Thursday, March 30, 2017

Law & Order SVU “Net Worth” Recap & Review

“Net Worth” was an excellent episode that was helped along by some very capable guest stars. Tate Donovan was a master at being the smug, entitled billionaire; Missy Peregrym was believable as the victim; Jordan Bridges did well as Zoe’s jerk of a boss.  “Repeat offender” Kevin O’Rourke was also a nice addition as a CEO who was quick to sell out one of his employees to distance himself from the looming negative press. The guest cast was a huge plus to telling a credible story.

The episode also gave screen time everyone in the main cast, all having a part to play in bringing the case to a close. Mind you, we never saw the verdict, but every indication was that billionaire Eli Colton was found guilty.

The episode was written by SVU showrunner Rick Eid and Jeffrey Baker, and the dialog was crisp and realistic. There were also plenty of on location scenes which gave the episode much visual interest. When I get the feeling that I am a fly on the wall watching the story unfold in front of me, that’s a sign of a solid episode.

There was a quick reference to Fin taking the Sergeant's exam, but we didn't get any answer on whether he passed it.

Some questions were on my mind after watching "Net Worth." If you were a victim of rape or sexual assault presented with a huge, life-changing amount of cash in exchange for your silence, would you take it? Is testifying always a crucial part of the healing process as Benson said? Or, is it closer to what Barba suggested;  that maybe the job and money would help Zoe heal and give her closure? Maybe the other victim, Kate, couldn’t be made happy with the money she got for her silence, but maybe Zoe would have been. Zoe is right, it was her choice to make and ultimately she did turn down the offer, but who knows, maybe she would have been just as happy with the money. I would have felt better about Benson’s approach if she would have said that by Zoe not testifying, Eli would get away with it and there could be other victims in the future (the mistake that Kate made). But Benson made it all about what she thinks is the right way to heal.  I am in no way condoning a payoff,  only that Benson has a habit of making it sound like testifying will make things all better for a victim.

I am surprised that they were able to use the recordings from the office. I know that the CEO gave them the videos but Zoe wasn’t aware that everything in the office was being recorded. I am not sure how the surveillance laws work in New York state, but I would think that employees need to be notified when they are being visually monitored and recorded, as well as visitors coming to the office. If the cameras were visible, that could serve as notification but it sounds like the employees had no knowledge the cameras existed. From my own personal experience, when employee phone calls were monitored, we had to notify them this could happen and a disclaimer had to be placed on all incoming calls that they too could be monitored. Clearly the recording helped Zoe but they cost Roger his job. I wonder if he would have grounds to sue?

Update April 6, 2017 – a deleted scene was added on Twitter which said Fin made Sergeant.

Update April 7, 2017 – the video is now on You Tube and the clip is after the recap.

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:
Tate Donovan - Eli Colton
Missy Peregrym - Zoe White
Jordan Bridges - Roger Littrell
Will Brill - Harry Ingram
Kevin O'Rourke - Dan Hewitt
Matt Walton - Tyler
Andy Wagner - Nate
Rezeta Veliu – Zoya
Malikha Mallette - Counselor Paige Fowler
Erica Sweany – Kate Tompkins
Barbara Miluski – Judge Lisa Peck
Einar Gunn – Anthony
Sulekha Ebelle – CSU Tech
Sharinna Allan – Liza

Investment banker Zoe White and her boss Roger Littrell attend an exclusive party with billionaire investor Eli Colton from Vulture Financial. She is worried about the Hang Seng crashing but he tells her to have some fun. Eli approaches them and thanks them for their hard work. Roger thinks it will be a home run, and Eli says it better be, with the fees he is paying. Roger counters that nothing good comes cheap – not on Wall Street. Elli tells Roger he appreciates his hard work and tells Zoe he appreciates her hard work. She thanks him. He adds that Roger will take the credit but knows she found the deal and set the whole thing in motion, and he thanks her again. They make a toast with their champagne.

Later, at a private party at Eli’s penthouse, Eli offers Zoe some very expensive wine but she declines, saying not to waste something like that on her, she has an unsophisticated palate. He smiles but is clearly annoyed as he walks off. Roger approaches her that was a rookie move and that rules of Wall Street say to never tell the truth, never use your own money, and never say no to a client. She gets the hint and goes back to Eli and asks him to pour the wine.

The next day, Zoe is back at work and sees Eli Colton exiting a meeting. He sees Zoe and stops her, saying “Hey!” She replies that she didn’t know they had a meeting. He said Roger called this morning about a Chinese media company that they can get for 4 times EBITDA. Zoe comments that’s cheap, and Eli says you get what you pay for. She testily counters not when you work for Cromwell Moore, you get what you don’t pay for, adding that is why he is so rich. He stops her from walking away and says last night was fun, and when Zoe says nothing, he says they should do it again. He laughs and kisses her on the cheek and walks off. Zoe appears stunned.

Back at SVU, Carisi ask Fin if there has been any word, and Fin says no, stop asking. Carisi counters that “Sergeant Tutuola” has a nice ring to it. Carisi asks someone walking by what is a 10 letter word for bad luck. Benson, also walking nearby, pipes up and says “misfortune.” Benson sees an officer, who has entered the SVU with Zoe. She asks Zoe if she can help her, and Zoe replies yes, she needs to speak with a detective. Benson introduces herself and suggests they step into her office. She asks how can she help her, and Zoe explains she was raped. Benson walks her into her office and says she is very sorry to hear that. Zoe comments she does not know how this works, and Benson explains no worries, they will take this one step at a time. Benson asks if she has any idea who did this to her, and Zoe says yes, then sees a newspaper on Benson’s desk with the headline “ The King Strikes Again“ with a photo of Eli on the cover, and says, “Him.” Benson, surprised, says, “Eli Colton” and Zoe replies “Yeah. The King of Wall Street.”

In the interview room with Benson, Zoe explains that she was at a party at Eli’s penthouse, they had just closed the deal. She works in investment bank, Cromwell Moore, and Eli’s firm is their biggest client. He invited a bunch of people back to his apartment after the dinner. They were celebrating his latest acquisition. She begins to cry and adds that she ended up in his bedroom; he wanted to show her his watch collection. He kissed her and she did kiss him back, they were having fun. A few minutes later he tried to take her dress off and she told him she did not want to have sex but he threw her down on the bed and she tried hard to push him off and she screamed but he just covered her mouth. She remembers staring at his 4 million dollar watch on the nightstand. She watched the hand go around and around until it was over. When it was over, he winked at her and said he hoped she had just as much fun as he did. Then he jumped in the shower. This was 3:05 AM. When Benson asks if she told anybody what happened, Zoe states she told her boss, Roger, this morning, and he told her to think it over. Benson pauses and asks, “think it over?” Zoe states his exact words were “Be careful, it’s never easy to kill the king.”

At Cromwell Moore at 458 Fifth Avenue on Tuesday. March 21, Benson and Fin speak with Roger who seems surprised Zoe said she was raped. Benson says she is confused as Zoe said she told him that this morning. He says she never said rape, he thought she was upset and regretful. He does not recall her exact words but she said things got weird between her and Eli and he was aggressive. In all honesty, he thinks she was more worried about appearances and didn’t want people talking about what happened. He didn’t realize…if he knew she had been raped he would have called them. Dan Hewitt enters and introduced himself as the CEO and Benson introduces herself and Fin. He heard what happened and is shocked, but when Benson asks who told him, he deflects and says that employees are the most important asset a corporation possesses, and they can count on his full cooperation. Benson says they have more questions, and Dan says Roger and he need to speak with their general counsel and asks if she understands. She gives him a look and then says no she doesn’t. He gives her a fake smile and says they will be in touch and motions for the door, saying if there is anything he can do. Benson gives a smile of frustration and says okay.

At Vulture Financial at 1183 Sixth Avenue on Tuesday, March 21, Carisi and Rollins arrive to speak with Eli. They explain they are there about Zoe and he asks what happened. They ask if he was alone with her between 2 and 3 AM and he tells his assistant Liza to show the detectives out. He says he is sorry but the meeting is over. Rollins explains they are not accusing him, they just want to hear his side of the story. Eli states he prefers to have his lawyer present for any formal discussion and if they want to talk more to contact her and they will set up a meeting. He tells Liza to get the lawyer’s card, but Rollins asks that, before they go, can he tell them who was at the apartment last night. She adds lawyer or no lawyer, they are obviously going to find out for themselves and why make them waste their time? Eli says that is a good point, and adds he hates inefficiencies, it drives him nuts. He hates people wasting time; activity for the sake of activity. He gives them the names of Roger Littrell, Alison Crane, Zoe White, and Zoya, a model.

Later. Carisi and Rollins speak with Zoya who recalls Zoe, saying she saw her with Eli and she was very determined. She says Eli is a total player, going from girl to girl and he doesn’t even give parting gifts. She adds if you are going to shag a billionaire, you deserve something. Rollins comments that is one way of looking at it. She states she saw Eli and Zoe walk upstairs to hid bedroom late at night, hand in hand, and she was relieved that she didn’t have to sleep with him. She admits that a guy at Cromwell Moore, Roger paid her $20,000 to come to the party and be Eli’s date. Eli didn’t know, Roger said she was a friend from the Hamptons. She was thrilled when Eli went upstairs with Zoe, calling it a win-win; she keeps the 20 grand and didn’t have to sleep with him. She adds she met a really cute guy, Nick.

Later, Carisi and Rollins speak with another man who was at the party but he saw nothing unusual. He saw Zoe the next day and she seemed distracted. She didn’t mention anything happened but says if Zoe says Eli assaulted her, he did. Zoe is smart and the most driven woman he knows. She grew up middle class in Reading, PA and worked her ass off. She went to Harvard and got a Stanford MBA and there is no way she would risk it to go after Eli unless it were true. There is no upside to burning a bridge with The King.

Back at SVU, Fin tells Benson that security footage from Elli’s lobby confirms there were 20 people at the party and so far they talked to 11 of them. They all say the same thing: Eli and Zoe were flirting and having fin but nothing unusual. No photos or videos. Rollins enters and states that Zoe’s rape kit came back; internal bruising consistent with rough sex or sexual assault, no semen. She ran it through CODIS and there are no matches in the system. Benson tells Rollins to get a warrant for Eli’s DNA. Benson looks up and is surprised to see Eli arrive with his attorneys and he says the sooner they put this to rest the better. When Benson asks for a sample of his DNA, Eli’s lawyer says there is no need. Eli then admits to having sex with Zoe and it was consensual and they had a great time. Fin says sarcastically they will take his word for it, but Eli says they don’t have to. The lawyer hands Benson and email that Zoe sent to Eli the day after the party; their IT department confirmed it was from Zoe’s office computer. Benson reads the email which says, “Glad we closed the deal, ha. Thinking about you; Last night was amazing. XOXO Zoe.” Eli has a smug look, but Benson and Rollins don’t look happy.

Later, Zoe is in the interview room with Benson and Fin who are showing her the email. She is shocked and denies sending it. They explain that tech experts show it came from her office and computer and when Fin says the digital sign in log shows she was there at the time, she says she is not in her office every second. She thinks somebody went into her office and sent it. She has no idea who and says it was not her. Fin suggests they send one of their people over there to look for prints and touch DNA to see who sent that email. Benson reminds Zoe they are on her side, and Zoe thanks her. She adds either everybody at work has no idea what is going on or they are not acknowledging it and it is making her feel alone. Benson assure her she is not, she promises.

Later, as they walk to the break room, Fin tells Benson there was no luck on the keyboard, there were no prints or DNA, thinking somebody wiped it down. Benson states they can’t prove that the email came from anybody else but Zoe. Fin thinks it proves Eli is nervous, if you’re innocent, you’re not going to send phony emails from the victim’s computer trying to get ahead of the story. Benson tells him to keep digging. Carisi and Rollins approach and state that they spoke to the last of the party guests and nobody saw anything suspicious except cocaine; Eli and some of the guests were hitting it pretty hard. Benson tells them to dig into Eli’s past and look at civil suits and harassment complaints, any Wall Street gossip that can help establish a pattern of behavior. She suggests they focus on Eli’s enemies because his friends are too busy getting rich off him.

Later, Carisi and Rollins speaks with another man who was fired by Eli and he sued but even though he lost, it raised his profile and gave him a platform to build his own 4 billion dollar fund. He states 3 years ago there were rumors Eli raped someone and one day the person just disappeared. The woman filed a police report.

At the residence of Kate Tompkins at 138 East 19th Street on Wednesday, March 22, Kate tells Benson and Fin she recanted. Benson says they are not there to judge her and they understand how complex and emotional these cases can be. Fin explains they think Eli did it again but she can’t talk about it, she signed a non-disclosure agreement. Fin comments that Eli wrote her a check, and when Benson chastises him, he says he is just talking straight to her. He tells Kate he knows this is her life but they have another victim who deserves justice. Benson adds they are not asking her to go public but they do need her help. They are trying to figure out what happened. Kate says Eli said he would destroy her career and her life and no matter what she tried or the prosecutors, he would have walked. She’d be left hanging in the wind. Benson says no way. Kate says she worked too hard to blow up her life and she cut the best deal she could given the hand she was dealt. The son of a bitch still ruined her life, and adds sadly that at least she is rich. As Kate motions to show them out, Benson asks one last question: she inquires that Kate said the police report that she and Eli had a pre-existing professional relationship, asking how did they know each other.

Later, Rollins and Carisi arrive at Cromwell Moore and ask Roger if he has a second. He replies he is not talking to them but Carisi says this isn’t about Zoe, and Rollins mentions his former associate Kate Tompkins. He remembers Kate – MIT, Wharton MBA. Carisi said she was pretty too and Rollins adds that Eli raped her three years ago and paid her off. Roger says he doesn’t know anything about that, and tries to walk off. But Rollins and Carisi follows, and Rollins mentions he was her supervisor. Roger says he supervises lots of people and Rollins says he supervises pretty women who get assaulted by his biggest client. Roger denies having anything to do with this; he makes Eli money and finds undervalued businesses that he can buy at a discount and sell at a premium. In the process, he gets rich too. He says he doesn’t know anything about his private life. Carisi counters even though Eli raped two of his associates. Roger says if Eli did, that is on him. Rollins gets in his face and says, “And you, because you’re the bastard that helped him cover it up.” Roger looks rattled and shuts his office door.

Back at SVU, Rollins recaps to Fin and Benson what they know. Fin thinks Roger is the one who sent the email from Zoe. Benson says they can’t prove the allegation as Kate recanted. Benson tells them to get warrants for Eli’s office, computer, and apartment. As Rollins and Fin disperse, Carisi approaches with a newspaper article about “The Fabulous Life of Eli Colton” which includes a photo of Zoe in a bikini and list her as a “fabulous friend.” Benson comments Eli’s team is pulling out every trick in the book.

Later, Benson and Fin show this to Zoe who says this is insane. She is not his fabulous friend, she is a banker. She graduated third in her class, not some bikini bimbo. The photos are from last summer at a party in the Hamptons with a few work friends. Eli was not there, he was in London but told everyone to stay and have a great weekend. Roger was there, he has a house a mile away. Roger probably took photos, and Benson wonders if Roger gave them to Eli. Zoe says Roger is a mentor and friend but clearly she is now wondering, saying she thought he was and wonders why he is throwing her under the bus. Benson says this is to undermine her case, and Zoe angrily states this is undermining her career. She questions the bikini shot, adding she works 80 hours a week, adding that was the first time she had a break in over a year. Fin says they are trying to intimidate her, and Zoe retorts that it is starting to work. Benson asks her to walk them through it one more time, and in doing so, Zoe recalls seeing a flash of light when he was inside her. Her therapist thought it was her brain reacting to the trauma Carisi knocks on the door and says they have the search warrants. Benson thanks him.

At Eli’s penthouse, they serve his lawyer with the warrant who tells them to be respectful of the furniture and artwork, etc. Fin wisecracks that it looks like the apartment he grew up in. Benson sees no security cameras. In the bedroom, Fin wisecracks again that this really looks like the apartment he grew up in, he had a roof terrace like that. The CSU Tech turns off the lights and while Fin and Benson walk the room, Fin steps onto the terrace and when he opens the door, it reflects outside light onto the bed. Benson realizes this is Zoe’s flash of light and wasn’t Zoe just trying to process her trauma.

The building manager explains that there is a fire stairway that leads to the roof and a service elevator too. Some of Eli’s high profile guests can access the service elevator. Benson and Fin press on who used the elevator that night and the building manager said someone rode up that night and did not sign in, Eli tells them to come on up. But there is a camera in the service elevator.

Back at SVU, Benson and the detectives watch the elevator video and see a guy in the service elevator at 2:45AM and then come back down 5 minutes later. Facial recognition has the man’s name as Harry Ingram, one prior for cocaine with intent to distribute. Carisi talked to his friend in narcotics who says Ingram is a well known dealer to the Wall Street crowd. Benson concludes that Harry showed up to sell Eli some coke, takes the service elevator up and then opens up Eli’s terrace door – Rollins adds creating the flash of light in the dark room. Carisi comments Harry sees what’s going on and gets the hell out of there. Fin asks if they bring him in, and Benson says no, he has no reason to cooperate with them – not yet anyway. She asks Carisi if he knows anything about the stock market.

At the apartment of Harry Ingram at 47 Cosby Street on Friday, March 24, Carisi fakes being “Stuart Gleacher” and a friend of Eli looking for coke to gain access inside Harry's apartment. Rollins and officers are standing by and enter when Carisi talks a good talk and gets access. Inside, Carisi continues his charade and gets Harry comfortable enough to bring out the coke which he has in his oven. When he agrees on a price and pays the money, Rollins and the police center and Rollins tells Harry to get down on his knees and put his hands on his head. He complies.  As Rollins arrests him for possession of a class A drug and intent to distribute and reads him his rights, Carisi shrugs and tells the others to check the oven. He tells Harry he is sorry, asking if he forgot to tell him he was a cop.

At SVU in interrogation, Rollins and Carisi question Harry and Rollins outlines his priors. They bring out the elevator video and that he was only there 5 minutes, Harry explains when he took the elevator up and opened the master bedroom door, he guesses they want to know what he saw. He asks for assurances and Rollins says they are not in that business but if he tells them the truth, they would put in a good work with the DA. Harry says when he opened the door, Eli was on top of this girl and she was struggling. He heard her say “Stop, get off me.” He didn’t and it was ugly. He shut the door and got out of there. He is no saint but he is not okay with that kind of thing. Benson and Barba are observing from Benson’s office and Barba says that Eli’s self-interested coke dealer witnessed the rape. Benson comments that Harry is not the perfect witness. Barba adds even if he is telling the truth, he is practically useless. Benson suggests they use him outside the courtroom to gather more evidence. Barba asks if she thinks Harry is willing to wear a wire, and Benson thinks he is willing to wear a clown suit. She adds Harry is so afraid of going to prison he’ll do anything they want. Barba thinks it is worth a shot.

Later, Harry, who is wired, meets up with Eli on the street and say the police talked to him, trying to get Eli into admitting what he did. Carisi and Rollins observe from the surveillance van. Harry says he saw and heard but Eli said Zoe said “Don’t stop” and that he would never have sex with a woman without her consent. Harry counters quickly that he is in a bind and he owes his buddy in Miami some cash and Eli asks if he needs money. Harry replies he needs to make a deal – he will keep his mouth shut and Eli cuts him a check. Eli asks how much he needs, and Harry says $500,000. But Eli counters that he thinks he needs more than that, and offers him a million.

Afterwards, Benson plays the recording for Barba, saying that Eli is clearly trying to buy him off and she thinks the jury will see right through that. But Barba is not sure, thinking Eli is too smooth, he never took the bait. He said the jury can decide if Eli is lying but they need something more definitive – like Eli’s banker, Roger Littrell. Benson counters that they tried, Roger is not talking as Eli is his golden goose. Barba adds not with the proper motivation; these guys are all motivated by one thing Benson replies “Money.”

At The Ellis Club at 40 Vanderbilt Avenue on Friday, March 24, Benson speaks with Dan Hewitt to give him a tip, “inside information.” He says his firm is far too reputable to deal in that kind of activity. She explains that later on today, they are going to be arresting his friend and associate Eli Colton for raping Zoe White. Others in the room are hearing this. Dan scoffs and says he thought she was there to help. When she says she is, he asks how. Benson explains they are giving his a chance to get on the right side of history. Eli’s name is going to be everywhere, all over the news, in newspaper and tabloids, and Cromwell Moore’s name is going to be splattered everywhere. She adds that the question is: how does he want to characterized, as a hero or a villain. He asks her to tell him what she needs. They sit down and she says Roger Littrell, his testimony is crucial. Dan explains Roger owes his whole career to Eli and without him, Roger is just another guy in an expensive suit pulling down 2 million a year, he will never flip. But Dan says they don’t need him, and Benson says, “excuse me?” Dan explains every conversation in their office is recorded, brutal honesty is the cornerstone of their firm’s philosophy. He smile and says he will have the relevant videos sent to her office within the hour. He stands up and shakes Benson’s hand, saying it was nice doing business with her. Benson replies, “And you.” She asks what is going to happen with Roger, and Dan replies he will be out of the office before the end of the day.

As Eli is walking out of his office building, Fin and Rollins, with two additional officers, arrest Eli for first degree rape. Eli asks if this is necessary and Rollins says it is, they find that arresting and handcuffing rapists is an efficient way to do business and this isn’t activity for activity’s sake.

The next day, Zoe has entered Benson’s office after hearing the news about Eli. Benson explains Cromwell Moore records everything and there is footage of her discussion with Roger and with Roger typing on her computer that afternoon. It appears Roger sent the phony email to Eli. Zoe is surprised they have cameras in the office, saying that is creepy. Benson agrees but says this gives them the evidence to move forward. She asks what is next and Benson explains they indict Eli and he go to trial Zoe says that means she has to testify, and it is clear he is having second thoughts. Zoe explains that the head of Cromwell’s M&A group met with her the other night and offered her a job in Brussels at Sullivan Davis. One condition is she has to keep a low profile and Benson comments they don’t want her to testify because of Eli. Benson says the job offer is payoff and Zoe tells her to call it whatever she wants but it is a good deal; they will buy her $5 million a year for 4 years. She can’t say no to that. Benson asks her to listen to her but Zoe counters that she did everything right – she came forward and told the truth and she tool on Eli and where did it get her? The almost decimated her career and her future. Benson says she knows this is hard, but Zoe counters this will always be hard, no matter if she testifies against him, or he goes to prison. The pain of everything she just endured is never going to disappear so she has two options: she can either be a poor and career-less victim or she can be a wealthy, employed victim. She prefers the latter. She walks out of Benson’s office, leaving Benson stunned.

Afterwards, Fin comments to Benson that after all this, Zoe wants to go paws up and let Eli walk. Benson counters she wants to get paid. Fin says he gets it but nothing is for free. Rollins, at her desk with Carisi standing nearby, ask them to check something out: they see someone named "@Breezy233!" posted a photo of Eli at Carmignanos with David Potter, CEO of Sullivan Davis. Benson says that is the company that just made Zoe that ridiculous job offer. Carisi comments that legally this doesn’t prove it, but Benson says that it does confirm what they suspect; that Eli cut a deal to run his business through Sullivan and in return, Sullivan funnels some of that revenue to Zoe. Rollins adds to keep Zoe quiet. Fin comments you gotta love Wall Street. Rollins says this is a payoff and a bribe and they can’t let them get away. Benson explains she will call Barba and see what their options arte.

Later, Benson speaks with Barba who says two businessmen having dinner doesn’t prove anything. Benson counters that for 10 years. Eli’s only bank was Cromwell Moore and right before he is to go on trial on a rape charge, some firm out of the blue offers a 26 year old kid who makes $300 grand a year $5 million. Barba knows, but they can’t prove it, the paper trail is clean. From the outside, Sullivan Davis offered Zoe White, a talented, young baker with impeccable credentials, a lucrative contract, there is nothing incriminating about it. Benson says that rape is still illegal, right? She suggests they call Zoe as a hostile witness. Barba says they can do that and then look like fools. He says he knows this is hard to accept but this is Zoe’s life and her decision. Benson says she is not making a decision, she is being extorted. Barba asks if Zoe feels that way, saying maybe this job and this money will help her heal and give her closure. Benson shakes her head and says she doesn’t believe that for a second, and then says to Barba, “And neither do you.” Barba says “Of course not. So let’s go find another way to bury this prick.”

At a later time, Zoe is in Benson’s office and Zoe tells Benson to respect her decision. Benson says she does but she’s been doing this for a long time and testifying can be a crucial part of the healing process. Zoe comments she is sure it is…for some people. Zoe says she is a deal maker and she makes decisions based on fact, not feeling, and she analyzes the pros and cons and the opportunity costs. Benson says she gets it, saying that using her leverage against Eli to extract a premium deal makes her feel like a winner, not a loser. Benson adds that bankers are different and think differently and she may heal differently. But the payoff – money for silence – never healed anyone. Zoe counters to let he be clear: she did not want to give Eli a pass, she would live to see that pig go to prison and get everything he deserves but she is a pragmatist and right now based on all the data and information that she has right in front of her and in this moment, this is the best decision. Benson explains to take the money Zoe and Eli wins and he avoids prison and victimizes her all over again and he steals her dignity one last time. Benson says maybe she is not the best person to talk to her about this, and she opens the office door and brings in Kate Tompkins, telling Zoe Kate used to work at Cromwell Moore.

At Supreme Court Part 28 on Tuesday, April 4, Zoe testifies about the rape and identifies Eli as the rapist. Barba also shows the surveillance footage with Zoe speaking with Roger about the rape the next day where Zoe explains to Roger that she told Eli no and she tried to leave but he pinned her down and raped her. Barba also brings up the job offer from Sullivan Davis made two days prior to Eli’s arrest, with a minimum cash compensation of $5 million per year for 4 years, plus a discretionary bonus based on the firm’s overall financial performance. She testifies she did not accept the offer, and says it was clear to her they only offered so much money to ingratiate themselves with Eli. She adds one of her conditions of employment was that she keep a low profile. Barba states that Zoe turned down $20 million in guaranteed compensation just for the opportunity to testify here today, and Zoe replies yes she did. Barba asks why, and, looking first to Benson and then to Eli, Zoe explains that she didn’t want him to steal her dignity one more time. Eli looks sunk and Barba says he has nothing further. As Zoe nods to Benson who is sitting in the gallery, Benson nods back as we fade to black.

Added April 7, 2017 - deleted scene; Fin makes Sergeant

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Unknown said...

Well Said Chris!! I Have A Rule Against Cursing On Other People's Posts So I'll Leave It At Great Freaking Awesome Recap 👏👏 A Few Things Is I Agree On Others Getting More Screen Time Especially Fin Which Kind Of Surprised Me For This Type Of Case Which I Am Guessing Is A Step Towards Him Finally Being Sargent Which By The Way I Wonder Because Of His Last Name Is A Reason For Never Being Promoted By NBC? Is Just A Thought Cause Even Carisi Made Some Joke On It. I Also Agree With You On Liv Always Pushing Everyone To Testify To The Extreme, For Example Look At The Episode Imposter Where Her Pressuring The Mom To Try To Convict A Weak Case Got The Mom's Kid,Also On A Recent Episode Where She Couldn't Stop Getting The Army Lady To Testify, Now Last Night Yes I Agree The Lady Testefies And It Prevents Him From Future Rapes But It Is Her Decision. I Love Livs Determination And Is As Great Of A Detective As They Get, I Know She Is A Lieutenant But She Still Goes And Works Like A Detective. I Guess What I Am Saying Is That It Seems She Pressures Victims To The Extreme. My Grade Score For The Episode An 8 3/4 Out Of 10 With An A- Now Both Women Getting Paid Or Offered 5 Million To Drop The Complaint Does Bring The Question What Anyone Would Do Which I Would Not Take It But Not Everyone Thinks Alike. Also Again I Also Agree On Very Good Guest Stars!!

Unknown said...

I Apologize If My Comments Don't Come Complete I Am On An iPad And It Sometimes Stops At Certain Words. I Meant To Write The Mom's Kid Committed Suicide Because Of Livs Pressure.

Laurie F said...

I liked this episode too. This is how SVU should be - more about the case and less about the leads' personal lives. Carisi and Rollins did the majority of the leg work and at least Benson didn't hog the screen. The writing was great. Some people dislike Rick Eid but in my opinion the episodes he's had a direct hand in writing have skewed better than most. This show may need s shake up in the writers room. Kevin Fox is good but the rest of them, not so much.

The guest stars were fantastic and Tate Donovan was perfect casting.

I've got no gripes with this episode.

I may take some heat for this comment but I saw nothing wrong with Zoe wanting to settle for a big payday. Maybe my issue is that Benson was too pushy on what she wanted Zoe to do, and maybe I saw Zoe's point of view. There have been many times on SVU and other shows in the L&O universe that by a person testifying, it has not made everything into rainbows and unicorns for their life afterwards. Benson had her own motivation for wanting Zoe to testify. Benson and and her team invested a lot of time into the case and I am sure she wanted it in the win column. She never said that if Zoe testified she could help stop Eli from attacking someone in the future and that makes it sound like Benson is not thinking about other victims. After all, had Kate not taken a payoff, Eli could have been stopped in his tracks then an there. Yet Benson didn't make that argument, she only brought Kate in to support Benson's opinion that money doesn't buy closure. Benson said it was about testifying as part of the healing process, and that sounded like BS to me. I could be getting tired of Benson's sanctimonious attitude. Bring me back someone like Cragen who looks at life and SVU more realistically.

Good question about the cameras in the office. Zoe seemed shocked they were being recorded. I know she was in her workplace, not her private home, but I think a company is still obligated to tell employees they are being monitored. Does anyone know the law on this matter?

A question for @Iron Black Sabbath Maiden: is there a reason when you post you capitalize the first letter of every word? It's very hard to read!

Carrie Long said...

I agree Chris, this was a fantastic episode, redeeming the show from last week's sewer of an episode.

The shots were so beautiful, my breath was literally stolen at times.

Now, I do think it was too predictable. Right from the get, when Eli said it was fun while Zoe's face had victim all over it. They didn't need the verdict at the end, as it was already clear.

Rollins was a feisty little one this week, and I absolutely loved it. I love when she gets to act like the badass. Also, Carisi was great undercover. I love when he gets to be utilized that way.

Sergeant Fin Tutuola. That would be WONDERFUL to hear and say in Season 19! Or in the season finale on May 24!

I feel as if Barba was window-dressing. He didn't make an appearance until about 9:45 or somewhere in there.

I am in the middle about the testifying. On one hand, maybe Zoe would have been truly healed by the money. On another hand, I was, like Olivia, dumbfounded as to why she would let Eli cause such trauma to other women. Either way, I'm just glad justice was served to the "King" of Wall Street.

I was glad that it wasn't Law & Order: Olivia Benson Unit. I find that some of the worst episodes are when she's doing the main investigation. I'm also wondering if we will ever see more new faces in the squad.

Next week sounds like another terrific episode. Can't wait for April 5.

My rating for Net Worth: 8/10, solid 4 stars.

Unknown said...

Hi Chris, thanks for the recap. A well written and better acted episode. Good to see the other characters getting more time and doing police work.

I'm not sure what I would do. I think I would take the money and get counselling as I don't think my nerves would hold up in a trial. I'm not in favour of constantly pressuring the victims and not a fan of putting future rapes or other victims at their feet because the trauma of it is bad, but the trial, media and social media would be hard to take. I get the police need them to put the rapist away but I'm not sure everyone is strong enough for a trial.

Still waiting for issues from end of last year: Barba mentioned the Brooklyn job to Carisi in Heatfelt passages and he had been interviewed but what is happening. The longer Carisi gets passed graduating and not practising, the harder to get a lawyer job. 2) the threats to Barba. 3) We haven't seen Daddy Doods after he snapped at Benson (though he was to be in the T inspired episode). That hasn't been resolved. Sorry, not much of a leaving-loose-ends person.

Unknown said...

I believe NYS is a state where recording a conversation is legal as long as one party knows (which of course the person doing the recording does). Generally the places that say the call may be monitored or recorded are doing so as rules vary by state, so easiest to just notify lest the person be calling from a state where the rules require they know. As always, thanks for the writeup.

Laurie F said...

@davud Z=zjaba - What about this article (from 2014) which sounds like it says they can't if it includes audio? The videos used in the episode had audio. I believe that, on the permission of one person thing, that person must be present.

"Further, section 250.05 of the New York Penal Law, captioned “Eavesdropping,” renders it a class E felony for any person, other than a law enforcement officer acting under an eavesdropping warrant or a video surveillance warrant issued by a court, to engage in, among other forms of surveillance, “mechanical overhearing of a conversation.” The same statute defines ” ‘mechanical overhearing of a conversation’ ” as “the intentional overhearing or recording of a conversation or discussion, without the consent of at least one party thereto, by a person not present thereat, by means of any instrument, device or equipment.” N.Y. Penal Law § 250.00.

Therefore, it is a felony for a business in New York surreptitiously to subject its employees, in the workplace, to any video surveillance which contains an audio component. It follows that, to avoid criminal liability, companies in New York which carry out video surveillance of their employees in the workplace must ensure that the video cameras will not capture the human voice.

Provided that the surveillance cameras are not located in a restroom, locker room, or room designated by the employer for employees to change their clothes, a non-governmental employer’s carrying out of secret, video-only surveillance of employees in the workplace in New York is lawful, unless the employer videotapes its employees so as to retaliate against them for engaging in protected activity."

Laurie F said...

Sorry for the typo @david zjaba. I can't type this morning.

Ry A said...

If it helps - Matt Walton played Tyler (Colton's former business associate) and Andy Wagner played Nate (Zoya's hot date).

Great episode though; handled very well.

Chris Zimmer said...

@Ry A - much thanks! I filled in my blanks!

Chris Zimmer said...

Update April 6, 2017 – a deleted scene was added on Twitter which said Fin made Sergeant. I can’t find any embed code so all I can give you is the link – catch it while you can! I can understand why some scenes get deleted, but this whole scene seemed important for Fin’s story and made for a better episode close. Why they cut this one is a mystery, I assume there were timeline issues with the screw up in episode airing sequence?

Eldridge said...

I have no idea why they would want to cut Fin getting promoted from the episode. Especially, when they went out of their way to mention that he took the SGT exam. Just a bit weird if you ask me. In my opinion, it seems that the show does not treat 'secondary' character storylines with the same level of respect as main characters. Which is odd when you think about it, since Fin is second to Olivia now as far as veteran status is concern. It seems like his storyline and character growth is pushed to the backburner. In addition, he seems to have gotten more screen time in the Stabler-Olivia Munch-Fin days or is it just me?

Chris Zimmer said...

Update April 7, 2017 – the deleted scene is now on You Tube and the clip is after the recap.

Chris Zimmer said...

@Eldridge: It does seem that over the last few years that Fin's presence in episodes has diminished. Whether it's by design with the show, or if Ice-T has a lot of other things going on that makes him available less, it's hard to tell!

Eldridge said...

@Chris: I don't think he has a lot other things going on tbh. From what I can tell he is not really working on any other major products. His t.v. series ended in 2015 and ran sporadically. He has a music career but his last studio album was released way back in 2006 I believe and a colloboration in 2012. He has done some video games, movies, tv shows, and music videos that I would call 'minor' but nothing huge since then. But from what I have been able to gather nothing that would take him away from receiving a bigger storyline. And certainly, not in such a huge way since season 12 on SVU. But I could be wrong. I follow Ice-T's career. This is the same thing that happened to Munch and it was brought up to him and this was one of the reasons that he gave on why he left the show if I am remembering correctly.

Anonymous said...

I didn't particularly enjoy this episode and consider it "filler" which I would skip if watching re-runs. There was nothing awful about it, but nothing outstanding either. I just feel the story of somebody rich and powerful committing an offence and then trying to make it go away has been done many times before. The guest cast gave decent performances though. As for Olivia's persuasive tactics with Zoe, I guess making it more about self-interest (as in healing) may work better with somebody who may not actually care about future victims.