Thursday, February 25, 2016

Law & Order SVU “Star-Struck Victims” Recap & Review

“Star-Struck Victims” was one of those situations when video documentation actually hurt a case. When a vlogger intent on partying with celebrities is raped, her frequent misstatements and her own vlog documenting her exploits (except the one that mattered) is used against her. It appears to the jury that her behavior is intended to get more traffic to her site and more hits on her videos, making her accusations of rape far from credible and likely contributing to the not guilty verdict.

Adding fuel to the fire is a major misstep by Rollins, who goes rogue and, going undercover without approval, tries to get the accused rapists on video. Had she bothered to check with Dodds or Benson first as is procedure, she would have learned that the suspects have already lawyered up, and her video is not only inadmissible but could possibly mean a lawsuit against the NYPD. Despite having a nanny to take care of baby Jesse, Rollins shouldn’t be running an unsanctioned undercover operation by herself where she could find herself in grave danger. Benson had every right to chastise Rollins for her behavior; the only thing that was missing was any mention of an official reprimand, which Rollins deserves. Benson is also right to mistrust Rollins, not for leaking the video (as Benson now realize Rollins didn’t do) but for going undercover without approval. I think Benson was too easy on Rollins.

There was a discussion between Dodds and Rollins where Rollins mentioned Kristi’s ego and wild streak, and Dodds referred to is as Kristi’s crazy streak. Rollins thought Dodds felt it was because Rollins has a blind spot for her sister, but I think that it’s Rollins herself who is a bit on the wild and crazy side. She still seems too quick to take risks. Dodds wasn’t forceful enough with her when he suggested she clock out and go home. Her response “Why don’t you stop telling me what to do – Sergeant?” borders on insubordination. If it were me, I would have reminded Rollins I was her Sergeant and her going home was an order. She likely would have ended up in the bar anyway, but at least Dodds would have further established himself as her Sergeant. (Sometimes I think that both Benson and Dodds run a very loose ship.) Rollins also took liberties with Dodds’ comment that if they didn’t catch these two in the act they were going to walk. Clearly he didn’t mean that Rollins should go do it herself, and Rollins was foolish to think that, despite her trying to blame Dodds for her actions, that Benson would not know the truth.

Repeat offender Craig Bierko – who appeared in the SVU episode “Escape” from season 5 – was one of two creepy perps who tag team their victims. Even though his character in this episode is a TV star, he and his buddy aren’t very bright, going right back to assaulting women despite being barely out of legal trouble. The fact that Rollins threw herself at D’Amico didn’t set off any warning bells, either. D'Amico thought he was untouchable.

I found Barba’s behavior to be mildly funny in this episode. I enjoyed his comment that “sarcasm is the weapon of the weak” which is especially amusing coming from someone who has mastered the art of sarcasm. Extra points to Raúl Esparza for that look on his face when Buchanan ruined his chance at trapping the defendant(s) and getting Rollins’ video admitted. Carisi sounds hopeful that he passed the bar exam and is very thankful to Barba for his support. Meanwhile, Barba is acting like he has a target on his back.  Barba has experienced some high profile failures and it's understandable that he acts like the end is near.

Fin was missing in action again with no explanation.

Two nitpicks:
When Deputy Chief Dodds decides they won’t be pursuing the case, Benson asks him what does he propose she say to Kristi. Benson has been working at SVU long enough that she shouldn’t have to ask this question.

Benson also tells Kristi that the case will stay open, then right afterwards, tells the detectives the case is closed. The detectives were being told not to work it, so it seemed the case is closed. Was Kristi being misled?

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
Peter Gallagher – Deputy Chief William Dodds
James Madio - Noel Panko
Craig Bierko - Bobby D’Amico
Vivien Cardone - Kristi Cryer
Delaney Williams - Counselor John Buchanan
Ami Brabson – Judge Karyn Blake
Nadia Gan - Sheila Lin
Madeline Lodge – Tara Browne
Rachel Deacon – Jen Burrows
Ngozi Anyanwu – Officer Perlina Edozi
Alexander Blaise - Louis-Alexandre Berthier
Timo Schnellinger – Director
Jeanine Ramirez – News Anchor
Rachel Alana Handler - Jury Foreperson
Lauren Noble – Carmen

On her phone, vlogger Kristi Cryer documents her experience in the Bellevue ER as she claims she has been raped. She complains about her experience in the ER. The SANE nurse (stands for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) tells her she can’t record in the exam room. But she turns the phone back on after the rape kit is done,  and she props the phone up when she hears the detectives have arrived. Rollins and Carisi enter the room and begin the standard questioning. When Kristi begins to describe her attacker, she explains she has his picture on her phone. When she picks up the phone, Carisi asks if she is recording this. She explains she is a vlogger and her followers want to know everything that happens to her. She points the phone camera at Rollins and Carisi, and asks them what they said their names were. They look stunned..

At SVU, Deputy Chief Dodds is in Benson’s office. He has a copy of the New York Ledger with Hank Abraham’s photo on the cover with the headline “So Long Hank.” Dodds says if you ask anyone at One PP, Hank was a political appointee and was never one of them and no one is losing any sleep over him. Benson counters that THEY all did; she doesn’t think she has known anyone so compartmentalized. Dodds comments it is the lies they tell themselves to get them through the day. He says his son has learned a lot under her, and Benson explains that he works hard and is a good cop. Dodds comments then she agrees it is time he took on a more high profile role. She says Sgt. Dodds mentioned the Joint Terrorism position, and DC Dodds states that all he is asking is when the time comes for Benson to give him her best recommendation. Benson stands up and says he doesn’t need to ask.

They walk out of her office and the detectives are standing around Rollins’ desk watching a video on her computer, DC Dodds asks his son how is his first day back so far, and Sgt. Dodds says he is right in the thick of it. DC Dodds recognizes the man on the video as Bobby D’Amico, and Rollins replies “The TV actor, yeah.” Benson said the girl in the video was assaulted at his club last night. DC Dodds asks that she recorded it at Bobby D’s Hideaway, and Sgt. Dodds says it was at the beginning of the evening, explaining she is a vlogger. DC Dodds asks if she accused her date, and Rollins explains no, she accused the bar manager Noel Panko. Rollins states that their vic says he followed her into the bathroom and raped and sodomized her. DC Dodds comments he will put in a call to Bobby to see what he knows about this. Carisi questions DC Dodds that he knows Bobby D’Amico, and he replies that he is a friend of the department. Sgt. Dodds translates that be bought the brass a lot of Nobu dinners when he was researching his part for Jack Burns. Carisi says that was the morally conflicted DA turned bad-boy rouge cop. DC Dodds laughs and says Bobby is good people, and anytime there is a benefit for the widows and orphans he is on that podium. Benson says that is good to know but for the meantime, why don’t they hold off on calling him. DC Dodds tells her to keep in mind people look at a celeb and see an easy payday. DC Dodds walk off. Carisi comments “That was subtle” and Rollins tells Sgt. Dodds that Bobby was a friend of his father’s and asks if he was his too. Dodds replies that he knows him, but he’s not a fan. Benson states that Kristi was at the bar with a friend, and Rollins says yes. Benson asks if the friend disclosed to her, and Rollins replies no, it was the girlfriend’s birthday and Kristi didn’t want to ruin her night. Benson states it is the morning after, and to find out what the friend saw.

At Furry Rascals at 3915 Broadway on Saturday, February 20, Rollins and Carisi speak with Sheila who says she stayed at Bobby D’s until after 3 and put Kristi in a cab. She did go out for a smoke, once after 2. Kristi did not seem different and they were both very drunk. Carisi asks if there was anyone making eyes at her or getting grabby, and Sheila says there was no one creepy; they were mostly at the bar. She suggests the manager, Noel, might be able to help them. She said he was attentive and when you go to a bar with Kristi you never pay for drinks, and even Bobby D’Amico was flirting. Kristi danced with him and made out a little.

Later, on the set of the show “Napoleon in America,” Dodds speaks with Bobby who is clearly proud of his show. Dodds explains the possible trouble at his club and he asks about Noel. Bobby says they have been friends and Noel has been at the bar since it has been opened. When Bobby asks for details and when Dodds seems reluctant to explain, Bobby reminds him he played a cop for 10 seasons and not to dance around. Dodds shows him Kristi’s picture and Bobby confirms she was at the bar and it was her friend’s birthday. He seems very open about it, saying Kristi is a freak, they danced and made out and made love in the bathroom for three minutes and it was consensual. Noel came in looking for him and Kristi took care of him too. She is a big fan and this was definitely not her first tag team. He thinks if she is complaining now, it is a shakedown.

Back at SVU, Benson comments to the detectives it was one happy consensual three-way in the bathroom. Dodds says Bobby wasn't shy about it. Rollins thinks Bobby is covering for his childhood buddy Noel. Carisi thinks she is leaving out a big part of her story, adding Bobby is not a dummy and would not put himself in the bathroom with her if he wasn’t there. When Rollins doesn’t seem to by this, Carisi goes on to say Kristi’s own friend said she was dancing after she claims to have been assaulted. Benson tells him to hold on, saying they know her affect afterwards doesn’t mean anything, and even if she did have consensual sex with Bobby – Carisi reminds Benson that Kristi left that out – Noel still could have assaulted her. Benson states she and Dodds will talk to him and Carisi and Rollins should bring Kristi in and find out what else she isn’t telling them.

At Bobby D’s Hideaway on 184 East 33rd Street on Saturday, February 20, Benson and Dodds speak with Noel. He suggest that with three people in a small tile bathroom that wild things can happen to wild things. He says Kristi was into it and Bobby is catnip to the ladies. Benson asks how much will the girls do for him, and Noel says he gets his share of the runoffs. He admits he went looking for Bobby and when he saw he was busy that Kristi invited him to stay. When Benson asks what she said exactly, Noel waffles and says maybe Bobby said it. Bobby tells his fans to go down and they say how low. Dodds and Benson bring up the security cameras and Noel is very cooperative to get them all the footage. He says Kristi was there till last call, twerking the entire night.

Back at SVU, Rollins and Carisi show the footage to Kristi who admits she went into the bathroom with Bobby but didn’t tell them so they wouldn’t think she was a slut. Rollins reminds her to be honest and Kristi says she is sorry. She admits to consensual sex with Bobby but that Noel came in like he knew they were there but she wasn’t really okay with that. Benson, Barba, and DC Dodds are observing from her office, Kristi said Bobby asked if Noel could join them and she said no. Then Bobby said to look at those puppy eyes, she hurt his feelings. Barba comments to DC Dodds that comment was too cheesy to make up. DC Dodds says how do they know that, he is not sure this girl has a grip on reality at all. Benson quiets them and we hear Kristi explain she was pretty drunk and doesn’t remember everything but she heard the door open and Bobby was gone. She was rinsing her face and Noel pushed her onto the sink and raped her from behind. She sees the looks on their faces and worries they don’t believe her. Rollins explains they need to make sure the timeline is clear. The video shows Bobby left the bathroom first, and Carisi adds the problem is 10 minutes later Kristi is on the dance floor with her friend, acting like nothing happened. She sees the video and explains she told them it was Sheila’s birthday and she did not want to bum her out. With a quivering voice, she says Noel raped her, she swears to god. There is a knocking sound and Carisi and Rollins get up to leave, Rollins asking Kristi to give them a minute.

Carisi and Rollins walk into Benson’s office, and Rollins tells Benson, DC Dodds, Barba and Sgt. Dodds that she knows this looks bad. DC Dodds says Kristi is a train wreck. Benson says Kristi is not the most credible victim but she definitely thinks something happened to her. Barba states dryly “Probably a lot of things. It’s a they said, she said.” He adds she changed her story and went on dancing after the alleged assault. Rollins states emphatically that none of that means she wasn’t raped. Benson counters to Rollins that nobody is saying that, be Rollins says the Chief is, actually. DC Dodds asks Barba if the jury sees an attention-seeking vlogger pull a TV star into the bathroom and then sees her partying 10 minutes after she was supposedly raped, how would that play? Barba states not well. Rollins argues they have taken on tougher cases, but Barba counters they have to pick their battles. Carisi adds that Kristi’s story is compromised. Sgt. Dodds tells them to hold up; what if they find a pattern? Barba explains it is up to the Lieutenant. But DC Dodds states, “Actually, it is up to me.” Benson looks annoyed. DC Dodds says there is a difference between proactivity and harassment. Benson asks him what does he proposed she say to this girl? DC Dodds states to tell her we are sorry but the DA won’t move forward – and get her a ride home. Benson looks stunned, as do the other detectives, and DC Dodds leaves her office.

Afterwards, Benson delivers the news to Kristi. Kristi is upset, saying she was raped and doesn’t she believe her? Benson says yes she does but the question is, can they prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. Kristi says she never should have said anything at the hospital, but Benson says her rape kit stays on file and her case stays open and they can provide her with medical treatment and counseling. Kristi says she was so stupid and was so excited to have a big star interested in her. Benson says she didn’t deserve what happened to her and none of this was her fault. Kristi comments “If you say so.” Benson sighs.

Later, Dodds concludes a phone call with his father, then tells the others that Bobby D’Amico owes them one. Benson says “great” with sarcasm and confirms it looks like the case is closed. But Rollins tells them to hold up; she knows Kristi is a hot mess but does the Chief really think she cried rape for attention? Carisi reminds her that Kristi is a 24/7 vlogger. Rollins says that is the thing; she has been going through her posts a year’s worth and she has partied with a lot of celebs and posts all the pics and Kristi wants everybody to think she is having fun. Benson says not anymore; Kristi’s latest vlog just went viral. The see the video of Kristi talking about her gang rape and saying that Benson believe she was raped and it wasn’t her fault but no one would be arrested or charged. She says she may be a special victim but to SVU, not as special as Bobby D’Amico.

In DC Dodd’s office with Benson and Sgt. Dodds, Bobby whines about Kristi. DC Dodds says she blindsided all of them, adding as of yesterday, the DA elected to not proceed. Bobby is upset she is now accusing him and that they saw the video. Sgt. Dodds comments no one is questioning whether is started consensually. Bobby asks that they are not going to take that nut job seriously; that vlog pissed on them as much as on him. Benson admits that it did and they are talking to Kristi right now.

Back at SVU, Kristi brags to Rollins and Carisi about her followers who want to know what those two did. Carisi says it would have been better if she told SVU and not her followers that she was also raped by Bobby. She thinks it is obvious they are looking out for him and asked if they read the comments on her vlog. Rollins says they get that, she is worried about accusing a celebrity but this is her last chance to tell them exactly what happened. Kristi says that she was giving Bobby oral when Noel came and when Noel asked to join them, she said she wasn’t into that. Baby said she was going to hurt his feelings. She told Bobby she wanted to go back upstairs but he got mad, saying she couldn’t leave him like that and she had to finish what she started, He pushed her head down until he was done. Noel was watching and then Bobby left and she went to the sink. Noel pushed her from behind and raped her.

Meanwhile, back in DC Dodds’ office, they continue to discuss what happened and Bobby thinks whatever Noel did, she wanted him to do. Benson wonders how he can be sure, asking what did she say exactly when Noel walked in, and Bobby replies he doesn’t know, her head was in her lap. Benson says, “Excuse me???” and DC Dodds says they should all take a step back and tells Bobby he should have this conversation with his lawyer present. Bobby says that is a good idea, saying they need him back on set anyway and if Dodds needs him he knows where to find him. Benson, looking appalled, stands up, and when Bobby leaves, she asks DC Dodds why would he have Bobby lawyer up when he is making voluntary statements? DC Dodds says Kristi is making public statements and he could be as much of a victim as she. Sgt. Dodds asks for some clarify on how they are supposed to respond here, and DC Dodds said they already agreed not to press charges, but Benson counters that was before Kristi named another rapist. DC Dodds suggests Rollins and Carisi take a revised statement and the reassure the public they are investigating. He says they should be real here, the sooner this goes away, the better.

Back at SVU, Kristi tells Carisi and Rollins she is not taking down her vlog, but Carisi asks if she can at least put her phone down.  She says no, her followers are being very supportive. She shows them a comment with another rape accusation. Rollins reads the comment from someone who says she was attacked by Bobby and Noel last fall.

Later, at 539 Edgecombe Avenue on Sunday, February 21, Rollins and Carisi speak with Tara Brown about her comments. She explains her assault last year which sounds identical to Kristi’s. She did not go to the police as she was drunk and didn’t think anyone would believe her. She saw Kristi’s vlog and wanted her to know she wasn’t crazy. Rollins says what Kristi needs is for her to go to the SA and tell her story. Tara does not want to testify in court and doesn’t want to lose her job, her employer would not understand.

Back at SVU, Benson, Carisi, Rollins and Dodds discuss Tara with Barba, adding that Tara is a PA on Bobby’s Netflix series. Benson comments that basically Tara took a payoff. Barba states this was six months ago and there was no disclosure. Rollins counters Tara’s story is consistent with Kristi’s, down to details that weren’t on the vlog. Dodds thinks these guys do this every weekend, targeting the cutest girl in the bar and getting her drunk and gets her to do Noel too. Carisi thinks 9 times out of 10 the girl goes along with it but if one doesn’t, these guys don’t take no for an answer. Barba reacts, saying he is not saying these guys aren’t despicable but he is saying he still can’t prosecute. Benson tells him to hang on, asking the others if any other girls have spoken up. Rollins says no, now that Kristi had to shut down her comment section now that love turned to hate. Barba asks if there have been any calls to the precinct, and Benson insists it is early still and they all know how difficult it is for victims to come forward, Barba replies until they do, they don’t have a case. Benson rolls her eyes.

Later, Rollins is working at her desk and Dodds walks by, saying he is calling it a night and asking doesn’t she have a baby at home? Rollins replies she has a great nanny but thanks for asking. He says sorry, saying he has a lot of respect but it must be tough for a working mother. She comments what is tough is two asshats getting away with rape. She is looking at a photo of Bobby and Noel drinking with the girls on the “Town Cryer” site. Dodds explains when there is no case there is no case; the victim compromised herself. Rollins insists they saw her coming, they were drunk and they played to her ego and her wild streak. Dodds asks if she means her crazy streak, and that Rollins does know that Kristi is unstable. Rollins, irritated, stand up and says she gets that, thinking that Dodds thinks she has a blind spot because of her sister. Dodds says no not at all. Rollins says Dodds knows that these guys are guilty, including his dad’s friend Bobby. Dodds asks if Rollins thinks he is a daddy’s boy, and Rollins says she doesn’t. He adds that Bobby is no friend of his but until these tow get caught in the act, they are going to keep getting away with it. Rollins sarcastically comments that she guesses Dodds is just fine with that. He suggests that she clock out and go home. She asks “why don’t you stop telling me what to do – Sergeant.” She storms back to her desk and sits down.

But later, Rollins is at Bobby’s bar and she is drinking and coming on to Bobby. Soon, they are getting hot and heavy in the bathroom and when things are going too far, she says she forgot to tell him she has a boyfriend at home. But Bobby keeps on going and a knock on the door is heard and Noel enters. They double team her and Rollins says no, she wants to go back upstairs. When Noel gets into the picture, she says no but Bobby mentions Noël’s puppy eyes. When Noel doesn’t stop, Rollins knees him in the groin and then pins Bobby to the wall. She tells him if he makes one move she will snap his arm. Noel screams in pain and Bobby says he is sorry if she misunderstood, but Rollins counters she didn’t misunderstand anything. She grabs her stuff and leaves the bathroom. As she walks away, Bobby chases after her and she tells him to stay away from her. He says he is sorry about his friend. As Rollins turns to leave, she runs into a surprised Dodds. She asked what is he doing here, and he said he had a feeling she wasn’t going home. Bobby says to Dodds it is good to see him and asks if he and Rollins know each other. Rollins says no but Dodds says yeah, they work together. Rollins admits she is a cop and says she was going to wait until tomorrow but, pulling out her badge, saying Bobby is under arrest for attempted rape.

Outside the bar as Bobby is being taken to the police car, an officer asks Dodds if he wants her to take Bobby down to the station, and Dodds says no. He pulls an upset Rollins aside who tells him to butt out, this is her collar. He explains she can’t arrest him. When she asks if it is because her father said so, he explains it’s because she went undercover without authorization. Counselor Buchanan arrives as Dodds says it is an open investigation and the suspect had already lawyered up. Rollins looks stunned and asks when did that happen? Buchanan says when his dad told him to this morning. Rollins looks at Dodds and calls him a son of a bitch.  Buchanan asks if she set a honey trap for his client, asking if this is what new mothers are wearing lately? Rollins tells him to save it, but he goes on to say that, given the unseemly tactics, unless they take the cuffs off his client, the NYPD is facing a major lawsuit. Dodds orders Bobby to be let out of the car. Rollins asks him, “Seriously?” and she scoffs and walks away. Dodds tells Buchanan that they are no off the hook; he will take this up with Barba tomorrow.

Back at SVU, Benson, along with Barba, Carisi, and Dodds, watch the video from Rollin’s camera. Barba asks Rollins if she used herself as bait. Rollins said yes, saying Dodds said if they didn’t catch these two in the act they were going to walk. Benson asks that this was Dodds’ idea, raising her voice and saying that she has to hear from his father the Deputy Chief that two members of her squad went completely rogue on her. Dodds says this is pretty damning video, but Barba seethes that this it is more prejudicial than probative and they already invoked their right to counsel. Carisi jumps in and adds that technically cops are not allowed to talk to them without their lawyer, and asks what if when cops are illegally taking to them, they commit a crime? Barba quips that is a fun question for a bar exam, and points to Rollins and Dodds and says any judge would throw this out. DC Dodds enters and asks if they are talking about Rollins’ antics last night, saying Bobby called him to tell him that she came on to him. Rollins insists they tried to rape her, and Benson says it does look bad. She plays the video, saying it is the same MO ask Kristi. Sgt. Dodds adds it is the same MO ask the other victim too, to which his father says is the one that won’t testify. Rollins states that Kristi will testify, but DC Dodds asks if she is sure she want to walk into court with an on-line ranter as their only witness? Benson insists she can talk to her again and see if she is up for it. Barba suggests they both will. DC Dodds orders them to make sure she doesn’t record it.

Later, in Barba’s office at 1 Hogan Place on Monday, February 22, Barba takes precautions to make sure Kristi can’t record anything. Barba explains he is reconsidering the case and Benson says she is on her side. She says Barba isn’t, but he asks can she blame him but now they need to find out what kind of witness do they need to be. She says she always tells the truth but he laughs, asking “seriously?” Barba explains they want to give her a taste of what a trial would be like, and Benson explains Kristi’s damaging behaviors. Barba explains the defense will attack her misstatements and her lifestyle and her penchant for publicity. She says she didn’t get raped so she can put it on line, saying what they did was the worst thing that ever happened to her. She wants to look them in the eye when the jury hears what they did to her.

Benson and Carisi walk to the courthouse and Benson mentions that Barba set ground rules for cameras. Barba is also getting heat from One PP for bringing the case. Carisi mentions that Rollins and Dodd got her message but Benson explains that Dodds was covering for Rollins, she did this on her own. She adds that she (Benson) is not stupid. She states that Rollins hasn’t said anything about this to her, and Carisi says Rollins is really upset, she told him. Benson asks is she? She asks if Carisi knows why Rollins did that, answering her own question, saying the Rollins figured Carisi would tell her. She tells Carisi to do her a favor and tell Rollins she doesn’t like triangles. Carisi nods.

In Supreme Court part 22 on Wednesday, February 24, Dodds testifies about the club surveillance and that Kristi’s drinks were free, Under cross, Counselor Buchanan brings up all the problems SVU had in the investigation and Kristi’s lies, changing stories, and what they got from her vlog. Dodds says it is not unusual for rape victims to omit details or for their stories to change. Buchanan asks “Twice?” When Buchanan says he can’t wait to hear what story she tells on the stand, Barba objects, telling the judge to remind Buchanan that sarcasm is the weapon of the weak. The judge admonishes Barba and Buchanan and she sustains the objection.

Later, Kristi testifies about her attack and the reasons for her changing story. Under cross, Buchanan shows various content from her web site which looks damning. Buchanan thinks the content is motive for her inconsistencies and makes her out to making the allegation to increase views on her vlog. He brings up that she gets paid by a click. Buchanan continues to pressure her and Barba object to the badgering and the judge agrees. Buchanan shows Kristi’s video of her dancing and drinking after the attack from the security footage. She claims she did not want to upset her friend. Buchanan asks if she was thinking she just had another fun story for her vlog. Barba objects and Buchanan withdraws the question. Buchanan uses the videos to show all the places where Kristi said she was having fun and that she only time she claims she didn’t have fun was that 10 minutes in the bathroom where conveniently she stopped recording. She also told three different stories, and that telling stories is her art form. Kristi cries. In the gallery, Benson turns around and looks at Rollins who is sitting behind her.

The next day, Benson, walking up the courthouse step with Barba, comments that yesterday was brutal. Barba said Kristi wanted her day in court, she looked them in the eye and then got destroyed. Benson asks that he is going to bring Kristi back for re-direct, but Barba thinks the jury has seen enough of her. Benson comments that the good news is it’s a he said/she said so they both have to take the stand and tells their sleazily side of the story. Barba says to know them is to loathe them. He was up all night prepping; he tricks them into opening the door and he will get them to use Rollins’ video to impeach them. He adds they don’t know yet but this is their last dance.

In Supreme Court part 22 on Thursday February 23, Barba gets the surprise of his life when Buchanan states he will not be calling Bobby or Noel. He said the prosecution failed to make their case and their reasonable doubts about the alleged victim’s testimony, the defense is not calling any witnesses as all. Barba is flabbergasted. Buchanan will leave it in the jury’s hands. Everyone is stunned.

Afterward in the courthouse hall, Carisi approaches Barba who comments he has 15 minutes before he has to face a firing squad. Carisi asks that the honchos are coming down on him, and Barba says “Oh, they’re past that.” Carisi says Kristi is a horrible victim but she is not lying, they saw what those guys tried to do to Rollins. Barba says they are going to get away with that too. Carisi says it was worth the fight. He says he took the bar last week and thinks he did okay. He tells Barba he has been hard on him but if he does pass, a lot of it is from all the time he spent with him. Carisi says he admires his…and Barba finishes “Suicidal streak?” Carisi nods. Benson approaches and tells them the jury is in. Carisi is surprised, saying they just sat down. Barba doubts they even sat.

In Supreme Court part 22 on Thursday, February 25 the jury finds both men not guilty. Kristi looks dejected. Barba sits down. Kristi comments to Rollins that she is a national joke and no one will believe her ever. She tries to run off but Rollins tells her she knows exactly what those guys did to her. But Kristi counters that nobody else will. Rollins looks back to Benson before she leaves the courtroom, and Benson shakes her head.

Later, in the SVU squad room. Rollins, Carisi, and Dodds are watching Rollins’ video which somehow has made it to the New York news. The reporter explains the judge would not allow this video to be shown during the court case and they acquired the video exclusively. Benson approaches and turns off the video, and Carisi comments that, talk about Waterloo, there goes Bobby’s Netflix series. Dodds says after this, Bobby is toast. Benson calls Rollins into her office.

As she enters Benson’s office, Rollins swears to god that she did not leak that video. Benson asks if she is supposed to believe her now? Benson scolds Rollins that she went undercover without informing her and this is another example of Rollins asking for forgiveness instead of permission. Rollins insists she is not asking for forgiveness because she didn’t do anything. Benson tells her to please stop. Rollins says that the defense, the judge and Barba all had access to that video and literally dozens of people could have turned it over. Benson says they know the defense didn’t do it, and, raising her voice, tells Rollins she hopes she is not seriously suggesting it was Barba. Rollins replies she just knows it wasn’t herself. Benson, sounding frustrated, says she thought things would change after she had Jesse, she thought Rollins would think before she acted. Benson shouts that she was hoping to get past her trust issues with her and now this. Rollins swears on her baby girl that she did not do this. Benson counters that Rollins knows there is going to be an investigation, and they will go through Rollins’ cell phone, her computer. Rollins replies that’s fine. Benson asks is it, not to mention Buchanan is going to bring on a lawsuit. Rollins asks “Really? You think D’Amico is gonna wanna sue over a video that shows him trying to rape her?”  Dodds enters Benson’s office and asks if he is interrupting. Rollins says yeah and Benson firmly says no, that she and Rollins are done. Rollins leaves Benson’s office and Dodds closes the door. Benson sits down and, still heated, says Rollins just stood there and lied to her face. Benson also says she doesn’t know what to tell his father because Rollins swears that she didn’t leak the video. Dodds says he believes her. Benson asks why, Dodds takes a breath and says because he knows who did. Benson looks at him with realization and he tells her don’t worry, it can’t be traced. Benson looks unsettled and asks what is he telling her? Dodds replies he does not want to put her between him and his father so she might want to stop asking questions. Benson sits back with an interested expression . She says okay. Dodds says Bobby D’Amico got what he deserved, and he turns and walks to her office door. He adds “I told you I never liked the guy.” He opens the door and leaves. Benson looks stunned and stares toward the door as we fade to black.

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Ana Andrade said...

I really liked this episode. However, I did not like the victim. I don’t understand why she felt the need to vlog everything. Kristi seems like a nice girl and didn’t deserve to be raped, and I understand that she wants everyone to see Panko and D’Amico for what they are, but recording everything and putting it online makes her seem like an attention seeker. I am upset that the two guys didn’t go to jail.

I wish Amanda hadn’t gotten in trouble. I feel like the others, especially Liv, like to dismiss her ideas very quickly and that is why she didn’t tell anyone she was going undercover. They should learn to trust her instincts more, just like when she was right back in Dissonant Voices about the music teacher being innocent. I’m sure that if felt comfortable enough to go to the others and tell them her plan, they would have told her that legally she couldn’t go undercover. I’m sure she would have understood and came up with another way to get them. I know that Amanda doesn’t always think everything through and for those who are going to judge her for it, I ask you this: Are you going to tell me that you wouldn’t have done some of the things she does and has done? I believe that she is a person that doesn’t think in the long-term and has issues trusting people (most likely as a result of her background and her family) and that can be a problem. That doesn’t mean that she can’t be trusted. Deep down her heart is in the right place and that should count for something. I am aware that she’s a police officer and should be held to a higher standard, but she is human first and foremost and humans make mistakes. I’m sure that if she thought ahead she wouldn’t have gotten in trouble with the gambling ring and Murphy and she definitely wouldn’t have agreed to have sex with Patton to clear her sister. I am glad however that Dodds Jr and Carisi were willing to defend her in this episode.

Another problem that I have with Olivia getting mad at Rollins was that she was being hypocritical. She was willing to give Amanda the riot act but when Dodds Jr. admitted it was him who leaked the tape she didn’t say anything. I know he asked her not to ask any more questions, but she didn’t even look mad like when she thought it was Amanda. She just seemed shocked. I just hope that she realizes how hard she can be on Amanda compared to the others.

I liked baby Dodds in this episode and couldn’t stand Dodds Sr. William Dodds seems like a smart cop, so I don’t understand why he was blinded by his friendship with D’Amico. I am glad that Mike Dodds released that video so that people know what horrible people those two men are. It’s interesting that they are making him a more compelling character when he is not going to be in the show for the long-term.

I am glad that Carisi took the bar, but I don’t want him to leave SVU.

Chris, please read what I posted above. Hopefully you see that you're wrong in trying to blame Rollins for everything. You want her to be a good cop and I get that there are rules to follow, but maybe instead of constantly criticizing her you should try to see things from her point of view.

Abby said...

Okay the story was blah. Dodds Jr. I'm actually starting to like especially with that haircut.
Olivia needs to apologize to Amanda asap. She used to be like Amanda. I swear Olivia sometimes I think you forgot all about the crazy shit you pulled with Elliot.

Amanda needs to quit going rogue. She has a kid at home now. She needs to remember that.

Now onto my Rafi. Everyone needs to get off the poor man's back about everything. He is obviously stressed and putting more pressure on him isn't helping. I think it's making him forget stuff like the fact that the defendants don't have to take the stand if they don't believe the people have reached burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Come on Rafi, Lewis pulled this crap on you! YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER RAFAEL!! You didn't have a case, yet you let Olivia push you into taking it and now are facing the firing squad known as 1PP. What happened to the big brass... ego? Did Olivia take it and refuse to give it back again to get you to comply?

Also saying that sarcasm is a weapon for the weak? Pot calling the kettle black?

Sonny saying that if he passes the Bar exam it will be because of Rafi pushing him was so sweet. I loved Rafi's stunned look when he said that. I don't think Rafi's used to people being nice to him. Especially not lately.

empxth tbh said...

I liked the episode, and I liked Mini-Dodds in it, although he reminded me a bit too much of Amaro at times.. :D And does anyone else get the feeling that they're setting Barba and Carisi up to be a couple? I mean, not really a couple but idk I just get those vibes, but I'm not a "shipper" or anything so idk what's up with that :D

brit said...

What a dull episode the whole point seemed to be to show dodson going off the rails and yes i like his hair cut too.I had zero sympathy with the victim she put herself in that situation she willingly went into a club bathroom a public place to perform a sex act. Rollins made no sense to me didn't she want to get home to her baby does she even have a baby at home? I just don't think it was the kind of case you would put your job on the line for.
Benson is a terrible boss.

empxth tbh said...

Also I forgot to say: About Rollins' video - why didn't she just say she was there as a civilian and was just recording randomly? I mean, just bc she tried to trap him doesn't mean that she went undercover, right? Although I'm sure even then it wouldn't be allowed for her to talk to a suspect.. (Although I thought the case was dismissed, so technically they were just two people in a bar right?) Plus I don't get how he didn't recognize her from Kristi's videos.. like he obviously watched them and found out about her accusation but didn't he watch the one where she was talking to Rollins and Carisi in the hospital? Idk, just seems weird..

Ana Andrade said...

@Abby- I didn't think about all the times that Benson and Stabler got in trouble, but yes! Olivia should remember that the next time she gets mad at Amanda.

@empxth tbh - I honestly wouldn't mind if they made Barba and Carisi a couple. :)

empxth tbh said...

@Ana Andrade I like them together, but another "forbidden relationship" drama is really not what the show needs after Amaro and Rollins and Liv with David Haden.. :/

Petra S said...

Another good episode. I especially liked that everyone in the cast had something to do, wellwritten ep by A Zell Williams, I'm really starting to like him and it's the only writer I want to keep when WL leaves.

The case was tough. The rapist & bestie were obviously asshats(!) and rapists but the victim lying made it trickier. I thought it a bit strange that the squad didn't try to dig up more victims, surely they could've found some more before the vlogger shut her comments field!? Or used other resources to find them.
And also an important lesson on social media, when push comes to shove the likes/views won't save your ass, but then again neither does SVU...

Now on to my most intriguing subject - Amanda. I love when she's badass and I don't even mind that it goes hand in hand with her being slightly bad cop haha. She sure deserved some scolding by Liv but not for what Liv scolded her for!! Liv had total right to whip her for going rouge but what we saw was Liv going at her for leaking the tape which Amanda was not guilty of. I don't blame Liv for not trusting Amanda either but for Liv to be a hypocrite doesn't help her win me over. So she can scold Amanda but not Dodds Jr!? Not cool. And even though Liv should've been furious at Amanda for going rouge where was the concern? What happened in that bathroom was terrifying and with Amanda's past it must've brought up memories. So I would've wanted Liv to show some concern over that, and for the writers to acknowledge Amanda is a rape survivor! Is that really too much to ask on a show about special victims!? Grr it gets me so upset they completely ignore this fact.
I certainly don't want Liv and Amanda to be friends but it would be nice to not just get the raging or shallow side of their relationship. The coffee date after FR was a nice ltl scene but they ruined that by not having Liv follow up and make sure Amanda went to therapy, so that fell flat. And Liv serving Amanda the same line as Amanda gave her in FR "I'm okay" just proves how shallow and mistrusting they are towards each other. Now I don't want them stop butting heads but to see some concern once in a while would be a nice change.

And Amanda sure was tough on Dodds Jr but grow some balls man. Saying that though I saw more nuances in Andy Karl/Dodds Jr in this episode than ever before. I'm still not saying I like him but he was alright in this ep and now I might feel some pity when he bites that bullet in the finale.

Where was Fin when Amanda needed him!? I need Fin in every ep!!

Is Carisi going to take over for Barba if Raul leaves at the end of the season? I am worried. I rather keep Carisi in the squadroom, and I don't want Raul to leave the show!!!

Oh and I liked we got some follow up on last week's ep, a Hank mention. That's the continuity I like to see, all it takes at times is a simple line to show the writers are keeping up.

Margot Undercliffe said...

I agree that Barba needs to push back more
On some of these iffy cases, but then, we wouldn't have a show. He needs time out or an assistant. Just when I'm Starting to like Dods he may leave. Rollins is very much a younger Liv but she had Stabler to save her neck and cover for her. The line up for next year will be interesting. Carisi may have passed the exam but had no courtroom experience so wouldn't get a job at the DAs office unless it was junior. They seem to be setting Barba up for an exit. Fin MIA or limited role. Doffs likely going.

Laurie Fanat said...

Rollins is a train wreck again. She continues to go off and do whatever she wants. I don't buy the comments that Benson should go easy on Rollins because some think that Benson has done as bad or worse in the past. The issue here is Benson has grown as a person and has learned from her mistakes. She is far from perfect but she HAS LEARNED. Rollins is not learning at all. She is till making the same rookie mistakes. Benson should have suspended her for going undercover on her own.

@empxth_tbh - Rollins couldn't get away with saying she was in there as a civilian because she is a detective who was already working the case. And if she did ask a civilian to do it for her, they would be acting on the direction of the police. She did not belong in there, period.

Rollins was also very critical in a recent episode about someone being a poor mother and look how easy it was for Rollins to go off alone to a risky situation and forget her responsibilities to her own daughter. Her behavior is questionable.

As far as leaking the video, based on what Dodds inplied, he was the leaker, and Benson should have called him on the carpet for it as she did Rollins. The bad part is, had she done that, she would have had to likely do something official or have to mention it to IAB, something that could destroy his career. It's bad enough that Rollins already is in deep doo-doo, but I can see where she would be willing to take her chances and hope that if the video getting to the news is untraceable, that both Dodds AND Rollins would be in the clear. I think this will come back and bite Dodds in the ass, though.

Chris, I agree that Benson runs a very lose ship at SVU. Dodds is no better. Rollins sassed and he should not have let that go. If he thought that Rollins was going to head to the bar, he should have told her not to get any ideas to go there. At least Benson let Rollins have it, but she should have suspended her for that undercover thing.

My opinion is the thing with Barba feeling the heat from the "honchos" is their way to build the story up for Raul's exit this year. I don't see him going another season which makes me sad. Carisi as a lawyer - I don't know about that. He may have learned the law but he still has a long way to work himself up into the legal system. He's too rough around the edges. I would prefer to see him as the next Sergeant if/when Dodds is out.

They should cut Ice-T. He's not on the show much and when he is on, Fin's contribution is negligible.

I can't remember the episode - it was recent - but didn't Benson tell a suspect to get a lawyer before he talked any further? Yet she get on Daddy Dodds for giving the same courtesy to D'Amico. Rank has its privileges. If she can use it, so can Dodds.

It was hard to see the victim as a victim. She put herself in a very dangerous situation and learned the hard way how it can go bad quick. No one should be raped but even the jury didn't feel sorry for her.

@Ana Andrade - you have blinders on when it comes to Rollins.

BensonFan said...

I'm getting sick of Rollins going rogue. She needs to grow up.
Chris, regarding your first nitpick: I thought Olivia's question about what to say to Kristi was rhetorical.

Ana Andrade said...

@empxth tbh - I agree. I don't want any drama if it comes to a possible Barba/Carisi pairing.

@Petra S- I didn't think about it but now that you mention it this definitely would have been a good time to bring up Rollins' rape.

@Laurie Fanat - If you think I have blinders, then that's fine. But it seems that people like to forget that people don't always learn from their mistakes. If you expect Rollins to learn from them, that's fine. I don't because not everyone is like that. But I do believe that learning from mistakes is important. I never said that what she did was OK and I was disappointed that she was willing to disregard her daughter like that. At least I'm willing to see from her perspective. I may not agree with the way she does things but I do get why it is that she does them. Do I think that she should follow the rules more? Of course! But at least she was willing to do something to get the bad guys. She has good intentions, but they can be very misguided. I guess my overall problem when people criticize Rollins for going rouge is that they seem to focus strictly on what she did wrong (breaking rules, ignoring her child, etc...)and forget things like her intentions. People seem to think that she's some self-centered person and she's not (at least that's the way I interpret it). Hopefully you, Chris, and others can understand where I'm coming from.

Lannes said...

@empxth tbh @Abby @Laurie Fanat - I don't know if they would make Barba and Carisi a couple in the romantic sense although that would be groundbreaking territory for the show to explore with two regulars (I will be beyond bummed if Esparza calls it quits at the end of the season).

I've kind of wondered from the beginning why Carisi came on as this cop/law student. And his scene with Barba last night had to be more than a throwaway at such a late point in the episode.

Here's a theory: Barba seems stressed. And who can blame him? When things are going their way, the squad has his back. When it's a little more complicated, it's like the entire NYPD turns on the guy and he is left to drink alone and stay up all night for a cross examination that was never going to happen! Original recipe "L&O" let us see an ADA with some kind of built in support peppered with frequent sparring matches. So maybe something happens where Carisi gets fed up with the squad room and we see him as Barba's second chair. Barba needs the backup, and it would set up a great arc where Carisi has to learn the ropes (example: Barba lets him do a cross at some point down the line that blows up in their faces; he's furious, but then he teaches Carisi how he can finesse and salvage the situation). It would also be interesting to see the cops' reaction to Carisi kind of switching sides but staying in their orbit.

Cath T said...

I liked this episode. All the characters (bar Fin who was MIA) got meaningful stuff to do.

I think Rollins going "rogue" was completely in keeping with who she is. She's impatient & gets frustrated with the reality of how things work. I'm not saying she's right or wrong. It's just that's how she handles things. She lacks impulse control.

Dodds Jnr was certainly more interesting. I still think he's a bit on the dull side but this episode gave him something to get his teeth into although he didn't really go up against his father. SVU cops do seem to have lots of issues with their mummies and daddies.

Fin, oh that's right he wasn't there but then he hasn't been there in any real sense for quite some time now.

Perhaps the rush to promote Benson to Lieutenant is now having ramifications. The squad as a whole seem pretty dysfunctional and the buck has to stop with the CO. It looks as though consequences from this episode might spill over into the next one with Benson packing up her desk. Or her relationship with Tucker (or whatever it is) is exposed putting them both in a conflict of interest situation.

As for the episode story I thought it was well handled. One of the better offerings this season. I had no issues with it.

Doreen Chiapparelli said...

Like creagen told Olivia in season one..."you can't pick the vic" the victim has flaws but she was raped. I think all these characters are starting to mesh...I just love carisi and now mini dodds (love the hair) is growing on me. When Rollins and mini dodds had that scene where she said don't tell me what to do it def reminded me of amaro scene. WHERE THE HELL IS FINN!! Looks like Benson odd packing up just like creagen did many times!! GOOD EP

ChristiRN said...

First of all, I just want to say how much I enjoy reading this blog (especially the commentary preceding the recap) and the comments that accompany it. Great job!

I totally agree with those who think that Liv let Rollins off too easy after Rollins took matters into her own hands. Rollins is not a rookie making a novice mistake, nor is this her first error in judgement by a long shot. Not only was Rollins reckless with her own life, but she endangered the integrity of the entire unit. My guess is that Rollins will continue doing this because she walks away from each incident with just a scolding and/or someone bailing her out of the situation. It was also alarming that she is more willing to "go rogue" than take care of her newborn.

As Rollins is my least favorite character, Barba is my favorite, but I'm a little concerned about him. We did see some of his trademark snarkiness in this episode, but he looked totally unnerved when he realized he wasn't going to be able to cross-examine the defendants. I think the Barba of previous years would not have shown the panic that came across his face at that moment and would have segued into his plan B. I truly hope Raul Esparza is not leaving, as he has been a breath of fresh air since he started on the show.

Doreen Chiapparelli said...

Like creagen told Olivia in season one..."you can't pick the vic" the victim has flaws but she was raped. I think all these characters are starting to mesh...I just love carisi and now mini dodds (love the hair) is growing on me. When Rollins and mini dodds had that scene where she said don't tell me what to do it def reminded me of amaro scene. WHERE THE HELL IS FINN!! Looks like Benson odd packing up just like creagen did many times!! GOOD EP

Laura J said...

@Petra S I agree. The problem I find with Amanda is that the writers seem to forget what they wrote episodes before. Her personality is all over the place one minute shes mum of the year the next episode shes going rogue. It just seems very out of place.
It's like the writers completely forgot she was raped. When that was revealed I thought finally (not in that way), one of the SVU detectives was genuinely raped, now we can deal with these issues and stop making episodes about Olivia "nearly" being raped.
But since that episode it's been forgotten. I remember she didn't turn up to the therapy session with Livs guy, that was never mentioned again. Olivia was also much more understanding in that episode and now she's on the Amanda hate train again. Part of me feels like they are causing friction leading up to some event to bring them together, AGAIN. Like Amanda saves Noah or Olivia or something. They won't leave their relationship this crappy surely.

All in all the episode was alright, we can complaiin all we want but I think we can all admit this season has atleast shown some ray of light over a couple of the previous ones.
I'm really not sure where they are going with Carisi and the bar, I can only assume he fails it.

Petra S said...

@Ana Andrade - I'm not saying you have blinders, I just find you to be a big fan of Rollins which I of course appreciate and I can understand you wanting to defend her. I was like that too, still am at times but I'm starting to just not bother any longer. Ppl are going to hate, unfortunately the webb has become hate-city and most diehards certainly have blinders when it comes to Liv and them writers, they just can't do anything wrong & Amanda is an easy target.
What I wanted to say was something I talked to another big Rollins fan about yesterday - what would Wednesday's episode have been if not for Amanda going rouge? A total bore and Dodds Sr/Liv/Barba just snapping back and forth about he said, she said, who can we trust. This is TV drama and we certainly need Rollins there to make it interesting. TV isn't about us watching perfect people any longer, there's a reason Bachelor and all those shows that show ppl at their lowest are popular. It makes ppl tune in (well not me really cause that's real life and it's sad to see ppl backstab each other IRL, & on social media, I prefer that in TV drama). Back in the day I think Superman was this can't-do-anything-wrong character but cut to current time and Supergirl isn't all super, she's part human with flaws and it makes ppl like her. So I can take ppl not liking the character of Amanda Rollins but the show would be a snoozefest without her. And the writers are clearly having her there to boost Liv's popularity cause - well cause she's the almighty Olivia Benson. Funny thing is though from the comments I've read on different forums, Twitter included, most seem to think Liv owes Rollins a big apology and that makes me happy for my ltl flawed character.
And I dare to say "we" watched Stabler go rogue for 12 years, and most of the times Liv tagged a long. Now I do hope Amanda won't be doing this for 12 years cause I grew tired of Stabler and no matter how much I adore Amanda right now I would not enjoy her 12 years down the line doing this over and over again, but it hasn't been that long and in my world she's still reeling from her rape back in Atlanta, as long as she doesn't deal with that properly she will always be - and at least to me understandably so - a hot mess.

Petra S said...

@Laura J - yes they very much lack continuty on SVU, I shouldn't really have to mention the Hank mention but it is so rare they actually follow up on things (bar anything that Liv goes through personally) that it stands out. They really don't have a handle on Amanda's character and I will continue to be baffled Warren seems to find no pride in the fact he created her character.

And I get what you mean with a regular character finally being raped. It's not a good thing but I also saw it as a chance for us to get to follow a victim on the road to recovery and to become that survivor. A more indepth view than what meeting a victim/surviror for a few minutes during an episode can ever bring. That would've been a great storyline for Amanda and it's really inexcusable that they didn't follow up on the fact she was raped.

Laura J said...

@Petra S, RIGHT? The whole thing with this show is that we rarely get to see the long term recovery, what happened next? Bar Harper Anderson in "Closure 2", but HELLO that was a fantastic episode because it showed her taking back control and kinda becoming a badass, but still fragile.
I just feel like all these nearly nearly episodes were building up to a main character rape and when it happened they then glossed over it. What was the point? I feel like that event has had no effect on the show or Amanda as a character. Surely this episode crikey imagine how Rollins felt thinking she was going to be raped again. Plus we've never really seen her breakdown over the rape. Just give me something. If you're going to concentrate so hard on these personal storylines, actually follow them up before moving on to something else.

On another note entirely. I've read this blog for years and it's fantastic. I recently showed a few episodes to a close friend who seems to love Olivias ability to manipulate situations to get a result. He loved Townhouse incident and how she turned that around to get everyone out safe, planting thoughts in the perps mind from the start. Hed love to watch more episodes like that and I'm having a bit of a blank on what to show him. Any suggestions would be much appreciated! I showed him Zebras, he also loved Livs manipulation in that. She is very good at it!

Chris Zimmer said...

@LauraJ - the episode for which Mariska won her Emmy was called "911" (from season 7) and it shows how Benson really works a tough case. That's the first episode that comes to my mind!

Liesel said...

Am I crazy or was anybody else reminded of Elliot&Olivias partnership by how DoddsJunior and Rollins interacted? The fact that he followed her to the club reminded me of Elliot and that the way she snapped at him was like Olivia, when Elliot was getting to deep into her business.
He also took the fall for Rollins mistake (even if there was no real fall, because Liv knew he had nothing to do with it.). He reminded me of a young Olivia and she reminded me of a young Elliot.

@Chris, your blog is amazing. Thanks for all the hard work you do. As for the question you raised about how Liv should know what to say to the victim, I don't think her question to Dodds was meant all too literally. I think it was a slightly more respectful way of saying "Great, now how about you go in there and tell that poor girl we won't be charging her rapist?"

Chris Zimmer said...

@Liesel & @BensonFan - you are both probably right, Benson may have been trying to make a point to DC Dodds instead of really expecting an answer.

And thanks to all who have make comments about the blog. They are most appreciated! I always enjoy the discussion about the episodes and seeing things from the viewpoint of others!

lisa k said...

@Laura J & @Petra S - I completely agree with you, it's frustrating to not see any follow up on Amanda's rape. I get irritated to no end when I think about how there's literally been nothing said about it since the scene between her and Liv in the cafe in Decaying Morality. I've only commented on here once before, but I love Chris' blog (side note, thanks for all of your hard work with this blog, Chris!) and I read it every week. Amanda is my favorite character (besides Barba and Carisi. I'm actually a huge Barba/Rollins shipper, and I know I'm in the minority with that, but oh well.) So I basically just wanted to say that I too am really disappointed in how the writers have handled Amanda's rape and went nowhere with it. Her actions piss me off at times, and I can totally understand why she should have been reprimanded much more harshly than she was in the last episode, but the fact that they just completely glossed over the fact that Amanda was almost raped AGAIN is just ridiculous.

I like to tell myself that Barba was feeling more than he let on when he and Carisi were on the bench talking and Carisi says they saw what Bobby and Noel did to Rollins, and Barba replies, "They're going to get away with that too." I know he's not outwardly emotional but I can't imagine that that didn't bother him on some level. He's the one she initially admitted her rape to... I don't know, it just really bothers me that the writers can't do any follow up with that.

dmitrywrites said...

So wait, was Sergeant Dodds the one who leaked the video? I couldn't tell because of the way the writing was. He says he didn't want to put Olivia between his father and himself and to stop asking questions but also adds he never liked Bobby so... I dont know, can someone confirm or deny?

Chris Zimmer said...

@dmitrywrites - Sgt. Dodds didn't exactly come out and admit he leaked it, but in my opinion he strongly implied he did.

Petra S said...

@lisa k - comes down to really poor writing that they just pretend Amanda isn't a rape survivor, and it bugs me that WL & Co refuse to answer any questions about it. They should've never made her a rape survivor in the first place had they not planned to follow up on it.
I don't blame you for being a Barba/Rollins shipper, they have great chemistry :) He is not on the police department so I could approve of them getting together but I would prefer them not going there as I want them to focus on the crimes/cases instead of pimping everyone out back and forth ;)
They should've definitely had just a few seconds of a scene after the FR episode where you can sense some tension between Barba and Rollins after that prepping scene in the courtroom. That one was obviously harder for Amanda but you could tell Barba took that to heart as well, and I'm sure it hurt him to not be able to bring some justice to her.
I loved him for that one line outside the courtroom w Carisi. That's all it takes sometimes to show sympathy from a character to another. They don't need to build up entire scenes but just a line or two put in there to show the squad cares for each other. And they have a brilliant cast that can actually tell a story with just a look at times so they should use that more often. The Liv I used to know would've made sure Amanda was okay after they learned about her rape, and would've raised some concerns after what went down in this episode.
Oh Rollins piss me off loads of times but I always come back to that I love her for bringing all the drama and dysfunction, SVU would just be so boring without her lol

@dmitrywrites - he never said the words but it was clearly Dodds Jr who leaked the tapes. He believed Amanda was telling the truth cause he was guilty of what Liv accused her of. But to spare Liv from getting in a tough position with especially his father Dodds Sr it was better not to say the words out loud.

oSoFine said...

Was this episode "ripped from the headlines?" It seemed like an awful coincidence that Bobby D'mico sounds a lot like Robert "Bobby" Di Niro, who owns (or owned, IDK if it's still open) a restaurant in Manhattan. I can't imagine Di Niro ever doing anything like that, but were there any issues with any of his employees? Frankly, if I were Di Niro or a member of his family, the similarities in this episode would really piss me off. Also, when I googled Bobby D'mica (I'm unclear about the spelling), it seems there is at least one person with that name working in the entertainment industry. Again, I wonder if the writers were trying to reveal something that only industry insiders know about or if they made a really, really poor choice in naming the character!

To the people commenting that Amanda shouldn't put herself in danger now that she has a child, did you ever say the same thing about the male characters that were parents in the past? Cops are always in danger, unless they have a purely desk job (and even then they are dealing with criminals who could come after them if they object to some interaction). I thought it was pretty hypocritical for Liv to tell Rollins that she thought having her baby would change the way she does things; how many life-threatening situations has Liv gotten into since adopting her baby? Also for Dodds to say, "Don't you have a baby at home?" As Rollins replied it, "I have a great nanny." It's extremely difficult for women (and even more so for single mothers) to juggle the 2 (or more) full time jobs they need and/or want to do . Parenting is a full time job, at least for mothers; father's tend to get away with prioritizing work and dumping a lot of the family chores on the mother (of course this is a generalized statement and there are some men who put in as much parenting and chore time as women). Women have as much right as men to be ambitious and love their jobs and put in as much time and effort as needed to try to succeed in a a culture where women still don't make as much as men for the same exact work and where most families cannot survive without both parents earning. I think it will be interesting to see how the show looks at Rollins journey now that she is a mother. I'm not sure how she is affording a "great nanny" on a cop's salary. For a working mother there is an automatic major decrease in the amount of money she can make, the equation is salary minus cost of to pay someone to take care of your children while you work. In many cases you end up with situations where you make, say, $25 an hour, and pay $20 an hour for the privilege of now earning $5. If you are paid $20 an hour and childcare is $20 an hour, you are working both of you jobs for no pay. Yet even in that unfair situation, women still have a right to love and be passionate about their careers, and to continue working as hard as they can so that by the time their children are in school and less paid childcare is needed, they can still be on track with their careers. We hold mothers up to impossible standards (and mothers hold themselves up to even higher ones) but they are entitled to not be "perfect" and should not be expected to always live up to a higher standard than fathers. All employees should have access to affordable childcare, parental leave, paid days off to care for sick children or parents, vacation time and 40 hour work weeks where they can get have a life outside work and still move up in their careers. Right now those conditions don't exist in the US (we're the worst compared to just about every other developed nation), so it is a very interesting aspect of SVU when the characters have to deal with the way things are.

Chris Zimmer said...

@oSoFine - the media was promoting this episode as a "Bill Cosby" type RFTH story, but if it was, the only similarity I saw was that it involved a celebrity.

If you've been watching SVU, you would probably recall that in the episode "Forty-One Witnesses", Rollins made a bid deal about a person not being a good mother. From my recap:
"Rollins says she knows there is no such thing as the perfect vic, but Libby has two little girls and is doing drugs and god knows what else, and comments that Benson knows how hard it is for a woman to lose custody. Benson glares at her and says “Addiction is addiction, Rollins. “ But Rollins counters that Libby has kids, and she doesn’t get to make those kinds of mistakes any more. She adds that it is not her life to ruin, and Benson says she hears her." (Link to the recap in case you wanted to see it in full context: I think this is why Rollins' behavior was called out; one week she is passing judgment on someone's ability to be a good mother and then she goes ahead and doesn't think about her own baby. I don't think anyone will disagree that women are allowed to be ambitious or that child care is expensive.

As far as the issue with people saying similar things about male characters in the past, as we're talking SVU here, the only person with young kids on the show was Stabler, and he had a wife at home so there was a second parent involved. Still, there was a lot of unhappiness with his family about his absence at home and they even wrote in a separation with his wife. Since Stabler has been out of the picture for a while, family matters right now have only been focused on Benson and her son Noah. Fin's son is an adult and not living at home. So we really haven't had the chance to raise this issue with any male character on SVU very recently. If you look at what Rollins has said about motherhood in recent episodes, the comments about her hypocritical behavior may make more sense.

HerbaceousHaven said...

What a parent pays in child care can be deducted from their income tax (federal) and also a single mother should be getting child support for her child. As in Amanda's case she was told by Murphey that he would support her and the child. So she could indeed have a great nanny!

Abby said...

Hey Chris I think you forgot about Nick who had his daughter Zara and his son. Plus he was a much better parent than Stabler I think anyways.

Cath T said...

@Abby When Amaro first started he had solo parenting duties due to his wife being overseas with the Army but his mother looked after Zara when he was working or at least that's how it was portrayed.

Gil didn't turn up until later and by then Nick was also separated from Maria. For most of his time in SVU he shared custody of his kids with his exes.

It seems to me that following up on personal character arcs is only for Olivia. There was no real follow up on Amaro's PTSD after he shot that boy. He went all "mini Stabler" and that was that. Same with Rollins rape. She also went a bit off the rails, went to a yoga retreat and hey presto all good again.

I stopped expecting long ago that anyone other than Benson gets a continuing character arc.

Petra S said...

@oSoFine - great point about Amanda & becoming a mother. I saw some posters over at PreviouslyTV go in to this as well. Liv should've never brought up Jesse and I for one think it's refreshing to see Amanda still being passionate about her work. Sure putting herself in harms way may not be super smart seeing as Jesse doesn't have the largest family but she grew a spawn not braincells, it's in character for Amanda to be reckless :)
Regarding the affording a great nanny, I didn't think so much about salary but more the fact she was still paying off gambling debts not long ago. But hey maybe she has Declan Murphy Poppins on the job ;)
And I dunno if this is what's going on or not but I just feel women are so much harder on other women than they ever are on men. IRL this is my experience any way, both from my athletic "career" and at work. Women fall from grace so much harder and faster than men even when they've done the exact same mistake.

@Chris - I haven't forgotten about 41 witnesses but I felt that was very out of character for Amanda to change her views so drastically, the Amanda we saw in this episode is much more her. And it's not like the writers seem to have a coherent grip on the ensemble cast, as Cath T pointed out it is only Benson who gets a continuing character arc and any form of continuity

Chris Zimmer said...

@Abby = I can't believe I forgot about Amaro! I wonder if that menas his character never made an impression on me (wink). But yes, he was a far more attentive parent than Stabler ever was.

Mandy said...

UGH this episode. The stupid was heavy from pretty much everyone but Benson (amazingly enough) and Barba. And where the hell was Fin? Stabler and Amaro, I don't care, but I don't know if I can handle this show anymore with no Munch AND no Fin.

Rollins was already a dirty cop four or five times over. It's getting to the point where I cannot and will not buy the plot lines about her going off the rails again. Dodds continues to be ineffectual dead weight. I could maybe get into the character as a Cassidy-like rookie cop, I absolutely cannot when they're trying to make him the second-in-command. I usually like Carisi, but in this episode he trotted around like a puppy with his tail between his legs. I did enjoy that bit in the hallway between him and Barba, though, mostly because I ship those two so hard.

I'm glad Warren Leight is leaving. His highs have been pretty high, but his lows have also been REALLY low. Time to let someone else have the driver's seat.