Friday, November 16, 2018

Law & Order SVU “Mea Culpa” Recap & Review


Law & Order SVU “Mea Culpa,” (or as I call it: "Peter Stone - A Series of Unfortunate Events") directed by Mariska Hargitay, is one of those episodes that is sure to give fans plenty to talk about. The episode centered on Stone and a woman that surfaced from his past who accused him of rape. It was a given that he wouldn’t be guilty of such a heinous act, so there was no suspense there. But this meant the drama had to be manufactured elsewhere.

It just so happens that Stone and the SVU are in the middle of a “he said/she said” case, and Stone quickly finds himself in the same predicament. A baseball fan from Chicago, who saw Stone play baseball there, just so happens to spot Stone outside the courthouse and they decide to go for drinks. While there, it just so happens that Stone is approached by yet another woman who slaps him and accuses him of rape during the time he was playing baseball. This is quite a series of coincidences that have lined up to create problems for Stone.

At some point, Stone drinks too much and winds up in Fin’s apartment and sleeping on the sofa. Stone explains to Fin the accusation of rape and strongly denies doing this. (Side note: Ice-T doesn’t drink coffee but at least Fin apparently has a coffee maker in his apartment.)  Rather than let sleeping dogs lie, Stone wants Fin to help him get to the truth. Tracking down a fellow baseball player, Reggie, they find the name of the woman who accused Stone of rape, but Fin hits a wall with Sarah, the accuser. Stone continues to work the original case with Benson. She gives him the “what woman wouldn’t want to go through the trauma of a rape investigation, a trial, just for kicks” speech. As a result, he later confides in her, thus bringing even more problems on himself when he asks her to open an investigation. I find myself yelling “FOOL!” out loud. This is the crux of my problem with this episode. I understand Stone wanting to know the truth but it is obvious that Sarah did not want to dredge up the past to the point of an investigation. Maybe her slapping Stone in the bar was enough closure for her?   I can understand Stone wanting to get at the truth to clear his own conscience and his name, but I am not sure that he and Benson thought this fully through, as their actions had consequences.

We also hear a few times about what is SVU’s job: Stone tells Benson it is her job to believe the victim, and later, Carisi tells Rollins that it is their job to believe survivors. It sounds to me that the writers of this episode are speaking to the viewers here, trying to emphasize how this fictional SVU works. In my opinion, I always saw the SVU as advocates for victims, but in the earlier years of SVU, they usually looked at each case with an objective lens. I don’t think this happens anymore; in fact, Carisi seems guilty about believing Stone. This is one of those cases where maybe Benson should have looked at this case with an open mind,  and suggest that as Sarah didn’t want to pursue the issue that Stone should let it go. There is believing the victim, but there also needs to be a highly credible story or evidence. Clearly neither Stone nor Sarah can recall everything that happened that night, and in those cases, whom does one believe when there is no evidence and completely opposite stories? Would Peter Stone even take a rape case like this if it didn’t involve himself?  If the victim, who is of the age of consent, says to drop the matter, should this stop SVU from investigating further?

When Benson decides to investigate the matter with Sarah  (why it couldn’t be Carisi doing the questioning I don’t know),  Sarah’s husband Gary just so happens to come home unexpectedly. Benson can’t think fast enough for a cover story for Sarah, so Sarah is basically forced to spill the beans to Gary. He decides to press charges. Can someone with real life legal experience explain to me how a person can press charges, on behalf of another, for a crime committed against another person? Sarah probably went along with it to keep the peace with her husband but ultimately isn’t it her decision? This whole mess would not have happened had Benson either decided to meet with Sarah in a neutral spot or come up quickly with a cover story when her husband entered so Sarah had some time to decide whether to tell him or not.

But wait, there's more! The situation gets uglier when Gary confronts Stone in a bar and holds him hostage at gunpoint.  (Here is the drama they had to manufacture.)   Benson arrives on the scene. Why would SVU be called for a hostage situation and how did she get there so quickly? She notices Sarah and their daughter are standing nearby – wow, these people found out what was happening and can move around the city with lightning speed – and Benson announces to the borough commander that this is her case and she takes over. Benson facilitates Gary letting Stone go, she’s the hero!

Later, Benson wonders if Sarah and Gary’s daughter may not be Gary’s, as the timing is right and Stone wasn’t the only one there that fateful night. She tricks Reggie into agreeing to lie for Stone. She uses his willingness for perjury and a potential DNA test on Sarah’s daughter to put a squeeze Reggie and get him to implicate himself. She arrests him and Benson is the hero AGAIN! (Note: the daughter WAS Gary’s.)    Did Benson go at it alone with Reggie?  No one else seemed to be there to back her up during her questioning and  his arrest.  That is risky on many levels.  He could flee or he could have denied admitting anything to her.   Seeing that she works with Stone, Reggie could have claimed she set him up and or lied about his admission as she has a conflict of interest.

If anything, this experience may make Stone even more reluctant to take on a "he said/she said" case, and maybe even STOP DRINKING.

When we weren’t seeing Benson save the day, we also discover that Al has asked Rollins to move in with him (not marry him) and she’s thinking about it. Carisi touches Rollin’s pregnant belly -  yes I know they are friends - and this could be considered inappropriate behavior for the workplace. And yes, we did see  the inside of Fin's apartment but it's not the first or only time as some have reported or implied.

By the way, this was Peter Scanavino’s 100th episode as Sonny Carisi, and his 101st with the series. (He appeared as another character in “Monster’s Legacy” in 2013.)  It would be wonderful to give this talented man a more substantial story line.  I've liked his character from day one and wish that they'd work harder  to showcase Peter.


Here is the recap:

Stone is at a bail hearing, and gets remand for the defendant. Afterwards, he and Carisi speak with the victim, Alicia, and after she leaves, Carisi is surprised that Stone got a remand on a “he said/she said.” Carisi suggests they get a beer but Stone passes, saying he is trying to slow it down. After they part ways, Stone heads to a food cart and is recognized by a woman who knows he pitched for the Cubs. She is excited, saying her dad took her to every game. She has to call her dad, then suggests they go for a drink. He agrees, and hands the hot dog back to the vendor, telling her he knows a place around the corner.

Meanwhile, Rollins is in an expensive, fancy restaurant with Dr. Al Pollack. She comments on the truffle sauce and they talk about food they ate in Georgia. They talk about the selections on the dessert menu and he calls over the waiter and asks for one of every dessert on the menu and coffee (“decaf for the lady”). She says a girl can get used to this. He comments he has something to ask her, adding “a commitment I have never made before." He places what looks like a ring box on the table and Rollins looks pleasantly surprised, and says when she said he was happy…he asks her to hear him out. She opens the box and sees a key, and he asks her to move in with him. She smiles.

Stone and the woman are in the bar and he gets up to get another drink. While he is at the bar, a blonde woman walks up to him, stunned, and asks what he is doing in New York. She comments that he doesn’t remember him, and when he says he doesn’t, she slaps him. She said, “You raped me, you son of a bitch.” Stone is stunned.


The next morning, Stone wakes up, looking blurry-eyed at Fin, who is reaching out to him with a cup of coffee and saying good morning. Stone had been sleeping on the couch in Fin’s apartment. Stone thanks him for the coffee and comments Fin has a nice place. Fin asks if he even remembers how he got there. Stone replies barely, he must have been in bad shape. Fin tells Stone he was messed up, and asks what happened last night. Stone asks what did he say, and Fin says that Stone said he was accused of rape. Stone explains he ran into a woman that he didn’t recognize at first. She looked at him like she’d seen a ghost, and then she hit him and accused him of assaulting her. Fin asks, “Did you?” and Stone testily replies no. He adds that twelve years ago, there was a late season game against the Mets. A few of the guys decided to go to the bar after. There was this woman there – the one that slapped him – he was drunk, they all were. A few of them decided to go back to his hotel room and things got a little crazy. He remembers he and she were going at it hot and heavy and he woke up, in his bed, alone. Everyone was gone. He called her the next day and she said, “Try to talk to me again and I’m going to the police.” Fin asks if she did, and Stone explains he was never contacted. Fin confirms that Stone is telling him that he was drinking and he was acting crazy, asking if Stone is sure that this is all that happened and he’s not lying to him? Fin emphatically adds “Don’t lie to me man, tell me the truth.” Stone insists he is telling the truth, he is not lying to him. He might not remember everything, but he knows he didn’t rape anyone. He says he needs to talk to her and find out what is going on.

At the SVU, Benson speaks with Alicia about her statements, who still can’t remember much about that night. They know from her blood alcohol content she was not able to give consent. Bensons says if she recalls anything more to give them a call. After she leaves, Benson tells Rollins to have TARU go over any security footage from her apartment that shows she was incapacitated.

At the Drag Bunt Bar on Friday, November 9, Stone arrives with Fin and meets with a friend, Reggie Gregg. Fin introduces himself. Stone asks if Reggie remembers August 2006, saying he had a no-hitter going until Reggie stepped up to the plate. Fin explains they are trying to locate a blonde woman, named Sarah, who came to the bar afterward. There was another woman with her with big brown eyes and they went back to the hotel room. Reggie says he remembers everything. Reggie shows him a photo of the woman with the big brown eyes, Wanda, and says he married her and they have two kids. Fin asks if she is still in contact with Sarah.

Later, Fin shows Stone a photo of Sarah Kent who lives in Bushwick, and Stone is sure that is her. Fin asks Stone if he is sure he wants him to talk to her, and Stone is; whatever she thinks she did, she is wrong. He asks Fin not to tell Benson…yet.

At the Kent residence in Bushwick, Brooklyn on Friday, November 9, Fin speaks with Sarah and when he asks if she knows Peter Stone, she looks concerned. A man calls out and asks who is it, and she says it is a Jehovah’s Witness. She steps outside and says she knows Stone and doesn’t ever want to hear that name again. She goes inside and shuts the door. Fin looks into a window and sees Sarah sit down in the kitchen with her husband and child.

Back at SVU in the break room, Carisi comments he is going to the deli but sees Rollins eating leftover steak. She comments Al over-orders. She says he asked her to move in with him. Carisi comments he hopes she told him no, and she said she will think about it. Carisi asks that she trusts him now, after he lied to her? She doesn’t know what she wants, but she doesn’t want her and this new baby, and Jesse and Frannie all crammed into her tiny apartment. Carisi asks if he is going to marry her and Rollins says no, if she wanted the “why buy the cow” speech she would call her mother. Carisi says she deserves to be happy and taken care of, and Rollins argues that people can change. He says he will believe it when he sees it, and adds he is going to get her some ginger ale as that steak will give her indigestion.

At the courthouse with Benson and Stone, Alicia asks when does she testify, and Stone explains soon, and she will be great. Benson states they have a room where she can wait in, and Carmen leads her there. Benson asks Stone if he prepped her testimony, and he replies “Backwards and forwards.” Benson wonders if she will do alright on the stand, and Stone hopes so; there is a lot she doesn’t remember and the defense will go after her hard. Benson asks what about a plea, and he explains they already tried to get the case dismissed, alleging the defendant was too drunk to consent. Benson comments, “And she raped him. So what, she’s making this all up? Because what woman wouldn’t want to go through the trauma of a rape investigation, a trial, just for kicks.” They glare at each other and Benson says, “He’s guilty, Peter.” He looks at her uncomfortably and Benson asks if he is okay. He pauses and says yeah, he is fine, just trouble sleeping.

At Supreme Court Part 33 on Tuesday, November 13, Alicia testifies about her assault. She does not recall the assault itself, and the defendant, Roger Madden, pipes up and is admonished by the judge. She says she would have never consented to sex. The defense cross examines and paints Alicia in a bad light, and questions that she may not remember that she consented. She gets upset says she is here because if she can face the man who raped her, and if she can get justice, she can get her life back. Stone looks reflective.

Later, Stone shows up at Benson’s apartment and he explains he has been accused of sexual assault. Benson looks shocked, and he explains it was 12 years ago, he was drunk. He knows in his bones, heart, and soul that he did not rape this woman. Benson comments the woman said he did, asking why. He doesn’t know, but no matter how drunk he was, that is not who he is. He swears to god he did not do this. He asks if she believes him, and he says she does, but it is not that simple. He comments it is because it is her job to believe her, and she replies it is her job to hear her side of the story, to find out the truth. If he wants someone to make this go away, he came to the wrong person. He insists he is not asking her to make this go away, he wants the truth too. He is not asking for absolution, he is asking her to open an investigation. Benson nods.

Back in the SVU break room, Fin comments to Rollins and Carisi that the way things are now, they are now looking through their past with a whole new prism. Carisi defends Stone and Fin comments they were all young and stupid. Rollins thinks age has nothing to do with it. The all argue whether Stone did it, Carisi saying no chance. Rollins thinks this sucks, and Carisi says a busload of nuns could say Stone was in Albuquerque at the time of the rape and still in the back of his mind he would wonder, did he, saying that is what sucks. Fin says, “And we know it.”

Meanwhile, Benson approaches Sarah outside her home, and when Sarah balks, Benson says a crime has been reported and she has to investigate it. She explains Stone asked her to investigate. Sarah asks that this isn’t going away, and Benson nods. Sarah invites Benson inside. She explains what happened that night, and she explains she doesn’t remember and asks Benson to drop it. Sarah’s husband, Gary, comes home unexpectedly and Sarah explains it is about her and she is not going to press charges. Benson explains Sarah may have been sexually assaulted. Gary asks if she knows who did it, and he says they will do whatever it takes to put the son of a bitch in jail forever.

At SVU, Carisi is in the locker room when Rollins enters and says Benson is bringing in Sarah Kent. Carisi looks upset and says that it is their job to believe survivors and start from there but on this one, he believes Stone. Rollins says he is allowed to feel that way, but he doesn’t think he is. She comments that he may be right about moving in with Al, it is not her style, mentioning his Japanese toilet. He tells her not to listen to her, do what is right for her and her children, touching her pregnant belly, adding the Japanese toilets are pretty spectacular. They see Benson leading in Sarah and Gary.

Inside, Sarah explains to Benson and Rollins that her husband was on a trip when it happened. She says she and Stone were having fun and flirting and decided to go to his hotel. She recalls kissing him but then says he became different, he was not as nice. One of the guys – she does not recall who – was on the bed and thinks she passed out. She woke up naked and knows she had sex and Stone was on the bed and she did not say yes. She insists she did not want to have sex and would never do that to Gary. She and her husband are happy now.

Meanwhile, Carisi and Gary talk and Gary laments that Sarah never told her. He says he was golfing at the time and he can never forgive himself. Gary says she would never cheat on him.

At Stone’s office in the hall, Fin asks Benson if she is okay and when she says nothing, he asks if she wants him to do it. She asks, “Like it’s any easier for you?” They enter Stone's office and Benson tells Stone that Sarah said he raped her and the husband wants to press charges. Benson says her story is credible, and he asks what about his story; he knows he didn’t rape anybody. Benson says there were two people in that room and she wasn’t there. Stone comments that Benson said she believed him, and Fin gives a look to Benson. She replies that she also believes her and if he was anyone else they wouldn’t be having this conversation. Stone testily says, “So that’s it. You just gonna arrest me now?” Benson looks to Fin and then tells Stone she has to. Fin asks if he wants to call a lawyer, and Stone glares and says he is a lawyer. Benson asks how he wants to do this, and Stone gets up, grabs his jacket, and storms past them and leaves his office. They follow.

At SVU, Carisi tells Benson that Stone has been released ROR. She’s heard. Carisi asks if Sarah will testify and Benson says if she wants to stay married she is. Benson says she hates every minute of this too but they don’t get to pick and choose who they investigate. Carisi comments that Stone denies this and they owe him the benefit of the doubt, and Benson counters what do they owe Sarah? What Sarah describes was assault – not reporting, guilt, her marriage falling apart. Carisi questions she said her marriage was falling apart, and when Benson said Sarah said they were going through a rough patch, Carisi says the husband told him they were madly in love. Benson begins to wonder.


Meanwhile, Stone is in a bar and finds himself sitting next to Gary, who introduces himself. Stone says he didn’t know she was married and says he didn’t do anything to his wife. Gary is getting agitated, saying Stone was a ball player and that’s what they do. Stone tries to excuse himself and Gary says the least he can go is have a drink with him. Stone agrees, and Gary talks about how he and Sarah met. Stone does not look comfortable as Gary keeps going on about his wife and how Stone took her. The bartender also looks worried and intervenes. Gary leaps up and screams that Stone played for the Cubs and when Stone says nobody cares, Gary shouts HE cares. He screams Stone raped his wife. The bartender says this is enough, and when Stone says he is going to go, Gary pulls out a gun and orders Stone to sit down and shut up. Stone complies and Gary tells everyone else to get out, saying he and the guy who raped is wife are going to have a heart to heart. As Gary goes on, Stone says he may be a dick but he is not a rapist. Gary argues with Stone that his wife didn’t hop into bed of her own free will and Stone says he doesn’t remember. Gary continue to argue with Stone and he cries and says his wife is a goddess. Stone tells him to be smart and let the justice system work this out, but Gary says it is too late for justice, he wants revenge. He wants a world where his little girl feels safe and without guys like him. A bar phone rings and Stone says that is probably the cops. Stone ties to talk Gary down and lets Stone answer the phone.

Benson has arrived on the scene and hears what is going on, Sarah has also arrived and Benson allows them to come through. Benson takes them to the borough commander and she introduces herself, saying this is her case, and explains who Sarah is. Benson convinces the commander to let Sarah speak with Gary and puts her on the phone.


Meanwhile, inside, Gary tells Stone to answer the phone and he does so and hands it to Gary. Sarah says she loves him and they will get through this and begs him not to hurt anybody. She puts her daughter on the line as well,  who speaks to her father and then hands the phone back to Sarah. Gary tells her he has to go and orders Stone to hang up the phone. Sarah tells Benson he hung up. Gary is upset Sarah brought Emma and Stone tries to use this to diffuse the situation. Gary leaves the bar with his hands up. The police take him away and Stone comes out with the gun, saying nothing happened, and places it on the ground. Benson takes a deep breath.

Back at SVU, a pensive Benson is at her desk when Fin enters, saying he spoke with the 2-7 and heard the gun is registered to someone on Gary’s construction crew and it was not loaded. Benson comments that Stone didn’t know that, and he is not pressing charges. When Benson says he is a good guy, Fin adds he could be headed to prison for rape 1. Benson reminds him Stone asked him to investigate. Carisi enters and says the Department of Health is on line 1. Benson picks up the phone and says that was fast, asking what date Emma Kent was born.

Later, Benson is in Sarah’s home looking at a wedding picture and Benson brings up Emma’s birth date – 8 months after she was assaulted. Sarah explains they were trying so hard to have a baby and were in a bad place. They were all partying that night, and she, Wanda, and Reggie went back to Stone’s hotel room. Wanda went home and she woke up in bed in the hotel room with Stone and her clothes were off. She wanted that night to disappear and six weeks later she had a positive pregnancy test. She sobs and says she did not have a DNA test, she loves Gary so much and he wanted a baby so bad she could not tell him about that night. She is sure it was Stone, he was the only one in the room when she woke up and it had to be him.

Later, in a restaurant, Benson speaks with Reggie who is shocked at Stone possibly going to prison. Benson says Sarah tells a convincing story and when Reggie questions if that is enough, she says it is. It could be different if somebody – like Reggie – says she consented. He says she wants him to commit perjury, and Benson counters that she knows those guys cover for each other, the road trips and what the wives and girlfriends done know. She states all he has to say is he heard Sarah consent before he left the hotel room and that way Stone would have a fighting chance. She adds that unfortunately in this day and age, without his fib, he is going to lose. She tells him to think of all the ball players who covered for him over his entire career. He seems to agree and she says that is a start. She says all they have to do is wait for the DNA test, saying she hopes that Stone is not the father of Sarah’s daughter. She comments the timing is spot on; her husband couldn’t get her pregnant. She gives him a look and he finally gets it. He sits back and says, “You know.” She replies she knows what a guy who is willing to commit perjury in a rape case thinks about women. She asks that Stone passed out, didn’t he? Reggie replies no, Sarah was all over HIM, and he did not rape her either. Benson leans in and tells him Sarah was so drunk she didn’t know what was going on, what do you call that? She orders him to stand up and turn around, and she cuffs him and says he is under arrest for rape in the first degree.


Later, Stone is overlooking the city skyline from the shoreline, and Benson approaches, saying Reggie is taking a deal with the DA’s office. The charges against Stone have been dropped. He comments that doesn’t let him off the hook; he took Sarah to his hotel room and his friend assaulted her. Benson assure him he couldn’t have known. Benson explains that the DNA test says Gary is the father although Sarah has been terrified all these years. She thought Stone was the father. He steps away and Benson says she is sorry for everything he went through and is sorry it seemed like she doubted him. He tells her not to be, that is why he works with her. He adds when all the noise was coming at him, there was a moment he doubted himself. He walks away and sighs, leaving Benson standing by the shoreline as we fade to black.

Cast:
Mariska Hargitay - Lieutenant Olivia Benson
Ice-T - Sergeant Odafin “Fin” Tutuola
Kelli Giddish - Detective Amanda Rollins
Peter Scanavino - Detective Dominick “Sonny” Carisi, Jr.
Philip Winchester – ADA Peter Stone

Guest stars:
George Newbern - Dr. Al Pollack
Alexandra Breckenridge - Sarah Kent
Kevin Kane - Gary Kent
Tessa Albertson – Alicia Beck
Austin Peck - Reggie Gregg
Meredith Holsman –
Shawn Parsons - Roger Madden
Eddie Hargitay - Eddie Montero
Inga Schlingman – Leanne Rose
Mary Hodges – Judge Anita Wright
Lauren Noble – Carmen
Cedric D. Cannon – Borough Commander Ray Bryant
Nathaniel Floyd Peart – Bartender
Jacopo Rampini – Waiter
Carly Connors – Emma Kent





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26 comments:

Jessica Norick said...

I wanted Stone to be guilty. I don't like him. I wish they'd bring back one of the lady DAs.

Douglas Trapasso said...

It's too bad we couldn't get a cameo from Barba or Cabot in this one. It would have been perfectly logical for Benson to reach out for guidance/advice from these past characters who don't have any conflict of interest in the case.

Unknown said...

Totally agree, more Carisi, less Benson

Laurie F said...

I want SVU to do well. I do. It's hard to sit back and not say anything when there is an episode that tries so hard and goes so wrong. This show can't decide if it wants to be a crime show or a soap opera. I'm not a big fan of all the personal drama. Bits here and there work for me but this episode was overkill. I don't want to hear any more of Peter Stone's backstory. We get it, he's from Chicago, he played baseball, and he drinks to much. Enough already! Why did we need this as a Stone story to begin with. I think having it happen to Carisi would have been more interesting and completely out of character as we know Carisi is not prone to being drunk. It would have been interesting to see Stone try to prosecute Carisi and be at odds with Benson. ANYTHING, just give Carisi a story!

The whole episode was a string of contrivances.

Mariska directed this episode and I was surprised that even with her effort in directing she still managed to make herself the hero and gave herself the prime screen time. Can't she share screen time with anyone else?

I saw the ratings. Horrible. This could be SVU's last season.

Erica Scott said...

Oh, dear. I liked it...

Unknown said...

I think this blog would be much better if the 'comments' section on all these articles was removed.

Chris Zimmer said...

@Brian Hoyle - I think interesting feedback comes in the comments. Not everyone has the same take on an episode and I always like hearing the opinions of others. If the comments bother you, just don't read them!

Carrie Long said...

Laurie, many pepole (including myself) record the show on DVR because it now comes on too late for most of us to watch live. I check in with DVR viewers, and it has brought every episode this season into a total of at least 7.5 million viewers. I personally think that's more than enough for SVU to hit the record Season 21.

About the episode...quick summary. Benson Benson Benson. I'm really quite sick of it. I knew Stone was not guilty, and I think--let's get real, I HOPE to GOD--that the writers are slowly going to turn Rollins and Carisi into a thing, which I have wanted since Season 17.

Speaking of Carisi, congratulations Peter on 100 consecutive episodes of SVU! Here's to 100 more!

Next week's episode doesn't sound like it should be an SVU case, in my opinion.

SVUFAN#1 said...

Sigh...

I'm just not digging this season so far. With the exception of possibly "Revenge" none of the episodes have really captured my interest. But the promo for the next episode looks interesting, and it will feature Wallace Shawn, who is one of my favorite actors, so, fingers crossed.

For this episode, my biggest issue was that this woman had no conclusive proof that Peter raped her. All she knew was that prior to the rape, he was "nice" and after the rape he was gone. I get why she would think he did it, but his reputation is now seriously damaged just because she couldn't consider the possibility that another one of his friends might have done it. She wouldn't even hear Peter out. I don't get why Peter was arrested. There was no memory of the witness of her and Peter having sex (and what she did remember before was him being nice to her), there was no DNA or forensics, and there were no witnesses. What exactly did they have on him other than an "instinctual" accusation, that made them arrest Peter.

I felt like this episode was a way to make the viewers warm up to Peter, but he still has the same problem. There is nothing that makes him unique, nothing that makes hims stand out. Their trying to make crazy storylines (ex. Pamela's death, the drinking and prostitutes, now this rape) shape Peter's character, but he has no character to begin with. Casey, Alex, and Barba all had things that made them unique (ex. Barba's sassiness and clothing, and the fight, wit, and savageness of Alex and Casey).

As far as Rollins, I love her character, but I am getting very tired of this relationship with her and the doctor. Is this actually going to lead to anything exciting, or is it just personal drama. I'm getting impatient. And also, by god, make rollins and carisi happen. It's been four years since they met!

On the plus side, Olivia didn't annoy me as much in this episode, mostly because her action was largely focused on aspects other then comforting victims and interrogation. And the times she did play the "detective role" it was in the squad room, which makes more since as that's where she SHOULD be as the lieutenant.

Fin needs to have more action. Period. If they won't bring back the old cast give fin more lines.

Unknown said...

My biggest complaint regarding this episode - before even seeing it - is that last weeks episode ended with an accused rapist pleading his innocence and telling Stone "wait till it happens to you" and then it does? Why couldn't they have waited a few weeks at the very least?

TruthDetective said...

Nice to see Austin Peck again.

Sharon said...

I liked Laurie Fanat's suggestion on how the episode could have been more compelling with a focus on Carisi. And many of your readers have posted interesting ideas about story angles for Rollins and Fin ("please, no more Noah!" etc) I really think the readers of this blog are more imaginative than the SVU writing staff!

And yes, a good point made that Peter Stone didn't have much of a character to begin with. Neither did his dad, Ben Stone, on the mothership, L&O.

Unknown said...

I hope the show never ends. I like all the characters, especially Bensen.

Unknown said...

For some reason I dont want rollins and carisi to happen anymore. He deserves better. He is always looking after her and she ignores him for terrible guys. He doesnt need to white knight for her anymore.

Domenico said...

The premise of this episode intrugued me and moved along with promise until the whole gun at the bar climax. A good story got side swiped by a gimmicky dramatic piece of easy over kill.

That aside, my huge beef with SVU is the underutilization of Sonny. When he was introduced to the show, I hated him but, much to my surprise, he has evolved intothe most interesting member of the team. He’s the under appreciated conscious of the show. He has such potential for some unique story arcs and further character development. Make him gay or expand on his family life or relationship with Rollins. So much can be done and Nick S. has the range to take Sonny somewhere good yet the writers ignore him to focus on Rollins, Stone and the grating Noah.

DUKEBIGS said...

No way....the comments are the important. They serve to confirm or challenge the authors opinion which keeps me vested. This site with the comments is the only reason I still watch the show.

Sonny Honey said...

Chris Z - your recap & review are always spot on & thanks for the info on Peter Scanavino's 100th episode as Sonny. I, too, am a huge fan of his and agree with other fans that his character (and acting skills) are under-utilized. With that said, I do believe the writers need to create a strong storyline for Carisi, maybe even with a girlfriend... past or current, to add some spice to his role. But I do not agree with those looking for a romance between Carisi & Rollins. Rollins has already hooked up with two squad characters in the past, has 2 babies with 2 different fathers AND a mess of a family from Atlanta. Carisi deserves way better. I concur with the posters who want more screen time for Carisi and less of Benson. Scanavino in those three piece suits.... mmmm, mmmm, mmmmm ;~)

Unknown said...

like several others have said PLEASE DO NOT put nice guy Carisi with "loosey goosey" Amanda - he deserves so much better than a girl who WILLING slept with her MARRIED Commanding Office in Atlanta to keep her sister out of jail, then came to New York and immediately zeroed in on MARRIED Nick, didn't matter that Nick's wife was serving her country overseas or that he had a child, NOT to little Amanda - she set her sights on him although that still didn't stop her from having a "weekend" stand with the first child's baby daddy(Declan I believe was his last name). Then Nick left to be with his children in California and Amanda started to zero in on Carisi looking for a surrogate Father for her first child, but then ignored him and went after the wealthy doctor - fine let him and her have each other and get Carisi a NICE gal to have a romance with.

Sonny Honey said...

Chris Z. - I am curious as to your thoughts (and that of others) as to how the writers might work in - if at all - Carisi passing the NY bar exam. I admit I miss the bantering back & forth between Carisi & Barba when Carisi was studying law part time @ night, but it seems as though once Barba left the show the storyline with Carisi passing the bar left with him. I'm wondering why the writers never came up with an episode occurring on campus when Carisi was attending class; or even a fellow student approaching him about an issue that develops into an SVU case? Any thoughts on how they might approach this since they made it official that he passed the bar? I don't know why they never developed something further with his character...?

@Unknown above - LOL; perfect description of Rollins. Seems like she gets a 'free pass' on everything you described with Boss Benson. I wonder how Cragen would have handled these issues with her.

No new episode this week with the holiday on Thursday - wishing Chris Z. and all L&O:SVU watchers, readers & posters a safe & happy Thanksgiving!

Chris Zimmer said...

Carisi decided to back away from being an ADA in Heartfelt Passages - from my recap “He asks Carisi if he still wants to be an ADA, and Carisi explains that he has been thinking about it. Barba heard there was an opening in Brooklyn, but Carisi says he took an oath to protect and serve and he does not want to leave – not now anyway. After what happened to Dodds, it doesn’t fell right, Barba comments that he gets it, saying in the end, we are all just passing through.” In my opinion, I think this gave them the excuse to back away from this story line, as I think they like Carisi more as a detective. Personally I don’t see them having a reason to have Carisi go back to wanting to be an ADA, especially now with his much they seem to have invested in Peter Stone! At least they’ve had Carisi give Stone and the others his legal advice (wink)

https://allthingslawandorder.blogspot.com/2016/05/law-order-svu-heartfelt-passages-recap.html

RJM60 said...

I haven't watched the show in a while but I recorded this episode in case I need something to watch and now I know why I don't watch it anymore the whole premise is ridiculous at the very beginning the girl says there was someone else in the room but she only remembers waking up with one guy well a real cop would have said wait a minute when you went when you went to sleep. Two guys in the room and look at the other guy they never do it's it's bullshit on top of that it's a twelve-year-old case the statute is run and she wasn't even if you had five years like I think New York allows sometimes they won't even charge anybody it's ridiculous the show really sucks and I probably won't watch anymore like I haven't watched it for the past 5 years

WestVirginiaRebel said...

This episode sort of undermines the entire "believe the victims" mentality esp. as Stone was obviously not guilty. But he's still not the smartest DA character they've ever had; he doesn't seem to be learning from his mistakes which could get worse as time goes on (or at least they would in real life.)

As for Rollins, it sounds more like she's looking for a "sugar daddy" than a father to her kids. She is NOT a good woman & Carisi needs to step away from her, soon. And yeah Benson keeps doing things and taking the lead in situations where she wouldn't be able to in real life. Put Finn in charge, please!

EchoInTheSilence said...

Can someone with real life legal experience explain to me how a person can press charges, on behalf of another, for a crime committed against another person? Sarah probably went along with it to keep the peace with her husband but ultimately isn’t it her decision?

This one was explained to me by someone who works in the system: it's not Gary's decision, but it's not Sarah's either. The victim can choose whether to take the matter to the police (assuming they're not already involved) and whether they want to cooperate with the investigation/testify, but it's ultimately the prosecutor who decides whether or not charges will be brought against any given individual. The idea that civilians can decide whether or not to "press charges" against an assailant is a myth.

dttruman said...

Do the writers come up with a common story line and a course of events with maybe a little dialogue? Is it then put before Hargitay and she then decides if a certain situation or dialogue doesn't make her look sensitive enough or heroic enough? Will she decide if an episode is suppose to an actual investigation or if it's one of her bias political statements veiled in a superficial one.

John Worthington said...

Mariska Hargitay is the ultimate hypocrite. She masquerades as an advocate for survivors, urging people to believe them, and then turns around and directs a Law and Order episode in which a woman falsely accuses a man of rape. What exactly is her motive?

This episode honestly sounds like it came straight from an MRA's deranged imagination. A woman falsely accuses a man of rape, everyone magically believes the woman and assumes the man is guilty, an arrest is made based on the woman's word alone and the poor innocent man's life is ruined.

In real life, the majority of rape victims stay quiet. Only in the most extreme cases do the victims speak up, and like clockwork, they are disbelieved by their friends and dismissed by the police (thanks to the perception of rape victims as liars, which SVU's "feminist" writers have so happily reinforced time and time again).

I just read an article detailing how the NYPD routinely pressures victims to sign "withdrawal forms" (sometimes while they are still in the emergency room) in order to close their cases. When will this reality and the police's horrific treatment of victims be reflected on the show?

This show does far more harm than good, teaching viewers that law enforcement officials believe women by default and prosecute innocent men, when the reality is just the reverse.

Kiran said...

"I can understand Stone wanting to get at the truth to clear his own conscience and his name, but I am not sure that he and Benson thought this fully through, as their actions had consequences."

I would say yes and no to this. Getting to the truth for his own sake was definitely a part of his motivation, but Stone's decision and insistence on pursuing an investigation speaks to his character: for Stone, the law is the law and you do what needs to be done to uphold the law. Sarah not wanting to dredge up the past doesn't factor into it. The way Stone sees it, a crime was committed, the law was broken, and that needs to be addressed, regardless of your personal feelings about it. That doesn't mean Peter doesn't struggle with this decision. You see his conflict when Finn and Olivia come to arrest him and you see his vulnerability. But Peter always chooses his steadfastness to the law. It's a defining trait of his character and this is established in his very first episode on SVU, "Undiscovered Country". It's one of the things I love about Peter Stone, even though it can make him seem difficult sometimes, but honestly, we need that. The show's already got Benson as the passionate, empathetic voice of the victims. Stone's objectivity and stalwart rationality when it comes to the law will balance that out. But the writers have been watering this aspect of Stone's characterisation down - which is why he sometimes feels like a blank canvas: when they strip him of his perspective, of his own drive, he just becomes a pawn in Benson's plot. It dishonours the character and it's a disservice to the actor because that's not how Winchester has been playing Peter Stone since the character's initial conception on Chicago Justice. And it's a missed opportunity! Stone and Benson's differing approaches to the pursuit of justice could be a great pivot on which to explore some of the complex issues the show touches on and our understanding of the human condition.