Thursday, February 16, 2017
Law & Order SVU “Great Expectations” Recap & Review
“Great Expectations” was one of those episodes that made me feel like something was “off” the entire time. We had to wait quite a while to see it; it was originally scheduled to air in November, then postponed because of game 7 of the World Series. Technically this was episode #400 in airing sequence, not ”Motherly Love” which aired last week. As the episode was filmed long before the air date, in some scenes we saw nice greenery and flowering shrubs outdoors in the background, not likely for February when this episode now took place. There was also an error in the time stamps of the video surveillance footage outside the locker room. When Rollins shows the video to one of the boys and his mother, the video first shows a date of 2/4/2017, then changes in the next shot to 12/8/2016.
Carisi also mentions a story about how he was bullied when he was younger and his face was pushed through a plate glass window and he was bleeding and all cut up. He must have had a great plastic surgeon because Carisi’s face shows zero evidence of scarring. I knew someone who was cut badly falling into a plate glass door, I can tell you that those cuts leave some scars. Maybe this is why Fin thought that Carisi made up the story? Of course, Carisi never told Rollins that he didn’t, but based on the look he gave her, I think we are to assume that the story was true.
While the overall story was predictable, it was a surprise that the victim of Kyle’s assault had died. I would also have liked to understand more about why they wanted to try Kyle as an adult. Seeing some of the legal wrangling behind this would have been interesting. The excuse that they wanted to make an example of him because of the increase in hazings seemed thin.
Here is the recap:
Mariska Hargitay - Lieutenant Olivia Benson
Ice-T - Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola
Kelli Giddish - Detective Amanda Rollins
Raúl Esparza - ADA Rafael Barba
Peter Scanavino - Detective Dominick “Sonny” Carisi, Jr.
Brent Sexton - Jim Turner
Gia Crovatin - Samantha Chapman
Amy Spanger - Helen Turner
Brian Hutchinson - Frank Wilson
Erika Rolfsrud - Linda Wilson
Lincoln Melcher - Kyle Turner
Christopher Paul Richards - Jack Wilson
Ben Cook - Adam Turner
Olga Merediz – Judge Roberta Martinez
Taylor Miller – Attorney Ryan Egan
Josh Banks - Peter Brown
Drew Beasley - Timmy Brown
Elijah Richardson - Will Harris
Tanesha Gary - Donna Brown
Brad Fraizer - Coach Gordon Sheen
Eric Elizaga – Dr. Stephen Hale
Althea Colon – Nurse Sofia Perez
Maxell Kenneth Owens – Mark Turner
During a youth hockey game, while his family watches, Jack Wilson misses an important shot and the team loses the game. The coach and one of the parents are less than thrilled. Afterwards in the locker room, Jack is taunted by 2 of his teammates, but Kyle steps in and tells the other boys that is enough.
As Jack is leaving the arena with his mother, his is clearly having difficulty walking, and when he collapses, his mother sees he is bleeding from his rectal area.
Later, at the hospital, Benson steps out of the elevator to a waiting Carisi. She asks what do they have, and Carisi explains that the victim, Jack Wilson, 13, plays for the New York City Whitecaps, the best youth hockey program in the state. Jack’s team had a game this morning but they lost after he missed a last-second shot. His mother noticed he was bleeding in the parking lot afterwards and brought him to the hospital. The doctor said there was tearing in his rectum caused by a blunt instrument, like a hockey stick. It sounds like a hazing. Benson states that sounds like sexual assault.
Benson and Carisi question Jack with his mother Linda present. Jack claims he doesn’t know what happened, saying that he fell on the ice. They continue to press him as his father Frank arrives and as the parents start to argue, Benson pulls them outside the room. The parents continue to argue and Carisi and Benson explain that Jack may be a victim of sexual assault, not a prank. Jack’s teammate Kyle Turner arrives with his father Jim Turner and Carisi tells them Jack may be a victim of a hazing. Jim explains that Kyle is the star of the team. Kyle insists he saw nothing, saying nobody gave Jack a hard time after the missed shot, and, looking to his father, says they are a team and they stick together. Benson explains they will have to speak with all the boys on the team but if he thinks of anything or remembers anything to let them know. She holds out her business card and Jim quickly grabs it. Franks suggests he check to see if Jack can have visitors and when Linda asks if they can see their son, Benson says yes, but to let them know if Jack remembers anything. After they leave, Benson comments that with all those players in the locker room, someone had to see something. Carisi says nobody wants to get out in front of this, even the victim. Benson instructs him to call Rollins to get over to the rink with Fin and talk to refs and coaches. She wants the name of every single player on either team, adding to have CSU head over to the locker room.
At the Hudson Sports Complex at Pier 33, Hudson River Piers on Saturday, February 4, Fin and Carisi speak with the coach who explains how the teams and competition works, thinking none of his boys would do something stupid. He says security cameras are around – not in the locker rooms – and management can give them whatever they have. When Fin asks if they have any troublemakers on the team, the coach asks if they have ever traveled on a bus for 4-1/2 hours full of 13-year-olds, saying they are all troublemakers. Fin says he means “repeat offenders” – kids who like to do stupid things. When the coach hesitates, Fin says he knows he doesn’t want to give up any of his players but he has to cooperate. The coach agrees, then mentions Timmy Brown and Will Harris, saying they are wild and they call them the “bash brothers” because they tend to get a little rough. They’ve never done anything like what happened to Jack; they wouldn’t last in the program as that is in violation of their contract which lays out their code of ethics and every player signs one. He insists it could not have been a Whitecap.
Back at SVU, Benson asks the detectives where are the with the “bang” brothers and Fin corrects her to “bash brothers.” Carisi explains they have never been in trouble with the law and no juvenile records. Fin adds their contracts are signed an notarized, it is a lot of rules for an eighth grader. Rollins comments she thinks she has something; the security footage from the rink shows that #26 and #9 left the locker room right before Jack. Carisi sees that *9 is Will Harris and #26 is Timmy Brown – the “bash brothers.” Benson says to bring them in, this wasn’t a couple kids playing grab ass, they need answers.
Later, Fin and Rollins meet with Will and his mother, and Will says he say nothing and no one gave Jack grief. They show them the video of the boys leaving the locker room (note – there is an production error here on the time stamp of the video). Meanwhile, Carisi and Benson speak with Timmy and his father and Timmy quickly caves and says it wasn’t his idea. He said they helped Jack down but that “he” made them do it and “he” was like an animal. Benson asks who is “he”?
Later, Carisi and Rollins are at Kyle’s home, and his brother Adam and his mother Helen are there when Kyle answers the door. Helen tells Adam to take his other brother Mark upstairs and to call his father. Helen asks what this is about, and they explain they need to talk to Kyle at the precinct and will need his hockey sticks as he is under investigation for sexually assaulting his teammate.
Afterward, Kyle and his mother Helen are in SVU interrogation being questioned by Benson and Carisi. Benson says there are two eyewitnesses who saw Kyle do it and that Kyle was the aggressor. When Helen balks and says she wants to wait until her husband get there, Carisi and Benson give the impression that is okay but then Carisi sits down and makes hockey small talk. He then asks what if hockey went away, and Benson brings up his contract and about forbidding violence against other players. When Kyle and Helen object, Benson mentions he could be arrested and when Kyle says it is not true, Benson asks Kyle to tell them what is true.
Meanwhile, Jim Turner has arrived at SVU looking for Kyle and Rollins attempts to stall him but he isn’t buying it. Benson exits the interrogation room and when Jim says Kyle is done talking, he as too much to lose to risk his career, Benson explains they have witnesses. Jim says they have the wrong kid and he guesses he has to call a lawyer. Benson tells that is not necessary, she will let his wife know that she and Kyle are free to go. As Benson walks off to get them, Rollins follows her and asks if they are just turning this kid loose, and Benson explains that the lab ran the hockey sticks and they are all clean – no blood or DNA. She thinks Kyle got rid of the one he used after he saw them at the hospital. Rollins comments they don’t have enough to hold them, but Benson counters they have Jack. She tells Rollins that she and Fin should go to the hospital first thing in the morning and get him to tell them who attacked him.
At Mercy Hospital at 365 West 32nd Street on Sunday, February 5, Rollins and Fin speak with Jack with his parents present. He is reluctant to talk but when Rollins explains that they know what has happened, letting Jack and his parents think Kyle told them, his parents encourage him to tell the truth. Jack explains that he never saw Kyle like that before. It was like he was a whole other person. Timmy and Will grabbed him and he couldn’t move. Kyle had the stick and he looked at him all crazy and then it was over. His parents are confused about Kyle and the parents ask for some time alone. When Jack asks what will happen to Kyle, Fin explains they are going to arrest him. Jack asks them to tell Kyle that he knows he didn’t mean it. Fin and Rollins leave the room.
Later, Benson and Carisi arrive at the Turner house and Adam answers the door. He says his parents and Kyle are not there. His father called and said Kyle hurt his arm at practice and they are at the hospital.
Benson and Carisi arrive at the hospital and see Kyle’s parents in the waiting area. Benson explains they have a warrant for Kyle’s arrest. Jim is outraged that they are there, adding that Kyle broke his wrist at hockey practice. Jim is angry and Benson says it is his prerogative if he didn’t want to talk to them but they will wait there until Kyle is released and they are going to arrest him.
Soon after, Benson and Carisi speak with the doctor treating Kyle and says it was a mild fracture. The doctor asks if Kyle was assaulted and Benson explains Kyle is a person of interest in a case they are investigating. She asks why he asked if Kyle was assaulted, and the doctor explains his injury appears like someone twisted his wrist violently. Carisi comments that is hard to do playing hockey. The doctor states hard, not impossible. When Carisi asks if they can look at Kyle’s medical records, the doctor says not without a subpoena, there are laws. When Carisi says they know the laws, Benson adds that as a mandatory reporter, he is required to call them if he has any suspicions, asking does he. He admits he found a few other spiral fractures on his x-ray and it appears they went untreated. Benson asks if he is saying that it is possible that Kyle has been physically abused, and the doctor nods yes.
They then speak with Kyle whose arm is in a cast and sling. They explain they need to take him to the police station because of what happened to Jack. He asks where are his dad and Carisi says he will come with them. They asks about his injury and he said it happened at practice, only he has his dad were there but his dad didn’t see it. Carisi tells him they think he is not telling the truth and the doctor doesn’t think this is how this happened. Benson adds his medical records show this is not the first time he was injured this way. Kyle plays confused and Carisi asks if anyone is getting physical with him at home. Kyle says no, he fell. Benson continues to press, saying he could go to prison for what he did to Jack. Benson explains no, sometimes kids go too, saying he needs to talk to him and say if someone put him up to this or threatened him. Jim and Helen enter the room and Jim gets upset and states home many times does he have to tell them they do not have permission. Carisi says they have more questions and Jim counters not without his consent. Benson states they don’t need his consent in this situation, explaining they have evidence that Kyle has been physically abused. Jim scoffs, saying this is ridiculous, Kyle adding he told them he fell. Benson explains they have two choices: she can arrest Kyle here or they can go to the precinct and talk this through. Carisi adds their other sons, too. Jim testily states to talk this through and get to the bottom of it because they have nothing to hide.
Later, Fin speaks with Adam in the SVU break room. Adam says he would never hurt Kyle and they are best friends. He asks about his dad.
Meanwhile, Rollins speaks with Helen who also paints a rosy picture, saying Jim never gets rough with Kyle. Rollins brings up the medical records and tries to explain the seriousness of Kyle’s crime and that Kyle can be charged as an adult and if convicted he could go away. Rollins says they want to give the prosecutor some reason to help her son and that Helen needs to help them by telling them what is going on between Kyle and his dad, and at least do it for Kyle’s little brother.
Carisi is speaking alone with Kyle, pressing him about who hurt his wrist. Kyle says he can’t, he loves his dad and is trying to help him become a better player. Carisi says it won’t matter if he is in prison.
Rollins then speaks with Jim who says this is a misunderstanding. Rollins says they can’t make this go away but can find a way to make his punishment less severe if Jim admits to the abuse. Jim is shocked and then laughs. He says his parenting style is old school but is not physical. Kyle is a hockey player and sometimes gets hurt and plays through the pain and doesn’t complain like his pansy friends.
Benson and Fin are observing from her office and Benson comments that they tried; this family is not going to budge. Fin asks what does she want them to do.
Afterwards, Carisi and Fin arrest Kyle for aggravated sexual assault and Carisi reads him his rights. As they pass Kyle’s family, Helen asks where are they taking him, and Rollins explains to be processed. Jim thinks the kids were just screwing around, but Benson says Kyle will be arraigned in family court later this afternoon. She and Rollins walk off, leaving the Turner family there, stunned.
Carisi meets up with Rollins who is in the break room and he explains Kyle was released after arraignment to his parents. He spoke to a lawyer with corporation counsel who said she is getting a lot of pressure from upstairs to try Kyle as an adult. Rollins thought they were just using that as a ploy, but Carisi explains there have been a lot more hazing incidents lately and they want to make an example. Rollins thinks Kyle is a victim too, think the father and mother is doing a number on them, the mother being silent. Rollins brings up her own daughter Jesse and she and Carisi argue about the Turners, the shame of abuse, and bullies. Carisi says she is missing the point but Rollins insists she is not. Carisi’s phone buzzes and when he holds up a finger to take the call, she gets quiet. It is Benson, and Carisi says he will meet her down there. He tells Rollins he has to meet Benson at the hospital to talk to Jack and his parents again. He quickly leaves the break room but then turns back and tells Rollins all he is saying is sometimes it is not as easy as she thinks to be a hero. He walks out, leaving Rollins wondering.
At Mercy Hospital at 365 West 32nd Street on Sunday, February 6, Benson and Carisi approach the desk and the nurse at the desk asks that didn’t someone call them. Carisi asks call about what? The nurse says Jack died 20 minutes ago. They are stunned.
Later, they speak with Jack’s parents, hearing Jack had a fever and then his blood pressure started dropping. It was an infection. Benson explains they are sorry for their loss and Frank says someone needs to pay for this and Carisi explains they will be charging Kyle with manslaughter. Frank says to charge Kyle but it is his sick son of a bitch father they should be after. He says Jim got into Kyle’s head and turned him into a bully, he did it to the older one too and wonders who knows how long Mark has before that lunatic starts on him. He is always parading and pushing and grabbing. He hasn’t seen him hit Kyle but with guys like him, you can tell. He didn’t think it was his business, but all that pressure and rage, it’s only a matter of time. He thinks his father is just as responsible as Kyle for his son’s death. He sobs.
Back at SVU, Rollins tells Benson that Jim Turner looks good for this. Carisi explains they canvassed other parents on the team and got video from right after the game which shows Jim arguing with Kyle. It looks like Jim is giving the order to Kyle for a beat down to Jack. They got it from the goalie’s mom.
Later, Benson and Carisi play the video back to Kyle at his home, there with a lawyer, his mother, and his older brother. Kyle insists his father did not tell him to hurt Jack. They continue to pressure him and Adam yells for Kyle to just tell the truth but his mother tries to silence him, saying everything will be okay. But Benson says it will not be okay; that ship sailed once Jack stopped breathing. Benson adds if she wants to help her son, have him tell the truth. But she doesn’t want her husband blamed. Jim walks in and asks what is this, what now? Kyle says he didn’t tell him to do anything. Benson says if he says so, then explains the prosecutor will be charging Kyle with sexual assault and manslaughter – as an adult. The family is stunned and Helen pulls away from Jim.
In Family Court Part 18 on Tuesday, February 14, Kyle’s lawyer states Kyle pleads not guilty. The prosecutor agrees Kyle can be released to his parents pending trial. Benson and Fin sit in the gallery. The parents agree to take Kyle under the judges rules. But Adam storms out of the courtroom. Benson and Fin follow and Adam tells them this is crap; his brother is going to jail and why aren’t they trying to help him? Benson explains that with Jack dead, they only thing that will move the needle is Kyle testifying his father told him to assault Jack. Adam states Kyle won’t do it; his dad has Kyle all twisted. Benson asks Adam to help them change his mind. Adam races off.
Back at SVU, Rollins and Carisi are working at their desks and Carisi gets a call from Mrs. Turner. He tells her to calm down, saying they will be right over. He tells Rollins that they have to go, Jim just beat the hell out of Adam. As they race off, Rollins says she will call the local precinct.
They get to the house and officers are on the scene. Adam is on the floor bleeding badly, his mother standing over him. Rollins says she will get him some help. Helen explains Adam kept pushing Jim’s buttons and she couldn’t stop it. Jim ran out and Mark is not there, she sent him to his mom’s. Adam says they needed away to get Kyle to talk, and points to his phone nearby which recorded the beating. Carisi grabs the phone and Kyle., standing nearby, cries. Adam tells Kyle not to protect his father any more, he doesn’t deserve it.
Back at SVU, they watch the video showing Adam and his father argue and Jim beating him and stomping on him. Benson thinks this will make Kyle flip, and Fin nods.
With Helen in the interview room with Rollins, Helen says Jim has a hold over Kyle. Rollins presses the seriousness of the matter but Helen thinks Jim did not mean to do what he did. She thinks he is a good man but Rollins thinks her excuses are a cop-out. Helen says every day for the past five years, she wakes up and says she will take the boys and leave but then he does something that makes her see the other side. She thinks this is a good man, but then...Rollins explains that he changes, and Helen says she is right. She adds it is hard to accept the fact this is the man she picked to spend her life with and have children with, so you keep trying to fix things. Rollins says it is not fixable, but Kyle is a boy and she can fix him but first she needs to convince Kyle to testify and go on record to say his dad forced him to assault Jack with that hockey stick.
In the interrogation room with Benson and Carisi, Kyle, there with his mother, sees the video and then says Adam was right, his father told him to assault Jack. He wanted Jack to know he couldn’t screw up any more. Carisi asks if his dad told him to use the hockey stick, and Kyle said that is why you are supposed to do it. Rollins is watching from the observation window. Kyle explains he doesn’t even remember what happened, he really didn’t want to hurt Jack, he was his friend. Carisi asks if he is ready to say in court that his father told him to assault Jack, but Kyle states he is his father and he doesn’t want him to get in trouble. Carisi explains that Jack reminded him of himself, telling him about a situation when he was a scrawny kid and was picked on daily. The worst was one kid, Bobby and Bobby shoved is face into a plate glass window. He was bleeding and all cut up and the principal asked what happened and he could have put an end to it right there by saying Bobby’s name. but he didn’t because he didn’t want Bobby to get in trouble. Nobody ever knew what happened. He adds that Bobby is now in Sing Sing for stabbing someone to death during a bar fight. He always thinks what if he would have said something, maybe that guy would still be alive. He missed his shot, and not a day goes by that he doesn’t regret it, but this is Kyle’s shot, right now. Benson adds if not for him. Do it for his little brother, because what happens when he gets older and is not around to look after him. If Kyle is willing to talk to the judge, they can get this back to family court and a reduced charge which means doing less time. He looks at his mother and then says okay, he will do it. Benson says okay, good, adding they will also need his help finding his father. Helen nods.
Carisi walks out of the interrogation room to a waiting Fin and Rollins. Fin tells him that was a nice story and he didn’t know he was so quick on his feet. Carisi comments you gotta do what you gotta do. When Fin walks off, Rollins asks Carisi that he didn’t make that up, that really happened to him, and Carisi looks at her and says nothing, then turns and walks off.
Later, Kyle meets his father at the hockey arena and Kyle brings up what his father told him to do to Jack. He says he knows he said that and that things don’t always go according to plan. He didn’t want any of this. They just have to roll with it. When Kyle says they are going to send him away, Jim tries to assure him he will be fine and won’t go to jail. He tells him to keep his mouth shut and let the lawyer do it. He tries to encourage him that he will have years of glory in his sport and go pro and then suggests they both teach Mark and they will have their own dynasty. Carisi and Fin approach and say that is not going to happen. Jim tries to turn to go the opposite way but Benson and Rollins approach from the other side, and Benson says there is nowhere to go, it’s best he comes with them. Jim looks to Kyle and asks if he set him up and if he is wired. He reaches for Kyle but Carisi steps in and Fin cuffs Jim. Jim states everything he did, he did it for Kyle. He calls out and tells Kyle to look at what he has and what he has accomplished and how did he get there. Fin moves Jim away as Jim continues to yell out. Kyle calls to his father that he is sorry, he let him down. Carisi tells Kyle they should go. Rollins comments to Benson that a few years in juvie is a lot better than 10 in state prison. Benson comments “Small victories, I guess.” Rollins reminds Benson they got that father out of the house, and Benson nods, adding “Thirteen years too late.” As they walk off, we fade to black.
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