Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Role: Detective Olivia Benson
Season: Season 15
Airs: Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC.
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15x13- Betrayal's Climax / January 29th
Sixteen year-old Avery Capshaw’s parents report her kidnapped, and the SVU finds signs of a party turned violent. Her boyfriend, Manny Montero, is a scholarship student from the Projects, and though his family swears he’s on the right track, Amaro suspects he’s involved with a dangerous gang. When Manny refuses to talk, the cops are forced to arrest him, but the violence only escalates. Meanwhile, Benson is sworn in as the SVU’s new sergeant.
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Posted by: Jess | April, 11, 2014 | No Comments
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In the moments after William Lewis’ death, Sergeant Benson (Hargitay) is rescued by the SVU squad, but her torment continues. The Internal Affairs investigation of her actions is deemed inconclusive, and with no evidence to corroborate her story, Prosecutor Derek Strauss (Greg Germann) convenes a grand jury and calls for Benson’s arrest. With increasing pressure from Lt. Tucker (guest star Robert John Burke) and Lt. Murphy (Donal Logue) to save herself any way she can, Benson must choose between her convictions and her badge. Also starring Ice-T (Detective Odafin Tutuola), Danny Pino (Detective Nick Amaro) and Kelli Giddish (Detective Amanda Rollins). Also guest starring Elizabeth Marvel (Rita Calhoun), Bill Irwin (Dr. Lindstrom), Michael Potts (Sgt. Draper), Tamara Tunie (M.E. Warner), Curt Bouril (Det. Carlson) and Nikki Estridge (Det. Delano).

Posted by: Jess | April, 10, 2014 | No Comments
Filed Under: Law & Order: SVU, Spoilers

[WARNING: This story contains major spoilers from Wednesday's Law & Order: SVU. Read at your own risk!]

Breaking up is hard to do. Even with a serial rapist and cold-blooded killer like William “The Beast” Lewis on Law & Order: SVU.

“Every time we did an episode, it seemed to deepen so I didn’t want to give it up. But on the other hand, I knew I had to,” showrunner Warren Leight tells of Wednesday’s “Last Dance” between Benson and The Beast. “It felt like there was one last confrontation. He’s not the kind of guy who’s just going to go down quietly and live in prison. That’s just not in his character.”

After kidnapping and attacking Benson (Mariska Hargitay) in the Season 15 premiere, and subsequently being locked up in prison for his crimes, Lewis (Pablo Schreiber) managed to escape from prison for one final match with his most memorable victim after she lied about why she fractured his skull and brutally beat him with a pipe on the stand. “William Lewis has been obsessing over it for months and he knows the truth and he knows she knows the truth,” Leight says. “All he wants is revenge and he wants her exposed and he wants her to go down. He knows the Achilles heel, the weak spot for her — it’s what she did to him.”

In the gripping episode, Lewis kidnapped a 12-year-old girl after killing her mother and sexually abusing her older sister in an attempt to lure Olivia to him. He threatened to kill the girl if Olivia didn’t publicly confess to perjury and so she did just that in a televised and somber statement. “She’s been tormented by the fact that she lied under oath. I don’t think that’s part of her character. The initial lie came moments after she’d survived that ordeal and she got locked into it because that’s how this system works,” Leight says. “If you think of William Lewis as her character’s worst nightmare, the other thing that plagued her is she is a woman of absolute integrity who lied under oath in front of a jury.”

However, that public move wasn’t enough for Lewis, and Olivia was forced to abandon her 24-hour protection and meet up with Lewis herself. Although he threatened to rape her as the young girl hung by her hands nearby, it was an (almost) deadly game of Russian roulette that Lewis and Benson played with a partially loaded gun that provided the most chilling moments of the hour. In the end, Lewis shot himself in the head, and his blood splash across Olivia’s face as the episode cut to black. “In the season opener, she was kidnapped and held hostage against her will. She had no choice in the matter. And in this episode, she made a conscious decision to go back for him,” Leight says. “There will be repercussions from that choice, but there’s something very heroic about what she did and very self-aware. In the next episode, she tells her shrink, ‘I knew I could die. It is what it is.’ There’s something almost cathartic about that.”

There will also be major repercussions for her perjury confession in the next episode, titled “Postmortem Blues.” “It will be all the ramifications for her personally and politically and professionally form this episode,” Leight says. “There’s an I.D. investigation, there’s a grand jury and she’s in a box. Because now if she goes to the grand jury and says that confession was the truth, she’s on the hook for brutality, perjury, excessive force, assault, and if she goes to the grand jury and says it was a lie … then she’s lying again. And that’s not something I think she can handle either.”

No matter which path she chooses, Olivia will also have to deal with a new boss. Donal Logue, who reprised his role as Lt. Declan Murphy in Wednesday’s episode, will stick around for the rest of the season as the temporary new captain in the wake of Olivia’s demotion. “She basically gets stripped of her command in front of her unit by him. That is not meeting cute,” Leight says. “And yet, I think what we’ll see evolve is they have enormous respect for each other.”

Lt. Murphy will shake things up a lot as someone able to offer a rare outsider’s perspective on the SVU squad — something Leight drew on from his own experience as the new showrunner on the 12-year-old series. “Cragen was there that whole time so there was no one going, ‘What the hell is going on here?’” Leight says. “Donal comes in fresh and he has different ways of policing and has a different take on these guys than they do.”

Although Olivia will have many new obstacles to overcome, the end of her battle with Lewis is something to celebrate. “Believe it or not, I actually think that there’s some closure at the end of that episode. It feels like I’ve been saying that about Pablo for awhile, but there is a sense of playing it through finally,” Leight says. “Some doors are finally closed so I think that leaves room for others.”

Could one of those other doors open to reveal a child? Olivia’s desire to have a family was reignited earlier this season when she falsely thought she was pregnant. She subsequently ended things with Cassidy (Dean Winters) when she realized he didn’t share her dream of parenthood. “Either people get stuck or they break out of their patterns and she is a smart enough woman to start breaking out and there’s been enough change in her life. Elliot is gone, Cragen is gone, Munch is gone, she’s had a relationship for the first time. … She’s faced down William Lewis,” Leight says. “Maybe she’s ready to change a diaper.”

Although Olivia has tried, and failed, more than once in a past to care for a child, it’s a very real possibility going forward. “It would be great for her character to have a kid in her life, and is that something we can accomplish in whatever time we have left here at SVU is interesting to me,” Leight says. “The notion that Olivia can never be happy is probably due for a slight makeover.”

The question of time is due to the fact that SVU has yet to be renewed. The show has enjoyed a strong season both story-wise, thanks to Benson’s kidnapping and trial and Rollins’ downward spiral, and in the ratings, which are up five percent from last season. “I think the show, on the merits, should have been picked up already and deserves to be picked up,” Leight says. “There’s that expression, ‘Don’t leave anything on the court,’ and I don’t think we did this year. We pushed as hard as we could all year long.”

However, Leight is cautiously optimistic about a 16th season. “I would like to believe that things will play out and we’ll get another year,” Leight says, “but it’s a complicated business.”

Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC. What did you think about Wednesday’s episode? Will you miss “The Beast?”


Posted by: Jess | April, 09, 2014 | No Comments
Filed Under: Law & Order: SVU, Spoilers

It’s over, Law & Order: SVU fans. You can breathe. Warning, spoilers for “Beast’s Obsession” from here on out.

William Lewis (Pablo Schreiber) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) had their last dance and it truly was their final encounter.

“He’s not coming back. I can now affirm that fact. We have a morgue scene in the next episode…the hand isn’t going to reach up from the grave or anything like that,” Warren Leight, Law & Order: SVU‘s executive producer, told E! News.

“Beast’s Obsession” saw Lewis escape from prison, go on a murder spree throughout the city, kidnap a little girl, force Benson to admit to the world that she perjured herself during his trial, attempt to rape Benson, play Russian roulette with our fearless hero and then die by his own hand. Oh, and Donal Logue made a surprising return as Lt. Declan Murphy. And he’s sticking around for the rest of the season.

The game of Russian roulette—and the episode—ended with Lewis taking his own life and Benson covered in his blood.

Julie [Martin] and I were writing…and we got to that scene and I said, ‘I think you just go to black after that.’ And she looked at me and she got that scared look that she gets when I say stuff like that. The roulette was kind of her idea and I said, ‘I think you end on it,’” Leight told E! News. “What I liked about it was, I think it’s a pretty shocking ending. Everybody’s downstairs and we sort of know that they’re going to get to her. We know that they’re going to untie her, but I just thought, ‘That’s the last image.’ He said that’s the last image she’s going to see before she die—that’s what he wants to be the last image—and that’s the last image we see, her sort of covered in blood in shock…The next episode will be in many ways the final installment. By the time episode 21 airs I think there will be as much closure you can get with something like this. This isn’t closure, this is the car going over the cliff.”

We got the 411 on what’s ahead for Benson after the harrowing ordeal, who might return to Law & Order: SVU and what exactly is going on with a season 16 renewal from SVU‘s showrunner Leight.

Was there anything the network said you guys couldn’t do to Benson?
No. No, I have to say, knock on wood, they have given us free rein, I suppose is the nicest way to put it. They seem to trust that we’re doing our job. It’s pilot season over there and they’re pretty busy, so we didn’t really hear much. [Laughs.]

What was the reasoning behind bringing Donal Logue’s Lt. Declan Murphy back and keeping it a secret?
He’s one of my favorite actors…I thought since people are going to watch this episode no matter what because Pablo is back, I just thought it would be sort of a fun surprise. When we booked him, we booked him for basically that first one and then this one and the rest of the season. I said, “What do you have available? I’ll take it and we’ll write a storyline around it.” He’ll be around for the rest of the season in his capacity as lieutenant and temporary commanding officer of SVU. Unless Gotham goes down.

There’s been a lot of buzz around this season. Do you attribute that to the serialized nature of the Lewis storyline and Benson’s recovery?
I think that’s part of it. Not to sound like a jerk, but this is my third year; I know what I’m doing a little more with the characters. I think that all the characters have a little more personal storytelling this year…There’s more personal storytelling as well as the procedural. We’ve altered the mix a little bit. You need to watch each week to follow what’s happening to these characters, which upends the original—the reason Dick Wolf is a billionaire, and you and I are still working, is he understood that self-contained episodes syndicate well. These still have to be able to syndicate well, but there are bonuses for people who are following now, and the actors have more to dig their teeth into.

In your plotting, what was the reason for having Lewis kill himself and not anybody else doing it?
Well, I think he knows he’s dead. He wanted one last dance with her—sorry—so he gets her to this place, he gets to get inside her head, which is what he really enjoys doing, he knows they’re coming for him. He knows it’s a dead end. He doesn’t like life in prison; he knows that she’s ruined his life and his understanding of things. She’s the one who got him in jail, finally, and she wounded him.

He wanted to get back at her. If he shoots her, the cops are going to immediately come in and he’s dead. This way, in his mind, he continues to haunt her even though he’s gone and he gets off on that. If you watch them as they play Russian roulette, Olivia, every time she clicks, she has a normal human response…he just puts the trigger to his head and clicks it. He has no fear. He’s died a couple of times; he died just to get out of prison. He ingested Propranolol knowing that it could probably kill him. He doesn’t have the fear gene. What he likes is knowing that he’s gone and she’s alive and has to live with what he’s done to her and everybody else.

Will this eventually give Olivia any peace?
I think that’s a good question. [Laughs.] She will be seeing her therapist in episode 21 and he has some sound advice for her.

How does this whole arc change Olivia going forward?
To me, what was interesting is she knew what she was getting into in this episode when she ditches her protective detail and goes after him. She knows what’s coming. She knows she can die, she has that sort of NYPD stoicism: It is what it is. “I’ve got to get this guy. He has a 12-year-old girl. I’m the only one who’s going to be able to get to the girl. If I die, I die, but I want to take this guy out.” If you think about where it began, when he kidnapped her originally, it was all about, “How do I get away from this guy? How do I survive?” And in this episode she willingly goes back into that granary with him. She drives there and knows that that’s the deal. That may not seem sensible, but there’s bravery to it. She’s doing what she feels she has to do. In the next episode, I think she’ll get some understanding of what that is about her and where that comes from.

And she made that very public admission.
Yeah, that may come up again. In 21, Robert Burke—Tucker the IAB agent we love to hate—comes back. There’s an IAB and grand jury investigation in the next episode. If you noticed, he switched hands right at the end. If you shoot yourself, you use your right hand to your right temple. If someone shoots you, at point blank range, it goes to your left temple if you’re a righty.

Will we see Richard Belzer or Dann Florek return this year?
I think that—It’s note definite—but there’s a chance that Richard will be coming back once before the season ends. I’d like to see that happen. He left a little earlier than Dann did. Captain Cragen is still enjoying his around the world cruise.

We’ve seen tons of #RenewSVU tweets. Honestly, we thought it was a sure thing.
The cast, the writers and the crew—we’ve done everything we can. I think the fans have shown up. I get very baseball statistic-y here. We’re up 5 percent on the year. Modern Family is down and Criminal Minds is down, they’re still in the Top 10. But it’s a tough slot, up against two Top 10 shows, but we’re up and they’re down. We’re up for the first time since 2005 and the critics are responding. You would like to think that counts, but then you get into the arcane—the complicated relationship Dick has had with the network. It’s like a very strange marriage that just goes on and on and on and sometimes nobody pays attention to the kids in the fight. That’s about where it is now. You have to prepare for both possibilities. Last year I prepared by being a jerk and ending the season with a gun to her head, I don’t think I can do that two seasons in a row…this year I have to be more grownup, I guess.

Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesdays, 9 p.m. on NBC.


Posted by: Jess | April, 09, 2014 | No Comments
Filed Under: Law & Order: SVU

Law & Order: SVU has snagged quite the Trophy for its May 7 episode. Bradley Whitford will guest-star as Frank Maddox, a renowned TV producer accused of molesting his 8-year-old daughter, TVLine has learned.

That harsh accusation comes courtesy of Frank’s estranged wife Catherine Summers who, as TVLine previously reported, will be played by Under the Dome‘s Samantha Mathis.

Additional guest stars in the episode, titled “Reasonable Doubt,” include Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development) and Emma Bell (Dallas), as well as Geraldo Rivera and Ann Curry, both playing themselves.


Posted by: Jess | April, 09, 2014 | No Comments
Filed Under: Law & Order: SVU, Spoilers

It began so long ago, and now it’s The Last Dance.’

The good news, ‘SVU’ has done it again. The scary news is that ‘SVU’ has done it again.

The return of William Lewis (Pablo Schreiber), whose goal is to inflict pain on anyone in his path, the path that will lead him to his intended target, Sergeant Benson (Mariska Hargitay), is truly everything it’s been hyped up to be.

In “Beast’s Obsession,” Lewis escapes from prison, takes a young girl hostage, using her as bait to lure Benson into a confrontation.

This latest chapter in the Lewis/Benson saga, the fourth, follows “Her Negotiation,” “Surrender Benson,” and “Psycho/Therapist.”

Beast’s Obsession,” didn’t come together without some careful calculations both in and out of the writers’ room, according to Executive Producer Warren Leight. “Of course we consciously ended “Psycho/Therapist” with that opened tease to leave the door ajar for Lewis’ return, but we didn’t know what exactly we’d do or where we’d go if we brought him back.”

Aside from plot issues, there was the matter of the availability of Pablo Schreiber, an understandably much in demand actor. “Because we didn’t know if and when we could get him back, we didn’t even start thinking about anything right away,” explained Leight, “But, then we found out that we had a little window to grab him so we knew we needed to take advantage of that. That’s when I started considering how we could move the story to another level.”

Leight went on to say that Schreiber wasn’t keen to reprising the role just for the sake of on-camera time. “What I like about Pablo and what really makes what he does work as an actor is that he wouldn’t just come back if it was just to string the character along. There had to be an extremely good reason, because he’s motivated by a good story and the challenge to inhabit the character again.”

Schreiber’s commitment to the role led the writers to push themselves to really craft the next steps of Lewis’ character meticulously not only to meet the actor’s standards but also so as to appease the ever demanding audience. “No one wants to see the character diluted so that puts the pressure on the writers. With a recurring bad guy like this you can go to the well too many times because there really is a point of diminishing returns and we certainly didn’t want that to happen,” says Leight.

When Leight finally sorted out how to proceed with the Lewis/Benson narrative he pitched it to Schreiber who gladly came onboard. “He liked the progression of the ‘relationship’ between Lewis and Benson, and that’s a strange word to use here but it’s pretty accurate to say that these two do have a relationship right now; they have a past, they’re still in each other’s lives and they’ll always be connected, so it is a relationship.”

Leight revealed that his inspiration for this episode stems from the finale of the ‘70s television drama, “The Fugitive,” in which Dr. Richard Kimble, wrongly accused of murdering his wife, spends several years chasing the real killer, a one-armed man. “Something like 70 million people tuned in to see what would happen between Kimble and the one-armed man. In that show, that final confrontation took place in an abandoned amusement park and I wanted this confrontation between Lewis and Benson in that kind of setting. I wanted a location where no one will hear you can hear you scream, or rather William Lewis wanted a location where no one will hear you scream.”

To achieve that, Leight and his crew found an abandoned granary on the outskirts of New York City. Leight described it, saying, “It’s 12 stories tall with 90 grain silos inside of a brick building. It’s not exactly a hidden location as it’s huge. It was horrible just to shoot there. The wind was whipping up and there was 50 years of dust and debris swirling around all the time.”

The original production plan called for less time at the site, but Leight felt shooting amid the decrepit, bleak property was a necessity. “When we originally scouted it, there was talk that we’d just shoot the exteriors there and then build the interiors on a stage to match, but I took one look around and said, ‘We’re doing this here.’ It’s just too disturbing a place to not take advantage of that. We had to shoot this in that location because we could never truly recreate that. The degree of scariness of that place informs he scenes that take place there. It’s a horrifying place for final showdown.”

The grimness of the location was essential given the events that transpire between the Sergeant and the escaped convict. Leight elaborates, saying, “Benson has to walk into that and it’s upsetting to watch her as she knows going into this empty shell of a building how this really has to go down. She knows that it’s up to her to take Lewis down. It can’t continue with him. She knows better than anyone what he’s capable of. She was his hostage for four days and she knows too well the kind of harm he can inflict. To me, what she does this time out is very heroic. The first time out it wasn’t intentional to be heroic, she was kidnapped and she was made his victim and she had to struggle to survive, but this time it’s her choice to take him on.”

Just to scare fans a bit more, Leight adds, “I think what we see for the first time is that she knows that going back in with him could mean her death. She understands the risks and she’s accepting of them.”

Even Leight, the man in charge, was a bit anxious about this latest installment, revealing, “I’m mostly nervous about how can we match the level of the first batch of episodes. Every time we strep up to the plate, we measure it by the proceeding episodes in this arc. It’s really challenging to maintain the drama to the level that’s now expected of us by everyone who’s invested in this. In light of that, we really do work hard to keep upping the intensity as best we can.”

He goes on to give create to the actors, saying, “This is really one of those things where in the beginning we hoped it would work between Pablo and Mariska and then it worked so well that we wanted to keep it going for as long as we could. They both know that they’ve created something that’s hard to define given their roles in this, but it’s never-the-less thrilling to watch. This dance takes on something that while you can’t really put your finger on what it is you know that every time these two actors get together they add layers to their work. It’s interesting to watch them pick up where they left off. They know each other’s moves and quirks to the point where what they give gets deeper and more disturbing each time out.”

While Lewis and Benson fight it out, it seems like the discord in the squad room has been set aside in favor of a more cohesive front, something that’s certainly nice to see given everything that’s transpired lately in the 16th precinct.

This season nearly every episode has been a game-changer in that at the conclusion of each installment nothing is the same as it was before. We’ve seen Amaro stumble and Rollins fall while Benson’s struggles have been well documented since her first encounter with Lewis. This episode is no different. In fact, so much happens that while in the past it might have seemed that things could possibly revert back to some sort of normalcy, they is no such hope at the conclusion of “Beast’s Obsession.”

“There’s no way around it, Benson will be forever changed,” reveals Leight. “This could very well get the best of her.”

He goes on to divulge that this really is ‘The Last Dance.’ “This had to come to a conclusion and we knew how it had to end but even to us it’s still I think by far the most shocking ending we’ve ever done,” says Leight empathically. “It’s visually amazing and the last act is incredibly tense. I don’t know how else to say it, it really is shocking. It just had to end this way.”

And end it does, with an image that no matter what happens moments, days, months or years afterward, will remain forever haunting.

Two hashtags this week: #LastDance and #RenewSVU

Quick reminder: “Psycho/Therapist” airs just prior to “Beast’s Obsession” beginning at 8/7c. For more about “Psycho/Therapist” please click here.

“Law & Order: SVU” airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC.


Posted by: Jess | April, 09, 2014 | 1 Comment
Filed Under: News

I thought this was a cute article about Amaya’s birthday party.

Mariska Hargitay donned a pink dress to throw a costume party for her daughter Amaya’s third birthday.

Mariska “dressed up as a princess, her husband Peter Hermann wore a dragon costume, while Amaya was Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ ” for the party at UWS eatery Sugar and Plumm on Saturday.

When “Let it Go” from the Disney film “Frozen” played, the group erupted into a singalong.

Before heading home, the family grabbed handfuls of balloons, creating their own parade, and walking up Amsterdam Avenue in costume.


Posted by: Jess | April, 09, 2014 | No Comments
Filed Under: Law & Order: SVU, Spoilers

This isn’t anything new that we already don’t know, but I’m posting it anyway.

Michelle: I’m already on the edge of my seat for Pablo Schreiber’s return to Law & Order: SVU. What do you have to quell my nerves?
You’re in for a thrill ride, that’s for sure. The episode will leave you breathless. There’s a surprising return—our lips are sealed as to who it is (but it’s not Stabler, sorry)—and there will be resolution…sort of. “This is really it. It’s their final dance. And the last minute is maybe the most shocking minute we’ve had on SVU,” exec producer Warren Leight told us. And there’s still no word on a 16th season. Leight wanted to make sure to say thanks. “I really do enjoy the Twitter feedback and I think it’s an interesting relationship,” he said of the #RenewSVU movement on Twitter. “I appreciate their support in this slightly stressful time.”


Posted by: Jess | April, 08, 2014 | 4 Comments
Filed Under: Law & Order: SVU

Law & Order: SVU‘s Benson has been through so much this season. Is there any happiness coming her way before the season ends? –LuckyDee
There’s definitely light at the end of the tunnel for Olivia — but as they say, it’s always darkest before the dawn. William Lewis (played by Pablo Schreiber) returns this Wednesday to seek revenge, and not only does he force Olivia into another terrifying physical encounter, but he also drives her to take accountability for her own wrongdoings in their twisted history. Regardless of the outcome, Olivia’s nightmare isn’t over yet. (Bonus scoop: William’s isn’t the only familiar face returning this week.)


Posted by: Jess | April, 08, 2014 | No Comments
Filed Under: Law & Order: SVU

A former resident of Chester’s Mill is relocating to the Big Apple next month. Samantha Mathis, whose Under the Dome character met an untimely end last summer, will guest-star in a May episode of Law & Order: SVU, TVLine has learned exclusively.

Mathis will play the ex-wife of a producer, with whom she’s in a nasty custody battle over their 8-year-old daughter. Worse yet, Mathis’ character is accusing her ex-husband of molesting their daughter.

Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC.