Thursday, February 28, 2013

Law & Order SVU “Funny Valentine” Recap & Review

Did you ever watch an episode of Law & Order SVU and think it was so awful that you can’t quite put into words what was wrong with it? This was one of those episodes. I am literally at a loss for words.  I simply did not enjoy  it.

Law & Order SVU “Funny Valentine” was heavily promoted by entertainment media as being “ripped from the headlines” and inspired by  the Chris Brown assault on Rihanna in 2009. (While NBC never officially billed it as such, NBC's advance press release on the episode contained strong hints.)   Maybe because I was already bored long ago by the real story, the SVU version held no interest for me. The episode was predictable, the dialog was dull the acting was flat for the most part. There was no suspense or drama for me. The only plus side was the presence of Raúl Esparza as ADA Rafael Barba. His expressions and emotions always seem genuine; I was expecting his head to really explode during the grand jury scene. Despite the other enjoyable scene with Barba and Benson as he recounts a love of his from the 11th grade, even he couldn’t save this episode for me.

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:
Raúl Esparza - ADA Rafael Barba
Tiffany Robinson - Micha Green
Roca - Caleb Bryant
Charles Malik Whitfield - Brass
Dave Navarro - Ferarri
Socorro Santiago – Judge Ortiz
Saul Rubinek – Mr. Price
Jeffrey Tambor - Counselor Ben Cohn
LaNeah “Starshell” Menzies – Joi
Lisa Tharps - Clara
Karen Tsen Lee – DNA Tech Susan Chung
Gamzee Ceylan – Jen Blanken
Wendy Williams – as herself
Perez Hilton – as himself
Sue Simmons - herself
Madison Elizabeth Zamor – Micha Green (age 9)
Joseph Halsey – Uni #1
Tara Moncure – Young Woman

A video of Micha Green singing, as a child, cuts to a present day recording session with Micha as an adult, signing with Caleb Bryant. They kiss as they finish the recording, with their manager Mr. Price complementing the take. Afterwards, over drinks, Price yells to stop Micha and Caleb from kissing, telling them to save a little of that for the video. He also tells Micha she has a great body and to see more of it. Caleb pulls down the shoulder of her shirt. She says that whatever sell, but they would not be here without Brass, and she thanks him. He hugs her and thanks her, and then reminds the others he told them to put their money on this girl.

Later, Caleb flirts with Joi and Micha walks in on them, complaining that she can’t leave Caleb alone for 5 minutes without him getting trashy. She refers to Joi as a beef cookie. The others laugh and as Joi walks off, Caleb testily asks what Micha just said. Micha says she was just joking, but Caleb pushes her forehead and then pushes her to the floor, asking how funny is this? He then picks her up by the hair and as the others watch and do nothing, he pulls her head into his crotch. She picks up her head and hits him with it. He calls her a skinny ass whore, and then lifts his fist to her.

Later, in a private hospital room as DNA Tech Susan Chung snaps pictures of a battered Micha, Benson and Amaro stand by. The CSU tech tells them she swabbed Micha’s cuts for DNA. Benson asks Micha who did this to her, and Micha said he did not mean to do it. Benson asks if she means her boyfriend, and Micha does not answer. Benson says Micha will need to tell them his name, and she names Caleb Bryant.

Elsewhere, Caleb Bryant and Joi get out of a limo to fans and photographers waiting at the entrance to a nightclub.

Back at the hospital, Amaro speaks with Brass who said he did not see what happened but guesses it was Caleb. Brass is not Caleb’s producer anymore, he works with Micha. He discovered her when she was 9 and is like a daughter to him. He states that Micha and Caleb’s relationship is complicated, but Amaro counters that it isn’t.

Meanwhile, Micha tells Benson that Caleb threw her down and pushed his face into his crotch. She tried to get away and her head hit his lip and that is when off. Benson said he beat her and choked her and asks who else was in the room. Micha tells her the engineer and backup girls. Benson comments that this went on for a while, and Micha says when Caleb goes off…and Benson replies she can see that.

Back at the nightclub, Amaro and Fin catch up with Caleb. When Caleb moves to take a photo of them to tweet it to his fans, Fin slaps the phone down and asks to see Caleb's hands. They see marks and Amaro asks if Caleb has been into something. Caleb says he was holding back an overenthusiastic fan. As Amaro cuffs him, Fin says they are going to take him somewhere where he won’t have to worry about the fans. When Amaro says he is under arrest Caleb says they are making a big mistake. He tells someone to “call his Jew.”

Later. At SVU, Counselor Ben Cohn complains to Rollins that they took Caleb’s clothes and that is harassment. Fin says they are evidence. Cohn says the jacket alone is $5K and he hopes everything has been properly vouchered. Rollins replies down to the last bloodstain. Cohn comments that he trusts they haven’t questioned Caleb in his absence, and Fin replies that Caleb knows better than that. When Cohn asks to see their captain, Rollins explains that he is out and that Sgt. Munch is covering.

In the holding area, DNA Tech Susan Chung photographs Caleb’s injuries and he asks the CSU photographer if she wants to see his other kind of pictures. Amaro calls him Romeo and then says nobody is interested.

In the interview room, Cohn tells Munch that if they are smart they would save themselves a lot of embarrassment. Munch asks what Cohn suggests they do, and he replies that the cops see a big fish of African-American persuasion and they salivate to bring him down. He asks how many rush investigations has he seen – corners cut, conclusions jumped to – and everything gets in a big pile of ashes and then apologies, lawsuits. Munch calmly says it has happened. Cohn says they don’t want it to happen to them as Caleb is a big superstar and he has substantial resources, a stellar reputation, and he is loved in the city. He asks if the NYPD can say the same? Munch glares at him and says nothing.

Afterward, Cohn storms out of the room, slams the door, and announces that he wants to see his client. Amaro asks if that was the one that kept asking for his Jew – and then points in the direction where Caleb is being held. Munch walks out of the room and Fin notices Munch is smiling, asking if Munch and Cohn bonded in there. Munch sarcastically says that Cohn is a concerned citizen who wants to make sure the department doesn’t embarrass itself. Rollins says he is hoping his client doesn’t embarrass himself, then shows the others a video of Perez Hilton talking about how Caleb boosts his gansta cred by getting arrested. Munch cracks that they should go on a double date with Chris Brown and Rihanna. Fin says it is too bad there were no paparazzi in the recording studio, and Munch asks if there were any witnesses to the attack. Amaro informs him there were at least 3, according to Micha. Rollins thinks they need to get to them before Caleb’s people do, and Munch advises while they are at it to make sure that Caleb’s people don’t get to Micha either.

At Rise Up Health Food, Fin speaks to a witness who is reluctant to say anything but does say Micha should not have dissed Caleb as guys like Caleb need to get their own way. She walks off.

Elsewhere, Joi, getting her nails done, tells Amaro that she did not see anything, saying she must have been in the ladies room when it happened. She says if you roll with Caleb your look as to be tight. Amaro asks if she wants to be Caleb’s next, and she says she knows when to keep her mouth open and when to keep it shut.

Rollins speaks with the sound mixing engineer - Mr. Ferarri - who says the punch was more like a slap. When Rollins explains the differing with an open or closed hand, he says Caleb punched her. When he says he saw Caleb choker her for a hot second, Rollins asks if there is some sort of three second rule, but he explains he meant it was real quick. Rollins asks if it was too quick for him to help out and watch her get beat, showing him the photo of the battered Micha. He sighs and says nothing.

At the Hudson Square Hotel, Benson and ADA Barba arrive to question Mr. Price, who says Micha is resting. When Price says Micha will issue a statement through her publicist, Barba replies that it can’t wait and they need to speak to her. Price agrees to do it and as he walks in the direction of Micha’s room, Benson stops right in front of him and tells him to wait there and then she thanks him.

In her room, Micha is watching a video of the arrest as Benson and Barba walk in. Micha asks if they had to do this to Caleb and Benson says he did this to himself and to her. Micha counters not according to her Twitter feed, adding they are either calling her a whore or begging her to forgive him. Benson suggests whoever did that she should block them immediately, what Caleb did is despicable. Benson introduces Barba, who says that he will be handling the prosecution. She asks if this is necessary, and he says unless he pleads guilty, this is going to trial. When she asks if she has to testify in public, Barba haltingly says that may happen, and he glances to Benson. Benson adds that they will be with her every step of the way, saying it would be good if she had other support, like family, that she can call. Micha says her sister, her mother and her boyfriend, but if they come up there she will have to take care of all of them. Benson suggests Brass, saying that he is Micha’s mentor. Micha says if she needs someone to say he told her so. Micha says she has been on her own a long time, but Benson says looking like this, and then points to the video on the screen adding for Micha to look at Caleb, acting like nothing ever happened. Micha’s face gets angry and she tells Benson that Caleb thinks he can do this to her and get away with it, it is not happening.

At arraignment court, Judge Ortiz asks for quiet or she will clear the courtroom. Benson and Amaro watch from the back of the room. As the courtroom quiets, the judge says Caleb is being charged with attempted sexual abuse in the first degree, assault in the second degree, and strangulation in the first degree, calling it a nice trifecta. Caleb’s attorney Ben Cohn enters the plea of not guilty, saying these were two passionate people whose private moment was wildly mischaracterized. The judge tells him to save it for trial and asks ADA Barba for his comments on bail. Barba says the defendant has massive resources and a propensity for violence, he is requesting remand. Cohn argues that Caleb has a sold out concert next week at Barclay Center and he is not going to disappoint his fans. The judge says she hopes not, and sets bail at $500K. Barba also requests a temporary order of protection as Caleb represents an ongoing threat to the victim, particularly as he has shown no remorse. Cohn says they are talking about two people who are very much in love, and as Amaro and Benson smirk cynically from the gallery, the judge replies that love hurts and then adds that Caleb is ordered to stay 1,000 yards away from Micha Green. The judge bangs her gavel to end the proceeding.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Law & Order SVU “Funny Valentine” Promo

Here is the promo for Law & Order SVU “Funny Valentine” which will air on Wednesday February 27, 2013 at 9PM ET on NBC.

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

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

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

Law & Order SVU “Funny Valentine” Sneak Peeks

Here are sneak peeks from Law & Order SVU “Funny Valentine” which will air on Wednesday February 27, 2013 at 9PM ET on NBC. The previews feature Mariska Hargitay, Danny Pino, and guest stars Raúl Esparza and Jeffery Tambor.

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

Please note: These video clips are available for a limited time only and must be removed shortly after the episode originally airs, so please catch them while you can!

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

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

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Law & Order SVU “Deadly Ambition” Recap & Review

Law & Order SVU “Deadly Ambition” brought Detective Amada Rollins’ troubled sister Kim back to town, and this time, it meant BIG trouble for both of them. Rollins has a huge blind spot when it comes to her sister, and this time Kim uses it to arrange for her abusive boyfriend to be shot by Rollins in the hopes that Kim can cash in on a big life insurance policy. But Rollins' blind spot can only be exceeded by Kim’s stupidity, as she fails to catch a clause in the policy which won’t allow her to cash in. Of course, and officer involved shooting means that Rollins will face IAB’s Lt. Tucker – the evil villain of the SVU universe – and in this process it becomes apparent that stupidity runs in the family. After being warned talk to no one about the shooting incident – and even after she is assigned a delegate – Rollins continues to talk to Tucker without appropriate representation, and it ends up in her being charged with murder. Worse yet, after Rollins is warned by her lawyer of the dire consequences of contacting her sister, she does it anyway. This behavior seems at odds with Benson’s description of Rollins as being by the book; apparently Rollins only goes by the book when it doesn’t involve family matters. Sure, many people have blind spots when it comes to family, but Rollin’s over-confident attitude that this was a "good shoot" struck me as being far too naïve for her character. That same over-confidence, and another kind of blind spot, got Rollins “shot” in a training exercise. Despite Rollins being accurate on the firing range, her aim was clearly poor when it came to attacking her personal problems.

I’m on the fence regarding this episode. I’ve never been a fan of too much focus on the detective’s personal stories. When an otherwise rational detective goes completely off the rails when faced with a family problem – like a sister known for attracting trouble – I like personal stories even less. Couple that with the usual evil IAB story line and the trite psychobabble from the resident shrink, there was really nothing new to see here. (It WAS nice to see Carolyn McCormack and Robert John Burke, though.) The fact that we SAW Rollins shoot Jeff and what led up to it, all the suspense was gone. Viewers knew the truth and knew that Rollins would likely come out of this OK, and hopefully a little wiser about her sister. Had we not seen the shooting, it may have brought a twinge of uncertainty to Rollins' fate.

I don’t recall an episode where we ever saw Fin’s apartment. It’s nice to know that he actually has a home outside of SVU.

Kelli Giddish did an exceptional job in this episode. In the ending scene where she finds Kim has cleaned her out,  Giddish made Rollin’s hurt seem very real. For some reason, though, I didn’t feel sorry for Rollins during most of the episode. She ignored sage advice given to her by her captain and her peers, which only dug her deeper into trouble. And after they bail her out of jail, she goes against her attorney’s advice and contacts her sister. If IAB would have had Kim’s room under surveillance, it would have been over for Rollins. She deserved some of the trouble that came her way. Let's hope, as with the training session, she's learned a few lessons.

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:
Lindsay Pulsipher - Kim Rollins
Carolyn McCormick.- Dr. Elisabeth Olivet
Robert John Burke – Lt. Ed Tucker
Joe Grifasi - Hashi Horowitz
Isiah Whitlock, Jr. – Captain Reece
Mary Mc Cann – Didi Denzler
Jayne Houdyshell - Judge Linden
Michael Mastro – Judge Serani
Rafael Sardina
Theis Weckesser – Jeff Parker
Joel Brady – Officer Nolan
Gabrielle Ruiz – Tina

Fin and Rollins arrive on the scene of a domestic disturbance where shots were fired. Rollins radios they are waiting at the scene for ESU but when Fin hears shouting from inside he decides not to wait and breaks down the door. The enter with guns drawn and when the attacker gives Rollins some lip, Fin pushes him against the wall and says “We’re the guns, bitch!” Rollins shouts for the man to back up and not to resist. But the woman who was being attacked calls out to Rollins and then fires two quick shots at her. But Rollins is unharmed, it is a training session. Fin laughs that they got her, but Cragen, who is sitting on nearby bleachers observing, tells Fin not to laugh, he was next. The man who was playing the attacker explains that SVU tends to see women as victims and they turn their backs. Amaro, also watching nearby with Benson, says he gets it and ask if they are next and adds “Let’s rock and roll.” Benson gripes to Cragen, asking if she has to go in with him. Cragen smiles.

Afterwards, the SVU team practices at a firing range,. The trainer tells them to stop but Fin fires a few extra shots. Cragen tells Fin they want to avoid civilian casualties, but Fin counters that if he is shooting, he is emptying the whole gat. Cragen asks how they did, and the trainer says Amaro had a nice center mass grouping, Benson was dead on, but Rollins is Annie Oakley – close to perfect.

Later, Rollins approaches the door to her apartment and sees it is cracked open. She pushes open the door and steps in, putting her hand on her gun. She asks who is there, and turns on the light to see her sister Kim standing there. Rollins says “Oh my god, Kim” and Kim replies “Hi to you too.” Kim says she called, but….and Rollins puts her off and asks how did she get in? Kim explains she made a key the last time she was there and she hoes she doesn’t mind. Rollins comments to Kim that it is 10PM and asks why does Kim have her sunglasses on? Kim removes them to show bruises on her face. Rollins asks if it was Jeff, and Kim doesn’t answer, so Rollins asks if he hit her. Kim tells her to stop being a cop for a second, she has good news: she’s pregnant and Rollins will be an aunt. Rollins gets a look of disbelief with a forced smile.

As Kim sits on the couch, Rollins asks if Jeff is that father, adding that Kim told her she was done with him. Kim, holding an ice pack to her face, says she was, until Thanksgiving. He knows about the baby and Kim insists he did not mean to hurt her, he just lost his temper. Rollins asks if Jeff knows Kim is in New York, and Kim says yes, he told him it was over but she thinks he is on his way there. Kim feels that Jeff will not listen to her, but Rollins mutters, “He’ll listen to me.” Rollins tells Kim to get some sleep, and she will take the couch. Kim tells Rollins she is so lucky to have her.

The next day at SVU, Rollins arrives late and Fin says he covered for her. Rollins explains her sister’s arrival and situation. Benson suggests that is Jeff is stalking Kim that Rollins should get a temp order. Fin asks if she knows where he is, and Rollins says Kim can find out. Amaro suggests they talk to him, man to man. Rollins thinks they do not need to get dragged into her family business, but Fin says forget it, they have her back.

Later, at Kevyn’s Place bar, Fin and Rollins meet up with Jeff Parker. They explain Kim is not coming. Jeff thinks Rollins put them up to this, saying she is crazy. Amaro says Kim has moved on and so should he. Jeff said Kim called him and misses him, and Fin asks if that was before or after he gave her a black eye. Fin says if Jeff touches Kim again, they will send him back to Georgia with his ass in a sling. They leave Jeff to his drink.

Meanwhile, Rollins is shopping with Kim for baby clothes and Rollins explains that Fin and Amaro talked to Jeff. Rollins asks Kim if she wants a boy or a girl and if the doctor told her yet. Kim says she did not really want to know. Rollins reminds her having a back on her own will not be easy, but Kim says she has Rollins. But Jeff barges in the store and begins to bark at her and Rollins wants to know how he found them. Jeff tells Kim if she does not want to be found, don’t check in on Four Square. Rollins tells him to get out but he tells Rollins to butt out, he wants to talk to his fiancée. Kim says that is not happening. Rollins tells Jeff he is done and to stay away from Kim. He asks or what, and shouts, asking if she is going to pull her gun out on him in the middle of a baby store? Rollins calmly tells him he is not going to get another warning. He tells Rollins it is not over, then leans past her to tell Kim “not by a long shot.” He leaves the store.

Back at Rollins’ apartment, she tells Kim to get back to the questionnaire which they are doing to get the restraining order. When Rollins asks Kim if Jeff brought his gun with him, Kim says he knows all the new gun laws up there and he is not dumb. Rollins takes a photo of Kim’s injuries to use as proof for the judge.

Law & Order SVU “Funny Valentine” Advance Photos

Here are advance photos from Law & Order SVU “Funny Valentine” which will air on Wednesday February 27, 2013 at 9PM ET on NBC. The photos feature Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Danny Pino, and guest stars Raúl Esparza, Jeffery Tambor, Wendy Williams, Eugene Jones, Starshell Menzies, and Tiffany Robinson.

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

Photo by: Michael Parmelee/NBC © NBC Universal, Inc.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

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

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Law & Order SVU “Deadly Ambition” Preview Clips

Here are preview clips from Law & Order SVU “Deadly Ambition” which will air on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 9PM ET on NBC. The preview clips feature Kelli Giddish and guest star Lindsay Pulsipher.

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

Please note: These video clips are available for a limited time only and must be removed shortly after the episode originally airs, so please catch them while you can!

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

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

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Law & Order SVU “Secrets Exhumed” Recap & Review

Law & Order SVU “Secrets Exhumed” brought out a deep dark secret in FBI Agent Dana Lewis’ past – she’s a murderer. She has quite a history with SVU and an appearance by Dana Lewis usually means trouble. For example, in the episode “Raw,” both Stabler and Munch get shot in a courtroom (Munch being shot in his behind, of all places) as Dana was working undercover. But in this episode, she finds even her best profiling and interrogation skills can’t hide her past crime from the SVU team. It’s Amaro, who has no past with Dana, who first raises suspicions about her involvement in the old murder case. Benson may have been defensive of Dana at the beginning, but when it became obvious that Dana was hiding a horrible secret, Benson was not afraid to apply the right amount of pressure to help get the confession.

It was fairly obvious where this story was headed right from the start; the previews and the episode trailer may have tipped off a bit too much. Still, it was entertaining to see the story unfold and the usual self assured Dana become emotional and crack under the pressure. In fact, had Dana kept her nose out of the serial rape/murder case to begin with, her secret could have remained secret. Dana’s need to control every situation ended in her downfall by unwittingly giving the detectives more reason to connect her to the 5th murder. The only thing that was not quite clear to me – maybe I missed something – was if all 5 victims were all raped and murdered, how exactly did Dana convincingly stage the rape part of this crime? (Maybe I don’t want to know). Marcia Gay Harden brings so much personality to Dana Lewis, and her character has such an interesting history with the series, that it is somewhat sad to see an SVU fan favorite be exposed as a criminal.

The whole cast of regulars was back for this episode, and this adds such depth to the story when everyone can participate. It was wonderful to see Munch return and viewers finally get an explanation for his absence. Hopefully, he won’t get lost in the cold case storage area and we will get to see him in more episodes this season.

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:
Marcia Gay Harden – FBI Agent Dana Lewis
Roscoe Orman – Jerome Howard
John Ottavino – Mr. Stanger
Opal Alladin – Gina’s Friend
Jay Karnes – Noah Bunning
Harold Perrineau – Brian Traymor
Kathleen O’Neill – Mary Stanger
Sue Kim - Detective Emily Ling
Danny Bolero – Ramon Velez

The SVU detectives are in the squad room and working on switching desks, and Fin gripes that he does not want to move. Benson cracks back to Fin that it is 6 feet. Cragen adds they are all too complacent, he’s said it before and he will say it again – it’s a new year and he wants to shake things up. Fin says he liked his old desk, and Amaro suggests they get him a grief counselor. Fin replies “says the guy who doesn’t have to move.” Munch walks in and comments that he is gone away for a few months and they are rearranging the furniture. He asks what’s next, carpeting and paper towels in the men’s room? Cragen says, “Well, if it isn’t the man who came in from cold case.” Benson welcomes him back. Munch states that everyone says that the DNA bank at the state is a good thing, but the downside is somebody has to go through the cases. The upside: he got a hit on an unsolved rape/murder from 1987. Rollins comments that is not cold, it’s frigid, asking what they have on the suspect so far. Amaro reads from the file, stating it is Brian Traymor, 52, picked up in Miami on cocaine possession. Munch informs them by the time Traymor’s DNA had been processed, he had served his 3 months and is being released tomorrow. Cragen says he will have the DA start the extradition papers, ands instructs Benson and Amaro to book the next flight to Miami. Fin whines that he has a feel for Miami as he worked there undercover. Cragen tells Fin and Rollins to work the case from here – re-interview witnesses, track down evidence – he doesn’t want to rely on 25 year old DNA.

Benson and Amaro walk in to the Dade County Correctional Facility, and Benson comments that she thinks South Florida is overrated. Amaro asks if it is the sun, coffee, or the people, and Benson says it is the heat and the bugs. They check their weapons at the front desk. Amaro says he didn’t hear her complaining about the Bahamas. An corrections officer greets them by telling them they have a problem. Benson questions if Brian Traymor IS being released today, and when the officer says yeah, Amaro asks what is the problem. The officer explains that the FBI beat them to the punch. They walk over to see that the FBI agent in question is none other than Dana Lewis. Dana and Benson greet each other and Benson introduces Dana to Amaro. She says it is nice to meet him, calling him sunshine. He asks what the FBI’s interest is in a New York cold case, and Dana explains they think he is a serial, he is their prime suspect in three other rape/murders in Sacramento, Philadelphia, Washington, besides the two in New York. Amaro says the DNA match to the Manhattan case makes it theirs, adding that these are not Federal crimes. Dana asks if they can work together on this, and Benson comments to Amaro that when Dana asks, it is not really a question. Amaro says he is getting that. They look over and see Brian Traymor entering and he is in a wheelchair. Amaro ask Dana if she knew Traymor was in a wheelchair, and Dana replies she is as surprised as they are. Benson walks up to Traymor and announces she is NYPD, and that they have a warrant for his arrest. Amaro hold out the warrant but Traymor doesn’t take it, saying he did his time on the coke bust and they said he could go home. Dana says he was misinformed, and Benson explains they will be taking him back to his old stomping grounds in New York City. He asks for what, and Dana informs him it is for rape and murder; it has taken 25 years but his past has finally caught up with him. Amaro hands him the warrant and then begins to push the wheelchair.

Back at SVU, Benson explains to the group that Brian Traymor was paralyzed from the waist down in a bus accident April 1988, 3 months after his last suspected attack. Cragen thinks this explains his absence from the system in over 2 decades. Fin questions if they are sure he is good for all 5. Dana says it is the same pattern; all of the women were raped then tied up and strangled with athletic tape and he wore latex gloves and stuffed them in the women’s’ mouths. Benson adds that from 1986 to 1988, Traymor was the assistant equipment manager to the Atlanta Barons basketball team. Their away game schedule puts Traymor in every city or on a day off at the times of the murders. Rollins comments that the DNA was not usually run in 1987, asking how did they get lucky? Munch explains that cold case in Sacramento and New York ran DNA from rape kits 10 years ago and there were no hits until Traymor was arrested. Swabs matched Traymor’s DNA on the Sacramento victim Theresa Grey and on the first New York victim, Gina Mantos. Dana adds that the Philadelphia and Washington never ran DNA so they put in a request to expedite. Cragen asks how about a confession, did Traymor give anything up on the plane ride. Amaro replies he just looked out t he window but he did waive his right to counsel. Benson suggests that before Traymor changes his mind that she and Amaro take a run at him. Dana says she was part of the initial profiling and she would appreciate sitting in. Cragen explains he appreciated her being there but states this is NYPD’s case and they will take the lead. Dana gets a message on her phone and as Benson walks off, Dana tells Cragen “fine” but she will be observing, her bosses are understandably anxious. Rollins announces they just got a break, they found Gina’s roommate.

At Williamsburg Hospital, Fin and Rollins speak with Gina’s roommate and they find Gina was a basketball fan. When Fin asks her roommate to look at a photo of a possible suspect, she is reluctant as it was so long ago. But Rollins advises her of the new DNA evidence and she agrees. She picks out Traymor, saying he looked right past her and made a fool out of himself trying to get a Minnesota girl’s attention at a sports bar near The Garden a few months before Gina was killed. She thinks he told Gina that he worked for the team and she was so jealous as guys were always hitting on Gina. Her folks paid her rent. She walked in and found Gina and it was horrible and she tried to forget all that.

Back at SVU, Benson has Traymor in interrogation and she asks him about Gina. He says she is cute but denies knowing her. They continue to question him about Gina’s roommate seeing them together months before when the Barons were in town. Cragen and Dana watch from the observation area. He says he never lied about his job with the basketball team, but Amaro says the girls didn’t want to meet an assistant equipment manager, they wanted to meet the players. Traymor said he did all right, and Benson asks if he did alright with Gina. He thinks he may have, when he wasn’t in his wheelchair. Amaro says that was when Traymor could walk and have sex, and if it were him, he would remember that. He says maybe he remembered meeting her, and Amaro says Traymor’s DNA was found on Gina’s body. Benson says they know he was with her. He admits going home with her but says that does not mean he killed her. Benson asks about the bus that hit him and broke his spinal cord didn’t just cripple him, it made him impotent and he’s had 25 years to think about that accident and asks if he even thought it was karma?

Meanwhile, Mr. & Mrs. Stanger, parents of another victim, Kira Stanger, arrives at SVU and Rollins and Fin approach. They ask Rollins if she called them about the person who killed Kira. They walk the over to the interview room and show them photos of black suspects but they don’t pick out anyone. Mrs. Stanger says Kira would never go with anyone “like that.” Mr. Stanger said Kira was a music student and hated sports. Kira moved to New York and they are still living in the same house in Vermont. Rollins asks if it is possible they didn’t know everything Kira did for fun, and Mr. Stanger snaps that they knew, they met Noah, her fiancé, two weeks after she met him. Mrs. Stanger confirms they were in love, and Mr. Stanger adds that is how they knew what the police told them about Kira being killed by a man in the bar was crap and she never would open the door for a stranger. Mrs. Stanger said Kira was a kindergarten teacher and Noah was travelling on business and Kira said how much she missed him. She thinks the man they say have didn’t kill their daughter.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Law & Order SVU “Funny Valentine” Episode Information

Here are the details for a new episode of Law & Order SVU,  “Funny Valentine”:

Law & Order SVU “Funny Valentine” Air Date February 27, 2013 (9 PM ET/8C Wednesday NBC)


A promising singer is brutally attacked by her boyfriend, a popular hip hop star. ADA Barba (guest star Raul Esparza) works to build a case, but the victim refuses to aid the prosecution and, despite Detective Benson's (Mariska Hargitay) best efforts, continues to put herself in danger. The case quickly spirals into a media circus, perpetrated by both the defendant and his uncompromising attorney (guest star Tambor). Also starring Ice-T (Detective Odafin Tutuola), Richard Belzer (Sergeant John Munch), Danny Pino (Detective Nick Amaro) and Kelli Giddish (Detective Amanda Rollins). Special appearances by Perez Hilton, Dave Navarro and Wendy Williams.

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

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

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

Law & Order SVU “Deadly Ambition” Advance Photos

Here are advance photos for Law & Order SVU “Deadly Ambition” which will air on February 20, 2013 at 9PM ET on NBC. The photos feature Dann Florek, Ice-T, Danny Pino, and Kelli Giddish.

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

Photos by: Michael Parmelee/NBC © NBC Universal, Inc.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

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

Friday, February 8, 2013

Law & Order SVU “Secrets Exhumed” Cast Interviews, Previews, Behind The Scenes Video

Here are cast interviews, previews, and behind the scenes video for Law & Order SVU “Secrets Exhumed” which will air on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 9PM ET on NBC. The videos feature Warren Leight, Mariska Hargitay, Richard Belzer (YES, Richard Belzer!), Danny Pino, Kelli Giddish, Dann Florek, Ice-T, and guest stars Marcia Gay Harden, Harold Perrineau, and Jay Karnes.

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

Please note: The preview video clips are available for a limited time only and must be removed shortly after the episode originally airs, so please catch them while you can!

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

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

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Law & Order SVU “Monster’s Legacy” Recap & Review

First things first, I’d like to comment on the elephant in the room: Mike Tyson on Law & Order SVU.

Controversy is not new to the Law & Order brand of shows. Law & Order SVU “Monster’s Legacy” hit the hot button the minute the casting of former boxing champ Mike Tyson was announced. The issue: should Tyson, a convicted rapist, be a guest star on a TV show that focuses on victims of various sex crimes? The disgust and outcry was swift and loud, some finding the casting of Tyson on SVU as being “especially heinous.” One woman started a petition requesting they reconsider casting Tyson. Tyson, who served his time for his rape conviction, rebutted, saying "I didn't rape nobody or do anything like that, and this lady wasn't there to know if I did or not. I don't trip on that stuff. I'm not trying to get rich and famous; I'm just trying to feed my family. Why should they care? Since I'm clean and sober five years, I haven't broken any laws or did any crimes. I'm just trying to live my life." NBC moved the episode air date from February 13 to February 6, reportedly so the episode would not air on the eve of One Billion Rising, a global event supporting rape and abuse survivors.
Was it right or wrong for Tyson to be cast on Law & Order SVU? I don’t know Mike Tyson personally, but based on his public persona, I don’t like what I’ve seen and heard. I also abhor stunt casting. Despite this, having Mike Tyson guest star on SVU was not a deal breaker for me. He was convicted and served his time and he should be allowed to work for whatever employer will hire him. Yes, it was an odd casting choice that showed a lack of sensitivity to some of SVU’s core viewers, and I understand their pain, upset, and disappointment. If I was faced with a choice between Tyson and an actor without all that baggage, I probably would not have hired Tyson. But thankfully I’m not the one responsible for producing a network TV show and bringing in viewers every week. Let’s not be naive here - TV shows/networks are in business to make money, just like any other company. They want more viewers, especially in the coveted demographic, which can translate to more advertising revenue. Some would sell their soul to get more viewers. If casting Tyson and the ensuing negative publicity delivers an increase in viewers - despite losing viewers who won’t be watching out of protest - the casting decision will be deemed as brilliant. But this is not a casting choice with zero risk. Losing too many viewers for this episode or for the long term could spell trouble for the series and its viability for another season. Fans who feel betrayed by the decision to hire Tyson likely feel the end to SVU won’t come soon enough.

My take on the episode itself: it was fantastic and it’s truly a pity that some chose not to watch. Despite Mike Tyson’s presence and his just-adequate performance (which detracted from any sympathy that viewers may have felt for Reggie Rhodes) this may be the best episode of Law & Order SVU so far this season. The stabbing sequence in the opening scene was painful to watch and for a brief moment it actually made me physically uncomfortable. The person stabbed was a victim of a misconception about his activities with the boys he coached, but the attack eventually exposed more than one child abuser and the long-term effects on their victims. The story was well crafted, moved quickly, and juggled with ease both the SVU case of the child abuser and Benson/Ellis getting a stay of execution for Reggie.

Andre Braugher simply becomes Bayard Ellis on the screen. I’ve seen Andre in many shows over the years and he has the amazing ability to make viewers forget that he is playing a part. (Just a few weeks ago he was perfectly credible as captain of a nuclear-armed submarine.) It was a nice closing of the loop when Ellis and Benson made their peace as it related to Benson’s relationship with David Haden. (In my opinion, Harry Connick Jr. was a worse casting blunder than Mike Tyson, but I digress.) Mariska and Andre have great chemistry playing work colleagues on different sides of the legal system. (Sorry shippers, I'm not advocating a romantic relationship for Benson/Ellis here.)

Ed Asner was extremely creepy as the crotchety old pervert who preys on young boys who don’t have father figures. The whole cast was great but it was especially nice to see Dann Florek back as the much missed voice of reason for the SVU squad.

With more frequency, we hear of old convictions being overturned for various reasons (usually due to re-examining DNA evidence). In the case of Reggie Rhodes, he knows he murdered someone but prosecutorial misconduct put Reggie in a death penalty situation. This episode raises questions about how the death penalty is applied, and whether there are the proper checks and balances in place before someone is sentenced to death. In Reggie’s case, he got his stay, and maybe a new trial. But he shouldn’t get a free pass for murder.

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:
Andre Braugher - Bayard Ellis
Ed Asner – Martin Schultz
Mike Tyson - Reggie Rhodes
Enid Graham – Marnie Lathrop
Peter Scanavino - Johnny Dubcek
Jack Dimich – Alexei Belyakov
Carmen Roman – Judge Nancy Rosario
Elaine Hyman - Olga Dubcek
Eve Plumb - Angela Brooks
Chris Sullivan – Eddy’s Father
Daria Hardeman – Kassandra Smith
Alok Tewari – Counselor Amiri
Marissa Matrone – Judge Maria Ana DeFeceo
Michael O’Hara – CO Foster
Rick Zahn – Hal Harper
Dawn Yanek – Reporter
Tyler Dean Flores – Pablo
Helen Anker – Vera
Andrew M. Chamberlain – Eddie
Andrew Harvey - Ryan

In a school gym, a coach helps a young boy work out a cramp by massaging his leg, videotaping it. A janitor watches and then walks in on them, and the coach yells at him, asking if that can’t wait and the janitor says he will come back.

Later, the coach is walking out to his car in a parking garage and as he opens his trunk, someone comes from behind and violently and repeatedly stabs him as he bends the coach over in the trunk. The assailant walks off as the coach collapses and screams in pain.

Sometime later, Amaro is already on the scene as Benson arrives, in a red dress, and Amaro is stunned, saying “Wow…Whoa….Oh-livia! It’s a little early for Valentine’s Day.” She explains “he and I” weren’t ready for the whole Valentine’s Day thing – and Amaro said she went for the casual pre-dinner thing. He apologizes for pulling her out, and then points out Alexei Belyakov, the injured boys gymnastics coach, who was stabbed with an ice pick and he bled a lot. He was lucky the EMTs got there quick. Benson asks why this is their case, seeing where the blood stain is coming from, then adds because he was stabbed in a bad place. Amaro quips both of them. Benson asks if CSU can get prints on the weapon, but Amaro says it will have to wait until the coach gets out of surgery,

Afterwards, Benson and Amaro question Alexei, who is out of surgery. He did not see the attacker as he came from behind. Amaro asks if he is sure it was a man, and Alexei is positive, he had on work gloves, boots, and some kind of coverall. Benson feels an attack like this could be revenge, and Amaro adds maybe something form his personal life. Alexei replies he is happily married and has good relations with all of his ex-wives – three of them. He says he is a romantic, and when Amaro asks if he has been romantic with someone he shouldn’t have,  Alexei says he learned that lesson 4 years ago. A student’s father accused him of being involved with his wife. Amaro asks if he was, and Alexei does not answer. Amaro asks if was he who attacked him, and Alexei says no, he tried to ruin him; in the divorce trial he accused him of molesting his son – and she accused him. He was threatened last year by the parents of Eddy, a student last year whom he had to cut, telling his parents he could not spin straw into gold. The father came in and threw furniture around.

At the home of Eddy Galtin, his father tells Fin that the Russians are all liars, he says Alexi played them, when he wanted their money he said his son had Olympic potential and charged a fortune for private lessons. Meanwhile, Amaro speaks with Eddy with his mother present. Eddy does not want to talk about Coach Alexei but Amaro presses about the private sessions. Eddy says he would practice on the bars and help with his stretching. He says the coach was not “That way” with him, saying he does not know if he was that way with other kids in private sessions. Meanwhile, Eddy’s father tells Fin he heard Alexei was “hands on” and says a guy at the guy said Eddy was better off he was away from the coach. It was a young lanky guy in a jumpsuit that probably worked maintenance.

Back at SVU, Rollins and Fin have John Dubcek in interrogation and Rollins reads off his length arrest record but says there is nothing in the last 5 years. He says he is straightening himself out. Rollins says Alexei almost bled out and he could have killed him. When Dubcek plays dumb, Fin and Rollins continue to press and he admits that he lives with his mom and she is sick. When Rollins continues to hammer him, Dubcek says what Alexei does he wouldn’t try with him, and Rollins asks him what he does to who? He squirms uncomfortably,

With Benson and Amaro back at the hospital, Alexei says the janitor is psycho, and when Benson asks why he would say those things, Alexei says it is because he is a janitor and idiot. He admits to taping his sessions for the benefits of the students. When Benson asks who does taping the rubdown benefit, Alexei says himself;  he started taping everything after he was accused to show he has nothing to hide.

Back at SVU, Fin, Rollins and Amaro are watching the videos and Benson is on the phone. Cragen asks if anybody learned anything, and Fin says yes, 90 hours of tape and so far is only crime is boring him to death. Benson says they talked to a lot of his students, former and current, and nobody likes him but nobody called him a predator. Cragen thinks the owe the coach an apology, but Rollins says Dubcek believes what he told them. Amaro wonders if it was misconstrued – and Fin finishes by saying “and stabbed the guy in the testicles? Something set him off.” Cragen says he has one last chance to tell them what; he has been arraigned and he is on his way to Riker’s now.

As the transport arrives at Rikers, the officers open the rear door of the vehicle and see that Dubcek is trying to strangle another passenger with a chain. They restrain Dubcek and pull the injured man out of the vehicle.

As they take Dubcek away, he yells it was not his fault, he told them not to put him in with that. Fin and Rollins, who had arrived at Rikers, hear that Dubcek went nuts and tried to kill the inmate next to him. Rollins asks what he was saying about not being put in “with that” and the officer says he did not want to be put in the truck with the now injured prisoner who was a pedophile who was arraigned for touching boy scouts. He tells Rollins he will have to talk to Dubcek at arraignment.

At arraignment, the judge remands Dubcek back to Rikers. As he is being taken away, he tells his mother he is sorry. Fin comments to Rollins that they are not getting him for a while, and Rollins says in Johnny’s mind, he went off on two pedophiles. He wonders if his mother will know why. In the hall, they speak with Johnny’s mother who says Johnny has not been in any trouble since he was a teenager. His father died when he was 10, but a few years later, in their neighborhood house in Clinton, a coach took an interest in Johnny. He managed to get Johnny in to the open air camp upstate. Johnny did not like it there and Coach Schultz said Johnny was homesick. When Johnny got home from camp, he was not the same and she couldn’t even drag him to Clinton.

Back at SVU, Rollins and Fin return and Rollins explains they spoke with Johnny and admitted all he saw was Coach Alexei helping a student stretch. Cragen thinks he overreacted, asking if Johnny has a history f being assaulted. Fin says the mom said something went on one summer with the camp coach. Benson says they’ve seen this before, someone is sexually abused and the manage to function until there is a trigger – he sees Coach Alexei touch a boy and it sets him off. Amaro adds then he is chained to a pedophile, thinking it set off PTSD. Cragen says that is something Johnny’s defense can bring up and he will be sure the DA passes that along. As Cragen walks off, Benson tells him to hold on, asking if that is it, wondering about the camp coach? Rollins says Martin Schultz worked in a Clinton neighborhood house and in the summers he ran Open Air Camp in the Adirondacks and took inner city kids there. Cragen asks if Dubcek accused him or if this is all inference. Fin replies that Dubcek was pretty shut down – and Cragen concludes that was a no. Cragen adds if Schultz had a record, the detectives would have told him. Fin says “like Father Geoghan or Sandusky?” Fin adds that even when people try to come forward it gets hushed up. Cragen replies that it could be a misunderstanding like Coach Alexei. Benson suggests they see if Schultz is still working with kids.

At the home of Martin Schultz, Benson and Amaro question him about Dubcek. He recalls Johnny as a big Mets fan who wore the same ratty orange t-shirt every day to camp and the kids teased him. Benson explains he assaulted a couple men and he is going away for a long time. Schultz asks what he can do and Amaro says they are trying to understand the boy who became the man. Schultz says Johnny could have gone either way, the kid had potential. Benson explains Johnny’s mother said he was a straight A student until he went to camp there. Schultz asks if they mind going inside as the cold is affecting his joints. Inside, he serves them hot chocolate. When Benson asks him if Johnny confided about anyone abusing him at camp, Schultz tells them to stop right where they are. He knows these days everyone has to ask these questions but he does not tolerate deviants. If he had seen a counselor looked sideways at a kid he would have knocked them on their ass and put them in a bus before he knew what hit him. When Amaro calls him Mr. Schultz, Schultz tells him to call him Martin, Mr. Schultz is his father. Benson asks if the kids called him Martin, he says yes, they have enough authority figures in his life. When Benson says he is their friend, Martin adds counselor, coach, and surrogate father. He tries to change their lives and he wishes he could have done more for Johnny and some of the other kids he could not save – fatherless kids. He adds try your might, you can never fill that hole, and he looks squarely at Benson and asks her isn’t that right? Benson looks surprised and says “Excuse me?” He replies “It’s all right honey, you’ve done good. You could have gone the other way too, hmm?” He continues to stare at her as he drinks his hot chocolate.

Law & Order SVU “Secrets Exhumed” Promo

Here is the promo for Law & Order SVU “Secrets Exhumed” which will air on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 9PM ET on NBC. The episode marks the return of Marcia Gay Harden (as FBI Agent Dana Lewis).

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

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

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

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Law & Order SVU “Monster’s Legacy” Sneak Peeks

Here are sneak peeks from Law & Order SVU, “Monster’s Legacy”
which will air on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 10PM ET on NBC. The videos feature Mariska Hargitay, Dann Florek, Ice-T, Danny Pino, Kelli Giddish, and guest stars Andre Braugher and Mike Tyson.

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU "Monster’s Legacy " can be found at this link.

Please note: These preview video clips are available for a limited time only and must be removed shortly after the episode originally airs, so please catch them while you can!

(“Monster’s Legacy” cast interviews can be found here:
All Things Law And Order: Law & Order SVU “Monster’s Legacy” Cast Interviews, BTS Video )

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

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

Friday, February 1, 2013

Law & Order SVU “Deadly Ambition” Episode Information

Here are the details for a new episode of Law & Order SVU, “Deadly Ambition”:

Law & Order SVU “Deadly Ambition” Air Date February 20, 2013 (9 PM ET/8C Wednesday NBC)


Detective Rollins (Giddish) comes home to find her sister Kim (guest star Pulsipher) in her apartment, beaten up by her abusive boyfriend, and this time, pregnant. The SVU squad does all they can to keep her safe, but an unexpected visitor forces Rollins to take drastic action. Once again Internal Affairs must open an investigation into the SVU’s unconventional methods, and the squad is in jeopardy of losing one of their own. Also starring Mariska Hargitay (Detective Olivia Benson), Ice-T (Detective Odafin Tutuola), Dann Florek (Captain Donald Cragen) and Danny Pino (Detective Nick Amaro). Also guest starring Robert John Burke and Carolyn McCormick.

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

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

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

Law & Order SVU “Monster’s Legacy” Cast Interviews, BTS Video

Here are cast interviews and a brief behind the scenes video for Law & Order SVU, “Monster’s Legacy” which will air on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 9PM ET on NBC. The videos feature Ice-T and guest stars Andre Braugher and Mike Tyson.

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU "Monster’s Legacy " can be found at this link.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

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