Time for some jovial station-house banter! Jeffries tells Munch, and everyone else who may have forgotten, that sexual assault is all about power: "Aggression, control, male domination -- remember?" "A rape is a rape is a rape," says Munch. There's a loud crunch. Somewhere beyond the grave Gertrude Stein grinds her teeth which such fury she chomps her pipe in half. Munch goes on: "But I'm just saying you can't rule out the sexual aspect." Before Jeffries gets a chance to whap him upside the head with a Susan Brownmiller book, Stabler and Benson come up expressing amusement at Munch and Jeffries's "lively" banter. Cap'n Cragen pops out of his office like the party pooper he is and wants the facts about the case. The victim was strangled; the case reads like a robbery-rape-homicide, except there's no sign of forced entry or a struggle. "The staging bothers me," says Cragen. "Arms crossed -- post-mortem personalization." He says it doesn't sound like a stranger killed her. And hey, don't worry about that "post-mortem personalization," because that last scene did a fine, fine job in turning our Special Victim back into an anonymous slab of cheesecake. Anyway. Stabler speculates the killer could have been a remorseful stranger. "You can't rule out anger," says Little Briscoe, who pops out of nowhere and walks past Cragen. Cragen's like, did I feel a slight breeze?
"Tell me about the victim, people," says Cragen. Benson's got the info: "Sylvia Hadley, married; husband's in Baltimore. She and her father-in-law, Dr. Benjamin Hadley, and his wife were in town attending the National Conference of Christian Colleges." "Not the Benjamin Hadley," says Munch. "More powerful than Pat Robertson?" The story Munch tells is that Hadley is president of Midvale College, which he transformed from a podunk college into a think-tank for the neo-conservative movement . . . and now the neo-conservatives are working secretly with the government to launch a satellite into space with special telescopes that will spy on the Kennedys and the Freemasons. Okay, so Munch didn't actually say ALL of that stuff, but you know he's thinking it. Benson opines that "neo-conservative think-tank" is an oxymoron. Hey, it's MY job to make fun of the Religious Right, Benson. Anyway, Sylvia Hadley's husband is flying in, and Stabler plans on talking to her in-laws. "Be direct, but be discreet -- I can smell the politics a mile away," says Cragen. No comment.
In the morgue, M.E. Rogers is tending to one of the stiffs, dusting it or something, when Munch and Jeffries come in. Cue Rod Stewart singing the Munch 'n' Rogers Love Theme: If you like dead bodies / and ya think I'm sexy/ come on girl and let me know . . ." "Oh, it's you," says Rogers, coldly. Heh. She tells them the scoop on Sylvia Hadley: manual strangulation, time of death between 6:00 and 9:00 pm the night before, evidence of bodily fluids, yadda yadda yadda. Don't get me wrong, I like M.E. Rogers, but it seems like the only time she ever gets to appear is when they need someone to say "semen."