Thursday, April 26, 2012

Law & Order SVU “Street Revenge” Recap & Review

It’s sex crimes meets comic book heroes in Law & Order SVU “Street Revenge. ” The case is about a neighborhood serial rapist and that same neighborhood’s vigilante “superhero” group taking matters into their own hands to eradicate the problem. It’s nothing like the serious real life situation of the Florida case of Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman; they only have a neighborhood watch as a common denominator. “Street Revenge” was more of a comic book look at the issue of vigilantism, featuring masked avengers and a perp who has his own comic book store. It was very hard to take the victims, and the vigilantes,  seriously.

It was hard to believe that Cragen, with all his years of experience, would have stepped over his own tongue so badly during the press conference. At least this gave Benson the chance to use her own years of dealing with rape victims in order to more tactfully explain to the crowd what the police were doing to solve the crime and catch the rapist.

This episode may go down in SVU history as having the highest number of hits by the detectives and highest number of hits/kicks by non-police in a single episode. While Benson’s reason for the slap and punch was work related, Amaro’s was not. Law & Order SVU has another male hothead detective with marital and anger issues (I am getting a feeling of déjà vu here). While Amaro is supposed to be out on the street working the case, instead he’s out on the street – and going out of the city – to follow his wife and confront the man with whom he thinks she is having an affair. Amaro is being painted as a perfectionist who can’t control his feelings of jealousy and anger.  But the question remains, who or what really ruined his marriage? It seems it was a combination of many things: his wife’s prolonged absence from home while she served overseas; Amaro’s suspicions and jealousy plus his move from narcotics to sex crimes; his wife keeping secrets. She proved him right that she could not be trusted as she wasn’t telling him everything about seeing a shrink or lunching with a friend, and he proved her right by personally doing surveillance on  her and then beating up on a man who he suspected was her lover. Amaro’s anger spills over to his questioning of a suspect at the end as he coaxed him to the edge of the rooftop, just as Amaro pushed his own marriage to the edge. One thing is clear, Amaro – like his predecessor Elliot Stabler – needs some help to control his rage.

It may be the result of watching too many Law & Order brand shows over the years, but I figured that the attacker was one of the people in the community group before the opening credits aired.

Here is the recap:

Mariska Hargitay – Detective Olivia Benson
Ice-T – Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola
Richard Belzer – Sergeant John Munch
Dann Florek – Captain Don Cragen
Kelli Giddish - Detective Amanda Rollins
Danny Pino - Detective Nick Amaro

Guest stars:
Laura Benanti - Maria Grazie
Michael Rispoli - Henry
Hani Furstenberg - Leslie
Keir O’Donnell - Stuart
Dominic Fumusa – Jason
Veronika Dominiczyk - Clair
David Pittu – Henry’s Lawyer
Gavin Lee - Dennis Griscomb
Michael James Levy - Andy Chen

At a scene, Benson is questioning a woman who is being taken on a stretcher to an ambulance. A crowd watches nearby. Benson asks if she is sure it was a dark hoodie, and then says they will need to get in touch when they need to talk to her again. Amaro approaches Benson and says brown hair in his 20s, and asks if she is looking at victim # 5. Benson says he pushed the victim down from behind, he cut a handful of her hair and said “do you think you’re special, bitch.” Benson adds she was drunk but she thinks he was white and wearing a dark hoodie. Benson, commenting on the crowd, wants to know where these lookie-loos were there when it happened. Amaro said at home, in their lofts, west SoHo is a ghost town 11. A reporter approaches Benson and asks if she thinks the West SoHo rapist has struck again and do they have any leads and she tells him they are working the case and the victim is their top priority, He asks if that is a no, and she said that is a let them do their job. When she walks off, the reporter faces the camera and says once again the NYPD is stymied by the West SoHo rapist.

Back at SVU, Munch is listening to the TV reporter say that the police are still clueless. Munch has a sketch in his hand, and says you can’t sketch what you don’t see. Cragen is surprised there are still no phone calls and no witnesses, and wonders if the guy is invisible. Benson explains the only nearest subway is the 1 train, and Rollins thinks he may be driving as it was near the Holland Tunnel. Amaro says they are pulling videos and doing stop and frisks on white males, and Fin quips that is a nice change of pace. Munch adds too bad that hasn’t helped. Cragen suggests they flood the zone tonight and cover the subway and tunnel – he wants a noose around the area. He asks if anybody on the streets after midnight better have an NYPD pay stub on them. When they don’t move immediately, he asks them what are they waiting for, a hug goodbye? As they all move out, Cragen stops Benson, saying he saw the morning news and so did the commissioner, and he said she handled the reporter.  He tells her she is coming with him to a community council meeting for damage control. When she begins to object, he says it is not a request.

At the community council meeting, Cragen is asking the crowd to exercise caution and avoid going out late alone. A man (we later find his name is Henry) in the crowd calls out “so the rapist wins? These are our streets.” As the crowd shouts, Cragen explains not to make it easy for him (the rapist). When a woman (we later find is Leslie) asks if that means they are asking for it, the crowd get more vocal. Cragen says absolutely not, but a man thinks he is blaming the victims. Benson steps in and says they are only blaming the man who is committing these attacks and goes on to say they have posted surveillance throughout the neighborhood. As she continue to speak, we see police officers posting wanted signed. She explains there is increased police presence and some measures will be visible and some they will not disclose so the attacker can’t anticipate our methods, Henry shouts out that whatever they are doing, it is not preventing these attacks. Benson tries to calm the crowd by saying they are doing everything they can but are also asking that women to stay alert and she will promise them they will not stop until they catch him.

Despite this, another woman is being attacked, and the attacker says, “you’re mine, bitch.” But, another man comes from behind and shouts for him to get off of her, and he pulls the attacker away. He seems to be wearing a mask or helmet covering his head, and the woman watches as the man chases her attacker away.

Later, at the hospital, the woman, Clair, speaks with Amaro and Rollins and regrets being out alone and she had a few drinks. Rollins says it is not her fault she was attacked. Clair comments that Rollins has to say that. But Rollins tries to assure her and asks her to go through what happened. She explains her attacker had a knife and he knocked her down, and he did not rape her as another guy stopped him, adding that is who they should be talking to. Rollins tries to get back to the attacker, and the woman says the man wore a dark hoodie and a tan construction jacket. His voice sounded white, and he said “You’re mine, bitch.” She says her rescuer was wearing a crazy get-up like a downtown superhero, she thought she was imagining things. He punched the rapist in the face and chased after him. The ran towards Houston Street. She thinks the man really is a hero as he saved her.

Back at SVU, the annoying reporter, Dennis Griscomb, can still be heard on TV talking about the latest attack and Benson and Cragen walk in. Benson tells them to turn that noise off, and Cragen complies, saying screw him. Cragen comments he thought they were looking at security cam footage, and Rollins says she is on it. Cragen asks if anybody else is working the case besides the masked avenger. Benson replies that he can say what he wants about him, but he clocked the perp so hard that he left blood at the crime scene and adds that Fin is leaning on Warner. Munch states they have six rapes and a DNA hit but that’ a start, but Cragen counters that is assuming he is their serial. Benson thinks he fits the profile, they have the 3 AM attack; the victim. Clair Grant, is brunette, he pushed her down and he had a knife. Amaro adds these are all details they did not release. Rollins comments it’s not exactly the magic words, he was close and said “you’re mine bitch” instead of “you think you’re special. Cragen asks if he cut her hair, and Munch thinks he did not have time, he was interrupted. DNA hit aside, Cragen states they do not need vigilantes doing their job, and asks where are they on that. Rollins says there is no sign of him on video but shows them footage from t he Houston street IRT at 3:16 AM and shows a man with a tan jacket and hoodie. The metro card he used could have been charged. Cragen tells Amaro and Rollins to try to track it down.

At the NYC Department of Education Payroll Office, they ask a woman to match the metro card to a board of ed employee, and she is reluctant, Rollins tells her it is a police matter and to make the time. The woman says all she has to do is stay black and die. Amaro tries to sweet talk her and he is successful in getting her to look it up. She asks Amaro if he has Indian in him, and he says he gets that sometimes. She comments she can tell – it’s the cheekbones. She says this will take awhile and suggests he gets a coffee.

Afterwards, Rollins asks if Amaro’s wife is back home for good, and says it must be nice. He says Zara is thrilled, his mom moved out, Maria burned some sage, and everybody is happy. They walk up to a school bus loading up with kids and Rollins calls out to May Chen. May asks if she is there about the motorcyclist, and says every day he speeds, Amaro says they can track him down, but asks about her metro card. She says she walked today, saying sometime her son Andy borrows it. She looks concerned when Amaro asks how old is Andy.

At a street basketball court looking for Andy Chen,  Benson and Fin enter while a game is in progress.  Benson sees the tan jacket and questions the busted nose.    Fin says if that is their guy, they need a new sketch artist.  Benson calls out to him and shows her badge, and Fin asks him to come over and talk to keep everybody out of his business.

Benson asks Andy about his nose, and when it seems Andy is going to explain, he runs off. Benson and Fin chase him, and when Benson catches up to him, she slaps him and throws him up against a parked car.  He screams back that he knows his rights and to not touch him, and Benson replies, “Yeah?” and then delivers a punch to his face and throws him against the car, and then to the ground.  He screams she is breaking his arm as Benson reaches in to his pocket and finds a switchblade which she hands to Fin.  He says Andy is done messing up now.

Back at SVU with Cragen,  Amaro mentions Andy’s prior for subway groping and he lives with his mother.  Fin tells Cragen that Warner is checking the DNA against the blood form Clair’s attack.  Benson is icing her hand.  Cragen asks what happened to his nose.  Fin says it was from what happened last night, adding that Benson just knocked him upside the head and it wasn’t her. Cragen replies he is sure. Cragen reminds them even if they can tie him to last night’s attack they have no DNA or IDs from the other 5 rapes and a confession would be helpful – by the book.

Fin and Amaro enter the interrogation room where Andy is waiting.  Fin says they have his DNA and metro card, and Amaro says they have his “pig sticker” which he used to cut their hair.  He denies it,  and then says the girl wanted it and said she had to have it,  adding the others too and that he is the King of SoHo,  he did them all night long and they begged him not to stop. Amaro says the girls picked him up and asks which one liked him the most. Andy says he does not know, the first one. Fin comments this was the blonde, and asks what she was wearing. Andy says a skirt thing, right?  Amaro says she was not as hot as the redhead, and Andy says he did her good, but like they said, they picked him up.  Fin tells him to “sit tight, king” and he and Amaro exit the room.  They tell Cragen that Andy is good for Monday night but he is not their serial.  Cragen says a copycat and a masked crusader – he does not like where this is going.  Munch walks up and says he is not going to like this, either.

They watch a news report by Dennis Griscomb, says the SoHo rapist is still at large.  He reads back a letter from the rapist  saying the NYPD can’t catch him and copycat’s can’t touch him, and Batman can’t stop him.  Amaro wonders if that is from him, and Fin comments who else would know Chen was a copycat?   Griscomb says the letter goes on with 3 pages of details about the crimes, details only the rapist would know. He reads the chilling threat which closes the letter, “You SoHo sluts  think you’re special, this is just the beginning.”  Cragen wants the letter, and Munch replies they will have to pry it from Griscomb’s cold dead fingers.
Later, Cragen informs the team that Cabot told him Andy Chen is out on the street and he made bail.  Benson mentions the DNA at Clair’s scene being a match, but Cragen says Andy’s lawyer claimed the DA reacted to media pressure and hysteria. Chen has ties to the community, he is an A student and his church posted his bond, adding he is a Jehovah’s Witness.  Rollins says the community hysteria is just getting started, and shows them a video showing the angry man from the community group complaining about how the system is failing them.  Another member of the group adds that tonight they will have a no more fear “slut walk.” Benson says this started in Toronto and went global, women are tired of victim blaming.  Cragen reminds them they can’t lose control here, and asks about Griscomb’s letter. Munch says he got a personal response where Griscomb quoting his rights. Fin reminds them the letter can have his prints on it, and Rollins says if he hasn’t left DNA at 5 rapes scenes he won’t leave anything on a letter.  Benson questions the no DNA at 5 rape scenes and asks if the guy is starting something he can’t finish. Rollins states some of the victims said they thought he used a condom. Cragen comments he manages to get away unseen,  and Munch speculates he lives in the neighborhood.  Cragen tells them to recheck priors and sex offenders and tells Benson to talk to Warner to recheck the vic’s clothes for touch DNA.  He tells Rollins to talk to one of her rabbis and work up a profile.  He finishes by saying if he gets one more call from the Mayor’s office they are all looking for new jobs, and asks where the hell is Amaro?

Amaro is sitting in his car, watching his wife sitting at an outside table at a restaurant, alone.  He sees a man approach and sit down at the table. Amaro’s phone rings, and watches while the man pours Amaro’s wife some wine. Amaro tells the caller he is 5 minutes away.

At another location, Andy is hanging by his arms on a fence,  and Amaro arrives to the crowd of onlookers.  As the EMTs pull Andy down  Fin tells him it is street justice, witnesses saw  Andy get jumped by 5 superheroes,  Rollins adding that they call themselves the Justice League and most of the people cheered them on. The letters JLNY-1, NYPD - 0  are written on the sidewalk.  Fin says these are our streets, not theirs.

At Stuyvesant Hospital,  Andy, badly beaten, says his attackers wore masks and helmets ad there was a chick in there.  They were beating him up and says that is all their fault, they made them hate him. Amaro reminds Andy he is a rapist and if he wasn’t a cop,  he would smack him around too.  Andy’s mother enters with a lawyer, and tells Andy not to say anything as the lawyer hands Amaro notice of a lawsuit against him and the department for violating Andy’s civil rights.  Amaro angrily walks off and Fin follows.

Later, Rollins is talking to a group of female undercover cops, and they are all  dressed in provocative clothing.  Rollins is wearing a dark haired wig. Cragen reminds Amaro and Fin  about radio contact and he does not want to lose anybody.  Amaro says they are looking light on backup. Fin moans this is just what they need when 100 women are running around half naked.

As Rollins walks the street, she hears a man call out “rape.”  She radio to Fin asking if he heard that.  Fin pulls up in his car and says they got a call and tells her to get in.  They got to a rooftop where a man is down and he tells them to help a woman who is laying nearby.  They appear to be dressed as superheroes, and the man asks if “Fantastica” is alright.  The man is stabbed and Fin says the woman is hanging on.  The man, who is fading fast.  says he was only gone a minute.

Later, in the hospital, the woman – Leslie -  describes the attack to Benson. She didn’t hear or see anything before she was knocked out.  Benson tells her she was sexually assaulted.  Leslie think this could not happen to her, they were supposed to catch him.  Meanwhile, the man – Stuart -  tells Amaro that  Leslie is his partner and they were on patrol for the rapist.  They were supposed to meet at midnight and she wasn’t there so he checked the other roofs and when he got back he saw him jump her and he had a brick in his hand.  Leslie tells Benson that she did not hear anything before she blacked out; the man tells Amaro he was white and it was dark and he yelled and when he pulled him off her, the man stabbed him with big, curved scissors with a black handle.  Leslie says they got up to the rooftop via the fire escape. Benson says they will check for DNA and Leslie confirms she has not had sex in the last 48 hours, saying she is not seeing anyone, she was trying to prevent other women from being raped.  Benson suggests they leave that to the police, and Leslie reminds her that hasn’t worked.  Benson counters that this didn’t work either.

Amaro presses Stuart, saying that he and Leslie are in the justice league and they lie to them about Andy Chen.  Stuart claims he had nothing to do with beating up Andy. He doesn’t know who did. Stuart says they have done more in two nights than the police in two months.  He says he saved Fantastica and also the other girl the Monday night.  Amaro asked about the UPS warehouse and Stuart says he is on duty, he knows what he is doing.  He trains and works out, saying this is serious and the costumes tell the world what they stand for.  Amaro asks who are they, and Andy shows Amaro the lettering on his hand and says “12:19, Romans,” an Amaro adds “vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord.”  The man from the community meeting – Henry - walks up and chides Stuart for going out and yells at Stuart saying that Leslie got raped playing games. Stuart asks him why he is here,  and the man replies that Leslie called him, she needs a grown up around right now. Amaro pulls him away and asks Henry where he went last night and asks if he went on superhero patrol. Henry asks if he is kidding, he’s 50, he was home with his wife and daughter.

Later,  Amaro and Marie are at dinner at a nice restaurant discussing the day’s events with the case. He asks her how her week has been and she said it was just a lot of errands and running around,  but it is nice to have time with Zara.   He asks about yesterday and say he missed her all day. She says she took Zara to the park and played princesses and it was boring.  He says he tried her at lunch as he had a little break, and she said her phone didn’t ring, asking if he left a message. He replies that he figured she was busy, adding next time.  She sips her wine and looks distant and Amaro sips his drink uncomfortably.

Back at SVU, they are watching a TV report where Griscomb is showing video of Andy being beaten by 5 members of the justice league.  Munch says this is what they were worried about, and Rollins comments about the Trayvon Martin case in Florida.  Amaro seems lost in thought but comments about Leslie Adams – aka Fantastica - as he watches her in the video. Cragen asks if they are sure it is not another copycat. Rollins informs him her hair was cut and they never released that detail.  Munch asks why she was the only one that was knocked out.  Amaro reminds them about the attacker’s note, adding he is sending a message to the vigilantes. Cragen wonders how the rapist knew where to find Leslie.  Amaro comments that Stuart and Leslie have been involved in community outreach for weeks so if the rapist infiltrated their group he would know they are up on the roof.  Cragen comments that the rapist has been attending the anti-rapist rallies, and notes that Henry’s restaurant has been ground zero for the movement, and suggests they get a list of his members. Amaro pushes his chair in and slams it  loudly against the table as he and the others walk off

At the Brick Chicken,  Amaro and Rollins speak with Henry about his group being a front for the rapist. He thinks it is NYPD payback,  but Amaro says if Henry would have told them Leslie was a member of the justice league she would not have been hurt. He said the first inkling he had was at the march on Wednesday. They got into a fight afterwards but let her go off, asking Amaro if he has ever tried to tell a woman what to do.

When Rollins says his group is facing credibility issues,  Henry comments he was in West SoHo before it was gentrified and he is trying  to save it. While Rollins asks Henry to help them out and allow them to go through the email list, Amaro watches someone in the kitchen cut up chicken with poultry shears.  Henry takes them out of Amaro’s hands, cautioning him not to touch them as they are sharp. Henry says he has a dinner rush and walks off.  Amaro tells Rollins those shears may be a match for Stuart’s wounds.  He asks Rollins to ask the ME to take a look, and, looking at his watch, he starts to walk off.  She says she could, but so could Amaro.  He says he has a family thing and asks her to cover for him.

Back in the car, Amaro watches as a car pulls up, and Jason  steps out.  Jason asks what Amaro is doing in Philly, adding his daughter is doing better. Amaro asks if he had a nice lunch yesterday, and when Jason begins to say something, Amaro punches him and Jason falls against the car. Amaro grabs him and tells him to stay away from his wife, and he storms off.

Back at Henry’s restaurant,  he closes for the day and walks out to his car. He gets in and a masked man jumps on the hood and stomps in his windshield.  Another man pulls him out of the car and quickly afterwards he is surrounded by 4 masked people who beat him.  They run off.

Dennis Griscomb is again doing a news report about Henry’s beating.   He asks Amaro if he has any leads, but Amaro says Griscomb is the one withholding evidence and asks him if he cares to comment.  Afterwards,  Rollins comments to Amaro about him being sassy. She asks what happened to his hand and he says he must have banged it. She asks if he felt better afterwards. They are called over by a crime scene officer at Henry’s car who has six locks of hair bagged up, and Rollins suspects they were kept as trophies.  Rollins thinks that was more private than his house or restaurant.  Amaro wonders if the justice league made Henry as the rapist before they did,  maybe they know something the detectives don’t.

At SVU, Rollins and Amaro speak with Stuart, asking why he beat up Henry.  He says it wasn’t him, adding he can’t even lift his arm. Amaro asks about Stuart being stabbed with shears like those in Henry’s kitchen, and asks why Stuart is covering for him. He goes on to say that Stuart thinks they can’t do their jobs  so he takes matters into his own hands.   Stuart says he had to as Leslies is one of them and reminds Rollins that he saved her, not them.  Rollins says they do not have enough to charge Henry with so if Stuart thinks he raped her, he has to help them.  Stuart is picking apart a Styrofoam cup and Amaro yanks it out of Stuart’s hands.  Stuart says that on the roof, when the rapist was on top of Leslie, he heard him say, “you think you’re special, bitch?”  He recognized his voice.

Afterwards,  Cragen asks that Henry is the SoHo rapist, and Munch adds unless the locks of hair in his car don’t belong to the vics.  Rollins informs them that Stuart’s wounds were consistent with a curved blade like poultry shears and every attack occurred within walking distance of  his restaurant. Amaro thinks this is a smart move for a serial, being on t he front lines  making the most noise,  Benson wonders if it is more than that,  he is creating a crisis to solve, like a firefighters starts fires to be a hero. Rollins gets a message and announces that the DNA from Leslie’s rape kit is a match to Henry.

Later, Amaro and Rollins are in the hospital with Henry, and when he says he can’t work as they broke his hand, Rollins replies that it looks like they knew what they were doing. When he asks why she would say that,  Amaro tells him Leslie’s rape kit came back and they found his DNA and Leslie said she was not seeing anyone. He explains that she said that for him, he did not rape her, he is a public figure and a married man. Amaro says a ring does not mean much to some people.  Henry says it is not like that, the rapes started and they grew close. She was nervous being alone. Amaro comments he gave her a shoulder to cry on, asking if Henry did that for the other 5 victims. Henry denies it and says if the crime lab told them that they have a problem. Rollins said it is from  his car, and mentions the trophies from each victim. Henry looks surprised and says they are framing him now and wants a lawyer. Rollins tells him to get a good one and to tell him he is under arrest, Amaro cuffs Henry to the bed.

At Leslie’s she explains to  Fin and Rollins  that she had to lie about it, he is married and it could ruin him. She asks if Henry is OK and Fin says he is fine. She says Henry did not rape her, he loves her. Rollins reminds Leslie she was unconscious but Leslie insists it was not Henry.  Fin asks her about the fight with Henry, and she explains Henry figured out she was in the justice league and he told her not go but she promised Stuart they would go on patrol Henry said it was dangerous and stupid and he got really angry. 

In SVU interrogation with Fin and Benson, Benson tells Henry that Leslie told them that he knew she was on the roof and he was angry and jealous about it, he said he was angry because he didn’t want her to get hurt.  Fin asks about the baggie with the hair in his car, and Henry’s lawyer says Henry has no idea how that got there.  Benson asks Henry to account for his whereabouts on all the nights of the other attacks.   He claims he was home with his wife and daughter.  Fin asks Henry if his wife wants to verify this, and his lawyer tells Henry to worry about his marriage later, he is in real trouble.  Henry said not to go to his wife. The night of the first rape he was with Amy, his pastry chef who is also married. The other nights he was with Leslie or Jeanette, his wife’s sister. When he says it is not what they think. Benson says he does not want to know what she thinks.

Later, Rollins explains that all three of Henry’s alibis check out. Amaro adds that the doorman and video footage confirm it. They wonder who put the hair in Henry’s car and Amaro thinks it is the same person who said he saw Henry on the roof attacking Leslie. Suddenly Maria storms into the squad room and walks up to Amaro’s desk and pushes his papers on the floor.  She asks what the hell is wrong with him, screaming she wants to know why he drove to Philly and attacked a friend of hers. When Amaro challenges back, Cragen tries to get him to simmer down, saying not here. Amaro pulls her away from the squad room as the others look on, stunned.  Munch says that right there is why he stopped marrying Italian women.

Amaro pushes her into another room and chides her about coming to the station and embarrassing him in front of his squad. She shouts back that he assaulted Jason, asking if he lost his mind. He accuses her of sneaking around with him, explaining he knows she had lunch with him the other day.  She is shocked that he followed her, but he shouts back that she lied to him. She explains she knew he would react like this.  She says there is nothing going on, they just talk. Amaro says he is her husband and  she should talk to him. She questions, “Like this? We talk like this.” She touches his face and says she is not having an affair, but he pulls back and pushes her hands away, saying he does not believe her. He says he saw her at the brownstone with no name on the door, and she wonders how long he has been following her.  He asks if that is where she meets him, and raises his voice and asks if that is where she has been screwing him. She says no.  She says that is her psychiatrist’s office.   She cries and says she has been seeing a shrink and didn’t tell him because she knew he could  not handle it because he wants everything to be perfect but it is  not like that – she is not like that. When Amaro says he did not know, she says he did not think because he does not trust her.  She adds she is his wife, he can’t treat her like she is one of his suspects. She storms out and tells him to stay away.  He stays in the room and after pausing for a moment, he walks out.
 Amaro walks back onto the squad room where everyone is standing around and looking at him.  He tells them all to back to work.  Munch asks if he is alright, and Amaro says he is good.  He tells them all he is sorry and asks where were they. Benson reminds him they were looking at Stuart who has no alibi for the time of Henrys beating. Fin says Warner says it is possible the wounds on Stuart’s shoulder were self inflicted. Rollins thinks his behavior when they questioned him – like tearing up the Styrofoam cup and talking about Leslie – and thinks he is obsessive.  He works at a comic book store. Benson can see it, he’s an outsider who is desperate to be seen as a hero in Leslie’s eyes. Munch asks if Rollins and Amaro got all that from Stuart tears a cup.  Rollins thinks he leads a double life, a fantasy life/ Benson wonders how dark it goes. Cragen tells Rollins and Amaro to go back to Stuart. Amaro looks dejected as he walks off.

On the rooftop, Amaro and Rollins go through the details with Stuart.  Rollins says Henry has a lot of supporters and the women in SoHo see him as a hero, even Leslie.  He stammers and asks “Still? Didn’t you tell her he was the rapist?” Amaro asks Stuart to walk through the attack.  He points out where he saw Henry attack Leslie and said he got there just in time.  He shows them how Henry stabbed him in the shoulder, and when Amaro presses on whether it was right or left-handed, Stuart guesses it was his left. Rollins says the ME said the stab wounds were right handed, upside down, Amaro adding kind of what he just did, self inflicted.  Stuart asks why he would do that, and Rollins said it was to make Leslie think he saved her from the SoHo rapist.  Rollins says the rapist has been out there for two months, about the same time he has known Leslie.  Leslie told them how they met – she went into his store to buy a gift for her nephew. He said she showed her a few comic books and she was really cool.  Amaro comments that Stuart does not see a lot of girls like Leslie in a store like his.  Stuart says no.  He explained the justice league and tried to warn her, saying women don’t know. Rollins says a week later the SoHo rapist struck for the first time and a week later Leslie came back to the store and he got to tell  her how much she needed his help now. Amaro says that must have been great when she became Fantastica and was up on the roof with him on  patrol all night long. Rollins adds as long as the rapist was out there, they stayed as a team, Amaro adding until Henry came along and the other guys gets the girl,  it’s like high school all over again.   Amaro asked when did he figure it out, was it the night of the march when Leslie was supposed to go on patrol with him but left with Henry. Stuart claims she is not like that, but Amaro says that is why Leslie was late, she didn’t want to come, but she felt sorry for him.  Amaro continues to press as Stuart backs away from him, and he is backed up to the edge of the roof as Amaro says Stuart was out there risking his life for Leslie and she is screwing someone else.  Rollins looks on with concern and she tried to call Amaro off as he accuses Stuart of almost killing Leslie with the brick. Rollins puts her hand on Amaro’s shoulder as he tells Stuart he almost killed the girl he loves.  Stuart is flustered and then he asks if Leslie knows.  Rollins nods yes.  Stuart asked what Leslie said about him, and Rollins shakes her head in disgust, saying Leslie gave up the justice league, they know it was Stuart who set Henry up, he was there when they beat him up and he was in his car, adding she is not Fantastica anymore and Stuart is not 12:19.  Amaro tells Stuart it is over and he begins to take him away. Stuart states he never meant to hurt her – he never meant to hurt anyone.  All he wanted was for her to look at him and know he was a hero.  As the view pans up to the nearby buildings, we fade to black.

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Icy said...

Great Episode, BTW NBC ran the wrong promo. The promo they aired was for father dearest which is airing the following week. Next week is Learning curve which they didn't show the promo.

Odd, but the episode was good. Olivia slapping the kid reminded me of Elliot at bit. Rollings really shined, showing that she has very good detective skills.

As for Amaro, he had a right to act that way. Maria should have told him, but knocking over papers on his desk at the station was very inappriate.

Jeannette said...

There's not really any deja vu between the Amaro marriage and the Stabler marriage- only common threads are communication problems, long-time apart (Elliot in Marines, Maria in Middle East), and are Catholic. Neither Elliot and Maria like to talk about their jobs.
However, Elliot has never accused Kathy of cheating nor did he stalked her. The only time he questioned about Kathy's infedility was Paternity but it was more about the baby's timing conception rather than the 'present' time. Elliot always seemed to have trust in Kathy when it comes to being faithful.

Maca333 said...

I don't think Amaro had a "right" to stalk his wife and assault her friend, just like he didn't have a "right" to immediately suspect her of infidelity, while she was serving in an active war zone no less, in "Spiraling Down" on the basis of nothing more than "This guy might have had an affair and he worked with my wife".

Never really cared about the Amaro family drama, but this episode I actually felt for... Maria. PTSD is a terrible thing, and it can't be good that when you try to work out your issues your husband thinks you're cheating on him and punches your war buddy.

As usual, NMR: Needs More Rollins. Although we got a good bit of her this episode, but I'd rather see her and Fin be awesome than more Benson or Amaro DRAMA.

janethyland said...

Ratings held steady at 1.6 key demo and total numbers increased from last week to 6.4 million. Thats the most eyeballs since Fathers Shadow.

Ratings went up at the half hour to 1.7 key demo.

Ratings arent dynamite...but they are solid....and NBC doesnt have much else to talk about!

ConnorBehan said...

I was happy to see all the comic book influences. The community council meeting was just like the scene in The Dark Knight when people gather to see Batman turn himself in. And then Stuart's letter mentions Batman, and on the roof he mentions DKR. I just wish they thought of a more original name than "Justice League".

xfool said...

This episode was weak. It could have stirred serious discussion on the subject of vigilantes, instead we got a group of hokey superheroes.

Jeanette, I agree with ATLAO about the deja vu thing. You may want to check the definition - it means that a person has a feeling that something has occurred before. ATLAO didn't say it was exactly like Stabler's situation. Stabler AND Amaro both were/are angry hotheads so I can get the deja vu reference. Didn't Stabler get jealous when he thought Kathy was seeing someone else, even going so far as to wonder if her pregnancy was by another man?

The writing is far better than in most seasons, too bad the whole superhero thing was silly.

Chris Zimmer said...

Icy, I believe they ran the correct promo. It seems that they changed the air date of Father Dearest to 5/2 and Learning Curves got moved again to 5/9. I didn't find out until later this morning - and NBC never sent out an official press release to change it (at least not yet).

Jeanette, I meant deja vu in the sense that both men had anger issues and both had marital problems. Deja vu is just a feeling something had happened before, and certainly in the wide sense of those two characters, they did have those same general issues.

Jeannette said...

I know what deja vu means and I know that it was meant for marital status and being a hothead- I am not a child. I was aiming for the marital status situation more than the hotheaded temper. I had/have no comment on the hothead because, well, I agree and there's nothing to go on further. I was pointing out that the problems in the marriages were different circumstances.
Xfool- I pre-answered the Elliot/Kathy jealousy situation in my original post

Emily said...

I was really disappointed with this ep. I thought it dragged and was too predictable.

janethyland said...

Ratings went up to 1.7 key demo and 6.5million.

Well done everyone.SVU is holding its own at this point in the season when most shows are flagging and a lot recording season lows.

Caitlyn said...

I feel this episode was extremely... awkward? Perhaps it was the Amaro / Maria tension that made it that way. It didn't seem to fit the flow of the episode with the vigilantes. I knew that Maria was seeing a psychiatrist and Amaro could have handled it that better. Accusing her of infidelity before finding out the true story. This obviously can't be good for his marriage and I don't see it being repaired anytime soon.

Overall this episode, predictable. Felt like there were a lot of holes or maybe something not done. "Do you think you're special, bitch" I thought it would have a deeper meaning. Stuart raped 5 women and says he never meant to hurt anyone? Then again, it seems to be the "law and order" phrase for a lot of suspects. No courtroom for this episode, a bit disappointed I would've love to see that. Anyways, not sure why they brought up the Martin/Zimmerman because I don't see any connection between the two. I would like to see an episode concerning that story though.

OhSusannah said...

My two cents:I didn't love this episode. I like SVU better when its less campy. Superheroes seems campy to me,even on the serious subject of rape and street justice.It must be frustrating for real cops to keep the mean streets safe when these street justice groups take the law into their own hands.Even Liv's assault and take-down of Andy Chen seemed a bit over the top to me .Almost cartoonish, but the frustration must bubble over at times, I guess.At times this season she seems to be taking on more of Stabler's less desirable qualities:reacting to the perps more violently, even questioning the victims believability and actions at times. Maybe she's playing the devil's advocate with her own judgement now that Stabler's gone.I though the best part of the episode was between Amaro and his wife Maria when she stormed into the squadroom.The fact that he's a detective and she's in the military would make for a very believable strained household dynamic and marriage.Divorce rates are higher in these stressful careers.Though she insisted she was seeing a pyschiatrist, she didn't actually deny that she was seeing her co-worker Jason. She skimmed over answering that and immediately went on the defensive about Nick's temper and inability to talk to her without 'interrogating' her. Guilty parties often use this tactic to deflect from their own actions. As for the squadroom, not a single one of the SVU team has had a successful long-term relationship or marriage. To mention Stabler and Amaro's similarities: they both are strong alpha males in their households and their careers. I applaud Warren Leight et al for being able to keep these SVU true to their original
portrayal. Except for Rollins and Amaro, he didn't write the original characters in the L&O mothership, but he's doing a great job of 'fleshing out' the characters' reactions and opinions even after 13 seasons. Can't be easy.

Esaul said...

I think they would've been better off doing away with the superheroes. It's a tired thing on police procedurals. Honestly, I assumed the news reporter was in on it. I figured it was him or someone in the community. To me, this is the worst episode of the season. It was just too silly. HOWEVER. I loved seeing more of Munch.

Rebels in Wait said...

I was wondering when the show would handle costumed vigilantes. Seattle's been dealing with their own Phoenix Jones superhero who, just recently, acquired their own super villain who's calling himself Rex Velvet. It's ridiculous because superheroes operate in a world of fantasy. This episode should have addressed the fantasy part of it for the idiots who glorify vigilantism without that fantasy/reality threshold. It would have resonated wonderfully with the harsh reality of heroism, the real danger of PTSD demonstrated by Amaro's wife if the writers focused less on Amaro's paranoia and more on him dealing with her symptoms. This episode could have been excellent. What shame.