Thursday, October 13, 2016

Law & Order SVU “Heightened Emotions” Recap & Review

This was a case for the Law & Order Bipolar Unit. An athlete who was raped discovers, thanks to Rollins, that she has a bipolar disorder,  which explains her erratic behavior. Rollins, however, misses the same symptoms in her own sister, who is out on parole and staying with Rollins. This was a lifeless episode, devoid of a sympathetic victim.  I dozed off for a minute while watching.

There was only one scene that I found interesting in this episode, and that was when Jenna decides to begin removing her clothes on the stand. Watching Barba race to cover her – and then do such a clumsy job at it – was the best part of the episode.

The “controlled meet” was anything but controlled.   Usually when they have a civilian wired for a meeting in a public place, they have a detective stationed inside at the meeting place. In this case, everyone was in the surveillance van and no one was there to stop Jenna’s husband from interrupting. Maybe I missed something, but why wouldn’t someone have told Jenna’s husband this meet was going to occur to avoid him storming in? And, assuming they didn't tell him about it, how did he know she was there?

I’m so glad we are getting more legal action this season, and at least we did get that bit of courtroom drama. But those scenes mostly fell flat.

Rollins' sister is back, but it is clear that Rollins does not trust Kim one bit. Rollins seems stunned at Kim’s revelation that she is bipolar; still, I don’t think Rollins will give her sister any more leash until she knows that Kim has truly stabilized.

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:
Brit Morgan - Jenna Miller
David Alpay - Chad Miller
Lindsay Pulsipher - Kim Rollins
Hari Dhillon - Attorney Sunil Varma
Theo Stockman - Michael Wheeler
Jason Babinsky – Derek Kaller
Jordan Baker – Doctor Cohen
Ami Brabson – Judge Karyn Blake
Caleb Eberhardt – Jack
Kati Sharp – Val
Shea Glaser – Tanya
Natasha Murray – Nurse
Jane Fergus – TV Reporter #1
Cheryl Wills – TV Reporter #2
Luis Moco – Uni #1
John Finnerty – Uni # 2
Griffin Faulkner – Sam Miller

Jenna Miller is on a treadmill, frantically exercising, increasing the intensity more and more. Her son Sam is sitting nearby calling for her but she ignores him. Her husband Chad reminds her she has been going for over an hour and she says one more mile. Chad takes Sam aside and Jenna ramps up the speed.

Elsewhere, Kim Rollins is talking to the parole board. Kim says she knows what she did was wrong but knows she can do better, for her, but also for her one year old niece Jesse. She states she hasn’t met Jesse yet, and that is her own fault. Holding a picture of Jesse so it facing the parole board, she says after Jesse was born ,she realized there is something much bigger than her outside of these walls, and she trusts in Jesus and the mercy of this parole board to give her the chance to look Jesse in the eye and tell her how proud she is of her mother, her sister Amanda. She looks back at Rollins sitting in the back of the room.

Later, Rollins is in Benson’s office, who hears that Rollins’ sister made parole and has asked to live with her. Benson asks what are Kim’s options, and Rollins explains that Kim can’t leave the state; it’s either Rollins’ apartment or a shelter. Benson puts her eyeglasses onto her desk and tells Rollins that may not be the worst place, considering the trouble this woman has gotten Rollins into. Rollins counters that women get raped and killed in shelters and Kim says she’s found religion. Benson states that she hopes so, because if Rollins covers for her again – looking Rollins in the eye – says she will take her shield. Rollins looks as she understands the gravity of her decision.

At the Wooster Hotel at 25 Wooster Street on Monday, October 17, Jenna has been drinking heavily and she comes on to a man looking at her from across the bar. He says she might be the most gorgeous woman he’s ever seen.

Later, Jenna is on a rooftop, her dress torn and she is barefoot. She gets in athlete mode and runs and jumps over to another rooftop. Sometime later, she is running frantically on the street and the police pick her up and she is laughing, saying she won.

At Amanda Rollins' apartment, she tells Benson she will be there in 20. She looks to see if Kim is around and the crib is also empty. Kim walks in with Jesse from another room, and says they were in the other room just looking at themselves in the mirror. Rollins goes to hold Jesse but Kim rebuffs her, saying she can trust her with her niece. Rollins asks “can I?” and Kim counters that mistakes happen in life, adding that the strength of your character is determined by how you bounce back. Rollins tells her sister to save the fortune cookie philosophy; she heard enough at the parole hearing. Rollins adds that there are ground rules if she is going to be staying here. Kim says she knows: no drinking, no drugs, no staying out past curfew, no men. Rollins glares at her and says she is serious; one screw up and Kim is at that shelter, asking if they are clear about that. Kim nods and answers, “Crystal.” Kim comments that she and Jesse can wait for the sitter and they have Frannie to keep an eye. Rollins says that is not happening, and she reaches for Jesse and Kim allows her to hold Jesse. Kim says “we are just gonna have to earn momma’s trust, aren’t we? Put our faith in the Lord so he’ll see us through this too.” Rollins gives her a weak smile.

Later, at Mercy Hospital, 365 West 32nd Street on Tuesday, October 18, Rollins arrives to meet Benson and apologizes for being late. Rollins asks what are they looking at, and Benson explains the vic, Jenna Miller, a housewife from Long Island, was picked up jumping around Manhattan at 3:30 AM – literally, from a rooftop. High blood alcohol, no drugs. Rollins asks that she was raped, and Benson says Jenna did not disclose but she had anal bleeding, bruising, bite marks on the breasts and to the thighs, The SANE nurse called it in just to be safe. Rollins asks if her husband is in the picture, and Benson replies he is on his way but Benson wants to get her story before he shows up.

In the exam room, Jenna says the nurse should not have called the police. Benson explains she doesn’t have to speak with them but she has serious injuries consistent with a sexual assault. Benson adjusts Jenna’s gown to cover her. Rollins asks if she remembers what happened to her last night, and Jenna say no, not really. Benson asks if Jenna was meeting somebody in the city, and Jenna says no, she just came in for a drink. Benson states the whoever inflicted these injuries, unless she wanted that to happen, that is assault, maybe even rape. Jenna says she wasn’t meeting anybody. Her husband’s voice loudly announces that he wants to see his wife, but the nurse tells him to have a seat. Benson tells Jenna if there is anything she wants to tell them without her husband knowing, now would be the time. Jenna says she just wants to go home. The nurse walks in and asks what should she tell the husband, and Jenna replies it’s okay, she just needs to explain. Benson says okay bring him in, and her husband races in and asks what happened. She says she is sorry and he comments they told him she was with the police. Jenna frantically asks where is Sam, and her husband says he knows she thinks about him and he was worried sick, she was gone all night. Jenna cries and says she was raped. When Benson hears this, she pulls Chad aside to speak with him alone, leaving Rollins to talk with Jenna.

In the hall, Benson tells Chad she knows this is upsetting but she just wants to find out what happened to Jenna. She asks him where he was and he says he was home watching his son. Jenna went into the city alone, she does that sometimes to unwind. Benson asks if she is under stress and Chad says yes, her son is 5. He adds she comes into the city and blows off steam and the next day she is herself again. Benson asks about their marriage and Chad says there are no problems but they have arguments like any couple but they love each other. Benson asks if Jenna ever talks about these nights out and what she does or where she goes, and Chad says he doesn’t want to be the kind of husband who keeps tabs on his wife. He asks if they are going to find this guy and Benson explains they are certainly going to investigate, the problem is Jenna doesn’t remember much. Chad comments that maybe that is for the best.

Meanwhile, Rollins speaks with Jenna and when Rollins asks if there is anything her husband doesn’t want to know, Jenna says she is not having an affair if that is what she thinks. Jenna insists she was raped and she did not know her attacker. He said his name was Phil and she met him in a hotel bar, somewhere downtown. They got a room and he hurt her and she said no. He forced himself inside her from behind. Rollins suggests they do a rape kit and go from there. Jenna nods.

Afterwards, Benson and Rollins walk in the hospital hall and Rollins states she knows every vic lies about something but this woman…and Benson says the husband is hiding something too. Rollins does not think the husband is a suspect, too much runaround for domestic abuse but she thinks Jenna picked up a stranger and things got rougher than he wanted. Benson states if Jenna didn’t want it, it was rape. Rollins adds either way, Jenna is not telling the whole story. Rollins sees that the police report says where she was picked up and Benson tells Rollins to talk to the unis and have them canvas hotel bars for now and work around Jenna, not with her.

At the Wooster Hotel at 25 Wooster Street on Tuesday, October 18, Carisi, there with Fin, asks the bartender if he saw Jenna there last night, showing him a photo. He says yeah, saying she is Barbie, and when he sees the looks on their faces, he says he guesses that is not her real name. He adds she comes in a few times a month and he never sees her pay for a drink. Fin asks who paid for her drinks last night, and he replies some rich douchebag. Carisi asks if the rich douchebag used a credit card with his real name, and the bartender shrugs and goes to look.

Later, Fin and Carisi are in the office of Michael Wheeler and he admits those are his charges. He asks if there is any problem as he did not get a call from the credit card company. Fin explains there is a problem but not with his credit card. Carisi shows him a photo of Jenna and asks if he bought drinks for her last night. He admits yes and asks why. Fin explains she was sexually assaulted. Michael states not by him. Carisi says this is good, and asks if they get a sample of his DNA will it match the rape kit? Michael asks if she is saying he raped her, saying he is surprised because she is the biggest pain in the ass hooker he ever met. Carisi asks if Michael is saying that Jenna is a prostitute, and Michael asks if they are going to jam him up on a solicitation charge. Fin tells him to tell them what happened unless he wants them to jam him up on a rape charge. Michael says this woman – Barbie – comes on to him and asks if he wants a date. He gets a room and lays out $500 and they go at it. Then she starts crying that he’s being too rough. He told her that is what he is paying for, so yeah, she’s a prostitute, did she forget to mention that detail? Fin and Carisi give each other a questioning look.

Benson and Rollins arrive at the Miller household and Jenna steps outside to talk to them. Rollins holds up a photo of Michael Wheeler and Jenna confirms that is her rapist. Benson says Michael says he paid him for sex and that she is an escort, and Jenna says this is true but she can explain it. She says a year ago she was at a bar and a guy hit on her and she went for it. When they were done, she was shocked when he left $200 on the dresser. Then she was thrilled. She guess she got hooked. She does it once in a while and knows it is wrong. Benson says she is not here to judge her but she needs to be completely honest with them. Jenna says this guy raped her and she did not take the money, she just ran out of there. Chad opens the front door and sees them talking and asks what is going on. Benson explains they just have a few more questions, and Jenna though that Chad was putting Sam to sleep, saying she hopes they are not being too loud. Chad says they have to tell them the truth; they will find out eventually. Benson asks, “Find out what?” Chad says Jenna is an Olympic level pole-vaulter, the world record holder, and what happened to her is tabloid news. Jenna admits she did not compete in Rio, not making the team due to a technicality. But from now until Tokyo, she is the front runner for gold. As they enter the house, Jenna adds that the training and marketing has already started, showing them posters and photos featuring Jenna. Jenna adds if any of this goes public, she loses everything.

Back at the SVU, Benson, along with Barba, Fin, Rollins, and Carisi, watch video footage of Jenna’s pole vault and being disqualified because of a technicality. Carisi goes on to explain her other awards and Rollins adds Jenna is the front runner for the next Olympics, which make her hesitant to be truthful about her double life. Rollins explains to Barba that Jenna has been moonlighting as an escort. Benson explains that Jenna admitted she was prostituting herself and raped by a john. Carisi says Michael Wheeler is a hedge fund guy who admits to having sex and getting rough, Fin adding that she says he paid for what he got. Benson corrects him, saying for what he took by force. Barba comments that is does not sound like Jenna is willing to go forward, and Rollins counters Jenna is afraid of publicity and ruining her career and he husband finding out what she does on these girl trips to the city. Barba states he is sure she is, but he can’t make a case without the victim’s cooperation. Fin comments that Wheeler didn’t flinch so it is probably not the first time he’s raped a hooker. Benson instructs them to look at escort agencies and mandatory reporting with the same MO. Barba says his first press case was a prostitute rape, he knows the drill, but a guy like this is going to put up a fight and a more expensive one too. Benson says, smiling, that is why they have Barba.

Afterwards, in the break room, Carisi mentions to Rollins that Michael is a millionaire and outlines his extravagant entertainment expenses. Rollins says that is code for escort services and strip clubs. Rollins states Michael is sleazy and he raped Jenna, and when Carisi says Rollins doesn’t have a lot of sympathy for her, Rollins says Jenna has a son and a husband who loves her, why throw that away? Carisi counters it can’t be easy being an athlete competing at that level, that is a lot of pressure. Rollins says they all have a lot of pressure. There is a knock on the break room door and it is Kim. Rollins lets her in and asks why she is here. She says she was in the neighborhood and thought she would stop by; she had her first meeting with her parole officer today. Carisi asks how did it go, and Kim says it went great; they talked about her getting a job and going back to school. Rollins scolds her, saying Kim can’t just show up at the precinct. Kim says she knows and is sorry but she just wanted to tell her things went well today and Rollins should be happy about that. Rollins tells her to just go home and Kim says okay and leaves. Carisi gives her a look, and when Rollins asks, “What?” he explains that Kim seems like she is trying. Rollins counters that is what she is scared of: the calm before the storm, she can’t have her life blown up right now, not with Jesse. Fin walks in and asks if that was her sister and Rollins replies yes, it’s fine. Fin states he tracked down some working girls who said they know Michael Wheeler.

At the Lennox Grand Hotel at 23 9th Avenue on Wednesday, October 19, a woman explains Wheeler’s rough behavior, and the more you said "no"  the more he liked it. There is no such thing as rape in this line of work. Rollins speaks with another woman with a similar story. She did not report it be she asked for 5 grand and he paid up, and if Rollins needs her to testify she will, she hates that bastard.

Back at SVU in Benson’s office with Barba, the detectives relay the information of a dozen escorts who have been assaulted or raped. None called the cops or a did a rape kit. The one woman willing to testify got paid off, which Barba says makes her testimony impeachable. Benson states Michael is a serial predator, and Barba adds he targets sex workers because he thinks he can get away with it. Barba says he hears them, Michael is despicable. Carisi says with Jenna they have a rape kit, asking if they can compel her to testify. Barba states they can but if she won’t cooperate it is a waste of time. Rollins can’t imagine Jenna wants to get on the stand and tell the world and her husband that she is a part-time hooker. Benson suggests maybe she doesn’t have to, suggesting they try to convince her to do a controlled meet.

Later, they meet with Jenna in the interview room who is shocked to hear Michael Wheeler has done this before. Benson and Rollins explains the situation and why they want to go after him. Benson suggests the controlled meet and Jenna wearing a wire. When Jenna asks if that would be like working undercover, Benson says kind of, they will talk her through the whole thing and if there was any admission of guilt, this would help them solve the case and force him to take a plea. Jenna asks if they can do it now.

At the Promenade Hotel at 144 West 57th Street on Wednesday, October 19, Jenna meets with Michael while Fin, Rollins, and Carisi wait in the surveillance van outside. Michael senses this is a shakedown. Jenna is trying to get Michael to admit to the rape but the whole things blows up when Chad arrives and sees Jenna with Michael. The detectives hear this and race into the building. When Michael tells Chad his wife is a hooker, the detectives race in with Fin announcing he is NYPD. Michael yells at Jenna that she called the cops again and is a crazy bitch. Chad asks if he raped his wife, Michael says you can’t rape a whore. Chad punches Michael and Rollins pulls Jenna away. Rollins asks if she is okay, and Jenna says her whole life just went up in flames.

Later, Jenna moans to Rollins that Chad will leave her and blames herself. Rollins asks if she feels safe going home right now and Jenna wonders if Rollins is afraid Chad will hit her. Rollins says they just have to ask. Jenna asks if Chad is in trouble for punching that guy, and Rollins says not with them, they want Michael behind bars. Jenna thinks if this goes to trial, it makes who she is and what she did public record. Rollins explains most mainstream media won’t publish a victim’s name but there are no guarantees. Jenna knows he has hurt other women and wants to do the right thing, but she can’t risk the publicity. Rollins says she gets it. Jenna explains she has to talk to Chad; Tokyo in 2020 is his dream as much as hers.

Meanwhile, outside, Chad asks Benson what happens now. She explains they will talk to the DA’s office to find out if there is enough to prosecute. Jenna tells Chad she will have to testify. Chad thinks it is not worth it and they can’t change what happened. Carisi says a crime has been committed so what happens next is not entirely up to Chad. Chad tells Carisi it is easy for him to say; he is not married to her or dedicated his entire life to her. As Jenna and Chad walk off, Carisi comments to Benson that was rough – a husband finding out his wife is a prostitute. Benson says every relationship has secrets, and he counters this is why he is happy he is single. Benson says she gets it. Carisi asks if everything is okay with her and Tucker, but her reply is interrupted by Fin, there with Rollins, who says there is a way to make the case without Jenna. Rollins says she went through her calls for the night and there was an 17 minute call at 1:20 AM to a New York cell. They traced the call to Derek Kaller, one of the biggest sports agents in the business. Benson thinks 17 minutes is enough time to disclose a rape.

Later, Carisi and Fin are at the office of Derek Kaller on 1376 6th Avenue on Wednesday, October 19. He admits Jenna is a client and they discuss the 17 minute phone call. He says she was drunk and upset and he told her to go home and sleep it off. They explains the rape allegation and he admits she said she picked up a man and he raped her. She was irrational and he didn’t think she meant it. Jenna and Chad did not admit she had to go to the hospital, Carisi saying they did not want this to go public and risk her endorsements. Derek says they are right,  she is one of the most gifted athletes around and she is sweet and gorgeous. With the near miss at Rio, she has the sympathy and is looking at millions. Carisi says Derek is looking at 10%, and Derek counters he has a lot of clients. He says if Jenna was assaulted he is outraged and wants to do what is best for her. Fin asks if he is willing to testify that she disclosed to her, and he asks when would the trial take place. Carisi replies as soon as they make the arrest and the judge sets the date. Derek balks, asking if there is any way to postpone it till after Tokyo. Fin comments four years, it doesn’t work like that, the DA is moving now.

Afterwards, Jenna and Chad are in Barba’s office, along with Benson and Rollins, where they hear Derek will testify. Barba explains Derek is coming over today to go over his testimony. Jenna says that night Derek just told her to go home and not to tell anybody, it could damage her image. Rollins explains they are past that. As Jenna gets a message on her phone, Chad says it is all about protecting his investment and he is surprised Derek agreed. Jenna read the message and says Derek just dumped her. She reads back the message where Derek says he wants Jenna to get the help she needs and in the meantime, it is best they terminate their professional relationship. He adds her personal life is incompatible with the values his firm and their clients demand. Benson says she is so sorry but Jenna cries that her endorsements and career is over, she is a tabloid headline – the pole vault hooker. Chad says they will find a way out of this. She disagrees, saying there is no coming back from something like this, asking if that bastard Wheeler just gets away with it. Benson counters not if she testifies, not if she looks him in the eye and tells that jury what he did to her. Jenna says she is in, they have her word. She wants him to suffer like she is suffering.

At a later date, the reporters are outside the courthouse covering the story. Benson and Rollins see that Jenna has arrived and Benson opens the car door and Jenna steps out. As a reporter barks out a question, Barba says Jenna is not answering any questions. Barba adds he is not answering any questions either. When one reporter asks if it is true Jenna was paid for rough sex, Barba says except for that question. He replies that paid or not paid, no means no;  consent can be revoked at any time. As Benson and Rollins walk up the steps with Jenna, Rollins tells Jenna to just ignore them. Jenna says the press used to love her, calling them hypocrites. Benson tells her not to look back.

In Supreme Court Part 22 on Thursday, October 27, Benson testifies about Jenna’s injuries which were consistent with sexual assault and that Jenna had been raped. She did not mention the money but she did not take the money. When Benson begins to explain that Jenna ran out of the room, the defense attorney Sunil Varma objects that it is hearsay and the judge sustains it. Under cross, Benson must say it is not uncommon for the victim to omit the details of their story to protect loved ones. When pressed if Benson is saying Jenna lied, Benson states that Jenna left out parts of the story. Varma says this means she lied. When Varma implies Jenna is a prostitute, Barba objects and the Judge Blake tells Varma to get to it. He asks if the injuries on consistent with consensual physical sex, and Benson says no. When Varma says he is a police officer and not a doctor, Benson says she has been an SVU detective for 17 years, and Varma says this means she is qualified to investigate rape cases, not evaluate medical injuries.

Jenna is on the stand and testifies to what happened that night. She says she likes when men noticed her, as a woman. She likes the attention. She says she did not tell him he had to pay for sex, he assumed that was the deal. They started having sex and when he started getting rough and hitting her she told him no and she wanted him to stop. He got more aggressive, She told him she did not want anal sex and he started laughing and he did it anyway. When he was done he threw money at her and she didn’t take it. She was hurt and bleeding and ran out of the room and the police picked her up and took her to the ER. She told the SVU detectives what happened. She is ashamed of what she did but not ashamed she was raped. She wants everyone to hear her story so this man cannot hurt another woman again.

Under cross, Varma says Jenna did not make it to Rio so she was virtually unknown until she falsely accused Michael of this crime. Barba objects due to relevance, and when Varma says he is getting to that, the judge tells him to get there quicker. He calls this a publicity stunt, hoping to capitalize on her newfound, sordid, celebrity status. Jenna says no, she would never want this kind of publicity. He brings up that everyone is looking at her and her body and she just said she likes been seen as a woman, and she enjoys the attention. She admits she does. Varma adds that despite her hard work, she did not make the team. Jenna explains her jump was disqualified on a technicality and it was unfair. She will be back 4 years from now in Tokyo. Varma brings up she will be 30 and if the governing body doesn’t ban her for being a prostitute. Jenna is beginning to look upset as Varma goes on and says her body is never going to look as good as it does right now. Barba objects but Jenna jumps in and says she would like to answer that. Visibly upset, she says her body will look great 4 years from now – better, because she works harder than he can imagine. Varma says for a change, he believes her there, that it is incredibly hard work, which is why she wanted to show it off the night she met Michael. Barba objects that Varma is badgering, but when Varma says he is following a line of defense, the judge overrules Barba and tells Jenna to answer. Jena says yes, she wanted to show off. Varma says Michael rejected her, saying she was too muscular and too masculine and that is when she cried rape to get back at him. Barba objects but Jenna flies off the handle, asking Varma who does he think he is? She frantically states that Michael says he loved her body, everybody tells her that. She leaps from her seat and says is 5’9” and 112 pounds and she bench presses 150 pounds. Barba asks for a recess but Jenna continues her rant. As she starts to remove her top, Barba asks for a recess immediately and the judge tells Jenna to cover. Barba runs to the stand and takes off his jacket to cover up Jenna. Jenna states that her body is perfect as Barba tries clumsily to keep her covered. She repeats that she is perfect. Benson and Rollins looks stunned.

At a later time in the evening, Jenna is with Chad at a running track to exercise. Carisi and Rollins approach and Carisi asks her if Barba and Benson are okay with them talking to Jenna like this. Rollins replies she doesn’t know yet, just let her see if she is right first. When Carisi asks if they can talk to them, Chad says no, they’ve had enough. But Rollins says they only need a minute. Jenna says she needs to practice and is energized, but she seems hyper. Rollins asks her if she has ever talked to a psychiatrist about her behavior. Chad says they have to get out of here. Rollins asks about the moods swings and sexually acting out, there might be a reason for that. Carisi adds she might need medication. Chad says she needs to train and focus. Chad asks Jenna if she knows how hard he worked living with her behavior - mood swings and nights in the city. She asks what he is talking about. Chad asks the detectives that he didn’t figure out what was going on. He tells Jenna she has some issues but they can still win a gold medal. He says he was protecting her. Jenna seems shocked and asks if they all think she is crazy. Rollins and Carisi say no, Carisi adding she has a mental illness. Jenna is stunned and Rollins asks Jenna to let them help her. Jenna starts to walk off as Rollins suggests Jenna talk to a doctor.

At Supreme Court part 22 on Friday, October 28, psychiatrist Doctor Cohen is on the stand and testifies that Jenna suffers from bipolar disorder, that it is a lifelong illness that can be treated with medication. She explains the moods swings – manic and depressed phases. The athlete’s culture of competitions and victory means she feels she must win at all costs. Barba brings up that would this mean Jenna would feel she would have to win in court, the doctor says if she was experiencing mania, she would do anything to prove she was right. Barba asks if this would also include taking off her shirt to prove she had a beautiful body, and the doctor agrees. Under cross, the doctor must admit that a person in this manic state of mind would distort the truth, especially if the truth was incompatible with her feeling of irrational grandiosity. Varma says if someone were having sex and hoping to be admired but was rejected, would this person invent a rape allegation to keep her manic state alive and well. The doctor testifies this is possible but unlikely, adding that this person would more likely to justify non-consensual sex as consensual than vice versa because that might make them feel better, more potent and powerful. Varma quickly ends the questioning. Barba then asks to call Jenna to the stand now that she is medicated but Varma counters the jury has already heard her side. Barba argues she deserves the opportunity to testify with a clear and healthy state of mind. The judge rules the first thing tomorrow and adjourns for the day. Varma and Michael look less than happy.

Later, in the DA’s office with Benson and Rollins, along with Jenna and Chad are waiting, Barba enters and explains that Varma got nervous about Jenna taking the stand. They want a plea to assault two. He won’t go on the registry but is a D felony and he will get 2 to 5 years. Jenna asks if that means this is over, and Barba replies yes; if they take it to a jury, he could be acquitted. Jenna looks at Chad who says they need to get on with their lives. Jenna agrees and Barba says he will make the deal and leaves the room. Rollins tells Jenna this is the right decision and Jenna says she knows. She thanks them, adding she is on meds but it is a long road. Benson asks about Tokyo, and Jenna says they are putting that aside for now. Chad adds he knows it will be hard but they will do it. Jenna states she is going to work at getting better at life, not just sports. Rollins smiles at her.

Back at SVU, they watch a press conference with Jenna and Chad where Jenna explains she wants to quiet the voices in her head, there was the acting out and drinking, acting out sexually and taking risks. Benson tells Rollins she did right by her, and Fin agrees. Rollins states at least Jenna knows why she was so up and down. Benson tells Rollins the next time, will Rollins asks her when she is going to talk to a victim about her testimony. Rollins replies, “copy that.”

Later, Rollins arrives home and Jesse is in her playpen. She calls out for Kim who calls out from the bathroom. The sitter said her boyfriend got in a car accident and Kim told her it was okay to go. Rollins walks to the bathroom door and asks why they didn’t call her, and she finds the bathroom door locked. She pushes her way in and sees Kim standing there with pills and Rollins goes off on her sister, who says it is aspirin. Rollins asks Kim what she is on and frantically looks through her meds. Kim says it is lithium, and when Rollins asks if she is getting high on lithium, Kim states it is prescribed and to read the label, it is legal. Kim says it is lithium and asenapine – for bipolar disorder. Rollins can’t believe it and Kim says Lorenzo, her lawyer, was trying to get her a deal for mitigating circumstances and she was examined by a psychiatrist . She thought it was just a legal thing but he told her she had all the symptoms, that she was bipolar. Kim adds it makes sense, and Rollins sits down, taking this in. Kim describes all the highs and the lows and that she has been on meds for a year and she is sure there are downfalls. She misses the manic energy but for the first time in her life, she feels really good about herself. Rollins comments that Kim didn’t tell her, and Kim counters that Rollins didn’t ask. Rollins looks like she is about to cry as we fade to black.

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Lisa said...

I turned the episode off and went to bed after the Striping scene ... SVU has jumped the shark and it's s shell of what it use to be.

Draven Long said...

I may be in the minority, but I found this episode to be good. Definitely not the best of the season, and there are still so many episodes left for Season 18, but this was an okay episode for me.

When Jenna said it would ruin her career, I knew the link to Ryan Lochte's controversy straightaway. It was almost hand-in-hand, the two people's lies and everyone finding out.

I found the courtroom scene both appalling and hilarious. Only one incident like this has happened on SVU, and that was the series premiere, when the man in question exposed his "southern states."

Speaking of courtroom, I hope the legal half of Law & Order keeps on coming in Season 18.

As a person in my family has bipolar disorder, I could tell at the very beginning that Jenna had the disorder. It was a little more surprising with Kim, as I just thought she was just a wild, reckless person.

The shakedown scene never had to happen if Rollins, Carisi, or Fin, one of them, was in the hotel with Jenna, so they could stop Chad from coming in. At least it provided a little needed drama to the episode.

I can personally understand Rollins not being able to trust her sister, I would be suspicious from here on out too. But in the break room, she could have been a little bit more of a sister and say she was happy for Kim, it's not going to kill her.

All in all, a good episode for the season, and based off the promo, which isn't really much, I can not wait for "Unstoppable." Gary Cole is a wonderful actor and I am excited to see what his acting brings to the episode.

Mandy said...

We already had this episode. It was back in season 10, it was called "Swing," and it wasn't good then either. I'm starting to wonder if it's time to mercy-kill this show before it eats itself alive.

Margot Undercliffe said...

I must admit my interest in the show is starting to wain. I was in two minds as to watch the episode when I saw Kim was in it. I doubt she will stay on her meds for long. A lot more tension to come.

Second week where the victim has been a cheating wife. I'm just not having the same sympathy for the victims this season. I thought her behaviour was oadd from the beginning, but it took a long time to understand there was an issue. The perp was a creep from the beginning and his lawyer horrid enough to look forward to seeing more of him v Barba.

I'm finding I am missing Dodds. Although his character was a work in progress. I do miss the practical down-to-earth detective that doesn't believe everything these victims say. They definitely need a new character who isn't as vested in the victims.

However, I am still laughing at the Barba scene. He was so clumsy he ended looking like he was groping her!

I'm glad Peter Gallagher is back next week. I have always been a fan of Bill Dodds. I am interested to see where they go with next week's episode given the obvious dislike of SVU to a certain political candidate and his propensity to sue especially if they mention the size of his hands.

The Barba threats seem to have been forgotten. Four episodes in and not a mention. No indication of protection. We seem to have missed something with Tucker. I notice they have been changing the order of episodes so perhaps that is the reason. There is also the internal police inquiry regarding Dodds' shooting and whether police procedures were followed that we haven't heard anything about - assuming they are going to deal with that as the real police do.

Laurie Fanat said...

Another horrible episode. I almost turned it off mid-way but decided to go on with this train wreck all in one sitting so I could completely erase it from my mind afterward. The Barba scene where he covers a stripping Jenna with her coat - was it intended to be as funny as it came across? Barba was having such a hard time covering her up it's like he thought she had "cooties". That controlled meet was a laugh too. They should have called it an "out of control meet." Sloppy work on the detectives' part AND on the writers' part. They should know better. The actors are going through the motions but I blame the writers for penning such a lame story. Major fail. We may be witnessing the death of SVU this year unless they up the quality. Viewership continues to slide downward, not good... I am watching now only to see how bad it can get.

Cappi said...

I agree with you, Draven, While it wasn't my favorite episode I refuse to get on the bandwagon to discredit this show and the actors. Raul was great as he always is and the way he played the cover-up scene is a typical Barba moment. I hope this show has many more seasons.

Aubrey Ackermann said...

Wow, why do you guys hate this show so much? I guess I can't understand since I only started watching it last year and never saw an episode before season 13, the only seasons available on Netflicks (I am only a few years older than the show and most of my life I thought of it as an old people show until I actually watched it) but what's wrong with it? This is a real question, I thought this episode was good. I liked how it addressed issues about mental disorders and the effect it has on an individual. I liked how it seemed like Kim has some things put together (emphasis on seemed). I liked the acting and the story telling. I hope most of you are wrong and that the show is not dying because I just found it and I love it. You always bring up some valued criticism in the reviews with valid remarks, this is the reason why I come to this site. But the constant negativity in the comments makes me sad. Sorry for the rant, just had a bad day and I really liked this episode so the negativity was doubly harsh.

Roselynn Finch said...

As someone who has seen every episode dozens of times, the show used to be about the crime and not Olivia's bed buddy of the week or her unrealistic child. The show is far too focused on their personal lives now. For example, the SVU writers actually sanctioned the hashtag #whosbangingBenson. What does that tell you?

Their crimes are literally ripped from the headlines instead of inspired by them now. See an interesting headline? Wait for it. It will become an SVU episode. SVU did not used to be about that. For many of us, we also prefer the older ADAs. Barba is okay, but he will never be as popular as Casey and Alex.

The old SVU was amazing. The new SVU is a joke.

Laurie Fanat said...

@Aubrey Ackermann - I've been watching SVU since it started, and Law & Order before that. The show has gone down in quality over the years. It really does't have anything to do with Chris Meloni being gone, although the show did undergo a big cost cutting effort at that time and it shows that they aren't putting much money into it. There was a chemistry with Benson and Stabler that the show has never been able to get back with anyone else, and I will admit that has hurt the feel of the show for long time viewers like me. Compared to earlier years, the writing now is amateur-ish and lack creativity. I watch out of habit now, every season worried that it will be its last. If the show continues to lose viewers, it won't be worth it to NBC to keep it. As @Roselynn Finch has said, there is too much focus on the personal stories. Building on that, my opinion is the show has lowered itself to a cheesy soap opera at times. For those of us who have watched this show over the 18 seasons, it's like watching someone die a slow death.

Charliejamezz said...

Still love the show! I don't get the dislikes at all :) Barba was flawless as usual too!

Ana Andrade said...

This season has been really disappointing. I hope it gets better

@Chris - what is your opinion on the show recently

@Laurie and @Roselynn - I have also watched every episode of SVU because of Netflix and online websites and here's where I stand. I do think that the show has gone down in quality over years. However, that happens with all shows with few rare exceptions. But unlike you, I don't mind when we get a glimpse into the character's personal lives. It would be hard for me to care about them if it wasn't the case. These are people and there has to be more to them catching rapists and child molesters. It really bothers me when people say this is the main focus now and that it's become a soap opera. Noah is in one or two scenes or he's referenced in conversation and people say that the show revolves around him. I guess people would rather that SVU do what Grey's Anatomy, another show I watch, does and ignore the character's children and only show them once every 3 or 4 seasons. As for Liv's love life, she's only been with 3 men the last 6 years, so Roselynn's "bed buddy of the week" comment is inaccurate. And just because she has a man doesn't mean they're implying that she can't be happy without one. Where people get that I don't understand. As for how Liv got Noah, yes, it's not realistic but this is TV and realism is the last thing I expect. I don't watch TV to see real life on-screen, I watch to be entertained. Grey's is a more of an example of what a soap opera is and, since I watch both it and SVU, it really bothers me when people make the "SVU has turned into a soap opera" comment because, in my opinion, SVU is nowhere near that territory

Roselynn Finch said...

@Ana, wow, you seem to have hated everything I said. Sorry, but she's had more lovers since Leight took over than she had in the Baer years combined. A former one night stand, an IAB guy, and so on. Yep, wholly realistic. I stand by my former sentiment. P.s. There are episodes with Noah's name in it, so yes, he's too big of a focus. And she would never have gotten him in the real world.

Lisa said...

I don't think people hate the show per say just disappointed with the direction of the show.
I have found this season boring and victim blaming which is not what the show use to be.

Ana Andrade said...

@Roselynn - I know that her getting Noah and who her boyfriends are is unrealistic. But like I said before, I don't expect SVU to be like the real world like you seem to. And I'm sorry that you seem to have an issue with how many men Olivia has been with the last couple of seasons. Why is that so important? Is Olivia being with just any one man too much for you? Why are you making it seem that she's been with 20 men instead of 3? As for stuff involving Noah, the fact that his name is on an episode should be irrelevant. Funny how people didn't complain about the detectives' personal drama when it was about Stabler and his family. Or did we forget the episode when Kathleen was arrested? Or the one when Dickie went missing while looking for his friend?

Roselynn Finch said...

@Ana Actually, I abhor the episodes with Stabler's family. I do not expect complete realism. But when a show reads like a teenage girl's fantasy instead of a semi realistic procedural, there is a problem. I do not have a problem with olivia having a partner. I have a problem with them choosing the most ridiculous partners. Come on? A former one night stand? I say this as a fan of the old Olivia. And no, I am not an EO shipper, so that is not affecting my bias.

Margot Undercliffe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WestVirginiaRebel said...

The Stabler episodes made sense because it was about who he was as a character...the Kim story was probably the most interesting thing about this episode.

Barba really doesn't seem to want his job.

WestVirginiaRebel said...

The Stabler episodes made sense because it was about who he was as a character...the Kim story was probably the most interesting thing about this episode.

Barba really doesn't seem to want his job.

Nina is going back to cape cod said...

Wish I knew the paint color in Rollins apartment!

DaveJGA said...

First of all, yes I am one of those lurkers who has come on here to read the comments before and after I watch every show. Chris, thank you so very much for this board, and for your reviews and your diligence and the time taken out for all of us fans to have this place to vent and discuss this show that we all love (or love to hate).

I must say that I take issue (in a small sense) with the notion that the show has become something too different from what it started out as. As we know from watching the show (and for a lot of us living during the time) the technology and the way in which crimes are solved has changed. So a lot of what we're seeing is due to that change. Now that doesn't necessarily account for the tone of the show. And to be clear, it's always been eluded to that Olivia has had some partners. I recall an episode early in the series where a visiting detective asked Stabler: "Does she date?" and he replied "Yeah, lots of guys."

I think with this episode (and I've watched all seasons starting from season 1 on Hulu) did tackle the serious issue of bipolar disorder in a (while dramatic) real way (including as it relates to Rollins' sister). And I feel that this is what the show does best (when it's doing its job). The show highlights issues of abuse and disease and it causes us to look in the mirror or even out of the window and see things in a different light.

I just want to close by saying I've loved reading every single one of you guys' opinions on the show and I hope that I can contribute in some small way to the discussion of episodes in the future.

Chris Zimmer said...

@DaveDJA - thanks for your comments. Funny you mentioned that comment about Benson dating. I was watching SVU this morning on USA Network and I heard that dialog, and it made me chuckle. (The episode was titled "Pandora.")

Glad you have decided to comment; the more input, the better I say!