Thursday, October 12, 2017

Law & Order SVU “Contrapasso” Recap & Review

Special note: I’m still under the weather, so this is an abbreviated recap and review.

Law & Order “Contrapasso” involved the case of a former teacher who, years prior, toyed sexually with his young female students and it came back to haunt him. Three women, one who stated she was raped by this teacher, decide to meet him at a hotel and confront him, and one of the women decides to exact vengeance by taking a knife and performing an impromptu “gonadectomy.” (This is quite a surprise for both Fin and Carisi.) This leaves the SVU and ADA Barba in an odd position; the women were wrong to assault the man, but he needed to be held accountable for the rape years prior. The only thing that made this case stand out was the impassioned closing argument by Barba (great work by Raúl Esparza) about what exactly is fair and just. Surprisingly, the man is found guilty of rape, the only proof being the woman’s word and a poem she wrote while in high school. I’m not convinced that was enough to make a case. What I don’t know – and maybe I missed it – was if the women have to answer for their attack on the teacher.

Benson also thinks she’s in the clear with the DA’s office regarding her care of Noah, but finds out from Trevor Langan that Noah’s maternal grandmother now wants to pursue custody of Noah. Benson is livid that Langan didn’t have previous knowledge that there was any relatives alive, and reminds him that the judge even fast tracked her adoption. But Langan fires back that Benson has her own resources to find out that information, which Benson counters that she can’t use those resources for personal reasons. She eventually tells him to leave her office. At the end of the episode, Sheila Porter appears at Benson’s front door. (I wonder what kind of security Benson has in her building that someone can just walk right up to her front door without being buzzed in or cleared to enter.) We know this story arc will continue, but sadly I’m not very interested in it.

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:
Brooke Shields – Shiela Porter
Peter Hermann – Trevor Langan
Paul Fitzgerald - Jason Karr
Annabeth Gish - Carolyn Rivers
Betsy Beutler - Julie Wade
Jeannine Kaspar - Nora Galen
Kathleen Munroe - Evelyn Bundy
Betsy Beutler – Julie Wade
Ami Brabson – Judge Karyn Blake
Yvonna Kopacz-Wright –

Lauenr Donahie – Karen Karr
Bisserat Tsegga – Layla Mazilli
John Skelley - Jeffrey Manning
Gillian Glasco – Unit
Joe Diomede – Victor
Brian Ray Norris – Foreperson
Ryan Buggle - Noah Porter-Benson

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Margot Undercliffe said...

Hi Chris, sorry you are unwell. Barba’s closing was excellent although at first Benson thought he was nuts. Agree, that they didn’t deal with the women. The episode felt like they deleted something in the final cut. Given their statements i would have thought it would have been dealt with first.

Curious how Benson/Noah will play out. Seems no one made an effort to satisfy themselves that Noah had no living relatives. I must admit it didn’t interest me. And,yes, how does someone come straight to her door plus find out where she lives

Laurie Fanat said...

Get well Chris!

I'm not thrilled about this episode. The Fin/Carisi interaction at the beginning was great. The case though, not so much. The high point was Barba making his closing argument, the low point was the fact that it seemed like these three women seemed to be sainted rather than scorned for what they did. Yes, the guy should not have been involved with them sexually but that is no excuse to maim someone. What would have happened had the guy bled to death? I hardly think that the prosecution proved their case of rape. I wrote a lot of stuff when I was in high school but that doesn't make it true. The whole poem thing was ridiculous.

On the Benson/Noah issue, we all knew it was coming but that doesn't mean we all like it. Mariska needed to have a story line that is more than her just giving orders to the squad, but how long do we have to contend with the Noah thing? I admit Benson and Langan going at it was interesting but knowing those two are married in real life takes the drama away from the scene.

Jessica F. Norick said...

Chris, first off, I hope you feel better soon. You've been under the weather too long <3

Secondly, I seem to remember it mentioned that at least one of the women was getting four years for the assault.

Thirdly, I'm interested in the whole Noah storyline because Olivia Benson has become a heroine of mine through the course of the series. Personally, if I were in her shoes, I'd raise the question with Noah's grandma, "Considering you did such a magnificent job raising Ellie, just what makes you think you can do any better with Noah?".... As people don't go down the path that Ellie Porter did if their parents raise them right!

Js McFail said...

I for one LOVED this episode! It gave me new hope in the new show runner & his new energy in making it more like it used to be...I personally was on the edge of my seat with the fast-moving scenes. I can't believe how they managed to cram all those stories (believably) into 42 minutes...
I especially love the return of the snarky yet fast-thinking Barba, which to me, was VERY welcomed. He actually resolved the whole thing for me...
As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse & later on a date rape, I loved that even tho the statute of time thingy was exceeded, he was able to get time for the perp & give those vics some resolution...I personally don't think there should be any time limit to sexual crimes committed & especially rape because they almost always result in multiple attacks if the perpetrator is not caught. JMO

Evan May said...

They should just pull a King Solomon and cut Noah in half.

Kenneth Wurman said...

Why was there a trial? It was clear that the Statute of Limitation had run? Does anyone understand this?

Chris Zimmer said...

@Kenneth Wurman - I was confused about that too. When the detectives were watching Benson speak to Evelyn, I think Fin mentioned what Karr did would be rape 1, and Carisi mentions the statute of limitations. But the next thing we see, Karr is being arrested. So count me in as another person who didn't quite know how they pulled that off.

Jessica F. Norick said...

@Chris Zimmer & Kenneth Warman, when it was revealed that he held a weapon on her (the Corkscrew), one of them, either Carisi or Barba, said that made it "forcible rape".... That, apparently, the statute of limitations for rape had been done away with, when there is a weapon involved

Chris Zimmer said...

@Jessica - thanks for clarifying, I missed that!

Js McFail said...

Thanks Jessica, I remember them saying that now...

Cappi said...

I loved this episode. Raul Esparza stole the show as he does a lot when given the chance. I think this season is off to a great start so far. I am not really into picking at the legal stuff. I just enjoy watching the show and especially Barba. I hope you feel better soon, Chris.

Camila Carvalho said...

I totaly agree with u about the case, i thing the show use a poor arguments for sustent the cases in generals aspects. I miss the heavy evidencesto build episodes. But the last episodes be worth for the 18 season!

Roselynn Finch said...

I honestly don't watch SVU live anymore. Between Noah, Brian being back (again) and the thinly veiled political attacks, SVU is trash. And for anyone who wants to ask why I am still here, it's to mourn for what SVU once was.

Draven Long said...

I thought this episode was a disappointment to the season. It was all very bland, especially the opening scene, which was surprisingly extremely short. At the half hour mark it felt like it should've ended.

I was also disappointed by Broome Shields' appearance. Not only because her character will be a nuisance, but also because she was billed as this huge guest star and appeared at the VERY end for TWO lines and less than fifteen seconds. I am excited to see what this storyline will continue to offer.

I hope this won't be the case, but Wednesday's new episode looks just as bland.

Unknown said...

Does anyone know what Barba scribbled at then end then crumpled it up? It was very dramatic and he seemed to realize something new, but didn't bring it up

Cristina Levine said...

I know this episode has passed but I have been slacking in catching up. I wasn't particularly thrilled about this episode but it was interesting. I'm more concerned with Noah's grandmother coming into the picture. First of all, it's been years and she has no legal base to have the adoption vacated. If she's filing for custody, I don't think she should get it. If anything, I think visitation should be allowed. Second, how extremely inappropriate was it for her to just show up at Olivia's apartment. Who does that? You couldn't wait a little longer to meet Noah and without a lawyer? Just not right.

Michelle McKenzie said...

I have to agree I was disappointed at the episode. I'm wasn't convinced her lawyer didn't tell her to make to the corkscrew incident. I think she was coached. Also not enough evidence to convict.

I also think assault was too light of a charge. If a man had put a woman's vaginal lips off I'm sure 4 years would have been seen as a slap on the wrist.

This was premeditated assault and kidnapping. She should have gotten 10-15 years.

Mister Smith said...

Agreed. The woman should have gotten 10 years in jail. The man should've got probation. They maimed him. Olivia said it doesn't matter that they cut off his manhood opposed to a finger. She's so wrong. It does. I can't think of a worst thing you can do to a man. She was raped but that doesn't mean she can maim a man and still be viewed as a decent person. She's a criminal.

Randomcomment said...

I felt bad for Jason. She what he did was wrong but those ladies maimed him and he suffered. Those girls should have gotten time for what they did. Olivia and the girls then are smiling once the jury finds Jason guilty. The jury showed no sympathy and found him guilty. They should do a follow up to this episode where Jason tries to overturn the conviction and get those girls in jail. At least this episode was accurate with a jury this time. In other episodes, they show juries to be competent and they know what they're doing but in this episode, they got it right and showed that juries are completely stupid and don't know what they're doing. They showed no sympathy for Jason but showed sympathy for those girls who mutilated him. I hope to see a follow up to this episode in the future along with other episodes.