Thursday, May 21, 2015

Law & Order “Surrendering Noah” Recap & Review

There was no surrendering of Noah in the season 16 finale of Law & Order SVU "Surrendering Noah." (You didn't think after all the focus on Benson being foster mother that it would end in her losing custody?) Nick Amaro, after taking 2 bullets in a courtroom shoot out - and after being told he had zero chance for advancement in the NYPD - decides to make the big move to California to be closer to his family. Johnny D gets killed in that same shoot out, giving Benson that clear path to adoption. No surprises here. Still, it was a well executed wrap up to the season and to the Noah as foster child story line.

The end of the episode where Amaro tells Benson he is leaving was both touching and infuriating. The barely veiled diss to Stabler – or should I call him “He Who Shall Not Be Named” - was a head scratching moment. Amaro has been far more a thorn in her side than Stabler ever was. I could hear the Stabler fans collectively scream in outrage. Even I shook my head at what I was hearing. Are there such hard feelings on the part of SVU producers/writers with Stabler fans or Chris Meloni that they felt a put down to Stabler was necessary?  That scene distracted me so much that it wasn’t until I watched the episode again for the recap that I realized the touching part of that scene with Danny Pino. Yes, we get it, Stabler is gone. While there are people out there who are still upset Chris Meloni is not with the show, my guess is the majority of current viewers have long moved on.  It would have worked just as well for Benson to tell Amaro that he has helped her grow in the last four years, and leave out the Stabler reference. Sometimes I think it’s the producers/writers who can’t move on from the Stabler thing. If one wants to stop a smoldering fire, don't fan the flames.

Again I found myself questioning Benson's judgment. I understand her desire to be truthful about Noah's parentage, and how lying doesn’t work for her, but she should have listened to Barba (and Tucker). By coming forward with this information, she gave Johnny D an opening for his defense, Then, she’s outraged with Barba when he suggests cutting a deal when she was the one who ignored his advice? The more I think about it, I question why ME Warner gave Benson this information in the first place (in the episode “Undercover Mother” ), especially since Warner said the information was un-discoverable. This is really the trigger incident that put Benson between a rock and a hard place. I know Benson wanted to be honest about Noah’s parentage but in this case, she should know that sometimes one has to work the system and use the law to her advantage.  I also was concerned the moment Benson gave Ariel her "fearlessness" necklace as I thought that could be perceived as bribing a witness. I guess in Benson's mind it isn’t okay to withhold information but it IS okay to bribe someone? Lucky for her, Johnny D started shooting when he did,  because the defense attorney seemed poised to pounce on the issue of Benson's influence on the witness.

I also felt bad for Amaro when Benson crushed his hopes by telling him he had zero chance of moving up in the NYPD. I think he had to be informed of what he was up against, but her delivery of that message was lacking in sensitivity. (Never deliver bad news to an employee when standing.)

The courtroom shooting was no surprise as it was featured in the promo for the episode but at least the promo got fans guessing about who would get shot. Amaro gets hit in the liver and knee, the latter making him fit only for desk duty for at least while he recovers. Ultimately, this helps him make the decision to head to California to reunite with his family. Despite the fact that many Danny Pino fans already suspected he was leaving the show, I could still hear them screaming their disappointment in the final scenes. Good luck to Danny in his future endeavors; he was a great addition to the SVU cast. Now the questions are: Will they bring in another detective to replace him? Will Benson move up to Lieutenant and get a new Sergeant? Will she stay as Sergeant and get a new boss?

I shouldn't have to say this, but everyone knows that a phrase such as “we can protect you” means that someone will certainly die! I don’t know what the proper procedures are for the transport of prisoners, but I didn’t think they transported men and women together. Can anyone clarify? And, with Johnny D’s apparent reach to the victims even while he is in prison, they should have vetted the prison guards OR had the SVU detectives follow the van.

Despite my issues, this episode was very well done and it brought closure to season-long story lines which brings me hope for fresh stories in season 17 (maybe stories with less focus on Noah). I'm looking forward to it!

Here is the recap:

Mariska Hargitay – Sergeant Olivia Benson
Ice-T – Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola
Kelli Giddish - Detective Amanda Rollins
Danny Pino - Detective Nick Amaro
Raúl Esparza - ADA Rafael Barba
Peter Scanavino - Detective Dominick “Sonny” Carisi, Jr.

Guest stars:
Peter Hermann - Counselor Trevor Langan
Robert John Burke - Lt. Ed Tucker
Jenna Stern – Judge Elana Barth
Lili Taylor – Martha Thornhill
Jayne Houdyshell – Judge Ruth Linden
Charles Halford - Johnny “D” Drake
Michael Kostroff - Counselor Evan Braun
Danika Yarosh - Ariel Thornhill
Jefferson Mays - M.E. Rudnick
Laura Gomez - Selena Cruz
Jas Anderson - Timmer
Jamila Velazquez - Pilar Morenas
Emily Althsus – Jesse
Bronwyn Reed - Lucy Huston
Thedra Porter - Chantal Jackson
Danielle Burgess - Nina Soren
Sipiwe Moyo - Officer Fox
Joselin Reyes - Paramedic # 1
Sadie Scott - Elana Mays
Zena Woody - Tanya Mejia
Arianna Groover - Juliette
Kyanna Simone - Laura (as Kyanna Simone Simpson)
Wendy Gutierrez - CO Stella Lopez
Mario D'Leon - CO Jerez
Adrian Matilla - Officer Gomez
Chazz Menendez - Pimp
Ryan Fame Quinlan - Court Officer
Bradley Dubow - Noah Porter

In her apartment, along with Trevor Langan, Benson explains the outlets are covered and there is corner padding, and Trevor says she has toddler-proofed every inch. She adds Noah has been eating a lot lately. As Miss Jackson inspects the kitchen, she asks about outdoor activity. Benson states Noah has scheduled exercise time at daycare and the babysitter takes him out every day. Trevor adds Benson spends weekends and mornings with Noah. Benson says at night they read; Noah didn’t have a lot of verbal interaction as an infant and she does not want him to get too far behind in his language development. Jackson asks if she sings to him as that is also important. Benson replies “Of course.” Jackson states Noah will need a taller bed before he climbs out of that crib. She then says Benson passed all her home studies and she will recommend Benson be approved as Noah’s adoptive parent. Benson grins and says thank you. Benson opens the door for Jackson to leave the apartment and thanks her again. Jackson turns and wishes her good luck. Benson turns and looks to Trevor, smiling. He is also happy and tells her, “That’s great, Olivia.” She asks what is next, and Trevor explains her will confirm with the agency that Noah is free for adoption and will initiate proceedings to go before Judge Linden. The paperwork looks in order. When Trevor mentions the birth mother is deceased and the birth father is unknown, Benson says there is something she should tell him. She explains how they stumbled on Noah’s birth father during an investigation, and we see how Johnny D and Timmer operated and how the detectives handled the case and how they caught up with Johnny D.

At SVU, Barba tells the SVU squad that Johnny “D” Drake has run out of delaying tactics and he will go to trial on 17 counts of rape, assault, trafficking and kidnapping. Carisi comments that it was nice working taking this from the Feds. When Amaro asks if Barba will need them to testify, Barba assumes that will not be a problem. Benson confirms not at all and Fin comments there are lots of witnesses and it will be a long trial. Barba wants him put Johnny D away for life. Rollins asks what can they do, and Barba tells them they have to re-vet all the witnesses – no surprises. As the detectives all get up to leave, Benson asks Barba us she can walk him out. As they walk to the elevator, he asks if there is something she needs to tell him. She explains she has decided to name Johnny D as Noah’s birth father on the adoption papers. Barba reminds her they talked about this and she is under no obligation to do that, it is not material to what he is being charged with. She says this isn’t about the trial. The adoption paperwork lists Noah’s birth father as unknown. Barba questions what is the problem, and Benson whispers that lying does not work out well for her. He sighs and says okay. He shakes his head as he walks to the elevator, saying Johnny D and family court are separate universes – he’ll never find out. Benson counters maybe not, but someday Noah might – or the courts. She does not want her life with Noah to be built on a lie. Barba cautions her, saying “Don’t do this. Johnny D is a psychopath. Do not open this door.” He steps into the elevator.

At Rikers Island on Monday, April 27, Johnny D’s lawyer Counselor Evan Braun comes to see him and drops the bomb that Ellie Porter (Noah’s mother) may be Johnny’s get out of jail free card.

At SVU in the squad room, the Carisi rambles on about why the Feds gave them the case. Amaro seems mentally disconnected from the discussion and Fin says they should have shot Johnny D when they had the chance. Amaro gets up from his desk and walks into Benson’s office. Benson is sitting at her desk on the phone with Barba and Amaro knocks on her door and asks if she has a minute, and she does. He said that Fin mentioned Benson is up for Lieutenant and that she might need a new Sergeant. She replies that right now that is just talk. He explains the deadline is Friday, same as the Sergeant’s exam and he just registered, Benson looks surprised and says, “Oh.” Amaro says he would like to try moving up the ranks and after watching Munch – and her – it is a track he can see himself on. She explains that she had to approach Fin first as he has seniority. Amaro comments that knows that, adding that Fin told him he is not interested in the administrative part of the job, but Amaro is. Benson stands up, smiles, and says “Okay. Good” and then – “Start studying.” Amaro smiles and says he already has.

In motions court part 21 on Tuesday, April 28 with Judge Barth, Barba fights Braun’s motion for dismissal who states Benson hid the information about Noah, the child she is trying to adopt, and pursued Johnny D because she was motivated by denying Johnny D’s parental rights. Barba argues the timing issues but Braun thinks this is a vendetta. Barba brings up the situation regarding Johnny’s arrest and that he is a career criminal, and Braun argues Johnny’s DNA was never in the system and thinks Johnny is a victim of a single minded blood feud. Barba thinks this motion is an overreach and as he ramps up his argument, Barth tells him to save the ivy league oratory for trial. Before she rules on the motion she wants to speak with the ME’s office and Benson.

Elsewhere, Benson sits at a bar as Lt. Ed Tucker meets her. She thanks him for meeting her there. He asks if the squad knows about her situation, and she replies they do now. She explains she did not know Johnny D was Noah’s father until after the arrest. He says the ME confirms and they don’t have a problem with it. He says she probably should have kept it to herself, and the scumbag will use any leverage he has. But as far as IAB is concerned, she has no liability. She thanks him. He asks if that is tea she is drinking and she says it is. He tells her “Man up, will ya?” He sits down and Tucker asks if he can get two glasses of…and Benson finishes “Nero D’Avyla.” Benson says while he is here, she wants to run something past him. She explains Amaro wants to take the Sergeant’s exam and would make a good #2. Tucker says it does not matter if he gets a perfect score on the test, he’s damaged goods. She argues he is a solid cop and is turning things around. He reminds her Amaro shot an unarmed 14 year old kid, chased after three others with a baseball bat, and beat in innocent suspect in a schoolyard. She tells him to stop; in those case he was exonerated. Tucker states technically yes but realistically, the way One PP sees it, Amaro could cure cancer and they will still not promote him. He knows she likes Amaro but this is never gonna happen. She says “Got it.”

At Barba’s office at 1 Hogan Place on Wednesday, April 29, Braun visits Barba and tries to offer a deal.

Afterwards, Barba is walking outside with Benson and she rejects the idea that Johnny D will relinquish parental rights and waive visitation and Noah will never have to know Johnny existed. Benson says Johnny doesn’t get to do this. Barba states they offered a plea of 3-5 years for prostitution which he agrees is not enough – Benson should “Not enough!” - and Barba says he can sell them on one count of trafficking and plead it down and Braun indicated they might accept 10 years. Benson screams “Yes, because he knows if this goes to trial that Johnny D will spend the rest of his life in prison. He sex trafficked young girls. He raped them. He brutalized them. He does not get to plead this down because I want to make my life less complicated.” Barba says okay but adds there is something she needs to know: regardless of whether he is convicted or not, he can still appeal for parental rights and has a good shot of getting parental visitation. She could be taking Noah to prison to visit Johnny D until Noah is 18. Benson looks conflicted.

Back at SVU at the coffee station getting something to drink, Rollins says to Amaro she is surprised that Amaro applied for the Sergeant’s exam, and he asks why. She replies she doesn’t know, asking what does Liv say? He states she thought it was a good idea. Rollins pats him on the arm, smiles, and says “Alright!” Amaro comments that Rollins should think about taking it, she would be on the fast track and she doesn’t want to be a detective forever. She comments that she does, and states “I’m good as I am. My life is perfect.” Amaro says it must be nice. Carisi, sitting at this desk, asks if anybody has heard from the Sarge, noting that she is late. Fin, also sitting at his desk, doesn’t look up and comments that Benson is dealing with a lot right now. Benson races into the squad room and is happy they are all there. She informs them she just met with Barba and the judge threw out Johnny D’s motion so it looks like they will be going to trial in a few days. Amaro asks if she is going to testify and she states she has to, she was the first one on scene. Carisi says if Barba does not call her, the defense definitely will in order to cast shade on her. Fin dryly adds that he still says they should have shot him. Rollins says “OKAY Fin.” Benson informs them that Barba needs to schedule prep time with all of them and he also wants to assign each of them to one of the witnesses, Fin questions if it is as bodyguards, but Benson explains it would be as confidants so they knew they are looking out for them and also so they can let Barba know if anyone gets…shaky. Amaro says so they will bond with them, and Fin asks about Selena and Timmer, the deal says they have to testify. Benson says they are both up at Sing Sing and make sure they feel secure. Amaro states that Johnny D is not getting away, and Benson says, “Yeah.” She asks Amaro if he has a sec, and they walk into her office. Inside, he tells him she talked with Tucker and explains that it is not Tucker, it’s the department, and Tucker thinks there is no point in Amaro taking the Sergeant’s exam and they will just round robin him out. Amaro looks stunned and says forget it, and says Munch said not to fall in love with a job because she will never love you back. He walks out of her office and shuts the door hard.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Law & Order SVU “Surrendering Noah” Previews

Here are preview clips for the season 16 finale of Law & Order SVU “Surrendering Noah” which will air on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 9PM ET on NBC. The videos feature Mariska Hargitay, Raúl Esparza, and Peter Hermann.

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “Surrendering Noah” can be found at this link.

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

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.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Law & Order SVU “Surrendering Noah” Photos

Here are advance photos for the season 16 finale of Law & Order SVU “Surrendering Noah” which will air on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 9PM ET on NBC. The photos feature Mariska Hargitay, Danny Pino, Raúl Esparza, Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, Peter Scanavino, Robert John Burke, Bradley and Skyler Dubow (as Noah Porter), Bronwyn Reed (as Lucy Huston), Danika Yarosh (as Ariel Thornhill), Lili Taylor (as Martha Thornhill), and Laura Gómez (as Selena Cruz).

Note: photos added on May 21, 2015 (scroll to bottom)

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “Surrendering Noah” can be found at this link.

Photos by: Michael Parmelee/NBC 2015 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Photos released by NBC on May 21, 2015

Photos by: Michael Parmelee/NBC 2015 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

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, May 14, 2015

Law & Order SVU “Parents’ Nightmare” Recap & Review

It’s rare that I watch an SVU episode and find myself becoming increasingly disinterested - to the point of total boredom -  as the story progresses. “Parents’ Nightmare” was one of those rare times.   The story was predictable and the characters unsympathetic; more like a bad dream than a nightmare. It felt like a weak Criminal Intent episode.   I was even unmoved when Owen ran out into the street between two parked cars and almost right into a taxi. One would think that living in an area as they did he would have learned to look first before leaping into the street. But, I suppose with having two dysfunctional parents, teaching a child the simple things tends to fall through the cracks.

I groaned at the opening scene where Benson finally gets Noah into a day care. The Noah story line will be prominent in the season finale and I can only hope they bring some closure to it as I find it tiresome.

The only segments of the episode that I enjoyed were Lt. (“Mother”) Tucker (acting likeable, god forbid!) giving a heads up to Benson about One PP wanting a Lieutenant at SVU; and the ending scene where she seems to anoint Fin as her #2. Fin says he wants no part of it but I suspect that look on Amaro’s face at the end may mean Amaro WOULD want it. With many rumors swirling about whether Danny Pino will be returning to the show, and with the tease for the season finale, “Surrendering Noah,” we can only speculate what will happen with Amaro/Danny.   Fans will just have to tune in.

Benson continues to show her naiveté with suspects when she states, “A mother would never do that to her own son.” Working at SVU as long as she has, she should know by now that not all women are saints and not all mothers are perfect.  Her comment also implies that the men/fathers are always the bad guys.  We know Benson would never do something like this to a child but that doesn’t mean another mother wouldn’t use her child for her own gain.  It turns out the father WAS the "bad guy" here but it could have easily gone the other way.   Benson needs to keep an open mind and not use her own personal opinions and experiences about motherhood to cloud her judgement.

We get the courtesy of hearing that Barba is in St. Barts but nothing about Rollins’ absence. Were viewers supposed to think that the back of the blond woman’s head looking at traffic cams was supposed to be Rollins hard at work?

I hoped for a more exciting episode leading into the season finale;  hopefully the promo tease will help bring in the viewers.

Here is the recap:

Mariska Hargitay – Sergeant Olivia Benson
Ice-T – Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola
Kelli Giddish - Detective Amanda Rollins
Danny Pino - Detective Nick Amaro
Raúl Esparza - ADA Rafael Barba
Peter Scanavino - Detective Dominick “Sonny” Carisi, Jr.

Guest stars:
Robert John Burke - Lt. Ed Tucker
Brooke Bloom – Dana Farhidi
Navid Negahban – Sam Farhidi
Frankie Alvarez - Javier Rojas
Carmen Cabrera - Fabiana Caldera
Steve Rosen – Javier’s Attorney
Keened Ruparel - Owen Farhidi
Nancy Nagrant - Linda
Toni D'Antonio - Principal Jo Ann Stanwick
Lauren Elder - Mrs. Dugan
Amy Tribbey – Dr. Naomi Grodman
Jessie Barr - Yanina
Edmerald Gan = Diego
David Mason - Roy
Reggie Green – Clyde

Benson takes Noah to a day care for the first time and when she senses Noah may be upset, a day care worker suggests a quick and loving goodbye. Benson does so and Noah cries as she leaves.

Meanwhile, Owen Farhidi and his mother Dana Farhidi get him ready to go to school. She is dressed too casually to walk him to school and gets a neighbor, Roy, walking with his son,  to take Owen with them. She promises to pick him up from school. Owen nearly gets hit by a taxi as he rushes across the street without looking. As they walk to school, Owen says hello to a familiar homeless man. Another man appears and begins to follow them.

At SVU, Lt. Tucker is already waiting in Benson’s office as she arrives for work. She asks to what does she owe the pleasure, and he asks can’t he just pop in? She replies no and asks what is going on. He says he was sniffing around One PP and heard they want a Lieutenant in SVU and they are not happy with a Sergeant running the squad. She comments the last that she checked she was doing a pretty good job and cites her recent successes. He counters that they have noticed and they are open to the prospect of her staying on, which is why he told them she filed for the Lieutenant’s exam. Shocked, she comments that she hasn’t, and he tells her to do it, and not to make a liar out of him. She says she is quite happy with the way things are, but he emphasizes they want a Lieutenant, and if it is not her, it has to be somebody else. She shakes her head and says she does not know what to say, and he states dryly, “That’s a first.” She gives him a glare and he tells her to think about it, and to also think about who her second in command would be; it’s better she pick than a blind draw.

Later, the man who was following Owen arrives at the school playground looking for Owen Farhidi, and tells Mrs. Dugan, the dismissal supervisor, that Mr. Farhidi called. She asks if his name is Carlos and he says yes so she points out Carlos. He walks over to Owen and says he is Fabiana’s friend and his mother told him to pick him up. When Own looks at him strangely, the man tells him he fixed his mother’s sink once. Owen seems more comfortable and takes the man’s hand.

As they walk, Owen pulls at the man’s hand when he senses the man is walking somewhere else, he tells him home is another way. The man says they are going to stop first, it is a surprise. Owen agrees and they continue to walk off.

Later, Owen’s mother Dana races into the school and apologizes for being late, asking where is Owen. Mrs. Dugan looks shocked.

Meanwhile, Owen is now asking the man where are they going? The man barks to do as he says, and as he pulls Owen by the hand, Owen complains he is hurting him. The man tells him to be quiet and get into a van. Owen resists but the man orders him in and forces him into the fan.

Mrs. Dugan and Dana race into the school yard and out to the street. Mrs. Dugan comments that Owen seemed to know the man. Dana asks the school guards if they have seen Owen, and then she continues to race off, shouting his name.

Later, Benson and Fin arrive on the scene where Amaro and Carisi are already working. Amaro explains that Owen was last seen with a Hispanic man and no one got a good look at him. Carisi adds the man wrote his name as Carlos Riva on the sign out sheet and said he was a friend of the family. They are met by Principal Stanwick and Mrs. Dugan, their dismissal supervisor, who signed Owen out. Dana is in her office. Mrs. Dugan thought Mr. Farhidi authorized Carlos to take Owen . Stanwick says they contacted Mr. Farhidi after Dana arrived late to pick up Owen and he insisted he did not make the call. She adds they are recently divorced.

Inside, a scatterbrained Dana tells Benson and Carisi usually her friend’s nanny Fabiana picks up Owen. When Carisi asks her to make sure and check her phone, she can’t find it. She thinks she last used it before yoga. She has been separated a few months now and says there are huge custody issues. Sam is Iranian and he wanted to take Owen there over spring break and she wouldn’t let him. She worries that Sam is behind this. Carisi asks if her son has a passport and Dana says the judge ordered Sam to give it to her but then can’t recall if she ever got it. She is not sure of anything now, she just wants Owen back.

Afterwards, Carisi tells Benson that Dana is a space cadet. He tells Benson they will call Port Authority and ICE and put an alert out on the kid and his passport. Benson instructs him to radio the squad car and keep Mr. Farhidi at his restaurant – at the moment, he is a suspect. Fin arrives along with Amaro and Fin explains they have the security footage and they also pulled all the traffic cams in the area. Amaro adds the unis have canvassed and so far there are no witnesses. Benson tells them to check other surveillance and see if they can get the kidnapper walking away. She tells Fin to get a sketch artist for Mrs. Dugan and Amaro should go to the restaurant and speak with Mr. Farhidi; there are passport issues and custody issues – the works. Fin asks about Mrs. Farhidi, and Benson instructs him to take her to the precinct. She tells Carisi to go the yoga class and find that phone. He says he is on it and he races off.

Carisi arrives at the yoga class and explains he is there to pick up a cell phone. But the attendant tries to block him from going in an interrupting. He says he will be quiet but she isn’t having it and tells him unless he has a warrant he can’t disturb the class. He calls the phone number and it rings loudly inside the room and then goes in and grabs it and leaves.

Meanwhile, at Farhidi’s on Tuesday, May 5, Amaro speaks with Sam Farhidi about the situation and he says he did not call the school. Amaro checks Sam’s phone, and Sam thinks they are looking at him as a terrorist as Dana used that card during the custody battle. Sam shows his anger about Dana getting the judge to block Owen coming to Iran with him, but insists he did not take Owen, Dana was supposed to pick him up. Amaro seems unmoved. When Amaro says she was running late, Sam angrily says “Again?” adding he knew something like this would happen. Sam swears he did not send a male Hispanic to pick up Owen.

Back at SVU, Benson is looking at images from the security video and Fin says it is pretty grainy and not much help. Dana rushes in and she asks where is Sam and if they talked to him and asks if he has Owen. Benson replies they don’t think so but there is a detective with him now. They have her look at the images and Fin asks if she recognizes the man. She does not but admits she can’t see his face. Benson states they need her to come with her, and she brings her into the interview room and shuts the door. She asks Fin if there is anything else, and he explains the rest of the security footage is no help. Benson observes that the kidnapper knew to keep his head down and hide his face. She asks if there is anything on the traffic cams, and he replies they are going through them now. Carisi enters and says he has the mom’s cell phone; there were 8 missed calls - ignore the one from him - and there were two messages from a blocked number which she can’t access without a password. Benson tells Carisi that Dana is in the interview room and adds to get the images to Amaro and see if the father can make an ID.

In Benson’s offices, Dana gives Benson and Carisi her voice mail code – OWEN – and they listen to voice mails from Owen begging her to answer her phone.

Meanwhile, Amaro shows Sam the photo of the man and he does not know him. He says Owen is too trusting.

Law & Order SVU “Surrendering Noah” Promo

Here is the promo for the season 16 finale of Law & Order SVU “Surrendering Noah” which will air on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 9PM ET on NBC.

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “Surrendering Noah” can be found at this link.

Screen captures from the promo for those of you wanting to analyze it, click on the image for a larger view:

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.

Monday, May 11, 2015

SVU Stars Attend the NBC Upfront Presentation

Here are photos of the Law & Order SVU stars at the 2015 NBC Upfront Presentation to Advertisers held on Monday, May 11, 2015 from Radio City Music Hall, New York City. Featured are Mariska Hargitay, Kelli Giddish, Ice-T, Peter Scanavino, plus Chicago Fire’s Taylor Kinney and Chicago PD’s Jason Beghe.

Update May 12, 2015 - group photo added - Pictured: (l-r) Laurie Holden, Eamonn Walker "Chicago Fire", Peter Scanavino, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit", Kelli Giddish "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit", Taylor Kinney "Chicago Fire", Yaya DaCosta "Chicago Med", Sophia Bush "Chicago P.D.", Dick Wolf, Oliver Platt "Chicago Med", Mariska Hargitay "Law & Order" Special Victims Unit", Jason Beghe "Chicago P.D.", Jesse Lee Soffer "Chicago P.D.", Jon Seda "Chicago P.D.", Nick Gehlfuss "Chicago Med", Ice T "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit", S. Epatha Merkerson "Chicago Med"

Photo by: Heidi Gutman/NBC 2015 NBCUniversal Media, LLC.

Photos by: Peter Kramer/NBC 2015 NBCUniversal Media, LLC.

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.

Dick Wolf’s “Law & Order” (Video From The Hollywood Reporter)

This video from The Hollywood Reporter is undated but it just popped up on the Interner and I thought fans would enjoy it. It also features SVU’s Warren Leight and Chicago Fire/PD’s Matt Olmstead.

UPDATE May 11, 2015: the companion article, dated May 11, 2015, can be found here:

'Law & Order: SVU' and 'Chicago Fire' Bosses Talk Dick Wolf's Words of Wisdom and His Fight for Jason Beghe

and here:

TV Producer of the Year Dick Wolf in a Rare Interview Likens His Shows to Mercedes, Not Ferraris

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.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

NBC 2015-16 Prime Time Schedule (Press Release)

NBC Press Release May 10, 2015


Prolific Producer Greg Berlanti’s Drama “Blindspot” Earns Coveted 10 P.M. Monday Post-“Voice” Timeslot Emmy-Winning #1 Reality Series “The Voice” Returns for Season 9 on Monday and Tuesday “Heroes Reborn” Starts Off Strengthened Thursday and Serves as Lead-In to 9 P.M. “The Blacklist” “Sunday Night Football” Remains #1 Most-Watched and Top 18-49 Program and Features Great Gridiron Matchups Midseason Series “Hot & Bothered” With Eva Longoria, and “Coach” With Craig T. Nelson Set to Invigorate Comedy Lineup While Spinoff “Chicago Med” Readies to Roll

NEW YORK — May 10, 2015 — As it closes in on its second consecutive season-long victory in the key adult 18-49 demographic, NBC unveils a new 2015-16 primetime schedule that combines popular returning series, edge-of-your-seat new dramas, inventive new comedies and season nine of the Emmy Award-winning musical competition series “The Voice.”

NBC is on track to win the traditional September-to-May primetime season in adults 18-49 for the second year in a row after having gone the prior 10 years without an 18-49 win. Through 32 completed weeks of the season, NBC also ranks #1 or tied for #1 among the Big 4 networks in adults and men 18-34 and men and women 18-49.

In total viewers, NBC is running #2 for the season and within 7% of its year-ago Olympics-boosted average (8.8 million vs. 9.5 million), making this season and last NBC’s two top-scoring seasons in total viewers since 2006-07.

NBC has won the last three November sweeps in adults 18-49, as well as the last two February sweeps and the last four summers in a row.

Highlights of the newly announced year-round schedule include the captivating and mysterious drama “Blindspot” from Greg Berlanti, one of TV’s most prolific executive producers; “Heroes Reborn,” the return of the supernatural phenomenon from “Heroes” creator Tim Kring that examines a new group of ordinary citizens with extraordinary abilities; “Heartbreaker,” starring Melissa George as a fearless doctor inspired by real-life renowned surgeon Dr. Kathy Magliato, who always fights authority to ensure the best for her patients; and “The Player,” starring Wesley Snipes and Philip Winchester as a former military operative turned security agent drawn into a high-stakes game in a Las Vegas-set thriller.

Other high-profile dramas include “Chicago Med,” the newest installment of NBC’s highly successful “Chicago” franchise from multi-Emmy Award winner and TV icon Dick Wolf; and “Game of Silence,” from “CSI” veteran Carol Mendelsohn and David Hudgins (“Parenthood,” “Friday Night Lights”), in which three childhood friends reunite 25 years later to right the wrongs of the past. And starring Jennifer Lopez comes “Shades of Blue,” in which she plays a single mother and New York cop who is forced to work with the FBI and must betray her own on-the-job brothers.

On the comedy side, the cast from “Undateable” will return for a new season, but with a twist: Every episode will be shot LIVE! Also for fall is “People Are Talking” from executive producer Will Packer (“Ride Along”) about two diverse couples who talk and share their sometimes surprising, but relatable, everyday experiences. “Crowded,” from “Hot in Cleveland” creator Suzanne Martin, looks at a couple (Carrie Preston, “True Blood” and Patrick Warburton, “Seinfeld”) who are truly enjoying their empty nest after the kids have moved away, only to have them move back home again.

“Superstore” stars America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”) as a supervisor in a big-box megastore who works with a rag-tag crew that doesn’t always put the customer first. There’s also the one-hour “You, Me and the End of the World,” with Rob Lowe, Megan Mullally and Jenna Fischer, about an unlikely group of unconnected characters trying to find shelter when an apocalyptic event is threatening the existence of Earth.

Two stars of previous beloved series are toplining new NBC comedies: Eva Longoria (“Desperate Housewives”) stars in “Hot & Bothered” as the lead in a telenovela in which she plays a woman grappling with life and romance; and Craig T. Nelson reprises his role as Hayden Fox in “Coach,” this time to help his son with a fledgling Ivy League football team.

On the alternative side, inspired by the wildly popular U.K. format is a unique live variety show titled “Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris.” It will include stunts, skits, pranks, audience interaction, musical numbers, giveaways and unlimited surprises. Also ordered to series is “Little Big Shots,” which is hosted by Steve Harvey and features extraordinarily talented kids. The show is executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres and Steve Harvey.

For event programming, in a deal previously announced, Dolly Parton will be executive producing a selected number of movies, the first of which is “Coat of Many Colors,” based on her remarkable upbringing. NBC has also ordered “The Reaper,” a miniseries based on the best-selling memoir by Sgt. Nicholas Irving, a decorated African-American sniper who was deployed in Afghanistan for 100 days.

Returning scripted programming includes “The Blacklist,” “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Grimm.” “Law & Order: SVU,” “The Mysteries of Laura” and “The Night Shift.”

The decision on the future of “A.D. The Bible Continues” and “American Odyssey” will come at a later date after their respective seasons have ended. Season three of “Hannibal” is set to premiere Thursday, June 4.

Returning alternative programming includes “America Ninja Warrior,” “America’s Got Talent,” “The Biggest Loser,” “The Celebrity Apprentice,” “Food Fighters,” “Hollywood Game Night,” “Last Comic Standing,” “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” and “The Voice.”

This fall’s biggest event will be the holiday musical “The Wiz Live!”

“We’re attacking the new season with the same programming strategy that successfully turned NBC around — a slate of provocative and innovative series and events that cut through the clutter and will continue to build on our momentum,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “We have several powerful new dramas and attention-getting new comedies, including the return of ‘Undateable,’ which will be broadcast live every week next season. Live programming is one more way to make a show undeniable.”

“We can’t wait for the fall season and the chance to roll out our lineup of distinctive, innovative new dramas and comedies, scheduled with the kind of lead-in support that will give each of our new shows the optimum chance to find their audiences and deliver on their outstanding potential,” said Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment. “The fall lineup gives you only half the story. We truly program on a 52-week basis and are putting virtually the same amount of programming muscle behind our mid-season lineup, with some of the most high-profile concepts and biggest names on television joining the schedule starting at midseason and extending throughout the remainder of the broadcast year.”

“Unscripted programming has played a key role in NBC’s two consecutive season-long wins, from ‘The Voice’ to ‘America’s Got Talent’ to ‘American Ninja Warrior,’” said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment. “We’re excited to build on that momentum with some of the most inventive breakthrough alternative concepts coming in the new season, including ‘First Dates,’ ‘Little Big Shots’ and ‘Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris,’ featuring one of America’s most phenomenal performing talents hosting the U.S. adaptation of a smash-hit British series.”

Said Ralph Oakley, President/CEO of Quincy Newspapers, Inc., and Chair of the NBC Affiliate Board, “We are happy with NBC’s finish as the #1 network in primetime this broadcast season and are enthusiastic about the potential of the newly unveiled schedule and shows next year.”


(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)


8-10 P.M. — “The Voice”

10-11 P.M. — “BLINDSPOT”


8-9 P.M. — “The Voice”


10-11 P.M. — “BEST TIME EVER WITH NEIL PATRICK HARRIS” (through November)

10-11 P.M. — “Chicago Fire” (premieres in November)


8-9 P.M. — “The Mysteries of Laura”

9-10 P.M. — “Law & Order: SVU” [emphaisis mine]

10-11 P.M. — “Chicago P.D.”



9-10 P.M. — “The Blacklist”

10-11 P.M. — “THE PLAYER”

Friday, May 8, 2015

Law & Order SVU “Parents’ Nightmare” Previews

Here are previews for Law & Order SVU “Parents’ Nightmare” which will air on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 9PM ET on NBC. The previews feature Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, and Peter Scanavino.

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “Parents’ Nightmare” can be found at this link.

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

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 “Parents’ Nightmare” Photos

Here are advance photos for Law & Order SVU “Parents’ Nightmare” which will air on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 9PM ET on NBC. The photos feature Mariska Hargitay, Danny Pino, Ice-T, Peter Scanavino, Brooke Bloom (as Dana), Frankie Alvarez (as Javier), and Steven Rosen (as Guthrie).

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “Parents’ Nightmare” can be found at this link.

Photos by: Michael Parmlee/NBC 2015 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

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, May 7, 2015

Law & Order SVU “Perverted Justice” Recap & Review

The big question after watching “Perverted Justice” is whether Derek Thompson is truly innocent, or was he really guilty of abusing his daughter? Clearly, his daughter Michelle has second thoughts about recanting. Is she still in such a fragile state of mind that she can be swayed by pressure from authority figures and will say whatever they want her to say? Is the fact that she admits she can’t recall what really happened that night indicate that it likely DID happen” Or, as part of her 12 step program to purge her of her addictions, does she want to give her father the benefit of the doubt?  It is clear her parents had marital problems and that her mother and Detective McCormick had their own motivations to get Derek out of the way. Michelle did recant at a young age, but was that also from her father’s influence via his letters from prison?  Regardless,  there were many facts in this case that were not presented during the first trial, and a retrial was in order. Based on the new case presented by the very capable Bayard Ellis, the jury found Derek not guilty. It will now be up to Michelle whether or not she did the right thing. Samira Wiley was very believable as the conflicted woman and she made me feel real concern for Michelle.

As always, Andre Braugher was excellent as Bayard Ellis, and Robert Sean Leonard perfectly portrayed the confident prosecutor who firmly believed that he got the right verdict the first time Derek went to trial. (I would enjoy seeing Robert Sean Leonard on SVU again.) But, I saw this as a missed opportunity for the SVU writers to insert some conflict by having ADA Barba handle this retrial. I would have enjoyed seeing sparks fly between Bayard, SVU, and Barba on the investigation and prosecution.  I don’t know what is the proper procedure with retrials and if it is SOP for the prosecutor on record to handle the retrial. Still, if Benson and SVU were convinced that Derek was innocent and Barba felt he was not, I would have loved seeing the fireworks.

It was wonderful seeing Dann Florek back as the retired and very content Captain Cragen. It’s nice to see that he’s found happiness and also that he helped get some much needed information to get the case re-opened.

There was some interesting comedic spots in this episode that I enjoyed. Carisi’s gushing over Bayard and his need to interject his own legal advice was amusing. Clearly, Rollins is not afraid to take a jab at Carisi, and both Bayard and Cragen joined in, much to my delight.

Amaro seems to be taking his cranky pills again as he seemed generally unhappy in this whole episode.

I gave a slight eye roll at the opening scenes with Benson and Noah in his Unitarian dedication ceremony and then Benson’s comment to Bayard that if everything goes as planned, the adoption will be official in a month. Good luck with the “as planned” part.

The only fault I had with Bayard’s case is that it seems he did not prep Michelle very well. He should have practiced with her, as a devil’s advocate, to get her accustomed to the defense strategy of poking holes in her original story and her recanting.

Here is the recap:

Mariska Hargitay – Sergeant Olivia Benson
Ice-T – Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola
Kelli Giddish - Detective Amanda Rollins
Danny Pino - Detective Nick Amaro
Raúl Esparza - ADA Rafael Barba
Peter Scanavino - Detective Dominick “Sonny” Carisi, Jr.

Guest stars:
Dann Florek – Captain Don Cragen (retired)
Andre Braugher – Bayard Ellis
Samira Wiley – Michelle Thompson
Robert Sean Leonard - A.D.A. Kenneth O'Dwyer
Glenn Plummer - Derek Thompson
Leslie Odom Jr. - Reverend Curtis Scott
Nick Sandow – Ted McCormick
Vincent Curatola – Judge Al Bertuccio
Kia Joy Goodwin - Audrey Scott
Robin De Jesus – Jose Silva
Julie Halston – Cassie Muir
Donna Mitchell – Judge Kearns
Jay Patterson - Federal Judge William Evans
Timothy Mitchum – Will Thompson
Jeff Talbott - Reverend
Adrian Matilla – Correction Officer
Paul Borghese - Bailiff
Sharon Gee - Forewoman

Reverend Curtis Scott preaches to his congregation as Michelle Thompson listens, looking at an old photo of her and her father. Meanwhile, Benson, accompanied by Amaro, Carisi, and Rollins, is participating in a Unitarian dedication ceremony to welcome Noah to the community. Benson tells Noah “May the future bring love to your heart, joy to your mind, and truth from those sweet lips.”

After the ceremony, Carisi comments to Benson he did not know she was Unitarian, and Benson explains she isn’t, she didn’t grow up with any religion. She just wanted Noah to have something that would ground him. Carisi wisecracks that Noah can rebel against it as a teenager. He adds he gets it, he is Catholic, and Rollins comments “no kidding.”

As Michelle leaves her church, Reverend Curtis calls out to her, saying he is glad she keeps coming. She says she is working her program and is up to her ninth step, which is making amends. She says she is making amends to her father, and Rev. Curtis says her father is in prison and that is not her fault. But she says it is, she lied to the police and it is not enough to apologize, she has to restore justice. She asks that he knows that lawyer, the one who is supposed to get innocent people out of jail? He looks at her and says nothing.

Elsewhere, Derek Thompson is in prison, helping Jose Silva to learn how to read. He is surprised to hear he has a visitor and finds it is his daughter Michelle, there with Bayard Ellis. He asks why she is here, and Bayard introduces himself, stating he works with Project Innocence. Michelle tells her father that she told them the truth – that he never raped her. He sighs.

Later, Benson and Bayard Ellis are in a restaurant and she explains she was just at a dedication ceremony for Noah. As Bayard looks at Benson’s phone with a photos of Noah, he comments he is such a sweet boy and says he has her smile. Benson laughs and states that if everything goes as planned, the adoption will be official in a month. He congratulates her. As they sit down at the table, Benson says she knows he didn’t invite her to dinner to talk about Noah. Bayard says Reverend Curtis asked him to look into a case involving a congregant, Michelle Thompson. He father, Derek, was convicted of raping her seventeen years ago when she was six. Benson takes the file and asks he was convicted of raping his own daughter, commenting that’s a tough case for Project Innocence to get behind. Bayard admits it is, but the case was made primarily on Michelle’s testimony and now she is saying she was pressured by her mother to lie and she wants to recant. Benson questions it’s 17 years after the fact, and Bayard states Michelle tried once before as a teen and the original ADA and detective argued against re-opening. Michelle went off the deep end after that – drugs, alcohol – and she’s recently found sobriety, Benson comments that her recant is part of a 12-step program which is not the most reliable indicator of the truth. Bayard says he’s seen that pink cloud and that forgiven everyone affect too which is why he needs Benson to investigate. Benson smiles and asks if there is any DNA, forensics, or corroboration, and Bayard replies no, only her testimony and some inconclusive medical symptoms. Her mother, who has her own substance abuse history, made the initial 911 call. Benson asks if he talked to the father, and Bayard says yes, up at Green Haven, he is a model prisoner and he found him credible. He has maintained his innocence for 17 years. He adds it is hard enough to prove that someone is innocent of a crime, it’s harder still to prove that crime itself never occurred. Benson smiles and says, “So you thought of me.” Bayard smiles and replies, “Indeed I did.”

Back at SVU, Benson explains the situation to Amaro, Rollins, and Carisi. Amaro cops an attitude and says Bayard should do the work. Benson says he just wants to see if there is anything there. Carisi comments it is tough to get a conviction re-opened but Bayard Ellis is a legend and if he thinks it is worth looking into… Amaro comments he knows Bayard is Benson’s friend but complains about working a closed case. Benson explains this isn’t out of friendship, and SVU didn’t handle the case, it was the local precinct who hated Derek Thompson. They really worked him over and when Thompson finally got a lawyer, it was some down on her luck rent-a-lawyer who could hardly pay for her transcript copies.  Benson just wants to vet the case.   The lead detective was Ted McCormick and the ADA was O’Dwyer,  none of whom she has met. Carisi comments that was before Benson’s time, saying “wow.” Benson asks if he is missing Staten Island. He grins. Benson says there is somebody coming back to town who was here when they built the place. As Benson walks out of the squad room, the detectives look questioningly at her.

Later, Benson, with Amaro, looks through retired Captain Don Cragen’s phone of Eileen’s grandchildren. They spent the winter with them in Ft. Lauderdale after the cruise. He comments he never thought he would say it, but it turns out there is more to life than NYPD. Amaro says the place is falling apart without him, Benson smiles and says “Thanks Nick” As they walk along the riverside, Cragen asks why are they here, they have a victim who wants to recant? Amaro comments its 17 years later, between her ninth step with Reverend Curtis and Bayard Ellis are convinced the cops and DA blew the case. Benson adds it wasn’t SVU, it was at Cragen’s old house the 2-7 and they can’t seem to get in touch with the detective who caught the case, Ted McCormick. Cragen comments they may have a problem; the guy got bounced around a lot and never met a coroner he didn’t cut. Benson asks if there is any chance he remembers the DA, Kenneth O’Dwyer. Cragen thinks that must have been an early case of his; he had family connections and got his hands dirty for a year and then they bumped him up to white collar. Cragen asks what does he say about this? Benson replies she hasn’t called him yet, and Cragen tells her to hold off, he rides a high horse. Cragen knows an old lifer at the 2-7 and if he buys him lunch, he’ll dish like a gossip girl.

Back in SVU in Benson’s office, Michelle explains to Benson and Rollins that her mother was drinking and drugging and her dad came home and saw her and her making a mess cooking for her brother. She burned herself making some hot dogs and he got angry at her. Her father asked where her mother was and if she was drinking and he put them to bed. When her mother got home, they started screaming at each other and Michelle started crying. Her mother came in and she told her that her hand got burned and asked Michelle what did her daddy do to her. She did not want her to be mad at her so she said it was her father’s fault and then pressed if her father touched her down there. When her mother continued to get angry, Michelle finally said yes and her mother called the police the next day when her father went to work. Her father yelled and scared her but he never touched her. Benson comments that Michelle repeated the story to the detective and DA and to the jury, and she said her mother said she had to say it or people would say she was lying. Nothing happened that night.

Meanwhile, Amaro and Carisi speak with Michelle’s mother Audrey and they explain they are looking into the case. When she hears Michelle asked them to look into the case, Audrey is skeptical and says if they wait a week, Michelle will change her mind and Michelle and her brother are both messed up because of their father. She says she is done talking and races off. Amaro comments to Carisi that Audrey is right back in that apartment 17 years ago, and Carisi says she is holding on to her story so tight it’s almost like she has to. Amaro gripes this is why he doesn’t like to re-open cases; it’s tough enough to figure out at the time and all these years later, how are they ever going to know?

At Green Haven Correctional Facility in the visitor’s room on Monday, April 20, Derek tells Amaro and Carisi he never touched his little girl. Derek says his wife lied, and she made Michelle lie. He explains that Audrey was an addict back then and she used to come home with a wild look in her eyes. She was dangerous and most of the time, he knew to keep out of her way. Carisi comments – “but not that night” - and Derek says no, she left the kids alone and she could have burned the house down. Amaro comments that Derek is saying his wife made up a story about him raping Michelle and convincing her to lie and putting him in prison because of a marital fight. Derek asks doesn’t Amaro think he’s been asking himself that for the last 17 years? Amaro counters it is time enough to make up a lot of excuses. Derek says there was no evidence, and when Amaro says there were bruises and she was crying, Derek counters it was no because of him. Amaro states that the police asked why there was semen on his daughter’s pajamas and Derek said that his wife had planted it. Derek says there was no semen. Amaro asks if he was innocent, why didn’t he just say that? Derek insists the police tricked him like they are trying to trick him right now. Carisi states they are not trying to trick him, they just want to know his side of the story. Derek comments that he kept his back to the wall in here and is trying to be a good father. He writes to Will and Michelle every week and he tells them that he loves them. Their mother Audrey has never been there for them and he is still their father. His daughter has admitted that this whole story is made up, and he asks now what more does he have to do?

Later, back at SVU in the squad room, Carisi shakes Bayard’s hand, gushing that it is an honor to meet him, When Carisi seems star struck, Benson urges him to move along about the meeting they had with Derek Thompson. Carisi says he maintains his innocence which is to be expected, and his version of that night does match up with Michelle’s. Rollins adds that Michelle did seem credible. Bayard comments they will need more than that to convince a judge to re-open. Rollins states that the detective on the case – Ted McCormick – has retired to Florida and she has left a few messages and no call back yet. Amaro is entering SVU with former Captain Don Cragen and Amaro comments “Look who I picked up on the street.” Rollins is happy to see him and Cragen says it is good to see her. Benson re-introduces Cragen to Bayard and then to Carisi. Carisi tells him to call him Sonny, and Rollins interjects that no one else does. Benson comments that Cragen has some contacts at the 2-7 and she asked him to look into this. Bayard asks that he found something, and Cragen replies that no, he didn’t, and, as he flashes a file folder, he adds he is not showing him this but it is addressed to Detective McCormick and ADA O’Dwyer so if Bayard was to request it from his office because maybe he saw it in a precinct evidence log, he would have to produce it. He hands the folder to Bayard. Benson ask what is this he is not showing them, and Amaro says it a letter that Michelle’s first grade teacher wrote that says Michelle came to her crying because her mother made her lie to the police. Rollins asks if this letter was sent before the trial started and Cragen nods. Carisi jumps in and says if they can prove that the DA had this potentially exculpatory evidence and didn’t share with the defense – Benson rolls her eyes and looks to Bayard – that is a slam dunk. Cragen, calling him Sonny, tells Carisi to hold his horses, it is possible O’Dwyer did forward the letter. Carisi questions that Thompson’s defense didn’t use it, saying that this is awesome, adding justice delayed does not mean justice denied. Bayard gives Carisi a blank look and states dryly, “So…you’re new here” and grins.

In the conference room of the District Attorney at 1 Hogan Place on Tuesday, April 21, Benson and Ellis meet with ADA Kenneth O’Dwyer who explains the Thompson case was his first win as a prosecutor and the jury deliberated for a half hour and found him guilty on all charges, open and shut. Bayard counters that absolutes give him hives. Kenneth comments that jury believed the jury believed the victim and thinks that would bring them comfort. Benson counters that it does, but the girl is now claiming that she was forced to lie by her mother. Kenneth comments “Again” and he says he recanted as a teenager and was not found credible. Benson brings up the letter to the teacher and Bayard mentions that was exculpatory but the letter was never mentioned by the defense in the transcripts. Kenneth comments they should ask the defense about that, and wonders if they are accusing him of prosecutorial misconduct, and is emphatic he turned the letter over to the defense, Cassie Muir, in 1998. He has no idea why she didn’t bring it up. He think if Michelle now has regrets, that is a family tragedy but it doesn’t make him innocent.

At the apartment of Cassie Muir in Forest Hill, Queens on Tuesday, April 21, Rollins and Carisi speak with Cassie, who seems scatterbrained. She does not practice law anymore and was disbarred in 2009. They show her the letter from the teacher and she did get the letter from Kenneth. She said she must have had a good reason not to use it; the jury could get upset and it could backfire if you go after a young girl too hard.