Extra-large ups to Wendola and Sars, who rock so hard I've got tinnitus. Also, major props to all the MBTV staff, who kick ass and take names on a daily basis.
So the season finale begins with Cap'n Cragen walking from his office into the squad room and announcing to the SVU detectives that the "latest directive" from One Police Plaza is bi-yearly psychological evaluations. "Bi-yearly?" Is that anything like biannual? So, since the SVU is a very high-stress unit, it's the guinea pig for this pilot program. The detectives are none too thrilled with this news, as Cragen hands out booklets of forms for them to complete and tells them, "You'll be receiving your appointment times from our resident psychologist." Munch asks if the results will go on their permanent records; Cragen assures him everything will be kept confidential. My boyfriend Elliot Stabler pipes up, "Yeah, but at the risk of sounding like John, what's their angle with this thing? Can you flunk it? And if so, then what happens?" Cragen doesn't know the answer to these questions, so we have Meaningful Looks all around. Benson's the least worried about all of this, and wants to know who goes first. Cragen does. "The blind leading the blind," he mutters, and walks away. As Munch and Jeffries head out of the room, Munch is theorizing that "they just slapped a new cover on the old Minnesota Multi-Phasic," and Stabler's all annoyed, "Do you believe this?" Benson's in good humor, flipping through her booklet and saying, "Shrinks get shrunk; maybe we could use a little." Uh, Olivia? There's a big difference between therapy and a psychological evaluation.
Benson looks up as she sees a short, bearded, middle-aged man reading the "Special Victims Unit" etching on the door to the squad room, and asks if she can help him. In an eastern European accent, he asks if this is the place to report sex crimes. Benson tells the man -- who sounds a little like Yakov Smirnoff, but without the "I'm a wacky Russian comedian" doofiness -- to come sit at her desk, and Stabler pulls up an extra chair. Benson's wearing her trademark sky blue, only instead of the tight turtleneck, it's a tight scoop neck, which shows us very clearly that her bra totally does not fit. ["Yeah, the bi-focal boob was pretty bad in that scene." -- Sars] Anyway, Yakov has a fruit stand on Lexington and Seventy-eighth, and two kids stole from him, so he started cursing at them in his native language, Romanian. Hearing this, a woman grabbed him and started begging him, also in Romanian, to help her. Yakov says it's because of "a man. She's trapped in a situation she cannot escape from. It does not translate well, but there is abuse." He thinks there is both physical and sexual abuse, but the woman didn't tell Yakov her name or where she lives. She only handed him a piece of paper with the name "Constanta Condrescu" written on it and told him to "tell her she was right. I need help." Then she took off. Stabler's taking notes and asks what time today this all happened. Yakov hesitates before answering, "Three days ago." Benson and Stabler do their patented "can you believe this shit" pre-credits look as we, well, go to credits.
After the break, Yakov is describing the woman to a sketch artist. Cragen is bitching, "Let me get this straight: some girl is being sexually abused by some guy somewhere in Manhattan?" Stabler snots, "Something like that." Heh. Cragen asks if they at least have a description, like what does he think the sketch artist is doing there -- caricatures for the precinct picnic? Anyway, Benson tells Cragen that the only reason Yakov even came in was because his wife wouldn't leave him alone about reporting it. Cragen wonders if Yakov is on the level, and, when assured that he is, wonders how they know if the girl is. Is this line of thinking really consistent with a sex-crimes captain? Wouldn't he want to check out every potential case of sexual abuse? Benson proves my point by whining, "Thousands of women everyday are abused by their lesser halves and never say a word about it. We have to at least check it out." Munch likens blowing this report off to Woodward and Bernstein having "blown off Deep Throat as a prank phone call." Um, okay. Thanks for coming out, Munchkin. Craven kvetches that either way, it's three days cold.