Last night, Law and Order: SVU returned with back-to-back new episodes, including one with guest star Taryn Manning (Sons of Anarchy), though you might unfortunately know her as the (other) white-trash friend from Crossroads. Unlike her role in Crossroads, you do find yourself feeling bad for her character, who was abducted at a young age from her foster family and forced to star in pornographic-type videos by her pedophile kidnapper. And if that image isn't enough to disturb you, then try to process the opening scene, when a half-naked fat guy wearing one of those clear masks with creepy face paint on it (think V for Vendetta) comes running out to attack the boyfriend of Manning's character in his tighty-whities.
After Larissa's (Manning) boyfriend sees her stripped, passed out and tied to a chair with an excessive amount of carefully-placed colored pills at her feet, he gets knocked out himself by the fat guy, who yells "STAY AWAY FROM BRANDY!" (He says it in the same deep tone that Chris Farley, as a SNL Gap Girl, said "LAY OFF ME, I'M STARVING" while eating fries on a diet). Wait, who the hell's Brandy? Her name is Larissa, as pointed out within the first two minutes by the boyfriend. Zoom in on the front of her underwear, where "Brandy" is embroidered in script. And the creepiness progresses...
At the hospital, Detectives Benson and Stabler find out that the attacker shaved her from the neck on down, used roofies to knock her out, and took Viagra for himself, in which Benson says, "a perp on Viagra? He could have raped her for hours!" Probably the worst product placement ad, ever. Back at the station, the crew discovers that the attacker may be the same guy who's wanted for raping little girls as well. Fin and Stabler go to New Jersey to speak to the young victims and one of them shows Stabler a letter left under her pillow by the guy, which has a symbol for the Coventry (a cult-like pedophile group) on it. Dr. Huang reveals to the detectives that these pedophiles have their own symbols for IDing each other: big triangle around a little triangle means boy lovers, hearts in big triangle means girls lovers, and hearts within hearts means no gender preference. And (as you guessed it) the creepiness progresses...
After Benson and Stabler track down this rapist, who they find in the hospital attacking Larissa yet again (where's the hospital security??), they interrogate him and discover that he was a huge fan of the Brandy videos (the ones Larissa was in as a child) and wanted her real name to find where she lived. He got this information after he threatened the old guy who created the videos, Orville Underwood (not the popcorn guy), who Benson and Stabler find beaten up in his home. You almost feel bad seeing an old man with his face bashed in, until you realize what a sick perv he is as he reveals the reason his DNA is on the photos of Larissa that were found is because he "decided to peel the banana" (Stabler's words, not mine) after being turned on while reminiscing over the videos in someone else's home. Benson and Stabler are in disbelief that he would all of a sudden masturbate in someone else's home, but Underwood claims "my lungs may be bad, but everything else works fine." Another poorly-worded Viagra ad?
Although Underwood was charged for abducting and raping Larissa years ago, there wasn't enough physical evidence at the time and she couldn't pin him in the line-up, so of course he goes on to become a lawyer so he can defend other clearly guilty individuals. The detectives and Larissa plan to find the boy who was also in the videos, Daniel, who helped her escape those many years ago out the window from Underwood's home. Watching the Brandy videos triggers memories for her about Daniel, and she recollects burying his leather wristband he gave her in a peanut butter jar in her yard (all Underwood would feed them was peanut butter and Daniel would put notes to his parents in the jars before burying, hoping they would come get him). The police manage to find the wristband, scan his DNA for it, and find him in the system for charges of prostitution and shoplifting. The detectives discover Daniel filming the same type of videos with two young kids in an abandoned factory downtown and have him arrested. When they question him, he's not willing to help with the case against Underwood, even after Larissa goes to talk to him on Riker's Island.
As usual, the episode "Possessed" incorporated real-life headlines into the plot, referencing the recent ban of The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover's Code of Conduct and the arrest of the disgusting man who wrote it. The SVU team finds books written by Underwood that have the same premise, with titles like Beauty of a Child's Love, Chasing Brandy, and How I Found Brandy & How You Can Too (sounds like the worst self-help book ever). They use this to bring up a new charge of conspiracy against him and the judge fails to find him guilty and dismisses the case, which I blame on the boring new D.A. replacement. However, Larissa finally gets her justice in the last scene, when she ties Underwood to his bed and shoots him to death. Usually an ending like this would result in massive disappointment and a zoom in on the distraught faces of Benson and Stabler, since now they'd have to arrest the once-victim. But not this time! They found a little girl crying in the bathtub of Orwood's house, meaning Larissa stopped him from continuing the criminal acts he'd been doing all along, and she won't be charged for his death. Though it's never a completely happy ending on SVU since the detectives and Larissa realize that even after saving the little girl from Underwood, she's still going to be seriously screwed-up. What's more screwed-up is that the Law and Order: SVU series seems to have no end in sight, with the generous material supplied to their storylines by all of the sickos in the news and the random cameos by every single actor listed on IMDb.com.
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