Thursday, May 15, 2014

Law & Order SVU “Thought Criminal” Recap & Review

Law & Order SVU “Thought Criminal” brought forth an “especially heinous” person with especially heinous proclivities. Too bad the SVU and the prosecution had NO CASE. Sure, Barba tried his best to make his case with no victim and zero evidence, hoping that a high “ick” factor would help to put the skin-crawling Simon Wilkes behind bars before he let his fantasies become reality. It’s a scary thought that there really are people out in the world with such perverse or warped fantasies, but it’s the sad truth that unless the person commits an actual crime, he/she can’t be jailed for having creepy fantasies. Would it only be a matter of time before Simon made his inner thoughts some to life? Probably. However, in this case, defense attorney Minonna Efron is right; who wants to live in a world where someone can be put in prison for what’s in their head?

Nick Amaro has officially taken the place of Detective “Unstable” Stabler as he uses his fists to take out his anger and frustrations out on the pervert of the week. It’s a stale storyline that was stale when Chris Meloni was on the show and is what made me get bored with Stabler. It must go with the job that male detectives/cops have anger issues plus marital issues,  and that getting violent is their only way to vent their frustrations with their personal lives. Yawn.

Despite the sickening subject matter, this was a solid episode with an interesting and believably creepy performance from John Malina. Nia Vardalos was excellent in her role as the defense attorney who ran circles around Barba. Of course, Raúl Esparza does a fantastic job showing his character’s feelings by using his eyes or facial expressions. Barba didn’t have a case but I couldn’t care less; I enjoy watching Raúl as he works the screen. And I can’t say enough about how much Donal Logue has added to this show. His performance in the holding cell was both funny and amazing.

I also appreciate having some scenes on location which gave the episode what I call the “feel of real”. Sometimes an SVU episode has too many scenes on sets or indoors which makes it feel like a cheap daytime soap opera.  Scenes set outdoors/on location can make it feel as if one is watching real people go about real lives in the real world. While I am on the subject of the “feel of real”, I have one request for season 16: please fix the courtroom elevator floor at the door opening to make it look more like a real elevator. There is no way that fake elevator even remotely looks like it can go anywhere, with a solid floor in the doorway. I know I’ve mentioned this before and it may seem like it’s a little thing but it’s a case of attention to detail. A simple strip of duct tape or black tape on the floor would do the trick. I know they've worked hard to cut costs so I’d be happy to donate some if the show can’t afford to buy it (wink).

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

Guest stars:
BD Wong – Dr. George Huang
Donal Logue – Lt. Declan Murphy
Joshua Malina - Simon Wilkes
Nia Vardalos - Counselor Minonna Efron
Brian Baumgartner - Gordon Montlieff
Laura Benanti - Maria Grazie
Kate Blumberg - Mrs. Wilkes
Sharon Washington - Arraignment Judge
Welker White – Paula Walker
Kimiko Glenn – Lily Deng
Stephen Bradbury – Judge Colin McNamara
Alison Fernandez = Zara Amaro
Anne Carney – Jury Foreperson
Jason Iannacone - NYPD Precinct Officer
Rory Duffy – Uni #2
Diomargy Nunez – Uni #3

A woman on a web cam types in a message and says her name is Lucky. She says she is 14 years old and she lives in Thailand. She adds that she is all alone and is waiting to play with you. At SVU, with TARU, Amaro and Fin watch as the messages come pouring in; Fin notes there are 30 and still counting and Amaro comments that so far, none are in their jurisdiction, Benson and Barba approach and she asks them to feed the woman a few more lines. Rollins states that 30 just doubled to 60. “Lucky” goes on to ask viewers to just tell her what to do. Fin notes there are 95 responses and Amaro wonders if they can keep up. Rollins replies that TARU is all over this. Murphy tells them to make sure they get all of this on record asking for specific illegal acts. Behind Murphy’s back, Barba gives Murphy a shifty glance.

The girl on the web cam responds to a request to do something with her shirt off and she begins to do so, saying it is getting hot in here. Meanwhile, Murphy paces and comments that it has been 30 minutes, asking what is the score so far. Rollins replies there have been just under 800 responses. Benson pours some coffee for the police officer posing as “Lucky” and asks her how she is holding up. She replies it is a dirty job but she likes getting these guys. Barba, looking at the map, comments that the responses are heavy in the eastern bloc, in China, and in the American south. Fin says, “No comment.” Murphy tells the detectives to turn the IPs over to the FBI and Interpol. He asks if there are any in their back yard, and Amaro says there are 4 in Brooklyn and 3 in Queens. Barba asks if there are any in Manhattan, and Amaro replies there is one confirmed so far, with a municipal IP address of 1254.612.124.12 who calls himself “Flash.” Benson thinks that is the guy who told Lucky he’d like to meet her in Bangkok and bring her to New York. Murphy sees he is still at work, and then tells Fin and Amaro to go pick him up.

At the city payroll office at 1 Centre Street in Wednesday, April 23, Amaro and Fin approach Gordon Montlieff, he thinks this is about payroll. “Lucky” is also with them and he realizes what is going on. They arrest “Flash.”

With Fin and Rollins in SVU interrogation, Gordon is confused that he is arrested for thinking that the girl was 14. Meanwhile, Amaro and Murphy watch the interrogation and Amaro wonders why they are talking to this guy, asking to charge him and lock him up. Murphy says that the squad needs to evolve, little cases make big cases. Amaro and Benson argue the point, Benson saying they are not dealing with a mastermind here. Murphy counters that they don’t know what they are dealing with. He tells Amaro to find out where TARU is on Gordon’s computer and Fin and Rollins should walk him up the ladder and see where it leads them. Amaro, acting annoyed, tells Murphy that Murphy is the boss as he leaves the room and shuts the door hard. Murphy sarcastically comments to Benson that Amaro is a ray of sunshine. Benson explains Amaro is dealing with some “stuff” right now. Murphy replies that they all are, that is why they go to work, to get out of their own heads.

Rollins and Fin continue to question Gordon/"Flash" to try to get info on his “friends” but he worries they will come after him. Afterwards, Rollins and Fin discuss what they know with Benson and Murphy. Murphy wonders if Gordon needs a shoulder to cry on.

Later, they put Murphy in the holding cell with Gordon, Murphy posing as another pedo who was tricked by Lucky. Murphy whines and cries about not going back to prison and he appears to wet himself. Gordon gets worried that Murphy is making a mess and but is ignored for the most part. Murphy continues to whine as Gordon begs for help.

Meanwhile, Amaro is out with Zara and Maria and while Zara goes out for a frozen snack, Maria tells him she got a job offer in LA with a high pay. She wonders if he can come too for a fresh start and he wonders if she is asking him to move with her. She wants to take it one step at a time and then he says he does not know what to think. He looks happy but then tells her he has to get back to work.

In Barba’s office, Benson and Murphy tell Barba they are still going through Gordon’s home computer. Gordon did give up his mini tablet hidden in a book which Murphy says is like a travel diary to the dark net. Gordon thinks of himself as a voyeur but knows guys who would go further. They show Barba a guy who Gordon tipped them off to who calls himself Erastes. Barba reads aloud a message from the chat room which seems to outline torture and murder. Barba says it is horrifying but it is on a fantasy web site. Benson tries to explain this is a real boy that Erastes has seen and Murphy says they are giving him a heads up, not asking for his blessing. They are talking about one undercover meet and if it is fantasy they walk away. Benson asks if it is not, does Barba want to be responsible for missing this?

At the Stanshall Inness Gallery on Thursday, April 24, Rollins and Murphy appear as a couple interested in the art work, and as they admire one of the photos, a woman approaches who says she is the wife of the photographer, Simon Wilkes. Murphy says he would love to meet Simon and she points him out. Rollins asks for catalog they can look at, and Murphy gives her a peck on the cheek and tells her to just get the price. As Rollins and Simon’s wife move off, Murphy walks over to Simon and they admire a photo of a young boy. Murphy introduces himself as Howard Jeffries, and then said Flash wasn’t wrong, he said Flash is a friend who said Simon may have other work that would appeal to him, bringing up studies of a schoolyard. Murphy asks to discuss prices and asks if there is somewhere they can meet later, not here. Simon mentions a bar, Peter J’s, a bar around the corner from PS27. Murphy says he will need an hour.

At the bar, Murphy says his wife is a fan of Simon’s safer pieces but Flash told him he is edgier. Simon, looking suspicious, says Murphy never told him how he knows Flash. Murphy explains that they met on line and corresponded and chatted a few times and he told him about Simon’s schoolyard series and he was intrigued. Simon explains that the ancient Greeks appreciated the beauty of the young male body, unshaven and unspoiled. Murphy thinks they have both moved beyond mere appreciation, Simon says it is all just fantasy but Murphy wonders what if it wasn’t. Simon moves away from the bar with his drink and asks what business is Murphy in. Murphy tells Simon he owns a furniture design company and he does very well, adding whatever it is they are discussing, he can afford it. Simon concludes he is serious about this, and Murphy says extremely, suggesting that they both turn off their cell phones so they know the conversation isn’t being recorded. They both turn off their phones and put them on the table. Simon says, to be cautions, where were they? Murphy replies they were talking about money…and boys. Simon adds – and not just sex with them – and as he pulls out a small knife, he asks if Murphy is with him on that. Murphy says yes, they understand each other. Simon says what they’re talking takes means, the right subject, venue; it’s a commitment. Murphy leans in and Simon asks if he is willing to commit. Murphy pauses

Back at SVU with Benson, Murphy plays back the recording of the conversation for Barba who asks if that is it. Barba adds that Murphy is flirting with entrapment as he brought up procuring a boy. Murphy says Simon didn’t shy away and Simon also brought up using them for more than just sex. They walk into the squad room and Murphy asks Rollins if she got anywhere with the wife. Rollins explains that She adores Simon and Fin wonders if she is a sicko too. Barba asks if Wilkes has a record, and Benson explains he stays under the radar – Amaro adding it’s except when he talks about boys in the school yard he wants to torture. Barba states they do not indict people for imagining things and show him a substantial step and they will have a different conversation. As Barba walks off, Murphy comments that lawyer think too much and Wilkes is bad news. He tells them to go back to Gordon and get them something more.

In the Rikers Island meeting room on Friday, April 25, Amaro and Fin speak with Gordon who is clearly having a bad time. Gordon says Erastes in into stuff he wouldn’t do, mentioning a live streaming web cast from Estonia a few months ago where Erastes kept asking to hurt the boy and make him bleed. Gordon turned it off but later Erastes bragged that he had watched the boy die and then said they should find a boy nobody would miss.

Back at SVU, Amaro and Fin explain to Benson and Murphy what they got from Gordon and found out about “damage” groups who take live requests to torture young kids. Fin adds that the darker the skin, the worse they get it as the bruises don’t show. It streamed live 3 months ago and they turned over what they had to Interpol. Murphy says that won’t help, and he tells them to take over Gordon’s chat room accounts and keep fishing. As the detectives move to leave the room, Murphy asks Fin if he has a minute. He asks Fin how long Fin has been dealing with damage groups and torturing young kids. Fin replies 14 years – 8 in narcotics before that and that was worse. He explains the dealers had so much cash they turned everybody – judges, prosecutors – everyone’s crooked. Murphy comments there are gray areas in SVU, and Fin says not for him. He feels that if you touch a woman or a kid you’re scum and he wants to slam Wilkes in a cage. He asks Fin how about tonight? Fin asks Murphy to tell him where.

As Benson, Rollins, and Amaro exit the building, Rollins explains she is going to an AA meeting. As Rollins walks off, Amaro tells Benson that Rollins is really working her program and Benson replies she hopes so, then asks how is he doing, as he was a little hot with Murphy. Amaro says Benson should be CO, and Benson comments that Maria and Zara are in town. He admits he is not crossing the line. Maria asked to see him, she got a job offer in California and wants to take Zara with her, and brought up the idea of him coming with her. He adds a month ago Maria was calling Benson to have him back off and he does, and now…Benson asks if he is thinking of going, and he replies that his life is here and he does not want to fight but Maria is not taking his daughter away from him.

At Dewitt Clinton Park on Friday, April 25, Murphy and Fin meet with Simon in undercover personas. Fin pretends he can procure young kids and Simon asks for someone no one will look for. Fin says it will cost 40K and Murphy says only if they can see the boys. When Simon says he does not have that kind of cash, Fin says he has no skin in the game and moves to walk away. Simon says he can do better – a venue, soundproof and hidden. He suggests live streaming and people will pay.

They all go to Simon’s place where he has all his photography equipment and he shows them where there is a secret room in the back that he has soundproofed where nobody can hear the screams. He shows them a torture room, which Simon says is state of the art. He says the boys he brings in here are henceforth never the same. Fin comments Simon is a sick freak but he likes him. Simon holds up a small saw and says if he wants some skin in the game to peel it off that boy.

Later, all of SVU and CSU are in the room and Barba and Amaro see a small window where Simon can see out onto the schoolyard. Rollins comments the place is pristine and Barba thinks he scrubbed it. Murphy wants them to open the drains and tests for chemicals, bone, or blood. Fin shows them papers that CSU found hiding behind a fake wall, and Barba comments Simon is a sick son of a bitch.

At SVU in interrogation, Simon tells Benson and Rollins it was all fantasy. Benson explains they found photos of boys being tortured in that room. He says he photoshopped those. He takes photos off the internet and manipulates them. Rollins suggests they hear his side, but Benson counters that they have him on tape, negotiating to hit a boy that no one will miss. He says it is just a game. Benson continues to press him and she says it is her game now and it is her rules. She says if he doesn’t start talking now, she is going to take him into that room and strap him into that chair and slice him open until his blood runs out. She starts to scream at him and Murphy walks in to stop her but she says she needs a minute. Murphy orders her to take a break. She whispers to Simon that she has to take a break, and she storms out of the room. With Amaro standing nearby, she questions Murphy that she has been there 15 years and he’s been there for 2 minutes and he’s pulling her out of an interrogation? He counters that she was not asking him questions, she was yelling at him and she does know the goal is to align herself with the suspect, not to judge him. She says yeah. He asks what the hell was that, anger at Lewis? She glares at him and then looks to Amaro, then says she got the message, adding “and by the way, I have a shrink.” She walks off. Murphy tells Amaro to go in there an align himself with Simon Amaro asks “Who me? With that guy?” and Murphy says yeah, NOW. Amaro does so.

Amaro enters the room and tries to play nice, uncuffing him and making talk about his “art.” Simon explains his work is digital trompe l'oeil, and thinks Amaro doesn’t understand. Amaro mentions what he sees on the job and says it puts images on his head. He says he watched videos at night as an outlet. Rollins says he crossed over, but Simon says there has never been any boy and he never gave any money. That room is his meditation room and says they can tear the room apart and they won’t find anything. Murphy opens the door and Minonna Efron walks in and says his wife is waiting outside and retained her as his attorney. She tells the detectives to give them the room.

As they walk off, Rollins moans that they were getting somewhere and Amaro says they got what they wanted but the stuff he said makes him sick. Murphy says it is called doing his job. Amaro mentions his two kids and says he wants Simon gone.

At arraignment court on Monday, April 28, Efron pleads Simon is not guilty. When the judge asks about bail, Barba comments that the charges are especially heinous and mentions the torture chamber and its location. He adds what Simon has done on line and thinks the children are in danger; he wants bail denied. Efron argues Simon’s art, his standing in the community, and his fantasies. She thinks Barba is using his overactive imagination to inflame the situation; there isn’t one shred of forensic evidence of criminal behavior. Barba says a grenade with the pin pulled has not blown up yet but is still a danger to those around it. The judge sets bail at $5 million cash and when Efron argues the amount is punitive, the judge bangs her gavel and asks for the next case.

Back at SVU, Benson is looking at the bulletin board with case information as Murphy walks in, on the phone, saying as soon as he knows, they will know. He tells the detectives that was Barba and that Simon has been remanded and must have a psych evaluation but the bad news it is tough to try a case with no victims. Fin explains that TARU says Simon was telling the truth about the torture pictures, they were photoshopped. Amaro thinks he has something; a nine year old from PS 27 went missing last year and Benson realizes it was a special needs boy who turned up 6 days later and he couldn’t tell the police where he had been. Murphy tells them to show the family Simon’s photo and go back to the school and see if anyone has seen Simon and while they are at it, check out any open child molestation cases.

At PS 27, Rollins and Fin show around the photo of Simon. At SVU, Benson, also with Efron and a young boy, have Simon in a lineup and the boy does not pick out Simon. Amaro shows another boy a photo array and the boy does not pick out Simon. Murphy walks up and says he finds himself in the terrible position of hoping they found a victim, and Amaro says that was the boy who went missing and he could not ID Simon. Fin says a few kids at the school recognized Simon taking pictures but he hasn’t bothered anyone. Murphy asks about the molestation cases, and Benson replies there were 5 lineups and 5 strikeouts. They’ve checked every file on Simon’s computer and every photo in his cloud account and nothing. Murphy tells them to go further, and to check into former addresses next to schoolyards. He asks what they know about his history? Benson explains Simon has an ex-wife and a son living in Toronto and they are ducking their calls. Rollins races in and tells them CSU found body fluids and hair fibers and fingerprints all over the dungeon and on the boy’s clothing in the hamper. They ran DBA and there was only one hit – Simon Wilkes. Murphy thinks he cleaned the place up, but Rollins says the place was not clean. There is no sign of bleach and Simon can’t just wipe up everybody else’s DNA and leave his own. Amaro says Simon told them what he did to kids in there, and why would anyone make that up?

In a prison meeting room, Dr. George Huang meets with Simon, and he asks if Simon understands the purpose of the interview. Simon said Huang was the psychiatrist both sides agreed was an expert. Huang explains he is not there to judge, only to evaluate, and asks if Simon has ever been in therapy. Simon replies he has never had the need. Huang says “Really?” and then writes down some notes. Simon says he has a fantasy life and made the mistake of talking to the wrong people about it. Huang asks if that’s all they were – fantasies? Simon says that is right, he thinks visually. Huang comments that he has very graphic fantasies and asks to explore that.

Afterwards, in the hallway to Barba’s office, Huang tells Benson, Barba, and Murphy that there is no guarantee when it comes to the human mind, Barba replies that no one expects a crystal ball. Just the best risk assessment. Huang says to be honest, Simon scares him. Benson asks why, what did he do? Huang explains it is more about what Simon didn’t do, and what he is still not doing – he’s never sought treatment from a psychiatrist, even though he’s had these fantasies since he was a child. Murphy comments that Simon hasn’t been fighting them, and Huang says they have actually become progressively more graphic over time. The a few years ago, it reached a point where thinking wasn’t enough; that’s why he photoshopped the photos and built the chamber. Barba realizes Simon is escalating, and Huang adds – like an addict. He adds the rewards centers of the brain are activated by sequentially stronger stimuli. Murphy wonders if Simon will act on those impulses,. And Huang gives another analogy: some people just talk about suicide, but we worry about them when they go out and buy a gun. That chamber is an arsenal.

At Barba’s office in the conference room. Efron is there with Simon and she states that if they had hard evidence of any criminal acts, they wouldn’t be there to talk about a deal and asks what is their offer? Barba recommends intensive supervision, Simon moves out of a school zone, and he goes in the registry. Simon comments about no jail time, and Efron cautions him to be quiet. Efron counters no charges, saying Simon hasn’t done anything wrong. Benson questions Efron’s “nothing wrong” comment, saying if the jury takes one look at the torture chair and those saws and photos…Efron asks Barba if that is his plan, adding if they don’t have a victim are they just going to tar Simon for his thoughts? She claims it is an egregious civil liberties violation. He asks who is she representing here, her activist friends looking for a test case they can use for fundraising, or her client? Benson glares at Simon, and Efron tells Simon that Barba is trying to shake his confidence in her, and she is his lawyer, she only cares about him here. She pushes the paperwork back to Barba and says they are done, and she dares them to take this to trial. She and Simon leave.

At trial, Barba has items from the chamber as exhibits and Fin, who is on the stand, explain what they are and how Simon said they would be used to torture a boy to death. Under cross, Efron asks Fin about his experience with SVU and how many times he’s come across a crime scene where there is no evidence from anyone else. He replies yes. She said forensics only found Simon’s DNA and there is no proof that he brought anyone into that room. Fin says Simon was planning and Efron say they can’t know that for sure, can they?

Next, Efron questions Amaro on the stand, she brings up the fact that Amaro says he also needed an outlet because of the strains of his job. Amaro say that was not true, and Efron says he was lying, sharing a fantasy to get a reaction from Simon. She asks how does he know Simon wasn’t doing the same thing? Amaro states Simon built a room, and Efron counters that no one else was ever in. Amaro states Simon wanted to bring a boy there, and Efron asks if Amaro can predict someone’s behavior based on past statements. Amaro says not always but in this case, absolutely. She asks if anyone could have predicted that he would have snapped one night and go after three boys with a baseball bat? Barba objects on relevance and the judge holds out his hand to pause Barba as Amaro states they came after him and they sprayed his house with bullets, Barba leaps up, frustrated, and objects and Efron withdraws the question.

Later, Huang testifies about his experience with offenders and Efron asks if he means violent, sadistic criminals who inflict lasting damage on helpless victims. He replies sometimes. She asks if Huang would put Simon in that same category, and Huang testifies in terms of his intentions, yes. Efron focuses on that statements and then asks if is the difference that Simon hasn’t actually committed a crime? Barba objects and the judge sustains it, telling Efron to limit her questions to the witness’ expertise. She asks Huang if he is telling the jury that he can predict beyond a reasonable doubt when someone will commit a crime. Huang says he is making an evaluation. She ask it’s because he is not just a psychiatrist he is also a psychic? Barba objects and she withdraws the question.

Afterwards, Rollins asks Barba if he has a read on the jury and he comments they are sickened by the details but their emotional case is stronger than their legal one. Murphy comments that Simon is taking the stand tomorrow and Benson adds the jury will see him for what he really is. Rollins gets a message as Barba says he hopes so, Simon has compartmentalized his life for all those years and he may be able to hide it from them. Rollins looks at the message and says not from his ex-wife, she is willing to talk to them.

At the home of Paula Walker in Toronto, Canada on April 30, Paula tells Amaro and Rollins she does not know how they found her. She changed her name and got off the Internet and she doesn’t think even Simon knows where she moved after she got married. When she met Simon she found him magnetic but then found he had a darkness inside of him. She did not know about the extent of his fantasies at first but then noticed he would shut the laptop when she came into the room. Once he left it open and she saw that he was messaging other people talking about Bobby and her and things he would like to do to them. Bobby was 6. Simon said it was just a game but knew he had to go. She told Bobby that Simon had a sickness and he can’t be around other people. She made a deal with Simon, as long as he promised not to see Bobby again or be around other children she would be quiet. She asks if the room of his is across from a grade school.

Back in court, Simon is on the stand and Efron comments to Simon that he chose to take the stand today even though she told him not to. He explained he wanted the jury to know who he was, a man with a normal life;  he is married and his wife is here, and what happens to him could happen to them. Barba cross examines, and states that Simon said his fantasies had nothing to do with real life. Simon says there is no cross over. Barba asks if Simon has any other family, and Efron objects on relevance. Barba asks the judge for latitude as this will speak to state of mind. The judge agrees. Barba asks if his wife is his first wife, and Simon states he was married before and he is divorced. Barba states he also has a son and asks Simon if he sees them often. Simon testifies no, and he doesn’t think that has anything…and Barba asks if he can think harder. In the back of the courtroom, the door opens and Simon’s ex wife and son enter the courtroom and stop and stare at Simon. Barba asks Simon again why Simon has not been in contact with his ex-wife and son. Simon begins to weep and says it is because he knew he could not be around them because of the pictures in his head. Barba adds it’s because he can’t control them, and Efron objects and the judge sustains. Barba asks if it is true his first wife asked him to leave when he admitted he may act on his urges. Efron leaps up and objects and Simon says he made the decision to leave. He didn’t hurt him, he is his son and he would never….he begins to cry harder, covering his face.

Later, Barba makes his closing statement, saying that Simon went beyond thought and built a dissection chamber that was fully functional and his art photos provide graphic evidence of what he intended to do. He left his only son and never saw him again because he was afraid of his own fantasies. If he was afraid he would torture or kill his own son, shouldn’t they also be?

Efron makes her closing statement, saying Barba brought a case with no evidence, victim, or a crime. What Barba has is a defendant that he doesn't like, an artist. She asks has Simon pushed boundaries – yes – but has he ever hurt anyone – no. She brings up the photoshopped photos and the idea of procuring a boy came from the undercover officer. The scene of the crime contained Simon’s DNA only. She wants the jury to ask themselves, have they ever had thoughts they knew they would never act on? She is her she has and that the DA has. She brings up a few examples and tells them to think about it, then better yet, don’t think about it. Otherwise they will be where Simon is now.

Afterwards, Barba races into the elevator and as the door shuts, Efron sticks in her briefcase to stop it from closing. She steps in and Barba comments “Nice summation.” She glares at him and says nice move sneaking in his wife and son into the courtroom to rattle him, and even for Barba that was a low blow. He asks if she’s ever asked himself why it rattled him so much, asking what kind of thoughts does he have in his head about his own son? She asks if he really wants to live in a world where someone can be put in prison for what is inside your head? He says nothing and they both stare toward the elevator door.

In Supreme Court on Thursday May 1, the verdict is in: on the charge of attempted kidnapping and attempted sexual abuse of a child they find Simon not guilty. Simon looks happy but the detectives look disappointed. Efron looks smug and Barba looks back at Benson as Simon reunites with his wife.

At a restaurant with Benson, Amaro, Rollins and Murphy, Barba states the jury deliberated less than 3 hours and Rollins tells him he should not take it personally, he put up a good fight. They see Simon and his wife arrive in the same restaurant and meet with Efron. Benson tells Amaro to let it go, they gave it their best shot. He asks if they just wait for Simon to do something, he is not going to stop. Murphy tells him he can’t let it get into his head but Amaro looks angry,

Later, Amaro is saying goodbye to Zara with Maria present and then tells Maria they will keep talking. She explains she already told them she will take the job, they needed an answer right away and it is too good an offer. Amaro gets upset she will take his daughter out of his life just like that, and she says he can come out and live nearby. He asks – and do what, like check IDs at a movie studio gate? He asks if she wants him to leave his mother and son and does she want him to fight and take her to court? Maria says she cares about him but she can see he is under a lot of pressure. He says no, don’t do that. As she walks off, she says if he takes this to court she will force her to bring up things he does not want on record so for his sake and Zara’s he’d better let this go. She gets in the car and drives off.

Later, Simon is at a schoolyard taking photos of kids at play and Amaro approaches and says he has 5 seconds to put the camera down. Simon explains it is a public sidewalk and he can’t control him. Simon tells him to smile and he points the camera at Amaro and Amaro grabs Simon’s arms to pull the camera away. Simon hits Amaro in the head with the camera and tells him to leave him alone. Amaro slams the camera to the ground and begins to beat Simon as Simon asks for someone to call the police. Amaro continues to beat him as the police arrive. Amaro raises his arms to show he his badge and says he is on the job. The officer tries to restrain Amaro and says he is under arrest and cuffs him. As the other officer tends to Simon, he rolls over and the officer asks if he can feel his legs. As Amaro is taken to the squad car, we fade to black.

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Cath T said...

I am disappointed that Amaro has been taken down this path.

As Chris has pointed out the cop with marital & anger management issues is so predictable even if a tried and true formula.

I wonder if Danny Pino feels like he's playing Scotty Valens all over again minus the marriage problems.

Still I will wait and see where it goes. If it evolves into an exploration of the mental health issues that cops must deal with rather than the stereotypical angry cop story then I'll be mollified.

As for Benson and a baby well, I'll reserve judgement for now but I'm not really in favour.

I would think she'd be refused the opportunity to adopt on several grounds with her age being a significant factor but this is fiction so I won't get too hung up on it.

CLA said...

Many people do not forgive the success of Mariska Hargitay. Simply because she is an award winning actress and a social activist loved by millions of people worldwide. This is the price that all who attain wealth and success has to pay.

SomeoneSensible said...

CLA...your posts are getting really tiring...
I like Mariska/Olivia too but blind followers like you who actually go around trashing people who have different opinions/taste are starting to make me turn...

Anonymous said...

I recently caught this episode on Netflix.

It does indeed bring the "Especially Heinous" aspect of SVU into view, like the film "8MM" did.

BTW, you're doing an awesome job on this blog and I'm following you on FB and Twitter.