Thursday, September 28, 2017

Law & Order SVU “Gone Fishin’ “ Recap & Review

Special note: I’ve been under the weather for the last few weeks, so this is an abbreviated recap and review.

Law & Order SVU “Gone Fishin’” was a great start to season 19. Everybody had their hands in this well-constructed story. It featured both the (unconventional) apprehension of a rapist and the ensuing legal battle, and some personal strife for Benson that is only just beginning. While I am not a fan of the focus on Benson and Noah, I have resigned myself that it won’t be going away any time soon. That said, I think that this story arc may actually pose some interesting challenges for Benson.

Fin starts the ball rolling by making a trip to Cuba under the guise of a vacation in order to apprehend a serial rapist, Byron Marks. Unfortunately, his methods don’t quite follow the rule of law. This means Barba is faced with a legal battle with the annoying Randy Dworkin, a wonderful character - played perfectly by Peter Jacobson - who comes from the Law & Order series. (He is not to be confused with his creepy SVU character Bart Ganzel.) Dworkin makes it sound like Fin tortured Marks when Fin “kidnapped” him in Cuba. Dworkin also brings in Mr. Formosa, from the Cuba permanent mission at the U.N. , who objects to agents of the U.S. violating their borders and laws, and he wants Marks turned over to them to be returned to Cuba.

Meanwhile, Benson, Rollins, and Carisi have been working to line up Marks’ victims in order to get them to testify. Only one of them, Karla Wyatt, steps forward, despite her oppressive husbands’ wishes.

After Marks’ wife Elana testifies in his behalf, Marks is released into the custody of Dworkin. Despite Rollins and Carisi tailing him, they lose him while Marks is in a diner with his wife and Dworkin.

Marks has decided to visit Karla, saying he didn’t want to hurt her. Benson realizes this is where Marks has gone, and makes a possible error by going the Karla’s home alone.  (I would think by now Benson would have the smarts not to walk into a potentially dangerous situation without proper backup.) Of course, Marks is there and Karla has a gun drawn on him, ready to shoot at a moment’s notice. Benson manages to diffuse the situation.

Later, Benson gets Karla and Elana, along with Barba, Dworkin, and Formosa, in the SVU interview room. After Karla’s story is told, and Benson gives even more details of what Bryon Marks’ has done to his victims, both Elana and Formosa back off, sealing Byron Marks’ fate.

The big story in this episode – one which sets up an ongoing arc for Benson – is her possible fitness as a parent to Noah (who has been re-cast). While Benson is walking Noah to school  (Noah says Lucy wouldn’t make him go and wishes Lucy was his mommy -  OUCH), Benson is distracted with a phone call and doesn’t see Noah step into the street. She quickly pulls him from danger, unknowingly causing a bruise. This bruise later makes a teacher question Benson, making it sound like Benson is abusing him. This rattles Benson’s world, and she worries that Noah is lying. But when she discusses it with him later, Noah reminds her of when she pulled him from traffic, and she realizes that is where the bruise came from. Sadly, the damage has been done. At the end of the episode, we see that Brian Cassidy has returned from Florida (saying retirement was not his thing) to New York City. The DA’s office was looking for an investigator and he has been on that job for six weeks. He caught a child abuse case, and SVU had to recuse themselves. Benson thinks this is odd, but Cassidy says not really; he is there to investigate Benson.

The promo for the next episode, “Mood”, clearly shows that this matter isn’t going away soon – stay tuned!

Note: deleted scenes have been added below

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:
Dean Winters - Brian Cassidy
Amy Smart - Karla Wyatt
Peter Jacobson - Randolph "Randy" J. Dworkin, Esq.
Mariela Garriga - Elana Marks
Will Chase - Byron T. Marks.
Vincent Curatola - Judge Al Bertuccio
Syndee Winters – Ms. Smiley
Mariah Lee – Joyce Peterson
DeShawn White – Keesha Johnson
Andrew Kaempfer – Frank Wyatt
Barbara Miluski – Judge Lisa Peck
Frank Rodriguez – Pedro Formosa
J.B. Alexander – Account Clerk
Ryan Buggle – Noah Porter Benson
Darrien Bowman – Khalil

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Doom said...

Why would the DA's office ever, ever, EVER have the ex-boyfriend of a suspected child abuser INVESTIGATE said child abuser?

Roselynn Finch said...

I'm officially done with SVU. I'm so sick of Cassidy.

Roselynn Finch said...

I'm officially done with SVU. I'm so sick of Cassidy.

Chris Zimmer said...

@Doom - excellent point. Maybe they didn't know about the relationship? Regardless, Cassidy probably should have raised it as a conflict.

gummboote said...

Sorry, I thought this was a dreadful start to the season. Everyone in it behaved in an unbelievable manner. And what was the finale if it wasn't witness tampering - you know, the thing they were holding the guy on? What kind of defence lawyer allowed his client's witness to ever be in that room? And frankly, the guy was right: Benson IS sanctimonious. Having her as the main character (instead of joint lead in an ensemble) has done this show no good.

Vim said...

Now, even when Cassidy find Benson innocent, if someone discover their relationship, Benson will look more quilty.

That said - I love this judge. He brings so much life, into normally boring SVU judges.

Ana Maria Câncio Brandao said...

Many compliments to this episode on the SVU website. It seems the season promises to be excellent.

Liesel said...


1). This is awkaward but Byron is my "favourite rapist" on the show. Him and Olivia in the box was one of the most suspenseful scenes in a long time!

2). Who is Byron? Are we suppose to know him from previous episodes?

3). I think it's time for Liv to leave SVU. Not because of Noah, but because Byron of the reoccuring theme of cops caring for victims. She's more of a social worker than anything else and it's starting to affect her professionell and personal life.

4). I forgot the lawyers name but for me he was like an "evil" Barba and I had a lot of fun watching Barba get annoyed :D

5). Liv called Barba Rafeal again!!!!! I lost my sh#t guys honestly. Barson is happening :)

6). The rapes were all six years ago? Statue of limitations??

Mixed feelings but overall positive, LOVE Mariska's hair this season.
Hope you'll feel better soon Chris!

Chris Zimmer said...

Thanks @Liesel! On you point 2, they do reference a previous encounter with Byron Marks but I can't find where they actually did an episode on him.

Lisa said...

God not more Noah/liv Drama this might sound bad but I hope Noah is taken away .... far far away.

Margot Undercliffe said...

Cassidy didn't have a great record at the police so given the level of scrutiny and integrity of the DA's office, I can't see them hiring him. As for investigating Benson that is such a conflict. I'm sure the DA knows as it came out when he was shot and the case after. They never hid it.

As for Fin's behaviour I can't imagine the real NYPD turning a blind eye and he said he didn't think it was legal.

However some great acting performances

EchoInTheSilence said...

What was weird for me was that Olivia was so completely shocked by the investigation. I mean, if she was investigating, would she have accepted a parent behaving the way she did in the episode, or would she have felt compelled to investigate further?

The Chick said...

I never saw Peter Jacobson as Dworkin on the mothership, so his appearance here was a welcome one as far as defense attorneys go. (Maybe throw him on a case with Rita Calhoun...) I also remember him as Bart Ganzel. I also still somewhat see Marv Sulloway instead of Al Bertuccio on the bench XD

And Fin in that Panama hat makes this episode for me too.

Abbe said...

This is the final season.It isn't tired. It is out of steam. The "Olivia abusing Noah" arc means the show has finally jumped the shark for the final time. Cassidy investigates Olivia? The squadroom turning on Olivia? Not for me. Farewell, Season 19.

Abbe said...

PS Chris, reading this blog for years, so please excuse my bluntness. It was the very first episode, with the exception of Randy Dworkin (much more serious than on L & O) and Barba, who is always terrific. And Amy Smart gave me a scare!

I will try to hang in there.

And feel better!


Alphamutt said...

What is the (overwhelming and frankly disturbing) hate-on so many people express for the Olivia/Noah storyline? The same people still complain (on a never-ending and monotonous loop) about how they long for the "golden age" of SVU, the halcyon Elliott days. Do those people forget in how many episodes extended Stabler family member were featured?
I wonder, also, why people choose to view programming they barely tolerate? This television drama is meant for entertainment purposes, so why not let your remote do the talking?

malifact said...

Chris, sorry you've been unwell. This episode was better than I expected. When I realised from the previews there would a plot with Olivia accused of abuse, I cringed. But it was actually well done, especially the scene with Olivia and the teacher. I also enjoyed the main plot, although I thought it was rather unbelievable the wife would turn against her husband so easily. It's really good that all of the cast were utilised, including Finn. Hopefully this will continue for the rest of the season.

BensonFan said...

So Noah aged like three years in four months? Mmmkay.

I mean I know that it's easier with an older kid who can talk more. And sometimes child actors' parents decide they don't want their kid acting anymore. But those inconsistencies annoy me nonetheless.

Alphamutt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doreen Chiapparelli said...

I enjoyed this ep- the only thing that bothered me was benson going alone to Karla’s house- how about Finn or somebody running after her- Ive never liked Cassidy maybe season one but when he came back- sleeping with hookers- ugh- I’m looking for a street fight between benson and Cassidy- my money is on badass- feel better Chris!

Margot Undercliffe said...

With the Olivia and Noah arc, a few seasons ago when he was rushed to hospital with a fever (I think it was the episode about fake inoculation certificates and the right not to inoculation against childhood diseases), the doctor asked Olivia about some healed fractures. No doubt that will also come up in the investigation so it will look like a "history".

And Chris, sorry to hear you have been unwell.

Chris Zimmer said...

In case you missed it = four deleted scenes have been added to the recap. Enjoy!

Unknown said...

I was wondering the same thing?? Anyone else know??

Draven Long said...

Having rewatched it and without giving a detailed review I will say this. Olivia will come out of this Scott free and hopefully still with Noah. This was a great episode in my opinion, especially to start Season 19.

Cath T said...

Nothing to say other than ugh Cassidy's back (makes no sense he'd investigate an ex-girlfriend) and double ugh more Noah drama.

coquelicot said...

Cassidy needs to leave... forever... he isn’t even a convincing actor. He looks like someone that wears tye-dye shirts and works at a head shop.