Thursday, November 21, 2013

Law & Order SVU “Rapist Anonymous” Recap & Review

Law & Order SVU “Rapist Anonymous” was more about a murder than a rape, but it provided an interesting story for Detective Amanda Rollins which triggered her going back to her gambling ways. It seems Rollins, who lately wants to see the best in people, hitches her wagon to the wrong person, who uses Rollins' SVU background to set up a cover story as a victim to be used later in a murder. Rollins also seems to have blinders on when it comes to Nate, a recovering alcoholic who also is a serial philanderer. Rollins faith in herself takes a big hit when her choices in friends and lovers are revealed in open court, adding to her embarrassment. At least she took Nate's earlier advice to “detach with love the one who drags you down.” Whatever she felt for Nate, she realized she had to detach from him. Kelli Giddish gave her best performance on SVU to date, as Rollins ran through a whole range of emotions, including Rollins’ outrage over what she perceived as a betrayal by Amaro. Hopefully the relationship Rollins had with Nate will stop the “Rollins is a lesbian” speculation, but who knows, it may now trigger “Rollins is bi” speculation.

Also thrown into the mix were a few tidbits about the other key players: Cragen has a lady friend and seems happy, Cassidy is back to being a detective but with the despised Internal Affairs Bureau, and Benson will soon be a Sergeant, having passed her test, finishing #48 out of 8,000. These developments could help spawn more detailed stories throughout the season. The only person who seems to be neglected in the back story category is Fin. While Fin was at Benson’s dinner party sitting next to ME Warner - there has been a spark between them in the past -  we don’t know if they were there as a couple or separately. I think fans of Ice-T would like to see as much attention given to Fin’s back story as there has been to Benson’s, Amaro’s, and Rollins’.

I was surprised when Rollins referenced a Benson and Barba relationship in the same manner as she mentioned Benson and Cassidy.  Did Benson and Barba have an intimate relationship that I missed? While we sometimes saw them sharing a drink or a meal together, they simply appeared to be very good friends.  I never read (or wanted to read) any more into that.

When the episode began, there was a disclaimer which said “This program contains graphic language. Viewer discretion advised.” I think I have been watching too many cable drama series (such as Showtime's "Masters of Sex") which has skewed my language tolerance levels,  because I kept waiting for graphic language which never seemed to arrive. I realize that the language standards are set pretty high for network TV,  and the coveted demographic may have sensitive ears, but no words uttered in that episode should shock anyone over the age of 14 these days. I sometimes find myself wondering what Law & Order SVU – or Law & Order for that matter – would look or sound like if it aired on HBO or Showtime.

There were a few great lines in the episode. ME Warner gets the Lennie Briscoe-style line “He came and then he went.” But I think the best line was Rollins catty remark to Benson, “Oh, I don’t have to pay for someone to listen to my problems.” I also enjoyed Fin’s remark to knock the hat off Nate’s head, as I felt the same way.

It seemed everyone had a beverage in their hand at some point during the episode. I am sure fans of Mariska’s green drink were happy to see it make an appearance.

The burning question is why Barba was trying a murder case. Sometimes I get so confused as to the boundaries for the ADAs. Yes, Lena accused Gene of rape, but she was not being prosecuted for rape, she was prosecuted for first degree murder.

Here is the recap:

Mariska Hargitay – Detective (soon to be Sergeant) 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:
Tamara Tunie: Dr. Melinda Warner
Dean Winters – Detective Brian Cassidy
Amy Seimetz - Lena Olson
Nia Vardalos - Minonna Efron
Mel Harris - Eileen Switzer
Geoffrey Cantor - Gene Fierstein
Jennifer Restivo - Melissa Blume
Jenna Stern – Judge Elana Barth
Thomas Sadoski - Nate Davis
Tony White – Luther Henderon
Natasha Murray – Rape Nurse
Mimi Ferraro – Brunette
E.J. An – Jury Forewoman
William Rattazzi - Dealer

There is a dinner party at Benson’s and Cassidy’s apartment, with M.E. Warner, Fin, Captain Cragen and his lady friend Eileen, and Amaro. They are all taking about work issues and Benson suggests that maybe they don’t talk shop. There is a pregnant pause and then Cragen compliments the wine that Eileen brought. Benson raises a glass and they all join in.

Meanwhile, Rollins is at a Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and Lena, an alcoholic, recounts her story and mentions her sponsor when she was at NA was Nate, and he is also here.

Back at the dinner party, Cassidy says he and Benson have a little announcement, and says that as of today, Detective Benson will soon be known as Sergeant Benson, she placed number 48 on her exam. Cragen adds that is out of 8,000, saying that is impressive, and “That’s my girl.” Benson announces that as of today, Cassidy will once again be a detective, and Benson somewhat uncomfortably adds it is with IAB, but that he had to start somewhere. There is a quiet pause and Amaro finally says that is great, congratulations to them both.

Elsewhere, at a bar, Rollins is there with Nate, who owns the place, and Lena and Gene, who were at the NA meeting, are also there. They talk over coffee about Lena’s talk. She says it meant a lot when they all came, and, under the table, she has her hand on Gene’s leg.

Afterwards, Rollins and Nate are walking outside and he thanks her for coming, adding it is not one of her core issues. Rollins says it doesn’t mean she can’t learn. Nate moves in and stands close to her and asks, as her sponsor, if she gambled today, and she hasn’t. Nate adds that he also did not, and he also did not drink. Rollins says she thought they decided after the last time that this was a bad idea. Nate nods and says they did. They kiss…and soon they are in Rollins apartment enjoying some foreplay in her bed. But they are interrupted by her apartment door buzzer. She stops everything to answer the door to find Lena standing there, very upset. Lena says Gene took her home and she thinks he had a few drinks, and he raped her.

Minutes later, Lena is sitting down inside and Rollins asks what happened. Lena explains Gene was buzzing her door and had been drinking, she could smell it. He started kissing her and things heated up fast. He made her take off her clothes and get on all fours and crawl to the bed – he’s kinky and it is a release; he calls his fiancée Missionary Melissa. Rollins questions that Gene is engaged, and Lena tells Rollins not to judge him. Lena asks if it would be okay if she smoked, and Rollins says yeah, and asks Lena to just tell her what happened. Lena explains that Gene threw her on the bed and grabbed her hair; he was so rough and he was hurting her. Rollins asks if Lena said no or stop. Lena replies yes, she begged him but he just kept on. She wonders if that is rape; she let him back into her apartment … Rollins questions “back in” and Lena says Gene walked her home earlier, they had sex and it was a quickie in the doorway. Rollins asks if that was consensual – Lena nods – and Rollins asks that the second time it wasn’t. Lena said no, he forced her, he hurt her. Rollins explains that is rape, honey.

Later, Rollins recounts the story to Nate, who is still in her bedroom. She explains she is taking Lena to the ER, and Nate asks “what, right now?” but then catches his tone and asks if Rollins wants him to go with her. She tells him to stay and sleep, and kisses him goodbye, saying she will bring him breakfast,

Rollins waits in the ER and a nurse comes into the waiting room and tells Rollins that they did the rape exam and the doctors gave Lena a sedative, and Rollins can take “her sister” home now. Rollins looks surprised, and questions the “her sister” comment. The nurse replies that’s what she thought she said, maybe she misheard.

Later, Rollins is back at SVU, and Benson comments to Amaro and Fin that unlike the rest of them, Rollins was actually working last night. Fin asks if Rollins caught a case, and Rollins explains it was someone she met in the program, and asks them not to let her know she said that if she comes in. Rollins explains what happened with Lena, adding that the complicating factor is that Lena had consensual sex with him earlier in the night. Benson notes that doesn’t matter, rape is rape. Fin asks what she knows about the guy, and Rollins replies she met him in the rooms; he’s bookish and works as in in-house lawyer for a baby supply chain.

At the O My Baby Warehouse, Amaro and Fin speak with Gene who states that what happened was totally consensual and it can get a little dramatic. Fin questions if she was mad about his fiancée, and Gene says Melissa can’t know anything about this, he and Lena are trying to detach. Amaro asks if by detached he means having sex at a doorway and coming back for more. Gene says he is stressed, he slipped. Fin asks if that was making her crawl to the bed and then raping her? Gene claims she wanted that, and shows them a text he got from her before he went over.

Meanwhile, Lena is at SVU in a conference room, and Benson, there with Rollins, reads back the text which says “I want you to crawl on all fours, I want to ram you from behind while you beg for mercy” and Lena’s response was “That’s so humiliating, I love it.” Lena claims that is out of context. Rollins asks if Lena and Gene had rough sex before; he likes to play but lately he has been getting more and more demanding and he hasn’t been this violent before. Benson tells her that the problem is, a jury will have a hard time seeing the difference. Lena counters that Rollins said that it doesn’t matter what happened earlier, as long as she said no, he has to stop, and asks if that is right. Benson says absolutely, but this is just a tough case. Benson looks a little flustered and says she’ll run this by the DA, and she leaves the room. After Benson leaves, Rollins asks Lena if she told the nurse she was her sister. Lena replies she may have said she was like a sister to her, asking if that was OK. Rollins does not reply.

As Cragen and ADA Barba observe the questioning, Cragen asks Barba what’s his gut. Barba says they had consensual sex and she said she told him she wanted to be humiliated; it’s a he texted, she texted. Cragen asks him to name an acquaintance rape that isn’t. Benson asks him isn’t he the DA who convicted two Brooklyn men of raping a prostitute after she serviced one of them? Barba counters that those guys were scumbags, this suspect is an educated, middle class, nice Jewish lawyer with glasses, a good job with no record and no history of violence. Rollins is now out of the room, and Barba goes on to say that Lena is a sexually experimental department store sales girl with a drug and alcohol history. He tells Rollins to tell Lena to stay away from him. Rollins questions if that’s it, and Barba replies he can help her with a restraining order and Rollins can get her counseling, but he cannot charge him. After Barba leaves, Rollins comments to Benson and Cragen that Lena is working on her additions so her word is no good? Cragen thinks if he heard Barba correctly, he said he doesn’t have enough to charge Gene now, Gene is under stress and he slipped once, and to see what happens when they up the pressure.

Later, Amaro and Fin meet with Gene and indicate they want to meet with his fiancée Melissa, and Gene says she is working at a refugee camp in Haiti. Gene is resistant but Amaro continues to press, saying they want to find if Lena is part of a pattern. Gene puts it all on Lena, he is clean and sober with Melissa. When Fin asks if Melissa is OK with his side chick, Gene replies he skyped her and explained it all and begged her to forgive him and she said she will give him one more try.

Back at Nate’s place, Rollins and Lena discuss the situation and Rollins outlines the obstacles. Lena says she does not drink, gamble, or have an exciting job like Rollins, she has two vices left, she likes to smoke and have sex. Rollins agrees it is not fair and suggests Lena stay away from Gene and if he tries to contact her to let her know. In the background, Nate gives Rollins a glance and she gets up and meets him at the bar. Nate asks if Lena is OK and Rollins explains Lena has a lot to deal with. Nate says to trust in her higher power, and then suggests he and Rollins get out of there, Rollins looks over at Lena sitting alone, and Nate says Rollins is ignoring him now. She says she is sorry and when Nate suggests her place, she nods and they leave together.

Later, as Rollins and Nate are sleeping, her phone vibrates. She answers it. Soon afterwards, Rollins arrives at a crime scene and Fin is there, who tells her Gene took a header off the roof – of Lena’s apartment building. Rollins looks at his body and says this is not good.

With Rollins and Fin in Lena’s apartment, Lena races to the window and asks if that was what those sirens were for – that he fell off her roof? Rollins questions if she saw or talked Gene tonight, and Lena replies that after Rollins left her at the bar, she wanted a drink so she picked up the phone instead and made a 12 step call. She adds it was a mistake; he was furious and accusing her of ruining his life and she tried to calm him down. Fin asks if he said anything about coming over there or did she ask him to? Lena says no, he said he wanted to make amends and she told him that Rollins told her not to see him. Rollins retorts that she also told him not to call him. Lena says Rollins left with Nate and she didn’t want to bother her. Rollins calmly asks if he called again or come by here, Lena replies with an emphatic no, and when Rollins gets a look on her face, Lena questions that they believe her. Fin explains there is a dead man outside her building and they had a history. Rollins shoots Lena a look.

As Rollins and Fin leave the building, Rollins says to Fin,  "what?"  Fin asks who is Nate. Rollins says he is her sponsor, and Fin asks in AA , he thought she was in GA? Rollins says she is, Nate is a double winner. Fin adds he also heard she is not supposed to have a male sponsor and Lena said Rollins left the bar with him. Rollins explains he owns it, and Fin questions that, seeing that Nate is in AA. Rollins tells Fin she is a big girl, and then walks off.

At the morgue, ME Warner tells Rollins and Fin that Gene died immediately from the impact, and Rollins asks if he fell. Warner says or he jumped, or was pushed. Fin asks that can’t she tell from where the body landed, and Warner replies there is a lot of literature about trajectory, but anyone who swears they can tell is a liar for hire. Rollins questions if he had drugs or alcohol in his system, and Warner says he had a small amount but he wasn’t drunk, and he wasn’t alone on the roof. Rollins wonders how she knows that, and Warner explains his pants were unzipped and there was saliva on his penis and there was a large amount of fresh ejaculate in his urethra. She adds that after sex, most men feel an urge to urinate, which clears the urethra, and Gene did not get the chance, and the amount of fluid is consistent with him having ejaculated very recently. Fin asks for her to explain it in English as Rollins gets a concerned look on her face. Warner replies, “ He came, and then he went.”

Meanwhile, Benson and Amaro have Lena in SVU interrogation, and Lena admits she did talk to Gene one time and they saw that on her phone. She told him to stay away but he showed up at her door and must have slipped in the building when someone left. She talked to him at the doorway for a few minutes trying to reason with him. She did not want him in her apartment and they’ve had sex on the roof. Amaro asks if it was on the ledge, and Lena said he likes that, and he said she owed him. She just thought if she went alone with what he wanted, he would leave her alone ask he usually calms down after sex. She got down on her knees and took care of him and he got violent and pulled her hair and grabbed her and she got scared and she must have just pushed him. Benson asks if this was an accident, and Lena explains she just wanted him to stop hurting her, she was afraid of him. Amaro asks why she didn’t tell Rollins about that, and Lena reminds them that Gene raped her and they didn’t believe her.

Meanwhile, Barba,  Cragen, and Rollins are observing and Barba questions that anything Gene did to her is an assault against nature, but her not telling them that she fellated him with frizzle rocks seconds before he went off the roof is a sin of omission? Rollins gets that she lied and it looks bad but she was afraid of him. Amaro replies this gives her motive to push him off the roof, and asks how well she knows Lena? Fin replies that Rollins knows her from the program and she has been up front about that. Cragen says Lena was the last one to see Gene alive, and she did lie about having sex with him on the roof. Benson says she did accuse him of rape and maybe he is looking for payback. Rollins states they don’t know what happened up there. Barba replies at this point it is circumstantial and to talk to anyone who has seen them together. Benson asks where is Gene’s fiancée, Melissa, and Fin replies that she flying back from Haiti. Benson suggests they meet her at the airport and find out how truthful Gene really was.

Later, Rollins, along with her dog, and Nate walk outside and Rollins asks him what he knows about Gene’s and Lena’s relationship. Nate says he stays clear and he tries not to judge. When Rollins mentions he was cheating on his fiancée, Nate says everyone has their stuff to work on. Rollins asks how he and Lena met, and he reminds her he told her he was her sponsor, and Rollins asks if it is how he is sponsoring her? He says they are program friends and she had a hard life, her father was a drunk who beat her. Rollins asks if she told him that, and Nate explains that and other stuff in confidence, and that’s how program works, what you hear in the room stays in the room. She says she knows, and then asks if he is coming up. Nate says he has to talk to his sponsor. She says OK and he walks off.

Back at SVU, Amaro asks where is Rollins, and Fin says Cragen sent her home and then cut out. Amaro thinks Lena is working the program but also working Rollins; it turns out she and Rollins have the same sponsor, Nate. Fin says that is on Rollins, and Amaro asks if she ever mentioned Nate to her. Gene’s fiancée Melissa approaches them and asks if they are the ones investigating his murder. Fin asks who told them he was murdered, and she explains that Gene did, he left her a message.

In the interview room, with Benson, Barba, and Fin, Melissa plays back a voice mail from Gene where he says he is afraid of what Lena might do so he is going to try and talk some sense into her and if anything happens to her to call the police. He left the message for her at 10PM, they had spoken 2 minutes earlier and he said she was going over there as Lena threatened Gene and her. He said she was stalking him and when he tried to end it, he accused him of rape. She asks when are they going to arrest her? Amaro enters the room and asks Barba for a minute. Barba excuses himself.

In the squad room, Lena’s super Mr. Henderson is there and Amaro tells Barba that Henderson told him how Lena asked him how to disable the roof alarm. Henderson explains that a few days before Gene died, Lena said she wanted to smoke and he did not believe her as her and the dead guy set off the alarm two other times when they were having sex. The night Gene went off the roof, the battery was out of the alarm and it had been in that afternoon.

Later, Benson and Amaro go to Lena’s apartment to arrest her and Rollins is there and she asks them what is going on. As Amaro cuffs Lena, she asks Rollins to tell them she is innocent. Rollins asks if there is somebody she can call. Lena said he raped her and tried to kill her, and don’t let them do this to her. As Amaro takes Lena away, Benson gives Rollins a very serious look. Rollins looks stunned.

At a later date in Barba’s office, Rollins explains that Lena called her and she went over to talk as a friend, not about the investigation. Lena made no admissions. Barba asks if Lena’s former AA sponsor is now Rollins GA sponsor, and Rollins replies why? Barba gives her an eye rolling glare, and Rollins says sorry, that was stupid. Barba questions if anyone else knew the nature of Lena and gene’s relationship, and Rollins says she is not sure, she does not know her that well. Barba comments that Lena knew her enough to disclose that Gene had raped her, and Rollins says she knew she was an SVU detective, When Barba asks if Rollins told her that, Rollins pauses, clears her throat, and thinks it must have come up at a meeting. Rollins adds – just to confirm – that what people share at those meetings is privileged, right? Barba informs her that ethically yes, but legally, no, so if there is anything someone shared that speaks to this case, now would be the time to tell him. Rollins quickly says no, nothing, but she does know that Lena has been through a lot. Barba finishes his notes and thanks her, with a strange look on his face. Rollins questions if he is going to ask her to testify, and Barba, with a slight smile, says “not a chance.”

At Supreme Court, Barba questions Benson, who is on the stand,  about Lena’s lies, and Benson says victims often lie about a certain aspect of the assault because of embarrassment, to hide something from a spouse, or sometimes to allege rape and a pattern of abuse. Lena’s attorney Minonna Efron digs further into this and Benson must admit that a person could be afraid of a rapist’s reprisal or further abuse. When asked if Lena ever said she was afraid of Gene, Benson pauses but the judge orders her to answer the question. Benson admits yes, she did.

Back at SVU, Fin checks on Rollins, who says she has been better. Benson enters and comments that Rollins got her friend a good lawyer, and Rollins replies that Efron wanted this case. There is a pregnant pause and Rollins sighs, telling Fin and Benson she knows they think she is not seeing this clearly, but tells Benson this is classic PTSD and Gene asked Lena to do things his fiancée would not do. Benson tells Rollins she knows she is worried about her friend, but maybe Rollins should put the focus on herself right now. Rollins says yeah, right, and walks off while Fin gives a concerned look to Benson.

At the AA meeting, Nate talks about being sober 10 years, and as he talks about trusting in his higher power, we see Amaro has joined the group and sees the look that Nate gives a young woman who is there. After the session, he asks Nate to talk to him about finding a sponsor but Nate seems interested in the woman he eyeballed earlier while he was speaking. When she asks if Nate needs to talk with Amaro, Nate tells Amaro he has a lot on his plate right now but Amaro should keep coming back. As Nate walks off with the woman, Amaro says to himself that he will do that.

At Rollin’s apartment, Nate is there laying in her bed and she apologizes for not making the meeting, she went to GA. He tells her he gets it, she was missed. She asks how it came up with Lena that she worked at SVU, and Nate doesn’t know, asking if Lena will have to testify. Rollins thinks that she might have to, the way things are going, and the defense is calling her tomorrow and she is anxious about it. Nate says one thing to remember is to detach with love, the one who drags you down.
The next day in Supreme Court, Melissa testifies that Gene told her that evening that Lena had threatened them both. Gene had struggled with alcohol and sex addictions and was doing everything he could to extract himself from a relationship with someone who was more emotionally damaged that he realized. Melissa adds that Lena sent her texts saying Gene was hers and an explicit video of them in bed, he was trying to break them up. When that didn’t work, she cried rape and when no one believed her, she got him on the roof and threw him off. Efron objects and the judge sustains it, strikes the comment from the record and warns Barba to mind his witness. Barba gives a half hearted apology. Efron questions Melissa about Gene marrying her, but brings out that no date was set or booked a venue, and that Gene kept seeing Lena. Efron asked if the night Gene called her, was he giving himself a cover as to why he was in that building. When Melissa states Gene was in fear, Efron brings up the fact that Lena was half his size and he went with Lena to the roof to have oral sex on the ledge of a six story building. Melissa says that is now what happened, but Efron brings up Gene’s wild side of drinking and kinky, risky sex and asks if Melissa every participated in any of it, and Melissa emphatically says no. Efron thinks Melissa only knew one side of Gene, and Melissa admits yes.

Meanwhile, back at SVU, Amaro and Rollins walk into the break room and Rollins slams the door and rips into Amaro for going undercover to the AA meeting. Amaro says she does not know this guy. Rollins says he was spying on her life. When Amaro tells her to calm down, she says, “Calm down, really? Does that work with Maria?” Amaro says he went out with some of the other guys from the group who said Nate preys on women new to the program and they call him a 13th stepper. Rollins shouts that she knows what a 13th stepper is and that is not him. Amaro asks if one of the other 12 steps it to sleep with your sponsee? Getting right in Amaro’s face, Rollins tells him his problem is that Maria left him alone and he can’t stand to see anybody else happy. She storms out the door and Amaro says she does not seem happy to him. She turns back and gives him a huge, fake smile. She then says she does not want to take his inventory but he is jealous of Olivia and Brian and Olivia and Barba, and even Cragen. He is so addicted to his own misery that she would recommend help but they don’t have a 12 step program for self pity. Fin has walked in and tells them both stop. The whole squad room can hear them. She turns to Amaro and says he is not her father and then turns to Fin and says neither is he. She walks out and slams the door, leaving Fin and Amaro there staring at each other.

Back in Supreme Court Rollins is on the stand for the defense saying based on her experience as an SVU detective, she found Lena's disclosure credible. When Lena found the DA would not prosecute, Lena was afraid Gene would come after her. Rollins advised her to stay away from him. Efron states it is not easy to break ranks with the DA and appreciates her willingness to speak truth to power. Barba brings up the texts that Lena did not tell them about after the rape, and he asks her to read Gene’s text. She does, somewhat uncomfortably. Barba said that was how she described the assault, and Rollins says yes. But then he has he read Lena’s response, which said “That’s so humiliating, I love it.” Rollins admits Lena did not tell them about the texts as she was afraid she would not be believed. Barba brings up the night of Gene’s death when Lena said she did not know Gene was in her building that she neglected saying she performed oral sex on her rooftop shortly before he fell, asking if she was also afraid she would not be believed, Efron objects and Barba withdraws the question and ends his questioning with a pointed look to Rollins.

Afterwards, at Nate’s bar over coffee, he tells Rollins she seems shaky and asks if she needs a meeting. She says no, she hoped that Nate was going to be there when she testified. He says me too, but Lena’s lawyer told him he couldn’t since he also has to testify. Rollins looks stunned and Nate asks didn’t he tell her that? She says no, and he replies he thought he did. She says no again, and he says it’s no big deal, he’ll just let go and let god.

In Supreme Court, Lena is on the stand talking about having an abusive father and Gene’s behavior and how Gene called her his three-holed wonder – he like to penetrate her orally, vaginally, and anally. She did not want that, she thought he wanted it. The texts were what she knew Gene wanted her to say, she was afraid of him. Efron asks why Lena continued to see Gene and invite him over, and Lena said she did not think she could do any better and thought if she could make him happy he would change and be nice to her. Barba questions her about the consensual sex and inviting him back for more and then accusing him of rape. She says it was rape but they wouldn’t charge him. Barba reminds her she was upset about that, and when she says of course she was, Barba asks if she was upset about the rape or that Gene’s fiancée wouldn’t break up him. Efron objects but Barba counters that it has been established that Lena sent texts to Gene’s fiancée stating “he’s mine” and the judge allows it. Lena said she was angry that he raped her but Barba reminds her she invited him back the next night for oral sex on the rooftop ledge. Lena states that was Gene’s idea, he was a thrill junkie. Barba questions that while he was in a vulnerable position right after he had an orgasm that Gene attacked her? Lena states he was pulling at her and grabbing her hair, Barba asks if Gene was trying to keep from being pushed over? Lena says no, and then yes, then says to stop yelling it affects her memory, her dad would yell. Barba quietly says he is not yelling now, then comments he would like to know why she lied to the police so many times. Lena looks to Efron, who nods, and Lena gives no reply. Barba asks if accusing Gene of rape was part of her plan of she killed him she could claim self defense? As Rollins, who is sitting in the gallery, stares ahead, Efron objects, accusing Barba of traumatizing Lena. The judge tells her to save it for their summations and adjourns.

Amaro waits in the courthouse hallway and stops Barba as he exits. Amaro compliments him on a nice job, but Barba said it is tricky, if you push too hard you risk playing to her victim status, if you go to easy…Amaro asks if the defense is calling anyone else, and Barba says her sponsor, adding that she will lay the groundwork to confirm Lena was afraid of Gene. Amaro asks that when Nate is on the stand, even if he is her sponsor, everything is fair game? Barba asks if there is something he wants to tell him about.

Back at SVU, Benson comments that Brian is making dinner - clam sauce – so she will see them tomorrow if she survives. Rollins says she is pulling a double tonight so she can be there when Nate testifies . Benson wishes her good luck, but Amaro tells Rollins she does not want to do that. Rollins snaps, asking if she forgot to ask his permission. Amaro throws up his hands and walks away. As Rollins moves to make a phone call, Benson walks over and says she thinks Amaro is just trying to look out for her. Rollins replies he has a funny way of showing it. Benson explains that she has been where Rollins is and certain victims push buttons and you can get caught up and lose perspective. Rollins slams down the phone receiver and states this is not about her sister. Benson reminds her she went through a lot with her and asks if she has talked to anyone about it. Rollins, with a fake smile, says yeah, in meetings. Benson adds that she meant a therapist, and Rollins says “Oh, I don’t have to pay for someone to listen to my problems.” She gets up and storms off, leaving a stunned Benson there, who whispers “wow.”

At Supreme Court, with Gene on the stand for the defense, he testifies about Gene hurting Lena emotionally and Nate asked her to leave before Gene hurt her physically. Barba questions if Nate is a therapist, and he says no, but he has 10 years sobriety in AA in GA and when he says he shared his experience with drinking with Lena, Barba asks if he shared anything else with her. Nate is shocked, and Barba asks if he was ever sexually involved with her, as Rollins looks on with interest. Efron objects but the judge allows it. Nate admits he was, until about a week ago. Rollins gets a look of realization as Efron gives a concerned glace toward Lena. Barba asks if Nate is also sponsoring detective Rollins, and when he says yes, Barba asks if Nate is also sexually involved with her. Nate replies yes. He admits Rollins did not know about him and Lena and is not proud of his behavior. He also states Lena was aware of his relationship with Rollins and that he may have shared that Rollins was an SVU detective. Barba asks if he also shared that Rollin’s sister was a domestic violence victim, and Nate replies he wanted Lena to know that she was not alone. Barba states that while Nate was 13 stepping Rollins, he confided in Lena that he was seeing an SVU detective who might be sympathetic to her. Nate says yes, and Barba adds that shortly thereafter, Lena suggested that Nate invite Rollins to an AA meeting. Nate says she did, and Barba goes on to say later that night, Lena told Rollins she had been raped. Efron objects that this is hearsay, but Barba counters that Nate was in Rollins’ apartment at that time, to which Nate says yes. The judge allows the question. Barba asks if after the DA decided not to charge Gene with rape, did Lena ask him if Rollins was still sympathetic to her, and Nate says yes. Barba concludes that either Nate was conspiring with Lena to establish a pattern abusive behavior that would justify Gene’s murder – Rollins is leaning forward in her chair – or, Lena was playing him. Nate states he was not conspiring, so Barba says he was being played and Lena used him to play Rollins. Nate says he didn’t know that is what she was intending to do, he swears, he tries not to dwell on the could haves/should haves. Rollins leaps up from her seat and leave the courtroom.

As Rollins waits for the elevator, Nate approaches her and says he knows she is upset. She looks at him and sarcastically says she always knew he was a smart guy. He asks if she can sit down and talk about this, and Rollins quickly says no, and Nate says she is done with him, he gets that. He adds he did believe in them and he still believes in her, and it is progress, not perfection. She gets a look of near disgust on her face and he asks her to tell him she is not going to give up on the program. Rollins gives a heavy sigh and Nate walks off. Barba approaches her and says he is sorry, he had to do it. Rollins explains she is not angry at him. She presses the elevator button again and Barba turns to walk away.

Later, in Supreme Court, Lena is found guilty of murder in the first degree.

Afterwards, in Cragen’s office, Rollins tells Cragen and Fin that she thought she would feel better when Lena was convicted. Fin explains that she had a blind spot, they all do. Cragen tells Rollins she is still pretty new to program and those relationships get intimate quickly and there is no one on the force – himself included – that hasn’t made a mistake. She nods, then asks if he is still happy he brought her up from Atlanta. There is a knock on the door and it is Eileen, and Cragen invites her in and introduces her to Rollins, saying she is one of her best. Cragen and Eileen exit and Fin asks if she is OK and asks if she wants him to knock that little hat off Nate’s head. She laughs. He asks if she wants a beer, and she asks for a rain check, she needs a meeting right now. She tells him goodnight and leaves.

But Rollins does not go to a meeting, instead she is gambling, telling the dealer to “Hit me” giving her 13, then says “hit me” again, giving her 16, and then “hit me” again as we fade to black.

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gangstila said...

1)Giddish was outstanding once again! I loved this episode for that reason. It gave her one more chance to showcase her amazing talent and prove to the fans that she has earned her spot in such a hit drama such as svu

2)About Amanda now, i am still trying to process the hit Amanda's self-estim took and the whole thing triggered her big time. I hate to see her relapse and i feel like Warren should try not to cause irreparable damage to her career. I wish she realizes her mistake and tries to fix it before it consumes her.

3)We NEED to get more info about her childhood cuz it is something that shaped Amanda in being and acting this way. Her sister was not the only thorn in her heart it seems.

4)About my finanda ship, i need to remain positive and believe that Amanda is done with the crappy men and may seek for someone who knows and cares about her ... fingers crossed!

Overall i am always thrilled to see my baby Kelli shine!!

Vim said...

1) Kelly Giddish was really outstanding - her act was one of the best i've ever seen:)
2) Rollins in this episode has done practically everything what was possible to offend and atack other detectives who was just trying to help her. Her remarks against Amoro about jealousy was especially remarkable, when (at least to me) she lookedjealous about Cragen happy relationship - in other word she was jealous one not Amoro.
3.It is just me or Fin get fewer and fewer roles in episode?

PS."She walks out and slams the door, leaving Fin and Rollins there staring at each other."
I think that you mean Amaro and Fin:)
"Barba asks if Nate is also sponsoring detective Rollins, and when he says yes, Barba asks if Nate is also sexually involved with her. Nate replies yes. He admits Rollins did not know about him and Lena and is not proof of his behavior." Proud:)
PSS Sorry my bad English

Chris Zimmer said...

Vim - thanks for the corrections, I've made the fixes!

IsaBelle Freeman said...

It is absolutely AWESOME to see NBC and Law & Order SVU have the courage to do a show centered on 13th stepping in AA, NA and other 12 step programs.

It is a HUGE problem for which a powerful documentary is now in development called The 13th Step: THE FILM.


Bravo NBC!

I hope that more networks have the courage to take this issue on honestly instead of continue to spread "program approved" propaganda!

Cary C said...

Not only was this episode outstanding dramatically, but also in the fact that the censors let a full view of Kelli's breast and nipple be broadcast! This was in the scene in bed with Nate, when she reached over him to answer her phone. Quite a surprise for network TV!

CLA said...

@ Cary C

Very interesting. I have not seen this episode. If NBC and resolve SVU one day show the breast and nipple Mariska Hargitay, will be many deaths from heart attack. Ever think those breasts La Jayne Mansfield being shown? LOL LOL LOL.

OhSusannah said...

I liked this Rollins-centric episode very much.Kelli Giddish's acting is always top-notch to me. I loved her in that short-lived series Chase, may even buy it on dvd when I see it.
I don't really like Amanda's self-destructive character,however. Gambling, smoking, drinking- where will it all end?Could an NYP detective in an elite squad like SVU retain her job with all these things going on?Realistically, I'm not sure.
I was puzzled who Cragen's date Eileen was, with no introduction or back story of how they even met to satisfy my curiosity. I suspect he'll simply disappear soon, perhaps remarrying in his retirement. We all know Liv is being groomed as squad Sargeant, a title she richly deserves after 15 years. I too caught the snide comment Amanda made to Liv about not having to pay to have somebody listen to her talk about her problems. That seemed like a really mean-spirited dig at everything Liv has gone through at the hands of William Lewis. Amanda is no doubt stresses about the murder case and her involvement with the suspect, however.I also suspect there is professional jealousy between Liv and Amanda: Liv is older ,a senior detective and makes more money than junior detective Rollins.Also, everyone in the squad room knows of Rollins gambling problems, down to what she owes thanks to Tucker at IAB. I think Rollins resents everyone else on the staff for knowing her secrets.It should open a whole can of worms when Cassidy actually begins work at IAB.I noticed at the dinner party, Cassidy and Nick seem to have buried their hatchet,as well.
The graphic language content warning was new I think. I suspect it was over the term "three hole wonder" that Lena made in the courtroom . I know SVU likes to be very cutting edge but that description, while apt, was difficult to hear. Cannot believe NBC is making us wait 7 weeks for another new SVU in 2014. What even?lol

Petra S said...

I think Eileen is probably the jam-lady. It was a cut scene from last weeks ep that they released online.

On to this ep. Oh man oh man. Trainwreck in progress and we all saw it. I felt so bad, and sad, for Rollins. She did cross lines with almost everyone (think Barba was the only one she didn't full out tried to push away, and Cragen of course, that last scene in his office when she was looking for his approval, ahhh. Someone say daddy-issues?!)
Happy Fin seems to be able to handle her though. It was so obvious she was trying to push them away. I do think Olivia saw through her at that low dig but Liv is too busy with her own shit I think she will not be a shoulder for Amanda when she will need it. And she will need it for sure at some point.

That ending though. Oh no. It seemed sorta schizo but I still loved it. A drink, a zig, hit at 16. Lost for sure. As the Finanda shipper I am I'm hoping Fin will be the one to drag her out of this mess she's put herself in. I do like how Rollins never seems to see herself as a victim, she's always trying so hard to stay out of that victim role. I admire her for it but I also want to slap her for it.

The case itself was kinda blah. But it was fun to see Barba in court and Nia & her awful outfits are always a treat.

Too bad we have to wait until 2014 for a new ep. There's so many questions going around my head and then with Amaro's 180 coming up and Liv & a potential trial it's just hard to see how the squad will be able to repair itself. I do have hope in Warren, Julie, Kevin & the rest though.

When I, this morning (for me), read all the forums/tmblr/twitter and the fandom hate against Rollins I got worried but after have seen the ep... not so much. I get why she acted the way she did, find it sad but I get it. That last courtroom scene was painful to watch, Kelli knocked it out of the park. And then at the elevator. Amazing. Got more to say but rant over for now ;)

magix74 said...

I'm not sure how I felt about this episode. The conversation they were having at the dinner party seemed really inappropriate. The original promo for this episode did insinuate a little that there could have been something between Rollins and the woman which lead a lot of people to question Rollins sexuality. I don't really care whether she is gay or straight but when I first saw the preview I was a little excited at the possibility that there could have been something in it. Anyway, there wasn't and that was shown in other previews and I moved on. What I didn't like in this episode was the opening scene at the dinner party when they were all laughing about the 'lesbian and transgendered person'. It just seemed really disrespectful to me. I don't know if anyone else noticed it.

Other than that it was an interesting episode.

Laurie Fanat said...

This episode was...okay. Just okay. Too soap-opera-ish for my tastes. At the dinner party, everybody was stuff and uncomfortable. Benson asking them not to talk shop put a damper on everything considering they all worked together with the exception of Eileen. It could be that Benson did that to make her feel at ease but it had an effect of throwing cold water on everyone.

I've heard about people who are 13 steppers and it surprises me that Rollins, a detective, was oblivious to 13 steppers.

Can anyone answer why Barba was trying a murder case? Not that I mind seeing Raul, he's the bets thing on the show.

I liked Tom Sadoski in this episode. Such a shame they made him a creep and a douche, I would have liked to see more of him. Rollins should have wondered about him right away because he was too quick to dish the dirt on other people.

HuffPo wrote an article about the "he came and he went" line as being the best SVU line ever. I could not DISAGREE more. Go back to the first few SVU seasons and there are tons more lines that are better, especially some delivered by Munch. Lately the humor on SVU feels forced. The writing is average, at best.

think.exist. said...

I enjoyed this episode... Even with her previous backstory, Rollins still seemed boring to me. But this one brought her to life and made her more interesting. Having been in AA myself for almost 2 years, I found the references to the sayings really funny... Especially the 13th stepping. I also liked the Jodi Arias references. I love how they do that.

Anonymous said...

I agree Kelli was great, but your review lost me with your homophobic comments. If people want to speculate that Rollins is bi or lesbian, why are you so offended by it.

Chris Zimmer said...

celticshocker - I am baffled at your comment and I think you are being overly sensitive and reading WAY too much into my words. All I said was I hope that it stops the speculation that she is a lesbian. I really think that kind of speculation is silly and a waste of time. Some fans were downright obsessed with it, even to the point of sending me emails asking if I had the "inside scoop" on Rollins' sexuality. Some people spend too much time worrying about how other people have sex. I have better things on which to spend my time.

In no way did I say I had a problem with ANYBODY being gay or a lesbian. All I said is I hope it ended the speculation. It's tiresome.

Maybe you should point your frustration towards the writers, after all, they're the ones who closed the book on that issue, no?

Anonymous said...

You gotta pay attention to the subtle things. Liv didn't throw cold water on the conversation at her party. Cragen's girlfriend was disgusted and trying really hard to put on a happy face. Cragen noticed her disgust and looked to Liv for help which is why she killed the conversation.

Secondly, there wasn't much of a Fin/Amanda thing. Rollins looks up to Fin and I think he's okay playing the "big brother" role for her which is why he asks at the end of the episode if he wanted him to take care of it to make it better.

The only thing I see coming is a Fin/Warner thing. She was awfully flirty with him last season during the christmas episode.

Rollins may have been acting like a stubborn teenager in not wanting to listen to anybody's advice when it came to this creepy friend of hers, but then again, they've painted this picture of Rollins as the one who is constantly working. She calls people in after hours, on a sunday, etc. So the relationship is her one indulgence. They also mentioned Rollin's childhood. She came from an abusive household until she finally had enough and threatened her mother's boyfriend with a shotgun. I forgot which episode that was, but I think her sister may have mentioned it.

I just think that if they want to phase out Benson as the female lead, they have to really start fleshing out Rollins' character more. The occasional Rollins-centric episode isn't going to allow anybody to really connect with her. The same with Amaro.

Also, I'd like to point out that I was right: Rollins didn't show up to Liv's housewarming party.

Laurie Fanat said...

jaecollins27, I did see what Cragen did. Whether Cragen signaled Benson is not material. My point was even though Benson may have asked them not to talk shop for Eileen's benefit and at Cragen;s prodding, it still threw cold water on the group. Everybody looked uncomfortable. Cragen probably should have been the one to either warn Eileen that work issues would be discussed or he should have just steered the conversation himself?

Anonymous said...

Laurie, I got you, but the group seemed uncomfortable no matter what was being discussed. "Hey guess what Olivia passed the sergeant's exam so she is now going to be your boss….and Cassidy got his shield back but works for IAB which means he is going to be the center of the next season finale cliffhanger when he investigates Rollins' gambling problem. "

Sara Kürz said...

This episode was just thrilling i cannot describe in words how excited i was and still am. Kelli did a fantastic job, i think that that was her best acting on the show.
Too rollins:I feel really bad for her all these things that happened to her in a short are not easy for anyone. But im also feel worroed about her character cause cragen said one time in the 13th season if she gambled again he have to take her shield. I dont want that she is my absolut favorite svu detective. She is the main why i honestly watch svu.
And it would be great if she have a relationship with amoro. No, im not joking they had a really bad argument and they are both single. They cant go on like before or unless make rollins apologize for amoro for what she said cause it seemed like he was a bit hurt pr upset.
Ps. sorry for my english:)

Sylvie Trans said...

Was it just me or did it seem like Olivia talked from experience when she testified in court , saying "victims sometimes lie about certain aspects of an assault because of embarrassment or to hide something from a spouse" It seemed like she talked about herself.
Perhaps she talked about her lying about beating Lewis half to death.
But I suspect she is withholding something about what Lewis did to her. For example, I am sure he taunted her sexually when raping that woman in front of her, and I am SURE he did stuff to humiliate her when he took her to the bathroom. Maybe she is hiding some of that? Because she doesn't want Brian to know that the beast touched her?

Avi Reiss said...

Sylvie Trans I feel that they left out details of Olivias assault on purpose to bring back later in the season to keep people interested

Sylvie Trans said...

I really hope you are right Avi Reiss, but unfortunately I doubt it. Although, judging from what Warren has said in countless interviews we should get some more info about what happened.

Petra S said...

There's going to be a trial so of course we'll learn more. After the trial though I hope they'll wrap this up. Of course Liv will struggle with it for a bit but I hope they don't put too much focus on her. I want the rest of the squad to get their share of screen time.

Man I can't tell you how many times now I've watched that scene when Amanda gives Liv that low blow about the therapy. I cringe and giggle, it just makes me so uncomfortable. I both hate it and love it. Really weird. It's not often anyone stands up to Liv so I think that's part of why I like it even if it is mean and also cause I get why Amanda says it, she's so clearly trying to push everyone away. And I still think Liv sees through her. That 'wow' is so clearly aimed at how low Amanda will sink just to push people away.
Gah I can't stand the hiatus, in my mind Amanda will be off gambling the entire Christmas ;)

Jack said...

I've been an SVU fan since the very first episode. It's had its ups and downs in the last few years, but since Leight took over, it's gotten more interesting than it was before he appeared...until this episode. I'm hoping that Leight and Julie Martin are not in AA so that I can write off this putrid representation of 12-step programs to their sheer stupidity and lack of good research. However, if they actually are in AA, then this endless parade of clichés and violations against the AA concept of "singleness of purpose" is a gutless betrayal on their part. This episode made a mockery of the program and was extremely destructive.

Laura Jenkins said...

Does anyone remember in one of the early Rollins eps when she told Olivia that something happened back in Atlanta and that's why she had to move and it certainly sounded like it was some sort of abuse or attack. When are we going to find out about this I literally watch every episode waiting for the moment!?

Sylvie Trans said...

I agree! I've been thinking about that ever since too... It seems like the writers forgot about that! In one episode she plays pool with her old captain, and he said something to her about someone up in Atlanta that crossed the line with her...
Moments after he himself crossed the line with her when trying to kiss her. Perhaps the men I. The south have a different view of women? It doesn't not seem like they respected her all that much...

But now allot goes on with Amanda.

-Her sister is a complete nutcase who dragged her into a murder case and almost ruined her life and career
-She is a gambler, which almost ruined her life and career
-she was assaulted by some sharks because she were in debt and that almost ruined her life and career.
-she supposedly were sexually assaulted by someone she worked with,that forced her to transfer so it didn't ruin her life and career...
- She dates a guy from the program who takes advantage of her and it results in her almost being dragged in to a murder case..And results in her gambling again - and we have yet to see if that will ruin her life and career..

It's been more drama with her in just two years, than it's been with any of the detectives the last 15 years ;-)

EchoInTheSilence said...

I, for one, was extremely disappointed. They made it sound like something big would be revealed about Rollins and then nothing was. Not just nothing big, literally nothing we didn't already know. Not to mention, the episode just didn't hold my interest. Agree about Warner's one line, but that's the only thing about this episode I found memorable. And I generally like character development episodes!

Petra S said...

I'm with you Laura & Sylvie - the writers really dropped the ball on that assault (Rollins'). She mentioned a deputy chief so it's higher rank and it would've been perfect to use in some inside the force sex scandal or something. Or at least something Rollins could've bonded with Liv about I guess. Perhaps if she (Rollins) finally do pay someone to listen to her problems they will find that the gambling escalated when she got to NY cause she didn't deal with the assault properly. It's a possible scenario in my opinion at least.

Petra S said...

I'm with you Laura & Sylvie - the writers really dropped the ball on that assault (Rollins'). She mentioned a deputy chief so it's higher rank and it would've been perfect to use in some inside the force sex scandal or something. Or at least something Rollins could've bonded with Liv about I guess. Perhaps if she (Rollins) finally do pay someone to listen to her problems they will find that the gambling escalated when she got to NY cause she didn't deal with the assault properly. It's a possible scenario in my opinion at least.

Nancy R said...

In the scene with Amaro, the super and Barba it should read that the dead guy (not the day guy) had sex on the roof with Lena. I wasn't sure but rewatched the scene with captions because the day guy just didn't make sense.

Chris Zimmer said...

Thanks Nancy, I fixed it!

Laura Jenkins said...

I know Petra, I am literally sat waiting for Liv/Rollins to have some sort of bonding session. Maybe after this latest gambling relapse Liv might push her to disclose the real issues. I'm sure Olivia won't be happy with the explanation that she went back to gambling just because of some sleezy cheater. Come on, tell us more about what happened to Rollins!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

When Rollins was confronting Nick about his jealousy, I was wondering why she mentioned Olivia and Barba. I can't find any episode hinting at an affair between the two. When Olivia was being sworn in as sergeant, Fin made a comment that Cassidy didn't show up because he claimed he had undercover work. Fin didn't believe him, and I'm wondering if their will be a split between Cassidy and Benson.

beverley Henderson said...

There something about Barba and Benson have between relationship with ADA Barba have feelings for benson