Thursday, November 10, 2016

Law & Order SVU “Broken Rhymes” (AKA “Bad Rap”) Recap & Review

Maybe I was still in a bad mood from the results of the presidential election the day before, but I could not get into this episode. There wasn’t much of a story to grab onto. It’s another episode where I felt nothing for the victim. It was not because of the issues that a transgender person might face, it was because the victim seemed to be coping well with her life. The problem was that others couldn't cope.  Having to encounter transphobic people must be very difficult but because we never saw Eva having any discussions or arguments with the transphobic Vincent Love and Cash, we never got to see any of what she had to endure. Rather than showing that first throwaway scene at the art studio, I would have preferred seeing her tearing up the $50K check or arguing, even on the phone, with an unseen Cash or Vincent. It was another episode with no suspense.

Fin probably had the most relevant commentary on the issue of transgender people when he said that gender fluidity is coming out more these days and that was cool, but it’s confusing and a lot of people can’t make sense of it all. I wish they had continued this thought and have a deeper discussion on the actual viewpoints people have regarding gender and gender identity.

Benson really twisted things up when she defended Hype’s murder of Cash, trying to convince Barba it was a “heat of the moment” situation to her. Barba was right, this was a premeditated murder. I can see her point of trying for a lesser charge and sentence, but for her to even begin to defend his actions and not see that it was cold-blooded murder was a head-scratcher. Another head-scratcher was when she tried to convince Barba that the lawyer was in a conflict of interest situation. Barba is not an idiot; he would easily conclude this on his own. Yet they continue to write Barba in a manner that Benson always has to be the one to explain things to him. I loved it when Barba said “Oh, you are not gonna let me get outta here” because I felt the same way about this episode.

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:
Wyclef Jean - Vincent Love.
Mitchell Edwards – Hype
Okieriete Onaodowan - Cash Lewis
Will Swenson - Attorney Mitch Hampton
C. David Johnson - Mark Carson
Jacqueline Torres - Nina Carson
Rodney Richardson - Logan Blake
Sabel Gonzales - Eva Carson
Jay Klaitz -
Ngozi Anyanwu – Officer Perlina Edozi
Sonia Manzano – Judge Gloria Pepitone
Alet Taylor – Liza Johnson
Ruby Taylor – Sophia Johnson
Renata Hinrichs - Professor
Molly Leland – SANE Nurse
Rae Nelson – Kate
Matthew Vitticore = Jury Foreperson
Matthew Wechsler – Employee
Dewey Wynn - CSU Tech

A woman leaves an art class and goes to a mall. She looks at her watch and sits down at a table to wait and then walks to the ladies rest room. While she is in there, someone breaks into her stall and she screams.

Later, Benson and Rollins are on the scene. An officer tells them the vic took a bad beating and lost a lot of blood. There were obvious signs of sexual assault; someone did it with a pipe. Benson asks if they recovered it, and the officer replies yes, they didn’t have to look too far, it was in the bathroom next to the vic. A mom and daughter found her, they saw a male, black, 30s. They are looking for other witnesses but nothing so far. There are no security cameras in the hallway or the bathroom. The officer hands Rollins the victim’s ID and tells them to look at it. As the EMTs wheel the victim past them, Benson comments that it was a public bathroom in a crowded mall in broad daylight, adding this is a hell of a place to attack someone. Rollins counters “or the perfect place,” holding up the victim’s ID, saying the victim is transgender.

Benson and Rollins question the mother and daughter, Sophie, and the young girl knows something but her mother is reluctant to cooperate. The mother tells the detectives Sophie doesn’t remember anything else and Sophie reluctantly agrees. Benson thanks Sophie and as mother and daughter walk off, Benson sarcastically thanks the mother for cooperating. Sophie’s mom comments it is just a matter of time before something like this happened, they have to make a big fuss over this transgender issue. She asks why can’t people use the damn bathroom they were born to use? Benson gives her a business card and say they will be in touch and she thanks Sophie.

At Mercy Hospital at 365 West 32nd Street on Monday, November 14, Carisi explains to Benson and Rollins that the vic’s legal name is Eric Carson and she is a 24 year old art student from Montclair New Jersey who goes by the name Eva. Fin adds the parents are on the way. The nurse explains the rape kit showed forced penetration and severe tearing and bleeding; a perforated colon and significant blunt force trauma to the head and the torso as well and she is lucky to be alive. No semen,  and there are bruises on her wrists and arms and they are checking her fingernails for DNA. Carisi comments this happens just after New York signed the gender-neutral bathroom bill, adding the media will be all over this. Benson states this is for good reason – this is a hate crime.

Afterwards, Benson approaches Mr. & Mrs. Carson and introduces herself. Mrs. Carson asks when she can see her daughter. Benson says she is not sure but the doctor will be out shortly to give them an update. In the meantime, if it okay with them she would like to ask them a few questions about Eva. She asks when in the last time they saw her, and Mr. Carson replies last night, she called him around midnight. She was upset and said she was having relationship issues. He asks who would do something like this; she is 5’7” and 120 pounds. Mrs. Carson thinks it is some religious, transphobic monster, afraid of a man living as a woman. When Eva said she wanted to transition they supported her but she was afraid she might get targeted, so many of these young women get assaulted. Mr. Carson tries to comfort his wife, saying it is okay, she is going to be fine. Benson comments that they said she was having relationship issues, asking if she had a boyfriend or girlfriend. Mrs. Carson says Eva had a boyfriend, Logan, but they broke up. Mr. Carson explains they got back together last week, adding Eva confides in him which is why she called him last night. They were fighting. He thought she was seeing somebody else; he is not sure that she was.

At the Law offices of Shannon & Whitmore at 198 Lafayette Street on Monday, November 14, Benson and Rollins speak with Logan who is upset at the news. He wants to be there but Benson wants to talk to him now. Rollins asks where was he between 12 and 1 PM, and he says he was here in the office all day. He ate at a diner in Tribeca. Benson brings up the argument that Eva’s father mentioned and Rollins reads back some of the nasty messages he sent to Eva. He states he lost his temper, saying the relationship is complicated because she is transgender and no matter how open minded you are, it is still challenging. She started working as a model and going to parties, getting paid $1000 a night. She started falling in love with the “it” crowd and the scene. The agency fired her last week because of an altercation with a guest last Thursday. Rollins asks where was that?

Later, at the Panda Club at 949 Washington Street on Monday, November 14, Fin and Carisi speak with someone working there who thinks he recognizes Eva but doesn’t want a law suit from trans-people who he thinks can sue you if you look at them sideways. He explains a big music company threw a party Thursday and there were a lot of models there, a few of them were transgender. Eva slapped one of the guests and made a scene, so they tossed her ass. Fin points to a camera on the wall and asks if they have any of that one video. Soon, they are looking at the video and Carisi spots Eva and when they see the slap, Fin thinks it looks personal. The worker doesn’t know the name of the guy who she slapped so Carisi asks for the person who tossed her.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Law & Order SVU 400th Episode Celebration

Here are photos from the Law & Order SVU 400th episode celebration which was held at Pier 59 (location of SVU studio). Congratulations to all involved and best wishes for the next 100!

(Note: the episode is reportedly titled "Motherly Love" but no air date or episode details have been released as of this writing.)

Update February 9, 2017:My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “Motherly Love” (episode #400) can be found at this link.

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 400th Episode Celebration -- Pictured: (l-r) Pearlena Igbokwe, President, Universal Television, Kelli Giddish, Executive Producer Rick Eid, Executive Producer Julie Martin, Ice-T, Mariska Hargitay, Executive Producer Jonathan Starch, Raúl Esparza, Peter Scanavino -- (Photo by: Michael Parmelee/NBC)

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 400th Episode Celebration -- 
Pictured: (l-r) Kelli Giddish, Ice-T, Mariska Hargitay, Raúl Esparza, Peter Scanavino -- 
(Photo by: Michael Parmelee/NBC)

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.