Thursday, May 19, 2016

Law & Order SVU “Intersecting Lives” Recap & Review

“Intersecting Lives” was an interesting set up episode for the season 17 finale, “Heartfelt Passages”. The episode starred Brad Garrett, an actor who has always ranked high on the creep factor for me, so his role as the disgusting corrections officer who loves to sexually assault and rape female inmates was a perfect fit. But the real story here is that ADA Barba decides to take on this corrections officer, which brings along the ire of other COs and their union, and earning Barba a death threat. I usually don’t like to speak of what happens in the episode that follows, but the promo tease airing after "Intersecting Lives" made it hard to miss that Dodds is the one who later finds himself in the line of fire. Even though it was stated early on in the episode that Dodds was headed to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, it was obvious that Dodds would not be safe after Fin seemed to imply Dodds was more at risk in his new position than working for SVU. (Nice way to jinx it, Fin!)

Even though the promo for this episode outlined the death threat to Barba and the tension between him and the COs union, this episode was filled with tension and the story was well written.

Luckily the writers front-loaded the episode with two tidbits of a personal nature,  and they did not distract from the drama that would build as the story unfolded. Carisi finds out he passed the bar exam, but for now seems to be staying with SVU. Still, anything could happen later. Fin finds out that his son Ken and his partner are having a baby using a surrogate, which will make Fin a grandfather.

I have high hopes that the season finale will provide a thrilling close to this storyline!

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
Ernest Waddell - Ken Randall
Brad Garrett – C.O. Gary Munson
Krystal Joy Brown - Charisse McCabe
Bill Duke - Counselor Ed Pastrino
Ramón Franco - Union Rep. Tony Rodriguez
Karina Logue - Lisa Munson
Carolyn Michelle Smith - C.O. Orita Wilkins
Michael Mastro – Judge Serani
Natalie Paul –
Anthony M. Bertram - Deputy Warden Wayne Holden
Brittany Campbell – Leanne Carter
Johnny Rivera – Man
Joniece Abbott-Pratt - Latanya Banks
Phyre Hawkins – Cece Thornhill
Andre Jackson – Defense Attorney #1
Jason Abrams – Defense Attorney #3
Leah Finnie – Defense Attorney #4
Jamar Greene - CO #1
Danny Doherty – CO #2
Isabel Harper Leight – Annie Munson
Rowan Williams – Johnny Munson
Jaiden Smith – Tesso Carter

At SVU, Rollins and Fin wait with an anxious Carisi who is checking a web site to see if he passed the bar exam. He sees his ID number (732-346) and is thrilled to see he passed. As Rollins hugs him and congratulates him. Benson walks in and asks if someone won the lottery. Rollins replies “Sort of. Carisi passed the bar!” Benson congratulates him and asks if that means he is leaving her too. He says no, and Fin asks what does she mean, too? Benson explains Dodds is going to joint terrorism and this is his last week. Fin comments he just got here, and Benson says Dodds is on his own journey. Rollins suggests they celebrate for Carisi and when Benson offers to take them all out to lunch, Fin has to pass. He has to meet up with his son who says he has some news, adding he hopes HE didn’t quite his job. Dodds arrives and asks Benson if she told them, and she explains she did. Fin expresses concern over working on the task force, saying in SVU they get the bad guys and lock them up but terrorism can get him killed. Dodds says nothing and walks off as they all watch him.

Meanwhile, Rikers Corrections Officer Gary Munson leaves his wife Lisa and kids at the breakfast table, saying they want him in early again. He says they need the OT as his wife is the one who wanted to take his kids to Disney World. Lisa looks sad as he leaves.

Later, Gary Munson, in his car, calls out to Charisse, who is walking down the street, and calls her his favorite former inmate. She keeps walking and says she thought they were done with this. She is carrying something in a brown bag and he questions if that is an open container of alcohol, adding that is a violation. Without looking at him, she keeps walking and tells him to leave her alone. Following in his car, he asks about patting her down. She stops and he pulls into a parking space. She walks over to the car and tells him please, they don’t need to do that. He tells her to get in the car, now. He opens the door and gets in. He puts his hand on her knee and, as she looks uncomfortable, he drives away.

Elsewhere, Fin’s son Ken thanks Fin for meeting him at a restaurant. Fin hopes Ken is not trying to fix him up again, and Ken admits that was a bad idea but no, he has some news. Fin asks if Ken is leaving the halfway house, and Ken says no, he likes his job and social work. He is going to need the paycheck because he and Alejandro are starting a family. Fin pauses, then asks if Ken is adopting. Ken shows Fin a photo and explains they found a surrogate who is a few months pregnant and it is a boy. Fin comments “So I’m gonna be a grandfather?” Ken asks if he will be okay with that, and Fin happily says yes, explaining that everybody in his squad is having babies and showing him pictures; he will get to show some pictures himself. Ken smiles. Fin ads that this little guy will call him Fin; none of that grandpa stuff. Ken agrees. Fin congratulates him and hands Ken’s phone back to him, and it begins to ring. Ken excuses himself to take the call. Ken tells the caller – Charisse - to slow down and asks where is she and if she is alright. Elsewhere, Charisse is on the phone and running, saying that the CO from Rikers, Gary, just raped her. She sobs as Ken asks where is she? Back at the restaurant, Ken tells her to stay there, he will come get her. He hangs up the phone and tells Fin that one of his clients says her former CO just raped her and he has to go. Fin tells him to hold on, they have to be careful, asking Ken to confirm it was a corrections officer, then states he will call Benson.

At Bellevue Hospital on 462 First Avenue on Friday April 15, Benson, there with Fin, speaks with Charisse, who said until today, Munson just made her go down on him. She said she didn’t want to do that anymore, she is back with her boyfriend. Munson got mad and hit her, and then he raped her. This has happened at least once a week since she got out; she thought it was bad enough when she was inside. Fin asks if Gary assaulted her in Rikers, and Charisse said he never hurt her, but when he took her for a visit, he’d stop in the chapel. Fin comments there are no cameras there. She thinks he knows what he is doing, saying if she does him a favor he will do her one. This means she could see her kids, not get strip searched or put in solitary. She did not report this, saying the CO and gangs run the place and every female inmate in there knows that. Every time he would do her, he would tell her to cry all she wants, she is just a broke, black crack whore, asking who will believe her. When Benson says she does, Charisse laughs and says she should have never called Ken. She adds she was just messed up, and not to worry, she knows this isn’t going anywhere.

In Barba’s office, he asks Benson, Fin, and Dodds what they know about Gary Munson. Benson explains he has been a CO at Rikers for 17 years, he has never been charged or disciplined, puts in for a lot of OT, and has a wife and two kids. Dodds adds his father in law is a deputy inspector at Queens South; the second time Munson failed the police exam, strings get pulled and he makes the DOC. There are three complaints in his jacket, nothing stuck. Barba states dryly that nothing ever sticks at Rikers, adding that CO union has more power than any place he has ever seen. He adds that, putting this aside, these cases are never easy, seeing that the complainant has 12 arrests. Fin explains they are misdemeanors – drugs, prostitution – and says his son says she is turning it around. Dodds thinks Gary covers his tracks – no DNA, no witnesses, vulnerable victims. Benson interjects that they really caught a break when Charisse called Ken. Barba asks did they, stating it is still the word of a corrections officer versus a black single mother with a drug problem and a prison record. Dodds asks if he is raping her on the street, how many is he raping on the inside, wondering if there is any value having DOI look at him. Barba says don’t; Rikers is where investigations go to die. He mentions violence, rape, assaults – there are hundreds of allegations and almost no prosecutions. Dodds questions is Barba is saying to just walk away. Benson adds if a CO is having sex with an inmate, forced or not, that is rape. Barba agrees it is, but at Rikers it’s like the “Lord of the Flies” there. He adds if anyone finds they are investigating him, Munson gets tipped off and his vics pay. Benson suggests they are not investigating him, they need the guards’ help in investigating a trafficking ring with ties to gang members who are involved with female inmates. Barba agrees, telling them to put up a good front and pick another dozen women who have rotated through Charisse’s unit with similar records. Benson agrees, and Fin states that Charisse says she was raped in the chapel, suggesting they pull surveillance video from the hallway outside. Barba tells him to pull another 6 cameras, saying to add them a laundry list and with luck they won’t realize that Munson is the target.

Afterwards in the hall, Dodds says he will start the paperwork, and Fin asks if Dodds wants to spend his last week at Rikers. Dodds says he is not coasting out, he will put his time in until the end. Benson asks if he is trying to make her miss him now that he is already gone. He replies he is just doing his job.

Later, at Rikers Island Correctional Facility on Saturday April 16, Fin and Dodds speak with Deputy Warden Wayne Holden and they explain what they are looking for. Dodds asks to talk to some of the inmates and Holden says the COs know where to find them.

Carisi and Rollins speak with C.O. Orita Wilkins and find one of the inmates they want to talk to – Monique – is in the infirmary. Orita says they are all working something and says what the inmates do to the CO and thinks the complaining inmates are lying. Carisi explains what they are looking for, using the CPB gang excuse, and Rollins adds that they may be facilitating the pimping of girls on the outside. Wilkins says they would sell their own sisters for a score.

Fin and Dodds also speak with Munson about a group of girls and he says they are just trying to keep the inmates from killing each other. He adds he would not be surprised if that had family or babies with members of the CPB. Dodds asks if anyone let something slip about the gangs running girls in the South Bronx, and he says he would go to the warden about it, he doesn’t look the other way. When Fin asks if the ladies ever asked him to, Munson says they work him 24/7 with the big eyes, the crying, and the begging, saying with sarcasm that everyone here is innocent. Dodds replies of course they are, and thanks him. Munson comments that Dodds is the son of Chief Dodds, adding his father-in-law knows him. Dodds says “sure” and thanks Munson as Dodds walks off with Fin. Munson gives a suspicious look.

Back at the SVU, the team watches the Rikers surveillance video of Charisse being taken into the chapel, and also see that CO Orita Wilkins appears to be the lookout. It confirms Charisse’s story. They also found three other probable victims on the videos. They are all black women in their 20s-30s and Rollins thinks Munson has a type and she is tracking down their records. Dodds says they have much of these tapes to go through and thinks they will find more victims. Benson comments he can, but Rikers is out of their jurisdiction. As Charisse was assaulted in Manhattan, Benson says she will call Barba to let him know they have evidence backing Charisse’s story. Rollins asks if they should let Charisse know, and Fin comments that will be tough; Ken got a call that Charisse was arrested tonight.

Meanwhile, Munson is at Rikers and “welcomes” Charisse back by asking what did she do and saying she just can’t get enough of him. He leans in an whispers to her that he will see her tomorrow. She looks worried and he walks off with a smile.

The next day, Carisi and Dodds speak with Munson who is playing darts. He says he saw Charisse after roll call this morning, adding they should put in a revolving door for that girl. Dodds explains they heard she got picked up last night, Carisi adding the gang unit looped them in, she was arrested with her boyfriend who was a crew chief with the CPB. Munson explains he does not know what the charges were but he heard Charisse and her boyfriend were a trick rolling team. Carisi comments if that checks out, they have an outstanding case, giving a hypothetical situation. Munson says that fits Charisse and her MO. Dodds explains they think now that she is back inside, it can give them some leverage on her. Munson says he wouldn’t count on it, every time she opens her mouth a lie comes out. Dodds says they got the john waiting, they put Charisse in a line up and get him ID’d and this closed out it could lead to other names. Munson asks if they give them OT for that, and Carisi replies “collars for dollars.” Munson says “good for you” but adds it is a dead end.

Back at SVU in interrogation with Benson and Fin, Charisse thinks Gary did this, saying he could do whatever he wanted to her and the only time she should open her mouth is with him in the chapel. She indicates he assaulted her again, saying she told them, this will never go away. When Fin says they can keep her out of Rikers, she says it doesn’t matter; Munson knows where she lives and where her mother lives with her two girls. She wasn’t resisting arrest or whatever they say and they just said they were NYPD and to empty their pockets now. Her boyfriend had one joint and they started roughing him up so she pulled her cell to record it. Three cops came out of nowhere and grabbed her phone and put her in cuffs. They did not say why she was under arrest, they put her in the car and tossed her cell phone. Benson says they will look for it as that video might help them. Charisse says Munson has complete control over her, and she thinks her life is over and he owns her ass. Benson states they will protect her and he will not get away with this.

Meanwhile, Dodds, who is observing with Barba, turns off the speaker. Barba comments it is a possible illegal search, and Dodds says probable, they are checking security cams near the arrest. Barba asks about the arresting officer, and Dodds says they are not returning their calls so they are pulling the 61 and the arrest report. Carisi enters and says the security camera footage from a bodega on the corner caught the whole thing.

The team watches the video and it looks like Charisse and her boyfriend did nothing wrong and the police just moved in. It doesn’t appear Charisse was resisting arrest. Dodds thinks she and her boyfriend were targeted and thinks Munson is trying got intimidate her. Benson approaches and Barba tells them to find out if there is any connection between these five officers and Munson, Dodds adding or his father in law. Benson comments the video backs up Charisse’s story and says these guys are bold. Rollins says they are MIA; she put in a call to captain and got radio silence. Barba comments clearly there was no cause to arrest her but would feel better if her boyfriend wasn’t holding. He asks what they know about him. Dodds says that Jay Raymond has a record, all for misdemeanor possession; he has no ties to CPB and he pleaded not guilty last night. Benson thinks this means he is in Rikers and he is not safe, and neither is Charisse. Carisi asks Barba if he can get that charges dropped, and Barba thinks this is a bad move, he doesn’t want anybody thinking they are looking out for her. He asks if she made bail, and Benson says it was five grand with no bond so it might as well have been 600 grand. Barba thinks he can get the judge to reduce that and her defense attorney will go along with it. Benson asks about the other three women in Rikers – Cece Thornhill, Zahara Letts, and Tanya Franks. If Munson thinks they are investigating him they will be in trouble. Barba asks what they are in for, and Rollins explains they are all for Class A misdemeanors. Barba orders them not to talk to them in Rikers; he will let their defense attorneys know he will be asking the judge to reduce their bail as well.

In arraignment Court Part 25 on Monday April18, with a little explaining to the judge, Barba gets Charisse and all three woman out on ROR. Barba explains to one of the women this means they need to cooperate by not leaving town and by talking to the detectives,

Back at SVU, the detectives question the three girls but they are reluctant to testify as they cannot be protected either in and out of Rikers. Barba thinks this hasn’t been productive and says he can’t keep them out of Rikers forever. Fin tells Benson and Barba that Charisse may be AWOL.

Later, at Langston Hughes playground at 546 West 141st Street on Monday, April 18, Benson and Fin see Charisse there with her kids and her mom, saying goodbye to them. She tells them she has to get out of there and that it is over. She says the charges are lies but Fin says if she leave she makes them stick. Benson brings up her daughters and Charisse says she does not care about Benson or herself or any of this. Benson says she doesn’t want Charisse’s girls to grow up to think there is no chance, or does she want them to grow up seeing their mother fight? Charisse looks on sadly.

Later, Charisse meets up in the usual place with Munson. Rather than get in his car this time, he wants to walk with her. Charisse is wired and he seems upset she called him. Benson and Dodds watch and listen from the van while Fin tails them on foot. She explains the judge ROR’d her the second he heard about the charges. Munson knows her boyfriend is still locked up. She suggests doing Munson a favor to help her boyfriend out. Dodds worries that Munson is on to her but Benson thinks this is their best shot and Munson may be getting off on the hunt. She radios to Fin who confirms Charisse is in his sight and confirms the safe word is home and she knows it.

Munson leads her to a building through a downstairs enhance and leads her in and he pushes her up against a wall. Fin tells Benson he has no video but Dodds confirms they do but can just see a brick wall but they have audio. Munson puts a gun to Charisse’s head and makes comments that indicates to Benson he knows Charisse is wired. Benson and Dodds race there in the van and she tells Fin to be ready. As Munson continues to talk, he covers her mouth but she manages to get the words out to let her go home. Benson radios to Fin to go in now. He does so. and it appears Munson tying to rape her As Fin and Dodds enter with guns drawn, Munson pushes Charisse aside and zips up his pants, then puts up his hands. Munson claims he is on the job but Fin says not on HIS job. He asks what is going on and when they find his gun, he says he is a CO and is allowed to carry. Benson enters with her gun drawn and asks Munson if he threatened her with that, and Charisse answers yes and tried to rape her. Dodds arrests Munson but he thinks they should arrest Charisse for trying to bribe an officer as he only want along with her to see how far she would go. Fin tells Munson he told him to shut up, and Munson comments that Charisse has a lieutenant to show for her. Benson tells him to stop talking and tells Dodds to get Munson out of there now as Munson says she knows how to work it. Benson tries to calm a very upset Charisse.

Outside the building, Munson tells Dodds he has a lady boss bitching him out, asking if he likes a woman on top. Dodds, looking much smaller than Munson, asks if his one call will be his wife of his father-in-law

In the District Attorney’s conference room at 1 Hogan Place on Tuesday, April 19, Munson is there with Counselor Ed Pastrino and Union Rep Tony Rodriguez. Ed says his client doesn’t have to be there and Tony says it is against his advice. Benson wonders if Munson would rather be in the holding cell in the tombs. Tony says they wouldn’t do that, there are courtesies on both side. Barba says courtesies aside, what was Munson’s business with Charisse? He says she came on to him and she was worried about her boyfriend and wanted to trade sex for a favor and he said no. Barba asks if he had to pull her into an abandoned building to communicate that, and Munson says she was wearing a wire, asking why don’t they listen to that and they will know he did the right thing. Benson says the only thing that proves is that he knew she was wired. She adds that Charisse told them while Munson was saying all the right things, he was trying to rape her at gunpoint. Tony thinks Charisse was looking for a lawsuit against the city and Ed adds that time and again at Rikers, Munson was trying to get this woman the benefit of the doubt. Barba disputes this, saying he is looking at attempted rape here. Tony asks if they are looking for him to be out of the DOC that Munson would be willing to resign with his pension and full benefits. Benson says “Seriously” and tells Munson he is facing two counts in Manhattan of rape and attempted rape, and Barba adds multiple assault charges for female inmates at Rikers. Ed says Rikers is out of Barba’s jurisdiction, and Barba tells Munson if he wants to save his family and his union the public humiliation of these charges, this is his chance. He suggests Munson plead guilty to one count of attempted rape and they won’t go after him for the Rikers’ assaults. Munson says this is just a shakedown, and Ed says Barba just admitted he doesn’t have a case as if he did. He would not have offered that. Tony asks if they know what they call his brother COs, saying it is “New York’s boldest” , adding that the DAs have learned to think long and hard about seeking un-provable indictments against his rank and file. Barba and Benson looks stunned.

At arraignment court Part 24 on Tuesday, April 19, Munson’s lawyer pleads not guilty to one count of rape in the first degree and one count of attempted rape in the second degree. Barba asks for remand, and when he makes a flattering comment about most COs but says New York City will not tolerate any abuses of power, the judge tells him this is not the time to score political points. Barba adds Munson is not one of the good guys; he is a serial predator who abused his position to assault female inmates and he has access to DOC databases including home addresses. Ed says Munson is a dedicated civil servant with 17 years with no record and he is being victimized by career criminals with an ax to grind, and he requests all charges be dropped. Barba gives him a look. The judge tells Ed this is not the time or place and that these are serious allegations, but the judge denies remand, setting bail at $200,000, cash or bond.

Sitting in the gallery, Munson’s wife Lisa tells Tony she does not think they have that kind of money, and Tony says they look out for their own. Benson looks over to her and Lisa claims Benson set Munson up and this is entrapment. Benson insists that is not what is happening. Lisa says her husband is a good man and good father and how dare they call him a rapist. She leaves and Benson sighs.

Back at SVU, Barba tells Benson, Carisi, and Fin that Charisse is not the most credible witness and the audio and video are subject to different interpretations. He asks if they got anything from his car, and Benson explains no, it was hygienic, he had it detailed the night before. Carisi thinks this is probably why Munson did not want Charisse to get in it yesterday. Barba asks about his cell phone, GPS and EZ Pass, anything to put him near the halfway house. Rollins explains that Munson turns off the GPS to and from work and pays cash at tolls. Dodds says they may have something, showing a map of Munson’s possible routes from his home, and that he should be using the Triboro or the Whitestone bridges to get to the Bronx. He doesn’t. and Rollins says they have him on bridge cams once a week on Fridays on the Macombs Dam bridge crossing into Manhattan. There is nothing on the street cams and Rollins says he is smart, avoiding known traffic cams. But Dodds says the key word is “known”; he called his friends at Joint Terrorism and caught a break. Charisse’s halfway house is two blocks away from a Harlem mosque, and Fin comments “terrorism, Harlem, mosque: NYPD doesn’t like those three words together.” Barba mentions license plate readers, saying they have had them near hot spots since 2007. Dodds explains they found that every Friday for 5 Fridays running, Munson has driven within two blocks of the mosque and with 100 yards of where Charisse said she was raped. Fin comments that is not a route, that is a pretzel. Dodds adds there is not a reason on earth to detour through Manhattan from the Bronx to get to Rikers. Barba states it is circumstantial but it is a start and tells them to keep digging. Benson states that Munson used a condom with Charisse but there weren’t any in his car so maybe he uses the same brand at home. Barba thinks this may be enough to get him a warrant and he will see if he can find a judge that is willing to go against the CO’s union.

At the residence of Gary and Lisa Munson at 146-07 Wilson Avenue in the Bronx on Thursday, April 21, the SVU squad is there for a search and Munson says they will not find anything. Dodds, with sarcasm, thanks Munson for his cooperation, and Munson asks if his daddy will be proud of him invading the home of a fellow officer and railroading one of their own. Dodds tells the others they are looking for anything with the victims DNA on it – the suspect’s clothing, personal item. The others quickly move to start the search. Dodds gives Munson a stern look. Meanwhile, Benson is in the kitchen with Lisa and the kids and tries to get Lisa to take the kids elsewhere while the search is on going as the search will be disruptive. Lisa tells the kids to go into the back yard. As she urges the kids out, Lisa says her father is a deputy inspector and when he hears about this, they will all be on traffic detail. Benson understands her anger but urges Lisa to get tested for STDs and HIV, adding her husband is a reckless man. Lisa looks stunned at first but then tells Benson she can go to hell. Benson tells her to just get tested.

Meanwhile, Munson is getting rattled as they search and he denies the charges, adding to check with the union and his time cards and that everyone will vouch for him. Dodds comments he bets they will, and Munson says if they need him he will be with his family. After Munson walks off, Dodds tells Rollins that he is right, you throw a rock at Rickers and hit a CO with mixed integrity, adding they punch each other’s time cards and covering for each other. Rollins points to a picture and says punching somebody else’s time card is one thing but, pointing to CO Wilkins in the photo, says it’s another to facilitate rapes.

Later at SVU, Rollins, along with Benson and Union Rep Tony present, questions Orita Wilkins about the video showing her as lookout for Munson at the chapel. Orita says he does not know what he does in there and Tony says she is manning her post. Rollins sarcastically asks if Orita thinks Munson is tending to their spiritual needs, and Tony replies they asked about the video and the time cards and now they are fishing. But Benson asks if they go over all the time cards for the past 3 years, will they find no violations. Orita comments no offense to her union rep, but this is a good time to call her lawyer. Benson smiles and says it seems like it. Benson explains her cell phone will not work in there so she will take her to a hot spot. Tony nods his head to Orita.

In the break room, Orita is on the phone and Benson walks in. Orita says her lawyer is on the way, and Benson wants her to know that once he gets her, Benson can’t help her. Orita asks Benson what she wants, and Benson says that she doesn’t want to go after her for time code violations. Orita gets upset and says everybody cheats on OT, it is allowed. Benson says until it gives them leverage. Orita asks again what Benson wants, and Benson says Orita knows Munson is a rapist. When Orita asks does she, Benson says yeah, she does, because she is his lookout. Benson adds she knows how it works in there: she does him favors and he gets his guys to look after her, no double shifts on holidays and overtime when she needs it. Orita asks if Benson knows so much, why does she need her? Benson urges her to listen to her as she is trying to help her out; maybe they don’t get her on facilitation of rape but those time cards are theft of service and fraud, wondering who will look after her kids when she is in jail with all her friends. Orita says she leaves early on Sundays, she has a sick mother and so does Munson. He leaves early every Sunday at 6PM and time cards out at midnight. Benson says she will need more than that. Orita explains one of his frequent flyers – Della Carter – is into something every three months. She is 40 and has a baby sister on the outside and Munson saw her visiting and Munson wanted her and Munson got her.

Later, at the apartment for Leanne Carter at 543 West 146th Street on Thursday, April 21, Fin and Rollins arrive and a young boy opens the door and knows they are cops. Leanne comes to the door and when Rollins asks if she has a sister Della at Rikers, she worries he sister is dead. Fin assures her no, Rollins saying they need to ask questions about a CO of hers, Gary Munson. Leanne tells the child to go inside and asks the detectives that they want to know. When Rollins asks if Munson has been around lately, Leanne says yes, that son of a bitch has been around.

At a later date in the grand jury, Leanne is testifying that Munson came to her apartment every Sunday night, he knew her son was asleep in the next room, and he would lock the door and force her to have sex. She did not report it as her big sister Della is doing 9 months in Rikers and when Leanne met Munson at a visit to her sister,  Munson told her if he did her a favor he would make sure Della stayed out of trouble. She and her sister felt that meant if she went along with what Munson wanted, Della would not get strip searched or binged – meaning thrown in solitary. People die in there. Barba also questions Charisse who explains what Munson did to her inside and out of Rikers. She did not report this until last week as Munson said she was a black crack whore and he was a CO and nobody would believe her. He said if she told anyone he would have her arrested and thrown back in Rikers and let the gangs to whatever they wanted to her. The attacks occurred mostly in his car and sometimes at her boyfriend’s apartment if Munson knew he was locked up.

Barba then questions Orita who testifies that Munson brought 6 or more women into the chapel while she waited outside. He had his frequent flyers but would change it up if he knew someone was coming in. He never said what was going on in the chapel but he didn’t have to. He did make sure he and she got the OT even if they didn’t work it or not. Barba says with sarcasm, “How thoughtful.” Barba asks any night in particular, and Orita says Sunday nights, they would leave at 6 and get credit until midnight like clockwork.

Barba questions Lisa Munson who says her husband is a hard worker and he only thinks of her and the kids, he loves her and they have a healthy sex life. When Barba asks about the jury hearing that he committed rapes on the way home on Sunday nights, she says that is impossible as he calls her when he is about to leave work and he is home 20 minutes later. Barba asks on a Sunday, what time would that be, and she testifies he would call at 10 and be home at 10:20. Barba shows him Munson’s time cards for the past 7 Sundays where he punched out at midnight. She says that happens; they get extra time credit when they work a double, But Barba shows her video footage of one of the COs checkout points at Rikers and asks her to make out the time stamp on the video from two weeks ago. She sees it says 6:05. Barba shows her where he punched out at that time. She says their son may have been sick that day. Barba asks if he has been sick a lot, saying before she answers, he wants to show her footage from the previous 6 Sundays that Munson worked. She looks at the video then quickly looks away, sadly,  as the jury looks on.

Outside the grand jury room in the courthouse hallway, Barba thanks Benson and Dodds for coming. Barba says his gut is that when the grand jury gets back from lunch, they will return a bill of indictment on multiple counts of rape and sodomy of both Charisse and Leanne. Both of their stories reinforce the other, plus the female CO’s testimony. Benson asks what about Lisa, the wife. Barba sighs and says she honestly believed she could alibi him. Munson didn’t even bother to tell her what she was walking into. Dodds asks if they need them to pick up Munson, and Barba says he is out on bail and he surrendered his passport and he will be in informed of the indictment through his lawyer. The all look over at Ed and Tony who are standing nearby. Barba comments that when the indictment does come down, he will need them to walk him out of there. Benson looks to Dodds with concern as Barba walks back to the grand jury room.

Later, on the courthouse steps, Ed, standing there with Tony, speaks to the press about the charges being an outrage and an insult to every contentious corrections officer who puts his or her life on the line every day. He adds that rather than deal with the rampant dysfunction and gang violence in Rikers, ADA Barba and city hall are leading a witch-hunt based on the compromised testimony of this city’s lowest form of life. Benson and Dodds walk out with Barba and are approached by Tony and a group of COs who threaten to shut the city down. Benson tells them to hold on, there is no need for this, everyone is just doing their jobs. She asks them to step back and let them through. Tony explains they don’t know about the day-to-day on Rikers and it is all about the inmates; his COs get beat up and jumped but if you lay a hand on an inmate, they write you up. One CO says to Barba good luck if they need a CO to testify. Tony states Barba is looking at a big problem;  if Barba is counting on those guys to put their life on the line for him that ain’t gonna happen anymore. Benson tells Tony he has said his peace and tells the others to let them through and Barba stares, looking slightly rattled. Another CO asks what happens if they don’t let them through, and Dodds tells him to take it easy.

As they walk through the crowd, another man pulls Barba aside and says Barba doesn’t know him or who he is but he knows about Barba – things people would want to know. Barba asks if that is a threat, and the man says no, a threat would be right here and right now he would shove him down these steps and get his skull cracked open, Barba bleeding to death. Barba asks, “Right here in front of all these people? Maybe they wouldn’t be able to save me but they sure as hell would catch you.” He adds if the man wants to kill a DA, right here, surrounded by all these cops and cameras and spend the rest of his life in prison, and hands him a paper saying, “Here. Here’s my home address. You come by any time you want.” The man walks off with a sick smile and Barba steps back with unsteady footing. Benson approaches him and asks if everything is alright, and he says, “Not really. Somebody just threatened to kill me.” Benson is shocked and Dodds asks who was it. Barba said it was just a face in the crowd. Barba is clearly rattled. He tells Benson to tell the squad t watch their backs, this is just the beginning. She looks at him with worry. As Benson tries to calm Barba and Dodds looks out to the crowd on the courthouse steps, we fade to black. “TO BE CONTINUED” (The next episode is the season 17 finale.)

Note: Deleted scene provided by the SVU Writers Room:

"Intersecting Lives" Deleted Opening Scene from SVUWritersRoom on Vimeo.

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BensonFan said...

Sounds like it was a decent episode. Thanks for your meticulous recaps, Chris!

Chris Zimmer said...

@BensonFan - you're welcome!

ladybug81 said...

I really enjoyed this episode. It felt like a classic SVU episode. I also kept thinking the time was going by too quickly. Aside from a handful of episodes, this season has been pretty boring in my opinion. When Barba gave out his home address I kept thinking, he never talked to Alex Cabot did he. The promo did surprise me a bit at how much it seemed to give away. As we know though, the promos aren't always what they seem. Not sure if implying Mike is gone is a ruse for something else or not. Last night also seemed to run very closely to Undercover. Not surethane if it was intended to be that way or not. I do hope we get a Sealview mention next week. I saw promo pics of Olivia in Lindstrom's office so hopefully we get it then.
I know everyone should wondering about what we'll learun about Olivia that we've never known, I hope it's not a tease & something we know but the squad doesn't. I did wonder when she was pressuring Munson's wife to be tested if there was a chance that she had gotten something from Harris or Lewis, and that is the secret. I'm probably wring about that but it just stuck out to me.

Caroline Rohe said...

From the sounds of it, Barba isn't getting his death threats from the COs and Munson. Also Barba seemed a little skittish before the courthouse stairs threat, with that "walk me out" line. I have a feeling Barba's threats are going to extend into next season somehow (based off of what Raul has been saying), and we will hopefully see what "dirt/info" they have on him and how they will try and use it against him.
Also where were Rollins, Carisi, Fin, and Barba in that promo? We only saw Benson and the Dodd's family at the scene. Perhaps Rollins and Carisi are busy with a Barba protection detail.

kat said...

If they kill Barba off, I swear to God...

Alex said...

Not sure if anyone else noticed that, but!

As we saw, at the end of this episode, Barba was threatened by both police, who told him they would let him die by inaction when (not if) criminals came after him, and a man who was clearly a gangster/hitman and not a cop.

This man was played by an actor named Johnny Rivera.

Johnny Rivera previously appeared on SVU as a member of the gang BX9. Rivera's character in tonight's episode, again, was clearly a gangster and fits the type BX9 usually attracts.

Barba has a history with BX9, put away their leader years ago, and BX9 was recently brought up again in Manhattan Transfer as suspects in the sex trafficking.

Put that all together, and... It appears BX9 could be after Barba.

Margot Undercliffe said...

Given how much they showed in the preview, I don't think Mike dies at the end of the show. In one scene he is in a hospital gown which is post-surgery. His father is distraught whilst he is in surgery. I suspect they will leave it with him in hospital with his Dad so options for next season depending on Andy Karl's availability.

Barba is more interesting. I saw from an interview he is relying on Carisi and Rollins to help him. They didn't show any of it in the promo. I agree that this will follow into next season. I'm actually a bit more scared for Barba in the long run. The ADAs in this show seem to be on the receiving end of criminals.

I think the 'tragedy' will be Munson shooting his wife and possibly himself after Dodds in front of the children. I can't see him being 'taken'.

And Olivia ... They have left us with so many questions. The woman deserves some happiness.

Charliejamezz said...

I totally agree that this episode was one of the best this season! It really felt like the focus was on the story, but they still got the characters personalities in there!

I missed Carisi and Rollins a little however, it felt like it was mostly Fin, Olivia and Dodds doing all the work. I really liked Barba though, he tried so hard to stay calm but it seemed like he knew before the stairs scene what was up, so maybe he has experienced this before? Also, I felt like he actually was more shaken than he wanted to admit.

Garett did a terrific job on playing such an aweful character, he really gave me the creeps. I also have a feeling he will not come out of this alive...

Can't wait for the finale!!

rumer ford said...

love Barba can't wait for the finale and next season already excited for season 18 hope Dobbs doesn't die. Worried about Barba he did look rattled one of the best episodes I think the threats might go into next season. Love Barba and Raul and SVU.

Logan Ross said...

@Chris Zimmer,
When I've read your recaps It's as though I've seen the episode. Thank you so much!

Laurie Fanat said...

If they had episodes like this more often , their rating would be better. Putting out an A+ show every week is impossible but this episode proves the CAN do it if they are motivated to do so. The story was very good and it had enough meat in it to make people want to watch the finale. Did they tease too much in that promo? Probably. we don't know if Dodds dies but as Andy Karl has a good gig across the pond I don't think we will see him back next year. I don't think they would have sent Raul to the NBC upfront for the new season's shows if he wasn't going to figure into SVU for the next season. Who knows? I hope Barba makes it through and Raul will be staying. He brings good energy to SVU.

I don't believe we will see a big cliffhanger for the season finale. I don't think they would do that to a new showrunner, unless he has already blessed it or they have the outcome already mapped out. Warren Leight doesn't strike me as the type to leave a story line hanging as he's heading out the door but I don't know the man so it's anyone's guess.

PS: the ratings were lousy again and I think they knew they would be, going up other finales. I hope they have good viewership next week.

Chris Zimmer said...

FYI - At the end of my recap, I posted a deleted scene for this episode which incudes Benson and Dodds, where Dodds delivers the news he is leaving SVU (and that he is engaged),

Margot Undercliffe said...

Thanks Chris. That scene would add to the tragedy if Dodds dies. It just seems so obvious for him to be the 'tragedy' that Mariska spoke of when they do have an option of just letting him go to JTT. If Dodds dies, SVU may make a enemy of Dodds Snr as this is the type of case SVU taking annoys him.

Barba has alienated City Hall, 1PP, CO and now looks like the gang. I wonder if their cover story to get the tapes of the gangs running girls, was actually too close to the truth and now the gang is after Barba. He has also made enemies amongst old friends and Eddie was a CO.

By the way, thank you for all the great work you do on this blog.

Anne said...

I thought this by FAR was the best episode of the season. The power & corruption episodes are generally so strong, and this was no exception. Looking forward to next week.

HerbaceousHaven said...

I thought it was made mention somewhere that there is a funeral where everyone is dressed in police blues? (Or did I dream it?) haha or am I thinking of another show? :D