Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

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Bad Blood

Stabler and Benson are on the rooftop of an apartment building with a uniformed cop. "What have we got?" asks Stabler. "Dead victim, head bashed in, privates exposed," says the cop. He nods toward Benson and Stabler. "The tech found seminal fluid on the face, legs and mouth, and we thought of you." Uh -- yeah. I guess that's one of those things you just can't say in a Hallmark card. The victim is a young man named Seth Langdon, who lived in the building. "As far as we can tell, he lived alone," says the uniformed cop. We get a good look at Seth's head and see that "gay-bashing" is, unfortunately, not a metaphor here. Stabler finds Special Victim gore on the rooftop air-conditioning unit. "Looks like this is where he went down." Benson notes that the guy couldn't have died quietly, and the cop mentions that there was a party on the third floor. "Pretty ironic ending, don't you think?" asks the uniform. "Why is that?" asks Stabler. "With it being Seth Langdon and all," says the cop. "You know, Son of William H. Langdon?" Stabler looks surprised. "Head of the Moral Coalition?" "Yeah, the guy who's always preaching good clean wholesome living, believes homosexuality can be cured?" quips the cop. "That's one way to fix them," says Benson bitterly.

Cue depressing pictures in opening-credit sequence. Cue disturbing thoughts. Oh yeah, and commercials, too.

Munch walks into the SVU cop shop and sees the whole squad at their desks looking like they're taking the SAT. "What's going on?" he asks. Cragen hands him a form. "The Police Union found us better health insurance," he says. Cassidy looks up and complains, "This form is longer than the last book I read." Cassidy is maybe not the best person to use this kind of hyperbole. Wheels turn in Munch's head as he considers these health insurance forms; as with all wheels turning in Munch's head, they move on fan belts and axles that are intricately connected through a series of gears and sprockets and pulleys to even bigger wheels, more sinister wheels, wheels that, according to the government, don't even exist -- "Don't you see what they're doing?" he asks. "Yeah, they're looking out for you, Munch," says Jeffries. "Psychiatric coverage increased eighty percent." Now, if the camera were to pan up just a little, I'm sure we would see a galvanized steel bucket labeled DRAMATIC IRONY suspended by a rope and pulley mechanism over Jeffries's head. And if Jeffries were to step just a bit to the left, we'd see a sign reading "do not pull rope until season finale." But it's only because this is a rerun that I'm able to watch for these things. Anyway, Stabler tells Munch to relax, only to start rattling on about how the feds are getting our genealogical and genetic fingerprints and they'll know exactly when we're going to die and blah blah blah. Meanwhile, Cassidy has gotten up and handed in his form to Cap'n Cragen, who points out that there are two "r"s in "hemorrhoids." "Fine then," says Cassidy, "I'll spell my pain in the ass a different way: C-R-A-G-E-N." All right, he didn't say that, but he should've. Meanwhile Munch continues in rant mode and walks over to Benson's desk, where she is still filling out her form. "See, she's got the right idea -- leave the father's side blank, that'll mess them up." Benson tries to ignore him. Stabler looks up. "Let's keep our eyes on our own paper," he tells Munch. Finally Cragen's like, "People! We have a main plot, too!" so Stabler and Benson start giving the old 411 on the vic du jour: Seth Langdon was at the party on the third floor, made his way to the roof around 1:00 am, and the rest is Special Victimry. Cassidy gets to say "seminal fluid." Munch looks over at Cragen's clipboard, sees the name Langdon, and snorts about how William H. Langdon claims to have a cure for homosexuality. "The victim was his son," says Stabler. "One out of every ten men is gay," says Cragen. "Let's see how Mr. Langdon felt about that statistic hitting home." Wow, Cap'n Cragen! Tell us more! Tell us more gay people facts!

Stabler gets up and approaches Munch by the coffeemaker. "Don't make any more barbs about Benson's father," he tells him. "What is he, an alcoholic? Deadbeat dad? Jehovah's witness?" J. Edgar Hoover? "Only thing she knows about him is he was the man who raped her mother," Stabler tells him, and walks off. Munch feels like a big chump.

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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

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