Thursday, May 19, 2011
Law & Order SVU “Smoked” Recap & Review
But that’s about all the good that I can say about "Smoked".
The much hyped death of a character turned out to be a minor recurring character, Sister Peg (Charlayne Woodard) who hasn’t been in an episode since season 8. This was a clear case of the hype not matching what was delivered, a common occurrence for SVU and of great annoyance to fans. Also, Munch (Richard Belzer), Cragen (Dann Florek), Huang (BD Wong), and Warner (Tamara Tunie) were all missing from this episode which spared them from the squadroom gunfire, and spared the actors from officially appearing in this train wreck of an episode.
The story was a conglomeration of an old rape case, a new murder, witness intimidation, a Federal cigarette smuggling undercover case, an incompetent AFT agent who botches his job more than once, a weapon getting past police security, the resulting shooting/killing in the SVU squad room, and a detective killing a kid. I can see why they called the episode “Smoked” because clearly someone was smoking “wacky tobacky” while they wrote it.
The biggest, most ridiculous thing of all was how a kid - or anyone else for that matter - can get a gun into the squad room. They must have the most lax security in the country at SVU, since apparently they don’t use any metal detectors. I used to think that the steps of the courthouse on 60 Centre Street was the deadliest place in the Law & Order Universe, but I think the SVU Squad room now deserves that honor. They should be ashamed of themselves.
Here is the recap:
Annette Fox is murdered on the street, shot in the head in an apparent mugging, while out shopping with her daughter Jenna (Hayley McFarland ) for a prom dress. Detectives Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) are called to the scene and find that the victim was a rape victim who was scheduled to testify against her rapist the following week.
At SVU while Benson consoles Jenna, Stabler and Fin (Ice-T) speak with ADA West (Francie Swift) about Annette’s rapist, Luke Ronson and that Ronson said it was not rape, it was consensual. They knew that once Annette testified it would end the question but Ronson’s attorney Hashi Horowitz has been stalling the trial. They don’t believe Annette’s killing is a coincidence. They see on security video that Annette was shot after her purse was taken and it looks like an execution.
Jenna speaks to Benson and says she doesn’t recall seeing anything. Her mother was ready for this trial. She tells Benson and Stabler that Luke Ronson killed her mother. She adds that her mother saw someone outside in the dark staring at her, but Jenna did not see the person. Her mother also got some weird phone calls, the person would just call and hang up. The last time the person called, her mother went off on the caller, yelling and calling him a gutless prick.
Afterwards, Fin tells Stabler he found 83 calls to Annette, all from the same number. The calls were made from a disposable phone purchased from Big Russ’ Electronic Emporium which is ½ block away from Ronson’s salon.
Benson and Stabler head to Ronson’s Xcelerator Salon and question Ronson (Andrew Howard). He says they are harassing him. He doesn’t seem to know Annette was killed, and before he starts to talk, his lawyer Hashi Horowitz (Joe Grifasi) enters and says he knew they would try to pin Annette’s death on Luke. Ronson said he was with his publicist so the detectives decide to retrace Luke’s steps.
Benson speaks with the publicist who said she was with Luke and he went to a homeless shelter to volunteer and adds they are wrong about Luke.
With Stabler at Sister Peg’s Mission, Sister Peg (Charlayne Woodard) speaks highly of Luke. He cuts hair and checks the homeless for lice and treated them. She says she has to take all the help he can get. Luke left the mission very suddenly last night. His last customer was Eddie Skinner.
Stabler speaks with Eddie Skinner (Michael Raymond-James ) who says Luke did not cut his hair. He said Luke seemed preoccupied and said he thinks Luke had a gun on him.
At Luke’s residence, Benson, Stabler and Fin are there with a search team. Fin finds a bag with a gun, shell casings, and a black hooded sweatshirt. Benson and Stabler head back to the salon and arrest Luke.
In SVU interrogation, Luke denies killing Annette. He has no permit for the gun in New York and says he has a permit for the gun in Arizona. Benson brings up Horowitz filing many motions for Luke’s stress disorders and calls it a smokescreen. Horowitz says Luke is unjustly accused and the gun they found was not loaded which is a misdemeanor. They challenge him about the gun, and Luke says he was going shooting at a gun range but decided not to go. The detectives continue to press Luke over Horowitz’s objections. Luke looks ready to say something when ADA West enters and tells the detectives she needs a word. She tells them Luke is not the killers, and CSU Sung (James Chen) says he tested Luke’s gun and it does not match the shell casings from the killer’s gun. The black hoodie also does not match. They have to cut him loose. Stabler comments to Benson that the look on Luke’s face tells him Luke is guilty of something.
Benson follows Luke and Horowitz out the door of the 16th precinct. Jenna is there and sees that Luke is being released and she becomes upset. But Stabler, with Fin, drives past them in his car to tail Luke. Jenna is still upset and says she trusted them and they have no clue who killed her mother. As she storms off, Benson promises that they will get Luke.
Stabler and Fin tail Luke to the Sister Peg’s Mission but it’s not Luke’s normal haircutting day. Fin decides to go in and check it out. He speaks with Sister Peg and Fin sees him arguing with Eddie and Fin snaps a photo. He calls Stabler and sends him the photo and Stabler tells Fin that Eddie is the guy who saw Luke’s gun in the bag. Eddie spots Fin approaching and makes a run for it, but Stabler catches him outside and cuffs him. Eddie also has a disposable phone on him. Fin and Stabler take Luke and Eddie away in cuffs.
With Eddie in interrogation, Stabler questions him. Fin has Luke in another room, and when Fin asks if Luke is sure he doesn’t want his lawyer, Luke says he needs to tell the truth now. He hired Eddie to harass Annette but never said to kill her. He admits to buying the phone, he just wanted to scare her and paid Eddie to do it. Eddie denies getting paid or doing in. Luke admits the gun was in his bag because he was going to the shooting range and Eddie was squeezing him for more money. Eddie wanted to kill her because she yelled at him. Stabler continues to press at Eddie who asks for his phone call.
Afterwards, Benson says she believes Luke. Stabler says Eddie is their shooter and ADA West agrees. But they don’t have the gun. She tells them to arrest Luke for witness tampering and Eddie for assaulting a police officer but not to lock them up together to allow them to concoct a story before they get to central booking.
Stabler gives Eddie his phone call and Eddie is screaming at someone on the other line. As Stabler takes Eddie away, Eddie says once they find he is being falsely accused, he and Stabler will be best friends.
Meanwhile, Benson calls Jenna to give her a progress report. Stabler gets a call to take Luke to central booking. When Stabler gets to the transport, Eddie is not there, and he finds that Eddie was not in the lock up. Stabler looks stunned and wonders who let Eddie out.
Benson and Stabler find that Eddie was signed out about an hour after he got in there because a an ATF man took him, and he had orders from One PP, the chief of organized crime patrol.
At BATFE, NY Field Division, Benson and Stabler, along with ADA West, speak with Special Agent Greer (Pedro Pascal) who refuses to hand Eddie over. Eddie is their inside man to bust a cigarette smuggling ring. When he refuses to release him, Stabler barges in and cuffs Eddie to himself and when West makes a call to DA Jack McCoy, Greer offers to work it out.
Later, both Stabler and Eddie are working undercover to help on the Feds cigarette case, while Benson and Greer watch from the surveillance camera. A car drives up and Phil and his men approach them and Stabler is frisked. Stabler complains about the cigarette taxes. Phil outlines the agreement and Stabler says he is taking the risk and wants to see the product. Phil has it stored there and Stabler seems shocked at the amount. Stabler checks it out and while doing so, Benson and Greer get interference on the video feed. Greer tells all units to move in, but Benson says Stabler did not give the signal. Greer tells her this is his op, not hers.
As AFT races in, Phil’s people draw their guns and in the confusion, Eddie takes off. Greer and Stabler run after him and Eddie strikes Greer with a pipe and flees. Greer is happy he made the bust, but Stabler is unhappy because he just lost his killer.
At the hospital where Greer was taken, Benson and Stabler talk about what to tell Jenna now. Greer is apologetic. Benson gets a call from Fin saying they checked the shelter and Eddie’s gun is not there and Sister Peg hasn’t seen Eddie since they picked him up. Stabler thinks Eddie will go back to Luke Ronson for the money Luke owed him.
Later, at Luke’s, Benson and Stabler see Eddie with a gun on Luke forcing Luke to get him money. Stabler orders Eddie to drop the gun but Eddie uses Luke as a shield. Stabler has a clear shot and uses this to convince Eddie to drop the gun and let Luke go. They are arrested.
Back at SVU, they tell Eddie they matched his gun to the one that killed Annette. When Eddie says he can give them Luke for Annette’s rape, the detectives think this is a lie but ADA West enters and asks for details. She says she can have Annette’s previous testimony read to the jury at trial. She need his corroboration. She makes him a deal and he thinks she can do better than that. But Eddie caves and tells them that Luke told him about the rape in great detail. Eddie killed Annette all on his own. She says if they drop the charge down to murder 3 he will tell them a juicier story – where he got the gun he used to shoot her.
Back at BATFE, Benson and Stabler confront Greer for giving Eddie the gun. In their interrogation room, Benson and Stabler and Greer’s boss question him about giving Eddie the gun. The gun was taken from a previous ATF op that went bad and the gun was from that op. The detectives are irate with Greer and say that Greer set up Eddie hitting him so Eddie could get away with the gun. They says Greer is as responsible for Annette’s death as Eddie, and his boss takes his gun and credentials. Benson and Stabler arrest him.
Back at SVU, Stabler puts Greer in the cell with Eddie and Luke. Sister Peg is there and she gives Benson and Stabler a photo of Annette and Jenna with their addressed in Eddie’s handwriting. Benson thinks Jenna can now have closure, and Fin says they can tell her in person as she is on her way up.
Benson meets Jenna and explains that they have her mother’s killer and that they also have Luke and the rape trial is back on. Jenna asks where they are, and Benson says they are in the cage. Benson takes Jenna in to the main room and she sees them all in the cage. She asks who the other guy is, and Benson says that is a Federal Agent who gave Eddie the gun. Jenna says she is OK and begins to walk back to the elevator. As Benson walks back into the squad room, she does not realize that Jenna has walked back in with a gun. Jenna opens fire on the three men in the cell and then shoots wildly. As everyone ducks for cover, Sister Peg is hit and falls to the ground. She stops and Stabler orders her to put the gun down. Eddie calls her a bitch and says he should have killed her with her mother. Jenna raises the gun and when she moves to shoot Eddie, Stabler fires back and hits her. He races to her and kicks the gun away and as she lay there bleeding she tells him she bought the gun off the street, and it was easy. She dies. Benson is in shock as Sister Peg is also dead. Benson and Stabler remain stunned, Fin gets on the phone and others in the squad race around to check on the others. We fade to black.
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