having sex together. Jerry thinks it is a lie and asks how they know they were sleeping together. Stabler describes the kiss they witnessed and Benson says they found a used condom at their place under the bed. Jerry is dumbfounded but says he loves her, and they are soul mates. He gave up his life to be with her.

As Cassandra leaver her home, Benson and Stabler are waiting for her. She says Jerry invited her to live with him. Benson brings up her brother. She says it is consensual. Stabler says it is sick and depraved. She says she and Doug are twins and they share a soul. Stabler calls it “twincest.” Benson comments about the Miami murder and trial, and Cassandra says Doug is not a murderer. Stabler says that Jerry was weirded out about the “bromance”. But Cassandra says she just got off the phone with Jerry and he was not weirded out at all and that she has to get home soon because she has the perfect gift for her – for both of them. The detectives get a look of concern and race to the car.

Stabler and Benson arrive at Jerry’s home and see a trail of rose petals on the floor. They call out to Jerry but there is no answer. They enter and Benson sees bail papers for Doug. They see Jerry in another room, who says it was easy getting Doug there, and he gave Doug a beer and never saw him pick up his knife. Stabler tells Jerry to step out of the way, and they see Doug on the couch with the knife through his chest. Jerry says now he and Cassandra can be together forever. Cassandra walks in and sees Doug dead and screams “no!” and runs to him. She begs Doug not to leave her, and Jerry watches in shock as Cassandra sobs over her dead brother. We fade to black.

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

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.


nygma619 said...

"Last time I looked, people who were scammed by con artists are not special victims; likewise con artists seem outside the purview of a special victims unit. Once it had been established that the victim was stabbed by his wife, SVU’s involvement should have ended there."

After all these years, you haven't figured out that handing over a case with detectives who aren't familiar with it is a waste of man hours for THOSE detectives to become familiar with it? At least that's what was established in the L&O universe. Also the fact that these things happened around swingers clubs would keep this in the SVU realm I would think? But then again I only saw the 2nd half of the episode, so maybe I missed something.

"I was also distracted by trying to find the special victim in this case."

The guy stabbed in the crotch wasn't enough?

"and bring back the mothership in the process."

Are people still going through that phase? Or did I miss a joke or sarcasm somewhere?

Jojo said...

Was it just me, or was the episode somewhat predictable? Aside from the twincest thing, which wasn't all that exciting a bombshell anyway. It wasn't a bad episode, but not all that riveting either. It's always nice to see Liv dressed to the nines, though.

Rose McGowan was OK, but her face (and as you said ATL&O, her lips in particular) was so distracting. It looked uncomfortable.

There's an obscure mid-90s telemovie that I love which stars Tom Irwin and Judith Light, with Tom being a kind doctor. It creeps me out to see him in these kinds of roles.

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
All Things Law and Order said...

Heather - It's not pathetic! Sometimes I notice stock music or footage being used on other shows, epscially those that are produced by the same company.

nygma619 – certainly I know that we are dealing with the fictional L&O universe. But, if you watch many of the earlier episodes of SVU – when the series was at its best – the cases had clearly identified special victims and the cases fit the real world description of a special victim. A stabbing in of itself does not make a special victim although in this case the location of the stabbing had sexual overtones. No one at the time knew that it occurred near a swingers club and it looked as if it were a robbery/mugging gone bad. Robberies and mugging are not normally handled by special victims, so I wonder who decided to bring special victims into the case? Once that case was solved, that should have been the end of special victims’ involvement.

In the real world, cases get turned over to other police divisions all the time. Not all police forces are idiots as in the TV world, they can actually absorb the details of a case and take over quickly and work together. But in the SVU universe, it seems that special victims gets involved in too many crimes that have nothing to do with a special victim, and in my opinion, it’s partly because they are running out of ways to tell the same old stories about the same old SVU-type crimes.

As far as my comment about the mothership – there are still quite a few people that would love the show to return in some shape or form. In fact, when Southland was renewed on TNT just a few days ago, I got quite a few emails from people commenting that they wished TNT would have somehow gotten hold of L&O and run with it. My comment was merely a humorous suggestion to satisfy those people who are tired of these convoluted SVU stories and who want the mothership to come back. Honestly, wouldn’t it have made a powerful show to have Benson and Stabler working at the 2-7 and working other cases?

nygma619 said...

"A stabbing in of itself does not make a special victim"

Of course it doesn't, but getting stabbed in the crotch wouldn't make it too much of a stretch that someone WOULD call Special Victims FIRST.

"In the real world, cases get turned over to other police divisions all the time."

I wouldn't say ALL THE TIME, yes in the real world it works alot differently, but cases getting called over to the most obvious people in situations like these CAN happen.

At that point the detectives were already deep enough in to the case where they might as well have saw it through, and any other actions that played out as a result of that.

seanboyb said...

what was the point to adding so much story to the crazy butcher why couldnt they just say a hobo that may have seen the attack, i also found the ending with the twincest realy uncalled for i thought the fact that they wer realy dating and con artist was beliveable enough i also thought the excuse to chase after the boyfreind after they let him go kinda like BS .this episode doesnt even seem like a svu case getting stabbed in the crotch automaticly make svu? they even check for fluids or if when he woke up if he was attacked sexually

xfool said...

This was a REAL stretch to call this a special victims case. This show is being dumbed down roo much to appeal to that younger demographic. This show is becoming a joke and quite a few people I know now watch it for how cheesy the show has become - cheesy that rivals CSI Miami. CSI Miami still pulls in big viewers but SVU still thinks 7-8 mill. viewers is something to cheer about. I suppose when you are on a network that is almost in the basement ratings wise, SVU is the best they have right now.

Rose McGowan had one scene when she met Stabler that it was obvious she was trying to suck in her stomach and it wasn't working. Her lips look like she has been sucking on lemons!

Is Mariska wearing a wig or hair extensions? Somethinbg about her hair looked very fake.

gahks said...

I actually like your suggestion, All Things: transfer B&S to the 2-7 and pave the way for a mothership return. That way, maybe they can actually handle homicide cases instead of homicide cases dressed up as SVU investigations. The last few seasons of the original 'Law & Order' were so satisfying that it really did deserve a 21st season. Although, I point to nygma619 when I say this may be wishful thinking...

Keir said...

What was the point of putting so much effort in presenting a suspect who happens to be an Italian immigrant who has not been able to sleep for 15 months, three shy from what is usually determined to be the time victims expire, only to drop the character and move on? It's no wonder that Stabler himself looked bemused when they were taking leave of him. Lazy attempt at a MacGuffin which did nothing to move the plot in a sensible direction. To end the episode with a forced use of incest also reeks of desperation for scandal rather than imaginative writing.

Joaquin Corbalan said...

Final appears of Melissa Sagemiller as A.D.A Gillian Hardwicke and B.D Wong as Dr. George Huang.

Joaquin Corbalan said...

Goodbye Gillian Hardwicke