Thursday, April 29, 2010

Law & Order SVU “Torch” Recap & Review

All photos from NBC
Law & Order SVU steps into a flaming mess with the episode “Torch.” The first problem is that it is not an SVU case, and should have never been an SVU case. It doesn’t matter that Jack McCoy told ADA Jo Marlowe to take it because kids were killed, once it was made clear that there was no evidence of sexual improprieties or child abuse, the case should have been passed along to homicide if the case was determined to be arson. Yet McCoy sticks with Marlowe even though it is clear that she is not convinced they have the right guy. It gets even worse when Marlowe, rather than go back to McCoy with better evidence to show they have the wrong man and to get the charges dropped, she acts as a defense attorney and proves that Frank Sullivan didn’t do it. I would think that it would have looked better for them to drop the charges until they had time to sort things out, rather than have Marlowe torpedo her own case and then find later on that maybe her theory of the fire wasn’t the right one either. The whole thing just did not make sense. By the way, I hope that McCoy hits Marlowe hard on her behavior, seeing that when Casey Novak had once acted in the interests of the defense, McCoy gave her hell for it, threatening her with getting fired AND being disbarred. Since we know that Sharon Stone will be around for a few more episodes, it seems that McCoy’s bark is worse than his bite.

Making matters worse is that ADA Jo Marlowe – who seems to know what Stabler is going to do in interrogation because she taught him everything he knows – lets him walk into an interrogation with a wastebasket filled with paper and matches to question a “pyropheliac.” She then has the nerve to get upset when Stabler uses the matches and the fire to get a confession, Marlowe saying that Stabler sexually aroused him and then calls it rape.(Eeewwww.) It wasn’t for one moment believable that Jo Marlowe was a cop who taught Stabler everything he knows. I suppose that she should take the blame that Stabler has no self control and he acts like s hot headed jerk at times? And seriously, what was it with that stunt with Stabler needing raw onion to conjure up tears? Even wrapped in a handkerchief a raw onion would smell and Frank would have been on to him – or maybe think Stabler just had a bad case of body odor. I also noticed that despite the attempts to make it seem like there had been a spark with Marlowe and Stabler, there wasn’t even smoke there; they seemed completely devoid of any chemistry. Nobody seems to be carrying a torch here.

Other oddities with this episode: 1.) Frank runs out of his house –where we see no fire yet – and yells for someone to call for help. Wouldn’t a person’s first instinct be to get to their OWN phone and call 911? Luckily a neighbor did it for him, and the fire department is there in a nanosecond. I suspect Frank ran into the street for dramatic effect. 2. Did they forget that Pizza Face/Parisi confessed, and did they just chalk that confession up to Stabler’s arousing him? What would have happened if Marlowe’s fire expert showed that Frank didn’t set the fire but someone else did? Parisi could still be a suspect. But nooooo, they let him go. 3. How did Frank get that huge knife into Rikers AND into the interview room? 4. Marlowe discredits the fire marshal and calls what he does “junk science.” Doesn’t that open up other cases in which he was involved and they got convictions to appeal? She should have gone to McCoy and told him her findings outside of the courtroom to keep from discrediting the fire marshal in open court. She now may have put other cases and convictions at risk. 5. Where are they getting some of these supporting, "bit" actors from? The opening scene seemed like amateur hour. And while we are on the subject of acting, I think there was enough scenery chewing in this episode for an entire season, just from Sharon Stone alone.

The only thing that could have made this episode more bizarre was if they brought back Law & Order Sergeant Max Greevey (George Dzundza) from the dead so they could recreate the interrogation scenes with Sharon Stone in “Basic Instinct.” Oh wait; there are still a few more episodes where they can still do that.

Here is the recap:

Two “dudes” are out walking when Frank Sullivan (Kevin Anderson) runs out into the street and says his girls are in his house and it is on fire. The neighbor said she already called 911, and the house explodes in a bal of flames. The fire department arrives and Frank says there are two girls in the back bedroom and they race to fight the fire.

Later, Detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) arrive on the scene and are told that two girls, 8 and 10, burned to death and the single dad is being treated for burns smoke inhalation. One other daughter, Emily Sullivan, 18, was out babysitting. When Stabler asks why they were called in for an arson, the officer said that “she” told them to, “she” is their new ADA. Stabler sees her and says, “Oh man” adding she used to be a cop, and his old partner.

As they approach the crime scene Stabler asks Benson what she is talking about; he’s been telling her Jo Marlowe stories for years. Benson comments except the one where Marlowe is actually a woman. Jo Marlowe (Sharon Stone) asks Benson if Stabler told her she was his training officer and says she taught him everything he knows. She says, “Elliot friggin' Stabler, what’s it been 10 years?” He tells her it is closer to 15, and he introduces Marlowe to Benson. Marlowe says Benson is a lucky girl to be working with “El,” Benson quips that’s what he keeps telling her. Marlowe explains there are two dead little girls and she thinks the Ledger will it on the front page and doesn’t want to be caught with her pants down. She begins to dress in firefighter garb. Stabler says pants down is SVU, but wonders why they were called in to a fire – if it’s arson it’s homicide. But Marlowe says that when the DA sees dead little kids, he thinks special victims. She tells them she had been transferred to SVU, adding that Elliot never got over it when she left him for law school. She comments to Benson that it looks like he has been in good hands. She tells Stabler she will catch up with him later and then moves toward the building. The Deputy Marshal Kurek greets her on the stairs and he tells her he found signs of an accelerant in the girl’s bedroom and he is ruling it arson. Marlowe tells Benson and Stabler that the dad is down at Mercy and tells them to go talk to him.

At Mercy General Hospital, the detectives speak with the father, Frank Sullivan, his daughter Emily sitting at his beside, and tells them he woke up to his daughters Kedzie and Faye yelling for him. He smelled smoke so he ran to the room and the door was hot and he burned his hands. His daughter says she should have been there. Benson tells them it was arson. They ask him if he has any enemies. Emily comments that his ex-wife Marcy was a psycho and wonders if she did it. He asks her to get him some orange juice and she leaves the room. He tells them Emily's mom died when she was 10 and doesn’t like her step mom, Marcy. She left him and the girls.

Back at SVU, the detectives comment that the judge gave full custody of the kids to Frank. Fin (Ice-T) tells Benson and Stabler that Marcy failed a court ordered psych exam and he cites all the weird things she did. She flipped out and told Frank if she couldn’t have the kids, nobody would.

At Marcy Sullivan’s apartment, she is shocked that they are gone. She seems out of it. They criticize her mothering skills and her drinking. She says he had an audition at a club that night and went home with one of the owners. She mentions a guy who grabbed at Kedzie at the club she told Kedzie to talk to Emily about it.

The detectives speak with Emily (Justine Cotsonas), who tells them they call the guy “pizza face” as he has bad acne. It happened in a bodega but she thought Kedzie was just being a drama queen about it and didn’t believe her. She says there was a cat in the bodega that Kedzie used to pet, but then she later found it in the alley burned and told her that pizza face told Kedzie that’s what happens to bad pussy.

Later, Benson comes out of the bodega and approaches pizza face. She gets on him about harassing little girls. She identifies herself as a detective and he tries to run. Stabler stops him, and Benson, who has pizza face’s jacket which came off when he ran, pulls out a lighter and fluid from it.

Back at SVU with Benson and Marlowe, Stabler says that “pizza face’s” real name is Michael Parisi, 23, with 3 prior arrests for sex abuse in the Bronx and all the victims were underage girls. Benson adds that none of the cases went to trial as the victims were too scared to testify. Stabler thinks Parisi set the fire to frighten Kensey Sullivan into silence and the blaze got away from him and he ends up committing two arson homicides. Marlowe asks, why set a fire and not threaten to kill a pet or her parents? Benson says “Mikey” is a firebug, they found a lighter and accelerant in his pocket. Marlowe thinks maybe be smokes, and Benson adds no cigarettes. Marlowe says they have a perv that likes to play with fire and little girls, and it looks like they are double dipping into the motive pool. Stabler says to Benson that he told her she would say that. He brings up video taken at the crime scene, assuming the arsonist is in the crowd watching. They see Parisi there but his eyes are closed. Benson thinks he is having a “private moment.” Stabler thinks he’s a pyropheliac getting off and he bets Marlowe his paycheck that’s what’s happening. She asks how he will prove it.

With Parisi in interrogation Stabler comes in with a wastebasket filled with paper and Parisi says he didn’t do anything. Benson and Marlowe watch. As Stabler works him, Marlowe is whispering the next steps out loud to Benson, as if she knows Stabler knows what to do because she taught him. Parisi said he only talked to Kedzie. Stabler says that Parisi has a thing for fire and begins to explain the beauty of fire, and he lights a match and Parisi starts talking as Stabler lights matches. He says he copped a feel but that was all. As Stabler continues to light matches and then lights the paper in the wastebasket, Parisi says he did it. He set the fire. Watching from the observation room, Benson tells Marlowe there goes her paycheck, and Marlowe says that’s not all it is going to cost her. She thinks the defense will say that Stabler sexually aroused his client to elicit a confession and Parisi was raped at SVU.

As she walks out of the room, Marlowe tells Benson his confession will be thrown out and Benson argues they have pizza face on the video. Marlowe counters that it is along with half the neighborhood. Benson says he molested Kedzie, and Marlowe says those charges died with her. She thinks she should talk with the dad to see if he can put the bastard there. Benson comments that Frank says he didn’t see anyone hanging around there last night. Marlowe observes that Benson doesn’t think Marlowe trusts Benson’s interview skills, and Benson observes that Marlowe has a more hands-on approach than most DAs. Marlowe snaps back to Benson to cut the euphemisms. But Benson thinks just because Marlowe was a cop does not mean she is on their side. Marlowe retorts that she was not just a cop, she was Elliot’s partner and she wouldn’t betray him any more than Benson would. As Marlowe walks away, Benson follows and comments that Marlowe transferred back there to work with Stabler again. Marlow says that Jack McCoy needed to replace Cabot so she was drafted – it was a happy accident. She adds, “Speaking of Elliot, you and he ever…” and Benson answers, “No. He’s married.” Marlowe smiles and chuckles, says “Yeah” and turns and walks away. Benson asks her where she is going, and Marlowe says she is going to rescue their case against pizza face, and asks if Benson is coming.

At the Sullivan residence, Benson is there with Marlowe and fire Marshal Kurek arrives to meet them. Benson and tells him that Parisi confessed, but Kurek is there to have Frank Sullivan arrested as he is sure he did it. He explains who the fire traveled through the house and says the arsonist trailed the accelerant backwards through the house and then walked out the front door. He says Frank's story is BS and if he had run through the fire as he claimed, his feet would have been burned. As Frank approaches, the fire marshal explains he is sure of his findings. Marlowe tells Benson to cut Parisi loose and arrest Sullivan, and the fire marshal begins to yell at Sullivan, calling him a scumbag. Benson moves to cuff him while Marlowe reads him his rights. Marlowe gets his hand loose and slaps her across the face. She stands up and glares at him and Benson asks if she is OK. Marlowe replies, “Your cuffs on our killer, I’m fine.”

Back at SVU, Marlowe wants to know why Sullivan killed his kids. Captain Cragen (Dann Florek) says Sullivan has been lying, he hasn’t worked since last summer and his financials are a mess and his house was insured for the full value – $1.1 million. He has no insurance claims, but Emily Sullivan did for the torching her own car. Marlow thinks this is what she needs to convince a jury, and Stabler says only if the car fire was daddy's idea. Marlowe scoffs and lightly hits him on the shoulder as she walks off.

Benson walks into an interview room where Emily is waiting. She says the detectives are making a mistake. Benson says if Emily wants to help her to talk to her and help her get to know her father better. Emily says he is a great dad and he never let her sisters worry about money. Collection agencies were calling all the time, and he said everything would be OK. But she is supposed to start college and doesn’t know how she will afford tuition. Benson brings up the fact that she couldn’t afford her car payment and then the car got conveniently stolen and torched. Emily asks is she in trouble, and Benson says it depends, asking whose idea it was. Emily said it was her father’s idea. She said they got no money the insurance paid off the loan. Benson tells her their house was in jeopardy now and if it worked before, why not do it again? Emily is now worried that he really set that fire.

Benson speaks with Frank who is in interrogation and brings up the problems with the house. Stabler accused him of torching the house for the insurance, and brings up Emily’s car. He still denies it all. As Stabler continues to hammer on the kids dying in the fire, seemingly faking tears of emotion, Franks tells him to stop. But Stabler continues to go on, saying he understands, just tell him Frank says there is nothing to tell, he did not kill his babies, and he wants a lawyer. Stabler answers, “And I don’t want to breathe the air in here anymore.”

As Stabler walks out into the observation room where Benson and Marlowe are watchdog and Marlowe says Frank really got to him. He is surprised that she bought that act, but she says she knows real tears. But Stabler shows her it was just a raw onion in his handkerchief. Marlowe says he really got her, but Stabler says he didn’t get Frank. Marlowe says they have enough to charge him, and now it is her turn to put on a show – no tears.

At arraignment court, Frank, with his legal aid attorney Shankman (Jason Jurman), pleads not guilty. Emily yells out that Frank is a liar and says she hates him as the judge orders her escorted out. Marlowe asks for remand and says she has the proof from the FDNY investigator. The judge remands him. As the judge orders a 5 minute recess, Marlowe says to Shankman to give her the blue back. Marlowe asks Shankman if she has to school him, his client killed two girls and he is guilty - he knows it and she knows it. She adds this is the time he is supposed to come up with some hare-brained theory of justification – like he was sleepwalking or he was delusional because he was up all night worrying about paying his bills. But Shankman says he was actually going to ask for a deal.

In Marlowe’s office and over lunch with Stabler, Marlowe tells them that she told Shankman to plead to the indictment and she doesn’t ask for consecutive sentencing on the two deaths, doing 25 to life. Shankman told his client to take it and she almost hopes it doesn’t. Stabler says when she tastes blood she has to be in there for the kill, and she replies that he still gets her. Her phone rings and she tells the caller to give her a half hour. Sullivan called himself and he wants to talk.

At Rikers in the conference room, Frank tells her he wants to talk to her alone and that he fired Shankman because Shankman thinks Frank is guilty. She says whatever he says can and will be used to crucify him on the stand. He knows. She says she is not some priest there to hear his confession and forgive him; her job is to put him away. He reminds her she is there to get justice for his daughters. He wants to be heard, he will even take a polygraph or any other test. He admits to a number of little things but will swear on his graves that he did not kill his girls. She says it is a nice speech but is she supposed to let him waltz out of there while she chases after a mythical killer. He says his daughters are dead because he could not save them and he can’t live with the guilt. She says he should have asked her to bring a razor blade. He asks her if she thinks is a joke, and he stands up with a knife, and she stands back, yelling “10-13! 10-13!” As the alarm sounds, he begins to cut into his arm. The guards race in and restrain him and he asks if she believes him now.

Back at SVU, Marlowe tells Benson and Stabler that Frank will be OK, he is on suicide watch. Stabler calls it a stunt and she Marlowe says it worked, she was a cop for 10 years and she knows when somebody is lying and she does not think Frank set that fire. Benson tells her that her BS detector is on the fritz, and Stabler says Frank is a con artist. She still stands by her opinion. She says they need to look t the case with a new set of eyes. She says there is one witness they haven’t questioned – the house.

At the lab of Dr. Iggy Drexel (Brad Dourif), Marlowe explains her case and thinks the guy in innocent, which confuses Drexel as Marlowe is a prosecutor. She needs an expert because the fire marshal refuses to take a second look at it. Drexel says there was a case just like this in Texas that got an innocent man executed for an arson homicide that was really an accident. Drexel says Kurek’s whole case is half assed; he cites Kurek’s findings about the glass at the house and feels that the spidering was caused by the cold water from the fire houses hitting the superheated glass, that it was not proof of an accelerant. He needs to see more information from the fire scene and the witness statements to verify of the fire marshal’s findings are flawed.

Marlowe, along with Stabler and Drexel, has Frank back at the house and has him walk them through the night of the fire. He says he was sleeping and heard the girls call for him. Smoke was pouring out from under the doorway. Drexel notices spots that the fire marshal thought was from the accelerant. Frank says that he tired to open the door but the knob was too hot and the door would not break down. Drexel says the heat would have expanded the wood and he would have needed an axe to open it, and if he would have opened it he would have been swallowed up by flame. Frank says he ran to the front door to get help and opened the front door. Drexel explains that once he opened the door the fire raced there for the oxygen. He says this theory is plausible and so is Kurek’s, but he can’t prove it.

Afterwards, Marlowe moans that she thought Drexel would blow the fire marshal out of the water. She says they screwed up and it’s up to them to clean it up. She asks Stabler what happened to her partner that used to back her play. He says they haven’t been partners for a long time. She gives him a light punch and says yeah, she has been replaced. As Benson arrives, Marlowe says it looks like the party is over. Benson says it is just getting started, DA Jack McCoy is at the squad room waiting for her and he sent Benson to bring her in.

As Marlow, Stabler and Benson walk back into SVU, they see Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) on the phone and Marlowe tells him he can hang up. He says, “So your phone isn’t broken.” She counters that she was busy, and he fires back that he heard, adding “When I call, you answer. When I tell you to do something, you do it.” When she asks even if it means sending an innocent man to jail for the rest of his life, he questions Frank's innocence, saying Frank had lied to her, he torched a car and attempted suicide – with her there to call for help. McCoy tells Marlowe that Frank is snowing her, and Marlowe tells McCoy when she first came to the DA’s office he told her to stop thinking like a cop since probable cause wasn’t good enough in court. She needed proof beyond a reasonable doubt. She asks him aren’t her doubts reasonable? McCoy replies that the fire marshal does not think so. She counters that Drexel’s theory is equally viable. He says to let the jury decide, that’s what they’re for. He tells her emphatically, “Go to trial, Jo.” She replies, “I remember what you told me about trial Jack, that a good prosecutor got convictions and (she and McCoy finish the sentence in unison) great ones get justice.” McCoy says “I give that speech to all new ADAs.” Marlowe comments, “Well, I believed you. Now I’m asking you to believe me.” He turns and looks at Benson and Stabler and asks Stabler if he believes her. He says she is worth listening to. He asks Benson if she thinks Frank is innocent and Marlowe looks over apprehensively. Benson says she does not know. McCoy says there is not one shred of evidence that anyone else set this fire, and tells Marlowe to take him to trial. When McCoy leaves, Stabler says they are all in this together and Stabler and Benson wonder about pizza face, who confessed to the crime, and Frank. Benson says they need a smoking gun and Stabler suggests a smoking house, but Benson says they can’t burn a house down. Marlowe says she can, and walks off.

Marlowe goes back to Drexel, who calls her idea crazy but says it could work. He is going to recreate the fire and record it with sensors and heat resistant cameras. He sets the fire.

Back in court, Marlowe shows the recording of the recreation with fire marshal Kurek on the stand. She asks him to interpret what he sees on the recording and he says the results of that recreation are the same as what he saw at the Sullivan house. He says only an accelerant can cause those burn patterns and he is sure of it. But Marlowe says that no accelerant was used to start the ire with the recreation. He seems surprised and she shows him how the recreation was done. Drexel started the fire with a short with wires on a space heater next to the bed. Kurek says it is impossible, and he says he knows what he saw. But she goes on to show an animated recreation of the fire Frank the point of view of Frank and his home, saying when Frank opened the door it caused the fire to flash over. Marlowe tells Kurek the fire was not caused by arson. She looks over to Frank and then to Kurek, and says, “That is the danger of junk science.” She tells the judge that based on this new evidence the people move to dismiss the case in the interest of justice.

Outside in the hall, Frank tells Marlowe he does not know what to say. She says he does not have to say anything. The elevator doors open and Benson is there with Emily, who rushes to her father. She apologizes that she thought he did it, but he hugs her. Marlowe walks off, telling Benson now she has to give McCoy the bill for the house she just burned down. Benson asks her if she wants some back up, and Marlowe said sure, and they walk away as we fade to black.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Gods and Insects” Recap & Review

All photos from USA Network

Law & Order Criminal Intent provided another interesting episode that followed the formula that first made Criminal Intent different from the other shows in the Law & Order franchise – it gives a view into the mind of the criminal or what led up to the crime. In this particular episode, “Gods and Insects” we think we are following the killer at first, but we later find that he is only half the story. Like last week, the guest stars did a great job in their roles and made for believable characters. There were a few times where Nichols made some faces and/or postured which I found spoke more than words, something that Jeff Goldblum does very well. When he first came on the series I was worried that I would not be able to separate his real persona from his role of Zach Nichols, but I think he’s going a great job in making the character his own man.

Saffron Burrows was fine in this episode, but her character Serena Stevens still seems bland. Each week they provide a little tidbit about her background, but I am waiting to see a little more of a personality come through. Maybe more time is needed. The other thing I have noticed is that she sometimes seems to be working hard not to have her normal speaking voice come through, and this may be limiting her into being more expressive in her delivery. She seemed quite comfortable speaking what seemed closer to her normal voice while working undercover. Speaking of which, the show used the old tried and true “let’s put the pretty detective in a sexy dress for an undercover job” routine, which frankly gets a little old. It may be hard for her to be convincing in an undercover role playing anything but a pretty woman. In fact, it made me realize that someone like Zach Nichols could have the same problem, as Goldblum just looks to groomed and well kept to have any type of gritty undercover role.

Here is the recap:

At a party for Willoughby Bank and Trust, Nathan Grayson (Dominic Fumusa) makes a speech and says nice things about his friend Dave. They have had the first good year in a long time. Later, David Novak (Jim True-Frost) thanks Nathan for what he said. Nathan questions that someone found David at the hotel, and David says yes. Nathan says everyone needs someone they can trust and that works both ways. At home, David’s wife Cynthia finds the dinner receipt and complains that he paid for it. He wants to belong but she cares about each other, not belonging to his group.

At a bar, Amber (Bree Williamson) flirts with another man, and a woman comes up and asks the man if she can have a word with Amber. When he walks off the woman tells Amber she is gone, that Amber has been selling information on clients to the tabloids. Back at home, Amber fights with her boyfriend Kevin about the tabloid accusation, and she throws him out, saying he will ruin everything. But he says he is going through with it.

Back at David’s house, Cynthia sees he is not in bed, and then notices he is leaving the house in his car. The next we see, a group of workers find what looks like a body in a sewer.

Detectives Zach Nichols (Jeff Goldblum) and Serena Stevens (Saffron Burrows) are on the scene, and are told that a garbage crew found the remains, no hands, feet or head, but is it a male. The body is in the sewer. Nichols and Stevens go into the sewer where ME Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix) is examining the body, unable to determine time of death because the trash in the sewer accelerates decomposition. The wounds on the body are pre-mortem. Rodgers thinks the hands and feet were sawed off. Nichols sees what looks like a surgery scar on the shoulder of the body, thinking this may give them a lead. Later, ME Rodgers is able to ID the body from a serial number in the surgical implant - it’s Kevin Denaburg.

Nichols and Stevens go to Denaburg’s apartment, and the landlord tells them Denaburg had no job and his girlfriend was a model, named Amber. The detectives search the apartment and Nichols sees only men’s clothes in the closet but there are a bunch of empty hangers and find the cupboard doors opened as if someone was looking for something. Nichols sees a “swag” bag from Willoughby Bank and Trust with pricey stuff in it. In it he also sees a seating card for an Amber Donelli. Stevens sees that same name on the receipts for an upper east side dry cleaner

Back at Major Case conferring with Captain Zoe Callas (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), Stevens thinks that Amber being a model really meant she was something else. Amber was paying the rent, and they also wonder if Amber is on the run, but not sure if it is from the police. Callas gives them Kevin’s bank records to check him out. Nichols finds Kevin had been out of work, but he had some big income from Eli Gold enterprises, a gossip site. The detectives speak with Gold and he said Kevin’s girlfriend Amber took the photos. Kevin recently offered Gold some photos of a Wall Streeter but he wouldn’t give a name.

Later, in Nathan’s office, Nathan gives David the key to a better office, and David says he is grateful. But later in his garage at home, David sits in his car, clearly upset. He kids walk in and his wife asks what that smell is in the garage. He tells her it is solvent and he was cleaning tools. She asks if he can get rid of it before they eat, and he appears to rinse some blood off something and hangs up a saw. He also puts a manila envelope in the bottom of a toolbox.

Back at Major Case, the detectives tell Callas that they found a business card in Kevin’s place for “Platinum Encounters”, the owner is Sierra Brandis, and her company provides “female embellishments.” Callas sends Stevens undercover as someone looking to be a high priced escort.

In a nice bar, Serena waltzes in provocative attire and meets with Sierra. She is speaking with an accent and Sierra is impressed with her worldliness. She mentions that Amber referred her to Sierra and she knows of Kevin but did not meet him. Sierra says Kevin is trouble. She also makes the offer for Stevens to get in touch.

Stevens, still in her slinky dress, arrives back at Major Case to whistles, and Nichols takes notice of her. She tells him Sierra skirts the edge of legal with her operation and Sierra described Kevin as trouble. Nichols thinks that Amber “traded up” and met the guy at a party held by Willoughby Bank and Trust, fronted by an executive David Novak.

The detectives visit David at his new office at Willoughby Bank and Trust, and when Nichols sees a photo of him in military garb, David l confirms hr was in Iraq. And says the other man in the photo is their CEO, Nathan Grayson and that they were stationed together. Nathan felt he was working below his qualifications at Waterman’s insurance. Nichols notes the swag bag from Willoughby bank and Stevens shows her the picture of Amber and show him a photo of Amber with Kevin and tell him Kevin was murdered. David gets uncomfortable and says he should have the benefit of counsel, but Stevens alludes to a subpoena for all their records and then asks for a list of attendees at the party, and he complies and gives it to them,

Outside, as the detectives mull over the list, Nichols refers to David as a people pleaser but says David was oddly empowered. As Nichols mulls over the time it will take to interview all the people on the list, Stevens gets a message telling him Amber was picked up in Jersey City.

With Amber in interrogation, she tells them she and Kevin just had a fight and was looking for a new place to live. She admits working for Sierra Brandis. They confront her with Kevin using photos for blackmail, and when she decides to leave, Stevens says she can return under a murder warrant and Amber caves. She tells them Kevin was trying to put the squeeze on a married Wall Street big wig with weird preferences – he liked to dress up in combat attire and she would be a terrified victim. Kevin put a camera and a computer in a hotel room and she recorded it. They ask for his name.

In the parking garage Nathan is going to his car and David stops him, commenting that Nathan did not return his calls. Nathan says he got jammed up, and then tells David that David will need a better ride for that office. Nathan suggests they have breakfast tomorrow and he gets in his car and leaves and David gets in his car.

Back at home, David’s wife wakes up and sees David standing over her with a knife , saying that Nathan trusted him and he needs to know I she trusts him too. She says of course, she loves him. He says he knows and he sobs. She asks that something triggered the dreams and the sweats and asks what it was. He says everything he does is for them; just believe him and whatever happens he needs her so much.

With Nichols and Stevens back in David’s office, he says he doesn’t know what they are talking about, they were just models. They tell him Amber says they had a sexual relationship and that she connected him with Kevin Denaburg and he claims he does not know him. Nathan has walked in and tells David he does not have to answer that, and he introduces himself to the detectives. He tells them David is entitled to counsel and also admits he fought side by side with David for the country. The detectives comment that David was discharged dishonorably for shooting two unarmed civilian in Iraq and David says people lie and he was never charged. Nathan tells them again David does not have to talk to them and dismisses the detectives. Afterwards, Nathan is greeting his father and wife as they meet for lunch, and Nichols and Stevens watch. Nichols comments to Stevens that it is nice being one of the gods.

Back at Major Case, they comment on Nathan’s connection with Amber to Callas, and Callas says they need proof. Nichols wonders if Kevin stalked her movements, and Stevens thinks his cell phone can track his movements.

Later, they find David on tape outside a midtown hotel being confronted by Kevin, and Callas says she will call the DA. But Nichols asks why David did not put up a fight as he is a veteran who is tense and on edge. He doesn’t turn violent when Kevin attacked. Stevens wonders if he saved the best for last when he killed Kevin and sawed up his hands and feet.

Later, as the Novak family appears to be leaving with the kids for a party, the police arrive with the defectives and they serve him with a search warrant. They search his car and the car seems too clean. They impound the car. While searching the garage they take the saw as evidence and Nichols finds the manila envelope in the toolbox. Nichols shows Stevens the contents and says, “We’re good.” They arrest David.

Back at the bank, Stevens speaks with Nathan; Nichols distracted by a pair of binoculars, looking squarely at Nathan, not the sweeping vista. Nichols asks more about his time in Iraq with David, and Nathan said nobody believed the allegations about David and even his father stepped in to help. Nichols tells him it was the party planning that brought David in contact with the victim. Nathan says he wants to help them but he is late for a meeting. He goes for the keys to his Mercedes and Nichols says he has been very helpful and they will be in touch. Stevens says he means that.

Outside, Stevens thinks Nathan is throwing David under the bus to avoid a scandal. But Nichols thinks he’s trying to avoid the scandal of Kevin’s murder. Nichols wonders why Nathan’s father put his reputation on the line for David, a guy he never met. Nichols thinks it is what a family will do for their son and wonders if they are charging the wrong guy with murder.

Back in Callas’ office, they tell her they think David is covering for Nathan and Nichols shows her some photos and she says that might mean complicity but blood from the victim matches blood found on the saw and in David’s car. Nichols thinks all David did was deal with the body, but the wounds and the murder weapon on the body were made from a car door – not David’s car door. He thinks Nathan’s Mercedes matches. She says they are asking her to act based on vague circumstantial evidence. And she tells them to stay away from David and his lawyer and their theory cold provide him with an alternate defense and David could go free.

Later, Nichols tells Stevens it is hard to make a military murder case without a body. Nichols cites terror killings whose hands and feet had been cut off, like Kevin’s. Nichols thinks David did this with Kevin’s body just like he did it in Iraq – for Nathan. She reminds them they can’t speak with David and he says he’d rather talk to the wife. When Stevens reminds him what Callas said and there is a line they can’t cross, he asks if she is kidding. She says no she is not kidding if he does there she will terminate the interview. He reminds her that her military father wanted facts, and his mother taught him how to work within boundaries.

Later, the detectives are speaking with David’s wife at her home. David was a claims adjusted and when he was called up by the reserves they collapsed financially. She tells them her husband is innocent. She says what they have is from David’s hard work, not Nathan’s favors. She says the guys were close and they went through a lot in Iraq. Nichols tells her that maybe they didn’t see David to the crime, but maybe someone David knew. He implies that David took the blame for Nathan, and she starts to wonder out loud about it. She scoffs that David thinks Nathan cares about him,

Back at Major Case, Nichols is thanking Nathan for coming in to be part of the process. Nichols tells them David’s defense may subpoena him and Nathan does not seem worried, saying he is Harvard law and he could teach courtroom strategy to their DA. They walk into the interrogation room where Stevens is waiting, along with David. Stevens goes over the details of what they have, including the GPS information and says they know he used the Highlander to dump the body but who had the Mercedes? David glares at Nathan. When the detectives mention bring his wife into it, David gets very upset and begins to shout at Nathan. Nathan stays calm and says it won’t help him to alienate him. Nichols asks Nathan about the Mercedes he owns, and Nathan laughs it off, calling it a game they are playing. He tells them to lose the performance and if David is their star witness, their case is already in the toilet. As he gets up to leave, Nichols says Nathan’s flaw is that he exploits people like David because he is too weak to face consequences and Nichols calls Nathan a coward. Nichols shows Nathan compromising photos of Nathan and Amber and Stevens says he used David’s name for David to take the fall. Nichols tells them they were keeping him occupied now so they could search his car. Nichols has an officer bring in door latches from cars, saying the latches are different for each car, and tell him that they were matching his door latch with the wounds on the body. His answer to them is that they had no probable cause and their search of his car was illegal and they DNA on his car door would be considered fruit of the poisonous tree and all evidence in that search is inadmissible. He tells Nichols he just gave away his entire case. Nichols says it was interesting that Nathan just talked about Kevin getting hit with a car door, but David did not know that and what Nathan just told them was at the time Kevin was killed, David wasn’t there. Stevens says as for his car, it is right where he left it; a dealership lent them the door latches. Nichols adds Nathan was right, they do need probable cause to check his GPS and the real car door, but luckily what he just said just gave it to them. Nathan gets upset at David, saying David kept the pictures to screw him. David says he trusted him, but not enough; he had to have his insurance too. As Stevens arrests and cuffs Nathan, he spits on David.

As Nichols leads David out to be escorted away by an officer, Stevens walks up and says David is an accessory after the fact and with a plea is looking at some time. Nichols points to David’s wife and says he thinks she will wait. Stevens says they will have nothing when he comes out, but Nichols says that he will have a conscience – if she values that. As the detectives looks on, we fade to black.

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

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

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

Monday, April 26, 2010

Law & Order “Rubber Room” Advance Photos

NBC has released two photos for the upcoming episode of Law & Order titled "Rubber Room.” The actual air date and episode details are not available as yet, but NBC does have this episode listed as episode #23. This is the episode featuring Olympic gold medal winner Lindsay Vonn.

My recap and review of Law & Order "Rubber Room" can be found here.

Don’t forget – On May 3, Law & Order returns with a new episode, “Crashers.”

Photos © NBC Universal, Inc.

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

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

Friday, April 23, 2010

Law & Order CI “Gods and Insects” Preview Clips (Video)

Here are some preview video clips of next week’s episode of Law & Order Criminal Intent, “Gods and Insects.”

My recap and review of Law & Order Criminal Intent "Gods and Insects" can be found here.

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

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

Law & Order CI “Gods and Insects” Advance Photos

USA Network has released two advance photos of the lovely Saffron Burrows from next week’s episode of Law & Order Criminal Intent, “Gods and Insects.”

My recap and review of Law & Order Criminal Intent "Gods and Insects" can be found here.

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

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

Law & Order “The Taxman Cometh” Episode Information

NBC has released the information for a new episode of Law & Order titled “The Taxman Cometh.” Here are the details:

Law & Order “The Taxman Cometh” Air Date 05/10/2010 (10 PM ET/ 9C Monday NBC)

Detectives Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson) are called in to investigate the death of a young heiress, Annie Douglas (guest star Morgan Lynch), who died of an apparent drug overdose. The detectives begin to suspect her cousin, Randy (guest star Daniel Abeles), whose inheritance was increased due to Annie's death. As the investigation continues, Annie's greedy relatives reveal another recent loss in the group. The case becomes more than a family matter as an experimental cancer clinic, fraudulent adoptions and unborn children are tied into the case. Also Starring: S. Epatha Merkerson (Lt. Anita Van Buren), Linus Roache (Executive A.D.A. Michael Cutter), Alana De La Garza (A.D.A. Connie Rubirosa) Sam Waterston (Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy).

My recap and review of Law & Order"The Taxman Cometh" can be found here.

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

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

Law & Order SVU “Wannabe” Episode Information

NBC has released the information for a new episode of Law & Order SVU titled “Wannabe.” Here are the details:

Law & Order SVU “Wannabe” Air Date 05/12/2010 (10 PM ET/ 9C Wednesday NBC)

After a man flashes customers at an electronics store, it is discovered that someone who matches his description has recently raped three young girls. Captain Donald Cragen (Dann Florek) orchestrates a movement to catch the rapist, and a rookie cop (guest star Graham Davie) makes an arrest. Detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) confirm that they've found their man, but after ADA Jo Marlowe (guest star Sharon Stone) expresses some doubts, it is soon discovered that the so-called rookie may have some secrets of his own. Also starring: Ice-T (Detective Odafin Tutuola), Richard Belzer (Detective John Munch), Tamara Tunie (Dr. Melinda Warner), and B.D. Wong (Dr. George Huang).

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU "Wannabe" can be found here.

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

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

More Law & Order SVU “Torch” Sneak Peeks

Here are some more sneak peek videos for the upcoming episode of Law & Order SVU “Torch” which will air on April 28, 2010 on NBC. These videos have a limited life, so catch them while you can!

(In case you missed yesterday’s clips, they are at this link: Preview clips and promos for Law & Order SVU “Torch”

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU "Torch" can be found here.

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

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

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Law & Order SVU “Torch” Sneak Peeks

Here are some sneak peeks and behind the scenes videos for the upcoming episode of Law & Order SVU “Torch” which will air on April 28, 2010 on NBC. These videos have a limited life, so catch them while you can!

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU "Torch" can be found here.

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

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

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Law & Order SVU “Beef” Recap & Review

All Photos from NBCU
I don’t have too many beefs with the episode of Law & Order SVU titled “Beef.” Oddly, I found this episode weirdly entertaining, you know, in that CSI-Miami campy “it’s so bad it’s good” kind of way. Oh sure, the case really wasn’t about a special victim, and it gets preachy about the process of bringing beef to the table. In typical Law & Order franchise fashion, it uses an example of beef processing that may be at the extreme low end as an excuse to get on the soapbox about beef processing in general. But I sometimes forget that we’re talking about New York City here and the fact that they likely have a lot of smaller meat processing companies, maybe this is an accurate look at how beef is processed in New York City. (Ewww.) But beef processing on a large scale is nothing like what we see in “Beef”, with cleanliness taken very seriously. Before meat haters get on their high horse about e-coli in beef, there have also been past reports of e-coli in sprouts, bacteria in spinach and lettuce, and salmonella in ice cream. Food growing and processing, no matter if it is animal or vegetable, can be a problem if everything is not kept immaculately clean, including growing conditions for vegetables.

The main cast got plenty of screen time and they stirred up the detective pairings at times which kept things fresh. Dr. Huang however, was not present; as I am sure he would have a hard time analyzing a side of beef. (Then again...) The running dog jokes early on were funny (Stabler: “Sit. Stay!”) and I don’t know why, but the actress who played Mama Rosa (Lynn Cohen ) made me think of that old lady who used to do the famous Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef” commercials. We also got a treat – Benson undercover in something other than a slinky dress for the second time this season and playing a Russian no less. “Beef” was not one of those episode where you needed to engage your brain, but if did entertain.

Here is the recap:
A young couple returning a dog to its apartment finds the dog's owner dead in bed. Later, with ME Warner (Tamara Tunie) on the scene, she tells Detectives Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) and John Munch (Richard Belzer) that the victim’s name is Laura Santiago, and she bled out from a cut jugular and there were fluids. She swabs the dog’s mouth to see if by any chance the dog bit the killer. They search the apartment and walk into the hallway where Fin (Ice-T) is taking to the super, who heard nothing and does not know if the victim had a boyfriend. She did see him with a guy who seemed to have his own key. CSU Keegan (Jabari Gray) guy finds a laptop that literally had nothing on it. He also found her cell phone with recent calls from someone named Jan – when they show the super the picture of Jan from the cell phone she says and that’s the guy she has seen her with.

At the apartment of Jan Eyck, Stabler and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) speak with Jan and he tells them he teaches yoga and Laura is in his class. They want to take him downtown and he asks to feed his dog first. He asked what happened to Laura’s dog and is worried about it. Later in interrogation, Jan seems shocked Laura was raped, and he says he never forced her. He thinks someone came in after her. He says that he was walking the dog and had a fight with the neighbor that night, and continues to worry over Laura’s dog. Stabler tells him to “Sit. Stay.”

Benson asks Fin to check out Jan’s alibi, and Warner enters, telling them she found two blood types in the semen on Laura. They wonder if Jan walked in on Laura and another man. They go back in to question Jan and try to imply he killed her in a jealous rage, and he promptly invokes his right to a lawyer.

With Benson and Stabler watching Jan from the observation room, Captain Cragen (Dann Florek) walks in and sees Jan in the interrogation room mediating. Cragen tells them that Jan’s alibi with the neighbor has been verified. He tells them to get his DNA before he goes. Stabler suggests that Laura’s parents may know the second boyfriend.

At the home of Laura’s parents, the detectives tell them about Laura. Benson sees that Mr. Santiago’s hand is cut and he said he did it at the restaurant and was out with friends. He is upset they think he killed his daughter. They came to this country so Laura could have a chance. But they tell her Laura went from job to job and was last working at a store but she lost that job.

At the store where Laura last worked, someone tries to sell Benson some “tough but sexy” leather boots and Stabler a purse for his wife. They press him about Laura, and he says she was lovely at first but then there were problems. He shows them a video of Laura going nuts in the store, screaming for people not to buy anything here. He said she ran out and he never saw her again. As Benson and Stabler talk about this outside the store, Stabler’s phone rings – it is Morales, who got something off Laura’s computer, Stabler says about 10 GB of women’s butts.

At SVU, Morales (Joel de la Fuente) shows them a wall of photos of women’s behinds, and while Benson, Stabler and Fin muse over this, Munch tells them that Laura’s father’s alibi checks out. Morales said someone took the time to try to wipe her computer, he was able to recover some things. In addition to the photos of the women’s behinds, there are also a few of cockfighting. They see Laura’s father in one of those photos. A street sign in the photo is marked Pennsylvania Avenue.

Later, the SVU detectives are arresting the men involved in the cockfighting ring and they question Laura’s father again, that the cut on his hand was from getting a peck. He tells them Laura just showed up at one of them and they just argued and she took that picture three weeks ago, the last time he saw her. She told him unless he started treating the birds right that he was no longer her father.

Afterwards, they realize the Laura is an animal activist. Benson gets a text from Warner saying that Laura’s dog had evidence of fibers from two pairs of pants on Laura, blue polyester and hemp.

Later, Munch and Fin question Jan again, who said Laura’s dog got jealous when they had sex and the dog bit him. The show him the photos on Laura’s computer and he said she dabbled in documentaries and knew she was interviewing people. He says he and Laura were supposed to eat at their favorite raw food restaurant this afternoon after a book signing in Tribeca.

Later, at Mavia’s Book Shop, they see some of Laura’s photos and a woman – Lisbeth Handler - lecturing a crowd on how women – and animals - are sometimes viewed as a piece of meat and that we can’t stop the objectification of women until we stop eating our four legged brothers and winged sisters. Later, Benson and Stabler speak with Handler and she tells them Laura found all the photos for the book. She mentions Laura was filming an expose on meat. She refers them to Dean Jones.

They speak with Jones, who is in a wheelchair, who tells them he got e-coli from a burger and it put him in a wheelchair. Laura wanted to show it all. He does into how all the bacteria from a bunch of cows can go in to one burger and that some companies treat their meat with ammonia. He says a man name Jake Bradshaw was helping her. The detectives then speak with Bradshaw and he said he met Laura at a rally. He said he tried to mentor her and she interviewed him for her film. He thinks the film would have angered the big lobbyists or even the USDA. He thinks he can help them if he sees the film, and Stabler says they will get back to him. When Bradshaw walks off, the detectives think that Bradshaw knows something.

Back at Laura’s apartment, they search for the film. As they search, Benson gets a message from Fin saying they have info on Bradshaw.

Back at the precinct, Fin tells them Bradshaw was in the office when Laura was murdered, but his articles show he is out for blood - a whistleblower guy. They see an article on big meat and immigrants being used to process meat. Munch adds that Bradshaw was fired two years ago for hiring a kid to go undercover to drive a race car and the kid was killer, Bradshaw settling with the parents The case was sealed, but Munch “sweet talked” it out of a clerk. Bradshaw now works for the web site The Real Version.

At the Real Version office, Bradshaw says Laura did not work for him, she just gave her advice and he never saw the film. He says if they get the film he wants to do the story. Stabler brings up the kid that got killed fom Bradshaw's earlier story, and he asks what Laura was doing. Bradshaw says Laura was working undercover at Donna Rosa Meats processing plant and she wanted to see how bad things were, she was going to call her film "Inside the Slaughterhouse. "

As Mrs. Rosa Doletti (Lynn Cohen) is filming a commercial for her meats, Munch and Fin talk to Mr. Riley (Robert Petkoff) who is foreman there. He hired Laura and said she was a nice girl. They also speak with some of her co-workers and everyone seems to like Laura and the workers are happy. One worker, Jorge Vargas, seemed very interested in her. They speak to the workers about Vargas and find he was a flirt and was grabby and he was fired. He was pissed about it, and just took off and did not clean out his locker. The detectives check out his locker and find he played basketball when on breaks. They find Vargas outside playin basketball and question him. They see a cut on his arm and they accuse him of raping Laura and they tell her she is dead.

Down at SVU in interrogation, Vargas tells Benson and Stabler Laura was helping her. He had fight with his wife and went for a walk that night. But Cragen comes in and tells Vargas that the DNA on Laura’s body matched his – and they got his DNA from his sneakers. He said he never touched Laura. Jorge still denies everything. Cragen tells the detectives to check out the Vargas place.

At the Vargas place, his wife is very upset and says she is throwing him out for cheating. She remembers that he had a pair of blue pants that he just threw away that were torn and had blood on them.

Back at the precinct, Warner tells them the fibers on those pants match the blue fibers in the dog’s mouth and the blood on them was Laura’s. But she also found a sweat stain in the inseam which does not match Vargas’s DNA. Someone else was wearing his pants. Stabler recaps what they do know and wonders how they can explain a third man’s sweat, and wonder if someone is setting him up, someone like Mrs. Vargas.

Back at the Vargas home, they confront Vanessa Vargas with a photo taken from a security camera the night of the killing showing she was out and carrying a cooler, but she said she knows her husband was cheating. A woman took photos of Jorge with other women and sent them to her with a letter, saying Jorge didn’t want either of them anymore and is going to run off with Laura. She asked Vanessa for a short and a pair of Jorge’s pants and some of his semen. She put a used condom plus the clothes in a cooler and left them where she was told and they were returned the next day and a note said to give it to the police if they came by. They arrest her for obstruction.

Back at the precinct, Munch allows Jorge to go free. Stabler, Cragen, and Benson still wonder who is behind this, and the detectives decide to check out Donna Rosa’s Meats.

At Donna Rosa’s Meats, Benson, undercover as a worker named “Tanya” and speaking with an accent, goes to work. Her boss asks her to “say something in Russian, baby” and she does. He likes it, and says he will see her tomorrow. Stabler, listening in, asks Benson through her earpiece what she said to him, and she says, “go swing an elephant’s balls.” (I think that's what she said!) She goes on to say the place is filthy and disgusting and there are cockroaches. She begins to check around and sees rat droppings everywhere. She hears a noise and says someone is coming. She sees another cleaning woman who goes into the bathroom. She follows her into the bathroom and they talk about the filth. The woman tells her not to ask too many questions. The woman tells her about a girl who used to work there was caught taking pictures and the foreman (Riley) took her away. The other cleaning woman races back to work, and Benson reports to Stabler she is going to Riley’s office to look around. She rummages through his desk and files and finds what looks like a tape from a video camera. Riley walks in and asks what she is doing there and she says she is cleaning. Stabler hears this and races out of the surveillance van. Riley says he thinks she is snooping and he punches her. They struggle and she drops the tape and Riley’s foot comes down on it, breaking the cassette. Stabler rushes into the room and announces he is the police and he pulls Riley off, arresting him for assaulting a police officer. Benson adds that as soon as they get their DNA, it will also be for murder.

With Riley in interrogation, they ask him about Laura and tell him that he is going to prison. But he says they have no proof. Benson tells him to take off his pants, and he says if she wants to see his ass, she has to start with a little foreplay. Stabler tells Riley to drop ‘em. He does, and there are no signs of dog bite marks.

Later, they tell Cragen there are no bite marks; they assume the dog got the pants and no flesh. Cragen thinks Riley will plead out on assault as he can say he thought Benson was robbing him. Warner enters and tells him that the DNA on Riley’s toothpick matches the sweat on the pants. As Cragen tells the detectives to tell Riley he is dead meat, they hear Munch trying to stop someone from coming in the squad room. It is Mrs. Rosa and she is upset. She is accompanied by Mr. Sarafini, her lawyer, who goes in to see Riley while Mrs. Rosa goes to Cragen’s office. Mrs. Rosa tells Cragen she does not understand because Riley is a good man. Cragen tells her that Laura found problems in her plant and Riley was covering up. Meanwhile, Sarafini tells Riley to relax when they tell him they have evidence of him at the crime scene. Mrs. Rosa enters and pleads Riley to tell the truth. He says nothing and she leaves. Stabler tells Riley to listen to her and be a man and tell them. He says he did it, and the Sarafini tells him to shut up. But Riley goes on and says Laura was going to get them shut down and Laura was going to ruin his life.

Later, the video taken by Laura was pieced together by Morales and Munch is watching, and it is an expose of the mess at Donna Rosa’s Meats. Rats, bacteria, bad stuff going into the grinder, etc. Benson approaches and watches with him. Laura says, “You are what you eat” and goes on about how what the beef eat – corn they can’t digest, hormones, etc. Munch doesn’t get why Riley confessed so quickly. Benson, watching the tape, notices Riley hacking at some meat with cleaver in his left hand, and the way Warner said Laura’s throat was slit means that the killer was right handed. They realize someone else was there, Benson adding it was someone with the most to lose.

At the home of Rosa Doletti, Benson and Munch enter and Rosa is very pleasant to them. They bring up Laura’s murder and she can’t believe he did it. Munch says neither can they, and the detectives notice many pictures of Riley around Rosa’s home. They add they are getting closer to finding out who did it, saying it was someone who was related to Riley. He also confessed the minute Rosa showed up as if he was trying to protect her. Benson says that she believes Riley is her son, using all the photos of his family around to emphasis the point. Rosa admits Riley is her son by her late husband. Munch says the family name is Riley and she is not even Italian. Rosa says she is black Irish; they took the name Doletti because the people think the meatballs are made by I-ties. When Benson confronts her about having the typewriter that she used to write the letter to Vanessa Vargas, Rosa denies having one, but Munch easily finds one in a roll top desk. When Munch says it is smother dirty lie exposed, Rosa runs to the kitchen and grabs a huge knife, pointing it at the detectives who do not flinch. Benson notes that Rosa went straight for the knife and got it with her right hand, just like Laura’s murderer. Rosa says Riley was always too weak and she could never stand him; she gave him to her sister to raise. Benson reminded Rosa that she hired him, but Rosa says he always did what Mama Rosa told him to do. Benson said Riley went to the apartment but couldn’t kill Laura when she told him to. Rosa coldly says she has been cutting meat all her life, she is a butcher’s daughter and does what she has to do to protect what she works for. Benson says now she will protect herself by putting down the knife, and Rosa complies. As Benson cuffs her, Rosa asks what about her dinner and the family will be there any second. Benson says they will enjoy dinner just fine without her, and Munch adds, “as long as they don’t know what’s in it” We see a pile of meatballs as we fade to black.

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

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

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

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Gods and Insects” Episode Information

Here is the episode information and promo clip for next week’s episode of Law & Order CI “Gods and Insects.” (If I get preview clips I’ll add them here as they are made available.)

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Gods and Insects” Air Date April 27, 2010 10PM ET/9C USA Network

What appears to be a mob hit soon leads to a secret world of high class escorts and the gods of finance. Det. Nichols (Jeff Goldblum) and Stevens (Saffron Burrows) soon find themselves in a high stakes game where loyalties are abused, and people will do anything to get what they think is coming to them.

My recap and review of Law & Order Criminal Intent "Gods and Insects" can be found here.

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

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

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Delicate” Recap & Review

All photos from NBCU

Law & Order Criminal Intent went back to basics in “Delicate” with an episode that gave viewers a look into the mind – the intent – of the killer. While the story had a somewhat predictable outcome, the investigation still kept my interest, and plain old investigative persistence paid off in the end. While Saffron Burrows is still a little too low key for me, I found myself warming up to her a little with this case, and felt that she and Nichols may eventually make a good team. In fact, this episode gave me hope that the Law & Order CI may continue to have life after the D’Onofrio/Eames/ Bogosian departures.

Mary Elisabeth Mastrantonio, while getting little screen time this episode, seems to fit well in the role of captain and hopefully they can give her more to do then just be the rubber stamp for Nichols and Stevens.

Viewers who watch Law & Order Criminal Intent to get a good, solid story will not be disappointed. The only drawback is that the guest stars seemed to steal the show from the lead actors in the process.

Here is the recap:
At a dance class, one student seems to be annoying the others by her condescending attitude. When another student, Jessilyn (Melissa Benoist) who has a hurt foot, falls, the teacher says she is not ready and replaces her with the annoying student, Alona Landau. Later, the teacher is critiquing the practice, Alona gets super critical and Jessilyn leaves the class in a huff. When one of the other students, Paulette (Vivien Cardone) follows Jessilyn and says things will get better, Jessilyn tells her not while that bitch is here.

Later, Alona is making out with the teacher in his office. When she makes a move to leave, she tells him he doesn’t own her, and says she would hate for this to end badly. Later, as Alona is dancing at a club, a man watches and his phone rings, then he pulls Alona off the dance floor in a jealous rage. Outside the club they fight and she says to let go of her. They continue to argue about who called her and as she runs away from him, he falls. At another location, Alona is confronted by a masked person who knocks her out and drags her away, then pushes her over the stairwell balcony. She lay dead on the floor below.

Later, ME Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix) and Detectives Zach Nichols (Jeff Goldblum) and Serena Stevens (Saffron Burrows) are on the scene examining the body of Alona Landau, student at the Schumann, and Nichols notices she reeks of alcohol. MR Rodgers notices there is a blow made with something with an edge. Stevens comments that Alona's clothes are intact, and Rodgers adds there is no evidence of rape. Nichols notes that her legs are toned and muscular, like a dancer. Rodgers estimates time of death at between 1:00-4:00 AM. Rodgers notes how the body is laying flat on her back, and Nichols thinks she was pushed, Stevens guessing the victim knew her killer. Nichols thinks the Schumann is a good place to start looking for her killer.

Nichols and Stevens interrupt the dance class of Ethan Johns (Lorenzo Pisoni) and tell him of Alona’s murder. With the class watching, Johns asks for them to talks somewhere more private. Johns then comments about how gifted Alona was, but says students can clash there as part of the process. He indicates everything was fine yesterday. When Johns tries to wrap things up, Stevens says that they will be done when he tells them what he did last night. Johns says he is done when he decides to stop speaking, but tells them that, in the interest of cooperation, he was here where he is every night, honing their performance. His set designer was with him until about 2 AM. With that, Johns storms out of the room. As Nichols and Stevens follow him out, Stevens refers to Johns as a pompous idiot. Nichols decides they should go see how Alona lived while perfecting her art.

As the detectives check out Alona messy apartment, they smell something unusual but can’t figure out what it is. They see all the photos of Alona and comment about her self esteem. Nichols admits he almost went to this school himself as his parents considered him a piano prodigy. Nichols sees a vomit stain in the bathroom by the toilet and sees all kinds of meds around and Stevens thinks Alona was purging. They see an invitation to party on the bathroom mirror.

At the apartment of Cole Musgrave, the man that Alona was fighting with at the party, they discuss the party and that he was with Alona and that he got rough with her. He says he loved her, but Stevens notes the scratches on his neck. He says some guy named “E” kept calling her at the club and that is why they fought. Nichols sees the tear in Cole's jacket and Cole said he fell on the curb, but Nichols takes the jacket anyway. Cole tells them he went to another club afterwards, and insists he didn’t do this. He gave her something no one at the school ever did – freedom.

At the morgue, ME Rodgers says the cause of death was a puncture would at the skull. They try to figure out what caused it. She also had large quantity of drugs and alcohol and notices the signs of vomiting. She also pulled two semen samples.

At the Major Case Squad, the detectives talk with Captain Zoe Callas (Mary Elisabeth Mastrantonio) about the case. They tell her Cole alibi checks out, and that the calls from “E” seem to be from Ethan Johns. They decide to get a subpoena for his DNA.

At his office Johns watches a recording of Alona perform, he gets chocked up. He then leaves and goes out into the practice hall and watches Jessilyn practice, with Paulette reassuring her. Jessilyn gets the dance step right this time and they both celebrate while Johns watches happily.

At the school, Nichols and Stevens talk with a student, Riley, about Johns, and she seems to have an upset stomach. She tells them there was a bad scene with Jessilyn Kerr and Alona and they were competitive. Jessilyn cut her foot and had once accused Alona of doing it.

Back in the hall, Jessilyn practices while Paulette plays piano, and Nichols and Stevens arrive, Nichols complementing Paulette on her playing Brahms. But she insists she wrote the piece. He says she altered it, and plays it to show her what he means. He calls it appropriation. They tell her they are there to see Jessilyn and Paulette leaves. They talk with her about that day, and Jessilyn says that Alona crossed the line during “truth circle” where they critique each other as part of the creative process. Alona made it personal with her and Alona wanted everyone to be her rival. Johns arrives and tells her she is late for stretch, and tells the detectives he will tolerate them but not to impact those young people. When Johns walks off and Stevens gives Nichols a glance, he says that doesn’t make him guilty.

Back at Major Case, they discuss theories. When Nichols asks Stevens why she is so sure Johns is the guy, she says when she was in college she was dumb enough to get involved with someone who was talented and charming, but she doesn’t finish the story. She says she will go to Callas to get the rehearsal tapes and student records and will check Johns’ priors.

Back at the school, Johns talks with Jessilyn and tells her she will take Alona’s role next week. She is thrilled. He touches her and says she will be a star, and when he moves in to kiss her, she pulls away and stands up, saying she will not disappoint him.

Back at her room, Alona tells Paulette the news and what Johns did, and Paulette says he felt him coming on to her. They agree that sometimes they feel like the same person, mimicking her movements. When Paulette wants to celebrate, Jessilyn says she has a thing with her parents, and even though she hates them, they pay for all this. Paulette is clearly disappointed,, but Jessilyn says Paulette can come along.

Back at Major Case, Nichols is looking at a Ledger article about Paulette Bartol who was expelled for stalking, and that she was disconnected from reality and has a potential for violence. Stevens enters and tells him there is nothing on Johns. She still thinks he’s bad guy. He shows her the information on Paulette and wonder if she snuck out of the dorm that night. Stevens gets a message which says that Johns’ DNA matches one of the semen samples, adding he doesn’t need priors, they have physical evidence, witnesses, and the phone call. Nichols decides to run it by the DA to get an arrest warrant.

Later, with Johns in the interrogation room, the detectives tell him his alibi checks out and that he was with another woman after the time of his alibi, a rich socialite whose attorney called them once they heard Johns is being questioned. He says that is not a crime and they can’t hold him.

Elsewhere at dinner with her parents, Jessilyn gives them the news but her mother says not to get ahead of herself, her father saying is a long road. Jessilyn complains about the food, saying she can’t eat the stuff and she is already 2 pounds over. All they want to do is ruin it an Ethan Johns believes in her. She storms off while Paulette follows her to the bathroom. Paulette starts getting enraged, saying that she just wanted to make Jessilyn happy and screams everything is wrong. She says that Jessilyn will go with Ethan and she will be alone again, and she did it for her. Jessilyn says Paulette knows what she is feeling, and they hug each other.

Back at Major Case, the detectives and Callas watch the rehearsal tapes. They decide to go back and talk with Riley, wondering if she also had a relationship with Johns. Later, with Riley being questioned, she admits she did have a relationship with Johns 6 months ago and when she complains again about her stomach, she adds everybody’s got it. But it feels different and she is wheezing all the time and has a weird taste. Nichols asks to smell her breath, and asks Stevens to do so as well. She knows the smell – it was the same smell in Alona’s room.

Back with ME Rodgers, she tells them the smell is ethylene glycol – antifreeze. It was masked in Alona’s first tox screen because she had been drinking. A small amount can throw the body off. Nichols realizes the only people who don’t seem to be complaining of being ill are Jessilyn and Paulette.

Back in Paulette’s room, Jessilyn is thrilled about dancing the lead, and when Paulette says the word is hers, Jessilyn says it is ours. Jessilyn looks at what Paulette is reading and it is a journal. When it seems that Paulette had admitted to something in her diary, she also reassures Jessilyn not to worry that she is gone. They are both happy.

Back with Callas, the detectives talk about Paulette’s issues and that bed check had them in their rooms that night. Jessilyn requires a second bed check and it was confirmed she was there, but Paulette is a different story. They see the rehearsal video which shows Paulette giving everyone sports drinks which could disguise the antifreeze, but that she gave Jessilyn water. Callas tells them to find out what else she is hiding.

The detectives are searching Paulette’s dorm room, and find Paulette is a no show at classes today and Jessilyn ‘s father pulled her out of school. Nichols sees something sticking out of a closet and finds a shrine of sorts. They also find sports drinks, anti freeze receipts, and other evidence. Nichols realizes that a small, model-sized piano has legs on it, and stockings with marks in it that match the legs of the piano, which could be the murder weapon.

At Jessilyn’s parents, she says they can’t keep her from Paulette and her father says she will not be seeing her anymore and it is for her own good. She spits and them and her father slaps her and then takes away her phone when she tries to call Paulette. She screams at them as they close her in her room. As it looks like she is going to kill herself, a knock comes to the window and it is Paulette. They decide to run away together. But the police come in and take them both as Nichols and Stevens and her parents watch.

At Major Case, Jessilyn is in interrogation, accompanied by her parents. Her father is upset and says they will not let her do this and the lawyer is on the way. Nichols says there is no deal until she tells them what she knows. But she just smiles.

With Stevens, Paulette is refusing to cooperate, and she says only she and Jessilyn know the truth and they will never tell. They bring in Paulette’s mother who asks Paulette what she did, but Paulette wants her out of there, screaming. Outside, her mother says she should have kept her away from all this, and that Paulette is sensitive. She says she was a dancer too and used to take Paulette with her to practice but she could not afford it.

In Callas’ office, they tell her Jessilyn is committed to being part of the murder, and the girls don’t care about evidence or reality and they are in love. Callas thinks if they hand over both of them when only one of them is guilty, the lawyer will use that against them to confuse the jury. Nichols thinks they should allow them to be together and then land on them with reality.

Later with Paulette and Jessilyn in the same interrogation room, Nichols is complementary of Paulette on her journal, but Paulette says the journal is “ours” and Jessilyn is part of everything they do. She also says they can communicate in ways others can’t, like they can feel each other’s energy. As they hold each other’s hands, Paulette says nothing will take it away. The detectives talk about jealousy and the journal entry. Stevens brings up the fact that Paulette was giving all the dancers antifreeze. When Nichols comments that Jessilyn didn’t get the antifreeze, Jessilyn says Paulette did it for her and she loves her. Nichols brings out the small piano and puts it in the stocking and they are told that the imprint and the blood mentioned that the blood matches Alona’s. But they bring up the shard of glass that hurt her foot that Jessilyn thought Alona was responsible for, Nichols finds an entry in Paulette’s journal where Paulette admits she did it. Jessilyn refuses to believe it, but Paulette tells her she can never understand. She says it feels so lonely to walk into a room and no one turns around and she wanted to feel special. They mention her mother’s dreams of being a dancer and that Paulette did not want her own dreams to die like her mother’s, so she attached herself to the real stars. Paulette says Alona was ungrateful and that Alona turned on her and called her a crazy freak for what Paulette did. Nichols comments that Alona dumped her for Ethan so Paulette moved on to Jessilyn. Jessilyn realizes now what has happened, saying she has been used. Paulette says she can feel Jessilyn leaving her, and Jessilyn says she has to, and leaves the room as Paulette screams out for her. Paulette’s mother, watching form observation, hangs her head and cries.

Later, as Stevens leads Paulette out of the room, she tells her to hang on, that someone is coming down for her. Her mother comes up and hugs Paulette and says she is so sorry as Paulette sobs. Stevens walks over to Nichols and he asks if she is alright. She looks like the situation has bothered her, but she nods she is alright. Nichols looks at her intensely as we fade to black.

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