Thursday, October 10, 2013

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.

Cassidy and West arrive where Quinn’s car is parked and Quinn and the rookie are standing outside, leaning against it. Quinn complains it took them long enough, and she tells the rookie to sit and listen to the radio. Cassidy asks what is this, and West tells him easy cowboy as they walk into a building. Inside, there is a party going on with lots of scantily clad women and West welcomes Cassidy to the 12th, a happy ending to Cassidy’s successful first tour. Cassidy dryly says they shouldn’t have, and Lila walks up to him and introduces herself and comes on to him and takes him aside to have some fun. Meanwhile, Benson and Amaro are in the car, listening to Cassidy making sounds of pleasure. Amaro reminds Benson that Cassidy is just working, and she says she knows, as she blankly stares forward.

Afterwards, Lila says goodbye to Cassidy and kisses him, and Cassidy tells West and Quinn it was a nice welcome, it seems he landed in the right place. He asks how much he owes, and West explains it is on the house, they take care of them so they take care of the girls. Quinn adds to call it a quid pro ho.

Back at SVU, Benson is at her desk when Cassidy enters. He runs up to her and says what she thought she heard before…and she stops him and said he was working so they don’t have to talk about it. She walks off, explaining that Tucker is waiting. In Cragen’s office, Amaro comments he knows it is not rape but they admitted to being on the take. Tucker reminds them he was listening all night and says it was dereliction of duty, maybe. Benson counters that West is not going to confess to Cassidy the second he meets him. Cassidy says they leaned on Tanya but Tucker thinks that is subjective. Amaro believes Cassidy has their trust and Cragen adds if he spends more time, they will slip up. Tucker cracks that with all due respect to the unit’s undercover abilities with escorts, they might slip up or, pointing to Cassidy, saying HE might slip up. Either way, if they make Cassidy his whole investigation goes south, saying something shook loose and there are more moving pieces than expected and there Rollins suggests they go through West and Quinn’s incidents and find them. Benson thinks the other vics will be just as drunk and scared. Fin says they need a reliable witness, and suggests IAB set up a honey trap. Rollins adds West likes his women drunk and disorderly and she can do that.

At a later time, West and Cassidy get a call for an assault by a white female who is possibly intoxicated, West says they have this and Cassidy calls in they will handle. Quinn radios she will back up. At the scene, Rollins is playing drunk while Fin is playing the her driver whom she is fighting with, saying that she paid for the night. They get her in the squad car. Benson and Amaro listen as West puts on her seatbelt and Rollins complains she is dizzy. West says he does not know what it is with these women – low self esteem? He says they will do her a favor and drive her home, and as he puts his hand on her leg, saying when they get there they can work something out and see if she deserves to get off for drunk and disorderly. Benson is stunned at what she’s hearing, asking if that is his play. Amaro says he wants this guy.

West gets in the car and tells Cassidy to get her keys in case she falls asleep. He finds her house keys and driver’s license, and Rollins wants out of the car. West says it is not happening and then calls in the drunk and disorderly and where they are taking her. Benson tells Amaro to stay close and radios Cragen that they are on the way.

At the room where Cragen has a team set for surveillance of the room, Fin enters and tells Cragen that Rollins was so good she scared him. He explains that West took in Rollins while Quinn distracted him and told him to stop picking up drunk white women. They see Rollins, Cassidy and West arrive at the building and Cragen comments he does not want Rollins in there any longer than she has to be. They get her to the room and West throws her on the bed, saying she is a slut bag and that he doesn’t do them ugly and is glad he didn’t have to shower her. Cassidy asks what happens if they get a radio call and West says they answer it and can come back and check on her later, they have her keys. West asks for 15 minutes with her and he begins to take off her shoes. Cassidy slowly walks out the door and West’s phone rings, it is a message from Quinn saying 10-13. He says he has to make a phone call, and then tells Cassidy he told them the next one would be his. Cassidy seems reluctant but West explains she likes cops. He steps out to reply to the message but leaves the door open while Cassidy climbs on the bed and onto Rollins.

In the car, Benson wonders why West is making Cassidy go first and Amaro wonders if they are still testing him. Benson says she does not like this. In the hall, West looks at his phone and then knocks on the door, saying they have to go. Cassidy asks now?, he is just getting started. West says he got a call. Cassidy climbs off the bed and tells West she is cute, he likes her. West closes the door and Rollins looks up toward the camera, Cragen and Fin also wondering what just happened.

In the car, Amaro questions if they got a call, and Benson said they would have heard it. She thinks they are on to him.

As Cassidy races down t he stairwell with West, Cassidy comes face to face with Quinn who is holding a gun on him. West slams Cassidy against the wall and also pulls his gun on him. West takes off Cassidy’s badge and see he is wired, and Quinn says there is a report of someone shooting at rats.

Cragen and Fin enter Rollins room and Fin asks if she is alright. She says she is fine. She does not know what happened, it didn’t feel right and it was like West was playing them. Cragen radios to Benson and Amaro asking where is Cassidy, and, as Amaro backs up the car, Benson tells Cragen his wire went dead 45 seconds ago. Amaro adds that West’s car was in front the whole time and no one went by them. Cragen tells Fin to check the back. Meanwhile, Quinn is driving a cab and Cassidy is in the back seat. West orders Cassidy to give him his cell. He hands it to Quinn and tells her she knows what to do. She makes a call on Cassidy’s phone, saying there is a man on her fire escape with a gun at 475 West 21st Street and he is coming back. She tosses the phone out the window. Cassidy asks if they are now commandeering cabs and making 911 calls from his phone, questioning that is their plan?

As Rollins, Cragen, and Fin exit the building, Benson asks where is Cassidy. Cragen says he is gone, Fin adding they found a back door out to 20th St. and also found his badge and wire in the stairwell. Rollins thinks they had a second car. Amaro tells them they got the 911 call with a female voice reporting a suspicious man with a gun on West 21st street. Benson says, “Oh my god” and Fin wonders if they are setting him up . Amaro also wonders if it is a decoy call. Cragen tells Benson and Amaro to track it down and stay on the radio calls and tells Fin and Rollins to get a GPS on Quinn’s patrol car and he will call Tucker.

Back in the car, Cassidy says they have this all wrong but West thinks Cassidy worked with Groves up in the Bronx and Quinn wonders if Cassidy is his avenging angel. Cassidy says Groves is a nut job.

Fin finds Quinn’s car and yanks the rookie out, asking him where is Quinn. He says he does not know as Rollins holds a gun on him. He explains Quinn told him to drop her here and then she got in a cab and said it was personal. Rollins tells him to stop covering for her, and he says he just got out of the Academy 3 weeks ago and he does what she tells him. They hear a call on the radio saying the suspect is fleeing across West Side highway by Marine terminal. Fin asks if that is his sector and he nods yes. A woman radios they are en route. Rollins and Fin race off.

Meanwhile, Cassidy is now out of the car as West and Quinn continue to have guns on him and they push him forward. Quinn asks what Groves told him about them, and Cassidy says nothing but they question that IA put him undercover on a whim. West punches Cassidy and he falls to the ground. West asks what Groves gave him and Cassidy insists nothing. Quinn says this is his chance and screams at him to take it. He says nothing and Quinn says he blew it, radioing in there are shots fired, 10-13, suspect is shooting. She fires her gun toward the water. West radios that he can’t find his backup and there are shots fired and they are not here. Cassidy asks if they are going to shoot him in the head with his own gun? West replies not them, the perp grabbed it and tells Cassidy it is his last time to tell him what Groves told him. Cassidy swears nothing, saying he tuned him out and Quinn and West order him up and tell him to talk or start running. Cassidy is not running and West asks if Quinn wants him to call an officer down or if she wants the honors? Benson calls out, suggesting she call it in for them, and she is standing there with Amaro, their guns drawn. Quinn and West put up their hands and West says they are on the job. Benson says not any more they’re not, and tells them to put the gun down. They do. Fin and Amaro cuff the officers and take them away. Benson asks Cassidy if he is alright, and he breathlessly says yeah.

Back at SVU, Tanya is in the interview room and Benson says they have West and Quinn and she does not need to be afraid any more but she does need to tell them what happened, Tanya asks if Benson will believe her and do something about it, and Benson reassures her and asks if she will trust her. Tanya explains that West seemed nice at first and helped her upstairs and got her cleaned up. She remembers the sound of him opening his zipper and she tried to push him off but he held her down. He came back twice that night and the next day she spoke with Officer Groves who took her to his Lieutenant. That night, West showed up at her apartment angry and said she was a drunk slut and she should be smart and should keep her mouth shut. She knew she could not trust the lieutenant and she thought Officer Groves was on her side. Benson explains that he was.

Rollins and Fin have West in interrogation and he claims he was entrapped and set up and he wants his PBA rep and lawyer. Fin tells him good luck with that, Quinn is giving him up right now. West says she is not.

Meanwhile, Amaro is questioning Quinn, telling her it is all on her, she held the gun on Cassidy and made the 911 calls. She denies it but Benson walks in and Amaro asks if she can believe this, a female officer covers for her partner while he assaults drunk civilians. Benson asks if West has something on her, and if he does, she suggests she tells them because he is in there right now ratting her out. Quinn says he has her back, and Benson asks like she does for him? Benson adds that 5 years riding around in a car together, you get close. asking if they were involved. Quinn says West is married with a kid. Benson says Quinn banged him a few times and is not trying to prove she is cool with him doing other chicks? Quinn says she does not know what she is talking about. Benson asks her hen the last time she had a boyfriend or went on a date, saying Quinn has to be 40 or more and wondering if she will ever have a family and if riding around with him for ten years will be enough. Quinn says he looked out for her, and Amaro asks how, off the record. Quinn explains that her first year she was using coke and got hit with a random drug test, and admits he got her urine and never said another word about it. Benson asks if she thinks this meant he loved her, adding that he held that against her as he knew she felt that way about him and he was using that too. Benson asks what did she think, that he was going to leave his wife and kid for him, whispering “cokehead”. Benson goes on to say Quinn spent the last 5 years sitting in that car hoping that one day he will look over to her and suddenly realize she was the woman he could not live without. Amaro mentions what West told Cassidy, “Girls like Quinny, you thrown them a couple crumbs they are so grateful they’ll do anything.” Quinn insists he did not say that but Benson says he did, and he said worse. Benson adds that “It’s over. It’s not gonna happen. It was never gonna happen. I’m sorry.” Quinn looks stunned as there is a knock on the window. Amaro thinks that is her PBA rep, and then tells Quinn they gave her a chance. As Benson and Amaro move to leave, Quinn says she does not need him, and says just so they know, it wasn’t only West, there were a lot of drunk girls and a lot of long nights. The guys were either into girls or on coke or on the take or all three. She asks for a pad and pen. Benson asks how she knew Cassidy was under cover, and Quinn explains she got a call from her Lieutenant while she was on her tour.

Benson looks to the window and Cragen is there with Cassidy and Tucker, and Tucker says, “Bingo. That’s what I was waiting for.” Cassidy asks how the Lieutenant knew about him working undercover, and Tucker explains that he told him. Cassidy is stunned, and Tucker says the whole house was dirty – kickbacks, extortion. Cragen is upset that Tucker leaked this as Cassidy could have gotten killed. Tucker said he didn’t and it worked, but still it is just Quinn’s word and Groves against the whole precinct but it is a start. Cassidy asks if it would help if there was a paper trail, and he pulls out the box key and says that Groves told him to take whatever was in the box to the New York Times. Tucker asks where is the box, and Cassidy says maybe if he got Groves out of the psych ward, he would tell him. Tucker questions that Cassidy had this the whole time and said he thought Cassidy wanted his shield back. Cassidy explains this is why he is giving it to him now and asks if they are done here. He puts the key in Tucker’s pocket and tells him to get him Groves’ release. He taps Tucker twice on the check and then walks off. Tucker scoffs and tells Cragen to tell his boy he has to tow the line if he wants back in. Cragen says Cassidy might have to, but he doesn’t. Cragen chides Tucker for setting up his people to get killed to make his case, and then tells Tucker to get out of his office. As Tucker walks off, he passes Benson walking into Cragen’s office and tells her nice work. Benson asks Cragen if he just threw Tucker out of his office, saying that is not politic. Cragen replies “Screw him.” He asks what will Tucker do, force him out? He hits mandatory in 6 months anyway. Benson tells him to stop it, but Cragen says he does, and with all this going on, he forgot to tell her that Munch put in his papers. Benson is shocked, and Cragen explains that Mehcad Carter case hit Munch pretty hard. Cragen tells Benson it is OK, nothing changes, except what has to. Benson leaves his office.

Later, Cassidy gets Groves out of the psych ward and assures Groves it is not a trick, he is there to take him home. He explains they got Quinn to turn on West and the Lieutenant and the whole house is coming down and that Groves is a hero.

Back at the apartment, Benson and Cassidy cuddle on the couch and Benson says it was some night. Cassidy adds he is still here – correcting it to we’re still here and Groves is home with his wife. She asks if Tucker is going to keep his word about his shield, and Cassidy does not know. He asks if Benson does believe him, hearing him talk to the escort, and she whispers to him to stop talking, and does anybody ever tell him to just keep his mouth shut? He says, “Everyone. All the time.” They smile and share a kiss and as he strokes her hair, we fade to black.

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dogsrme said...

Even if gift-giving were appropriate from therapist to patient, an $850.00 necklace would be a little much...

Ima Feman said...

First off, I had the same reaction you did to the reason for Munch's retirement. I would've thought the kidnapping and torture of a colleague and friend of 15 years at the hands of one of the worst rapist/murderers they've seen would've influenced his decision to retire far more than the Mehcad Carter case...especially because I don't remember any scenes from last week where we were shown that the Mehcad Carter case was having that kind of impact on him. Maybe I'm remembering wrong, though.

On to the episode. I really enjoyed it. It was a very strong, well written episode that was packed full of good stuff...Fin and Amanda undercover, Cassidy undercover, Bensidy home time, Lt. was all good. Liv getting her necklace back from the therapist was a nice touch. My favorite scene was the short Olivia/Nick scene where he asks about her sessions and then proceeds to tell her that he's there if she wants to talk. It was the first time that someone came even remotely close to bringing up her ordeal and asking her about it. I found myself wishing that the conversation had been longer and that she would take him up on it. I just want to hear her talk about it and I'd love it if she talked to Nick.

Undercover Fin and Rollins were fun, listening to Cassidy with the escort was not even if nothing happened the look on Liv's face was sad. Not sure about the Bensidy thing. This episode was interesting in that the interrogation room scene at the end had Liv pretty much admitting that she was in love with Elliot, the beginning of the episode she referenced abandonment issues to the's like up until very recently she's still been hung up on Elliot and she's been working through the Elliot thing with the therapist. So now she's come to accept it's was never realistically gonna happen and we see that she's all in with Cassidy. I find myself going back and forth on whether Bensidy will last or not. Is she all in because she really loves him? Or is she all in because she realizes she spent so many years putting her life on hold for Elliot and she wants to move on and "have someone to come home to" as she put it. I guess time will tell. I could probably get behind Bensidy eventually, but I'm first and foremost a Liv fan and I'm much more interested in her recovery story than I am Bensidy.

How odd was it to see Nick talking about Cassidy without the usual hint of disdain? Nick is either making a heroic effort to not talk bad about him for Liv's sake or maybe the two bonded a littl during the search for Liv.

I like the new apartment and I enjoyed seeing Liv and Brian just be in it for that short end scene. Did anyone think they were giving us Bensidy through the window because someone was watching them. I kept expecting the camera to pan to someone with binoculars.

Ratings for this episode have been released. Down pretty sharply again. Unfortunately I think last week was not a strong episode - that didn't help. And I also think everyone in the audience knew nothing was going to happen to Cassidy. I wish I could pick Warren Leight's brain and find out if he thinks getting svu back to premiere-like ratings is realistic and if so what he plans to do to make that happen. I still say the key is going back to the premiere drama some how. I'm guessing next week will bump back up. After all, it was promoted as Munch's farewell episode :( and I think people will want to see it. I'm just glad that, though Munch is retiring, it's not the end and we'll still see him.

magix74 said...

I would agree that this was pretty close to a perfect episode. I find it much more engaging when the stories are about the main characters.

I'm not sold on the Bensidy thing either. The only thing I really like about it is it seems that they are more equal. I often felt like the men Olivia were with before had something over her and she never really knew where she stood with them. It doesn't seem to be the case with Cassidy. I am wondering what they are going to do with regards to her perhaps having any intimacy issues after what she has just been through. Everything seems to still be in the honeymoon phase at the moment between them. Although, it doesn't seem like Olivia is overly affectionate with him, except for the last scene on the couch. It is nice to see Olivia happy, but I am still not quite convinced it should be happy families just yet.

BensonFan said...

CHRIS, I agree that giving a patient a necklace is a totally inappropriate gesture.

IMA, I completely agree that Olivia's conversation with Officer Quinn was definitely alluding to how Olivia was in love with Elliot. I'm not on Twitter anymore, but this definitely seems like another Warren Leight dig at fans who hope and pine for Elliot to come back, for Olivia and Elliot to be together romantically, etc.

On that note, I'm sick of fans being rude to Warren Leight & company about Elliot's departure. Mourn for the rest of your lives but quit harassing WL.

At the same time, I find it childish and disappointing that WL continues to let it all get to him. STOP egging on fans who already hate you by rubbing it in their faces that Elliot is never coming back and that there was never a chance of Elliot and Olivia being a romantic couple.

Both sides need to GROW UP!

Jason said...

I'm bad with names. Which one was the Mehcad Carter case? If it was the episodes based on Martin/Zimmmerman, I skipped it (see comment from the post about that episode). I thought it was the one where Benson was kidnapped but it's been 2-3 months since then.

So what's the REAL reason behind the actor leaving the series? His wikipedia article says Munch is the longest lasting TV character who's been on 9 series on 5 different networks. It's a record to be proud of. We haven't seen him much in the last few seasons so I'm willing to suspect it's age. We all have to retire sometime.

Here's hoping Benson will be Cragan's replacement.

Jason said...

I forgot to mention but there's something I don't quite get. Munch is older than Cragen. So why hasn't Munch been forced to retire due to age? Does it mean you can be an old detective but not an old CO? I thought Munch was Cragen's second in command, taking over when Cragen was busy. Didn't he pass some test a few seasons back to make Senior Detective or something.

At least Cassidy is getting a break. Her sister did a real number on her. I wouldn't mind seeing the series shift away from Benson to the other detectives.

BensonBliss said...

Perhaps I am in the minority, but I was actually pretty happy with how the episode turned out.

Regarding the Elliot mention, I am happy that WL finally put this on the table. I feel that this was WL showing that Olivia's therapy is not just about recovering from Lewis's attack, but her therapy is, in a sense, a complete catharsis. If you think about it, the angle makes a lot of sense. Olivia hated going to therapy in the past, and even after the Sealview incident, you could tell that she hadn't necessarily healed from all of her issues. After her encounter with Lewis, Benson was forced to confront her the issues from her attack, as well as her long-term issues. I feel this is Benson's road to a full recovery, not just the partial one we've seen in the past.

Her complete therapy is a first. which complements a series of firsts for Olivia taking place this season. This is the first time she's lived with a man, and this is the longest (requited) relationship she's had with a man that was emotionally available. In order for her to be truly happy in the short and long-term, she'll need to come full circle with all of her issues.

Not sure if WL was taking a dig at fans or just showing how Olivia is evolving, but honestly, fans need to realize that Christopher Meloni is not coming back. And the truth of the matter is that love him or loathe him, Stabler stiffled Benson's growth, and we didn't see her fully evolve as a character. I am personally rooting for Bensidy, and I think it's quite symbolic that she is with Cassidy, after rejecting him all those years ago. but regardless, I would like to see Olivia happy.

Ima Feman said...

Bensonfan - I decided elaboration is overrated so I'll just say that I agree with you about the Elliot issue.

magix74 - I liked the episode, but yeah I have all kinds of issues with the happy couple routine, but it could just be a brief respite from the dark before re-exploring some issues...hopefully. The interesting thing is I remember reading a quote from Dean that said as of episode 5 Liv is still pushing Cassidy away and not opening up to him about what happened with Lewis. Granted I haven't seen episode 5 yet, but we've seen nothing that would indicate that this is canon. Maybe it's coming from scenes that have been cut or maybe there's an indication of this in ep. 5, but having read that and then seeing what we've seen the past few eps, I find it extremely frustrating that apparently there's supposed to be some kind of story there of Liv pushing Brian away and we're just not seeing it at all. And unfortunately I feel like that's kind of happened with some other aspects of the show. For instance, the writers and cast members have talked about how what happened to Liv would be felt throughout the squad, there'd be a lot of guilt, second guessing, etc... This is another one of those things where I feel like it's been in articles, but have we really seen it onscreen? I don't really think so and I want to see it.

Chris Zimmer said...

Jason - the Mehcad Carter case was "American Tragedy" that aired the week before, and it was the Trayvon/Zimmerman/Paul Deen mashup.

Joanne said...

I keep saying this, but Bill Irwin is still creeping me out and the necklace gifting was not helping.

A few weeks ago when it was mentioned in therapy that Benson was reevaluating her relationship, I took that to mean her and Brian were hitting the skids but it looks as though it meant she was taking things more seriously. I like Dean Winters so I like that he's sticking around and I do hope it lasts...I think he is on her level and there is history.

As for the main storyline, I really enjoyed it. Nice and suspenseful, although I found the interrogation scene with Quinn a little overwrought. And I do find myself missing Barba when he's not around!

I would have liked to see Cragen make the reveal about Munch with the whole squad. Not so much for Rollins and Amaro, but Fin has been partners with Munch for years so I would have liked to see some emotion from him. Unless we are to assume he already knows?

Anonymous said...

Psych not pysch

fred astire said...

IA with EVERYTHING BensonFan said.. Took the words out of my mouth.. Great episode. Amanda stole my heart in this ep due to her hilariously drunken girl imitation. The therapist giving Liv the necklace didn't seem at all creepy to me and even if it did, I'm sure Warren wasn't hinting towards an"Olivia has a stalker/obsessed therapist" after her.. I mean look at how vague they've been with Olivia's recovery. In their defense, there has yet to be an episode that doesn't shade light on her ordeal but it always seems sugar coated. Every episode we get an only an inch of her recovery which is leading me to feel that the story is fading away. However, I still have faith because this is only the fourth episode. It's probably hard for the writers to want to show us a lot of Liv's recovery in one episode when (in true tradition) the show focuses mainly on ripped from the headlines stories. I know Warren said we should expect the characters lives to live more into the limelight but it's a big transformation. They should take in the fact that the premiere's (being about Benson) ratings were very high. Looking at the ratings now, they have definitely dropped from the premiere. I believe the ratings will pick back up next week because of Munch's departure from SVU!

Chris Zimmer said...

Thx on the spelling corrrection info. Why my spell check ignored the error is a mystery to me!

Ima Feman said...

fred astire - the last part of your post about the ratings is something I feel like I've been harping on for the last couple of weeks, so needless to say I absolutely agree with you. They do have a very fine line to walk. On the one hand its SVU, so the show needs to feature a case, on the other hand, ratings tell the story and if you look at what the premiere offered that the other episodes have not so far is a huge dose of the case being personal. They obviously can't do something like that to Olivia over and over, but they can put more focus on the aftermath for her and promote it. My honest opinion is that will help their ratings more than anything else, but I realize that is only my opinion and others may disagree.

BensonFan said...

BensonBliss, your comment is very insightful. Being in love with an unavailable man did sometimes inhibit Olivia's growth. But he will always be an important part of her life.
That being said, it is healthy and realistic for Olivia to move on. I'm glad she's finding happiness with Cassidy.
I heard that Olivia's assault and possible rape would affect her the whole season, but it seems like a gradual fading away in true SVU fashion.

It'd be more interesting to me and I think more helpful for ratings if this situation were looked at in depth, if for the first time on SVU we saw not just the few months after the assault when the victim is still reeling, but the long term consequences, the myriad ways an assault affects one's daily existence.

Alex Buckalew said...

This episode was crazy. I love cassidy and I think he should come back to working for the special vicims unit. This show is amazing and always keeps me guessing even til the very end of the episode.

LlamaJ said...

Yes, giving a patient/client a gift is considered inappropriate for a therapist or psychologist. ESPECIALLY something of significant value. That was one of the first things we learned in grad school.

That scene made me a little uncomfortable for that reason.

Jason said...

Thanks, Chris.

In that case I can see that case breaking the camel's back. Munch had a black partner for over a decade and being Jewish has experienced discrimination. On top of that he got shot in the butt once by a white power group. Having a shooter walk free by saying, "I was scared of da black man!!" would be discouraging. For someone who lived through the civil rights era, it was probably the last in a long line of disappointments.

Anonymous said...

So I guess I'm the only person that wanted to punch someone in the face while watching this episode.

I feel like this episode was written by someone who has never known a woman in his life because a few things were a little off.

First of all, if you're in love with your partner, why do you help him rape drunk women? I get desperate to fit in the boy's club but there's a limit of crap that women will take from someone and hanging out in a brothel while everyone gets a happy ending but you...that may take you to that limit. I mean, was she getting a commission? Reason #897 to not snort coke...

Furthermore, I get that Benson is the most understanding girlfriend in the entire universe (Cassidy puts that hideous cattle skull right over the TV set and she doesn't object) , but she couldn't make a quick coffee run while he's with this hooker? I mean, even Cassidy was scared that she was gonna go Dexter on him with that metal pole after listening to that.
That experience has gotta buy her at least 3 more sessions with the therapist...and she gets to burn that cattle head and his T shirts...

And lastly, I'm confused as to how stupid those two cops were. You find out that Cassidy is wired and undercover, so you take off the wire, destroy it, and then try to set him up to be murdered by a perp? Ummm...if he's wired, then that means he has backup who has been listening the whole time. Destroy the wire, and that's the first his backup. Kill him, and you're the prime suspect. I was with Cassidy when he was like "Seriously? This is your plan?" Cabbies have surveillance cameras nowadays and when cops fire their weapons they have to report it right. So yeah fire your weapon into river and when they check your weapon and find it short 3 bullets...

Couldn't suspend disbelief here. I mean, the victim could have gotten a little more headway if she went to a hospital to have a rape kit done...and then it could have been compared to the surveillance video they found..