Thursday, February 11, 2016

Law & Order SVU “Nationwide Manhunt” Recap & Review

Law & Order SVU relies heavily on real life news to craft fictional versions; it's a writer’s version of manna from heaven.  The ripped from the headlines stories were obvious in “Nationwide Manhunt,” using recent stories of a prison break (Clinton Correctional) and a contraband drone drop (Mansfield Correctional). But these events helped to craft an excellent story about two of SVUs repeat offenders - Doctors Greg Yates and Carl Rudnick - and again bring in SVU’s favorite crazy lady, Bronwyn Wilkins (née Freed). This episode spent very little time in the SVU squad room and had plenty of action, giving everyone the opportunity get out of their element and perform at their best. (Ice-T did not appear in this episode; no reason was given for Fin's absence.)   It was also a perfect opportunity to close the books on creepy Greg Yates;  not in this episode, but in the second half of the crossover. (Update February 12, 2016: I was originally going to do a brief recap of the second half of the crossover, Chicago PD’s “The Song of Gregory Williams Yates,” but I’ve decided against it. I thought that episode fell flat and I didn’t want to spend the time to watch it again to recap it. For those who are interested in what happens to Yates, Erin Lindsay goes after him on her own; she shoots and kills him when it appears he is coming at her with an awl.)

Benson loses it when she encounters Bronwyn, who was directly responsible for William Lewis’ escape and now has helped two other serial killers break out of jail. Benson rightfully has zero tolerance for this deluded woman and it was great to see Benson show fiery anger. I’m surprised that Barba couldn’t make any of the charges stick against Bronwyn from the Lewis escape. I’m starting to wonder if Barba is losing his mojo. He also seemed on edge from the moment he arrived at the prison. One would think that as ADA he’s made plenty of prison visits, so why he would seem so skittish at this one?  Maybe he is breaking under pressures from his job? Maybe he needs more fiber in his diet? Or is there more going on?

While at the prison, Dodds states that his father knows everybody and that his father makes a point of it, yet it seemed that Dodds was the one who wanted to make the point. I am sure his father casts a long shadow but I’m not convinced that Dodds really objects to it as he implies. Maybe there is some insecurity there which gives him the need to invoke his father's name at times, but to his credit,  Dodds operates with the proper authority when Benson is not there,  and is fully capable of taking charge.  In one situation, however,  he loses control by letting Erin Lindsay do the driving, and, when they fail to return to SVU as instructed,  he gets shot. Lindsay then ignores his instructions to stay put and leaves him wounded as she runs off to chase William Yates.  Not nice, Lindsay! Next time, he should probably do the driving in his home state so he has control over a situation with an out-of-jurisdiction detective. (By the way,  in the opening scene of the Chicago PD episode, Dawson says Dodds will make a full recovery.)

Rollins blames herself for allowing Yates to play her, but she wasn’t at fault at all. Rudnick was going to get out with or without Yates, and I can see why Rollins would want to get Yates into the honor block in exchange for more information about the remains in question. I can understand Rollins’ frustration with being coddled (as she called it), and while Carisi didn’t mean to be demeaning, just because she was frustrated doesn’t mean she is suffering from postpartum depression! No wonder she is annoyed.

Carisi also appeared to have blinders on when it came to Rudnick, seemingly showing him much sympathy when he was captured and again while he was in the hospital. But I was thrilled when Carisi pulled back so quickly once he got the information he wanted out of Rudnick. It seems Carisi was playing Rudnick. Well done!

A mistake – and this kind of error really annoys me because it is so easily preventable or fixable– is the date on the photo of Rudnick and Bronwyn from the bridge. The date was nowhere near the date that they said the image was taken. It was dated January 21, and Rudnick and Yates were both in prison on that date. They made a similar error in “Townhouse Incident.” These kinds of mistakes reflect poorly on a production that makes such a big deal of posting the timeline multiple times in every episode.

All in all, this was an excellent episode and the director, actors, and writers delivered an exciting hour!

Here is the recap:

Mariska Hargitay - Lieutenant 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:
Andy Karl - Sgt. Mike Dodds
Sophia Bush - Erin Lindsay
Jon Seda - Antonio Dawson
Jason Beghe – Hank Voight
Dallas Roberts - Greg Yates
Jefferson Mays - Dr. Carl Rudnick
Anna Deavere Smith – Prison Warden
Kevin Kane – Major Bowman
Robin de Jesus – Jose Silva
Stella Maeve – Nadia Cotis
Sarah Bisman Storm – Bronwyn Wilkins
Jamil Mena – Corrections Officer #1
Stephen Tenner – Corrections Officer #2
Kazy Tauginas – Corrections Officer #3
Alvin Crawford – Corrections Officer #4
Phillip JM Chroba – Kyle Wilkins
Tony Rossi – Librarian
Laoina Micheele – Gate Guard
Pat Kiernan – as Himself
Cheryl Wills – as Herself
Marley Haley – as Little Girl

“In the criminal justice system, some killers are so depraved that it takes multiple police agencies to bring them to justice. This is one of those investigations.”

A woman viewers know as Bronwyn Freed bakes lasagna and hides money, a cell phone, cutting blades, and nail polish and makeup utensils in it.

Meanwhile, Benson is at SVU on the phone with Chicago PD’s Hank Voight. She tells him Dr. Greg Yates is now claiming some of the bones they found in Pelham Bay – vics they never ID’d – may be the remains of runaway Midwestern girls. Voight states they do have some open missing persons cases from when Yates was in Chicago who fit his M.O. This is why Benson is calling, and Voight asks with sarcasm if Yates is offering this up for humanitarian reasons. Benson explains Yates wants to discuss this with Rollins, but Benson just doesn’t want her anywhere near him, and these are Chicago vics. Voight asks if she wants him to send Lindsay, and Benson thinks Yates will talk to her. Voight comments that Lindsay still hasn’t forgiven herself for what Yates did to Nadia. Benson wonders if Lindsay can use that, and Benson adds that they will keep each other posted, Voight mumbles “hmm” in agreement and Benson thanks him. As Benson looks at the photos of Nadia, we see Erin Lindsay and Antonio Dawson get in a New York City taxi. As they drive, Lindsay flashes back to her times with Nadia.

At Green Haven Correctional Facility on Thursday, February 4, Yates looks through photos of the remains and when Yates says nothing, Lindsay prompts him to answer. He says yes, these are disturbing - fractured skulls, broken hyoid bones. He comments these girls were driven all the way from Chicago to that bleak Bronx bone yard, that same place that her friend Nadia was found. Lindsay reminds him: “After you murdered her.” Dawson states they are here because they heard Yates may have information on these victims. Yates, in a mocking voice, says “who they were, how they got there, where did they come from?” Dawson suggests Yates start with who they are. Yates, looking away from the detectives, says these are just bones, they can’t find any DNA on them so he will guess they came from working girls. Dawson reminds Yates he told SVU some of those victims might be from Chicago. He mumbles “did I?” and Dawson gives him some missing persons photos they want him to look at. Yates does so and comments that they girls are so young, and he doesn’t imagine that’s what they looked like when the killer encountered them. Lindsay, looking impatient, asks where. Yates replies maybe at a truck stop whoring themselves out for cocaine. He looks at Lindsay and says she must know the power of addiction. She stares back at him and says they are here to talk about these girls, not her. Yates counters that Nadia talked a lot about her on their drive; how Sergeant Voight took her off the street, mentored her. Yates comments that Voight has a lot of anger; it must have been very scary growing up in his home. Lindsay, looking angry, stands up and says there are done . As Dawson picks up the photos, Yates says he is sorry they wasted their trip, and to tell the warden he’d be much more comfortable talking with Detective Rollins. Dawson states she is not coming up here. Yates asks why not, then stands up, realizing she must have had her baby by now. He asks if it is a boy or a girl, and Lindsay says that is none of his business. Yates says if they want closure for those families, get her here – by tomorrow.

With Lindsay and Dawson at SVU, Rollins tells Benson she should have gone up, there, adding that he didn’t give them anything. Lindsay doesn’t think he has anything to give. Rollins counters that Yates never shows his cards on the first pass, and nothing is for free. She asks what Yates asked for, and Dawson says Yates wants to speak with Rollins. Benson raises her voice, saying Yates is bored and he gets off on pulling everybody’s strings. Rollins states Yates gave them Rudnick, and he knows more about those bones than he’s ever led on. Carisi adds with sarcasm that Yates is still claiming those bodies might be from the Chicago girls. Dawson states that they do have 4 women who went missing when Yates moved to Chicago and one of them is a working girl who was a patient at his urgent care center. Lindsay adds Yates did seem to recognize her and he could have driven her east like he did with Nadia. Dodds asks isn’t Yates appealing that conviction, wondering why would he confess to more crimes. Rollins says that Yates doesn’t confess; she keeps the conversation hypothetical and he just fills in the blanks. Lindsay suggests that Sergeant Voight would really like to give these girls’ families some answers, and Benson says she knows. Benson tells Carisi to go with. As they group breaks up, Rollins chases after Benson and says there is no point of sending him, Yates isn’t going even going to make eye contact with him and there are CO’s everywhere. Benson says they know Yates and he has probably been playing them since the moment he got there.

Back at Green Haven, Mrs. Wilkins – we know her as Bronwyn Freed – is running a support group with the prisoners. Dr. Rudnick and Jose Silva sit next to each other in the group. As the group breaks into pairs, Yates comes into the room and apologizes for being late. Rudnick looks less than thrilled. Yates tells Jose that he and Rudnick have issues they need to work through, and Jose lets him pair up with Rudnick. Yates asks Rudnick if Mrs. Wilkins is still bringing those deep pan trays of lasagna. And Rudnick says that shouldn’t concern him. But Yates says it does, saying home cooking – you just can’t beat it.

Later, Rollins and Carisi arrive at Green Haven and speak with the warden about Yates. She says there are no problems, he volunteers in the law library at the hospital and is a model inmate. She adds that sometimes the lifers get Zen and try to make the best of it, or they want to get transferred further upstate. Either way, he has settled in. As they enter the gates, Carisi comments to Rollins that Yates has charmed the warden – a classic sociopath. Rollins says she knows.

Inside, as Rollins and Carisi enter the prison meeting room, Yates is waiting and tells Rollins that motherhood becomes her. She smiles and says thank you. He asks how she lost the baby weight so fast, adding that she is glowing. He asks if she is breastfeeding, says that the hormones can do wonders…Carisi angrily cuts Yates off, saying that is enough. Rollins tells him it is okay. Yates says he supposes it was too much for him to expect Rollins to come alone, and he was a bit hurt that she sent the Chicago detectives in her stead. Carisi, his voice testy, says that she is here now so get on with it. Rollins brings out photos of the girls from Chicago, showing one photo that Yates had said could have been a working girl. Yates looks at the photo and makes a comment about the girls blue eyes. He doubts she ended up in Pelham Bay. Rollins thinks he does have a theory about where she did end up. Yates replies that if he had to guess, she was turning tricks at a truck stop between Chicago and Gary, I-90 most likely, but if something happened to her out there in the dark at night, she is probably just waiting in the weeds. He says this with a faint smile, and Rollins face gets an uncomfortable look. Carisi comments now they are getting somewhere. Rollins asks if the other girls are in Pelham Bay. Yates says possibly, but she knows how this works: to get, you gave to give.

Back at SVU, Carisi and Rollins are on a video call and Benson hears that Yates wants to be transferred to honor block. Dodds says Yates is a serial killer and that is not happening, but Carisi explains that when you are in prison, whatever you did to get there doesn’t really matter and they use the carrot of the honor block to encourage good behavior. Lindsay thinks he is not capable of good behavior. Rollins explains Yates did make a show of good faith: Siobhan Kelly, the patient at his urgent care center, Yates suggested they check truck stops outside of Gary. As Dawson says he will loop in Voight, Rollins adds Yates may know more but won’t say anything until he is transferred. Benson comments of course he won’t, and Lindsay asks her if this is a good idea. Dodds doubts the warden would approve that, but Benson tells Rollins and Carisi to find out and she wants the both back in New York tonight.

At Green Haven Correctional Facility in the warden’s office on Friday, February 5, Rollins and Carisi explain Yates' request for the honor block. The warden expresses concern with Rudnick also being there and that he and Yates have a history. Carisi explains that Yates ratted out Rudnick and Rudnick killed his fiancée. The warden wonders is this is a ploy for Yates to get revenge against Rudnick, but Rollins thinks that if Yates was intent on that, it would have happened already. The warden says she would like to talk to Rudnick, saying he is an odd one and is not sure how he will react. Carisi thinks he has a good rapport with Rudnick and thinks he can sound him out.

Later, Carisi meets with Rudnick and explains the situation and Rudnick is not worried about Yates. He says he can handle that pedestrian sociopath and always has. They enter his cell and Carisi looks around and sees the pan of lasagna. He moves over to look at a poster on the wall and Rudnick looks unsettled and asks quickly what kind of leverage Yates used. Carisi says he can’t tell him that, and Rudnick says it was kind for Carisi to visit again. He hopes that Carisi is not still eating bacon, mentioning the World Health Organization study. Carisi says he saw that and has been trying to cut back. Rudnick comments that people say life is short, but in fact life is mostly, of course, very long and urges Carisi to stay in his best shape. He extends his hand to shake Carisi’s, and Carisi does, thanking him.

Outside, Rollins, on the phone with Benson and leaving with Carisi, says that Yates’ transfer went through but it is too late to talk to him again today. She says they are heading back and she has to relieve her sitter anyway, but tomorrow morning they can drive up here first thing…Benson cuts her off and says absolutely not. Benson explains Yates talked to Rollins and from now on, he has to talk to her (Benson). She asks if she is making herself clear, and Rollins says copy that. After Rollins hangs up, Carisi guesses that Benson doesn’t want Rollins coming back up here, adding he does not blame her. Rollins wonder shy everybody keeps saying that, they were fine together. Carisi says Yates has her number. She scoffs, asking that Rudnick doesn’t have Carisi’s? Carisi says not really, he just likes talking to the guy, he has his own world view. Rollins smiles at Carisi and states that she rests her case. As they wait to exit, Carisi asks a guard why the delay, and they see a work crew in a truck with a “cherry picker” attachment backing away from the gate.

Back in the prison, Yates stops by Rudnick’s room and Yates looks at the lasagna and says Mrs. Wilkins is a miracle worker. When the guard gets out of earshot, Yates tells Rudnick just so they are clear, he is gonna be there when that miracle occurs. Rudnick, looking dejected, sighs.

The next day, Benson and Dodds arrive at Green Haven and Benson says she is not allowing Rollins to talk to Yates any more. If he wants to stay on honor block, no more games. Inside, they check their weapons and Benson, seeing Barba has arrived, says she didn’t know Uber came up to Green Haven. He replies to just to promise not to stop to eat before they get back to the city,. They enter to see the warden, who explains they just let gen-pop into the yard and once that is done, they will bring them to Yates. Barba says that is understood and thanks her for making the transfer. When Benson asks how it went last night, the warden says so far, so good. Yates and Rudnick spent their first night together on the honor block without incident. Her staff told her they were cordial to each other at morning head count. Dodds says that is good to know, then adds his father William Dodds sends his best. The warden says she sees the resemblance and tells Dodds to tell his father she said hello. Barba seems impatient, and says the sooner they meet with Yates, the sooner they will be on their way. Benson, shooting a look to Barba, says they are fine, whenever the warden can. The warden tells the guard they are about done, to take them to the block and bring Yates down. The guard radios to another guard to bring down Yates but when the guard gets to Yates' cell it is empty. The guard calls over to Jose who is sitting at a table cuddling a blanket. Jose does not know where Yates is, but says Rudnick is in the clinic doing volunteer work.

Meanwhile back at SVU, Rollins kicks a drink vending machine to get it to release her purchase. Carisi sees her and asks if she is okay, adding his sister took a little melatonin when she got postpartum. Rollins says she is not depressed, she is pissed off because Benson won’t let her go back to Green Haven. She thinks when Yates sees Benson, Barba and Dodds they will think they are ganging up on him and she pulled a bait and switch. He asks if she is worried about her relationship with Yates now? She answers sarcastically that is exactly what she meant. She gives the machine another kick and is happy the can drops into the slot. She looks at Carisi and asks “What?” and he replies that he is glad that motherhood mellowed her out. She comments that is another thing, she hates being coddled, saying that she had a baby and she can’t talk to serial killers anymore? She leaves the room and Carisi shakes his head and walks off.

Back at Green Haven, Barba asks Dodds if his father knows the warden, and Dodds explains that he knows everybody and he kind of makes a point of it. Benson notices a drone hovering outside and the inmates see it as well. The guards order everybody onto the ground and calls for a code blue. Meanwhile, the other guard is still looking for Yates and hears the code blue. Dodds comments to the others that he’s heard about this – he thinks it was in Mansfield Ohio – where they used drones to drop guns and drugs. The drone drops a box into the yard and the inmates rush to them. Another drone appears and the guard warns the other yards. There are now three drones. Benson, Dodds and Barba watch from inside and when Barba wonders why this is taking so long, Dodds assures Barba the guards will get it under control. Barba is startled when an inmate rushed the window and bangs on it in front of Barba, causing him to step back. With sarcasm, he thanks Dodds, saying that is very comforting. Dodds reminds him they are inside and they are out there and to relax. Barba, sounding testy, says he is perfectly relaxed. Benson says, “Guys, please.” Barba looks unsettled.

Later, after things settle down, the guards find the drones dropped small guns and phones.

Back at SVU, Lindsay is on the phone with Voight, saying they have not heard anything yet. She hangs up and tells Dawson Voight wants them back tonight. Dawson wants to wait to find out what Yates had to say. Carisi gets off the phone with Barba’s office and says they haven’t heard from him in 4 hours. Lindsay wonders what is going on up there, and Rollins hopes that Yates is talking. She tries the warden again.

Back at Green Haven, a guard, making the rounds, checks and finds Yates is not in his cell. Another guard notices Rudnick is missing too. They open Rudnick’s cell and speak with his cellmate, Jose, who says if he says anything they will kill him. But one guard notices a poster on the wall and pushes it in and sees a huge hole The other guard radios that they have a situation on the honor block – a possible escape, calling it a code blue.

Later, Benson speaks with the warden who says they are having trouble locating Yates and Rudnick is also unaccounted for. She explains there was some sort of internal damage in Rudnick’s cell, and and opening was cut into the wall. Benson looks shocked, asking if they escaped. The warden thinks they are probably trapped somewhere in the prison infrastructure. Benson puts her hand to her head in disbelief, and Dodds thinks they had help. The warden says they are investigating but no one on the block knows anything. Benson asks if he has a cellmate.

Benson and Dodds speak with a fearful Jose who said Rudnick got tools somehow. This has been going on a few months; Rudnick worked nights and he had to pretend to be asleep or Rudnick wouldn’t take him. Rudnick didn’t want Yates involved but before headcount, Yates said he was going and Rudnick said yes. Benson asks what was the plan?

Later and elsewhere in the prison, Benson explains that Jose said that they figured out how to get past the prison walls. The warden comments that would be her worst nightmare. Barba thought they sealed everything up, and the warden says they did. They welded all the manholes shut and checked every access point. Dodds sees a high pressure steam unit that is cool to the touch when it should be hot. They hear that Con Electric was doing repairs last night and the unit would be shut for a few hours. The opening is large enough. Benson demands to know where the pipe goes.

Outside, they find the exit point for the pipe and the warden says they had it sealed over the summer. Benson comments that Rudnick has family money and he probably bribed somebody to unseal it. A guard finds a note; the warden opens it and reads, “I think I will miss you most of all, scarecrow.” Barba asks if that is green nail polish on the note, noting that is one of Yates’ signatures. The warden asks where is the Con El crew, and Dodds shouts there is a body. They see one body in the grass with a snapped neck, and they look to the cherry picker to see if the other man in the crew is there. The warden comments that Rollins comes to visit Yates and he escapes and asks if there is any reason why Benson came up here instead of Rollins? Benson insists her detective did not help Yates break out of prison. The warden reminds Benson t hat Rollins fought to get Yates transferred to the honor block. Benson, raising her voice, says it is because Rollins knows him better than anyone else, it is the only way they could get him to cooperate. Barba says Rollins didn’t order those drones or cut a hole in the cell wall; this has been planned for months. Benson states he had to have outside help. Benson thinks visitor, volunteers, maybe even COs. The warden states her intelligence unit is already making a list. The basket is being lowered from the truck and Dodds calls them over - it’s the other worker with a snapped neck. Barba comments they killed the people who tried to help them escape and Dodds says they aren’t taking any chances. Benson thinks they won’t hesitate to kill again. Barba asks when was the last time Yates and Rudnick were seen, and the warden states it was 6AM headcount. Benson angrily says they have a 9 hour head start so they can be anywhere. The warden comments that Benson said Rollins understands Yates better than anyone else, and barks to Benson to get her up here.

A TV news story tells of the escape and the murders of the two Con Electric people and the ensuing search, along with warning.

At the Church of Saint Gabriel in Stormville, New York on Saturday, February 6, Benson gets out of her car, speaking with Voight on the phone about the latest information. She says she will need all the help she can get, and Voight says he will tell his guys to turn around. Benson hangs up and tells Dodds that Lindsay and Dawson were about to board a plane, they are on their way up there right now. Carisi, who approaches with Rollins, asks if Benson is alright. She says yeah, but adds it is a long day. Dodds says there is no sign of Rudnick or Yates and the state troopers set up roadblocks. Rollins says now they know why Yates asked to be transferred to honor block. Benson states Rudnick’s cellmate told them that Rudnick planned the whole thing and that Yates nosed in at the last minute. Rollins comments that she did not see this coming, and Carisi says nobody is blaming her. Rollins disagrees, saying all of it - calling in CPD, getting her involved -  Yates is playing the long game. He must have figured out Rudnick’s plan and realized the clock was ticking. Dodds states that the entire county is on lockdown and there is a nationwide alert; they won’t get away. Rollins counters that Dodds doesn’t know Yates.

Later, the warden, with Benson and the detectives standing by, addresses a crowd from the FBI and AFT. She says that Yates and Rudnick are extremely dangerous and they have already killed two men who helped them escape. She turns the floor over to Major Bowman, who says Yates and Rudnick already have a head start so they can be anywhere. As we see law enforcement prepare, we hear Bowman say they have warned the public to keep their doors locked and to avoid engaging any strangers. The warden explains the NYPD Special Victims Unit is here to give specifics about the fugitives. Benson states that these men are intelligent and motivated, they are charming and without conscience. She adds their crimes include rape, kidnapping, torture and murder. As we see officers check vehicles on the road, we hear Rollins states that Yates is capable of hot-wiring cars, he is adept at identity theft and is highly manipulative. Carisi adds especially when preying on young women and Rudnick can blend in with the group. As we see police dogs scan an area, we hear Carisi state that they know Rudnick assumes disguises, usually an older female. The warden sums up that these men are dangerous sociopaths who will not hesitate to kill. Bowman says they have already begun house to house searches and road blocks, and air support with heat sensing infrared sensors will be in the air within the half hour. He tells them to search every inch of this county.

Afterwards, the warden tells Benson her staff has pulled security cameras, visitors logs, and personnel files. Benson states her team can help with the interviews. Bowman asks how bad are these guys? Barba tells him to think of Robert Durst and Ted Bundy on the run together.

Benson and Rollins speak again with Jose about who gave Rudnick the help, and when Rollins gets angry and demand Jose talk, he says it was Mrs. Wilkins who teaches their conflict transformation class. She was always bringing Rudnick lasagna and baked stuff. He never let him eat it because he thinks there was contraband in there. Benson raises her voice, asking how did they get it past the COs? Jose comments they like her lasagna too.

Carisi and Dodds question the CO and finds that Mrs. Wilkins had gate clearance but the items were never scanned through the metal detector as she did not want her food bombarded with rays. The guard asks for his union rep.

Meanwhile, the warden tells Benson, Rollins and Barba about Bronwyn Wilkins and when Benson hears the first name, Benson describes her and the warden says she just got married last month and her maiden name was Freed.  Barba says, “You gotta be kidding me” and the warden asks if they know her. Benson explains Bronwyn Freed helped William Lewis escape from Rikers by bringing him drugs inside baked goods. Rollins asks don’t they do background checks, but the warden said Mrs. Wilkins has no record. Barba counters it is because the charges were dropped, and looks to Benson and said it was not his call. Benson glares at him and says he didn’t tell her that. Barba explains that Rikers had chain of custody issues and corrupt COs and no one upstairs wanted to open that can of worms. Rollins thinks she had to be flagged at Rikers, but the warden says Rikers is city, they are state and the two systems don’t exactly communicate. Rollins stopped the warden by stepping in front of her and says they need an address – now.

At the residence of Bronwyn Wilkins at 32 Honeysuckle Court in Stormville. NY on Saturday, February 6, SVU and police approach the house. They force open the door and tell Kyle Wilkins to get down now. His hands up are up and he explains his wife said she had a family emergency so she took his car. Dodds demands the make, model, and license number.

Later, they approach a car that is the same make and model as Kyle’s but with a different license plate; it appears to have been switched. Lindsay and Dawson are with Benson and Rollins, who explain that the dogs picked up the escapees’ scents. Carisi rifles through a trash bin and finds a jumpsuit, a dress, and a wig. Benson states the question is now where is Rudnick’s body? Dodds shouts that the dogs are on to something. They follow and are led to a nearby locked car. Benson orders Dodds to open it, and he breaks with window to gain entry. They pop the trunk and find Bronwyn Wilkins inside, alive and her mouth duct-taped. Lindsay rips off the tape and yells, “Where are they? Where’s Yates?” Bronwyn says she doesn’t know and begs for help. Rollins asks how long ago was she with them, and Bronwyn sobs it was before noon, and that Yates made her. Benson tells them to get her out of here.

Another TV news story outlines the manhunt, noting a female accomplice is in custody.

At the New York State Police Barracks, North County Station in Stormville, NY on Sunday, February 7, Bronwyn explains to Benson, Barba, and Rollins that she was working with Rudnick on his impulse issues and he is a very sensitive man and over time, they grew close. He was able to read her moods. Barba questions if Rudnick asked for favors, and she states that he would talk about a book he missed or a piece of art or music, and Rollins says Bronwyn brought him gifts. She says it was little things, salt or spices to cook with, organic soap. Benson, who has been pacing, shouts out, “How about hacksaws?” Bronwyn suggests that maybe it’s not good for Benson to be there, Benson has a lot of anger toward her. Benson, shouting, asks why does she think that is? Barba tells Benson they have this, but Benson, her voice still raised, says “No. I’m not gonna coddle her.  You helped two serial killers escape from prison. Whatever they do TO ANYONE while they’re out is on you.” Bronwyn counters that Rudnick has dealt with her dark side, but Benson shouts that he chopped a woman into little pieces. Bronwyn states that is not the man that she knows. Benson steps away and says in disbelief, “Oh my god.” Rollins says Rudnick can make her feel wanted but he was using her. Benson gets in Bronwyn’s face and said they left her to die in the trunk of a car, he doesn’t give a damn about her. Bronwyn says he does, he just couldn’t survive inside. Barba says that she helped them escape and is looking at felony charges and she needs to tell them what she brought them, what their plans are, everything. She puts her head in her hands.

Meanwhile, Dodds tells Carisi, Lindsay and Dawson, all working out of the command center, that they just got a still from the Kingston Rhinecliff bridge time stamped yesterday morning. (Note: the image is dated 1/21/2016 at 9:02AM.) It is Bronwyn, with Rudnick dressed as women  wearing the wig and dress they found near the car. They assume Yates is in the back of the car. Carisi thinks two women in a Subaru wouldn’t raise any flags. Dodds assumed once they got past Albany they didn’t need Bronwyn anymore so they dumped her in the lot.

Back with Bronwyn, she said Yates commented she had served her purpose and they said she didn’t need to know what their next stop was. Dr. Rudnick said he would kill her but he saved her life, he just fired a shot and threw her in the trunk of the other car. Barba expresses concern they are armed and she explains her husband keeps a .38 in case bears get into the garbage, they made her bring it along. Benson questions that they made her, but Bronwyn insists yes, she was in fear for her life. Barba asks where were they going.

Back at the command center, Dodds tells Carisi and the others that Benson said Bronwyn gave Rudnick a gun and a map of the Adirondacks State Park. Carisi rolls out a map for Lindsay and Dawson and Bowman. The park is huge which is why Carisi thinks they need to start at the north end. He explains when he and Rollins apprehended Rudnick he was in Buffalo, just shy of the Canadian border. Dawson asks what was his escape plan, and Carisi said he had passports and cash but beyond that, they never found out. Lindsay says that is Rudnick, but Yates, the last time he was on the run, he killed Nadia and he went on a spree. Carisi states they are not sure these two are even still together, there is bad blood between the two of them. Dodds suggests anything is possible; they could have split up or one of them could have killed the other. Bowman shouts that they have many sightings, as far south as the Texas/Mexico border. Dodds asks if there were any on the way up to Canada.

Back with Bronwyn, she explains that Yates manipulated her, he figured out she was intimate with Rudnick. Barba asks if physically, and she states no, of course not, but spiritually. Rollins asks how did he manipulate her, and she says he found out about the lasagna. Barba comments that she told him Rudnick was planning the escape, and she explains she had to, he said if she didn’t he would kill her husband. Benson reminds her that Yates was in prison and her husband was 30 miles away, and Bronwyn says that doesn’t matter, if Yates wants to hurt somebody, he finds a way.

At 109 Brady Road in Gloversville, NY on Sunday, February 7, Lindsay and Dawson stand over the body of a dead trooper. Lindsay thinks this is Yates' doing. Dodds walks in and says they found prison issued underwear and they are checking for DNA. Lindsay repeats she feels this is Yates, and asks how the trooper ended up here. Dodds says the first responder got a call from a neighbor who saw smoke coming out of the chimney and the owner never stays there in th4e winter. That was an hour ago. They also found a blood trail outside; one of them may be hurt and it may slow them down. The dogs are on both scents. As Dodds leaves, Dawson looks back at Lindsay who looks distressed. He tries to assure her they will get him.

Later, Carisi states that Yates’ trail ends at the water and Bowman says there is a boat out there looking for him now, along with divers from customs. He adds that the area is mostly summer cabins; they have infrared and are checking indoors. Rollins runs up and says the dogs picked up Rudnick’s scent. They use infrared and see movement in a boat. They yell for the occupant to come out with no success. Bowman orders his men to fire into the boat, but Carisi stops them and says he knows this man and they have history. Rollins says they have it. Carisi approaches the boat, shouting to Rudnick as he moves closer. He cuts into the tarp and sees and injured Rudnick and tells him not to move. Carisi calls for help and an ambulance. Rudnick, shaking badly, thanks Carisi.

Another TV news story explains Rudnick’s capture by Caroga Lake, and that he suffered multiple injuries and was rushed to the nearest hospital where he is being questioned. The search for Yates has widened, with sightings scattered everywhere.

At the Caroga Lake Hospital Emergency Room at Caroga Lake, NY on Sunday, February 7, Rollins explains to Benson the injuries to Rudnick and that he was left to die. Benson says she is not shedding any tears. Rollins states that Rudnick will only talk to Carisi, and he is in and out of consciousness. Bowman said Rudnick explained the plan was to cross the border at the St. Lawrence River. Dawson tells Benson he can’t get a hold of Lindsay, explaining he split up with her and Dodds, he followed one dead end and them another. Bowman thinks Lindsay knew Yates was headed north and they put out an APB on a pickup truck Yates hot-wired. Benson worries Lindsay is going after Yates but thinks Dodds would not let he go up there alone. She tells Rollins to call him and get them back.

Carisi is speaking with Rudnick who says his intent was not to harm anyone, Yates bulldozed his way in. He holds Carisi’s hand and says he wanted to leave the country and live a life of peace but Yates only wants one thing: revenge. Carisi says Rudnick has a lot of meds in him now and he wants him to stay with him and asks about the plan; where on the St. Lawrence were they going? Rudnick says Wellesley Island, and he supposes he won’t be going there now. Yates beat it out of him. Now that he has his answer, Carisi tugs his hand away and walks over to Benson, Dawson, and Bowman. He tells them where Yates is headed, and Bowman says he will get the word out. Rollins hands the phone to Benson, saying it is Dodds. Benson tells him border patrol and AFT are handling it and to come back now. He copies that, and then tells Lindsay, who is driving. She won’t follow Dodd’s instructions and says she will drop him at a rest stop if he wants. Dodds says he knows Yates killed someone close to her, but this isn’t them anymore. They spot a stopped squad car with the car door open and Lindsay stops and Dodds says there has been no radio traffic and tells her to pull over. They get out and survey the area, and Dodds radios in for backup on County Road 3. They scan around and Linsdsay sees a trooper down. He is dead. Dodds scans the area and then Lindsay shouts that the trooper’s gun is missing. Shots ring out from the woods and Dodds is hit, and Lindsay goes for cover. Dodds yells for her to stay down and take cover. He radios that shots have been fired and there are two officers down. He says the suspect is armed and in flight and requests immediate backup. Lindsay asks if Dodds is okay, and he replies he is fine, and orders her to stay down. But she doesn’t listen, running after the shooter despite Dodds telling her to stay down and get back here and to wait for back up.

Lindsay races in the dark woods and falls. She gets up and continues to track the shooter, coming upon a house. She opens the door and finds a young girl hiding. Lindsay assure her she is the police and the girl worries for her daddy. A shot is fired outside and Lindsay tells the girl to stay right where she is. Lindsay races outside and a truck starts up and then races past her, Yates in the driver’s seat. Lindsay jumps out of the way as the truck races past her. She gets up and shoots at it as the truck races off. She quickly finds the body of the girl’s father. He has a note stuffed in his mouth, which says “See you back home, Erin.” She looks at the man’s body with worry as we cut to black.

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kat said...

yeah, I'm not sure what was going on with Barba. Maybe b/c Yates reminds him of lewis? Also wished Liv ripped into Cupcake lady some more. That woman caused her a lot of grief.

empxth tbh said...

I really liked it, altho it seemed like it cut to Chicago too.. early? Idk, it just felt like a part of the episode was missing in between..

Ana Andrade said...

I loved this crossover. I'm so glad that Yates is finally gone. The action was very intense. I'm glad that I'm not the only one that understands Amanda's frustration. As for Bronwyn, I wish they'd finally get rid of her. She's crazy and I don't understand why she's helping all these criminals. I wished they would provide an explanation. I am going to assume that Rudnick was sent back to prison and that Bronwyn was finally sent to jail as well. I will believe this until they tell me otherwise. As for Dodds Jr, I think so far he's alright but I don't want him to be a permanent part of the squad. Hopefully he leaves SVU or dies by the end of the season. Something about the fact that they haven't made Andy Karl a regular cast member makes me think I'm right. Either that or they're waiting until next season to make him a regular.


Thanks for recap Chris, I love the whole 2 hours I'll stay on just svu right now. I love how they actually combined all 4 shows in small parts with Chicago med and Wallace boldin making an appearance, now it felt like Yates was her William Lewis and in case no one saw cpd I won't say anything but I love how well done it was done with the exception of I know is only a show but how could so many people escape from jails or prisons on a consistent basis. I will rate this a perfect 10 maybe so much of that is me been a huge fan of the new mother ship as in all the Chicago shows and svu fan.

ladybug81 said...

I'm not usually a fan of the crossovers but I felt like this was one of the best episodes of the season so far. I didn't notice Barba being uneasy at the prison. He didn't even seem to flinch when the inmate hit the window right in front of him. Benson did seem a little upset/hurt when he admitted the charges were dropped. I never thought I'd say this but lately I've been feeling a little something more than friendship between them.
I was a little surprised at who brought up Lewis to Olivia first. I thought for sure it would be Bronwyn. Loved the scene between her & Olivia. You could tell it was taking everything Olivia had not to beat the life out of her.
The capture of Rudnick reminded me of when the Boston Bomber was captured. Anyone else notice that? I love the Rudnick character & how well Jefferson Mays plays him.
When it comes to Dodds Jr getting shot,it makes me wonder if his time at SVU is nearing an end.
I know you didn't recap PD here but that last scene between Olivia & Lindsay was heartbreaking yet a little foreshadowing as well. Talking about how she got past Lewis & Olivia says she's still doing it then taking a drink. While I don't want anything serious to happen to Olivia or Noah but I hope they explore her drinking a little more.
Overall I was very impressed with this episode. It's the first one this season that I want to rewatch.

Cath T said...

I guess I must have missed something because I didn't like these episodes.

Too many contrived coincidences required to make it work.

The red haired juror makes an appearance again requiring us to suspend disbelief that she would be allowed anywhere near a prison again. She married and changed her name doesn't cut it for a reasonable explanation.

Corrupted, idiotic prison guards, a poster covering a whole in the wall lifted from The Shawshank Redemption and Rudnick knowing when electrical work would take place in the prison and which workmen to bribe to keep the power off. How could he possibly know which two workmen the electric company would send?

Maybe I need to watch the episodes again to see if I missed something but I couldn't stop my eyes from rolling at all the contrivances.

Anyway I guess you can't like them all.

BensonFan said...

It always baffled me that no one noticed Bronwyn all those times in the courtroom.

Also, putting two known accomplices together not only in the same prison but in the same cell block? Really?!

Anonymous said...

I really don't know what Barba was doing at the prison anyway. It is very unusual for a DA to visit a prison. Barba and Benson seemed especially annoyed with one another. I was very confused as to why. Ok so Barba used Uber to get to the prison but I didn't understand why he was worried about if Benson was stopping for dinner unless he was planning on riding back with her and Dodds later. That dialog was very confusing and he seemed so irritated, which I felt was out of character a bit.

As far as bringing any kind of food, especially homemade lasagna, it wouldn't be allowed into the prison. Not even lunches are allowed into the prison, as guards have to leave their lunches in administration buildings. Any food brought in by guards is considered contraband and confiscated.
That part of the show seemed kind of silly to me, as did how those small files would cut through cement blocks to make such a large hole.
As far as the workers, that cut the juice on the electricity, there would have been prison guards assigned to them, as it was on Prison property.
The show seemed far-fetched and silly at times.
I was a bit disappointed, as I had been really looking forward to this show. :/

Victoria Everwood said...

Personally, I'm just tired of having Chicago PD forced down our throats. It is a poorly written show, though SVU is not exactly up to par. If we're getting into another "who's banging Benson" saga, or, shudder, "the hand" type of thing, I'm going to lose my mind.

As for the redheaded juror...completely unrealistic that she'd be able to work in a prison. The rest of the episode, as Cath said, was simply contrived and boring. I'm glad Yates is dead, though.

Did anyone else feel as if the SVU cast was guest starring in its own show last night?

LlamaJ said...

Yes, the capture of Rudnick reminded me of the Boston Marathon bomber scene. Not sure if it's because it was local to me and all over the news.

meanwhile, great episode(s). I only watch the Chicago show when there is a crossover, but they did a good job putting it together. Did anyone else want to smack Lindsey for running off on her own in the woods??

BensonFan said...

@VictoriaEverwood I feel the same way. I have no interest in watching Chicago PD and resent having these stupid crossovers where I have to watch PD to find out what happens. It's a cheap way to get ratings up for both shows.

Lannes said...

Barba was uneasy. But I think it had more to do with his disgust at having to humor Yates one more time than anything else. Carisi owned the back half of the episode, and I don't think that he has seen the end of Rudnick. Maybe it won't happen this season, but I want to see Jefferson Mays again.

Petra S said...

Part 1 of this was okay, fast paced & cool looking, at least up until the end when mini-Liv stole the show completely. How Lindsay still has her badge is beyond me, like don't even tell me Rollins is a bad cop after watching Lindsay. I only did watch the first 3 eps of CPD, just not my cup of tea, but I'm still somewhat clued in to what goes on over at that show as well and it seems like a regular soap.

Sitting through part 2 was a nightmare, I just can't with those Chicago cops, I only like Voight which I can't explain why cause he reminds me a lot of Stabler and I don't miss that brute. But when CPD comes on SVU they get actual valid screen time, what did Fin do? He got the best line of the entire episode sure but not much else. But I do like Chicago Liv much more than the NY Liv. Baffled how she can show Lindsay so much compassion and have close to none of that towards her own squad. And another thing I'll give the Chicago squad - they seem to have good camaraderie - I heard them ask each other how they were holding on more times in that ep than I've heard the NY squad do during the entire run of SVU.02. But other than that I got nothing nice to say about the CPD part of this crossover so I'll shut up.

I'm sad Yates is dead. I liked that sociopath. I'll keep saying it, SVU's loss to give that story to the crossover, would've been way better as a 2-parter for SVU as was the original plan.

Fin. Should be illegal to not have him in an episode. Not enough Barba either but I get it wasn't really a trail episode and I liked his scenes in the prison & he was gold with the cupcake lady.
I hope Dodds getting shot is foreshadowing for him getting killed off in the finale. Sorry not sorry, I just don't like him and with hideous hair do coming up my dislike of him will become shallow as well.
I loved Amanda vs the vending machine round 2. And Carisi trying to be his usual sweet self (he needs to stop dropping his sister in to every episode though).
I really like(d) Rollins/Yates and Carisi/Rudnick.
Shearling guy can come back but I hope this is the last we see of cupcake/lasagna lady, nothing against the actress, she was solid in this ep but the character is just despicable.

Did anyone else catch the Carisi slide? Early on in the ep it seems as Scanavino slips in the background during the Amanda/Liv convo. I laughed so hard at that, even made a YouTube video of it hehe

@VictoriaEverwood - SVU always guest star on their own show every time CPD cross over, has been like that since crossover #1 & a big reason why I dislike anything crossover.

Chris Zimmer said...

FYI to all - I was originally going to do a brief recap of the second half of the crossover, Chicago PD’s “The Song of Gregory Williams Yates,” but I’ve decided against it. I thought that episode fell flat and I didn’t want to spend the time to watch it again to recap it.

@PetraS - I saw the Carisi slilde too! It was very noticable as it happened right between the shot of Mariska & Kelli which made it easy to spot.

@LlamaJ - yes, I agree, ripped from Boston Marathon bomber search. Something sticks in my mind they already found another suspect this was but it could have been from another crime show. They all start to blend together after a while.

And on all the comments about Lindsay, I thought her behavior was awful in both episodes. She left Dodds alone, and then she goes off alone to get Yates in the PD episode. I suspect they are trying to make her out to be a loose cannon, but she should be facing some disciplinary action for leaving Dodds there. Think about it - Yates could have looped back and shot Dodds dead while Lindsay was running off in the woods. Totally irresponsible to leave a person alone there after she was ordered by someone who held the superior rank not to leave.

Laurie Fanat said...

I prefer SVU episodes where they are out of the squad room and the interrogation room. Those get soooo boring. Having an episode where they show more location shots make the show feel like a class production. When they are at SVU too much or in the courtroom too much,I feel like I am watching a cheap soap opera-ish production that can't afford to film beyond a studio.

I agree there were too many contrivances and things that were too hard to believe. The used too many ripped from the headlines segments where it became laughable. Clinton Correctional escape, Mansfield drone drop, the Boston bomber hiding in the boat - PLEASE! Too much. These writers are too lazy and ripped from the headlines is now a joke.

I don't mean to offend Mariska fans but some of her performance sounded like she was reading her lines from a prompter. Has anyone noticed that she often pronounces the word "a" as in a long "a". She doesn't always do it but when she does, it sounds like she is reading her lines. Imagine saying something like "I need to take a trip" and say it, "I need to take A trip." It makes her dialog sound clipped and stiff. I know pronouncing the "a" as a long "a" is acceptable but I think people usually only do it for emphasis. She does it A LOT and in odd places. Putting that all aside, it was great to see her show her contempt for that looney Bronwyn. It's the best acting I think Mariska has done all season.

Peter Scanavino, at this point, has the only character in the show that has some personality. He's perfect to play Carisi. I'm not a big Rollins fan but I thought she did her best work in this episode too.

What is up with Barba? I laughed when I read in the review that maybe he needs more fiber. I was thinking while I was watching the episode that maybe Barba was constipated! Something is up and I have a feeling we are being set up for something.

The Chicago PD segment of this story was awful. They dropped the ball here. As far as Lindsay leaving Dodds when he was shot and after he told her not to go, that was inexcusable. Everybody knows that Sophia Bush is Mariska 2.0. I think PD is hanging the whole show on her which is fine, but I don't want a detective who gets away with all her poor behavior.

Ashley W said...

Chris, I love your recaps so I wish you were going to do the Chicago second half (I fell asleep halfway through) but I completely understand why you're not.

On Barba - he's been on edge since the Black Lives Matter episode. There's a deleted scene where he and Benson address their standoffishness, he tells her he was looking out for her but she's still aggravated with him over it.

I mentioned this on a previous comment, but there was mention of Barba facing some serious issues this season. It hasn't been easy on him, but I don't think we've seen it come to a head yet.

I suspect he's getting some sort of veiled threats, ("let's see how he is when he needs a cop") hence the discomfort of not having his phone (deleted scene) and generally unease in the prison. He's pretty arrogant so he could have perceived the drone thing as something orchestrated to take him out.

I feel like that "when he needs a cop" bit is supposed to be foreshadowing, but I could be reading entirely too much into the show.

Cappi said...

I agree with Ashley- since Black Lives matter episode things have been completely different between Liv and Barba. He seems sullen and distracted and acts like he can't wait to "escape" from any meetings with Liv. I think back to the episode when Barba's grandma died and the warmth that Liv and Barba had for each other which has certainly turned cold. Too bad.

Molly Dowell Baum said...

Yes! What is Lindsay thinking running off alone after a serial rapist & murderer out for revenge?!?

Stephanie Martinez said...


Chris Zimmer said...

The second half of this story was in the Chicago PD episode - see the info in the first section of my review above!

JoAnn Sampson said...

Yates isn't dead. I thought it was a good show except that the ending was there a continuation to see what does happen to Yates.

JoAnn Sampson said...

Because I'm watching reruns, I don't know what happens after Yates speeds off in the truck at the end of the show; Is there a third episode to this story?

JoAnn Sampson said...

Is there a third episode to this story line to show if Yates gets caught or dies?

Chris Zimmer said...

@JoAnn Sampson - Yates meets his end in the Chicago PD episode "The Song of Gregory William Yates".

Unknown said...

we need a part two info i hate when they end episodes like this WHY CLIFFHANGERS