Thursday, April 3, 2014
Law & Order SVU “Downloaded Child” Recap & Review
As I watched Law & Order SVU “Downloaded Child” I had an odd feeling. Something was wrong with this episode but I could not put my finger on it. Afterwards, I did a quick walk through of all the activity in this episode, and I think my issue is that it all felt way too easy. Some days moved too fast and were filled with more activity than was realistic. We had a fixed timeline for a while and then lost the dates; we know how long it took from when we first saw Jenny to the first time she appeared in court (10 days) but the timeline disappears from that point on. Not only do we not know how long it took Jenny to get word of her $4 million judgment, but we also have no idea how many days transpired from Benson and Cassidy realizing their relationship is troubled to when Cassidy tells Benson that he loves her. Strangely, the latter bugged me the most. We know it took at least 10 days - likely more - and that seems like a long, long time from Benson and Cassidy to let that issue hang once it's out there.
I know that this is the “Special Victims Unit” but the real special victim here was Maddie, the poor little girl left at home alone by her mother, who has issues of her own. Yet right off the bat, Benson seems driven to make sure that they find a way to get this child back into her mother’s care, thinking this in Maddie’s best interests. Maybe working with victims for so long, Benson has highly developed spider senses that told her getting Maddie back with her mother is the best option, but I am not sure that is a normal reaction. It could be Benson’s desire for a family is clouding her judgment and she thinks all problems can be solved by keeping a family together. Lucky for Benson that they uncovered an explanation for Jenny’s negligent behavior. Hopefully they have a good follow up system to make sure that now that they put Maddie back in her mother’s hands, and with all that money, that all her mental issues have been resolved and Maddie’s best interests will be served. If the SVU is going to act like social workers as they did with Jenny, they’d better make sure that her problems are truly resolved.
Please note: due to pressing family matters, the recap is VERY abbreviated this week. Hopefully I will be able to do a full recap at a later date.
Here is the recap:
Mariska Hargitay – Sergeant Olivia Benson
Ice-T – Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola
Kelli Giddish - Detective Amanda Rollins
Danny Pino - Detective Nick Amaro
Raúl Esparza - ADA Rafael Barba
Dean Winters - Detective Brian Cassidy
Bill Irwin - Dr. Peter Lindstrom
Daniel Stewart Sherman - Gary Aschler
Meghann Fahy - Jenny Aschler
Jeremy Shamos – Roger Pierce
Jayne Houdyshell – Judge Linden
Penny Balfour – Tammy Dobbs
Frank Deal – FBI Agent O’Connell
Socorro Santiago – Judge Ortiz
David Pittu – Linus Tate
Ella Anderson - Maddie
Kelly Briter – ADA Bartell
Thedra Porter = Chantal
Lena Cigleris = Kate Corbett
McKenzie Frye – Jade
Ben Lipitz = Bruce Corbett
Ian McLaughlin - ESU Officer
Day One (March 18): It's morning and Benson is at home; late for work. As she races off, she and Cassidy make dinner plans for later that night. Later, she is at Family Court for a custody hearing on Baby Doe. Afterwards, she gets to a scene where a young girl who appears stuck on a balcony. The girl, Maddie, is rescued. They find that her mom, Jenny, was was caught for shoplifting and is in jail. Benson and Amaro speak with her and get a sense something is wrong with her situation with her husband Gary, her daughter’s stepfather. Amaro and Fin question Gary at his apartment and he’s a loser. Back at SVU, the detectives review their findings and think there is enough to convince Family Court that Jenny is a victim of domestic violence. They speak with Jenny, now at SVU who seems to have serious issues as a result of being raped by her husband. Afterwards, Benson gets home late for the dinner plans with Cassidy and it appears that their relationship is having problems. Cassidy drinks more beer and Benson some wine.
Day Two (March 19) – At Barba’s office, Benson and Rollins explain the situation regarding Jenny and convince him that Jenny is also a victim and Barba hopes the stepfather is dumb enough to confess to something he doesn’t realize is a crime. At SVU, Amaro and Fin dupe the dumb guy into confessing. Benson arranges for a pysch evaluation with Dr. Lindstrom. Benson and Jenny meet with Lindstrom and it is clear Jenny’s problems go way back even to her childhood, of which she has no recall. Benson goes back to SVU and explains this to the detectives and suggest to get photos from Jenny’s childhood to jog her memory.
Day Three (March 20) – Amaro and Fin speak with Jenny’s mom who clearly has issues of her own and they get a box of pictures from her. Back at SVU they all review the photos taken by Tammy’s second husband and have concerns about these photos being used in the exploitation of a child. Benson, Rollins and Fin meet with Barba and the FBI at Barba’s office and are told the FBI has been searching for this girl for years, calling her “Lacey Unknown.” The scope of this abuse is large. Barba wants to be notified by the FBI if someone is found in possession of these images. They weight their options and think they should review this with Jenny and Barba thinks there may be a chance for restitution.
Dates Unknown - Benson and Rollins review the photos with Jenny who is in denial but does identify herself in the photos.
Benson and Rollins meet with Barba and explain Jenny made the ID and Barba decides to us the Defense of Women Act to get restitution from anyone who downloaded an image.
Jenny is back at her apartment and Benson and Rollins drop the bomb that her photos and video are out there on the Internet and she freaks out.
Benson meets with Dr. Lindstrom and while meeting with him, Jenny interrupts and behaves like she is jealous and then takes off most of her clothes and comes on to the doctor. She says she is Lacey and Benson consoles her
Sometime later, Benson and Rollins speak with Jenny who is at some sort of mental facility. She says the first week she just slept. Maddie is at a foster home. They tell her a case is coming up soon for an EMT who had her images and Jenny can write a victim’s statement but Jenny decides to testify herself to look the man in the eyes.
Day Ten (March 27) in Federal Court, Jenny confronts the man, who was an EMT, and she gives him an earful.
Dates Unknown - Back at SVU, Benson and the detectives explain to Jenny that she got $20,000 in restitution from the EMT. They also show her boxes and boxes of the FBI letters officially notifying the victim – Jenny – of each arrest in the use of her image/video. She is overwhelmed.
Benson and Fin confer with Barba who has a CEO, Roger Pierce, who is worth $20 million and the can go after him for the estimated $4 million in full restitution and Pierce can chase after the other victimizers to get their share of the money.
Barba meets with Pierce and his lawyer at SVU and when Barba threatened Pierce with distribution he caves.
Amaro and Rollins explain to Jenny she gets $4 million and Rollins cautions her on using the money wisely so it can last. Jenny gets Maddie back with rules attached in order to keep custody.
Benson is walking on the sidewalk and Cassidy races up to her and he apologizes for being late. He says he got stuck in traffic back there and she comments she guesses they are both kind of stuck, He asked what happened. She says she’s been thinking about it; they found each other at the darkest, lowest point in their lives. He got shot and then demoted and she got …hurt…and he got her through that. She grabs his arm and pulls him closer alongside her. He says he’s always been there for her. She wonders if that is what it was supposed to be, maybe there is something even more right for each of them. She still thinks about having a family, asking Cassidy if he ever thinks about having kids with her or growing old with her. Cassidy dryly states he does not see himself growing old. Benson whispers, “I know you don’t, I know” and smiles. He adds that there’s something on his mind for a long time, something that he has to tell her. She tells him to go ahead, she can take it. It says it’s not like that, not at all, not even close. He says he loves her. Benson’s voice quivering, she replies that she loves him too, adding “always will.” He kisses her gently on her head and then says “Let’s go” and they walk off together, hand in hand, as we fade to black.
All Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) Copyright © allthingslawandorder.blogspot.com unless otherwise noted
Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.
Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.