Thursday, September 27, 2012

Law & Order SVU “Lost Reputation/Above Suspicion” Recap & Review

The season 13 finale of Law & Order SVU “Rhodium Nights” began with a dead woman at a bachelor party with high-profile attendees. This quickly turned into a more complicated case involving an undercover detective, pimp wars, and possible corruption at various levels of law enforcement and government. Amaro’s marital problems and his interactions with a witness, and Benson’s past relationship with ADA Haden could be used against them. As if that was not enough, the season ended with Captain Cragen waking up to find a dead escort in his bed, the witness in the initial murder case.

Season 14 completes the story in a two episode season premiere where Captain Cragen ends up in Rikers, Amaro finds his marriage falling apart with his wife leaving town with their daughter, and the SVU squad tries to get to the bottom of two dueling pimps and the related murder victims who are quickly piling up in their wake. We also have an interim captain who does what interim captains are supposed to do – get on everyone’s nerves at a time when everyone is always on edge.

Looking at the episodes individually, “Lost Reputation” felt a little dull. With the exception of the final scene with Amaro and Cassidy, the episode seemed devoid of suspense for me. It was also during this episode when I had the strong feeling that Foster was part of the problem. It was as if her daughter’s medical problem screamed “I would sell my soul for money.”  I quickly forgot my slight disappointment in that episode after watching “Above Suspicion” which picked up the pace and brought some much needed drama and surprise. The carjacking and subsequent shooting scene was done very well and Benson’s anguish over Cassidy being shot felt very real. Despite Benson and Cassidy’s hospital kiss, I wonder if there can be any sustained romance between those two. Does Benson know enough about him to really trust Cassidy?

Count me as one person who is happy that Amaro’s wife and daughter are out of the picture (and I hope they stay out). The story lines dealing with his marriage were not even remotely interesting to me and I always felt they got in the way of the telling of special victims stories. (If it means anything, I never liked any stories dealing with Stabler’s wife and kids, either, so at least I am consistent.) I think that Danny Pino did a fine job of making Nick Amaro into an emotional ticking time bomb, but I hope Amaro doesn't hold on to the anger issues as long as Stabler.

Paget Brewster was a perfect fit as Paula Foster, who was both the tough, rational Public Integrity Unit DA and also the caring mother who worried about her child who had a serious, and expensive,  medical problem. Adam Baldwin was a nice addition as the very authoritative interim captain.

All in all, this was a fine start to the Law & Order SVU’s 14th season. I’m looking forward to seeing what repercussions this case will have on the team as the season unfolds.

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
Tamara Tunie – ME Warner
Dean Winters - Detective Brian Cassidy
Adam Baldwin - Captain Steven Harris
Laura Benanti - Maria Grazie
Paget Brewster – Public Integrity Unit Bureau Chief Paula Foster
Peter Jacobson - Bart Ganzel
Ron Rifkin - Marvin Exley
Brooke Smith - Delia Wilson
Reg E. Cathey – Ganzel’s Attorney, Barry Querns
Pippa Black – Carissa Gibson
Jason Cerbone – Terrence Quinn
Amy Hargreaves – Iris Peterson
Michael Potts – Unnamed NYPD Detective
Sharon Washington – Unnamed Supreme Court Judge
Courtney Reed – Uniform Officer Alana Gonzalez
Michael Mastro – Arraignment Judge D. Serani

The episode begins with brief recap of the events of the last episode, "Rhodium Nights". Benson is awakened by a phone call. It’s Captain Cragen. She quickly sits up and a look of shock comes over her face. The story moves 14 hours before the time where Captain Don Cragen wakes up with a dead hooker in his bed and the events leading up to Cragen waking up unfold:

Exley tells Cragen, Benson, and Amaro that Delia Wilson has the goods on everyone they work for, and he makes threats;

Amaro and Benson argue, he says Exley has had SVU in his sights for a long time and tells Benson he thinks Cassidy is the problem, and he brings up David Haden;

Cassidy tells Benson that everybody has a skeleton and there are taps on cops, he mentions the DA’s office and it goes up to Haden, calling him a self righteous asshat.  He says even Cragen’s name has come up on some lists and doesn’t know if he is involved or being set up;

Outside the precinct, Carissa speaks to Amaro about the governor’s death but has cold feet and runs off;

Amaro comes home. He gets a call from Carissa and his wife Maria is upset that Amaro will talk to Carissa but not to her;

Carissa meets at a diner with Cragen and says she went to Amaro and said she was afraid, and Amaro said he could protect her if she went to a hotel with her. Later, Cragen seems out of it as he walks home from the diner. Carissa, who caught up with him to return his car keys that he left there, notices he is not okay and goes with him to his apartment;

At Ganzel’s loft, he gets a phone call and tells Cassidy to leave the room.

Back to current time:
Cragen walks into his bedroom with Benson, He said he called 911 and they are on their way. He did not touch a thing. She asks what the hell happened. Cragen shows his bloodied hands and replies he has no idea. Benson recognizes the body is Carissa's. Cragen explains that he woke up and she was dead, and blood was everywhere. He doesn’t remember how she got there. A loud knock on the door is heard and Benson calls out that they are in the bedroom. She cautions Cragen not to say anything until his lawyer gets there. Benson identifies herself to the arriving detective, who tells her this is not her case and she must wait outside. She nods, and then looks to Cragen before she exits the bedroom. The detective asks Cragen if he knows the victim, and Cragen says yes – Carissa Gibson – and she was a witness in an SVU murder investigation.

Outside, the detective walks Cragen to the car, and Benson asks Cragen if he is OK. He says yes but he is a little tense and they have to get him to the hospital. Benson tells the detective that Cragen needs to see a doctor and she will ride with him. But a woman walks up and tells Benson that she knows better than that. Benson asks who is she, and the woman identifies herself as Paula Foster from the DA’s Public Integrity Unit, and says this is her investigation, not SVU’s. Someone from CSU tells walks up and shows Foster a bagged knife, saying she found it in the bathroom sink. Foster comments that she was told that Benson was on the crime scene when the officers arrived, and asks Benson if she saw that knife or touch anything. Benson replies that she knows better than that. Foster says that Benson knows better than to interfere…and Benson cuts her off, saying that Cragen has been her Captain for 14 years. Foster doesn’t care, telling Benson whatever they talked about Benson will have to testify to a grand jury. Cragen can “take 5” but Benson can’t. Benson tersely responds that she is well aware of that. Foster asks Benson if there is anything she wants to tell her, and Benson says “Yeah. He didn’t do this.” Benson turns and watches as Cragen is taken away in a squad car.

Back at SVU, when Fin comments that Cragen doesn’t remember anything that happened from last night, Benson says that he barely remembers anything from the last few days. Munch feels Cragen must have been drugged, hoping that things could come back to him in pieces. Rollins says she called Captains Endowment and they are sending over counsel. Benson advises that CSU said there was no sign of forced entry, wondering if Carissa talked her way in as slipped him a roofie. Amaro asks if she slit her own throat? He admits that Carissa called him a few times last night and that she was anxious and she thought she was in someone’s crosshairs, but did not say whose. He thinks as it turned out, she had a right to be scared. But Rollins asks “Of our Captain? Seriously?” Amaro says he is not saying that; Cragen was drugged and none of them knows what happened.

Rollins begins to object, but as she does so, a loud voice calls them to attention and introduced himself as their temporary Caption Steven Harris. He knows they are concerned about Cragen and SVU can’t touch this but they can accept what they can’t change and go about their business. Eyes will be on them so he wants to see their memo books, logs of every mile they drive… Benson interrupts and says no disrespect but here at SVU they are used to a certain amount of autonomy. He says things have changed and they will all have to adjust. Benson says she does not know where he has been – he quickly answers pretty much everywhere –and Benson goes on to say this is a very different kind of squad. He considers them one of the department’s elite squads, and he does not want to see it broken up. Fin says they’ve got him. He tells Fin good, adding that the last time he checked, the NYPD dress code was business attire. Paula Foster enters and says they have bigger problems; she will be taking over the Carissa Gibson murder investigation and she reminds them that obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence are crimes. As they are potential witnesses she says they should not discuss the case with each other or anyone else. Munch sarcastically asks, “Not even the press?” Foster says they will be asked in the grand jury who they spoke with and when, and she will be questioning them about their relationship with the suspect – and as she looks at Amaro, she adds “and the victim.” She curtly says she expects their full cooperation. As Foster walks away, Benson follows her, asking for a word.

Harris tells them they have a call about a celebrity guest asking hotel masseuse for a “reverse massage.” No one seems thrilled about taking it so Harris gives it to Fin and Munch. When Harris calls Munch “detective," Munch corrects him that it is Sergeant. Harris thanks him for “volunteering."

Meanwhile, Foster explains the SVU investigation between Delia and Ganzel and their take is Cragen has been set up. Foster is worried about the optics and she has to assure the city and the mayor that no one is above the law. They will find out if it is true or not but Cragen has blood on his hands and everyone will be trying to figure out how to score points or cover their ass. When Benson asks if Foster will also be doing that, Foster explains that she has been running Public Integrity for 7 years and she doesn’t like publicity; she likes her job and is not gunning for anything. She knows that despite what Harris says, Benson will not stay away from it. She tells Benson not to interfere, but hands Benson her card and says whatever Benson finds, tell her. She tells Benson to vet her all she wants; she’s no one’s friend but has their respect. Benson says she will, and asks Foster, before she rushes to judgment, to vet Cragen. Foster says she is going to mean him right now.

Elsewhere, ME Warner takes swabs, photos, and other evidence from Cragen’s body and clothes as Foster watches. Cragen appears dejected and humiliated as Warner asks him to remove his gown and drop his pants.

Afterwards, Cragen is in an interview room with his lawyer. Foster arrives late, she explains he had a problem with her daughter. Foster questions him about the night’s events, a camera recording the interview. He explains about the messages Carissa left and she said she had information about Governor Fletcher’s murder, and asked to meet her at a diner in his neighborhood. She said he had to come alone. Foster asked why Carissa called him, and Cragen sarcastically says in hindsight it was to set him up. Foster looks annoyed with his response and his lawyer adds that Cragen meant no offense. He can’t recall what she said about the governors’ murder. He only had tea to drink. He did recall that Carissa had claimed that Amaro had been inappropriate with her, but he did not believe it.

Later, Munch and Amaro walk into the men’s room and Munch s bitching about working the celebrity crotch grabber’s case. Amaro checks under the stalls to make sure no one is listening. Amaro asks Munch if he was there when Cassidy was around, and Munch quips that he has been around since the beginning of time;  Cassidy was his partner and he can trust him. Amaro says he was invited to be questioned by Public Integrity about Carissa’s murder and thinks Cassidy put him on that short list. When Munch reminds him he saw Carissa that night, Amaro gets testy and Munch tries to calm him and says he will see what he can find out.

Later, on a rooftop, Munch and Benson arrive to meet Cassidy and he and Munch reunite. They talk about why Carissa went to see Cragen about the governor’s murder. Cassidy thinks she did it but has no proof. He said she was not at the loft that night and Ganzel was acting squirrely. He also thinks Ganzel genuinely loved Carissa and thinks Delia killed her. He thinks Delia frames Cragen and then Ganzel. Benson asks if Cragen is one of his targets of the investigation, and Cassidy says no, but don’t ask him who is.

Later, Fin is at the ME’s office. Warner tells Fin he knows she can’t discuss Cragen’s case with him, and Fin tells her not to walk away and make him read this, handing her a folder. Warner says off the record, Cragen’s tox screen showed a high concentration of alcohol. Fin says the Cragen hasn’t had a drink in 20 years and they had to dope him, asking if she checked for scopolamine. Warner says and everything else. Fin asks about GHB, and Warner explains that 10 hours late it wouldn’t leave a trace. All Warner can confirm is what did leave a trace: Cragen’s DNA under the victim’s fingernails, his prints on the knife, and her saliva on his penis. Fin says all that proves is whoever set him up knew what they were doing.

Amaro is back at home playing with his daughter when the door buzzer goes off. Maria moves to answer it and it is Delia. He quickly moves to get Zara out of the room and sends her off with Maria. Amaro chastises her for coming to his home and she says he is being played by Ganzel and Cassidy. She says they have Cragen in a vice and he will throw him over if he has to. He tells her to go - now.

At the Whitmere Hotel, Benson brings Cragen up to speed. She says they will figure out who set him up. He says it is his fault; his guard was down and they were looking for a weak link. His phone rings; it is his lawyer, and Cragen turns on the TV, saying there is breaking news. The news reporter mentions that the police commissioner has stepped down as recent events cast a pall on the department. There is a knock on the door – it is the police, who have come to arrest Cragen. Benson says they know Cragen will come down voluntarily and that the press is camped out front. The detective says they do know, and they will go around back.

As they leave the back exit, Cragen is confronted by a flood of reporters and cameras.

Later, Cragen is arraigned and his lawyer pleads not guilty. Foster requests remand. Foster believes with his ties to overseas law enforcement that he is a flight risk, and the judge remands him to solitary confinement at Rikers. The detectives look on, stunned.

Afterwards, Fin comments that the mayor is playing hardball. Rollins says they should too, he was set up. Benson explains that Cassidy thinks Delia set up Cragen. Amaro wonders if Cassidy is protecting Ganzel.

At the loft of Bart Ganzel, Fin and Rollins enter and his lawyer chastises them for showing up while Ganzel is sitting shiva. Rollins believes Ganzel wants them to find out who murdered Clarissa just as much as they do. Fin and Rollins trade words with Ganzel, and Ganzel admits they made love that afternoon. She was not upset but was good at masking pain. Rollins says the night she died she contacted SVU and called their captain and asks if he knows why she would do that. He wonders if she thought Delia was coming after her to get at Ganzel. He thinks Delia slipped the underage girl in with his escorts at the bachelor party and then killed her and set her up. Ganzel’s lawyer Barry thinks Delia also killed the former governor to make it look like Ganzel did it for revenge. Ganzel thinks Delia didn’t get where she is by playing nice.

With Delia – along with Marvin Exley – in front of Foster for questioning, Exley asks if her daughter is getting any better. Foster says she is fine. Delia is ready to make a deal, but Exley questions why Benson is there and Foster explains that she invited her. Exley makes comments about sensitive info on Cragen, and then goes on show them pictures to prove that Carissa was not the first escort that Cragen has been with. Benson looks at the photos. Foster says those are not probative of misconduct and they could have been photoshopped. Exley tells them to feel free to authenticate them as they are theirs to keep. Delia says Cragen used pay phones and paid cash for the transactions. Exley says they can provide sworn affidavits to Cragen’s sexual proclivities such as choking, restraints, and knife play. When Benson gets up and says she is not listening to this, Foster asks her to hold on. She asks Delia what she wants – Delia just wants it to end. Exley wants one charge of third degree prostitution against Delia and asks her to drop it for her testimony against an SVU captain who abused escorts and ended up murdering one. Benson brings up the first victim, Maggie Murphy, and he says he knows they have evidence implicating Anya, good luck in getting Columbia to extradite her. Delia says Anya trusts her and she can get her here, Exley adding in exchange for Delia’s immunity on the murder charge. When Foster tells him to get her on US soil and then they will talk, he shakes his head and tells Foster she has no chips and they do, and call him when they are ready to bid. He and Delia leave.

Afterwards, Benson asks Foster if she would really play ball with them. Foster calls Exley a son of a bitch for pretending to care about her daughter. She explains that Sarah is 9 and has lobstein syndrome which makes her bones like glass. Foster says she knows what Delia is but thinks they may have to make the devil’s deal on this. She also says she has confirmation of some of those allegations against Cragen. She got them from the wiretaps, and says Cassidy is her UC. She adds that David Haden came up on the wiretaps and they learned Haden and Benson were involved. Benson asks now what? Foster says it leaves them both vulnerable and technically she should report it but it doesn’t need to come now. Amaro’s name also keeps popping up and asks for Benson’s gut on him. Benson says he is good police. Foster says the night Carissa was killed, she told Cragen that Amaro came on to her. Benson says not a chance. Foster says Amaro has been under stress, Benson was there when he and his wife had a public fight in the squad room. Benson reiterates he would not hit on Carissa and he certainly would not kill her. Foster believes Benson is not being objective, saying that Cragen is the prime suspect. Foster says Benson thinks she knows Cragen but everybody has secrets, Foster adding that she herself does and so does Benson. Now they know Cragen does. Benson says there is now way that he did this. Foster feels this is one hell of a set up and then someone sent Carissa there. Benson thinks that is Delia and that Delia poached Carissa from Ganzel. Benson wonders if Delia’s booker Iris knew if Carissa worked for Delia before. Foster asks if she is the one who is testifying against Delia on the prostitution charge, and Benson nods yes. Foster suggest Benson take a run at her.

At the townhouse of Iris Peterson, Fin and Rollins speak with Iris. They ask how Carissa got involved in this, and Iris says when Carissa first got to town she was Delia’s girl – and the governor’s every Tuesday night. Rollins suspects Carissa killed the governor and then Delia killed Carissa for payback. Iris says she is not testifying about that. Iris also demands witness protection for her and her daughters, and Rollins replies she will talk to the DA about that. Rollins tells her to get some rest and they will see her in the morning.

At Rikers, Benson visits with Cragen and says they will get her out of there. She tells him he was a mark from the beginning and they are putting it out there that he was one of Delia’s clients, adding this is not true. But Cragen admits he does have exposure here. After he worked undercover as a john with Lena, he realized how lonely he was and how nice it was to have someone just to talk to. He says this seemed simpler than matchmaking site – you just pay and there are no strings. He talked about companionship and says that is all it was. A few dates, he slipped and then came to his senses. She urges Cragen to get in front of this and to tell his lawyer. He asks why?

Back at the Amaro household, Amaro says they are bringing him in to testify and he tries to talk to Maria about “things.” She tells him that she is moving, she got another job in Washington DC.  She says it has nothing to do with him and what ever happened with that woman. She is tired of waiting around for him to make time with them. Amaro asks who is in DC and Maria says no one, she took a communications post with the Pentagon and she and Zara will live with her parents. Amaro becomes upset about Zara but Maria says she has been away from her for too long. She walks away and Amaro standing there, stunned.

Rollins and Fin are at Iris’ home and no one answers the buzzer. The officer watching the house says he got there at 8 and no one came in or left. Rollins realizes the gate is unlocked and she and Fin enter. As they walk inside the home looking for Iris, they found her dead in the bathtub, filled with blood red water.

Later, Fin and Rollins are at the morgue and Rollins tells Warner she believes this was not a suicide. Warner says there was alcohol and Xanax in her system and Rollins believes someone slipped it to her and then waited to kill her. Fin reinforces that they have a reason to be paranoid about this, and Rollins asks her not to rule it a suicide yet, to keep it open pending investigation.

Elsewhere, Foster is questioning a very uncomfortable Amaro, who said he does not need a lawyer. She asks about the phone calls Carissa made to him, and he says she said she felt trapped and wanted out and did not make sense. He confirmed on one call he got off quickly because of a personal matter but called her back a minute later but she did not pick up. He says he was only a witness in the murder investigation of Maggie Murphy. He admits he saw her earlier that night and she said she had information and he said he could not help her unless she came in to make a statement.

When Foster asked if there were any witnesses, Amaro says Carissa approached him in the precinct parking lot so there were other officers around. He does not think anyone heard them. He says he did not discuss personal matters and when Foster asks if he touched her physically, Amaro becomes agitated and asks who told her that, and who is she getting this from. As Foster continues to press, Amaro become more irate and stands up. He asks her is she is happy now, and then looks into the camera and asks if they got what they wanted out of his, He storms out of the room.

In the local bar and over coffee, Benson, Munch, Fin, and Rollins talk about Iris’ murder, Munch wonders, as Iris was found dead 1 hour before she was to testify,  why Warner would not rule it a murder. Rollins says Delia only hires the best – no forced entry, no bruising, no witness – and Benson adds no prostitution case. Fin thinks with the other murders, they’d better watch their backs. Amaro walks up and comments that he thought they were meeting at noon? Munch replies they feel he should sit this one out. Amaro thinks they don’t trust him, but Benson explains that he made contact with Carissa that night and he is a witness. Amaro is upset, asking if they really think he hit on her. Benson says no, but Amaro gets more upset, saying they think he also murdered her. Amaro thinks it is all coming from Cassidy, but Munch says they have it all wrong. Amaro said he did some digging, Cassidy is not assigned to vice, and IAB doesn’t work UCs three years. They don’t even know who Cassidy is working for. When Benson says Cassidy is good police, Amaro shouts that all of them have blinders on and explains to Benson that Cassidy isn’t the same kid she worked with 13 years ago. Amaro has worked UC and thinks Cassidy has been in there too long and he is in Ganzel’s world with too much temptation. Amaro is convinced that Cassidy has crossed over. Amaro storms out of the bar but Munch calls out to him and Amaro stops. Munch tells him they are doing this for the captain AND him. Munch tells him to go home and be with his wife and daughter and he will keep him posted. Hey says yeah he’ll do that. As Amaro storms out the door, Benson gets a call from Foster, and then tells the other that Anya – the last possible witness against Delia - was killed in a car accident outside of Cartagena.

Benson meets up with Foster in the park who is there for her daughter’s therapy session. She thanks Benson for meeting her there. Foster says Anya’s car was run off a cliff by a cement mixer and the local police believe it was an accident, but she can’t get the report.
When Benson comments that Delia’s muscle goes that far, Foster says in Cartagena, that is a small favor. Foster comments on the fake accident, fake suicide, and thinks Delia is cleaning house. Benson adds framing her captain for Carissa murder. Foster says she is still murky on that one. Foster recaps that Benson told her Carissa used to be the governor’s favorite, and Ganzel knew this, and thinks Ganzel sent Carissa to kill the governor and out Delia as a madam. Benson thinks Delia figured out that Carissa did the hit and maybe she blackmailed her to get Cragen. Foster wonders if  she double crossed her? She thinks there is motive there on all three. Benson said if Iris knew who Delia used to do her work, Iris took it with her. Benson admits that Cassidy told her that Delia sent goons in to threaten Ganzel. Foster replies good luck in getting Ganzel to ID them. Benson says they have to try – the captain is sitting in jail. Benson feels Ganzel trusts Cassidy and maybe she and Cassidy can work Ganzel. Foster says this is a three year operation and does not want to put that in jeopardy . Benson replies neither does she.

Benson and Munch meet with Cassidy, who says there is physical evidence about those goons but can’t get it without Ganzel knowing about it. Cassidy feels he is on thin ice as it is, asking how many times he can tell Ganzel to cooperate with his former employers? Benson reminds him that Cragen is in Rikers and Delia put him there. Cassidy comments that he know he looks like a dumb cop but what he doesn’t get is even if Ganzel ID’d Delia/s bad boys, why would they flip? Munch suggests one step at a time. Benson tells him to call Ganzel and tell him it is too hot to go after Delia himself. Cassidy says he will see what he can do, but that Benson needs to keep her partner out of this one – those tight wound cops are the ones you have to look out for. Cassidy leaves, saying he has a hot date.

Back at SVU, Rollins and Fin are there and Harris walks out of his office and asks where Benson has been all day. Fin explains that she and Munch had a court appearance. Harris says some people at One PP think they are investigating Iris Peterson’s death. Rollins comments that she was the witness against Delia Wilson, wondering how that is not special victims? Harris says he admires their initiative and loyalty and doesn’t see a lot of that either. Rollins says “welcome to SVU.” He explains they have to stick to their assigned cases and as of this morning, 3 more massage therapists have come forward claiming the celebrity Mr. X made unwanted grabs.. He informs them a witness is on their way up and tells them to take the statement and he trusts they will treat him with respect. He then asks where the hell is Amaro?

At the Dragon Pavilion, Cassidy is having dinner with his mother when Amaro interrupts and says they need to talk. Cassidy asks if it can wait until he finishes dinner with his mom. Amaro apologizes to his mother but then says he needs to borrow his son for a few minutes. She tells them to do what they have to.

They walk into the men’s room and Cassidy shouts at Amaro, asking him where does she think he gets off. Amaro asks who is he working for – is he on NYPD’s payroll or working for Ganzel or Delia? Cassidy tells “Ricky Ricardo” to back it up, he doesn’t know what he is talking about. Amaro pulls out a gun and points it at Cassidy, demanding he tell him who he is working for or he will shoot him – he’ll kill him right now.

“Above Suspicion” begins:

Amaro continues to hold Cassidy at gunpoint in the men’s room, trying to find for whom Cassidy works. Cassidy explains Amaro knows he can’t tell him who he is working for as he is undercover. Cassidy explains he is investigating Ganzel and all the people he has on the take – vice, DAs, and NYPD white shirts.

Meanwhile, at Ganzel’s loft, as one of his girls struggles with hanging something on the wall, Ganzel, his lawyer present, goes to help and finds a listening device.

Back in the men’s room, Cassidy gets a call and Amaro tells him to let it go to voice mail; Amaro presses him about Carissa, and Cassidy says she called him that night, claiming Amaro was inappropriate with her, Amaro says she lied, he never touched her. Cassidy says Amaro missed out; she had a thing for cops. He did not tell Ganzel but afterwards she called Ganzel on his private cell – Cassidy says even he doesn’t have that number – and Ganzel says she sounded odd. Amaro accuses Cassidy of following her, but Cassidy denies is, adding that Cragen didn’t kill her, he got set up real good and so did she. Cassidy’s money is on Delia. Amaro says Carissa was Ganzel’s girl, but Cassidy says she was EVERYBODY’s girl and tells Amaro to grow up. Amaro wonders if Delia blackmailed her into setting up Cragen and him. Cassidy explains that Amaro was a cover story and her excuse to work Cragen. Delia double crosses everybody.

At the prison, Munch tells Cragen that Cassidy is working Ganzel and DID is Delia’s thug. Cragen thinks Delia is too smart to hire guys that roll over, but Rollins thinks maybe not, there may be somebody they have leverage on. Cragen explains that there was – Iris – and Delia took care of her. Munch mentions Anya. Rollins tells Munch his is not helping, but Cragen tells her Munch is right, there are five murders and he is the only one being charged. Rollins urges him to stay positive as they are not giving up. Cragen says he does not need slogans, just get him out of here. He walks away from them.

Elsewhere, Foster asks Benson when was the last time she talked to Cassidy. Benson says yesterday, they wanted to get him to get Ganzel to cooperate. Foster explains that one of the bugs in Ganzel’s loft went dead last night and she left a signal for Cassidy and she has not heard from him. She asks Benson if she will try to find him, and Benson says yes.

Amaro is back at home and there is a knock at the door. He opens it to find Benson and he asks her what is up. She asks him to tell her. He appears to have been drinking, and asks if she wants to see his memo book, and he kicks a bottle laying on the floor. Benson explains they lost contact with Cassidy and his mother says Amaro was the last person he was seen with. Amaro says he needed some answers, and Benson asks if that is why he locked him in the men’s room. Amaro states Cassidy was holding back about Carissa; she and Ganzel had a private cell and Ganzel was the last person she spoke to that night. Benson questioned if Cassidy just volunteered this, and he says yeah – once he put a gun to his head. Benson is shocked, and, grabbing beer bottle out of Amaro’s hand, asks if he is kidding her. She suggests they take it outside as she does not want to wake up the family, and Amaro says they are not here. He goes on to explain that Maria accepted a job in DC and took Zara with her, adding it is temporary. Benson says she is sorry, but he tells her it is late and he needs to try to sleep. Before she leaves, she tells him to show up tomorrow

Meanwhile, Cassidy returns to Ganzel’s place and finds Ganzel pointing a gun at him, ordering him to freeze. But Cassidy manages to calm Ganzel and take the gun. Ganzel asks where was he, in Cassidy says he was taking care of business, and hands him a bag on Chinese food. Ganzel says Delia got to Iris and Carissa and she has spies. Ganzel is freaking out, telling Cassidy to check the loft for bugs. Later, Cassidy shows him all the bugs found and explains that they can’t tell to where they are transmitting. Cassidy says they should have left them on, as whoever planted them now will know they are on to them. Ganzel wonders who planted them, reminding Cassidy he hired him for security. Cassidy reminds him a lot of Delia’s girls come into the loft. Ganzel is upset that Cassidy goes know who, how, or when the bugs got there, asking what does he know. Cassidy counters that Ganzel either trusts him or he doesn’t. Ganzel calms slightly and says Carissa was his rock. Cassidy cautions that if NYPD planted those bugs, they need to get in front of it.

In Supreme Court, Delia explains to the judge she has no counsel as she let Exley go, saying that after he posted her bond, he misunderstood the nature of their relationship. As she has no finances of her own to hire another attorney, she will represent herself. Foster comments that this is a delaying tactic, but Delia denies it, saying that due to the Iris’ tragic suicide, she is making a motion to dismiss, adding the state has no evidence. Foster says they still have a case, they are holding a witness to several violent crimes orchestrated by Delia, including what they intent to prove as Iris’ murder. Delia says these tactics are the DA’s attempt to blackmail her into revealing the names of her clients. Foster counters that they are pursuing a charge of homicide, adding that the ME’s report rules that the circumstances of Iris’ death as undetermined pending investigation. Delia counters she will be retaining her own experts to refute, adding that ME Warner has a relationship with the accused murderer – Cragen – which has biased her findings. The judge will not dismiss the charges.

Fin and Rollins are at Ganzel’s  with Cassidy and Ganzel’s lawyer Barry, and Rollins explains their only agenda is to show that Delia killed Iris. Ganzel thinks if they could nail him too they would, and when Fin tells Ganzel to watch himself, but Barry says he meant that as a complement. Rollins says they understand Delia sent some thugs around to threaten him, and Ganzel says it was a couple months ago – 3 goons, thick necks, big guns, and they took baseball bats to his TVs and artwork. They called them PBS sticks – they lawyer explains that means “Pimp Be Smart.” Cassidy says they forgot one of the bats and Cassidy kept it and bagged anything the touched and they will probably find a print. Ganzel this is why he keeps ex-NYPD on his payroll. Fin asks why they didn’t call the police, and the lawyer says they didn’t want to bother NYPD which such trivial matters. Ganzel says now we are talking murder, saying Iris had two daughters, adding it is heartbreaking. Rollins explains they will need the bat and for him to testify at the grand jury. Barry says testifying against Delia will put his client at risk – and the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.

Later, Foster, outside watching her daughter’s therapy session with Benson and Rollins, is questioning Ganzel getting full immunity and throwing out three years of wiretaps. Benson tells her to hold on, they have to give him something. Foster asks what they suggest, and Rollins says on the first murder – Maggie Murphy at the bachelor party – they know that it was Delia and Anya setting it up. Benson says give him a pass on that, before Delia catches on that Ganzel is cooperating. Foster says she hopes Ganzel has something real.

At SVU, Fin tells Benson and Rollins they matched three set of prints, two are Delia’s thugs who skipped an hour before the DA’s investigators got there. The third one packed a bag and said he was going to Mexico City but instead spent the night at an airport hotel with his “side piece” where he was arrested this morning. He is not talking yet. Benson thinks there is one way to up the pressure.

At the lobby of Bart Ganzel’s loft, Benson asks Cassidy if Ganzel is good on ID this guy, and says yeah, but just needs a minute, he’s been a little itchy lately. Benson says Ganzel found bugs and Cassidy needs to end this. Cassidy explains he put in three years and is not pulling out now. He says if she wants to help him to tell her idiot partner to keep it in his pants. She already did, and explains he is under a lot of pressure. Cassidy says, “ And I’m not?” He tells her Ganzel goes on a paranoid coke binge and butch boy pulls a gun on him. Benson says it is taken care of. Ganzel walks up, Cassidy asks Benson if there is something going on between her and Amaro . Benson tells him not to be an ass, and Ganzel asks them if they need a room. Cassidy says no, they are all good.

As they walk out of the building, Benson tells Cassidy to drive with Ganzel. Ganzel doesn’t think they trust him. They see two men at Ganzel’s car trying to break in, one man runs off and Benson chases him. Cassidy yells to the other to back up, instead he turns and pulls a gun. Cassidy pulls his own gun and tells the guy he does not want to do that. The man tells Cassidy to back off or he will shoot Ganzel. The running man runs into a man on a a bicycle and Benson catches up and cuffs the man to a pole. 

Meanwhile, as a police car arrives at Ganzel’s car, the gun standoff continues. A female office pulls her gun and Cassidy tells her not to shoot, showing his badge, saying he is on the job. The man trying to steal the car also says he is on the job. Cassidy says again he is police and is on the job. Benson runs up, holding her badge, yelling she is police on the job and not to shoot. Cassidy screams for Benson to get back. But the office shoots Cassidy twice in the chest and he drops to the ground. Bensons, still running, screams “NO! NO!” and then quickly calls for help, yelling there is an office down and a PO was shot. She screams to call a bus.

With police and EMS racing to the hospital, Benson rides with Cassidy as he bleeds badly. She tries to get him to stay with her and hang in there. He flatlines and the EMS man uses the paddles to shock him back. Fin, Munch,   and Captain Harris meet her as she exits the ambulance. Benson tells them that Cassidy got shot by some uni – a rookie. Harris asks if Cassidy ID’d himself and Benson shouts yes but the uni must have panicked or…and Munch asks or what? Benson says she does not know. Harris says IAB wants her statement, and Benson says they should question the shooter first. Harris says they need to talk to her too, but she says after she sees how he is doing.

Inside the hospital, Benson explains to Fin and Munch that when she and Cassidy worked together they had this “moment” and she did not handle it well. Fin says that was a long time ago and he probably does not hold that against her. Munch dryly says no – he probably does. Harris walks up and says the bullet missed the artery but it got the spleen. Cassidy is still in surgery. When Benson asks if he will pull through, Munch says the doctors are like cops – they don’t like to make promises. Harris gets a phone call. Ganzel walks up and asks Benson how Cassidy is doing. Fin says they are doing the best they can. Ganzel says he will make some calls, he knows some cardiologists to get a second opinion – whatever he needs, a private room, the best – he wants to take care of them. Benson blankly says that is generous of him, and he reminds her that Cassidy took a bullet for him. He comments the guy is ex-NYPD and gets shot by a cop, asking what is that about. Benson says he does not know but she promises she will find out. Ganzel says it is good Cassidy still has all of them on his side. Harris calls Benson over and tells her that IAB wants to see her now and it is good if he comes along. Benson responds that she does not need anybody to hold her hand, and he says it is not her call and he walks out with her.

Back at the precinct, Benson looks at the photo of the office and says that is the shooter. The IAB man says her name is Alana Gonzales, 2 years with the 11th and has a clean sheet and it is the first time firing her weapon. Benson says it is a bad shooting but he says that is his call, not hers. Harris tells her to explain what she saw, and Benson informs IAB what went down and she made chase with one while the other pulled his weapon on Ganzel and Cassidy drew his gun. She caught a glimpse of the officers arriving, commenting that the radio car arrived exceptionally fast. IAB says Cassidy’s gun was drawn and asks if they told him to freeze. She says she shouted he was on the job and she came running back with her arms up screaming don’t shoot and then Gonzales shot Cassidy twice at point blank range. He asks if she saw him freeze, and when Benson says she can’t swear to that, IAB says Gonzales and her partner both felt they were in imminent danger. Benson thinks they are lying, adding that those guys just happened to be breaking in to Ganzel’s car right when they came down, saying the cops arrive that fast – “are you kidding me?” Harris tells Benson to just let IAB do their investigation. Benson questioned if they interviewed the car thieves and IAB says no, the kid she caught lawyered up. She comments she wonders who is paying, and asks if they checked the officer’s financials. Harris asks IAB if they can have the room. When IAB leaves, Benson asks if he is going to let IAB handle this, and he says they will piece it together if it is a set up. Benson questions “if” and says both officers used the phrase imminent danger, adding they are being coached. Benson is saying that that Ganzel made Cassidy and he set him up. Harris says the timeline makes sense and asks if the kid she caught was young. Benson says he is barely shaving. Harris says maybe IAB is not the way to go.

At Rikers, Fin speaks with the young kid – Archibald - and explains that the guy who got shot is a friend of the family.  The kid says he had nothing to do with it, but Fin says he know how the NYPD gets when one of their own gets shot.  The kid swears he did not know he was a cop. Fin tells him to do himself a favor and tell him what he did know.

Later, back at the local bar, Fin tells Benson, Munch, and Rollins that the kid just joined the car theft ring and that morning he got a tip to stand by for a Rolls. Amaro joins them and they get quiet, but he says they either trust him or they don’t. Munch tells him to sit down. He asks how is Cassidy and Benson says he is sedated but out of critical condition. Rollins tells Benson that could have been her that got shot and they all have to watch each other’s backs. Fin explains that Archibald got a go call two minutes before Cassidy stepped outside and Fin has the cell phone number – a no name cell. Benson bets Gonzales got the same call from the same cell. Rollins says the night Carissa was killed, she called Amaro, the squad room, and Cassidy once, but there was a number they could not trace – and finds that the number matches the go call. Amaro says Cassidy told him Carissa called Ganzel on a private cell and bets that is it. Benson thinks Ganzel set up his own carjacking and he made both of those calls while she and Cassidy were waiting for him. Amaro thinks the rookies would give anything to IAB – and Fin comments friendly fire is bad enough, but adds a pre-arranged hit on a UC means they are on their own.

Later, Amaro and Rollins are at a playground where they speak with officer Gonzales who is there with her sister. They ask her to take a walk. She gets up and walks away with them. Rollins tells Gonzales the cop she shot is dead. Gonzales said she told IAB she did not know he was a cop, and Amaro says she is the only one who didn’t. Amaro says it was a hit and one of the car thieves told them everything. She says those two pieces of crap would say the cops did it. Rollins reminds her she is facing a murder charge on a fellow officer, and Gonzales says she should call her PBA office. Rollins says to do that, they really like cop killers, and she crossed a line and doesn’t think Gonzales understands where she is right now, she pulled the trigger. Amaro says they know this was not her idea, and asks if she really wants to take all the weight. Amaro says her life would be over. As Rollins and Amaro walk away from her, she tells them to wait.

In an empty courtroom along with Rollins, Benson tells Foster that after roll call, Gonzales’ Sergeant Ted Koundak pulls her aside and says they have a tip on a car ring. He shows her Cassidy’s photo and says he is armed and dangerous and that if she takes him out, she will get her shield. Rollins says Koundak is also her rabbi and she is sleeping with him. Foster will have to check if his name came up on the wiretaps. She gets a message that says Cassidy is out of the woods and tells Benson to go see if Cassidy can make him.

In the hospital, Cassidy looks at Koundak’s photo and says he is a schmuck  who used to hang around; he had a thing for Spanish girls. Benson tells him Ganzel called in a favor. Cassidy is shocked it was Ganzel, as Ganzel paid for the flowers and his hospital room. Sitting on the bed, Benson says Ganzel made him, but Cassidy adds if she can blame the guy – those bugs. She touches his head and said he should have told Foster. He replies no way, she would have just pulled him in and then he’d go back to investigating dry cleaner break ins. He adds he is like her, this job is the only thing he’s got. She says she is not who she used to be, but he says “Sure you are.” She insists she is not, and then leans in and kisses him. He looks back at her and says that is nice. She comments it is something about a man in a hospital bed. He replies, with a smile, “OK, Nurse Nightingale.” They share another kiss.

Back at Ganzel’s loft, Barry tells him if he thought Cassidy was undercover he should have fired him, not shoot him, questioning that Kundak would stay loyal. Ganzel, is packing to go back to Israel, his homeland. Barry says he can’t leave the country, he says he can get a private jet, boat, or friggin’ bicycle. Barry tells Ganzel to calm down and advises him to turn himself in quietly. Ganzel tells him that advice sucks and if he goes down, Barry goes down.

One of Ganzel's girls, Joy, calls to him and he turns to see Fin and Rollins. He chastises Joy for letting them in. They begin to arrest him, and Ganzel flashes some money to try to bribe them. Then he throws his bag at Fin and tries to run but Rollins catches up with him and punches Ganzel, saying that is her partner. She cuffs him.

At arraignment, Foster explains this is the culmination of a three year investigation into Ganzel’s illegal business and they intend to bring multiple charges, including attempted murder of an undercover police officer. Barry says Ganzel will be pleading not guilty on all accounts. Foster requests remand and says they have evidence that Barry is part of the conspiracy and they will be moving to have him removed as counsel. The judge says one step at a time, and pending Ganzel’s agreement to have house arrest and electronic monitoring - Foster interrupts and says Ganzel’s house is a house of prostitution – he sets bail at $200K. Barry says they have to process Ganzel and it is all routine. As the office takes Ganzel away, Foster tells Barry his client is a piece of work. He says if having him removed is an opening salvo, he will bury Public Integrity in so many motions it will make Vesuvius look like an early autumn flurry. Foster hands him a warrant and tells him to welcome to Pompeii.

Later, Barry, at his office where a search warrant is underway,  hands paperwork back to tells Fin and Amaro, saying that he never hired that poor girl and he never even met her. Amaro accused him of executing contracts for the other girls who attended the bacchanal. Barry says they were all entertainers of legal age. He says this is just a pretext to search his records and his client’s files. Amaro says they are looking for one document and it could be anywhere so Foster wants them to go through it all. Barry says he means she wants to put him out of work until he cooperates. He tells them to stop the inquisition, he will speak with their DA.

Later, Barry speaks with Foster, Benson is also in attendance. Foster says they have three years of wiretaps helping Ganzel run his business and hide his cash, etc. She adds he is a target of the investigation as well and he can see where this goes. He asks what more could they want. She says they have Ganzel on racketeering but they don’t have anything on the former governor’s murder. He claims he knows nothing about it. Benson says Ganzel does and he trust him. She adds Ganzel is a liability, he won’t just lose his license, he will go to prison. Barry believes in loyalty, but Benson reminds him his client – not so much. Benson comments he should hear what he says about him when his back is turned. Foster says this is a courtesy and is off the record – Benson starts playback of a tape – and Ganzel is heard badmouthing Barry and making bigoted remarks. Ganzel also says Barry’s signature is on everything, he had another lawyer set it up. Barry comments, “Ah, the casual racism of the sweaty underclass.” Benson explains there are hours of this. He says he gets the gist, but Foster says as long as he continues to represent Ganzel, they can’t help each other.

Back at Ganzel’s, Barry is being frisked by one of Ganzel’s men. Ganzel then tells the guy to scram, complaining he will never find someone as good as Cassidy. He complains about the ankle monitor. Barry says he is there to say he can no longer represent him, Ganzel asks if he is serious that he isn’t his lawyer, and Barry says that is correct. Ganzel asks what he is supposed to do, and Barry says to hire another attorney. Ganzel sarcastically says he will get right on that and in the meantime Barry needs to tell him what to do. When Barry begins to object, Ganzel asks if he is bitching about giving him a freebie. Barry sets down his Smartphone and tells Ganzel to retain another attorney and explains the charges. Ganzel says Cassidy didn’t die, and Barry says lucky for him or he’d be looking at murder charge. Ganzel says he still is, and asks if pillow talk is admissible or hearsay, saying Cassidy and Carissa were sleeping together and she must have told him everything. He says he has to finish the job on him. Barry asks is by everything he means….and Ganzel said he sent her to Cragen. It was a simple frame job, she’d drug him and get him in bed and he’d come in and snap some photos. Barry asks what did he do, and Ganzel admits he killed her; he didn’t mean to. It was going great; she scratched his back and posed for some photos and then started crying that Cassidy told her if Ganzel loved her he would treat her with respect. He adds the guy was on his payroll and it turns out he is UC and he is screwing his fiancée. Barry replies that Ganzel does not know that, but Ganzel says Carissa said she was n love with Cassidy and she is going to leave Ganzel for him. He went crazy, he went into the kitchen and grabbed the knife and had an “OJ” moment.

Later, Foster plays this back for Benson - Ganzel also admits he shot Cassidy to prevent him from testifying – and Foster says this was recorded by Barry’s cell phone. Foster asks if Cassidy admits it and Benson says he also confirmed he wand Carissa were having an affair since Christmas Eve. He swears she did not mention Ganzel killing the governor or setting up Cragen. Foster says Cassidy did not tell them about the affair and jeopardized a three year investigation. Benson replies that as she said, everyone has secrets. Benson asks when she can tell Cragen he is off the hook. Foster pauses and explains that it is not as simple as she thinks.

Cragen is being let out of jail to a waiting Benson and he thanks her for everything. But she says that Delia walks for her cooperation. Cragen assumes it is about Ganzel, but Benson explains it is against him. Delia had 3 of her girls testify at a grand jury and Foster is charging him with solicitation, assault, forced sodomy, and use of a deadly weapon. Cragen looks back at her and takes a deep breath.

At the local bar, the SVU team watches the news report about Ganzel’s arrest for Carissa’s murder and the new charges against Cragen. Munch asks if they wonder why he believes in conspiracies, saying they are living in one. Benson approaches and explains Cragen’s lawyer wants him to plead no contest for the solicitation and they will let him resign and give him his pension and he is thinking about taking the deal. Amaro says they can’t let that happen and they should go after Delia. Munch says good luck, she is Teflon. Fin explains there have been 3 undercover investigations into Delia. Rollins adds that the first one, two months in, the UC resigned and moved to Anguilla. Fin says the second one, the UC got caught sleeping with the escorts. The last one, 5 years ago, the UC said after 18 months of wiretaps the AG crapcanned the case, saying the evidence was not strong enough to win. Amaro questions that no one has touched Delia since – and they are silent in disbelief.

At the office of Paula Foster,  Foster tells Benson she is familiar with the cases and the UCs. Benson adds that the third had 18 months of wiretaps and a squeaky clean UC and the AG declined to prosecute. Foster says the AG did not have the appetite for a fight he could not win. Benson questions if Delia got to the AG but Foster does not think so. Benson thinks Delia owned someone and suggests they look into it. Foster asks her into what, adding that she can’t win them all. They took down a major player in sex trafficking and she made sure Cragen can retire with full benefits. Benson reminds her about his destroyed reputation. Foster says he did hire those women, and Benson counters that he did not have sex with them and that Foster is taking the word of prostitutes over s 30 year respected cop.
Foster says he has his share of demons and she can’t have an SVU captain paying for escorts. Benson questions that Delia gets away with murder. Foster says they don’t have a shred of evidence attaching Delia to those 3 crimes and they can’t prove they were crimes. Maggie could have been an OD and Iris a suicide and Anya a car accident. Benson suggests she go after Delia for prostitution and go after her as she did Ganzel. Foster says that ship has sailed. Benson asks what does that mean, and Foster explains that she dropped those charges, and granter her immunity. She adds that confidentially, Delia is going to be cooperating with her office on future cases. Benson has a look of incredulity. Benson asks if Delia is turning over her client list, and Foster says they are talking to her. Benson gets and odd look on her face and says, “OK then.” Foster says she knows she disappointed her and she does feel sorry for Cragen. She says he tried. There is a knock at the door and an assistant walks in and tells Foster her daughter fell. Foster runs out and Benson seems to be turning the wheels in her mind, and she looks at the photo of Foster’s daughter which is on Foster’s desk.

Back at SVU, the detectives sit around the bunk beds and Benson discusses her suspicions about Foster with Amaro, Rollins and Fin. Rollins talks about the cost of Foster’s daughter’s treatment. Even after insurance, Rollins saw a $200K a year gap. Amaro says they noticed cash deposits by the caregivers in the amounts of $5-10K. The father left when Sarah was diagnosed. Foster has a trust set up for her daughter which was transferred to an offshore account, in Anguilla. Benson shakes her head in disbelief.

Outside in the park, Foster is there with her daughter at therapy, and Benson approaches. Foster's daughter is OK. Benson wants to talk her about Delia but Foster says they have been over this, it is done and let it go. Benson says she can’t. She mentions the expense of the care for Sarah and knows the insurance does not cover all of it. Foster asks how that is her business, and Benson says the 3 year investigation into Ganzel and framing Cragen, it is all about protecting Delia. Foster asks where is this coming from. Benson goes on to mention Anguilla, where Exley hid the trust fund for her daughter, adding the cash payments for therapy. Foster looks stunned that Benson looked in to her finances. Benson shows her the folder, and replies she sure did. Foster looks at the first page of file and closes the folder. Benson says here they are – finished. Benson asks how long, and Foster testily replies 8 years, Sarah was one, she needed surgery and her husband was gone. Exley approached and offered to help. He was on the board of a charity and offered to help. He gave her a check and then another check. He did not tell her until later they could be traced to Delia. In the beginning he did not ask for any favors. She was being paid to look the other way on things she wasn’t even looking at. Slowly that changed and he’d ask for a background check or DMV info and he put in a good word on a working girl’s plea bargain. Once they knew they had her the asks got bigger. Delia saw Ganzel as a threat and asked her to keep tabs. Even then he thought she was just a business woman protecting her turf. She did not know what a monster she was. Benson reminds her until Maggie, until Anya, and Iris. Benson leans in and says Foster protected a murderer and she let her walk. She framed her captain. Foster replied by then she owned her. Benson shouts that Delia paid for her, what did Foster expect? Foster tells Benson she does not understand what it is like to have a child completely depend on you, agonizing about her every single day,  terrified about what’s going to happen to her when you are gone. Foster says Benson can’t ever understand that as she is not a mother. Benson shakes her head and says she is sorry about her daughter, but Foster questions this, saying if she takes her down, Sarah has no one and asks if Benson thought about that. Foster tells Benson to look at her, asking what she thinks is going to happen to her.

Benson tells Foster they are going to go on a walk, and when Foster asks why, Benson explains she has to arrest her and she does not want her daughter to see that. Foster slowly rises from the park bench and as Benson passes Rollins, she hands Rollins the file. Benson cuffs Foster.

Later, while a reporter tells viewers of the events, Delia is under arrest and being led to a waiting car by an officer. The reporter explains Delia’s arrest for racketeering and murder, and that the NY Attorney General was arrested for promoting prostitution, solicitation, and accepting bribes. Also arrested were 3 district attorneys, the head of the DA’s Public Integrity Unit, 7 members of NYPD’s vice squad, 2 state senators, and two deputy mayors.

Inside the courthouse, Cragen walks out with Fin and Rollins and explains that Delia’s girls made a full confession, they recanted their accusations, and he got a handshake form the this week’s DA. Rollins said she told him to stay positive, and asks when he will be back at work. Cragen says there are a lot of hoops, it’s not right away, and when he does, he beat the charges but the whispers won’t stop. Rollins says he will make it through it, he knows the drill. He says yeah, one day at a time. Fin tells him to hurry back, Harris won’t stop busting his chops about his dress. Cragen says he is right. Fin looks disappointed.

Back at SVU, Amaro looks through files and Benson approaches. He tells her David Haden turned in his resignation. Benson says he had nothing to do with all of this. Amaro says even so, Foster reported to him and he should have known. Benson sighs and Amaro apologizes. Benson says she knows Amaro is still angry, and they should talk. Amaro says OK, and walks off, adding they will do that. Harris walks out of his office and asks Benson if everything is alright. She says yeah. He turns back to her and comments that she is worried about Foster’s daughter. Benson says nothing, and Harris says Benson did what she had to do. Benson nods and says she knows. He tells her to go home. She nods and says she will. Benson sits at her desk and continues to work as we fade to black.

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Esaul said...

Best finale for SVU and best premiere in a long time. I agree about the first episode, but I enjoyed seeing more of Munch. It's refreshing. Everyone did great too. I love the moment between Cassidy and Benson. I really hope we see more of him. He's definitely more rugged/jaded since he was last on. I am so excited for season fourteen. I hope NBC renews already. Hope I'm not jumping the gun on that statement. Knocking wood.

I didn't enjoy the scenes with Nick's family. They never really pertained to the cases. There were times with Stabler's family where it helped. Other times I did get sick of it. I mean it helped show more dimension to Stabler other than his temper. But watching the repeats I always think how much I miss him. >.<

janethyland said...

SVU Preliminary Ratings were solid.

Difficult to compare because of change in time slot to 9pm, however it got 2.1 key demo and 7.0 total, which isn’t that much lower than last years premiere at 2.4 key demo and 7.4 total. So it really has held its audience despite its age.

Meanwhile Criminal Minds dropped from 4.1key demo and 14 million to 3.1 key demo and 11.5million.

CSI dropped from 3.2 key demo and 12.7million to 2.5 key demo and 10.6 million.

SVU is holding steady where as the others show marked decline.

One good sign is SVU went up from 1.8 to 2.3 in key demo over the two hours, where as CM and CSI went down slightly over their people stayed watching SVU. It holds its audience.

SVU has a lot more competition in the 9pm slot than Chicago Fire is going to have at 10pm. Chicago Fire only has Revenge against it. Good for one, not good for the other.

In terms of returning shows i think Im right in saying that SVU is the highest so far. Office got 2.1 I think.

Esaul said...

Nashville is replacing Revenge in the 10 PM timeslot on ABC. Revenge is now on Sunday. :)

But I love your assessment ^_^

Catherine said...

Let’s be a lot more accurate about the ratings from last night. Using the average of 2.1 with a share of 6 (not 7) doesn’t give a realistic view of what went on.
At 9, SVU had 6.5 million viewers with a rating of 1.8. That would be compared to a 5.5 for Modern Family, a 3.1 for Criminal Minds and a 3.6 for the X Factor.
At 9:30, SVU jumped to 6.95 million viewers with a rating of 2.1. Why the jump? Because people who were watching Modern Family didn’t want to watch The Neighbors. It only had a rating of 3.3 which still beat SVU. But that isn’t The Neighbors’ regular spot. When Suburgatory comes on in three weeks, it is unlikely SVU will get that bump at the half hour.
At 10, SVU jumped again to 7.76 million viewers with a 2.3 rating. That would be compared to a 2.5 for CSI and 1.5 for a recap of Revenge’s first season.
At 10:30 it dropped back down to 7.57 million viewers with a 2.2 rating. The other two dropped as well because that normally happens to 10PM shows.
What all this tells us is that SVU is not going to do well at 9PM. If it doesn’t do well at 9, Chicago Fire will not do well at 10. I expect to see SVU moved back to 10 in January.

Icy said...

@Cathrine- I disagree, I don't think SVU will be moved back to ten pm in January. You can't tell just by this that this, people do DVR shows and they don't count them.

Plus it all has to do with how much a show is advertised.. I think it's been that SVU is on at 9pm. This show isn't going to be affected too much by ratings. It's a solid show that's been on for 14 years and has a huge fan database.

Both the network and producers know that.

Icy said...

As for the episode, I thought Cassidy said in the hospital" So we're together?"

both episods were solid and outstanding. I really enjoyed watching this episode. Mariska was beyond excellent, along with everyone else.

I don't think her and Cassidy will be together. To me it's just a fling..

Esaul said...

A show isn't renewed solely on the competition. Instead they compare it to the ratings in house as well. As long as SVU performs well in comparison to other shows on the network, it stands a decent chance of renewal. The only way the show will end is due to the show's high costs. The other shows on CBS, FOX, and ABC can get all the ratings they want. It won't determine SVU's or another show's fate.

ConnorBehan said...

For an episode that Warren Leight has spent 4 months thinking about and hyping up, it seemed a bit uninspired. How many times did characters end a scene by saying "well... okay then..."?

The opening I found stupid as well. "Screwed" did not have a "previously on SVU" segment about "Venom" and "Florida" did not have a "previously on SVU" segment about "Philadelphia" so why introduce that segment for the first time in season 14? Forget the question of good style vs bad style. Leight is turning this into a show that HAS NO DEFINITE STYLE.

Esaul said...

Well the previously on SVU was a bit warranted with the way the finale ended. 1401/1402 both directly tie in with the finale. They continue the storyline and it helped refreshed what happened. I thought I remembered everything and it turns out I didn't. It's definitely different, but helpful.

And if it wasn't for Leight the show could've ended with Season 12. The show used to be about Olivia/Elliot and geared it toward the shippers who wanted them to be together. That's not what SVU's about. Leight came in and brought different elements we're used to seeing like on Criminal Intent and sorta reinvented the show. Hell, we had a few court room scenes too which hasn't happened as much.

This is a great direction and an excellent start to Season 14. Plus we have Kathryn Erbe too for two episodes!

Plus it's one of the few good shows left that focuses on story opposed to characters. Makes me miss the mothership even more...

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Chris Zimmer said...

taylorfladgate40906 - thanks for the remaining cast credits. I just didn't have time to look up those last few!

OhSusannah said...

I really enjoyed both PArt 1 and 11 of the S14 premiere. I felt they were very cohesive to the season 13 ender that posed so many questions. I'm curious going into the new season and with everythng that has happeend how any of them will hav ethe much-needed respect for their Commanding officer in Cragen. You could tell Liv in particular was very disillusioned by Cragen admission that he had seen escorts for companionship .He's supposed to be above reproach, and I'm sure they've never seen him in this light:as a lonely forlorn widower.Dann Florek played that part on cue, so understated in his performance.Best I've ever seen in all 14 seasons. I do wonder who Liv had been in bed with in the opening scene when they panned to two near empty wine glasses on her nightstand and the shower running. I'm almost certain that it was supposed to be Da vid Haden. He resigned and yet when Liv was informed he had resigned she showed no surprise whatsoever. I doubt it was Cassidy that she had slept with- seemed too soon, despite their past connection.I can't wait for the next episode of SVU in two weeks.

ConnorBehan said...

Leight certainly made the show different and not all the Criminal-Intent inspired elements are bad. But introducing flashbacks to a show that has gone 12 years without using them shows a certain disrespect. (And so does switching from film to digital but that's another story...)

To be honest, I think the use of the courtroom was about equal. In seasons 12 and 13, 6 episodes had a significant court room component. Whatever E/O focus there supposedly was would've left with Stabler anyway. Leight didn't set the show back on track in that area.

nygma619 said...

I didn't mind Amaro's scenes with his wife and daughter. Sure they weren't anything special, but it's not like it ever smothered the story the way Stabler's family drama did in the later years.

Stabler's family issues for me started going downhill in season 8, when they hit us over the head with them with all the subtlety of a dump truck, because they wanted those emmys so badly.

Personally I've never understood people who say that Law and Order should focus solely on the cases and have no personal drive to it. I don't agree with that view, BUT that doesn't mean I want it done in a heavy handed manner the way it was done most of the time in Seasons 8-11.
For the most part, I think Warren Leight did a decent job showing a personal side to these characters WITHOUT beating us over the head with it, the way Neal Baer did in his later years.

I also enjoyed the kiss between Cassidy and Benson. Its ironic that it took 12 years away from each other to find some common ground.

janethyland said...

Not much alteration in Final Ratings, 2.1 key demo, 7.19 viewing numbers.

There will always be those who want SVU to fail,but this episode had lots of presents for ardent SVU fans, probably thanking those who remained loyal.

janethyland said...

More good ratings info from Futon Critic:

From 9-11 p.m. ET, the 14th season premiere of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (2.1/6 in adults 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) captured NBC's best in-season 18-49 rating in that time period since April 27, 2011 and biggest in-season overall audience since January 11, 2012. This is the strongest "SVU" rating in any slot since a 2.2 on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2011 from 10-11 p.m. From its first half-hour to its fourth, "Law & Order: SVU" grew by 22 percent in 18-49 rating (to a 2.2 from a 1.8) and by 24 percent or 1.5 million person in total viewers (7.6 million vs. 6.1 million), to pull within 0.2 of a point of #1 in 18-49 among ABC, CBS and NBC for the 10:30-11 p.m. half-hour.

· "SVU" topped NBC's time-period average last season by 62 percent in 18-49 rating (with a 2.1 vs. a 1.3) and by 34 percent in total viewers (7.097 million vs. 5.297 million) in a highly competitive time period versus ABC's premieres of "Modern Family," "Neighbors" and "Revenge," CBS's debuts of "Criminal Minds" and "CSI" and Fox's "The X Factor."

· For its second hour from 10-11 p.m. ET, "Law & Order: SVU" ranked #2 in 18-49 among ABC, CBS and NBC, #1 in adults 18-34 and women 18-34 and tied for #1 among women 18-49 versus CBS's season premiere of "CSI" and ABC's season debut of "Revenge."

· Keep in mind that last season, "Law & Order: SVU" originals added an average of 47 percent to these next-day "live plus same day" ratings in 18-49 when Nielsen reported "live plus seven day" results.


Leigh said...

Amazingly, for the first time ever, we only have to wait 1 week to see this in Australia, instead of waiting until February, so I am thrilled. I don't mind either way whether Elliot is there or not, I like the new detectives. I'm probably in a minority, but I like Liv kissing Cassidy too. What I'm really excited about, is the episode(s) featuring Kathryn Erbe (Det Alex Eames), as I am a totally devoted Criminal Intent fan. Still can't wait to see this next week though, thanks so much for the recap.

Leigh said...

Forgot to add, the Warren Leight years were the best of Criminal Intent, so I am really glad he is now on SVU.

Casey_Olivia_Forever said...

I disagree with everyone's assertions that this Cassidy/Benson thing is happy. It is horrible. After twelve years she kisses him, after a mere one night stand? Get real. First David now this...god. Pick a better boyfriend for her, Leight.

Arleen said...

Why the obsession with Olivia's love life? Nobody worries about poor Munch living alone, or what girlfriend Fin is seeing. Also the writers seem hellbent on making Olivia feel guilty about not having children.

These episodes were entertaining, but totally unrealistic. The SVU detectives were told (at the very beginning) to stay away from the investigation, but they disobeyed that order and did their own private investigation, apparently during their duty hours, possibly invalidating the whole case against the madam. Where were the real assigned detectives working on this case? How did Olivia get a hold of the DA's financial records (without a court order)? The DA confessed everything to Olivia really fast in the end; she should have asked her where she got the financial records when she wasn't assigned to the case. Any decent lawyer would have gotten much of the evidence thrown out of court because of all witness tampering and collusion going on by the SVU.

Also, the NYPD (and all police departments for that matter) protect their fellow officers, even if they are guilty. A captain like Cragen would have been given the best lawyer they could find, and probably a good alibi, even if he didn't already have one (any idiot could see that he was being set-up). So the plot was contrived to make us feel sorry for him.

I could go on but ... hey it was great to see Alex Baldwin again. He was really great in the series "Firefly" - maybe HE should have a fling with Olivia.

InsubordinationFreak said...

Florek was awesome in all his scenes. He really got to me. Especially when he was stripped and photographed and when he wanted to wear his own clothes instead of that ill-fitting suit.

Looking forward to seeing what Adam Baldwin can bring to the part too.

janethyland said...

Saturday repeat of SVU did better than repeat of Revolution.

janethyland said...

NBC seems very happy with SVU ratings:

From 9-11 p.m. ET, the 14th season premiere of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (2.1/6 in adults 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) captured NBC’s best in-season 18-49 rating in that time period since April 27, 2011 and biggest in-season overall audience since January 11, 2012. This is the strongest “SVU” rating in any slot since a 2.2 on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2011 from 10-11 p.m. From its first half-hour to its fourth, “Law & Order: SVU” grew by 22 percent in 18-49 rating (to a 2.2 from a 1.8) and by 24 percent or 1.5 million person in total viewers (7.6 million vs. 6.1 million), to pull within 0.2 of a point of #1 in 18-49 among ABC, CBS and NBC for the 10:30-11 p.m. half-hour.
· “SVU” topped NBC’s time-period average last season by 62 percent in 18-49 rating (with a 2.1 vs. a 1.3) and by 34 percent in total viewers (7.097 million vs. 5.297 million) in a highly competitive time period versus ABC’s premieres of “Modern Family,” “Neighbors” and “Revenge,” CBS’s debuts of “Criminal Minds” and “CSI” and Fox’s “The X Factor.”
· For its second hour from 10-11 p.m. ET, “Law & Order: SVU” ranked #2 in 18-49 among ABC, CBS and NBC, #1 in adults 18-34 and women 18-34 and tied for #1 among women 18-49 versus CBS’s season premiere of “CSI” and ABC’s season debut of “Revenge.”
Keep in mind that last season, “Law & Order: SVU” originals added an average of 47 percent to these next-day “live plus same day” ratings in 18-49 when Nielsen reported “live plus seven day” results.


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