Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

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Bad Blood

Meanwhile Munch and Cassidy interview Mrs. Brawny, who says she knows Brawny won't talk: "You don't know the psychological hold Ray has over him." She explains that when Brawny was fifteen and Ray was first put away, a reporter got Brawny to say he thought his brother should be put to death. "They ran it as a headline. Ray has been working that guilt ever since!" she cries. She says it's why Brawny let Ray stay with them after he got out of prison. Now she's worried that people will find out Brawny is a Gunther. "The whole family's bad. The father was in and out of jail his whole life -- the mother is a piece of garbage -- there is nothing but bad blood in that whole family." Finally, she admits that on the night of the murder Ray was in their apartment until 1:00 a.m. "Where is he now?" asks Munch. She says she doesn't know, but thinks for a minute and tells them that "there's a piece of white trash used to visit him in prison, a stripper named Cindy Stocklash. He might be shacked up with her." "The one time I met her, she was complaining about how she wanted to change motels. Apparently hers didn't get porn," scowls Mrs. Brawny.

At home, Benson plays an old tape of her mother giving a police statement: "Please state your name," says the cop on the tape. "Serena Benson," says Ma Benson. She gives her address and Benson mouths along, like she's heard this tape tons of times. "You were raped?" asks the cop. "Yes," says Serena softly. "Ya gotta speak up, honey," says the cop, and we're all flooded with a nostalgia for the old days before sensitivity training. Oh, did I say "nostalgia"? I meant "bile." On the tape, Serena's voice explains how she took a shortcut from the campus library after it closed at midnight. Meanwhile, Benson looks at the mug shots of Carl Kudlac, a mean-looking guy in sideburns. He's -- well, he's no Mr. Universe, but he looks like he could be Benson's father. The tape voice-over continues as Serena explains that it was dark and she was hit by something from behind. "You were knocked unconscious?" asks the cop. "Yes," says the voice-over, and a quick edit takes us to the crime scene where Benson is playing the tape again and pacing with the tape recorder to her ear. "When I came to, I was on a landing below street level," says the Serena voice-over, and we can see that even in the daylight it looks creepy. Serena goes on to say that a man was on top of her. "He pushed up my dress and --" She starts crying on the tape, and Benson tears up, too. Serena can only describe the attacker as having sideburns. "I don't know -- everything was distorted," she says, weeping. Just then a loud car horn blares in the real world, and Benson jumps. She switches off the tape and hurries out of the vestibule. Benson has Issues. Got it?

Munch and Cassidy are outside El Cheapo motel, looking for a room number. When they find the right door, they lean in and grin at the sounds of the people having sex inside. These sounds, to be precise, are "[rhythmic grunting]" and "[passionate moans]." Thanks, Closed Captioning! Through your magic, the hearing-impaired can enjoy the sleaze with the rest of us. At last, Munch and Cassidy knock: "Detectives, Miss Stocklash," says Munch, "we'd like to ask you a few questions." They hear vague thumps inside, as if somebody is panicking. "Everything okay in there?" grins Cassidy. Cut to the other side of the motel, where a guy is crawling out of the ground-floor bathroom window. But -- d'oh! -- Stabler and Benson are waiting for him. "Look what we have here -- Ray Gunther!" Stabler cuffs Ray; then he and Benson haul him off. Cindy Stock Trash sticks her frizzy head out the window, shrieking, "Ray! Did they hurt you, Ray? Don't you touch him!" Ray shouts, "SHUDDUP!" in a manner most apropos to his white sleeveless undershirt. "I didn't do nothin'!" shouts Cindy. "I said, SHUDDUP!" barks Ray. All of the feel-good family fun of COPS; none of the shoddy production values.

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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

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