Thursday, March 31, 2016

Law & Order SVU “Sheltered Outcasts” Recap & Review

“Sheltered Outcasts” had Sonny Carisi working undercover in a shelter for men that included a special section for sex offenders. With some rapes having occurred in the area, this seemed the best way to get inside to see if there was any connection to those attacks and any guests of the shelter. Peter Scanavino did an excellent job playing both creepy sex offender and a detective who is conflicted about the stigma these sex offenders will face for the rest of their lives. I know that some fans were worried that Carisi would be killed in this episode, likely fed by the promo for the episode which said, “An undercover case goes terribly wrong, leading to the biggest SVU shocker of the year.”  SVU fans should know by now to never believe the hype from the promos. In my opinion, the undercover case did not go terribly wrong, nor was this the biggest shocker of the year. I despise this kind of misleading promo. Yes, I understand the need for hype, but I abhor trickery to create buzz. There was nothing in this episode that comes close to being the biggest SVU shocker of the year.

This episode was directed by Mariska and it is clear she is becoming more skilled in this craft.

SVU character Gregory Searle (A.K.A. Julian Cooper), a kidnapper from the episode Avatar (season 9, episode 2, aired in 2007) returned.  He is out of prison on a compassionate parole due to having colon cancer. The story line didn’t do much with this character and I found myself wondering why even bring him back if his contribution to the episode was minimal.

I know I’ve said this before, but I think because I watch so many crime shows, I can spot the perps too quickly; there aren’t many surprises for me in network procedurals any more. Tom Zimmerman (played by Scott Grimes) was no shock. Sometimes I think it’s the actors selected for a specific role that telegraph how the story will progress.  However,  I didn’t expect that he was piggybacking on the other crimes, so that was an interesting twist!

Rollins is becoming more protective of Carisi and it appears they are developing a relationship that could go beyond being colleagues.  I don’t see any palpable chemistry between these two beyond friendship but the implication is that Rollins may want more from the relationship.  Similar to how I feel about Benson and Tucker, I’m indifferent to which way this goes and am willing to see it play out, even though I think there is no romantic chemistry between ANY character in this cast.

We hear that Dodds is off for a week for an anti-terrorist course at Quantico. It’s odd that Dodds – a recurring character – gets his absence explained but Fin's was ignored for weeks.  At least Fin was very present in this episode.  We we got a shred of back story for him, hearing that he is meeting with his son who now has a husband. He also mentions to Benson that both she and Rollins have babies and he sees that things are changing, but I don’t think there will be a parakeet in Fins life in the near future.

Raúl Esparza did not appear in this episode.

The next episode is May 4, which should put the season 17 finale at May 25. Hang in there!

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:
Michael Rapaport - Richie Caskey
Scott Grimes - Counselor Tom Zimmerman
Kevin Tighe – Gregory Searle
Leo Fitzpatrick - Gerald Loomis
Lisa Arrindell – Robin Daughtry
Donna Mitchell – Judge E. Kearns
Saul Stein – Tom Nomaks
Molly Camp - Mary Colten
Mike DiSalvo - Robert Levy
Chazz Menendez - Anthony Nomaks
Laura Piccoli – Sofie Nomaks
Natalie Roy – Hannah Levy
Joyce Lynn O’Connor – Sharon Caskey
Myrna Cabello – Parole Office Felicidad Flores
Shauna Miles – Glenda
Robert McKay – Andy Becker
Brian Patrick Murphy – Jerry Nomaks
Chass Menendez – Anthony Nomaks
Mike DiSalvo – Robert Levy
Reggie Green – Jackson
Cezar Williams – Court Clerk
Zeek Epps - Deshawn

Hannah Levy, pushing a stroller, walks on the street with Sofie Nomaks, who invites her to a spin class, but Hannah takes a rain check. They near a homeless shelter where men are standing outside, and they cross the street to avoid them.

In the evening, as Sofie arrives home, she is attacked and raped in the vestibule of her home.

Later, police and the SVU are on the scene. Rollins states that Sofie is 25 and the perp had a knife who told her to do what he said. She’s being transported to Mercy General Hospital for a rape kit. Benson asks if she gave a description, and Rollins replies white or Latino, average height and weight; he had a ski mask on and the vestibule light is out. Benson says it is the same MO as the last two assaults. As Benson heads to the door, Fin approaches with Mr. & Mrs. Levy and their child; Mrs. Levy is a friend of Sofie’s and they live next door. Mrs. Levy explains she ran into Sophie on the way home a few hours ago who asked her to go to spin class with her. Mr. Levy comments if she had, she might have been the one who was attacked. He asks Benson if she knows that there have been two other rapes in the area in the last month. As Benson nods her head, Mrs. Levy adds since the homeless shelter has opened, they have a special section for sex offenders and you can see them listed on line. When Benson states they are aware, Mr. Levy asks what are they doing about it? Fin asks if they have been seeing those guys around here, and Mr. Levy says all the time, they hang out at the bodega and get cigarettes. Rollins asks if they have seen any of them there tonight, and they shake their heads no. Benson thanks them and an officer directs the Levys away. After they leave, Rollins looks at Benson and says the victim thinks she saw the perp run that way, toward the shelter. Fin adds they will check for cameras and witnesses. Benson suggests they talk to shelter management and see if they have a swipe code or sign out log and asks which one of their guests qualify.

Later, at Spuyten Duyvil Shelter on 18 Cumming Street on Monday, March 14, they are directed to a room where all the possible candidates are waiting. One man, Richie Caskey, says they didn’t do anything. Benson comments it is just a request; they’d like them to come down to the station and ask a few questions. Rollins adds they could get their PO’s down there to check their possessions and appointment calendars and maybe do a spot drug test to make sure none of them violated their parole. A new guy is not there and Richie says the man went to get some food. Another man asks how long they want to keep them, and Benson is shocked to see that man is Gregory Searle, and Fin comments he thought they put him away for good. He says he was released on compassionate parole; he has health issues. The shelter manager says nobody cares, just do what the police say. Suddenly, Carisi walks in, dresses as a homeless man, asking who is on with the donut holes. He looks surprised to see them as they glare back at him.

Afterwards, the men are being led into the SVU squad room, Carisi with them, still acting as he is one of them. Rollins asks Benson where does she want these guys, and Benson tells her to just get them out of sight; the victim is in the interview room with her father. Fin asks her if she wants him to smack Carisi around a little bit to make his cover look good. Benson says they had two rapes in Inwood this month; that is why Carisi volunteered to live in that shelter undercover asking if he would like to take his place? Fin says no. As Fin walks off, Rollins observes that Carisi looks like hell, and Benson thinks he is just trying to fit in and if he wants out, he will let her know himself. Rollins doesn’t think he would. Benson looks surprised at this comment, to which Rollins says, “Never mind.” She adds she is glad Benson is back, she is the boss and, like she said, they just have to trust each other. Benson replies, “Exactly” and Rollins walks off.

In the interview room, Benson speaks with Sofie, who is describing her attack with her father, Tom, present. She explains the attacker pulled off her gold chain and said to do what he said or she won’t get hurt. She didn’t fight him as she was afraid of the knife. Benson assures Sofie she did what she needed to do and she survived. Sofie father Tom brings up the homeless shelter and the sex offenders, and he gets upset about the situation. He is upset with his daughter moving into that neighborhood and orders her to move back home. Benson cuts him off so she can speak with Sofie and he sits back down, staying in the room. Benson explains they brought in some men and she wants her to listen to their voices to try and recognize anyone. She doesn’t think she will be able to, but her father cuts in and says she will do it. Sofie looks anxious and Benson turns and glares at Tom.

Rollins speaks with Richey who said he was with his wife, and Rollins records him saying, “Do what I say and you won’t get hurt.” Fin does the same for Gregory, who says he has colon cancer and he isn’t running around doing anything. Rollins is then with Gerald Loomis and says - about the phone doing the recording - that it’s not going to bite him. When he says nothing, Rollins asks if he wants her to call his parole officer. She holds out the phone and says, “Last chance.” He doesn’t respond at all and Rollins gets up and moved to leave. Suddenly, he says, “Do what I say.” Rollins brings the phone back to his face and says, “From the beginning.” He says, haltingly, “Do what I say and you won’t get hurt.”

Afterwards, Carisi comments to Fin and Rollins and that she got Loomis to speak, adding that Loomis has a bad stutter and barely said two words since Carisi moved in. Rollins asks how is it going, asking if he is okay up there. Carisi replies that the food sucks and the company is worse, but if anybody raped anybody, they are not bragging about it. Fin questions how about tonight, wondering who was out at 7 PM? Carisi explains he does not know, he was out himself, he was trailing a guy from down the hall who claims he was framed and that women can’t resist him. It turns out he was just going out for a vape. He gets up to leave, and, putting on his coat, comments they might get a call from the shelter therapist, Robin Daughtry; she wants the background information from his arresting officer about his “heinous crime.” Fin states dryly he will fill her in. Carisi explains he should get back, they are keeping him longer than his roomies. Fin says he needs his help, and hands him a piece of paper to read off, and, holding up his phone, says he needs another filler voice.

Back in the interview room with Benson, Sofie listens to the voices and can’t identify any of them. An officer knocks on the door and a lawyer, Tom Zimmerman, approaches, stating he is Richie Caskey’s attorney. Benson explains Richie is assisting them in an investigation. Tom sound skeptical. Fin approaches with Rollins and asks if there were any hits, and Benson introduces Tom. Tom states he also represents Greg Searle, explaining that does not fit his profile, Greg is in an ephebophile, meaning he goes for younger girls. Rollins says with sarcasm that this is a wonderful argument. Tom asks if the alleged victim has identified anyone, and when Benson doesn’t answer, Tom states he will take that as a no, stating if neither of his clients are under arrest to send them back to the shelter. Benson says “in a minute” and suggests Tom have a seat. He does.

In Benson’s office, Rollins says they should charter a bus and take them all, and Fin quips as long as it’s not a school bus. Rollins goes on to say Sofie did not recognize a voice, and Fin counters that doesn’t rule them out. Benson states it doesn’t rule them out and it doesn’t rule them in. Rollins questions how long Carisi is going to be there, adding he talks a good game but people get killed in those places. Benson suggests they give it another day or two and see if anything pops. Fin says Carisi just has to keep his eyes open and act weird, asking how hard is that for Carisi? Rollins glares at him, then turns her eyes to Benson.

At Spuyten Duyvil Shelter on 18 Cumming Street on Tuesday, March 15, Robin Daughtry is holding a session with the men in the shelter and she introduces Carisi as Dominick. He says they call him “Smitty."  Robin says participating in group therapy is a condition of his parole and she assumes he is aware. He says yes. Robin goes on to say they are open with one another here, and they tell things they may have never told anyone else. One man comments “Especially the police.” Carisi says he understands. Robin goes on to say that the goal is not to embarrass him, it is to help him to change his behavior even if he can’t change his desires so he can never go back to prison. She assumes he is on board with that. Carisi replies he is. She asks him to tell them about himself. Carisi gives his name as Dominick Smith, 36, born in Brooklyn and raised in Staten Island. He acts uncomfortable and when prompted to go on, he admits he had some pictures on his computer of children but is emphatic he never laid a hand on a child. Richie comments they were pictures of kids being raped, and somebody had to rape those kids so he could look at the picture. Carisi squirms and says he didn’t think about it like that. Richie comments that maybe he should have. Robin thanks Richie, adding that everyone here has had to overcome denial. A man asks if he got off on the pictures, and Carisi says he is married and he loves his wife, but part of him was in a secret thrill. Another man asks if his wife is sticking by him, and Carisi replies so far they are not divorced. Richey says Carisi should do this for her, and for himself. He is also married. Carisi asks why Richie is still living here, and Robin says his apartment is too close to a school and they can’t afford to move. Richie explains it is rent stabilized and his wife has a job so she takes care of the rent. Greg chimes in and says there are no wives here, Carisi is stuck with them. Carisi asks Robin if she heard they all got pulled into the police station just because they are here, and Robin says she heard. Greg tells Carisi to get used to it. Carisi bring up the three rapes and tries to get the group to talk about it, but Robin tries to get him back on track, saying they were talking about him. Carisi apologized and Robin asks Carisi to tell them more about his secret thrill.

After the session, Carisi exits the building and as he does so, he is approached by Tom Nomaks and two other men with baseball bats. They say they saw him outside the police station and Tom thinks he was the one who raped his daughter. They begin to beat him with the bats and Carisi says they are making a big mistake. Richie sees this going down and get into the fray, taking one of the bats while Carisi gets the other. The men flee. Carisi’s back has been injured. He asks Richie where he learned to do that, and Richie says 9 years at Fishkill, asking Carisi if he is okay. Carisi says yeah, thanking Richie.

Back at SVU, Benson notes that Carisi is holding his back, asking if he is sure he doesn’t need to go to the ER. Carisi insists he is fine, says it is a bruise and doesn’t think anything is broken. He thinks they were just trying to scare him. Rollins comments it was 3 on 1, and Carisi states until Richie showed up to even the odds. Benson asks if he is making friends in there, and Carisi replies not exactly. Just before that, Richie was busting his chops in therapy and he had to tell them what a thrill he gets looking at child porn; it made him sick to his stomach. Rollins interjects that she doesn’t mean to keep saying this, but thinks Carisi is a target inside the shelter and now outside the shelter, but he insists he is fine and thinks he is getting somewhere. Somebody up there is committing rapes and the odds are pretty good it is one of his housemates. Rollins asks if they are going to bring in Nomaks and his bat boys, but Carisi insists no, this compromises his cover. Benson says she will have the precinct call the Nomaks to tell them they were spotted to warn them off. Fin enters, stating he has a lead on one of the shelter guys; one of Sofie’s neighbors came in to look at some photos and she ID’d a pick The guy was on the street right before the rape. He shows them Richie’s photo. Carisi is surprised and when Fin asks why, Benson explains Richie just saved Carisi’s ass. Fin says she says she thinks she saw him, and Carisi asks if she is sure. Fin says not 100%, and when Carisi says how many percent, Benson tells Carisi that Richie may have just bailed him out, but he did to 10 years for the rape of a woman Sofie’s age. Carisi gets it; he is his fellow pervert and he’s not some woman alone in a dark hallway, but Richie told him he was with his wife when Sofie got raped. Rollins states he told her the same thing and they’ve left her messages. Benson tells Fin and Rollins to go see her. As they exit, Benson says now that Carisi is “friends” with Richie now to get friendlier.

Back at the shelter, Carisi walks into a room where Robin is there with Richie and Tom, the lawyer. He asks if this is a bad time and Robin invites him in. Tom wants Carisi to be a character witness for his petition to get Richie’s sex offender registration reduced from level 3 to level 2. Richie says this means he could go back to his apartment and live at home with his wife. Carisi says he is a sex offender too, asking who care what he thinks, but Tom brings up Richie coming to Carisi’s aid and that Robin is also on board. Carisi brings up that Richie nailed his ass to the wall on the session yesterday, and Robin says he is confronting his denial and Richie has helped a lot of men accept responsibility and empathize with victims and begin their own healing. Tom says Richie was a model prisoner and now a model parolee and there is no way he poses a threat to public safety. When Carisi asks if he files the petitions with the sentencing court or the board of examiners, Robin and Tom look surprised. Tom comments someone has been hitting the prison law library. Carisi covers by saying he used to want to be a lawyer. Tom says, “Really? Good luck with that.” Tom asks if Carisi is going to help them out or not?

At the apartment of Sharon Caskey at 651 West 204th Street on Wednesday, March 16, Fin and Rollins speak with Sharon who says Richie was there at the time of the rape. She outlines Richie’s original crime and the circumstances and this was the only mistake he ever made. But when they bring up her erratic work schedule and talking with her employer to confirm her story, she caves and admits she got home at 8:30 but thinks Richie was there as the pot roast she made was half gone.

Back at the shelter, Richie enters the therapy room and says he is sorry be being late saying he had a job interview. Greg asks where are they hiring sex offenders, he will run right down. Richie tells Carisi he doesn’t have to do that thing his lawyer said and Carisi says he knows. He asks how was the job interview, and Richie says it was for ad sales for a sports radio station and as long as you are not Charlie Manson and you can sell, they will take you. Greg asks where is Robin, she is usually early. Richie comments she runs groups in 3 other shelters and maybe she got stuck in traffic. Carisi asks if she drives, and Richie says Robin has a group in Queens, Brooklyn, and one on the lower east side and there is a lot of traffic out there. He asks how they guys are doing.

Later, at 307 Dyckman Street on Wednesday March 16, Benson arrives on a scene of a murder which Rollins says happened a half hour ago. She adds no one saw the perp but they heard her running down the street, screaming. Benson pulls back the cover from the body – it is Robin. Fin says she was stabbed, she made it this far and dropped. Rollins states Robin’s car is over there and it is bloody. As Benson walks to the car, Rollins says Robin’s clothes are in there and her wallet and money. Rollins shows Benson Robin’s ID and realizes who she is.

Back at SVU, Carisi races in, shocked about Robin. Benson explains somebody was waiting for her where she parked her car and he knew she was coming and knew her usual parking spot by the train tracks. Fin adds the person got inside with her, raped her and stabbed her. Carisi wonders why he stabbed her; their rapist hasn’t killed anybody. Rollins states the ME found black thread underneath Robin’s fingernails and she could have pulled off his mask and recognized him. Carisi wonders that it was somebody she knew, Fin suggesting one of her patients. Rollins suggests this is why he killed her. Carisi says Robin was the only person who cared about these guys and she knew what they were and she didn’t give up on them. Fin comments “No good deed.” Rollins states they’ve had 4 of these rapes in 4 weeks and he murders this one, thinking they have a serial, probably from the shelter, who is escalating. Benson says Robin was late to the session, asking if the whole group was waiting for her. Carisi recalls Loomis was not there and Richie was late. When Rollins comments about Richie, Carisi says Richie was not bloody or agitated and he wasn’t even out of breath. Benson asks is it possible he had time to clean up and settle down. Carisi counters even so, this seems so out of character for him. Rollins reminds him Richie did 10 years for a rape. Carisi says that was a completely different MO, saying Richie had no priors and no weapon and was so drunk he can’t remember what happened, adding that is no excuse. Benson agrees not for his victim. Carisi explains that he doesn’t paint Richie as a cold-blooded serial who hunts his victims, and now murder somebody? Fin asks who Carisi likes for this, and Carisi thinks Loomis, who didn’t come back to the shelter until an hour later, and his last conviction was for a rape at a school teacher at knifepoint. Rollins admits Loomis spooked him as he wouldn’t talk or look her in the eye. Benson agrees to start with Loomis.

Back at the shelter, Fin and Rollins search the room that Greg and Loomis share. Fin finds a photo of a young girl in Greg’s things who says that is Amelia, his favorite niece who he hasn’t seen in 33 years. Rollins asks if that’s because he kidnapped one of her friends. They check Loomis’ things and finds a set of keys hidden in his pillow. They ask him what are those keys to?

Later, they arrive at a storage locker and use the keys to open it, where they find ladies underwear, x rated comic books, a knife, a dark hoodie, and a wad of gold chains and jewelry.

At the SVU,  Benson watches Loomis sit in the interrogation room, and Fin enters saying Loomis has not said a word in 3 hours. Benson says he hasn’t asked for a lawyer. Fin says he is barely breathing. He looks to the squad room and says it looks pretty empty out there, asking if One PP is sending reinforcements. Benson replies they sent Dodds and Fin didn’t seem to thrilled with that, but Fin counters then they took him back. Fin asks where is he, at some anti-terrorist course at Quantico? Benson replies yes, for a week. Benson asks Fin if he is mad that he came or mad that he left? Fin states both; saying a lot of things are changing here – Rollins got a baby, Benson got a baby. Benson asks Fin if he wants a baby, and he says nothing but smirks at her. She says, “You want a life.’ Fin replies, “This is my life.” Benson counters, “Yeah, it was my life too, Fin. My whole life. For what it’s worth, having a little balance is not so bad. ‘ Fin asks, “ So what, I get a parakeet? “ Benson smiles and shakes her head. There is a knock on the door and Rollins enters. She explains that with the jewelry they found in Loomis’ locker there is a locket with an inscription that matches one that was taken from a rape victim in Nassau County Hempstead one year ago. At that time, Loomis was in a shelter in Hempstead and two other rapes happened around the same time. Benson tells Fin to get Loomis in holding and get her every report for Nassau here, everything. Rollins says she is already on it.

Later, Carisi is back at SVU and comments some of the guys at the shelter may wonder where he is going. Benson comments if they can figure this out he will be done anyway. Rollins reviews the 3 rapes in Hempstead, all with a mask and a knife and condoms and no DNA. The first two, the perps didn’t say a word – Fin says Loomis never speaks – and Rollins says the third rape, the perp speaks and says “Do what I say and you won’t get hurt.” Benson comments it is the same as the third rape in Inwood, the first two rapes he also didn’t speak. Rollins says the necklaces in Loomis’ storage locker all belong to the victims the rapist did not talk to. There is no sign of Sofie’s gold chain or the heart necklace Robin wore. Carisi asks if Sofie say that her rapist stuttered, and Rollins says no, adding that the mask in Loomis’ locker was neoprene and doesn’t match the threads under Robin’s fingernails. Benson realizes they are looking at a copycat. Carisi says so there are two rapists and the second one is a murderer. Benson asks if Robin ran therapy sessions from Hempstead, and Rollins replies that was not her. Benson asks who was at the Hempstead shelter a year ago and at the Inwood shelter now besides Loomis. Fin says there is only one other guy besides Loomis; Richey. Carisi looks stunned and Rollins says, “Your pal.” Carisi states, “”Not anymore.” He moves to leave.

Outside the precinct, Rollins is leaving and Carisi asks her to hold up. He comments he thought he had a gut for these things. Rollins explains that rapists and killers don’t carry signs around, that’s why they pay them the big bucks. Carisi admits he went into that place hating those guys and couldn’t stand to be around them, but after a few days they just turn into people, different kinds. H explains Greg is malignant, Loomis is damaged but Richie is all fresh start. Rollins reminds him that every one of those kinds raped women and children and left the traumatized or dead. Carisi explains he knows and if they get 20 years in prison, he thinks they are getting off easy. But when you meet with them after the 20 years and sit down and play dominoes with them, you wonder if they are the same people they were when they got put away? Rollins asks if this is him going soft, and he says no, he just thought if any of those guys had a chance at rehab it would be Richie. He was all about accountability and he missed his wife and was looking for a job, wondering why he would blow all of that? Rollins counters there usually isn’t a why and thinks Carisi knows that. She adds they have Richie in Inwood during Robin’s attack and Carisi saw him there a half hour later. Carisi wonders about the Hempstead rape, and Rollins states that Benson is bringing up the victim to see if she can get a voice ID. She adds she is going to check with Richie’s parole officer and check his whereabouts that day. Carisi asks to come with her, but she ask if they are going to miss him at the shelter. He said he will tell them he has a job interview; he wants to hear this for himself.

At the New York State Parole Office, Manhattan Division, 314 West 40th Street on Thursday, March 17, Carisi and Rollins explain they are looking at a rape near the Hempstead shelter where Richie was living last year. They hear that on that day, Richie was meeting with his attorney at the Hempstead shelter.

Back at the shelter in the men’s room, Richie tells Carisi he got the job at WNMZ, and Carisi, showing his badge, says they need to talk. Richie asks if he is kidding him.

Outside, Richie thinks Carisi knows he wouldn’t do this and they argue. Benson approaches and asks if they are good, and they leave together.

At SVU, Benson speaks with Mary after they listen to the voice recordings. She doesn’t know if she recognizes any of the voices, it has been a year. She tries not to think about it, and Benson explains that may not be the best course. Mary says that is what her therapist says. Benson explains that they need to catch this guy and he just attacked somebody else. Mary asks her to play it again. But quickly she walks out, not being able to identify her attacker. Ad Benson tries to assure her, Carisi, all cleaned and dressed, walks in with Richie. His lawyer, Tom, enters and complains that their masquerade was shameful and illegal. Carisi says it wasn’t, but Tom asks how many confidences did he violate? Meanwhile, Mary listens to the voices and Benson looks stunned. She calls to Carisi and motions for him to move away. Mary tells Benson that is the voice, but it is not Richie’s.

Hours later, Benson enters the interview room where Richie is waiting with Tom, who complains about the 3 hour wait. Benson says they located a surveillance camera on a warehouse about a block away form where Robin was murdered. Carisi says it was running when she was attacked and she pulled off her attacker’s mask. They are having the image enhanced and they may have to call the FBI but they will get it done. They press for a confession but Richie says he will not confess, he didn’t kill anybody and that Carisi knows this. Benson mentions they searched his room at the shelter and says they assume he won’t object to them searching his apartment. Richie doesn’t want to bring his wife into it, and Tom reminds them that Richie is not a resident there. Carisi says Richie considers it is actual home, and Tom says that is debatable. Carisi says getting a search warrant is easy. Benson asks Richie if his wife is home today, and he replies probably, she does not work on Saturdays. Tom suggests to Richie that he go up there and she should have an attorney present. Benson says to suit himself but they also have officers and Tom can go in but nothing comes out until they get the warrant and search. Tom whispers to Richie not to say anything.

Later, at the apartment, the search is underway and they find nothing at first. Carisi whispers to Benson, asking if the line on that the surveillance camera made him nervous, and Benson replies if it did, he didn’t show it. Carisi knocks over some items and Tom complains their warrant doesn’t allow them to be destructive. Benson assure him it was an accident. Richie’s wife says they can search the whole apartment and the bathroom; they won’t find anything. Carisi makes a beeline for the bathroom as Tom says he is going to file a complaint about her detective’s behavior. Benson says he will be given every consideration. Tom says that is the attitude he finds unacceptable, and she testily states they know the rules and they know what they are doing. Meanwhile, Carisi something in the toilet tank and when Benson asks what does he have, he replies “everything.”.

Afterwards, back at SVU, Carisi confronts Richie with a bag of the gold jewelry that belonged to the victims, saying it was in his toilet tank in his apartment and his wife tipped them off. When Carisi says to get up, he is under arrest, Richie stands, but Benson says not him, indicating Tom instead. Tom is shocked and Richie asks what is going on. He asks if they are out of their minds and Benson says not even a little. She says he is under arrest for the murder of Robin Daughtry and she reads him his rights. As they take Tom out of the room, Richie asks what is going on and what is happening.

Later, Richie can’t believe it when he hears from Carisi that his lawyer raped people near the shelters because he knew sex offenders would get the blame, saying that is insane. Carisi says Tom is a sociopath. Carisi admits there was no security camera, that was a lie to scare Tom into planting evidence in Richie’s apartment; that they DID get that on video. He adds Richie’s wife helped, saying she is a good woman. Richie says she is the best, and he ruined her life. They can’t travel, they can’t move, and they decided not to have kids as how could they tell their kids that their friends could not come over. Carisi tells Richie that he wishes he could say he never doubted him. As Richie steps into the elevator, he admits he is a convicted rapist and his whole life, everyone is going to doubt him.

In Arraignment Court part 12 on Monday, March 21, Tom is arraigned for 3 counts of rape and one count of murder, and he pleads not guilty. The judge denies bail and remands him to Rikers, saying that several of his clients will welcome him there. As they take Tom away, Loomis is arraigned next for 4 counts of rape in the first degree, and when the judge asks for plea, his lawyer nudges him and Loomis angrily and clearly states not guilty. Fin notes Loomis is not stuttering now.

As they leave the courtroom and in the hall, Carisi says regarding Tom that they should just throw away the key. He rapes and murders and then tries to piggyback it on his clients. Rollins says unless you are a rich rapist, nobody is going to defend you, you are getting a bottom feeder. Carisi thinks Richie did not deserve that. Rollins reminds him that Richie is on the registry and it makes him an easy guy to frame. Carisi comments that a guy commits a murder and he does his time and then is out and about, but a rapist? Nobody wants to live next to him. No matter what he does, he is never going to be trusted again, he is in purgatory. Rollins asks if he is alright, and then suggest he come to her place for dinner and hang out with Jesse and she promises the minute she starts wailing it will clear his head of everything else. He says, “Dinner, huh?” and when she replies “Yeah, c’mon” he asks if she learned to cook. She replies no she didn’t learn to cook, he is going to cook and they are going to shop along the way.

Benson walks out of the courtroom with Sofie, who asks if the guys will be off the streets for good. Benson says they are gone and thanks her, and says she has been very brave. Her father said he had no idea the guy he went after with a baseball bat was a detective, and Benson states that he shouldn’t be going after anyone and he is lucky he is not under arrest. Sofie thanks him and Benson walks off. As Benson moves to the elevator, she catches up with Fin, who says two bad guys go down, that is a good day. She comments that Fin is wearing a tie in court, saying it is very impressive. He explains he is going to visit his son, he and his husband invited him over to their place. As they step into the elevator, Benson asks if Fin needs a tie for that. Fin says they have somebody coming over they want him to meet; Benson comments, “Way to get out there, Fin. Good for you.” He replies, “If you say so” as the elevator doors close and we fade to black.

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Ana Andrade said...

This was a decent episode.

@Chris Zimmer- I think that you're making a big deal out of the promo. I personally don't think anyone was that worried about Carisi being killed. I have no problem with the promos unless they are completely inaccurate, like the one that showed Noah going missing in the park. Unless the promos are like the one for Melancholy Pursuit, I don't feel tricked. I was wondering how you know the next episode is on May 4. I thought it was going to be on April 27, with the finale being on May 18.

Nikki said...

Rollins and Carisi was the best part. That's all I have to say on the ep.

Chris Zimmer said...

@Ana Andrade - I saw something last night on Twitter, someone from the show said May 4 but now I can't find the tweet. Will keep looking. The NBC schedule doesn't go all the way through April so I haven't seen any firm date as yet from them on the next episode date.

As far as Carisi being killed, I got a lot of emails on the subject and also saw lots of stuff on Twitter and Facebook. My biggest issue with the promo was that the episode wasn't anything like being the biggest shocker of the season. if so, I missed the big shocker.

Nancy R said...

I saw on Twitter that the next episode is May 4, the last on May 25. As I think I said here earlier Julie Martin tweeted me that Raul Esparza will be in all 4 last episodes.

Chris Zimmer said...

@Nancy R - thanks so much for confirming!

JS Mc said...

I too, suspected Tom (the lawyer for some unknown reason, but then put it aside because he WAS a lawyer!)
I loved this episode which went back to it's roots as a police procedural not a soap opera! (Which the Tuckson relationship is, in my beliefs being totally un canon & not believable) JMO.
I loved the old 'twists & turns & gumshoe police work! Mariska did an awesome job at directing & knocked this one outta tha park as far as I'm concerned! Super writing, acting, directing & believable plot! Congrats to all...JMO

Doreen Chiapparelli said...

Another good ep...Love how the squad is gelling and can u work all those hours and NOT care about the people you work with?I love his the Rollins/carisi relationship has evolved, I feel it's like a brother/sister Tuckson I guess that's ok..Maybe they'll actually have a real kiss in the next ep! Have to wait a month for it...hope nbc gives us some reruns on Wed during the HIATUS!

Rhaspodel said...

All I gotta say it was a good episode, a typical SVU episode.

@Chris Zimmer- I was wondering when you were going to post the news of Richard Belzer returning. It could be that May 4 episode. Whenever it is, he's returning in a upcoming May episode called "Fashionable Crimes." You can go to the Entertainment Weekly to get the full details and link it back to this site so others want to know.

Cardinal said...

I enjoyed this ep, but didn't get why Kevin Tighe's character had to return here. I mean, I absolutely LOVE seeing Kevin anytime anywhere (major crush, LOL!), but his character wasn't really crucial to this episode.

Mariska's directing ability is absolutely *epic!* She gets better and better with every ep she directs.

I wasn't sure I'd like Carisi when he first joined the squad, but these days he's one of my favorite characters for a wide variety of reasons.

Best line in the ep: "You want a baby?" ROFLMAO!

It gives me a chuckle that initially, Belz asked me NOT to disclose he was going to be back on SVU. Then, less than twenty-four hours later, the news is out. NBC wanted to keep it a secret for May sweeps, but this way we all have something very special to look forward to. :) "Fashionable Crimes" is a good title, not only for the episode's theme, but because John Munch is always impeccably dressed.

Ashley W said...

The biggest shocker to come out of this episode was in your intro to the recap - I have to wait until May to see how Barba is?

dash it all, NBC.

And maybe Searle will have another arc to follow this episode? Doubt it but maybe.

BensonFan said...

It was weird to see two characters from the episode 'Avatar' on another episode as different characters.

I thought this episode was one big BLAH. No drama or suspense. The same plot acted and directed by different people back in SVU's better days would have been a good episode.

Ariel Triton said...

This episode was very boring. The guy from Avatar makes me want to vomit every time I see that episode, and his voice and appearance kick my misophonia and disgust into overdrive. I'm so tired of this overused "biggest shocker" promo claim. When SVU uses it, it's the equivalent of saying "most predictable ending ever."

Rollins and Carisi have more chemistry then Bensidy (excuse me while I vomit) and Tuckson (ugh, seconds). Then again, so do a brick and its wall.

The episode sucked, honestly. It was dull and I frankly hate undercover episodes. It's not as bad as Informed, but it is a close second for sure, as far as undercover episodes go. Was I slightly surprised by the lawyer being the perp? Maybe. They told us there was a copycat, though, so it became kind of obvious when they started looking into the homeless shelters in other areas.

I give it a 6. It had no stupid baby or disgusting Tuckson.

OhSusannah said...

I too wondered why they even included Gregory Searle in that scene, except for a nod to past stories they've worked. I laughed out loud when Fin commented on all the changes, and Liv asked him point-blank,"You want a baby?"I'm sure this was merely a nod to the very recent arrival of his baby Chanel with wife Coco. I liked this episode, mainly because of Carisi's portrayal as a homeless man. He is a superb addition to the cast. I am worried though- last week, he had a huge crisis of faith in the two-parter about sexual exploitation in the church. This week, he nearly gets killed by an angry group wielding baseball bats. Go easy on Carisi! It was cute how even the guys in the homeless shelter called him "the new guy"...I couldn't agree more with the show hyping upcoming episodes. There was nothing shocking in that SVU episode.I know they need to hype each new show but we diehards should know better than to fall fro it by now. I wonder if the network itself puts the producers up to this "misleading' promos. Great review and recap, as always,Chris.

Anonymous said...

It was an ok episode. Not the worse one this season, but by far not the greatest. I found myself wondering what all the hype was about.
It was not only predictable but disappointing to some extent.
I also wondered why the Gregory Searle character was on the show with such a small part.
I'm wondering if they are setting us up for an up and coming episode where this character will have a bigger role.

Laurie Fanat said...

Mariska is getting better in directing but this episode wasn’t too complex, was it? The story was simple and there weren’t any complicated action scenes.

Bringing in Gregory Searle – why? I bet I could find other SVU perps that would have made a more interesting character to revisit. This was a weak episode.

Peter Scanavino is a solid addition to the cast. He is very versatile. This is nothing against Danny Pino, but he was very one-dimensional on “Cold Case” and they made him one-dimensional on SVU. They have the ability to do more with Peter, and so goes the same with Carisi.

Explaining Dodds’ 1 week absence and not Fin’s 3-4 episode absence – I don’t get this show and why they do what they do.

The relationship between Carisi and Rollins doesn’t work for me. They are trying too hard to create sexual tension where there is none.

empxth tbh said...

I don't think there's anything "romantic" about Carisi and Rollins, I think the ending scene with them talking about cooking etc. was supposed to show that they're becoming friends, but nothing more.. I could be wrong, but I just get a brother/sister vibe from them :D

Ariel Triton said...

@empxth tbh This is the same group of writers who made Olivia sleep with a one night stand over a decade later...oh, and her greatest enemy. Who knows what they are capable of next?

empxth tbh said...

@Ariel trueee, but still would they really make Rollins fall for 2 (3 if you count Murphy) colleagues in a row? I mean, even they would know how ridiculous it is, right? :D

Shannon1981 said...

@Chris Zimmer - I lurk here a lot but this is my first time posting.

I just want to say thanks for the recaps! This is my go to to decide which episodes to watch. I don't particularly care for the ones where Barba is missing. The legal side of SVU is something I really enjoy, and Raul Esparza is excellent. Barba is my favorite character. So, thanks for always pointing out when he is missing.

I never thought anything would happen to Carisi. I do hope they aren't setting up a romance for him and Rollins, though. No chemistry there, IMO. I want him with Barba. I LOVED them together in "Depravity Standard." (And yes, I know you're allergic to fanfic, but I am TOTAL #Barisi shipper.)

Thanks for your excellent work!

Chris Zimmer said...

@Shannon1981 - Thanks for your kind words! (Yes I am allergic to fan fic (wink).) I'm glad you're adding your voice to the mix; the more feedback from viewers the better!

Shannon1981 said...

@Chris Zimmer - You're welcome! Great blog, for real. And I promise to keep my fanfic/shipping addiction to myself haha.

Charliejamezz said...

Hi there! :)

I am here almost everyday but I have never actually posted anything, so I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU, I absolutely love your blog, it is amazing. I go here after every episode to see if I have missed anything since English is not my native language. Therefor it is very useful to me :)

Second of all, I am completely obsessed with SVU and even more with Barba. I am really worried that he will not be on next season! Do you know when they announce who will be on season 18? I am crossing my fingers that everyone will stay on the show. Also, I really think that Barba has some sort of feelings for Olivia, even though he may not realize it himself. I have seen it all through this last season espacially, and in "Manhattan Transfer" I just felt that he could not hind it anymore. I just love all your analyzises on him, just anything because I find him very mysterious and secrative!

Thank you for everything and keep up the fantastic work! :)

Chris Zimmer said...

@Charliejamezz - you are very welcome and I'm glad you're here! They announced the renewal in February but they have not confirmed exactly who will be on the show next season. I think I heard unofficially that Mariska's contract was renewed and I think Ice_t was also supposed to return, but I don't think anything official was stated on the others. I worry also that Raul Esparza won't be back but I continue to hope that he will!

BensonFan said...

I think I'm going to say goodbye to SVU forever. I've hated it ever since Leight took over--there've been decent episodes here and there that have kept me hoping, but it's not enough. I also feel bad abandoning a show that I used to love and an actress I admire.

Maybe it's because I've watched too many crime shows (Chris touched on this idea herself), so I usually guess the culprit right away. But at least tell a good story and act it well.

I will probably continue to come here to read recaps to make sure nothing bad happens to my favorite character, Olivia Benson :)

Chris Zimmer said...

@BensonFan - don't forget SVU has a new showrunner (Rick Eid) next season. Who knows, he may bring a change to the show that you may find welcome!

Ariel Triton said...

BensonFan, you and me both. I am so tired of what they have done to SVU. When people ask why we still watch it if we hate so much, I simply say "Because it was once a great show." Then it became a soap opera. Olivia has had more bed buddies in the last four seasons than in her entire run on the show, each one as more unrealistic as the last. One night stand from 1999? Check. Greatest enemy who tried to take her badge? Check. Faceless doorknob with a penchant for ugly smirks who started the turn Olivia into an easy woman? Check.

Let's not forget the baby storyline. A murdered mother plus a promotion with more responsibility is apparently how to get a baby you want, for anyone reading this. I can't even watch the SVU marathons with enjoyment anymore. Especially the episodes with Tucker.

Leight leaving won't change anything, unfortunately. Baer before him was constantly baiting the EO shippers (of which I have never been, and thus find it incredibly annoying to watch those scenes). Rick Eid created the travesty known as Conviction...god help us when he takes over SVU.

BensonFan said...

Dick Wolf cares more about longevity than quality.

Jasmine W said...

Great recap! You say the next episode is May 4-- why are the episodes this season so spaced out? These last 2 episodes were also spaced out from the episodes prior.. strange.

Chris Zimmer said...

@Jasmine W - their schedule has always been a mystery to me (and others). Sometimes I think it is erratic because they try not to schedule some new episodes against bog draw shows on other channels.

Joanna Shipley said...

Have always been a big fan of the show but unfortunately When I heard you were doing a show to about Donald Trump and you're inserting yourself into the election I will no longer be a fan of the show I do not turn on TV to watch more people trying to sabotage the election as bad as I hate it I will no longer watch your show and I am going to put it out to the public just exactly what you're doing and I hope you lose your rating should have just did your show.