Friday

"True Believers"

Guest Star Sofia Vassilieva
This week on Law & Order SVU, a young blonde piano student at the Manhattan Academy of Music is seen on her way home.  She stops at a bodega to pick up some supplies, and gets into the elevator in her building with a black guy.  She tries to be friendly; even though it's obvious she's not comfortable.  She makes it inside her apartment, when the same black guy barges in and pulls a gun on her.  She tries to stay calm, offers him a drink, and says her name is Sara.  She offers him money, but he doesn't want money.  She tries to tell him he doesn't need a gun.  She says she'll do whatever he wants her to.  He tells her to lie down.  He gets on top of her.  She does not struggle.  The scene is painful to watch as you know what's going to happen.  But the blonde girl remains calm.  There are plenty of other SVU stories that start out similarly, but it is never this quiet.  The victim always screams and fights back.  You are left with the question, why is this girl so calm?  Is she mentally challenged?  Is she compensating for something in her past?  Something is not right.  This is not a summary of the episode, but a recap of the five best moments of the show.


Here's the countdown to the  Five Best Moments of the Show.
#5 Best Moment of the Show.  Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) is questioning the girl, Sara Walsh (Sofia Vassilieva).  Benson wonders why Sara waited so long to report the rape.  Sara says she had to perform at a recital.  "I didn't yell.  I didn't fight back."  Benson tries to make her feel better, "You're alive.  You did what you had to do."  A patient advocate walks into the room, and she tells Sara, "As your advocate, I need to tell you, one of your options is not to file charges."  Cut to Benson's lok of disbelief on her face.  WHAT?!?  This girl just got raped and you're telling her not to tell the police?  What kind of advocate are you?


#4 Best Moment of the Show.  Two heavy hitters return in this episode.  Linus Roache returns as Bureau Chief Michael Cutter, and Andre Braugher returns as Bayard Ellis, defense attorney.  Both are formidable opponents.  But in the end, Andre wins the case when he tears into Detective Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) for finding the gun under the perp's couch, or should I say, planting the gun under the perp's couch.  Since his partner, Benson, never sees the actual gun leaving the defendant's hands, she can't swear to it.  Amaro thinks Benson betrayed the Blue Wall by not backing him up.  In the end, he gets some sage advice from Detective John Munch (Richard Belzer), "You should have cuffed him, sealed the room, and then search it for weapons."


#3 Best Moment of the Show.  Cutter gives his summation in court.  "This is not 1970.  This is 2011.  It's the defendant's action that is in question."  All throughout the trial, Ellis, the defense attorney keeps bringing up the victim's past to paint a picture of a girl with loose morals.  She picks up men at bars.  She sleeps with other balck men days before the rape.  Now, finally, the voice of reason is heard.  It shouldn't matter what kind of person the victim is.  She is the victim, that's all that matters.


#2 Best Moment of the Show.  When Sara's boyfriend shows up at her door with flowers, looking for some romance, Sara is in the middle of cleaning up her apartment after the cops trashed it looking for evidence.  She is not ready to tell him yet.  She doesn't let him in; instead she makes up a lie.  "It's bed bugs.  I'm in the middle of cleaning the whole place."  Up until then the boyfriend wants to come in; but as soon as she drops the bed bug bomb, he backs off.  He's happy to leave her right then and there.  I guess for him, the wedding vows should be, 'In sickness and health, 'til death or bed bugs do we part.'


Finally, the #1 Best Moment of the Show.  The jury finds the defendant not guilty.  Not guilty for the charge of criminal possession of a weapon.  Not guilty for the charge of rape.  Sara is crushed.  She can't believe she was put through hell for no reason.  She regrets ever filing charges.  But Benson tries to console her.  She tells Sara, "Sending him to prison doesn't begin to heal you.  Healing begins when someone bears witness.  I saw you.  I believe you."  Those who know Benson's background will know this advice as, "Do as I say, not as I do."  As Benson has yet to tell her own story, of how her own mother was raped, and how she is the product of that rape.


Next week on Law & Order SVU, a mail order bride scam goes horribly wrong.  Why is there no end of lonely men falling for these scams?

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