Law & Order SVU
Original Air Date: Dec 1, 2010
Caitlin- Associate Staff Writer
For their last episode of 2010, SVU appeared to be…well, I guess they were trying to go out in a bang. They really seemed determined to outdo themselves in terms of bewildering plot twists and emotional endings, anyway.
It doesn’t help that the victim who opens the episode is named Caitlin. She’s at a party, seemingly passed out while other guests write on her face. But when the host, Jill, comes in to check on her, there’s blood all over the back of her head and neck.
There’s some foreshadowing of what’s to come with an early scene of Calvin and Olivia, who’ve clearly bonded, even when he asks her if his mom is dead. Elliot is concerned about how close they’re becoming, but they don’t get time to discuss the matter much- Caitlin died in the hospital, and it’s clear she was raped. When they find out she had a website making comments on all her sexual partners, there are a lot of suspects.
They narrow down the list, but are eventually led not to a man Caitlin slept with, but his girlfriend, who just happens to be Jill. The girls got into a fight and Jill accidently knocked Caitlin out against the mirror. She bled to death from a cut in her head. Then there’s the matter of her rape, and the strange blue substance found inside her. Turns out it was from a latex glove, meaning she was raped by one of her paramedics.
Figuring out which man did the deed is not a difficult job. His name is Tinta, but catching him proves difficult since his partner, O’Doole, covers for him; this because he steals things from people’s homes and Tinta lies for him. A couple he stole a wedding ring from at their open house give them enough to go after him, and eventually, he agrees to turn on Tinta.
Olivia learns Calvin was in a fight at school, so she leaves, and Elliot finds a DNA sample of Calvin’s that she said she had sent in to find his father. Elliot takes Fin to the meeting between Tinta and O’Doole, but Tinta figures out what’s going on pretty quickly. When he finds his partner’s wire, he throws a chair through the window of the café they’re in, and escapes into his ambulance, where he stabs himself in the neck with an empty syringe. Elliot goes to tell Olivia this and something else- Vivian (Calvin’s mother) was at the couple’s open house, too.
Vivian was at the house with her friend, Sarah. Back at the station, Elliot confronts Olivia about the sample and then they’re both prevented from continuing the investigation because of personal interests. Olivia seems to get another call about Calvin and leaves. Meanwhile, Fin and Munch go to talk to the couple, who remember the two women. They also remember that Olivia already came to talk to them.
Turns out that phone call was faked, and she’s gone to confront Vivian on her own. Vivian is wasted and pleads with Olivia to leave, saying she can keep Calvin if she does so. Elliot shows up and Olivia arrests Vivian. They take her into investigation, where she confesses to killing Walter (her mother’s rapist/her father). Cragen pulls them out to yell at them about disobeying orders, but then Sarah shows up, saying she was the one who really killed Walter.
It starts to look like Vivian and Sarah were more than just friends. Vivian is arrested for stealing drugs from the couple’s home and Sarah, who says she committed the murder to try and bring Vivian peace is arrested for that. In court, however, she changes her plea. Later, Olivia tries to talk to Vivian and convince her to get clean, but it doesn’t go over well. Suddenly, gunshots are heard. Sarah has been killed in her car.
For just a moment (and for no apparent reason), we’re thrown back to Jason, who Walter tormented in prison, as a possible killer. But it turns out the murderer is actually David, Vivian’s husband. David says he did so because Sarah pulled Vivian away from him and back into drugs. He is arrested, and that would be the end of it until Vivian takes away Olivia’s guardianship of Calvin. She sends him off to live with his grandparents, even as he screams that he wants to stay with Olivia.
I’ve already done the whole “this is just turning into an overwhelmingly confusing show” thing before, so I’ll just say that I’m glad, at least, that Calvin did not silently disappear into the background with no explanation. I hope we’ll get something of a happier ending when the show comes back. Also, last night had one of my favorite lines I’ve heard on the series in a while, after Elliot comments about Caitlin’s penis size bar graphs. Courtesy, not surprisingly, of Munch: “What, you were expecting a pie chart?” Ha!