Thursday, May 2, 2013

Law & Order SVU “Traumatic Wound” Recap & Review

“Traumatic Wound” covered a lot of ground, featuring a hard to crack case of a gang sexual assault which was both complicated and helped by a witness with PTSD. The sexual assault case likely was geared towards keeping the interest of the younger demographic, but the case of PTSD could be relatable to those who served in the military over a wide range of age groups. PTSD, to those who have served in the military, has taken many names in the past, starting in WWI when it was often called “shell shock” (often as a result of being under heavy fire/bombing) and in later wars through WWII, the Korean, and Vietnam wars it was often known as combat stress/fatigue.  PTSD can be caused by a broad range of triggers not necessarily related to war (an SVU example is Benson’s own PTSD from her sexual assault). In my opinion, the one-size-fits-all term PTSD doesn’t begin to encompass the disorders affecting military personnel who have been in combat situations. Opinions about those suffering from PTSD in the military has also changed over the decades; going back to WWI and II, stress from combat was considered shameful and an embarrassment. The Vietnam war – where hundreds of thousands of young men were drafted and had to serve in a war most of the country did not want – brought back large numbers of soldiers suffering from the horror of what they experienced; the numbers too large to ignore.  Over time, the stresses of war were better understood and the stigma of suffering from PTSD from war diminished.  Having known Vietnam vets who returned with unbearable mental side effects from that war, I believe that there should be a better term to describe this condition and better identification and treatment for those currently serving who exhibit even the mildest form of stress from combat.

Frank’s (played perfectly by Eion Bailey) inability to recall the details of the sexual attack may seem hard to believe for someone who has never known someone with combat related PTSD, but in this episode, the writers got this right. Sometimes the slightest trigger can startle and cause confusion and along with it, memory problems and behavioral issues. Amaro, who later admitted he realized his wife’s own PTSD too late to save their marriage, was on the ball enough to spot Frank’s problem. I was, however, surprised that Rollins was too quick to dismiss Amaro’s opinion on the matter, as she’s usually the one that’s been a little better at profiling people.

It was also a nice twist to have Frank have his sudden recollection of the assault on the stand. While this put Barba in a bit of a snit, it gave him the final nail in the coffin for the 3 people that triggered the assault.

Please note:  A "bonus" scene not aired with the episode is embedded after the recap. It may have a limited life, so catch it while you can!

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
Jeffrey Tambor - Ben Cohen
Eion Bailey - Frank Patterson
Robin Lord Taylor - Dylan Fuller
Lola Kirke - Gabby Shaw
Alexandra Socha - Brit Yardley
Andrew Halliday - Jonathan Shaw
Patrick Murney - Ralph Priatti
Kam Dabrowski - Louis Priatti
Socorro Santiago – Judge Ortiz
Jeff O'Donnell - Jake Swenders
Parker Pogue - Alec Peters
Alex Dunbar – Tony Diaz
David H. Holmes – Keith Loretti
Adam Ross Ratcliffe – CO Dalton
Rob Bryn – Wild Yak #1
Martin Cartegena - Wild Yak #2
Jose Aybar – Wild Yak #3
Hunter Simpson – Wild Yak #4
Susan Hoyt – Brit’s Mom

Two girls, Gabby Shaw and Brit Yardley, talk about going into the city to see the “Wild Yaks” and Brit helps Gabby pick out clothes. At the club, the girls party. One of the guys standing at the front of stage seems to get rattled when pyrotechnics go off on stage. Gabby gets knocked down and violently gang assaulted at the mosh pit near the stage.

Later, Benson, Munch and Amaro arrive at the scene of the “mosh pit gone bad” as Gabby was gang assaulted and was unconscious when patrol arrived. Amaro says they caught a bunch of scum trying to cut out, and Munch advises them to have CSU check their clothes for stains and to bag their hands, adding that the entire club is a crime scene. He asks if there are any witnesses that aren’t wasted. Rollins tries to get info from Gabby’s friend Brit, who says Gabby just disappeared into the crowd. She was holding her hand and Gabby pulled away. She asks Rollins if she can go to the hospital. Rollins explains her father is on his way there now and tells Brit she has to go down to the station to make a statement. Meanwhile, Fin speaks with Jake who says he drove in with Gabby from New Canaan. Fireworks went off on stage and everybody went crazy and the next thing he knew, Gabby was sucked into the crowd.

Benson and Amaro speak with Frank Patterson who was standing in front of the stage who says it was dark in there and it was like pack of dogs. He doesn’t work for security, the promoters thinks security kills the vibe, saying that the band hired them.

Fin continues to speak with Jake who said “all of them” grabbed Gabby and they tore her clothes off. He tried to go in and get her but he got conked with a bottle. He adds those animals attacked her.

At the hospital, the doctor tells Benson and Amaro that Gabby has a broken wrist, torn ligaments in her right foot, her right ACL is ruptured, she has scratches and contusions and bite marks all over her body. She is still unconscious and concussed. Amaro asks about the rape kit, and the doctor says there were multiple mouth and vaginal lacerations and there is trauma to her cervix; they used their hands and beer bottles. There was no semen but they were able to pull samples from the scratch marks and bites. A man at the nurses’ station – Gabby’s father - demands to see Gabby, and Benson informs him she is in recovery and she can take him there. He is outraged at what happened and Amaro explains they have suspects in custody and wants to ask a few questions. He says he should have never let her go into the city. Brit and Jake asked her at the last minute and thinks Jake could have stopped them. Gabby is new in their high school; they moved there last year from Yorkshire, his company moved them, saying New Canaan would be safe.

Back at SVU, Rollins speaks with Brit who explains she convinced Gabby to go out. They have a stupid senior dare called YOLO – You Only Live Once – and Rollins thinks that is an excuse to do something dumb. Meanwhile, Jake explains that they were dancing and a freak with curly hair tried to put the moves on Gabby. He had a nose ring and thinks he was the one who started it. Meanwhile, Fin speaks with Keith Loretti who was there who says Gabby wanted it as her top was off and she was dancing. Rollins continues to talk with Brit who says one guy had an arm tattoo and another had a “fauxhawk” and he grabbed Gabby’s breasts. Munch speaks with Dylan Fuller who says there were 100 people there and something just snapped. He got swept up in the music and the girl was topless, adding he touched her but nothing else. Rollins speaks with Tony Diaz, who has an arm tattoo who says he didn’t go near Gabby and Rollins says all that ink is hard to miss and jury loves details. He calls her sweetheart and replies that he thought this was a nice conversation but she went straight to a jury so he'll go straight to a lawyer.

Later, in the squad room, Munch tells ADA Barba that he has been fielding calls from One PP and they want charges now. Barba explains that is why he is there. Benson explains that eyewitnesses and cell phone videos show Gabby was just swept away, things escalated and turned violent within seconds. Rollins adds that mob mentality makes them more aggressive than they would be had they been alone. Fin explains that the 6 arrested at the scene were picked up by the unis as they tried to flee the scene. Amaro adds Gabby’s friends ID’d them as pulling her into the crowd. Rollins explains they all insist that the crowd surge pulled them in and they are not the ones who attacked her. Munch asks if Barba can charge them with anything, but Barba wants more evidence, adding that the video is useless unless they see something he doesn’t. Fin says there are arms and legs and groping but no faces. Amaro asks about DNA, Benson saying her body was covered with bite marks and scratches. Barba explains that it is a DNA cocktail that will take months to separate out and even then it proves proximity but not intent. Benson complains that they just let a half dozen boys get away with a brutal sexual assault, and Barba counters that every one of these suspects will blame the other and the jury will not know how to parse it. Benson gets a message saying that Gabby is awake and suggests they show her a photo array including every single person who was in that club, Barba advises her to get him something as all they have now is a mob scene.

At the hospital with Benson and Amaro, Gabby looks at the photos. She remembers Loretti and his nose ring and says he was grinding on her and then she felt someone pull her top down from behind. She also picks out Dylan but adds it was dark and hard to tell. Benson tries to jog her memory. She sees the photo of Frank Patterson, saying he was at the stage working security. Benson said he told them he tried to help her but Gabby says no, she saw him coming and thought thank God but then he stopped and his eyes went cold and he jumped right on top of her. Benson and Amaro exchange looks.

At Manhattan Mini Storage, Amaro and Rollins approach Frank and as Rollins shows her badge and says they need to talk, he runs. They chase him and Amaro catches up with him and tackles him, Frank saying “no. no!” as Amaro urges him to settle down. Frank asks if he wants to be next, saying he has to go, now, and as Amaro cuffs him, Rollins replies he is not going anywhere.

At SVU in interrogation, Amaro un-cuffs Frank who says he is sorry. Rollins asks sorry for what? Amaro tells him there is a lot of heat on this and knows Frank is ex-military - Franks says he was with the 75th Ranger regimen. Amaro adds an honorable discharge and no record, saying Frank is one of the good guys and if he cooperates it can help all of them. Frank says he could not get near Gabby because of the crowd, he tried. When Rollins says Gabby said he was on top of her, he seems surprised and stands up, saying he has to stand. He pounds on the table and says this is not him, adding that he has to get out of there. Rollins says if he wants to leave to tell them what happened with Gabby, and Amaro asks for just the truth. Frank says he must have checked out for a second, and Rollins sarcastically asks him if that is what he is going with. Frank says if Gabby says he was on top of her, he guesses he was; when he closes his eyes he can see himself on top of her.

Afterwards, Gabby looks at a line up and she quickly picks out Frank, adding “those eyes.” As Barba exits the room, Munch comments that the security guard was in on it, adding that is just great. Barba says they have a victim ID and a confession, but Amaro says the confession is not clear cut. Benson reminds him that Gabby ID’s him out of a photo array and right here. Barba adds Frank waived his right to counsel and signed a confession and he’s been ID’d, adding “thank you, goodbye, one down, rest to go.” Munch asks where they are on the other suspects in custody, and Amaro explains 2 gropers would fold on a lesser charge and the original 3 – nose ring, fauxhauk, and tattoo – are holding. Benson says that is probably because they started it, and Gabby remembers them at the club but is fuzzy on who started the attack. Barba suggests they line them up and see if it triggers any memory and maybe it will scare the rest of them into confessing.

Later, Gabby picks all four of the men out of the lineup.

Afterwards, Benson speaks with Gabby’s father and explains that they will charge these men with assault. He asks about the others, and Benson tells him she knows it is frustrating but they have to make the cases as strong as they can. They want a jury to convict everyone who did this. But he doesn’t want a jury and doesn’t want his daughter testifying in public. Benson urges him to take one thing at a time and to focus on Gabby getting better. When he tells Gabby he will get her back to the hospital, she tells him she left her bag in the other room. When he leaves to get it, Gabby asks Benson if it ever gets better. Every time she closes her eyes she’s back there with the music and the lights flashing. Benson says she has already made it through hell and there are people that can help her and Gabby will be OK. Gabby says she wants to go home and be with her friends and have things back the way they were.

Elsewhere, as Frank is chained with the other suspects and being led into the transport, he says he is not getting in there. When he continues to resist the officer gets pushy and a fight ensues. Amaro and Fin break it up and Amaro asks Frank if he is alright. Frank gets a strange look on his face and says there is no road and visibility is down and something terrible is going to happen. Amaro shouts that he needs Frank back in his custody, adding he assaulted a fellow officer and he has to ask him a few more questions. He asks the officer to unlock Frank. The officer complies, telling Amaro that Frank is his problem now.

Back in the squad room, Rollins is shocked that Amaro brought Frank Patterson back. Amaro says Frank lost it at the van and he recognized the signs of a soldier with PTSD. Rollins, incredulous, asks “what?” Munch walks up and tells them both to back up. Amaro explains that Frank has a fear of closed spaces and “dark with no moon”, he did 3 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rollins counters that she appreciates that but it has nothing to do with his crime. Amaro replies “If he committed a crime.” Rollins reminds Amaro that Frank confessed, but Amaro reminds her that she gave him Gabby’s account and he parroted it back. Rollins insists he did no coerce him and emphatically states that Gabby ID’d him and he admitted that he was at fault. Amaro thinks Frank is punishing himself and that doesn’t mean he is guilty. Munch tells them to hold on, he wants this thing rock solid and asks Amaro is he wants to go over it with him again. Amaro says Frank was there but he does not know what he did or what he saw but his gut is that they don’t have the whole story. Rollins throws up her hand and walks away, mumbling “your gut…good lord” and Munch asks if she has a problem. She replies “No, Sergeant.”

Later, Amaro speaks with Frank in the holding cell and recounts his own memories of Fallujah. He questions Frank about his own experiences, saying that Frank wasn’t prepared for coming home. He asks if there is anything Frank can’t shake, and Frank says he doesn’t talk about it. Amaro asks where he went, and Frank talks about a night raid in Tikrit, he had a bad feeling. They just got done clearing the first house and got word there was a soldier down in the alley. He was on sniper detail so his buddy Al went and an IED got him. Jenna was assigned to his unit for the mission and he nailed her sniper but she bled out in her arms because he was too late. Amaro says it was like he was too late to help Gabby. Frank comments he should have gotten there sooner but the band’s flare up was like that first IED, people sprinting, lugging cans and scrambling for an inch of cover. Amaro asks what happened when he saw Gabby, and Frank replies that he remembers now, he jumped on top of her because he thought he was Jenna. He was trying to protect her but he was too late, he let that guy get away. Amaro asks what guy, and Frank tells him it was the guy who started it – pale face, hip hop t-shirt, he saw him pull her top down and he didn’t even stop it. Amaro tells him it is ok now.

Later, the SVU team watches a video of the man Frank saw as he exited the club and that Frank described him exactly. Benson says the man is alone and left the club before anyone called 911. Amaro explains that Fin is at the club with his picture. Rollins asks if this is Frank’s latest version so he retracted he was part of the assault. Amaro explains that Frank didn’t attack Gabby, he was trying to save her. Rollins looks skeptical . Amaro goes on to explain that Frank’s PTSD was trigger by the pyrotechnics and his vision tunneled down and he thought Gabby was a wounded shoulder, they talked it though and that is how the memory came back. Rollins counters that is not how Gabby remembers it, Gabby ID’d Frank. Munch comments they are not releasing him and if they charge him with anything he has to take a psych eval. Fin enters and says the guy at the door remembers the hip hop t-shirt but no name, his ID said 18 from new Canaan. Munch notes the coincidence this is another kid from New Canaan, asking how many public high schools are there, 2? Benson replies 1, and Munch thinks he should be easy to find and suggests Amaro and Rollins take a ride and maybe make up on the way.

As they leave the building, Amaro says he saw the signs in Frank and Rollins asks if Amaro talked to Frank about Iraq before or after Frank manifested PTSD and is it possible Frank is playing him. Amaro says he knows what she is saying but no. He throws her the keys so she can drive.

At Al Dente Pizzeria in New Canaan, Amaro and Rollins speak with the suspect, Louis,  who says he left before it happened, When they continue to press, he says things did not get out of hand because of him. He was at the club, he left and never even talked to her, she barely knows who he is.

Benson speaks with Gabby and she shows her a photo of Louis and she explains she is not friends with him. He works after school at the pizza parlor and doesn’t have time to hang out. Benson asks if she talked to him at the club, and Gabby says no, she did not notice hm. She says he is kind of shy and asks if he is one of the ones. Benson says they are not sure but a suspect claims he is the one who pulled her tube top down. Gabby says she has always been nice to Louis and wonders why he would do that to her. Benson says they are hoping she will ask him, on a phone call they will record.

Later, Amaro and Fin, with Louis in SVU interrogation, listen to the recording of the phone call where Gabby asks why he pulled her top down. In the phone call, Louis says it was not supposed to go down like that, it was a prank and they were supposed to get a picture. She ask who they are were, and he says he is not going to snitch. Fin turns off the recording and says they call that an admission. Louis says he did not hurt her, but Amaro reminds him he started it. Louis says he left the second he tubed her and didn’t see anything. Fin asks about telling Gabby he was not going to snitch, and Louis says it was about the prank. They pressure him on telling them the names of the others involved in the prank, He says “he” wanted him to top shark her and get a photo or video and post it on line to embarrass her. He names Alec Peters, Gabby’s ex. He paid him $500 but it was just a joke. It was Alex and Jake and Brit too, the ones that brought her to the club. Brit said she would make sure Gabby was wearing something without a bra and when the band was banging he had to pull her top down and force flash her and one of them was supposed to video her. He was going to shark and run and he never wanted this to… most of the girls at that school are stuck up and Gabby is the nice one.

Back at the hospital with Benson and Rollins present, Gabby is shocked to hear what Louis said. She said she dated Alec for a few months when they moved to New Canaan and he got jealous and wanted to monitor her texts and emails. Rollins asks how Alec took the break up, and Gabby explains that Alec told her she was making the biggest mistake of her life, that nobody does that to Alec Peters. Jake and Brit have been Alec’s friends for their whole lives and Gabby was happy when they started being friends with her a few weeks ago. Benson asks Gabby if she picked out the tube top she was wearing but she replies that Brit told her to wear it.

Back at SVU, Frank is doing pushups in the holding cell and Amaro opens the cell door. Amaro tells him he is free to go, they followed up on his ID and it checked out. Amaro adds they may need him as a witness. Frank reminds Amaro he said he is not up for that, but Amaro says whether he testifies or not, Frank may have PTSD and he should get help. Amaro gives him the card of a man at a local VA who is expecting his call. Franl doesn't take it so Amaro puts the card in Frank’s pocket and Frank walks out of the cell.

At the Oenoke Yacht Club in New Canaan, Alec tells Amaro and Rollins that Louis is lying and they won’t find any texts between him and Louis. Rollins reminds him that even though he has deleted messages they can still retrieve them. Alec says that Louis delivers pizza and more, if they get his drift and he bought some prime Indo for $500 and they may find that. Amaro says that is what Louis said Jake paid him to top shark Gabby. Alec says that is crazy, he said he and Gabby hooked up but got bored and moved on. Amaro says sometimes it’s the one who gets away that you want to get back at, but Alec says not him, he has his pick. Rollins asks if he can think of any reason why Louis would have it in for Gabby and him, and Alec replies he does not want t sound like a jerk, but Louis lives in section 8 housing and even if he does graduate, he goes into the Army like his brother; he’s probably jealous.

Elsewhere, Munch and Fin question Jake and his group text message about the show but Jake said he was talking about the Wild Yak show. Fin asks why Alec was cc’d and not Gabby as he did not go. Jake claims that when Alec dropped out they thought it would be nice if they invited Gabby, like a peace offering after the breakup. Jake said he owed Louis and will plead the fifth on what for.

Amaro and Rollins speak with Brit who claims she did not know Louis was there that night. Rollins said Louis pulled off the top that Brit told Gabby to wear. Brit says Louis is a loser and he got caught so he is putting the blame on someone else. Amaro reminds her that Gabby did break up with Alec, and Brit thinks it was more mutual, and Alec would never do something like this, he is a gentleman, she took cotillion class with him in the 4th grade. Rollins asks if Brit and Alec ever dated, and Brit says they are more like brother and sister. Amaro asks like her and Jake, and Brit says yeah, they are all old friends. Rollins comments that Gabby is the new girl, and when Brit hears her mother call for her, she tells the detectives she has to go.

At Barba’s office with Benson and Amaro, Rollins explains that the gang of six didn’t set it up, they were opportunists, adding she knows this is hard to follow. Barba comments he gets it, it is Benghazi – she thought Gabby had been attacked by a mob bit instead it was orchestrated but the problem is…and Benson finishes the sentence, saying how to prove it. She adds that Alec, Brit, and Jake are all in lockstep. Barba calls those three the cotillion crew, asking that they didn’t touch Gabby. Benson said no, but they set the whole thing in motion. They took Gabby to the club and Brit picked out the tube top that Gabby wore. Barba explains that even in New York, a grand jury won’t indict for that…unless….he points out Alec, Jake, and Brit’s photo and says they are looking at a conspiracy. Rollins asks -  to harass or top shark -  and Barba says Rollins separated those two groups out, he can charge the 6 with aggravated sexual assault and they are looking at 20 years. Benson sees where he is going; the assault by the six was foreseeable by the New Canaan kids. Rollins argues that seems like a stretch, her friend just wanted to embarrass her. Barba asks by exposing her breasts to a group of drunk, aggressive men at a club, adding it is as foreseeable as a murder at an armed robbery and they charge that all the time. Amaro asks if they can get them with Louis’ statement, and Barba says no, Louis is a co-conspirator, he needs the independent corroboration and Louis is also out of their league, the kids’ lawyers would discredit him before lunch. Benson asks Amaro if he asked Frank about Brit and Jake, and Amaro says they were not suspects and the club attack triggered Frank’s flashback and his memory is fragmented. Barba reminds Amaro that he got Frank to remember Louis, and suggests Amaro go back and take him through the night – don’t lead him but see what else he can reconstruct.

Later, back at the club with Amaro, Munch and Rollins, Frank walks through the empty club. After looking around he tells Amaro he isn’t going to be of much help, he is kind of a mess. Amaro asks if he called the VA doctor and Frank says he is kind of tired. Amaro continues to try to get him to jog his memory of the night, and Amaro lays out the photos of some of the kids and tries to recall who was where. Frank picks up a photo and flashed back to that night and he shows them Brit’s photo, saying she whispered to Louis, steered her over to Gabby and then yelled something as she raised her cup.

At a later date in the courtroom, Frank is on the stand with Barba questioning him, and Frank identifies Brit as the girl who lifted up her cup. Frank explains that after Louis pulled down Gabby’s top and pushed her into the crowd, then picks out Jake who gave the thumbs up. Barba asks about Frank’s PTSD from his 3 tours in Iraq, but Frank testifies that he does not know, the fireworks triggered something in him. Over time and talking it through he was able to piece back his memory. Barba asks if anyone coached or guided or coached his recollection, and Frank says no, it came back to him in pieces over time and everything he saw and heard he is certain of. He just wishes he was able to be there to stop it. The judge breaks for lunch and says they should reconvene at 2,

As Frank leaves the courtroom, Munch tells him he did good, Frank says Barba is on their side but wonders how tough is the defense attorney. Amaro explains that Frank is prepped and ready and to just tell the truth and not worry about it. The defense attorney Ben Cohen sits on the bench with Barba and hands him a book, saying it is a little thank you gift. He says it is not for just overreaching on the conspiracy charge but for using someone who has PTSD for his central witness. The book is “All The Kings Men” and Cohen says they couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Later, with Frank on the stand and Cohen cross examining him, he thanks Frank for his brave service to our country. He brings up that Frank tried to help the victim and failed, and that the victim contradicted that, thinking Frank was one of the assailants. Frank mentions he froze with the pyrotechnics and she misunderstood the look in his eyes. Cohen says Frank was less than frozen, he threw himself on the victim and Frank said he believed she was a fallen solder. Cohen gets Frank to admit he told the police he had assaulted the victim, but that he was confused. Cohen accused Frank of being less confused after he became a witness for the prosecution. Barba objects but is overruled. Frank admits yes, he was confused but he is not confused now. Cohen thinks it is odd, despite all the cell phone video footage that no one captured what Frank says he saw. Frank has a flashback and replies that is not true. He says there was somebody videotaping. Barba sits up at attention and then stands up and Frank says he is just remembering this now and is sure someone was videotaping it. Cohen scoffs that Frank remembers yet another person and Barba steps in and asks for a minute with Frank. Cohen says he is in the middle of his cross and asks if they need a therapy dog up there with this witness? The judge says cross will continue. Barba sits back down and Cohen presses Frank on this other witness. Frank testifies he had short cropped hair like a soldier. Cohen asks if it was someone like who he served with in Iraq, reminding Frank he thought that the victim was a fallen comrade, like confusing the IED with the band flares. Frank says he is not confused any more, but Cohen says the rest of them are very confused. Cohen moves to strike Frank’s entire testimony, starting with that he say nothing and then zigged to he did it then a quick detour to his clients and now a mystery man. Barba tries to stop Cohen’s rant by saying it is almost 5 and could they get a recess until tomorrow. The judge grants Barba a reprieve but to be forewarned, she is strongly inclined to grant the defense’s motion.

Outside the courthouse, Barba tells Frank he was doing just fine, he didn’t need to create a whole new suspect, especially one they never heard of before. Amaro prompts Barba to back off, and Munch asks Frank what happened. Frank said when the lawyer mentioned videotaping it brought back another piece, he didn’t create this guy, he was there. He recalled seeing him earlier in the night and wondered why he was there, he insists he saw him. Barba said let’s say he believes him, he wished he would have thought of this sooner. Munch comments they should have too, the whole point of top sharking is to videotape it. Barba questions that Louis gave up his other 3 conspirators, why not his accomplice? Amaro recalls that Alec mentioned Louis would end up in the Army like his brother. Barba tells Amaro to find him fast or this whole case is just a memory.

At Fort Grove in Hastings, NY, Amaro and Fin speak with Louis’ brother Ralph and he says he didn’t have anything to do with what happened that night. Amaro says that Louis lied on the stand to protect him and this is his chance to protect him. Ralph says Louis said it was just rich kids pulling a dumb prank and it was easy money and what happened made him sick, he didn’t help her. He just kept taping, he was a soldier following orders. Amaro tells him not to even try, the soldier he worked with knew the difference between right and wrong. Fin asks if he still has the tape.

Back at SVU, Munch tells Barba that the tape was uploaded to a password protected private site and Benson adds it has already had a couple hundred viewings. Barba is shocked that half the school knew about this an no one came forward. Amaro plays the video.

Back In Barba’s office, he finishes showing the video to Cohen and the defendants. Cohen says it is a little late in the day, accusing Barba of sandbagging. Barba says they have him to thank, had he not badgered their witness they would have never heard about the mystery man. Barba also returns the book to Cohen, saying it was a nice read.

At Supreme Court, the judge asks Cohen if his clients understands they are waiving their rights to a jury trial, a trial where the burden of proof would be on the people? While Benson, Gabby, and her father look on, Cohen says they do. The judges asks Alec, Brit and Jake about their plea on the charges of conspiracy to commit assault and all three plead guilty. The judge remands them to Rikers pending sentencing. Barba stands with a satisfied stare. As the three are cuffed and led off, Gabby tells Benson she thought they were her friends and she trusted them. Benson said if it makes a difference, a man who doesn’t even know her went through a lot of trouble to help her.

Back at SVU, Amaro is getting ready to leave and Rollins asks him to hold up. She says that Frank came through and he was right about him from the get and she owes him an apology. Amaro replies no she doesn’t, the only reason he caught it was because of Maria. In hindsight, when she came home from Iraq she was textbook PTSD and he didn’t see it and he took it personally. He sighs, and says he thinks it cost him his marriage. Rollins asks if he told her that, and Amaro says it is a little late, he doesn’t think she wants to hear it. Rollins says maybe the first step is to stop beating himself up. Amaro replies “yeah” as he moved to the elevator. While Rollins watches, we fade to black.

Bonus scene - Law & Order SVU Traumatic Wound

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CLA said...

On site SVU comments on this episode are the best possible. Rollins and Amaro had good participation. I think Rollins very friendly but I'm still not convinced of his talent. Dani Pino seems a great actor. Even better than Chris Meloni.

BensonFan said...

I don't like when SVU writers try to write dialogue for teenagers. YOLO. Really? It just sounded silly. Or maybe b/c I'm no longer a teenager I just think all teenage slang sounds silly?

Chris, I agree that PTSD is too broad a term to described what military veterans experience. I could snidely remark that the American Psychological Association was just trying to cut back on the number of DSM entries they had to write, but all trauma victims whether from war, sexual assault, accidents, or witnessing violence or death, do exhibit similar clinical symptoms (anxiety, hyperarousal, flashbacks, etc.) From a clinical standpoint, it does make sense just for diagnostic purposes to lump together all trauma victims, but as far as their treatment and therapy, it should be tailored to the type of trauma experienced.

Chris Zimmer said...

Benson fan - I thought it was just me on the slang. It did sound a little...awkward. But I think silly IS a better word for it!

Leigh said...

I agree YOLO sounds silly, however, my 16 yo son says it a lot, as do his friends. It used to annoy me, which is probably half the reason he said it, now I just accept it, and hope he will grow out of it one day!

dogsrme said...

Nice of the to mention the town Meloni lives in 8 times and even use his street as one of their fake locations... can you say cat and mouse?

Advocate said...

Daily I work with our vets; many with varying degrees of PTSD. I was told that the VA "endorsed" this episode. I am not surprised that this presentation is NOTHING like battle born PTSD...nothing!!! These folks have seen, smelled, heard, and felt things WE don't want to THINK about...they are the caring souls who arrive after a bombing and match body parts so the family will have their entire lived one to bury...sound horrible...that is only part of what they have in their hearts, minds, and nightmares; then we put them in the care of doctors not even licensed to practice medicine because they are not citizens...and they are told to "shape up"...sent back to family members who have NO counseling to help in raising this wonderful, brave soldier out of the depths of despair they are tormented in constantly...not in fleeting moments,...CONSTANTLY. The greatest sin of war is not being killed and injured by the enemy but making our people endure the psychological burden of killing them.

Iliana Rotker-Lynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EchoInTheSilence said...

What struck me was that the bickering between Rollins and Amaro in the most recent was a lot like what we used to see between Benson and Stabler? Maybe it's because I'd just been watching "Burned" (a big episode for the Benson/Stabler tensions) but I really saw that, and I actually liked it.

chillicothe20 said...

Bailey was great on Covert Affairs, so I was thrilled to see him in the episode.

One of the better eps of the season.

Sharon said...

Thanks for the extra scene! Agreed, Eion Bailey was great. Glad to see a little more of his story.

9083393204 Mcdonald said...

No offense to Danny piano but he's no Chris melon and dick Wolf knew that