Thursday, April 19, 2018

Law & Order SVU “Sunk Cost Fallacy” Recap & Review

Law & Order SVU “Sunk Cost Fallacy” brought Alexandra Cabot back, but she’s not doing legal work. She’s helping people escape situations where they are being abused and she’s finding very creative ways of doing it. NBC released an episode preview a week before the episode aired where we saw Benson finding out this news, which essentially spoiled about the first half of the episode. Benson thinks what Cabot is doing is against the law and Cabot doesn’t really care as she believes she is protecting these women. It’s a quick moving episode with compelling dialog and a nice balance of SVU work and legal action. It leaves us with unanswered questions, though: Will Cabot be charged as an accomplice to kidnapping on this case or in others? Was the car accident that killed Jules arranged by Nick and who investigating this? What will happen with Nick’s lawsuit for $50 million (which would not have happened had Stone arrested him based on evidence, not Nick’s “attitude”)?

The episode marked a total shift in Alexandra Cabot’s focus, who went from a crusader for justice to a vigilante for abused women. I think I liked the hero for justice version of Cabot better, as this new Cabot seems a little too angry and unhinged for me. Benson, of course, has become even more rigid when it comes to the law. Oddly, that is something that she should have kept in mind in Nick’s case and she should have encouraged Stone NOT to arrest Nick as they had NO BODIES and NO EVIDENCE a murder took place. Both Benson and Stone reacted based on emotion. Benson is just as biased as Cabot, only on a different side of the fence.

Why, with all the hype on Cabot’s return that we had to open with Peter Stone having to deal with a problem with his sister is beyond me (more on this later).

Nick Hunter, along with his elderly helicopter mom, are at a party at his home when Nick gets a phone call that seems to be from his wife Jules, but it is from someone who appears to have abducted them who says he will kill Jules and their daughter Ruby. The SVU are called in and quickly Jules’ car is located and there is evidence they had tire trouble and there is blood in the car. They find her phone and purse nearby but cash and credits cards are gone. It seems to confirm the abduction. As the SVU continues to investigate, the focus turns to Nick, who is a cheating abuser “scumbag”, who could be behind this. Stone makes the decision to charge Nick with murder, despite the fact there are no bodies and no evidence of murder, thinking some time in Rikers should make him talk. (Nick gets beaten up while there.)

The detectives see Jules’ car on mall surveillance video but it was driven there a by man who threw away Jules’ purse in a trash bin. The SVU realizes this man had the tire temporarily repaired and find the store nearby where he bought tire sealant. The man used a credit card which tracked to Caleb Pierce. They track Caleb down and follow him to try to located Jules and Ruby. While Benson and Carisi tail Pierce, they see him stopping at a home and picking up another woman and children. Soon after, they see Caleb drop them off in a parking lot where another car waits. Much to Benson’s shock, the woman in that car is former ADA Alexandra Cabot.

An argument ensues when Benson realizes that Cabot is using creative ways – like faking someone’s death – to help women escape from abusive spouses. Benson thinks this is against the law but Cabot blames the assumption that Jules and Ruby have been killed and Nick’s arrest on the cops’ misreading of evidence. Cabot says the law can’t protect these woman but Benson firmly tells her that makes her a criminal.

As the story progresses, Benson hears Jules tell her stories of abuse and even sees one injury – a bad burn – that was cause by Nick throwing hot coffee on her. Later, Cabot continues to explain the situation to Benson and Carisi and that Jules and Ruby will stay in a safe house until they can establish their new IDs. Benson explains she can’t allow Nick to continue to be held or stand trial, and Cabot begs for a little more time to get Jules and Ruby established. Cabot suggests Benson reduce the charges which will buy some time and stresses that Benson would not be breaking the law.

Stone gets the charges reduced and is not happy that Nick made bail. He’s especially angry as Nick is now suing Benson, Stone, the department, the DA’s office, and the city, for $50 million. Nick is claiming false arrest, negligence, intentional affliction of emotional distress, and violation of his civil rights. He made a motion for accelerated discovery which was granted; this means they will be deposed immediately and Benson is first up.

An Friday, April 13, at Biegel Griffen Kimbell, Benson is deposed and Nick’s attorney realizes Ruby and Jules are alive, and Benson has the “deer caught in the headlights” look. Later, Cabot is apoplectic that Benson didn’t lie. Cabot goes off on Benson, saying the “whole truth and nothing but the truth” thing is a “load of crap” to make people think the criminal justice system gives a damn. When Benson wonders what happened to Cabot (I am wondering too), Cabot explains that she opened her eyes wide and saw for 12 years she “was a cog in a holier-than-thou wheel.” As they continue to argue, Cabot says she prefers to avoid the wheel altogether. But Benson stops Jules from leaving with Cabot and explains that Nick knows she is there and Jules will also lose Ruby. Benson tells Jules she must fight for divorce in court and get custody of Ruby and that Cabot will defend her and when they win, she will be free to go anywhere she wants and Benson will help her. NOTE TO BENSON – don’t make promises you know you can’t keep.

On April 16,  they are in family court and Jules tells her story but must admit she never filed any formal complaints. Afterward, Benson asks Carisi to get Jules and Ruby settled at a hotel and Benson has unis assigned there. But while Benson and Cabot discuss the matter at a restaurant, Benson gets a phone call with bad news: the SUV that Carisi was driving was hit by a car that blew through a stop sign and the driver is in the wind, the car was stolen 2 days ago. A shocked Carisi is injured but Jules is dead.

Of course, Cabot is crazed that this happened and thinks Nick got Jules killed. Rollins gives Benson a report stating there were no car skid marks and the other SUV was moving faster than 55 mph. It looks like a hit job and Benson wants to focus on Nick. Cabot wants Benson to put Nick away.

Later, Stone is deposed and says it was his decision to charge Nick with murder, based on his attitude. (Not a good reason, Peter. It should be based on evidence.) Stone meets up with Benson at a bar and Benson explains that Nick has an alibi and he may get away with it. Stone thinks that Nick may get his $50 million but it’s a civil matter and those courts are not quick and the city attorneys know how to delay. When Stone mentions Benson bringing Jules back, she says she did what she needed to do; it’s easier if you take yourself out of the equation.

Sidebar: The episode opened with Stone hearing that his sister is now suffering from tardive dyskinesia as a result of her medications and Stone must make the choice whether to increase or stop her meds. Near the end of the episode, she is taking her meds, so he decided to increase the meds.

At the end of the episode, Benson is meeting with Cabot who is picking up another woman for rescue. Benson hears that Nick has custody of Ruby. Benson says, “And the wheel goes round” to which Cabot notes that is what SHE has been saying. Sherry, Jules’ sister, is fighting for custody. Benson asks if she has a chance and Cabot asks back if she wants to know the truth. Benson tells a story :

Benson: You know, today on the…I was on the subway platform and I saw these two cockroaches and they were pulling at different ends of crust of bread. And then the bread tore and it fell onto the tracks, and neither bug got their dinner.
Cabot: Are you proposing we work together?
Benson: I could never do what you do, Alex.
Cabot: And I can't stop.

They share a long hug and Benson tells Cabot to take care and Cabot walks off and as Benson walks off we fade to black.

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

Guest stars:
Stephanie March - Alexandra Cabot
Richard Kind - Nick's Attorney
Scott Porter – Nick Hunter
Sarah Wilson – Jules Hunter
Olga Merediz – Judge Roberta Martinez
Katie Flahive – Sherry
Brian Keane – Pamela Stone’s Doctor
Joan Porter – Vera Hunter
Kaitlin Mesh – Paisley Adams
Ceasar F. Barajas - Jorge Garcia
Amy Korb – Pamela Stone
Philip Galinsky – Mechanic
Debra Walton – Meredith Scott
Jennifer Brito – Uni
Eddie K. Robinson - CSU Tech
Bret Shuford - Billy
Raelynn Zofia Stueber - Ruby Hunter
Christopher Parker - Caleb Pierce

All Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) Copyright © unless otherwise noted

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

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

Law & Order SVU “The Book of Esther” Promo

Here is the promo for Law & Order SVU “The Book of Esther” which will air on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 9PM ET on NBC.

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

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

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Law & Order SVU “Guardian” Episode Information

Here are the details for a new episode of Law & Order SVU, “Guardian.”

Law & Order SVU “Guardian” Air Date May 9, 2018 (9 PM ET/8C Wednesday NBC)

Fin (Ice T) investigates a man's claim that his sister was gang raped. Also starring Mariska Hargitay, Kelli Giddish, Peter Scanavino and Philip Winchester. Guest starring Rotimi Akinosho, Maul Donte Davis, Rachel Hilson, Big Daddy Kane, George Wallace, Amanda Warren and Kymbali Craig.

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

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

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Law & Order SVU “Sunk Cost Fallacy” Sneak Peeks

Here are preview clips from Law & Order SVU “Sunk Cost Fallacy” which will air on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 9PM ET on NBC. The videos feature feature Mariska Hargitay, Kelli Giddish, Peter Scanavino,  and Stephanie March.

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “Sunk Cost Fallacy” can be found at this link.

Please note: These videos have a limited life and may be removed at any time, so catch them while you can!

SVU 19019Clip1_h264_hd from Chris Zimmer on Vimeo.

SVU 19019Clip2_h264_hd from Chris Zimmer on Vimeo.

SVU 19019Clip3_h264_hd from Chris Zimmer on Vimeo.

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

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

Law & Order SVU “Service” Recap & Review

“Service” wasn’t just an episode about the assault of a prostitute by a member of the military, it was about bias and/or preconceived notions. The story about the prostitute and the military would have sufficed as a stand-alone episode but apparently it needed the twist of a transgender military man, which also could have been a great stand-alone. Running in tandem is personal turmoil for Rollins, who is in a snit at the start, morphing into a full-fledged caustic attitude which affects her objectivity in this case.  Rollins' problem would have made an excellent story on its own as well if we could have watched her relationship issues unfold.  A lot of things were going on here.  On one hand, this made the episode move very quickly; on the other hand, I felt cheated when it came to seeing Rollins' relationship problems explode.

I was more interested in Rollins' issues than rest of the episode so I’ll discuss this first. When Fin and Rollins are at the hospital to speak with the victim - Sky - about her attack (March 22), Rollins has an obvious chip on her shoulder which causes Sky to shut down completely. Later at SVU, while Carisi is able to quickly (almost too quickly) zero in on the hotel where the assault actually occurred, Benson notices that Rollins seems to have a problem, which Rollins quickly denies. Later, and back at SVU, Rollins and Carisi discuss the situation:

Rollins: I’ve been here, what, 7 years, I still don’t get it
Carisi: World’s oldest profession, my friend.
Rollins: I understand why they’re hookers Carisi, I just don’t get why we give a damn. They - they know the risks.
Cariisi: Maybe they don’t have a choice.
Rollins: Everybody’s got a choice. Besides, there are pleny of women out there who need our help - more importantly, want it.

When Sky is at SVU in the interview room, Rollins gets even more pushy and combative, but Benson storms in and tells Rollins that is enough. Sky calls Rolllins a “bitch with a capital C” (as we know you couldn’t say the word she means on network TV). Of course, Benson must be the one to save the day and gets Sky – who admits her real name is Sandy – to explain how she was raped. Carisi, who is watching with Rollins, tells Rollins that Benson “is pretty good at this” (which annoyed me to no end), and Rollins comments, “after I teed it up for her.” Carisi says Rollins was pretty convincing and when Rollins scoffs, Carisi asks if she is okay, and Rollins gives him a look. Rollins seems to work the rest of the case more objectively, that is, until the trail hits a major bump and Sandy comes into SVU, livid. Rollins gets into a shouting match with her and comments that Sandy is upset because she missed a couple days work. Calling her Sky, not Sandy (saying she will always be Sky), Rollins puts down $300 to a stunned Sandy, who gives Rollins a sob story about how she gets up in the morning and thinks she is invisible but when SVU started with her she began to see a piece of someone looking back at her and it felt good. But being humiliated in court made her lose that pride and piece of worth and it is never coming back, throwing the money back at Rollins. Afterward, when Rollins is in the break room – Benson is already there – Benson asks her again what is going on and Rollins doesn’t want to talk about it, saying she is okay and she will get over it. Benson tells her, “Whatever it is, let’s not take it out on Sandy.” TOO LATE!

At the end of the episode, Rollins apologizes to Sandy, confessing that she didn’t like Sandy at first. Rollins admits she was dating a cardiologist and she thought things were going great. He left his credit card statement out and she discovers while she has been working late, “Dr. Al” has been running around with escorts. Rollins says she’s counseled hundreds of women but when it happens to you, you wonder what do they have that you don’t. Sandy explains that guys come to girls like her not because women like Rollins are not lacking something, it’s because the guy IS, and they are never going to find it. While I’m not a huge fan of too much personal drama in SVU, this was one of those situations that begged for an entire episode, or at least to see Rollins relationship and the resulting issues build over a few episodes. Rollins is probably the most uneven, sometimes unsympathetic character on SVU;  I never know what to expect from her week to week. She admits she’s been there 7 years and still doesn’t get it – maybe she’s in the wrong job?

Now, on to the case. When a prostitute is found beaten and dumped on the street, she’s uncooperative at first, forcing the SVU to try to find the location of the actual assault on their own. They find a seedy hotel run by “Grigor” (played by an underutilized Wayne Knight) where Sky was assaulted, then quickly discover Sky has checked herself out of the hospital. To try to track her down, Carisi and Rollins set up a “sting” where they flush out Sky and bring her down to SVU. This is where Rollins “tees up” the interview where Benson gets important information from Sky – now Sandy – that points them to 3 military men (as one of the men left his money clip that had an army insignia).

At the local army base, Fin uses trickery to weasel out some information by stating that that the city has an arrangement with the local army base to open any files to them on any crimes committed off base. (This was a comment worthy of Law & Order’s Detective Fontana who used the “We’re authorized” line to get information.) With Sandy’s help in identifying them, the detectives hone in on 3 men.

But ADA Stone doesn’t think that the information Benson has is enough. She thinks that the ID in a rape case goes a long way, but Stone reminds her she has no semen, hair samples, and they have fingerprints from a hotel room where there are many others. Stone says he hates to be a hard ass but they need corroboration and if they want to nail one of the guys, one of the others has to rat. I cheer quietly that Stone has stood up to Benson, wanting more hard-ass Stone (that sounds weird, sorry).

Rollins is able to turn the youngest, inexperienced guy – Billy, on the other two – Staff Sergeant Tyler Jones and Jim Preston – and those two arrested and arraigned, held on $50,000 bail. Trial commences on April 2 and the defense brings out that Sandy expects some brutality in her job which Sandy is able to negotiate. But things turn bad when Billy admits he has sex with Sandy but states they all left after and went back to base. PROBLEM! Stone and Benson try to talk him out of his change in story but Billy would rather be a criminal than a traitor. Benson is appalled at this but Stone thinks that they can get to Jim next.

At SVU with Jim in interrogation, Carisi tips off Benson and Stone that Jim Preston’s blood tested as genetically female. Jim is a transgender man – which is why he won’t testify. Stone states the court will never uphold any law against transgender people serving in the military. Benson says there is a huge distance between the law and life. Back in interrogation, Stone then tells Jim all charges against him are dropped with prejudice and he expects Jim to testify against Jones. As Jim and his lawyer walk out, Stone tells Jim if he refuses he will be subpoenaed, and if he fails to appear, it will be met with the strictest punishment the law allows. Benson tells Stone if Jim testifies it will ruin his life, Stone says if he doesn’t it will ruin Sandy’s – it’s Benson’s choice. It’s good that Stone continues to push back on Benson.

Benson, of course, must be the one to save the day. She has a heart to heart with Jim and he knows they know he is transgender. We hear this political commentary. which hit the nail on the head:

Preston: Once I'm outed to officials, there's no going back in. And by the stroke of a tweet sent from Air Force One, I could lose my job, my career, everything I've ever worked for.
Benson: I know that things feel uncertain, but do you get any comfort knowing that that tweet did not become a law?

When Jim says he enlisted to serve his country, Benson tells him to serve its people, and convinces Jim into testifying.

Back in court, Jim explains what happened, saying he got hit by Sandy as she was afraid he would attack her based on how Jones had treated her, thinking Jim would do the same. He saw Jones beat her and he pulled him off when Jones started strangling her. Under cross, it comes out that Jim is transgender and is physically able to have sex with whoever her wants. He state he was always a man and his change has been in his medical forms. He admits all the charges against him have been dropped. Later, Jones is found guilty. As Jim leaves the court, is is saluted by the army personnel in the courtroom, and he turns and salutes to all.

We close with the scene with Rollins and Sandy (mentioned earlier).  Next week, Alexandra Cabot returns!

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

Guest stars:
Wayne Knight - Grigor
Christopher Wiehl - Defense Attorney James Olson
Morgan Taylor Campbell - Sandy "Sky" Ksenivch
Marquise Vilson - Jim Preston
Timothy Adams – Staff Sergeant Tyler Jones
Yvonna Kopacz-Wright – Dr. Darby Wilder
Michael Mastro - Judge Serani
Jack DiFalco - William "Billy" Shaughnessy
Mary Hodges – Judge Anita Wright
Josh Rhett Noble – Bobby Johnson
Jonathan Castro – Reception Nurse
Eric Rizk - Marty Berkowitz
Jill Durso - Paramedic
Ben Gougeon – Foreperson

All Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) Copyright © unless otherwise noted

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

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

Law & Order SVU “Sunk Cost Fallacy” Promo

Here is the promo for Law & Order SVU “Sunk Cost Fallacy” which will air on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 9PM ET on NBC.

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “Sunk Cost Fallacy” can be found at this link.

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

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