Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Law & Order SVU “Transgender Bridge” Recap & Review

This may be my shortest review on record. After the excellent season premiere last week, this episode dropped with a resounding thud. The main characters were like window dressing, not adding any depth to the episode. I couldn’t get into the story itself, likely due to the stiff, overly preachy dialog. The only thing worth discussing is whether the judicial system made the right decision. There was a lot of preaching about the plight of a transgender teenager, but what if the situations were reversed and it was Darius who was transgender and the boy who pushed him was Avery?  Would Avery, because his parents were more well off financially, and because he was white, get a better deal?  In this case, did Darius get a raw deal here because he was a black teenager, one whose mother could not likely afford a high priced attorney?  Was the judicial system more likely to write him off as a lost cause?  Is this why O'Dwyer had no problems with making an example of Darius?  I may have found that story more interesting and worth a closer look.

(SVU fans will recall the premise of a juvenile being charged as an adult being done in much better fashion in the season 4 episode “Juvenile.” )

Here is the recap:

Mariska Hargitay – Sergeant Olivia Benson
Ice-T – Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola
Kelli Giddish - Detective Amanda Rollins
Raúl Esparza - ADA Rafael Barba
Peter Scanavino - Detective Dominick “Sonny” Carisi, Jr.

Guest stars:
Christopher Dylan White - Avery Parker
Dante Brown - Darius McCrae
Robert Sean Leonard - ADA Kenneth O'Dwyer
Adrienne C. Moore - Cheryl McCrae
Bill Irwin - Dr. Peter Lindstrom
Jessica Phillips - ADA Pippa Cox
Danny Burstein - Eric Parker
Rebecca Luker - Lisa Parker
Jenna Stern – Judge Elana Barth
Niles Fitch - Keon Williams
Hari Dhillon – Counselor Varma
Jolly Abraham – Doctor
Dashill Eaves – Uniform Officer
Bill Irwin – Doctor Peter Lindstrom
Libya Pugh – Ms. Davis
Elain Graham – Eliza
Ron Simons – Principal Al Pompeo
Bianca Leigh – Doctor Rachel Sandow
Travaris Spears – Markus Green
Taliyah Whitaker – Tonya McCrae
Zenzele Cooper – Jewell Williams
Andrea-Rachel Parker – Aniah Butters
Katherine Pecevich – Female German Tourist
Paul Castro, Jr. – Connor
Alsharik Sejour – Teen Spectator # 1
Tremayne Rollins – Teen Spectator #2
Jean Chung – Melody
Grace Abrahams – Rain

Avery Parker gets his wake up alarm and gets out of bed. Also, at home, Darius McCrea, does the same. Avery puts on makeup and gets dressed in women’s clothing. She leaves for the day after talking with her parents, who seem understanding of her attire and tell her to be careful in the park because of the heels. Darius make breakfast for himself and his sister, saying their mother had to work a double shift. Avery heads to the park and Darius as at school, where a teacher tells him to keep drawing, he has talent.

At Fort Tryon Park on Monday, June 15, Darius is there with his sister and two friends. They see Avery in a dress and chase after her, to see if Avery is a guy or a girl. They begin to harass her and as people nearby records the activity, Darius’ sister warns him they will get in trouble, Darius and Avery struggle over a camera that Avery has and in the struggle, Darius tells Avery to get off him and he pushes Avery, who falls over the bridge, Stunned, they see Avery on the ground not moving and everyone flees.

Later, Rollins and Carisi are on the scene and find Avery is a he, not a she. They speak with two tourists who were witnesses; the officer explains what led up to the accident, Carisi guesses the kids went to the schools nearby.

At the hospital, Benson is there with Carisi and Avery’s parents and get a description of the boys from Avery. They were giving her the look – the freak needs to learn a lesson look. She tried to go but they started saying stuff ; they called her tranny, he/she. She told them to leave her alone. One grabbed her skirt and another her camera. She was pushed and  tripped on her heels. People were laughing and taking video. Avery’s father Eric says this isn’t the first time and the local precinct never follows up. Benson says they take this very seriously and promised to follow up. Avery’s mother Lisa nods.

Benson returns to SVU and Rollins and Fin have found three separate cell phone videos and they all began after it started. They play a video back and says the recording goes on until the fall. Rollins says two sophomores and one junior from Shirley Chisholm posted them. Benson tells them to all go – full court.

At Shirley Chisholm High School on Tuesday, June 16, Rollins and Fin speak with one of the girls who doesn’t know who was harassing Avery. Benson and Carisi speak with a teacher who says the video is disturbing but the behavior is not indicative of their community. Benson asks who are these kids.

Later, in a classroom, the teacher calls out for Keon Williams and Marcus Green to come with him. In another classroom, Fin and Rollins ask for Darius and find he was there before school began but was upset about something. The teacher states Darius hates the projects where he lives but says there is one place he likes to go.

At Book Culture on Tuesday, June 16, Darius is sitting on the floor drawing in his book when Fin and Rollins find him and ask him to get up. He denies doing anything but Fin tells him to make this easy and Darius complies. They walk him out of the bookstore to the stares of many customers.

At SVU, Carisi questions Keon there with his mother, who both cop attitudes. Marcus is there with his grandmother who calls Avery a he/she who acts like one and wears makeup. When his grandmother ask Benson why would anyone do that, Benson states that is not the issue, her grandson pushed a kid off a bridge. His grandmother is shocked and said he’d better tell them who did. Marcus says he doesn’t know but Carisi presses him and he says it was Darius. Darius walks in with Rollins and Fin who tells Darius to have a seat. They ask if he wants food but he says his stomach is not feeling so good. His mother enters, calling out his name. They make the introductions, and Darius says he is sorry. They explain what happen and Darius says he didn’t mean to hurt him. His mother Cheryl tries to explain Darius is a good boy and Rollins stated because Darius is 15 they waited for her to read Darius his rights.

Later, they question Darius who admits they were all messing with Avery. He didn’t want his friends to think he was gay. Avery fell on him and didn’t mean to push him over the bridge. He ran because he thought he killed someone. Meanwhile, Benson and Carisi are observing and Carisi thinks Darius feels genuinely bad but the other two think it is funny. Benson says the other who didn’t push Avery off the bridge; Avery could have died. Carisi says on the bright side, all three confessed and they have the video evidence so they are done. Benson states the video is shaky and the kids are under aged. She doesn’t want anyone claiming the confessions were coerced. She asks him to see if Avery can come in and make an ID.

Later, watching the line ups, Avery stands up, in pain, wearing a neck brace, and then identifies number 4, number 1, and number 3 – Keon, Marcus, and Darius. She says they look smaller in there, and scared. Carisi comments that they should be, they are in trouble. Avery asks if they said why they did this to him; she’s not stupid and was not being cheeky. Her mother replies is wasn’t anything she did, adding they need to get back to the hospital. As they enter the squad room, Cheryl stand up and says she is Darius’ mother. Benson tells her now may not be the best time, but Avery tells Benson to hold on, she wants to hear her out. She says her son is really sorry for hurting him, and Avery asks if he told her why he did this to her. As his mother urges them to go, Avery asks them to wait a minute, and grabs Darius’ mother’s hand and asks her to ask Darius. Avery’s father pulls Avery away and says they need to leave as Cheryl looks agonized. As they leave, Fin approaches Cheryl and has her sit down. She asks if Darius has to send the night there, and Fin explains he will be able to go home. He adds the desk sergeant will give her an appearance ticket for tomorrow for family court. She states he has to work tomorrow, she is a home car attendant. Fin says he will have to call in sick, she has to be there.

Meanwhile, by the vending machines, Rollins is getting coffee as Carisi enters. He asks her what makes a boy decide to be a girl, and Rollins says there is a difference between gender identity and sexuality. He says his parents thinks this is all about getting attention. Rollins asks if him if he, or any other boy would put on a skirt if it didn’t come from a really real place. Carisi laughs and say no, not a chance.

At the office of the corporate counsel on Wednesday, June 17, ADA Pippa Cox calls Marcus Green into the office while the others wait. Later, after Marcus leaves, she calls in Keon Williams. Cheryl tells Pippa she is missing work and Cox says she will let her know when it is her turn. Rollins and Fin watch and wait. Fin assures Cheryl it will not be long. Later, Keon’s mother leaves with Keon and says he learned his lesson. Cheryl and Darius enter the office. They hear Cox is recommending probation for the other boys as it was their first offense and they were clear Darius started this. Darius pushes back a bit and Cox presses him if it had anything do to with Avery wearing a skirt. He says he was just afraid and Cox asks how does he think Avery felt?

Afterwards, Cheryl complains to Fin that the other boys got probation but Darius will have to do 3 months in juvie. Fin says that is what she wants but the judge has to rule. Cheryl says Cox said if it goes to a judge Darius may get a year and she wants to talk to a lawyer but Cox said no one was available today. Rollins approaches and says that is her right and they – the ADA – will have to wait. Cheryl says Darius is no thug and had a lot to deal with. Fin says he will do what he can. Cheryl says they have to pick up his sister, and as they leave, Darius gives Fin drawings to give to Avery saying he need him to know he is sorry. As they leave, Fin thinks this is an apology and Rollins says it is an admission of guilt, and if he was Avery right now, would he want to hear anything that Darius had to say. Fin says his son got the crap kicked out of him because he was gay and no one ever apologized to him.

Back at the hospital, Benson and Carisi are there visiting Avery with her parents present, and Avery hears about the apology. Avery reads it and sees the drawings and messages. She asks the detectives if they told Darius she was into graphic novels, but they did not know.

Afterwards, Eric says now that the boys took a plea does this mean Avery does not have to testify? Benson explains Darius is speaking with a lawyer and they will know more tomorrow. The parents say they are proud of Avery. But they hear a “code blue” announcement and see staff rushing to Avery’s room. They follow while Avery is being attended to, trying to resuscitate her.

Later, Benson and Carisi ask the doctor what cause Avery’s death, and hear it was a fatty embolism from the fractured leg. The doctor explains how the embolism traveled to the lungs, and Benson states this was a direct result of Avery’s fall, and the doctor says no question. As the doctor walks off and Carisi wonders what are they going to say to them, Benson says it never gets easy. They see the Parkers crying and they say they are so sorry. Eric sobs.

Back at SVU, Cox states the ME confirmed the cause of death being the embolism to the lungs as a direct result of the broken femur from the fall. This means Darius was at fault because he pushed her. ADA Kenneth O'Dwyer enters and asks Benson to discuss Avery’s murder, and Benson introduces Pippa Cox. He tells Cox she will want to be in on this meeting too, the DA’s office is taking over the prosecution. Benson looks stunned.

As Fin walks into Benson’s office along with Benson, Cox, and O’Dwyer, he reminds them Darius is only 15. O’Dwyer says if he is tried in family court he will be charged with juvenile delinquency and will be back on the street when he is 18. Benson is shocked to hear that O’Dwyer wants to charge Darius for second degree manslaughter as an adult. Cox says they can charge that in family court, and O’Dwyer says they can but they won’t. He wants to attach a hate crime. Benson is shocked and O’Dwyer says there is an epidemic of attacks on trans persons and they have to take a stand. Benson does not think this is the case, Darius seems like a good kid. But O’Dwyer argues that Darius when after Avery and taunted him and pushed her off a bridge. He says it would be about 7 years and while he appreciates their sympathy they can’t wait more a more overtly evil perp. They have to draw a line

Later, at Cheryl’s home, Fin and Rollins break the bad news. Cheryl is shocked and becomes very upset. Rollins explains about the message that the DA and mayor wants to send on hate crimes. Fin is apologetic. Rollins asks if Darius is in his room and Cheryl is stunned that have to take him right now. Rollins explains he must be arraigned, and asks Cheryl to call him. She cries and calls for him, He comes into the room and Fin says he has to come with them. He embraces his mother. Fin and Rollins leave with Darius.

At the Community Church of New York on Tuesday, June 18, there is a service for Avery. His therapist gives a speech about how important they were to Avery. Her legacy was tolerance, love, and forgiveness.

After the service, Benson and Carisi are there and Benson comments on the beautiful ceremony. The parents say that the DA should have come to the service and heard about forgiveness, and Benson says the DA wants to make sure what happened to Avery never happens again. That is not what Lisa thinks Avery would want.

Later, outside the courthouse, Benson is on the phone while Carisi stands nearby, telling Barba they feel the same way. Benson hangs up and says Barba thinks this should be tried in family court and that is when O’Dwyer stepped in. Carisi starts to comment about O’Dwyer who walks up to them, hearing the discussion. He knows Avery’s mom wants it in family court but she suffered a terrible loss and can speak at the sentencing hearing. Darius’ lawyer asks for a bench trial, and Carisi says it is a Clarence Darrow strategy. He explains that juries are more emotional that judges and if you give a judge absolute power to declare someone guilty…Benson says he is less likely to impose a harsh sentence.

At Supreme Court Part 22 on Monday June 22, they listen to the testimony of the other boys and watch the video of the event. Carisi also testifies about how Avery felt about the attack and that she did nothing to provoke them. The doctor testifies about the embolism. Darius English teacher testifies who says Darius was protective of his sister against bullies and last Christmas he say a cousin get shot and it changed him. He was distraught over Avery but Darius is not a bad kid. He was never exposed to a transgender kid and thinks he got confused.

Afterwards, Carisi and Benson speak with the Parkers and said they feel Darius should be found guilty but worry about what would happen to him if he is. Dr. Lindstrom approaches Benson and Carisi takes the Parkers aside. Lindstrom says they may not like his testimony and Benson explains they have some compassion for Darius. He comments grace is better choice than bitterness.

In Supreme Court Part 21 on Tuesday, June 23, Lindstrom testifies about Darius’ impulse control not being very evolved. He thinks because Darius was different, it may have been threatening to Darius but was he was not motivated by hate, he was flooded by fear that he didn’t want his friend to think he was gay. Under cross examination, O’Dwyer reminds Lindstrom that Darius approached Avery and called her a tranny and a slut, and asked to see what was under her skirt. Lindstrom thinks Darius was posturing for his friends, but O’Dwyer scoffs that Lindstrom thinks this was nothing but poor judgment and impulse control. Lindstrom says most that violent crimes committed by youths under the age of 25 and is why a 15 year old should not be tried as an adult. O’Dwyer raises his voice and asks if he is saying Darius should get a mulligan – boys will be boys – and questioned that he singled out a member of a protected class and taunting her because of her gender identity he wasn’t discriminating? Lindstrom does not think so, and O’Dwyer challenges why didn’t Darius push someone else off the bridge? Lindstrom tries to use the impulse c control argument, but O’Dwyer counters the same could be said about gay bashing, skin head violence and lynching. The defense objects and the judge sustains it, asking O’Dwyer for an actual question. His question asks isn’t that why they have hate crime laws and Lindstrom says those are for adults, this case is why we would remember that a mind of a child is still forming. It is different than a mild of adult. O’Dwyer reminds him only Darius pushed someone off a bridge because as Lindstrom says, Avery was “other.”

Later, Darius testifies about the incident and how he feels sick all the time now. He knows how it feels to lose someone you love and that is what he did to Avery’s parents. He did not want him – her – to die. Under cross, O’Dwyer hammers him about why he was on the bridge and Darius admits he was there to talk and tease and he did make that choice. He admits that Avery asked to be left alone and he did grab at her skirt and camera. He says pushing her was not a choice. He just fell on him and he reacted. He cries and says he doesn’t know why he went after her to taunt and tease her and that he is so sorry. O’Dwyer says they all are.

The defense lawyer Mr. Varma calls one last witness – Mr. Eric Parker. O’Dwyer argues this is better for a victim impact statement but the Varma disagrees as it goes to the hate crime itself and the judge allows it/ Eric gets on the stand and he brings up the apogee drawing from Darius to Avery and Avery felt forgiveness to Darius. The judge looks at the information and she asks if Eric wants to testify on Darius’s behalf, and he does. They want to make sure Avery’s death means something and that no transgender child should ever again be singled out or hurt. They also want to make sure that the tragedy is not compounded by the tragedy of taking another child away from his family. The judge thanks him for his compassion.

In closing statements, O’Dwyer does not think Darius left home that day with the intent to kill Avery but intent can be formed in an instant. In that instant, he saw Avery as “other” – someone he could taunt, tease, and push off a bridge. The defense brings up the apology letter and sending a kid to prison for an instant’s loss of control will not bring Avery back. O’Dwyer brings up deterrence and they have to send a message. The defense states Avery’s parents asks for mercy and compassion and is this really best for society. O'Dwyer brings up the plight of transgender children and does not want to see a child die for who they are. The judge thanks them for the arguments and calls for a recess.

In the hall, Cheryl comments for Fin and Rollins it was nice for Eric Parker to say what he said. She paces and asks if it will be okay, and Fin says he hopes so. The judge is coming back in and Cheryl returns to the courtroom with apprehension. The judge asks Darius to rise. She says he was moved by his character and capacity and moved by Eric’s testimony. She adds however it is unrealistic to believe that violence against protected classes can be extinguished without appropriate punishment under the law. She rules that he is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree with the hate crime attached. Cheryl screams “NO!” and she leaps to her feet. The judge asks for order. She remands Darius to Brookwood Secure Center until he is 18 at which time he will be transferred to Green Haven Correctional to serve out the remainder of his 7 year term. She adjourns the court. Cheryl is beside herself and she sobs uncontrollably as the Parkers look on sadly. Darius looks devastated as they take him away. Benson races out of the courtroom and Cheryl continues to sob as we fade to black.

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Shatonia Waddler said...

I was told that this episode was based on a true story but do you know exactly where?!?

Juda Martinez said...

Watching cpd right now, I was surprised that it wasent the same story we seen before. I know I mentioned in season 4 the episode fallacy where Katherine moenig played a trany, and also the episode transitions from season 10 both dealing with trany situations, what bothered me here is with svu been only Show left they find the simplest thing to make it an svu case, there also starting this whole someone missing an episode once a week, last week find was not in 2nd half of show this week no as far as episode goes this is 1 of few times you cheer for defense team, if it went to adult court then babra should of been on show, I am guessing they didn't want us looking at babra like the bad guy, I didn't mind episode I'll give it from 1 to 10 a score of 7.6 out of 10 the ending was sad, I was waiting for Darius to come out and saying he was gay that's what it seem like when livs doctor testified and the pictures, well I am gonna finish watching cpd thanks for your recap.

Upsett said...

All of a sudden they want to draw the line with hate crimes, yet black people are still being murdered unarmed in the streets. Yet we need to make sure what happened to this poor little trans kid never happens again. This show is biased, discriminative and constantly overly racist.

chillicothe20 said...

Firstly, @Juda it is TRANS not TRANY. I will (kindly) chalk your use of such an offensive term up to lack of understanding rather than hatred.

@Upsett, I feel SVU has always been strong on African-American issues as well as many other issues. Standing up for Trans issues does not mean not standing up for A-A issues, and vice versa. Honestly though, the episode would have worked better as a treatise on Trans bullying if the perp had also been white. Obviously, Darius' ethnicity added a different layer to the whole episode. I would be really surprised if SVU does not touch on the Ferguson, etc. cases in some episode this season.

Overall, I felt the episode really undercut the anti LGBT bullying message by making the perp into a victim. In most other hate crime cases (skinheads beating up a jewish person, or white men assaulting a black person), the detectives would not have sympathized with the perp(s). Just because the kid was poorer, had a hard working mother, and could draw well in no way excused his crime. Hate crime laws exist for a reason, and TRANS people are disproportionately assaulted (and sometimes killed), not to mention overall issues of LGBT bullying and suicide. Seven years seemed like plenty. We have seen many get far less for far worse, on SVU as well as L&O.

I actually tweeted how disappointed I was in the undercutting of the message in favor of the "perp as victim" troping, and Warren Leight actually responded saying he had intended the bullying message to come across stronger. Maybe the episode was trying to do too much. Even the victim was so forgiving (although she didn't realize she was about to DIE).

Outside of the story, I thought the acting was very good, from everyone. I loved to see Robert Sean Leonard (aka James Wilson!) again.

chillicothe20 said...

@Upsett, I just noticed the post before this one says the October 14th episode will deal with the "NYPD [falling] under siege after the shooting of an unarmed black man." I am very happy to see they will be tackling this important issue.

Cath T said...

I found this episode interesting if only because as the parent of an "other" (young adult autistic daughter) in my mind I could put my child in Avery's place.

Throughout primary & high school my daughter was subjected to teasing, taunting, bullying & on a couple of occasions physical abuse for being "different."

In crime dramas though those on the autism spectrum are portrayed stereotypically as dangerous, weird & violent. SVU is no exception with Holden's Manifesto being a case in point. A rather ugly episode that I have no desire to ever watch again.

Anyway I digress. Back to this episode.

Although I felt for Darius, I found Lindstrom's argument about peer pressure and lack of impulse control weak. While it is true that the adolescent brain is a work in progress 15 is certainly mature enough to know the difference between right and wrong.

Darius could have chosen to simply ignore Avery but didn't. He of his own free will chose to tease & bully. Pushing Avery off the bridge was an accident but a foreseeable one in the circumstances.

If something like that had happened to my daughter during her school years unlike Avery's parents I doubt I would have been so forgiving. I am not a fictional tv parent though.

I watched this episode with my daughter who thought I was being quite harsh about Darius. She like Avery's parents has a forgiving and compassionate nature.

I on the other hand believe the DA in pushing for Darius to be tried as an adult and the judge's sentence were justified.

Petra S said...

Couldn't agree with you more Chris, what a thud of an episode after last week. It just didn't grab me at all and, not sure about your political correct term, but LGBT questions usually pulls me in.

Subject matters obviously interesting, and important, though but this to me felt like SVU trying to put too much in there and ending up missing what I think they intended to do which is bring awareness right?
It was sad to see two sets of decent parents/families loose their kids while Darius' friends & their ignorant parents got away with murder literally. One would hope that is not real life but many times I guess it is the ignorant people that never learn the hard lessons.
I say if Barba was there he would've slammed all of them kids ;)

@chillichote - nice to hear WL responded so gracefully to you. From my experience he never takes kindly to any form of criticism even when put to him nicely. So thumbs up to WL for that. And I agree with you about undercutting the Avery-message

Lindstrom was just a waste of space. I was hoping he was mostly there to make Liv realize (if she hadn't already) that Rollins never went to that referral session. But I guess hoping SVU will ever again address the fact she was raped is like banging my head in to a brick wall (which I tend to do a lot anyways)

@Shatonia - I got this link from a friend abroad as I wasn't clued in on the real case; - feels like it's a complete rip off from this case with some changes though, like the burning/falling. I guess in the SVU case they felt a need to kill the victim to perhaps be able to argue the case. I'm not clued in much about the US law system though, it was a hate crime either way

Whatever I will look forward to next week and hope they do a better job with it. From the trailer one really have to wonder if Rollins is having an alien baby, that bump grew eh *lol*

Vim said...

This episode was weak - especially comparing it to the premiere.

I found especially bad, that there was no Barba during this ep. When DA is unsympathetic, they decided too bring some outside usual cast - I don't think it was good decision.

Roselynn Finch said...

This episode caused a little fight between myself and my grandma, since she is very homophobic and transphobic. But I thought it was an okay episode. The part where Avery dies from the infection is very similar to what happened in A Separate Peace. In that story, too, a simple broken leg caused the death of one of the main characters.

And there wasn't a single shot or mention of Noah in this episode, so, I consider that a win.

Juda Martinez said...

To Chillicothe 20 I am far from a racist or against gays or gender, now if I used the wrong word that was not my intention. I don't curse, I don't discriminate, this episode just delt with a certain topic I was not trying to come of wrong. I won't comment no more on this episode I'll wait til next week to comment, I don't want anyone looking at me like I am against certain things, by the way if my spelling comes up bad is the ipad I am still figuring it out, but I am not gonna use ipad as excuse for the word I did write that, I did not know what word to use, if I offended anyone well why would I come here to offend someone, I like chris rules about no cursing or bad name calling.

Patrice Grady said...

I felt for Avery's parents but I literally watched them put another young black male with true talent away and try him as an adult. Someone who has compassion and heart. I could see if he truly had intent, but Juries and Lawyers tend to forget that everyone has gotten teased at one point. Yes kids will be kids. Darius pushed the kid off of him and the kid admittedly said she tripped on her shoes and fell over the bridge. It was twisted as if Darius pushed him over the bridge on purpose. It was heart breaking. I really did appreciate Avery's parents. A lot parents would not have been able to see the other side but that was appreciated. This is all too real in today's society though. Send the black kid away to grown up prison with rapists, murderers, and others who actually deserve to be there. If only his mother had more money. SMH. This was horrible. I know its just a tv show, but courts do this every day. SMH.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Patrice and Barba for that matter, when it was said he argued that this should have been tried in family court. Probably politically motivated reasons why Darius was tried in adult court. Anyway, this is a kid who with help could become a productive member of society one day. He had a conscience and was sorry for what he had done. Locking him in adult prison is not the answer. I was already thinking in my head of a great show with a great lawyer taking the appeal case and getting him out before he has to serve his 4 years in adult prison of the 7 total sentenced to him.
I like the show more than I thought I would, and if anything, it showed the loss and sadness that bullying can do, and the harsh consequences that can sometimes go along with the choices made. Maybe it will send a message about bullying of any kind and get parents talking with their children about it.
It was a sad show.

empxth tbh said...

i actually think it was kinda good to make darius this confused kid that we're supposed to have sympathy for... i mean, it kinda makes the case less "black and white" you know? not like some crazy skinhead who is motivated by pure hate or something.

empxth tbh said...

oh and omg yes in the next promo it looks like kelli/amanda is 9 months pregnant or something :D

Anonymous said...

Yeah, LOL if only pregnancy in real life could be that short ;) I might have had more than 2!

Phil Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil Smith said...

I think it makes sense that Babra now and then doesn't try ever case. I know he's assigned to SVU, but obviously in the real world the DA would have several lawyers assigned. Just like it's obvious that the real NYC Special victim unit would have many detectives and not just four. I also find it unlikely that for this length of time a captain wouldn't have been assigned to the unit by now. They wouldn't let Sgt. Benson have command this long a span of an entire precinct.

I know it's just a tv show and I actually enjoy it, but Benson should either go for the captaincy or one should be assigned. And about this episode I agree it was a dud, the fact that during the hour I was playing Clash of Clans on my phone speaks volumes.

Keith said...

I actually really liked this episode, would have been really cool to see an actual DA though instead of just dropping his name. I think it would've been better had Michael Cutter prosecuted this case instead of O'Dwyer, isn't O'Dwyer supposed to be from White Collar crimes or something? A Cutter/Barba conflict would have added to the episode if you ask me :P They dropped Fin's son's name so maybe we will be seeing him again soon and getting some more Fin stories, one can hope! While I don't agree with the judge's sentence, I see that it was important to send a message, just feel that putting him on trial as an adult was not the answer, he is clearly a kid. So far lovin' this season!

Vim said...

@Phil Smith
It is confirmed that Benson soon (maybe next ep) will be promoted to lietuant. But yes, it is unrealistic, that she would have command of such political unit for so long.

Phil Smith said...

@ Vim

Thank you for the info wasn't aware. But that's still unrealistic, I can buy Benson making lieutenant grade, however I know what's going to take place.

The writers will still have Benson running amok on crime scenes, which doesn't happen to often with someone in commands of a unit. How often did Cragen respond to a call or investigate a crime scene?, not many. He had but on rare occasions. Someone in command of a police precinct have too much responsibilities at the precinct. I think the ball was dropped. A captain should have been assigned and Benson their number 2.

ladybug81 said...

I think this epsiode addressed an important subject but I think it could've been better. The acting from the young man who played Darius h the woman who played his mother was excellent. I just felt like I wanted more from it. I did like the message of forgiveness. I don't know if I would be capable of doing what Avery's parents did. I know a couple who lost their son in a car accident & forgave the young man who was driving. I think forgiveness is something we could all be a little better about. While I feel that a person should be responsible for their actions I think the verdict was a little too much. It actually ruined the episode for me, especially considering the two who showed no remorse got off scott free. I think Darius should've been punished but maybe not so harshly because he truly was remorseful. I just think it could've been explored better/differently. I think it could've been even more interesting had Avery lived & had she h Darius meet. I don't know, I can't explain how I feel about it. Great acting h very emotional, I just felt like it was missing something.

Laurie Fanat said...

I am disappointed with this episode. The writing was awful. This episode was dumbed down to the 13 year old level. This is why I am starting to have problems with SVU. They aren't writing the show to adults. The show may be fine for someone in junior high or high school but I have grown past shows that are geared to the young age groups. There is not enough meat in the story here! If they would write to the level of 35+ years old they would find themselves being taken more seriously. This episode was about at the level of those old after school specials that ABC used to show, or some sappy Lifetime or Hallmark movies. This episode could have been written by a high schooler. They should be ashamed of themselves. This is why this show hasn't had a chance at an Emmy in YEARS.

I am waiting to see the date cards on the next episode. This episode was set in June I think and Kelli looks HUGE in the promo for next week. We shall see.

Ambrosia and Spencer said...

I believe if is based on this story

Irene frances Dunn said...

This is the episode of SVU that really breaks my heart so badly. I cried to the very end because of how brutal and cold lawyers are. Sometimes lawyers are unfair and will jump on the situation where the accused are helpless like this one.

Sophia said...

Darius didn't mean to? Who force him to start taunting Avery in the first place? And would Avery have died had the taunting not been started in the first place? Seems to me that Darius chose of his free will to give Avery flack for being trans, and that Avery's death was a consequence (however unintended) of Darius's decision to not just leave her alone.

That said, I don't think that the show's decision to portray such hate crime as a black-prep white-victim type of crime was right. I don't think that reflects real-live racial demographics of anti-trans violence. Furthermore, doing this in a way that portrays the goal of protecting trans-folk from violence as being in conflict with the goal of racial justice just serves to put the black community against the trans community (and leaving some friends of mine who are both trans *and* black caught in the middle) -- and it does so needlessly because the breakdown of black-prep and white-victim doesn't even reflect typical anti-trans hate crimes to begin with!!!

CLA said...

I have not seen the episode. I can not comment. But the opinion placed below summarizes what most people who watch SVU found. The comment was copied from SVU page on Facebook, where thousands of people are determining the series.

Gabriel Garcia Dude! "This was a great episode! The emotional roller coaster That It Took me on puts it in the top tier of all Law & Order episodes ever made. Incredible writing and perfect production."
Like · Comment · 146 · 20 h

@ Petra

We are in disagreement with the Rollins character. Let's face it: you get your opinion; I with mine.

I'm sorry for my english.

Tay Carroll said...

Glad Johnny D shot her.

Petra S said...

@CLA - you don't have to like the character but you don't get to slut shame her. To do that is vicious and it will never ever be okay with me. There are real people out there who identify with Rollins and if you slut shame her you slut shame them and I will always, always stand up against that. If you are a fan of the show and/or Mariska you should know that you go against everything they stand for and the message they are trying to put out there. Slut shaming is wrong and you don't belong on a SVU forum if you keep that up!

CLA said...

@ Petra

Excuse me Petra, but I continue with my opinion. I'm entitled to it. Perhaps not as well write English, I do not know express myself properly. But I confess: I do not like Rollins. I think she does not fit the SVU squad. She is addicted to gambling, blackmail made to defend Nick Amaro, and have sex in exchange for benefits. Said everything.

Petra S said...

@CLA - well some of us are able to look beyond her actions and see the pain she, & thousands of other rape survivors, comes from/with. You are just ignorant to me. Feels like I'm talking to a wall but as I written many times before it's perfectly fine that you don't like her but one can try and restrain from airing that in every single post one make as she does have fans out there, and I will always stand up against you when you slut shame her or anyone else for that matter.

Anonymous said...

I dunno what happened to freedom of speech?!?

empxth tbh said...

okayyyyy calm down it's not like this is real or anything it's just tv :D

Petra S said...

Slut shaming is unfortunately really real and I know a lot of victims/survivors read SVU forums so I feel it's important that they don't have to be exposed to that on top of everything.
I'm not that familiar with the US laws but in my country slut shaming is slander and not freedom of speech. In this case it's a fictional character but for many ppl this is real and I just won't stand by and let it happen. As for CLA I won't keep trying cause if she doesn't get now what exactly it is I take offense to then she will just never get it.

Crystal Williams said...

Charles O Howard. I think it's based off his murder from back in the 80's.

Anonymous said...

You stated your opinion so I'd let it go, Petra.
Calling someone ignorant, I take offense to and it doesn't make you sound very smart either.

Anonymous said...

You stated your opinion so I'd let it go, Petra.
Calling someone ignorant, I take offense to and it doesn't make you sound very smart either.

Tay Carroll said...

Being rape doesn't excuse her actions for example pointing a gun against a pregnant woman's belly!!!!!!

Phil Smith said...

I actually like the Rollins character. For on she is a good cop and investigator. Sure she has her faults, but don't we all. She was given the chance to clean up her act, which she did. Got past her gambling addiction and other issues.

The writers gave her character growth, which they should have done with Stabler. Instead he was relegated as a hot headed neanderthal acting on imps with no self control.

We all have faults and it's more realistic that the SVU detectives are no different, each with their own demons. Makes for a better belivable story how people actually are.

Philip Sorbello said...

Chris Zimmer I curious to what your process is in doing the reviews. Do you watch the episode through, then watch it again and pause it and take notes. It seems like a huge undertaking and I applaud your efforts. I'm a huge fan, but you take to an entirely different level. Well done!

Chris Zimmer said...

Philip Sorbello: Yes, I watch the episode first, then re-watch and recap while I watch. I do have to pause many times while recapping as they often speak faster than I can type, and I do have to make sure that I include what the people are doing, not just what they are saying! I usually write the review after I recap, but I take notes on my review topics while watching both times. Many times I pick up on things while recapping that I missed the first time around. I get my first impression of the episode - whether I liked it or not - during the live viewing. So, if I didn't like an episode on the first viewing, doing the recap can be an awful chore. In the case of this episode, I dreaded doing the recap. By the time I get the recap done, write the review, spell and grammar check, get the cast listing done, get the pics, etc. etc, it's about a 6 hour process on average but episodes with a lot of dialog or activity with details critical to the episode, or where I have a lot to say on the review, those can take close to 8 hours. I've had many people tell me they've tried to do it but they find it impossible. I used to recap ALL the Law ^ Order brand show and a lot of other shows on my TV blog, so I think I just got it down to a tolerable system over the years. I'm glad that people seem to get value from them!

Phil Smith said...

Wow that's more complicated then quantum physics : O

Stacia Hamidi said...

I am with you. I cried both when Avery died and when the 1 boy out of the 3 who admitted to wrongdoing got hard time... Hate crime means no remorse after! 😢

totowolf said...

FYI...Kelli Giddish had her baby yesterday. See Facebook for further info.

BensonFan said...

What was interesting about this episode is that it was easy to feel sympathy for Darius. The SVU writers/producers, instead of making a violent and gory episode focused on violence against trans people, directed their attention toward a remorseful teen being the killer.

I welled up at the end because I felt for Darius. He genuinely seemed to have a change of heart, as evidenced by his starting to use the pronoun "she" instead of "he" when referring to Avery.

blahblah16 said...

Please don't use the word tranny. That's the equivalent of using the n word to describe someone who's black- It's a slur.

blahblah16 said...

Please don't use the word tranny. It's the equivalent of using the n word to describe someone who's black- It's a slur.

blahblah16 said...

Speaking as a transgender person, i wouldnt be surprised of it's never over. This episode grossed me out in so many ways, from the racist overtones to the "She presched forgiveness in her life!!" bullshit. You don't get to be sorry and say you didn't mean it if you commit involuntary manslaughter while harassing someone. It may be a show but this way of thinking carries into real life- I've personally been blamed for being filmed using the bathroom.
Regardless, man this was a racist episode. That one line that was like "There are two schools near here, public and private" where the detective went "THREE GUESSES AS TO WHICH ONE THEY GO TO LOL" made me physically cringe.
Bad episode, 0 out of 5

blahblah16 said...

Bad episode, good review. Don't refer to the the Avery character with he-him pronouns, she is a transgender female character and it's necessary to normalize using the correct pronouns for trans people.

Unknown said...

I know this is old but, spot on. Especially when the most at-risk demographic of trans people is BLACK trans women. Incredibly tone deaf episode, which didn't do justice to either trans victims of hate crimes or black youth who receive unfairly harsh sentences.

Josh Tatarsky said...

I know im late to the game on this but I just watched this episode and found this website. As much as I love SVU sometimes they clearly have to try so hard to make a story line work. The boy clearly didnt have intent to kill Avery. He didnt push her off a bridge. He pushed her off of himself, and she fell of the other side of the bridge (which doesn't seem plausible either but whatever). He would have never been found guilty of manslaughter. I could have have gotten him off with a better defense. SVU frequently has episodes like this and its so annoying. It could have been such a better episode and more meaningful. They probably shouldnt have used kids to make the points they were trying (so hard) to make.

Upstanding and honorable citizen said...

This episode was a direct reflection of real life. While hard to watch, it was not a surprise.

Erin said...

I know this is an old post, but it's SUPER DUPER NOT OK to refer to Avery with He/Him pronouns. It's misgendering, highly offensive and inaccurate.

I know a lot of folks have mentioned it was a problematic episode because the most targeted demographic is black trans women.

This is true but I was really heartened to see them making mention of how black people and men especially are often come down on like a ton of bricks for homophobia and transphobia, as well as low-income, or poorly-educated families who've not been exposed to the world of identity and gender theory. It's a racist double standard and one I think was worth exploring.

Erin said...

@Upsett I think your comment really highlights the problem of overt transphobia and homophobia in the black community.

It's not a contest or a game of Oppression Olympics. More than one group can suffer hatred and discrimination and suffer for it. I get why black people feel this way but imagine if say, folks went around saying we can't do anything or even talk about racism until sexism is completely and totally eliminated.

Also, I do understand the concept of intersectionality but I'm just trying to get you to put yourself in another's shoes, albeit clumsily.