Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

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Closure

Cheers to Sars and Wendola. Big props to the writers and Tracy Pollan for doing kick-ass jobs of explaining and portraying what rape victims go through. This recap was emotionally draining, but that means they did their jobs well.

A graphic tells us it's 11:17 PM as the show opens. The camera pans past an unmade bed, and we see a pissed off-looking, flannel robe-wearing blonde woman with wet hair sitting in a chair. She takes a long drag off a cigarette, picks up a cordless phone, and very slowly and deliberately dials 911. As the operator asks what her emergency is, she turns so that we see her left cheekbone is all bruised and swollen. A little choked up, she answers, "I've just been raped." Well, in another universe her husband's the Deputy Mayor, so she should have no trouble here. Not.

Cut to a shot of a beeper going off in a pile of clothes on the floor by someone's bed, and a pair of male hands grabbing the pants to which the beeper is attached. The hands belong to shirtless Cassidy, who's in bed with -- naked Benson! He's got some ugly paisley sheets and a bull tattoo like The Rock on his right shoulder. Woo hoo! Benson's all, "Oh, that's me," gives him a peck on the lips, and pushes him aside to get out of bed. Cassidy's all, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, where you going? Heyheyhey!" He lays back, smiles, and proclaims, "That was incredible." Benson ties a robe around her and kind of laughs, "Don't get used to it." The woman has clearly gone insane. Credits.

After the break, it's 12:42 AM, and Benson is approaching the desk at a hospital emergency room. She flashes her badge and says she's "looking for the ten thirty-four." The clerk wants to know which one. "Um, twenty-nine-year-old female; white." "I guess that's me," says the blonde, still in her robe, sitting back by the wall. At least her hair's dried and brushed. Benson goes over and introduces herself, and the victim extends her hand for a strong handshake. "Harper Anderson. It's nice -- um, not, it's not really nice to meet you." Benson is sympathetic and asks how long Harper has been waiting. About forty-five minutes. Benson also wants to know where the officer who brought Harper to the hospital is. Harper sent him to the cafeteria because he was getting on her nerves. Benson tells Harper, "I'm gonna ask you for a formal statement later, but in order for us to do the exam now, Miss Anderson --" "Harper. Please, just talk to me," Harper interrupts pleadingly. Benson just needs for Harper to describe the assault, and takes out her pen and notebook. Harper nods and gives the Cliffs Notes version: "He, um, he grabbed my ankles. He grabbed my wrist. He hit the side of my face." Benson asks if she lost consciousness; she did not. Benson asks if he penetrated her. Harper nods, her eyes welling up, and replies, "Vaginally. That's it." He didn't use a condom; he ejaculated on Harper's stomach and then wiped it off with one of her shirts. He also made her take a shower, but she hasn't showered since then. Benson goes off to tell a doctor she needs a rape kit done. The doctor makes "head-on MVA" noises, but Benson ascertains that those patients are stabilized, so Harper's next.

Polaroids are taken of the wounds on Harper's face, wrists, and ankles. At 1:03 AM, Harper, in a hospital gown, is swabbing the inside of her mouth with two of those giant Q-Tips they use to take throat cultures. The very sight of them makes me gag. How very Pavlovian. Benson and the doctor are putting all the swabs and things in marked envelopes, and both are wearing gloves. At 1:16 AM the doctor scrapes under Harper's fingernails, and she winces in pain. At 1:47 AM, Harper is in the stirrups. Benson is running down the list on her clipboard: "Oral swabbing, fingernails, you combed her pubic hair, took vaginal swabs and did blood work." The doctor hands her a swab to catalogue and she gives him a new one as she goes on, "I'll bag this and we need to do a UV on her stomach." "A what?" "We need to do a UV light. Check for semen on her stomach." The doctor tells her they don't have one, so Benson describes the apparatus to him. The doctor KNOWS what it is, but the hospital doesn't have one. Like he said. Jeez, Benson, take one of those Q-Tips (an unused one) and clean out your ears. Harper lets out a growling wail, with her jaw clenched, eyes closed, and fist pressed against her forehead. Benson tells the doctor to "just forget it. He made her take a shower anyway."

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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

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