Thursday, October 31, 2013

Law & Order SVU “Dissonant Voices” Preview

Here are preview clips from Law & Order SVU “Dissonant Voices” which will air on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 9PM ET on NBC. The previews feature Mariska Hargitay, Danny Pino, Kelli Giddish, and guest star Billy Porter. (The Hulu hosted preview may not be viewable outside the U.S.)

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

Please note: These video clips were are available for a limited time only and may be deleted at any time, 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.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Law & Order SVU “Military Justice” Episode Information

Here are the details for a new episode of Law & Order SVU, “Military Justice.”

Law & Order SVU “Military Justice” Air Date November 13, 2013 (9 PM ET/8C Wednesday NBC)


Junior officer Amelia Albers (guest star Shiri Appleby) is arrested for DUI while on leave in New York City, but her ripped clothes and injuries lead the police to call Detective Benson (Mariska Hargitay) for help. When a group of soldiers from her unit are named as suspects in her rape, Amelia refuses to cooperate with the SVU for fear of damage to her reputation in the military. When her commanding officer (guest star Terry Serpico) also hinders the investigation, Detective Amaro (Danny Pino) asks his ex-wife (guest star Laura Benanti) to dig up information on the case, and learns the grim reality that every female officer faces. Also starring Ice T (Detective Odafin Tutuola), Dann Florek (Captain Donald Cragen), Danny Pino (Detective Nick Amaro) Kelli Giddish (Detective Amanda Rollins) and Raúl Esparza (ADA Rafael Barba). Also guest starring John Getz (Admiral Vincent Albers), Will Janowitz (Scott Graver), Aaron Dean Eisenberg (Matthew Wooten), Phillip James Brannon (Zeke Lipitt) and Delaney Williams (Counselor John Buchanan).

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU "Military Justice" 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 “Dissonant Voices” Advance Photos

Here are advance photos for Law & Order SVU “Dissonant Voices” which will air on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 9PM ET on NBC. The photos feature Mariska Hargitay and guest stars Carly Rose Sonenclar (as Grace), Billy Porter (as Jackie Walker), Jake Katzman (as Jonah), plus Clay Aiken, Ashanti, and Taylor Hicks (as themselves).

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU "Dissonant Voices" 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.

Law & Order SVU “Dissonant Voices” Promo

Here is the promo for Law & Order SVU “Dissonant Voices” which will air on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 9PM ET on NBC.

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU "Dissonant Voices" 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.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Law & Order SVU “October Surprise” Recap & Review

Law & Order SVU “October Surprise” was a ripped from the headlines story based on the Anthony Weiner (AKA “Carlos Danger”) sexting scandal (or as I called it: “the gift that kept on giving”). The real life story was highly entertaining and somewhat comedic and I admit that I was concerned going into this episode that fictional story would come off as campy. While the episode did have its periods of humor, it did not overpower the nice back story for ADA Rafael Barba (Raúl Esparza).  I'm glad we had Barba's story to keep our interest as the SVU case was pretty thin and the investigation predictable.  And even though we know politicians don’t always think with their brains, it seemed far too easy for Rollins to set up a web page to ensnare Muñoz AND get explicit pictures with such lightning speed, especially if Muñoz was at a public function.

Barba’s back story showed 3 childhood friends who have grown up and found themselves in 3 different careers – one in the DA’s office, another in politics, and the third as a corrections officer/bag man. Barba, however, seemed to be the only one to stand up for his principles. He also realized that while the three of them were friends when they were younger, they have all changed and past loyalties don’t give friends a lifetime free pass. Raúl Esparza, as always, brought the spark,  giving Barba real feeling and making Barba the only character in this episode that I cared anything about.

Tensions between Amaro and Barba were at an all time high working this case, but it’s not really clear to me why Amaro appears to distrust Barba to such a degree. Amaro is consistently the most distrusting of all the detectives, sometimes coming off with an annoying holier-than-thou attitude. Of course, Barba’s frequent overconfidence may make him the perfect target to be challenged; with Amaro, that behavior could be like waving a red flag in front of a bull.

Guest star Kirk Acevedo is a Law & Order “repeat offender,” appearing as a regular on Law & Order “Trial by Jury” (D.A. Investigator Hector Salazar) and on both Law & Order and on SVU (the latter as his TBJ character). This time, he was Barba’s childhood friend who finds himself falsely accused of rape and later gets in deeper trouble as he tries to cover for Muñoz    A minor annoyance: I had to keep turning up the volume during a lot of Barba’s and Eddie’s dialog. I know that one can’t be shouting out all their lines, but there were times that I thought they were speaking a little too quiet.

Here is the recap:

Mariska Hargitay – Detective Olivia Benson
Ice-T – Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola
Dann Florek – Captain Don Cragen
Kelli Giddish - Detective Amanda Rollins
Danny Pino - Detective Nick Amaro
Raúl Esparza - ADA Rafael Barba

Guest stars:
Kirk Acevedo - Eddie Garcia
Vincent Laresca - Alex Muñoz
Annaleigh Ashford - Lindsay Anderson
Karen Olivo - Yelina Muñoz
Josh Pais - Hank Abraham
Leslie Odom Jr. - Reverend Curtis Scott
Jason Cerbone – Terrence Quinn
Kecia Lewis - Judge
Lester Holt - Himself
Liz Fye – Anna Pretard
James Riordan - Brett Landau
Joel Brady – Officer Nolan
Erica Camarano – Female Uni
Edward Furs – Vlad
Grace Van Patten – Jodie Lanier
Ron Kuby – Himself
Errol Louis – Reporter 1
Therea Woods – Reporter 2
Julio C. Pena – Aide 1

A news story covers the campaign for mayor for state senator Alex Muñoz. Later, Muñoz is at a community event being introduced by Reverend Curtis Scott, saying Muñoz could be the first Hispanic mayor of NYC. His wife Yelina later campaigns outside the event and Muñoz ’s aide Eddie Garcia, looking at his phone, tells Muñoz that he has to leave, and Muñoz tells him to do what he needs to. His campaign manager Hank Abraham asks where Eddie is going and Muñoz says it is personal business. Yelina introduces her husband to the crowd and he proceeds with a ribbon cutting,

Meanwhile, Eddie is in Lindsay Anderson’s apartment and she is coming at him with a pair of scissors. As he struggles with her to get the scissors, the police break down the door. Eddie says he is DOC and is on the job. The officers tells him to step back and he does and the officer orders Lindsay to drop the scissors and she does, claiming Eddie tried to rape her. Eddie denies this as the officer calls for two ambulances.

Later, Benson and Amaro are at Lindsay’s hospital bed questioning her about the incident. She explains that she let Eddie in and she was trying to break off their relationship but he wouldn’t accept it and said he had guys from prison that would hurt her.

Meanwhile, Muñoz arrives at Barba’s office and they happily greet each other as they are childhood friends. Muñoz explains to Barba that Eddie got into a fight with a girl who said Eddie tried to rape him and he got picked up by SVU. He tells Barba they have to take care of him.

At SVU with Fin and Rollins, Eddie explains that Lindsay was going to cut his balls off and asks if they can just knock this down to a discon? She said she was pregnant and that he had to pay up and denies it could be his. He was arguing with her because she wanted to have an abortion and he does not believe in that as he is Catholic. Fin asks if Eddie was not going to pay, why did they find 2 grand in his pocket. He says he does not think he should say anything. Meanwhile. Barba is observing and Benson approaches him and she comments that the case seems below his radar. He explains he has an interest, and asks for a sidebar.

Later, in a restaurant, Barba explains to Benson that Muñoz called him about Eddie – the three of them grew up together , they were the Three Musketeers of Jerome Avenue. Muñoz had the heart, Barba had the mouth and Eddie had the muscle. They were in touch less and less. Eddie has been driving Muñoz around for his campaign. Benson wonders if Muñoz is watching out for Eddie or for himself. Barba thinks both. He also wonders if this was not a rape and would like to have Eddie get the benefit of the doubt.

As Benson and Amaro approach Lindsay’s apartment, Amaro complains about Barba’s request. Benson explains that Barba wants them to take a close look before they go full on. Amaro is displeased she said OK. When Lindsay opens the door she asks if something is going on and Benson explains it is just standard procedure. They enter the apartment and when Amaro sees the apartment is a mess, he asks if the officers told her she did not need to preserve the crime scene. She explains it always looks like this. When Amaro says he did not mean anything by it, she tells him no worries, he is sweet. Benson says he is until you get to know him. Amaro shoots her a look. Lindsay is smoking and blows the smoke Benson’s way. When Benson asks Lindsay if she minds putting our her cigarette, Lindsay says it is an electronic cigarette and it is just water vapor. They question her about Eddie and she explains he came in to her store about 6 weeks ago, explaining she is a foot model and shoe designer and does retail between gigs. Eddie came in the store with his wife and came back the next day on his own. Benson questions that Eddie has a wife and Lindsay comments what did they think the fight was about? Lindsay did not want to be the girl on the side anymore. Amaro explains that Eddie said the fight was about her being pregnant and Lindsay replies that is crazy, she is not pregnant. She blows another puff of vapor in Benson’s direction. Benson asks why Eddie would think that, and Lindsay says if her cigarette bothers her, maybe she can just talk to Amaro. Benson agrees and leave the room. Lindsay then tells Amaro that she thought it over and is not sure she wants to press charges, and when Amaro says it is a little late for that, she adds that Eddie is a god guy and she just got hot under the collar. Amaro asks if someone asked her not to talk, and Lindsay wonders why he would say that?

Later, Benson and Barba are in the elevator and Barba wonders about Lindsay saying Eddie came into the store with his wife, as Eddie has not seen her in three years. Benson comments he is still wearing his ring and Barba explains Eddie is just loyal. They also discuss that Lindsay wanted to talk to Amaro as she would have a better chance with a male partner and that Lindsay and Eddie have both lied to try to manipulate them. Barba says he knows Eddie’s story – what’s hers?

At the Lennox-Landau School Foundation, Fin and Rollins speak with Spencer Landau about his relationship with Lindsay and said he was naïve and thought she was the perfect intersection of hot and crazy and he understated the crazy. She asked for money and they threatened to “boil his bunny” and stalked his kids, wife, and his board. He lost his marriage and his grant, and he realized it was always about the money with Lindsay.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Law & Order SVU “October Surprise” Preview Clip

Here is a preview clip from Law & Order SVU, “October Surprise” which will air on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 9 PM ET/8C on NBC. The preview features Mariska Hargitay. Danny Pino, Kelli Giddish, and Ice-T.

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

Please note: This preview clip is available for a limited time only and must be removed shortly after the episode originally airs, so catch it 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, October 17, 2013

John Munch’s Uncut Roast

Here’s the complete and uncut roast of John Munch (Richard Belzer), part of which aired in the SVU episode “Wonderland Story”.

The #FarewellMunch Roast Uncut from SVUWritersRoom on Vimeo.

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 “October Surprise” Advance Photos

Here are advance photos for Law & Order SVU, “October Surprise” which will air on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 9 PM ET/8C on NBC. The photos feature Raúl Esparza, Danny Pino, Kelli Giddish, Ice-T and guest stars Kirk Acevedo, Annaleigh Ashford, Leslie Odom Jr. and Lester Holt.

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU "October Surprise " 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.

Law & Order SVU “Wonderland Story” Recap & Review; John Munch Retires

In Law & Order SVU “Wonderland Story”, fictional (and beloved) character Sergeant John Munch retires from the Special Victims Unit. Munch is an iconic TV figure, born in 1993 on the excellent yet under-appreciated series “Homicide: Life on the Street.” In addition to living in the SVU universe, Munch also popped up in various other fictional stories such as The Wire, 30Rock, and my personal favorite, The X-Files (in the episode “Unusual Suspects”). Richard Belzer has brought such life to the character, and, coupled with excellent writing for the character over the years, it may be hard for some to tell the difference between the fictional Munch and the real Belzer. Fans have been somewhat disgruntled over the lack of regular Munch time on SVU over the last few seasons but fans should not be sad over his retirement. John Munch will continue to live on, working - much like Lennie Briscoe did for a short time - as an investigator for the DA’s office. Various entertainment sources state that we could see Munch in future SVU episodes.

Retirement is mandatory before one reaches the age of 63 in the NYPD, so, as Cragen mentioned in last week’s episode “Internal Affairs”, his time will be coming soon. It seems odd that in this day and age that there are any jobs that have a mandatory retirement age, but I suspect in the case of the NYPD, they assume that at the age of 63, a person’s physical stamina may not be at the level required for certain parts of the job. As Munch seemingly has been absent more than he has been on the job the last few seasons, the series may be able to move along without replacing him. If the series goes past season 15 – or past Cragen’s mandatory retirement – another captain will be needed. Setting up for his eventual departure, Cragen suggests to Benson that she take the Sergeant’s exam.  What seems like a few seasons ago, a possible new or expanded role for Benson was mentioned, and taking the exam makes perfect sense to advance the character’s story line (assuming, of course, that she takes the exam and passes).

The episode featured a tepid, predictable story about a victim from a previous case (from the season 13 Law & Order SVU episode “True Believers” ) but in a grand case of missed opportunity, the story had no trace of John Munch’s fingerprints on it. I would have been great to revisit a case that Munch worked – even if he wasn’t working the present case – giving the chance for the cast to flash back to Munch. The only flashback scene we get is from Munch himself at the very end, and it looks like a scene not from SVU but from Homicide: Life on the Street. A strange and disappointing writing choice to say the least. The real mystery here is why we didn’t get ANY SVU flashbacks.  It was nice, however, to bring back Munch's 2 ex-wives, a colleague from Baltimore, and his brother (who I don't recall seeing depicted before) for the party.

While the detectives bid farewell to John Munch, I prefer to just tell Munch “So long for now” as I hope we’ll be seeing him – on SVU or somewhere else – at a later time. And best wishes to Richard Belzer, who has entertained and informed us in many various ways over the years – and we all hope he never stops.

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
Raúl Esparza - ADA Rafael Barba

Guest stars:
Dean Winters – Brian Cassidy
Sofia Vassilieva - Sarah Walsh
Finn Wittrock - Cameron Tyler
Amelia Rose Blaire - Nicole Price
Todd Almond – Andre
Aisha De Haas – Wedmore’s Mother
Jacqueline Hendy – Cameron’s Lawyer
Michael Mastro – Judge Serani
Matt DeCapua – Matthew Forte
Clark Johnson – Party Guest (Former colleague from Baltimore)
Carol Kane - Party Guest (one of Munch’s ex-wives)
Ellen McElduff – Party Guest (one of Munch’s ex-wives)
David Steinberg – Party Guest (Munch’s brother David)
Kaneza Schaall – Ilana
Leslie Shires – Celine Dubbois
Ilona Saic – Lia
Dee Dee Vega – Singer

At a bar where a farewell party is being held for Munch, Rollins comments to Cragen that it is a pretty good turnout, and Amaro observes there are 3 judges there. One guy walks buy and adds that they had him at “open bar.” Cragen asks Fun if the bartender knows it is well drinks only, and Fin says he is on it. Benson and Cassidy arrive and Cassidy comments about the full house, telling Benson they will take a hit on this one. Benson asks the others where is Prince John, and Amaro says he will call him. Benson asks Cassidy if he wants the usual, and he suggests she make it a double. As Benson walks off, Rollins asks Cassidy how Benson is doing, and Cassidy replies she is good – he thinks – adding that Rollins knows Benson, don’t ask don’t tell. Munch enters the bar, wearing a white tuxedo and carrying a cane, to much applause. He tells them not to make a fuss, saying “as you were, hoi polloi.”

AS the party progresses, members of the SVU squad speak about their memories of Munch. Benson talks about her first day with SVU meeting Cassidy and Munch. When she jokes that she felt this had to be a mistake, thinking it was traffic enforcement or post office security, Munch comments “Prick me Olivia, do I not bleed?” She adds that Munch was a brilliant detective and a very soulful man, and she will miss him. To the sounds of “awwww”, they hug. Munch mentions his ex-wives are there, and they want to have a three way – unfortunately, with his brother David, the story of his life. Cragen stands up, saying none of them want to be there more than he does, and they were hoping, like a good soldier, Munch would just fade away. Cragen quips that their loss is the DA’s loss, as, in a couple weeks, Munch will begin the third – or the fifth – act by becoming a special investigator for the DA’s office. There is much applause. Fin also stands up and thanks Munch, saying he taught him a lot: that Oswald never fired a shot, we probably never landed on the moon, and that Hoover had a gay hit squad. He tells Munch he loves him and will miss him. He also gives Munch a shadow box with his NYPD shield and Baltimore shield. A colleague from Baltimore shouts out that they ran his butt out of B’more. Munch then says what he had to say tonight does not come from here – pointing to his head – but it comes from here – pointing to his heart…where he pulls out a large piece of paper – his notes. He tells them not to cry for him, but then points to Benson and says she can cry for him as she is the heart of SVU. He adds that Fin is the pancreas. He recounts that 12 years in, he showed Fin a report that a rapist strikes somewhere in America every two minutes, and Fin told him that they have to catch this guy. When he first saw Amaro, he realized he - Munch - is still the best looking guy in the squad, but it is kind of a blessing that now in the squad room there is someone even more paranoid than he, and he thanks Amaro. Amaro jokingly asks what does she mean, He tells Cragen he knows what he is saying to himself tonight, and then says, “Ask not for who mandatory retirement tolls, it tolls for thee. “ Meanwhile, Benson gets a message and tells Amaro they have to go and Munch notices they are getting up to leave, asking if it is something that he said. Benson replies it was everything he said, Munch quips that he hasn’t gotten to the Cassidy jokes yet, and as Benson and Amaro leave, he says when he sees Benson and Cassidy together, he thinks that they both can do better.

As Benson and Amaro leave the bar, Benson asks if Amaro remembers Sarah Walsh, and he does, it is the piano student whose rapist got away. Benson said Sarah just texted her; she thinks she got raped – again.

At Sarah's apartment, Benson asks Sarah if she thinks she was raped, and Sarah explains that she woke up naked and her clothes were on the floor and she is sore down there. Benson asks what happened to her ear, and Sarah sobs, saying she thinks he must have ripped out her earring and pulled her head down by her ear. Benson tries to assure her, and says something happened, but Sarah asks again? Amaro asks what is the last think she does remember, and Sarah says she met her friend Nicole and her finance Matthew in the meatpacking District at 8:00 at the Brass Monkey. They were playing Jenga. Amaro asks if she had been drinking, and she said maybe one beer or two. He asks if it was from a bottle or glass, and Benson gives him a “what are you doing?” look as Sarah says a glass. Sarah chides herself, saying she was so stupid and should not have gone out, and Benson tells her to take it east and sit down. Benson assures her it is nothing that she did. Amaro asks her if she remembers leaving the bar, and she says yes, Nicole and Matthew walked her out at 10 or 11 and after that it is a blur. She does not remember how she got home. She gets frantic and then says it was Michael Wedmore, and Amaro asks if that was the man who raped her two years ago, asking if she saw him last night. Sarah replies that she thinks so, and in the past few weeks he has been following her. Amaro asks if it’s been in her neighborhood, and if she is sure. Benson seems concerned at Amaro’s tone. Sarah insists it was him, commenting about his grin – she doesn’t forget that.

Later, Fin tells Rollins that Wedmore’s boss says he is off today and he worked a 12 hour shift last night. Rollins comments about the proximity of his work to Sarah’s apartment, and Fin says the supervisor says he has been there 2 years and his mother works there too. They find her nearby taking a smoke break. She seems annoyed with them and explains her son is at a church retreat with his fiancée. He knows not to go near Sarah and admits he has seen her on the street but if she says more than that, she is lying, just like the last time. She and her son were on duty all night and had dinner in the cafeteria. She says they are done talking.

Back at SVU, Benson and Amaro explain Sarah’s status to Cragen and what they know so far. Fin and Rollins enter and explain where Wedmore is and his mother alibied him for last night. Benson argues as if she doubts Wedmore’s innocence, but Rollins gets a text that the rape kit came back and Sarah was drugged with GHB but no DNA from semen. Benson thinks he used a condom, and thinks it is him. Amaro counters about the timeline and that Sarah does not remember anything after 10:00 in Manhattan but Benson says that does not mean she was drugged there, memory loss could be retroactive. Rollins has doubts that he did it and Cragen suggest they talk to Sarah’s friends in the city, maybe they will put Wedmore at the bar. Benson worries that in the meantime, Wedmore is violent and could go after her. Cragen replies that when Wedmore gets back, he will see if he can put a squad car on Sarah’s block.

At an apartment on Lafayette Street, Fin and Rollins speak with Nicole who is house-sitting. She and her fiancé went out with Sarah that night and Sarah left a message and she has not called back. She did not see Sarah with any guys last night and Fin shows her a photo array and she does not recognize anyone. Rollins asks how long she was out with Sarah, and Nicole says 11, they gave her the watch and then she and Matthew went home. The watch is an entry pass to an underground party. The location changes, you meet a guide on the corner, give the guide the watch that you got from someone who went to the last party. She has another watch and she gives it to Rollins. Rollins reads back the inscription on the watch which says, “Alice came to a fork in the road - which road do I take, she asks” and Nicole explains it is an Alice in Wonderland theme, which Rollins already surmised. Matthew enters and Nicole explains what is happening. Nicole asks if it is OK to call Sarah back, and Rollins says yes and Fin says they will keep the watch.

Meanwhile, Benson and Amaro arrive at Sarah’s apartment and it has been trashed, just like the last time. She explains Nicole called her and Amaro explains that Wedmore was at work that night. Sarah thinks he is lying and continues to think he did it. Amaro thinks this was a different kind of predator, and when she asks if they think she was raped twice by two different men, Benson explains they do, saying it is called re-victimization and it happens more than one thinks. Benson tries to assure Sarah it is not her, adding predators pick up on vulnerability. Sarah thinks she let her guard down and set herself up, and Benson continues to try to calm her but it is not working. Sarah gets more upset and says to forget she called them and then tells them to go and leave her alone. The do so.

Law & Order SVU “October Surprise” Promo

Here is the promo for Law & Order SVU, “October Surprise” which will air on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 9 PM ET/8C on NBC.

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU "October Surprise " 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.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Little Known Facts* About John Munch (*And Entirely Made Up)

As a short tribute to the retirement of John Munch from the Special Victims Unit, here are some little known facts* about John Munch, in the form of a Q&A.

(*and entirely made up)

Don't forget to watch tonight's episode of Law & Order SVU “Wonderland Story” which features John Munch's retirement.

Question: What do you get when you feel like snacking constantly during an episode of Law & Order SVU?
Answer: The Munchies

Question: What is the name of the disorder when you see conspiracy theories everywhere?
Answer: “Munch-howsen” syndrome.

Question: What proposed 1964 TV show about the history of the strange members of Munch family never made it to the small screen?
Answer: The Munch-sters

Question: If John Munch had children, what term of endearment would he use to reference them?
Answer:  Munchkin

Question: Who was the original painter of what was then known as a self portrait titled “The Scream” (see below)?
Answer: John Munch. He painted it after watching Law & Order SVU “Zebras”

No pillow fights while watching tonight's episode:

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, October 11, 2013

Law & Order SVU “Dissonant Voices” Episode Information

Here are the details for a new episode of Law & Order SVU, “Dissonant Voices”:
(Update October 16, 2013 - NBC has changed the air date to November 6.)

Law & Order SVU “Dissonant Voices” Air Date November 6, 2013 (9 PM ET/8C Wednesday NBC)


Singing coach Jackie Walker (guest starring 2013 Tony Award-winner Billy Porter) is at the height of his career, with a featured role on television’s biggest reality show, "American Diva," and a steady position teaching music at a prestigious New York City school. When a four year-old student comes forward with claims of sexual abuse, Detective Rollins (Kelli Giddish) asks the squad to be mindful of Walker’s reputation, but Benson’s (Mariska Hargitay) investigation uncovers evidence that condemns the popular personality. As the case becomes public, more and more victims come forward, but Walker refuses to come clean. Also Starring Ice T (Detective Odafin Tutuola), Danny Pino (Detective Nick Amaro) and Raúl Esparza (ADA Rafael Barba). Also guest starring Jessica Phillips (ADA Pippa Cox), Hana Hayes (Brooke Allen), Kara Hayward (Rachel Burns), Carly Rose Sonenclar (Grace Belsey), David Pittu (Counselor Linus Tate) and Bill Irwin (Dr. Lindstrom).

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU "Dissonant Voices" 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.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Law & Order SVU “Wonderland Story” Cast Interviews & Behind the Scenes Videos

Here are cast interviews and behind the scenes video of Munch’s farewell party from Law & Order SVU “Wonderland Story” which will air on October 16, 2013 at 9PM ET on NBC. The videos feature Richard Belzer, Mariska Hargitay, Dean Winters, Dann Florek, Danny Pino, Kelli Giddish, and Ice-T.

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

Update October 15, 2013 - Interview with Richard Belzer has been added. 

Update October 11, 2013 - Two episode preview clips have been added below and are available for a limited time only and must be removed shortly after the episode originally airs. 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.

Law & Order SVU “Internal Affairs” Recap & Review

It’s rare that I can describe an episode of Law & Order SVU in one word, but in the case of “Internal Affairs” I can: perfection. This episode delivered a suspenseful story peppered with just the right amount of personal drama and it kept me interested all the way to the very end. It was also visually exciting, getting the detectives out into real world settings, making the story itself feel more real.

In “Internal Affairs”, the SVU team is approached by the Internal Affairs Bureau’s infamous douche bag Lt. Ed Tucker, in an unusual situation where Tucker needs their help. The case - inspired by a real life case of NYPD officers acquitted of rape - had the SVU team dealing with the prospect that those who were sworn to serve and protect are really rapists and abusing their power in other ways.  The SVU team found it annoying at having to work the case at the behest of Lt. Tucker, who has been nothing but a pain in the ass to SVU over the years. Brian Cassidy gets sucked into the case by Tucker with the promise of getting his detective shield back by working undercover to expose the dirty cops. In true Tucker form, he isn't concerned that his actions put Cassidy’s life in danger and doesn't seem in a hurry to keep his promise.

We also got a look at Benson and Cassidy’s new apartment, which, according to an article from Entertainment Weekly, says the apartment is “in the 50′s on the West Side in some sort of new construction.” (I’ll defer the debate to the experts in New York real estate/rentals on whether the view out the window matches the location and whether Benson & Cassidy could realistically afford the place.) The new apartment looks fresh and modern. It’s a huge improvement over Benson’s previous apartment, which always had a lonely and depressing look, recently made worse by the abuse that Benson suffered there at the hands of William Lewis. The new apartment is an apt symbol for Benson starting a new phase of her life, maybe one that seems lighter and brighter. A big question remains – is Cassidy Mr. Right or simply Mr. Right Now? While Benson and Cassidy did have a past relationship, it wasn’t a long, lasting one. We can only wonder if this time around the relationship will be something more meaningful.

Of course, a new apartment can’t erase what Benson does for a living. She can’t escape the dark nature of her day job, which sometimes brings her in contact with the lowest of the low. This case creates an uncomfortable situation for Benson when she has to listen to Cassidy play his undercover role to the hilt, giving the appearance he is still fast and loose with women. At the end, however, they both seem to be in a good place.

A promo appeared during the episode to tease next week’s episode and John Munch’s retirement. Seeing Munch carrying what seemed like a box of his belongings gave me a flashback to seeing Lennie Briscoe do the same in Jerry Orbach’s final Law & Order episode, a scene which still tears me up a bit just thinking about it. I am not looking forward to Munch leaving SVU,  as I suspect it will mean another sad scene that will stick in my memory for years.   Cragen also tipped off that he hits mandatory retirement in 6 months, so he may be out before season’s end. These developments should be no shock to fans if they paid any attention to the fact that two similar publicity photos for the cast were released at the start of the season – one which did not include Richard Belzer and Dann Florek. As far as the reasons for Munch’s retirement – Cragen said the Mehcad Carter case hit Munch pretty hard – I would have thought the reason would have been that Benson’s abduction and torture would have hit Munch even harder. (A side note - while Munch is retiring from SVU, he will continue to be a recurring character on the show, according to TVLine: “Law & Order: SVU Vet Richard Belzer Switches to Recurring Status, As Munch Retires” )

It was also interesting to see Dr. Lindstrom give Benson a replacement necklace for the one she always wore which is still in evidence. It was a nice gesture but I wondered if it was appropriate for him to give a patient a gift. As Benson later admitted that she had directed many rape survivors to the doctor, I decided to look at this gift as being from one friend (not doctor) to another. Outwardly, Benson does seem to be projecting a look of happiness by wearing a bright patterned dress, unlike her usual bland detective attire. Hopefully, her happiness is beginning to reach deeper than what we see on the surface.

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
Raúl Esparza - ADA Rafael Barba

Guest stars:
Dean Winters – Brian Cassidy
Bill Irwin – Dr. Lindstrom
Robert John Burke – Lt. Ed Tucker
Marc Menchaca – Office Michael Groves
David Conrad – Officer West
Nadia Dajani - Officer Ryan Quinn
Lance Roberts – Lt. Terrence Wood
Megan West – Tanya Jenkins
Matt Wood – Officer Kenneth Parker
Osh Ghanimah – Cabbie
Danielle Dallacco – Gretchen Lyons
Jack Ferry – Suit #1
Danny Schoch – ESU Cop #1
Trace Lysette – Lila

At Dr. Lindstrom’s office, he tells Benson this is a good place to stop. She agrees, and mentions next week, to which Lindstrom reminds her he will be away. She jokes about having abandonment issues but assures him she can survive. He knows she will, and then he says he got her something to remind her of that. He hands her a box, saying that she had commented the one she used to wear was being held as evidence. She opens the box to find a duplicate necklace. She thanks him, her voice cracking.

At the Bronx courthouse in the locker room, Cassidy is arriving for the day and Officer Michael Groves comments that Cassidy is late. Cassidy bitches about the time it took to get there Groves comments that the NYPD stands for Now You are Persecuted Daily. Groves looks around, and then hands Cassidy a small envelope, telling him it is a safety deposit box key and asks Cassidy to hang on to it. He adds that Cassidy doesn’t need to know where the box is at yet, and if anything happens to him, a friend will tell Cassidy where the box is, and that Cassidy should take the contents to the New York Times. He comments that since he turned on them at the 12th he is being followed. Other officers enter the locker room and they tell Groves not to move. They restrain him and Groves yells to out Cassidy but they quickly taser Groves. As Groves falls to the floor, Cassidy quickly pockets the key and shuts his locker door.

Later, at Benson and Cassidy’s new apartment, Cassidy unpacks a cattle skull. Benson, carrying in another box, begins to comment about the new place when Cassidy interrupts and says it looked bigger when it was empty. Benson replies that they will figure it out. Cassidy stops and looks around, seemingly distracted, and Benson asks if he is OK. He apologizes, saying it is a work thing. Benson asks if he wants to talk about it, he’s allowed. Cassidy explains that Mike Groves, a cop on his shift, they came for him and tased him and hauled him off to Bellevue on a psych hold. He was acting paranoid and then they did come for him. Groves told him he was exiled to the Bronx for making noise about his former precinct the 12th for cooking the books. Benson seems to agree on Groves being transferring the whistleblower but questions that he was sent to the rubber room. Cassidy adds that after the 12th got rid of Groves he didn’t get the hint and he went to IA. Benson cringes that they drove him crazy and then sent him to the psych ward, and Cassidy thinks maybe they did it to discredit him and that Groves is actually crazy and wonders if he should got to IA and tell them what he saw. Benson’s mouth drops open and she questions going to IA, reminding him that they took his shield and wonders if he wants to rattle that cage. Cassidy wonders if Groves is telling the truth. Benson suggests he go to the PBA, and when Cassidy seems surprised at this, she suggests a lawyer or family. She tells Cassidy for once in his life, he should take care of himself…and whispers “and me.” He says OK and kisses her on the forehead.

The next day at SVU, Rollins ask Benson how was the move, and Benson says good, she hasn’t had a roommate since the Academy. She adds she can’t believe how many t-shirts Cassidy has. Rollins suggests that Benson can winnow them down a few at a time, he won’t notice. Lt. Tucker from IAB enters SVU and Rollins asks what he is doing there, and Tucker cracks it is nice to see her too, and asks if Cragen is in. Cragen walks out of his office and addresses Tucker, asking what brings him to SVU. Tucker asks if his office is free and also asks Benson to come in. As she walks into Cragen’s office, she tells Tucker she was just talking about him last night. He says enough of the small talk; he has a problem and he needs their help.

Benson says, “IAB needs SVU’s help? You gotta be kidding me.” Tucker retorts it is not his dream, either. He says he can tell them to look at compstat issues from the 12th, some of the cops are losing complaints. Yesterday a key witness who had been an officer in the precinct, had been forcibly institutionalized and medicated. Benson looks at Tucker with a blank face as Cragen comments about it being at the 12th's request, feeling that was hardball and he looks at Benson. Tucker said the officer was deemed a danger to himself or others. Benson asks what that has to do with them, and he explains that among the stats that saw a drop were sexual assaults. He adds they have investigated a few but their whist blower, whose credibility is now shattered, claims he knows a woman, Tanya Jenkins, who reported a rape to him and it was never entered into the complaint system. He hands Benson a file, and she looks at it and says she is confused, this is a complaint AGAINST Tanya Jenkins for assaulting a cabbie. Tucker replies that there may be more to it than that and he needs them to check it out. Benson is shocked, asking now, noting this was from Christmas and questions how long IAB has been sitting on it. Tucker says he will do his job, she should do hers, and that Jenkins is a possible rape victim and Tucker thought Benson would be sympathetic to that.

Afterwards, still in Cragen’s office, Rollins comments that she hopes Benson told Tucker to shove that file where the sun don’t shine. Cragen tells Rollins that wouldn’t be politic. Amaro asks that some cop is accused of assault because some cop in the cuckoo’s nest in says Jenkins is a rape victim – he thinks IA is setting them up. Cragen admits that is always a possibility, advising them not to put words in the vic’s mouth, just dot their Is and cross their Ts. Benson reminds them they have all heard rumors about the 12th and if somebody is covering up rapes, they need to go down for it. Fin cracks that he does not like this already. Cragen replies that makes 5 of them, and tells Fin and Rollins to go talk to the cabbie and tells Benson and Amaro to talk to the woman and report to him, for reasons that should be obvious; he will middle with Tucker.

Outside the precinct, Amaro questions that Benson thinks Cassidy went to IAB, and she explains that Officer Groves – Tucker’s witness – Cassidy was with him when Groves got tased. When Amaro adds that the next day Tucker comes to SVU and asks what Cassidy said to her about it, Benson says she can’t get hold of him. Amaro asks if Tucker knows they are living together, and Benson shoots him a look and then throws him the car keys, telling him to take 6th, there is less traffic. She gets in the car

At 20th Street and 9th Avenue, Fin and Rollins speak with the cab driver who said Tanya was puking and said she had no money. He threw her out and she started swinging at him and the cops pulled up, who suggested he file assault charges against her. He dropped the charges a week later because she did not say anything and he did not want to go to court. He does not know if she was arrested, he drove off and they dealt with her. He adds if this girl is accusing him of doing something now, she is lying.

Meanwhile, Benson and Amaro speak with Tanya Jenkins who says it was her fault, she had been drinking and she is going to meetings now. Amaro explains she is not a suspect, they want to know what happened to her that night. She replies they can just tell “them” she said nothing happened and it is all cool. She starts walking away as Benson asks to tell who. Tanya says she was confused and she was wrong, she was drunk and got in a fight with the cabbie. She says she has to go. As she leaves, Benson and Amaro discuss what really happened that night and Benson suspects something did happen that night. They wonder that if they were trying to keep stats down they told her that she could be charged with assault, and if she was raped, he is still out there. Amaro notes that West and Quinn were the responding officers that night and asks if there is any chance they will be straight with them.
At the 12th precinct at the office of Lt. Terrence Wood, Benson and Amaro discuss the cabbie’s complaint and if Tanya said anything to the arresting officers. West and Quinn are just about to start so Wood calls them in. West and Quinn explain that Tanya was a mess and West says they weren’t really looking at the cabbie as Tanya was drunk and disorderly. He adds that with binge drinkers, they have a “catch and release” policy, and Wood explains he tells them to make sure the person gets home safe. When Amaro asks that they took her home, Quinn explains Tanya would have been easy prey. Benson comments that the cabbie had her address and wonders if there was a chance he came back. West comments maybe, and who knows, this girl was so wasted she wouldn’t remember anything that happened. Quinn agrees.

Back at SVU in Cragen’s office, Rollins asks if they think the unis buried the rape. Benson replies that something happened to Tanya but she is being pressured to deny it, Amaro adding the officers went out of their way to say Tanya was too drunk to make a credible witness. Benson comments they also wanted them to know they drove her home that night. Cragen asks if there is any chance it was the cabbie, and Fin says none, he tracked his fares. He had an airport run after the cops took Tanya and he sat at JFK until he caught a fare to Westchester. Cragen tells them to check the 911 calls and see how they compare to the precinct logs and see if somebody called in a sexual assault that somehow dropped off.

As they walk out of Cragen’s office, Amaro suggest to Rollins that they check the logs. Benson says she can stay, but Rollins tells her to go home, Amaro adding it may be good to catch up with Cassidy.

Back at the apartment, Benson is still unpacking as Cassidy arrives home, saying it was a bitch of a day at the courthouse. She said she tried calling him and he explains he tried calling her back but they kept missing each other. Cassidy comments that the place looks great. Benson explains Tucker’s visit and that Groves may have been on something about the 12th. She asks if he went to Tucker about it and he says no, but Tucker came to him to work undercover at the 12th. Cassidy said no, because neither he nor Benson trust Tucker. Cassidy asks what Tucker wants with SVU, and Benson explains that two officers from the 12th may have coerced a sexual assault vic into dropping the charges so they are working the case. Cassidy questions that it is OK for her to work IA but not him? Benson gets a message and says she has to go. Cassidy asks now?, and Benson explains Rollins found something on the rape case. She apologizes and says she will be back as she speeds out of the apartment, leaving Cassidy there drinking a beer.

Rollins apologizes for dragging them all back in, and Fin replies says she is not, that is her thing. Rollins explains they checked the 911 calls and there are no assaults but there were a few calls made from pay phones that sounded bogus. A homeless man and a noise complaint were both made from Tanya’s block. Benson asks who responded, and Amaro says it was West and Quinn, and they gave the calls back as unfounded. Cragen comments this puts them on her street, and Rollins adds for pretty much the whole night. Amaro explains that the building next door has a security camera, and they go the video. He plays it and Rollins say the good news is that Quinn and West weren’t lying, they did bring her home. Amaro says the bad news is that they didn’t just drop her off, West went back in, twice. Rollins explains that the video is showing the first time they went up, and then Quinn comes back 15 minutes later and waits in the car, leaving West up there for another half hour. Amaro explains that at 3:30, West and Quinn respond to the first 911 call and West goes up for another hour. At 5:00, the second call from the same pay phone, west goes up for another 40 minutes. Cragen thinks the 911 calls were an excuse for West to go back up and Quinn to cover. Benson adds that Groves, Tucker’s key witness, told him that Tanya reported her rape the next day, and wonder if there is any record of that? Rollins answers yes, the precinct reception has her signing in at 11:41 and signing out at 1:02, no report of who she spoke with. Cragen speculates somebody got her to kill the complaint, and Benson thinks someone scared the daylights out of her. .Fin says this is for IA, they go after cops, but Benson replies “These aren’t cops, they’re rapists.”

Later, in Cragen’s office and with Tucker, they play back one of the 911 calls and Amaro thinks both calls were made by Officer Quinn. Cragen thinks they are looking at more than fixing stats. Fin says these guys are rapists, and Tucker replies possibly, all the tapes prove is official misconduct. Benson said Tanya was assaulted that night, but Tucker reminds her it was 8 months ago and there was no rape kit, she was drunk and is a reluctant and unreliable witness against two decorated cops. Rollins counters Tanya was not reluctant, she was intimidated and they need to find out who at that precinct told her to keep her mouth shut. Benson suggests she talk to Tanya to let her know they are on her side, but Tucker tells her to slow down, if these officers find out they are suspects they will lawyer up. Benson accuses him to tying their hands, but Tucker wants them to get all their ducks in a row before they go hunting. Benson rolls her eyes. As Tucker moves to leave, he asks Benson to walk him out. As they walk down the hall, Tucker comments about her boyfriend, saying even for a mick he’s thick. He says Cassidy is doing court duty in the Bronx but if he goes undercover for him, he’ll get his shield back. He adds that Cassidy is tripping over himself with reasons why he can’t and says there is bad blood between them. Benson emphatically says there is. Tucker asks so what, this is a chance for redemption. Benson scoffs, then asks what does she have to do? Tucker explains he would get Cassidy transferred into the 12th and partner him with West, build trust and get an admission, maybe even catch these guys in the act. Benson adds he has to rat those guys out. Tucker comments about getting the thin blue line crap from Benson, adding that these guys are rapists. He says if it make her feel any better he will put her and Amaro on as backup. Benson looks reluctant but Tucker urges her to talk to Cassidy, asking if she wants him busting his hump in the Bronx courts until he breaks like Groves?

Sometime later, Cassidy is at the 12th being brought in with other rookies and Cassidy tells Lt. Wood he knows he has to earn his way back in and appreciates the chance. Wood pairs Quinn with rookie Kenneth Parker and Cassidy with West. Wood explains to West that Cassidy is trying to earn his way back into the department’s good graces and to afford him every courtesy. West tells Cassidy if he gets busted back to walking the beat at his age, to put in for his 20. Cassidy dry replies, “Nice to meet you too.”

As they leave the precinct, West barks out his rules to Cassidy. West asks about the prostitute that Cassidy and Cragen were banging, was she as hot as she looked? Meanwhile, Benson and Amaro are waiting in a nearby car, hearing every word. Amaro comments to Benson that Cassidy will have a hard time with this guy. Cassidy asks West if he is getting in the middle of anything with his partner, and West says “screw you.” Benson tells Amaro Cassidy will be just fine.

As West and Cassidy drive around, Cassidy asks him if at the 12th they get drunk Wall Street guys and club kids, adding name an asshat, they have it. West adds and douche bags too. Cassidy asks if they get any working girls, and West asks if Cassidy has been busted enough, Cassidy replies he is an old dog but he likes new tricks. West tells him to watch the club girls, they get drunk and the next morning with the walk of shame they get buyer’s remorse.. He pulls up to Tanya who is walking on the street and says “like this one” and beeps his horn. He calls out to her and she says she just wants to get home. He says he is just checking up on her, and asks if she is still going to meetings. She looks uncomfortable and says 6 months, one day at a time. She races off as West says that is good, and he is there if she needs a friend. Meanwhile, in the car, Benson and Amaro hear Cassidy say she seems nice, and if someone did a number on her. West says it is more like she did it to herself. Benson comments to Amaro that first he rapes Tanya and now he says he is looking out for her, saying that is control, intimidation, and is a complete abuse of power. Amaro agrees it is ugly but not enough to make a case.

Later, it is night and Cassidy and West are still driving around. Cassidy asks when things will start picking up around here, and West tells him to take it easy, it is a full moon, and they will get there. Benson and Amaro are still following, and Amaro asks how the new apartment is going. Benson says good, it’s nice having someone to come home too. Amaro says he misses it. Amaro asks about the sessions and if he likes the guy. Benson explains she must have sent over a dozen survivors to him and it turns out she was right. She feels safe there. Amaro says he is her any time she wants to talk about anything, but Benson replies that it is great he has been normal with her and she appreciates that more than he knows. A call comes in for available units to respond to a female drunk and disorderly and West responds turns on the lights and sirens on his squad car.

West and Cassidy arrive on the scene to try to handle a drunk Gretchen, who comes on to Cassidy as he tries to control the situation. Gretchen asks them to drive her home and if they want her to assume the position. West grabs her as she begins to tip over and puts her in the back of the car and Benson and Cassidy hear Cassidy tell West he has a live one.

At the apartment of Gretchen Lyons, West gets her out of the car and tells Cassidy to wait there, if he isn’t down in 20 minutes to spring him with a bogus call.  Benson voices concern to Amaro that they are just going to let this happen, but Amaro thinks it sounded consensual and they obviously have a history. Benson raises her voice and reminds him Gretchen is drunk, but Amaro reminds her so are half the people on the street who are going home to have sex and asks what does she want to do. Another squad car pulls up to Cassidy and it is Quinn and the rookie. Quinn asks if everything is alright and Cassidy explains that West is upstairs assisting a woman in need. Benson and Amaro hear Quinn tell Cassidy he knows not to put this in the memo book, and Cassidy asks what memo book. She answers “right” and maybe they will see him later. Cassidy waits in the car, and Benson worries to Amaro that Gretchen has been up there for 20 minutes and Cassidy should go up. Amaro cautions her that they are testing him. West returns and honks the car home to wake Cassidy, and Cassidy asks if it is his turn. West says next time, his girl Quinny needs backup. Cassidy asks that she doesn’t use the radio, and West cracks that Cassidy is quick, like a real detective. West puts on light and sirens and races off and Benson and Amaro follow.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Law & Order SVU “Wonderland Story” Promos

Here are two promos for Law & Order SVU “Wonderland Story” which will air on Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 9PM ET on NBC. Munch retires.

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU "Wonderland Story" 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.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Law & Order SVU “October Surprise” Episode Information

Here are the details for a new episode of Law & Order SVU, “October Surprise”

Law & Order SVU “October Surprise ” Air Date October 23, 2013 (9 PM ET/8C Wednesday NBC)


When ADA Barba’s (Raúl Esparza) childhood friend, Eddie Garcia (guest star Kirk Acevedo), is arrested for attempted rape, his connection to mayoral frontrunner Alex Muñoz (guest star Vincent Laresca) puts the campaign in jeopardy. But when an undercover investigation uncovers further misconduct by Muñoz himself, Detective Amaro (Danny Pino) and the SVU team wonder if Barba can put aside personal feelings to prosecute the men he used to idolize. Also starring Mariska Hargitay (Detective Olivia Benson), Ice-T (Detective Odafin Tutuola) and Kelli Giddish (Detective Amanda Rollins). Guest starring Annaleigh Ashford (Lindsay Anderson), Karen Olivo (Yelina Muñoz), Josh Pais (Hank Abraham), Leslie Odom Jr. (Reverend Curtis Scott) and Lester Holt (as himself).

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU "October Surprise " 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.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Law & Order SVU “Internal Affairs” Preview Clips

Here are preview clips from Law & Order SVU “Internal Affairs” which will air on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 9PM ET on NBC. The previews feature Mariska Hargitay, Dann Florek, Danny Pino, Kelli Giddish, Ice-T, Dean Winters, and Robert John Burke.

UPDATE OCT.7: So sorry,  I had to pull the videos early.  Either NBC or YouTube has jumped the gun...again...and made me pull them before the episode aired.

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, October 3, 2013

Law & Order SVU “American Tragedy” Recap & Review

They said it couldn’t be done – mixing the ripped from the headlines stories of George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin, Paula Deen, and stop and frisk. (I would say they could have thrown in the kitchen sink but we did get a lavatory sink which is close enough.) The writers mashed up these headlines with mixed results. Yes, it could be done, but in the case of “American Tragedy”, I have to ask if it SHOULD have been done. The real life stories were not special victims cases and this episode seemed like a desperate attempt to capitalize on hot-button real life issues while they were fresh in the public’s mind. The downside of this is that the fictional story seemed too familiar and I felt no sense of suspense or drama, nor was I left with any urge to debate whether what Jolene did was murder or self defense.

When I heard that Cybill Shepherd would be playing the “Paula Deen”-type role, I thought it was a great call. I quickly changed my mind as her performance was stiff and more like a caricature, not acting. Her southern accent seemed to come and go and was not consistent. It felt more like parody than a dramatic performance.

Also too familiar was the continued segments with Benson and Dr. Lindstrom, which reminded me all too much of Bobby Goren’s sessions with a doctor in the final season of Law & Order Criminal Intent. I feel like we are not seeing anything new here. And no offense to Bill Irwin, but I he has creeped me out since his infamous role on CSI and I cringe every time he is on the screen as Benson’s doctor. In fact, his CSI role is a testament to his fine acting skills, but it also put an image in my mind that will not go away and I have a hard time getting past him in the role of a supportive doctor.

It was interesting that Benson reacted quickly and defended herself against a man who was coming on to her and getting in her space while she walked alone on a darkened street. The only difference between her fear reaction and Jolene’s was that Benson did not use her gun. That is, assuming that Jolene shot out of true fear.   Amaro appears to have noticed that Benson is either still wound a little too tight, or, that she has simply decided she isn’t going to take any crap from anyone. (She could be turning into Stabler!)

The timeline of the episode appeared to move much quicker than it would in reality. If my notes are correct, the first date listed was August 7 when Barba met with Jolene. It was as if the shooting had only happened a day or two before, and right after this scene,   Mehcad dies in the hospital. Jolene is arrested on August 8 and the trial starts August 12. Can the system really work that fast, even if the DA wanted to expedite it to help stop the protests? I would think that the defense would want more than a few days to prepare for such a serious case. By the way, it’s a little sad that in the last several years, we’ve had a nameless, faceless, Manhattan DA. If this was an election year, why couldn’t they just either use McCoy’s name or make up another name. Even if we weren’t going to SEE a district attorney, as a Law & Order fan I would like to know if Jack McCoy is still running the show or if someone has taken his place. (Correction - I've been reminded that Mike Cutter mentioned there was a new DA in the season 13 SVU episode "Scorched Earth" - but no name for the new DA.)

The high points – Raúl Esparza and Jeffrey Tambor were both very believable in their roles and both provided very passionate performances. The writers also have created an interesting personality for Barba that is helping to make him someone that I look forward to seeing.

I’m a little confused about the name of the serial rapist. Amaro first refers to him as Willie Smith, and then later he is referred to as Willie Taylor. Did I miss something?

The people working the set – or the cameras – should be mindful when using a long shot showing the entire elevator, from top to bottom. In the scene where Barba, Benson, and Fin exit the elevator, that’s clearly a solid floor instead of an opening in the floor at the base of the elevator. Seriously now, how much can it cost to put a strip of black tape there to make it look like a real elevator?

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
Raúl Esparza - ADA Rafael Barba

Guest stars
Tamara Tunie – Dr. Melinda Warner
Bill Irwin – Dr. Lindstrom
Jeffrey Tambor – Counselor Lester X. Cohen
Cybill Shepherd - Jolene Castille
Leslie Odom, Jr - Reverend Curtis Scott
Pablo Schreiber – William Lewis
Kevin Carroll - Cory Carter
Sonja Sohn - Lisa Carter
Cindy Katz – Chloe
Allison Mackie – Bethenny
Alice Barrett Mitchell – Aubrey Trisler
Francis Jue - Judge Ong
Joshua Boone – Willie
Albert M. Chan – Lloyd Chang
Gregory Konow – Craig
Patrick Byas – Shawn
Joshua Rivera – Darryl
De’On Ragin – Tyrone
Kal Parekh - Doctor
Moise Morancy – Mehcad Carter
Andrew Rein – Reporter #1
Sope Aluko - Reporter #2
Bill Kocis – Reporter # 3
Rhonda Ayers – Jury Foreperson

At SVU, Benson and Rollins interview separately two victims who have been raped. The victims describe similar circumstances and the attacker – a black man, about 6’, in a hoodie who tells the victims that he knows they want it. After the interviews, Benson and Rollins explain to Munch that both victims describe their attacker with the same characteristics. Rollins believes they have a serial rapist on their hands and wants to get in a sketch artist, but Munch disagrees as they’ve already spent too much on overtime and he wants them both to get some rest.

Afterwards, walking down the street alone, Benson is stopped by a man who calls out “hello gorgeous” and as he reaches for her, he asks her what is the matter, doesn’t she have a smile for him? Benson quickly uses self defense techniques on him and gets the man to the ground, and is readying to punch him but she holds back. The man is stunned, but Benson also seems stunned at her own reaction. She starts to walk away, whispering to herself. She briefly turns and looks back and then quickly walks away.

At a later time in Dr. Lindstrom’s office, Benson says that guys say stuff like that to her all the time, and she went off on him; she’s a NYC cop and can’t go around beating people up. Lindstrom asks if she remembers what they talked about last session, and she recalls that she said she was upset that Lewis got the drop on her and how she should have reached for her gun. But Benson thinks this is different – this wasn’t Lewis. Lindstrom says he hears her first beating herself up for under reacting to Lewis and now overreacting to this guy. Benson feels she can’t get anything right, she’s all over the place. Lindstrom says if a victim said that to Detective Olivia Benson less than three months after an assault, what would Benson say to her? Benson replies she’d say that survivors can experience a wide range of reactions from stress to fear to numbness…Lindstrom adds depression, anger, flashbacks. Benson adds “all of the above.” Lindstrom asks if she has even known someone to take a self defense course or obtain a gun and resolve never to be a victim again. Benson replies of course. Lindstrom says she might see this kind of overreaction to people to be emotionally triggered and Benson might tell her that over time she’ll recognize those triggers and temper her responses. Benson nods and pauses - having flashbacks of her experience with William Lewis = then goes on to ask – then what if she doesn’t believe me? Lindstrom suggest Benson may ask her to forgive herself a little bit, and remember she is going through a process and that healing takes time.

Back at SVU, Rollins pins up the sketch on the board and Fin describes it as useless. Rollins reminds him it is a start and that they are also checking traffic cams. Munch asks for the forensics and Amaro says there is no DNA on the guy as he used a condom and he sounds like a pro. Munch asks if there are any recently released sex offenders, and Rollins explains there are none that match the sketch but they got a hit on the condom lubricant which Fin adds is sold in every bodega in the city. Benson enters and apologizes for being late and when Munch says she is allowed, she tells him please don’t say that. Benson looks at the sketch and also describes it as useless. When Fin tells her that is what he said, Munch comments that you never know, suggesting they give it a shot, alert the media and the neighborhood and catch a break. Rollins gets a phone call and says it is too late.

At St. Michaels’s Hospital, Rollins and Fin question another victim, who describes her attacker as African American in a hoodie who attacked her at her front door, putting a gun against her back, saying “I know you want it.” He got a condom and raped her. She begged him to stop but he just started beating her.

Back at SVU, Benson advises the detectives and officers that they are looking for a serial on the upper west side, all three rapes occurred within a half mile of each other between the hours of 10 and 1. Amaro adds that the suspect is a 6’ black male who wears a hoodie and a cap and follows the women home and pushes his way in. Benson explains the attacker is escalating and is getting more violent. As she and Amaro explain where and how they want coverage, we see officers putting up posters and questioning people in the area. Benson reminds them to do 250s and stop and frisk.

As the detectives are out questioning and frisking various people in the area, a formally dressed woman walks down the street alone and a person in a hoodie seems to follow her. She turns around and asks what he wants, and he does not answer so she turns back and walks away faster. He continues to follow. Soon, Fin and Rollins hear a nearby gunshot and race to the scene. Benson and Amaro drive up in their car and see the woman standing over a body and they order her to drop the gun. She drops it as she states the person was attacking her. Amaro orders her to step back and Benson checks the man laying on the ground and he has a pulse. She calls for a bus as Fin and Rollins arrive at the scene. The woman insists to Amaro that the man was following her and was going to rape her.

Munch arrives at the hospital and Rollins informs him the suspect is Mehcad Carter, 16, and he was shot once in the chest by the victim and is still in surgery and his parents are on the way. Munch asks if he had a gun, and Fin says no, they recovered a cell phone from his pocket. Rollins explains the victim is Jolene Castille, a celebrity chef who explained she shot in self defense. Fin adds Carter showed similar MO to the other vics. Munch sees the parents arrive and says he knows they are worried about their son but to find out what he was doing in that neighborhood. Fin and Rollins speak to the Carters who say Mehcad is a good kid, and they don’t understand why he was shot.