Even jackasses don't deserve to have their proposal moment ruined by a handless, mutilated-down-there corpse showing up in the New York Harbor. But that's what happens to the five-liners who kick off the show. The SVU gang comes on the scene and stumbles upon aspiring "filmmakers" with exceptionally bad timing, who are making Arab torture porn nearby. They offer up footage of a cab, whose medallion number leads Benson & Stabler to Staten Island's answer to Ralph Kramden. Turns out, someone's been using his medallion number to masquerade as a cabbie and rape women. One gruesome tale and a blonde wig on Benson later, they cuff the suspect. He's a rapist all right, just not a murderer.
Meanwhile, Warner discovers the vic is Marga Janssen, a European astronaut, who wasn't in fact raped. Marga recently returned from space and was set to make a speech at a convention in NYC. At her wake, B&S meet the Lohan to Marga's Ronson, and she notices that Marga isn't wearing a matching crescent moon necklace she gave to Marga on her return to Earth.
Stabler suggests they consult former Marine Colonel-turned-astronaut Dick Finley. Once upon a time, Stabler had a high school boy crush on Finley, which he consummated upon joining the Marines. This love affair produced one son, Dick Stabler. Rugged Dick regales the gang with macho man tales until they learn that someone is using Marga's credit card at gas station three blocks away.
There they find a crafty meth addict. He makes a run for it but is stopped when Dick makes a swift introduction between the heel of his hand and the junkie's nose. Sadly, no brains emerge. Dotty Vince Beckwith claims he found Marga's purse in a dumpster. However, Fin locates the missing necklace at a pawn shop, and Beckwith's prints on it implicate him for the murder. In desperation, he mentions seeing a man in a baseball cap dump the purse.
Enter Chris Elliott, upping his creepy stalker cachet as Anton Thibodeaux, a baseball-capped writer of fan mail for Marga. Though Beckwith fails to ID him in a line-up, the team makes Thibodeaux for the crime with the help of Wong's expert insights on the volatility of obsessive personalities. Shortly thereafter, the nutty epistolarian learns Marga is dead and goes batshit on an interrogation table, but the detectives have insufficient reason to detain him. Outside their respective interrogation rooms, junkie and stalker converge. Thibodeaux spots Beckwith and, believing that he killed Marga, steals a gun from a rookie (I'm guessing) and shoots that methface down. Finley tackles Thibodeaux, a scuffle ensues, and Thibodeaux takes a bullet to the gut.
Finley emerges unscathed and celebrates by trying to work his mojo on Olivia. (They don't call him "Dick" for nothin'!) But Elliott squashes the May-December romance when he puts the pieces together, then compares the fingerprints on Marga's necklace with those on a toy rocket Finley handled. It turns out Finley killed Marga so that she -- not he -- would be the washed-up one at NASA.
Check back for our full weecap on Thursday. Until then, chat about the episode with other fans in our forums.
A couple of jerks and a tinfoil swan stroll along the Hudson River proving how much they love each other by fighting like cats and dogs. As you do. Apparently he's got a case of the wandering eye, and she's a big, fat lush. Natch, the guy thinks, What better time to propose? He does, and she drops her tinfoil swan as an expression of abject horror crosses her face. It's not what you think, though. She's horrified by a corpse floating in the water below.
Benson & Stabler arrive. Warner briefs them that the vic is a female in her 30s with neck bruises that imply strangulation, mutilated genitals consistent with cutting or biting, and -- look, Ma! -- no hands. Elliot spots flashes of light from a nearby rooftop, and they suspect that it's the perp trying to catch their attention.
A woman screams as they hurry up the building's stairwell. Once on the rooftop, they see a young guy attacking a young Arab woman. They take him down, but then another guy appears behind them with an unidentifiable object in his hand. Elliot orders him to drop it, and it's a camcorder. He explains they're making a movie. Dun-dun. Credits.
Downtown, the woman and men are interrogated in separate rooms. They maintain their filmmaking excuse. Elliot thinks they guys nabbed the girl from the street to film amateur torture porn -- he even throws in a reference to "Martin Scor-sleazy," our eloquent Elliot. They learn the girl isn't even Arab. She's Dominican -- but boy can she ululate! B&S are disgusted that these people shamelessly produce sado-porn, but the filmmakers say that sex is inherently dangerous. "Not if you're doin' it right," touchés Elliot. They go back and forth about the merits of kinky over conscience, and finally Elliot lowers the boom. While these jagoffs were making rape art, someone was raping and murdering a real woman nearby. They recall a creepy guy in a cab lingering by their shoot, and they have footage of his medallion number, 2X89.
So off to Staten Island B&S go. They tracked the medallion number to one Edward De Pablo. They catch him mid-carwash, and order him to cease and desist, lest he destroy any evidence. His wife vouches that he was "on his fat ass" all weekend. The cabbie insists he's the only one who drives this particular cab, and Olivia makes a closer inspection, noticing this cab has a rusty fender that the cab from the video didn't. They surmise someone has been using the same cab number. [...Also, that there's no way this fat, old guy could possibly be their perp. - Zach]