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'Law and Order: SVU' recap: Liv and Amanda's very bad day

Season 16 | Episode 9 | “Pattern 17” | Aired Dec 10, 2014

“Pattern 17” finds the pressure getting to our SVU team. Liv is torn between her high-pressure job and her foster son, Noah. Meanwhile, Rollins has to revisit her past in Atlanta, and it’s obvious something very, very wrong went down between her and her former captain. Hi, Harry Hamlin!

Liv and Finn walk a rape victim through her attack. Her rapist wore latex gloves, knocked her out by applying pressure to her carotid artery, and went for the full-on creepy by humming a church hymn. Our perp may have committed rapes in Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Vegas. And I can’t even get a reasonable amount of my Salon Selectives on a plane. It’s the same creepy pattern. 

The Atlanta cases were never pursued because the victims were deemed unworthy (a drug addict, a hooker, and a teen mom). Excuse you, fictional Atlanta PD? As a result, their rape kits were never tested. Liv sends Rollins and Fin to Manda’s old digs to fix that.

Mariska Hargitay’s husband shows up (he has played a lawyer on this show for years) and informs her that there’s going to be a Child Services hearing over those old abuse injuries the doctors found on Noah. Why don’t you just give her a flat tire and strep throat while you’re at it, SVU writers?

Rollins and Fin meet with that cop down in Atlanta PD that Rollins used to date. He seems to be a tad bitter, as he gleefully defends not testing rape kits and delightfully shows them the GIANT END-OF-RAIDERS-OF-THE-LOST-ARK STOREHOUSE of untested rape kits that they’re going to have to scour. In a particularly cruel twist, Harry Hamlin shows up with the kits and the files. He had put them aside from the very beginning, and obviously wanted a reason to lord it over Manda. There is huge tension between these two, and it’s sad how I assume the worst. I’m going to go out on a limb and say he raped her. I know, I know. I’m being unpleasantly cynical—but it’s SVU. It would explain Manda’s demons. Either that or Kelli Giddish really hated Clash of the Titans (the original—which is the only one) and can’t keep that out of her performance.

The only victim of the Atlanta rapes still available says that her attacker had a pager. Either the rapist time-traveled from 1989 to assault women, or he’s some type of doctor. Remind me to never get assaulted in Atlanta, seeing as when she told the cops about the pager, they asked her if she dated drug dealers. Classy.

Back in NYPD, all of the DNA matches in the Atlanta cases. Peter Gallagher is here to be irritating and make Liv grimace in disgust as he acts like your mother-in-law during the holidays: passive-aggressive as hell and taking false credit for the gravy. He’s also there to inform Liv that she has to testify at this CompStat hearing thingy. Picture the Spanish Inquisition with a little less branding. It’s a bunch of men asking insulting questions of Liv that imply she’s incompetent. I get that their work is protecting the public, but wouldn’t being supporting and nurturing of each other get more done? The verbal drawing and quartering of Liv is put on pause, as the rapist has struck again. I’m glad that this meeting is over. Not only because watching them torture Liv upset me, but because she looks so uncomfy in that police suit. It looks so itchy. And boxy. It’s too boxy.

The bad news (well, additional bad news) is that the victim was only 12 years old. The good news is that he didn’t actually get to rape her because her dog chomped his ass. Not literally—it was his arm. He should have chomped up front, if I ain’t being too subtle. The little girl in question stuffed her headphones between the rapist’s car seats so they could ID him later. Smart kid.

The car belongs to a doctor at Mercy Hospital. And what do ya know? The pretty pink headphones are just where she left them. And he’s got a trunk full of Oxycontin. Doc’s been trading drugs for sex, so he’s definitely scum. He’s just not the scum they’re looking for. That would be Albert the EMT. It seems that the EMTs in the parking garage have access to everyone’s car keys, and EMT Al “borrowed” Dr. Feelgood’s ride. The cops meet Albert’s former girlfriend, and she’s all hard-scrubbed and smoking butts. Her teenage daughter seems even more hardened, what with her angry Lorde hair and belly shirt. It’s probably because she’s 15 and Albert has been inappropriate with her. She’s been sexting him, too. They inform mom and daughter that the selfies make her a kiddie porn producer, and she could go down unless she gives Albert up. Thanks to Fin’s swift and blinding clothesline maneuver at the sting, Albert is caught. Fin’s face might be a blank, but you can just tell how much he relishes using that move on scum.

Liv’s youth services hearing accuser does everything but insinuate that Noah is left alone at the apartment with a book of matches and no adult lock on the cable. Liv promises the judge that her focus is on Noah and Noah alone. She demonstrates this by sending Peter Gallagher’s call straight to voicemail. If I were her, I would send all of Peter Gallagher’s character’s calls straight to voicemail. And my voicemail would be in a foreign accent, so he’d get confused and never call me again.

All’s well that ends well, with one exception. Harry Hamlin is coming to visit, and Manda is visibly troubled. Judging by the “next episode on SVU …” teaser, my opinion as to what’s up with her wasn’t far off. *sad face*

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

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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