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'Law & Order: SVU' fan recap: #GamerGate revisited

Season 16 | Episode 14 | “Intimidation Game” | Aired Feb 11, 2015

SVU took on #GamerGate last night. It wasn’t pretty. Misogynist mouth-breathers terrorizing female gamers and game creators is a nauseating situation (let me put the #NotAllGamers tag right here). It’s even more nauseating when the show decides to extrapolate on all that hate and demonstrate what the endgame would actually look like. Spoiler alert: It’s disturbing and made me want to curl into a fetal position with my old 8-bit NES. Simpler, less horrifying times.

Fin, Rollins, and Carisi are at a video con, and we learn that Fin is a HUGE gamer (as is New Guy Carisi). Rollins is a little “Are these boys for serious?” about the whole thing, as Fin waxes Video Games for Dummies on her (and anyone else in the viewing audience who doesn’t know what FPS means). As Amanda throws side-eyes, and Fin and Carisi whoop it up with the rest of the masses during a new game demonstration, a game company employee named Sarah is assaulted. Two young men she had verbally jousted with at her booth grope and rough her up in the ladies room. They have a problem with women in gaming, and with her boss in particular.

Raina Punjabi is a leading game creator who is about to roll out her newest epic, “Amazonian Warriors.” Her game has a life-affirming theme which leaves out the usual violence and gore. Some of the kill-or-be-slaughtered-type gamers look upon this approach with disdain, if not outright hostility. We learn that she’s been subject to online harassment, including rape and death threats. Can I just interject here: IT’S VIDEO GAMES, fellas. VIDEO GAMES. It’s supposed to be entertainment, not the Middle East.

Carisi goes undercover as a gamer dude (it’s amazing what a little styling can do to de-age an SVU detective from tall cop to douchey youth), and is able to trap and capture Sarah’s attackers. There’s still concern over Raina’s ongoing harassment. Echoing #GamerGate’s origins, she’s being accused of being a big ole’ ho who earned her financial backing by sleeping around. Because a woman can’t create anything on her own. She’s marrying the financial backer in question, by the way. She made the game; he’s just the money man. Shut up, you crazy basement-dwelling weirdos. Writing this recap is making me want to climb up on my feminist soapbox, but I’m just going to focus on the episode at hand.

Triggers are pulled when Raina is doxxed and then SWAT-ted during a televised Skype interview from her apartment. For the viewers at home wondering what the heck all that guttural-sounding jargon means, “doxxing” is when you release someone’s personal info online. “SWAT-ting” is when crazy people think it’s funny to call 911 and tell them there’s a hostage situation going on at your house. That’s usually when you find yourself roughly slammed to the floor and zip-tied by a SWAT team on live television.

The group responsible calls themselves KOBS (“Kill Or Be Slaughtered”), and they really have a mad-on for Ms. Punjabi. They also own a video camera and some dorky masks, which they use to post violent threats against Raina. Liv and friends want her to lay low and delay her game’s roll-out, seeing as there’s a bunch of emotionally stunted wack jobs in cardboard kabuki masks threatening to rape and mutilate her. Raina would rather be seen as a defiant bitch than a coward, and refuses to delay. This launch is global! It’s being live-streamed! There are principles to stand by (and money to be made)! I wish I could say this ends well for Raina, but if you want amusing and uplifting family fare … go watch The Middle.

The launch presentation goes pretty well. At first. Wow, the graphics for “Amazonian Warriors” are bad. There’s one Amazon who’s supposed to be hammering in some fencepost and it looks like when one of the animatronic presidents gets stuck at Disney World and appears to be having a seizure. But we’re not here for the rendering! We’re here for the kidnapping!

Laser sights pop up on Raina during her spiel, and our SVU peeps have to toss out several pale misogynists with bad haircuts. That’s when hell does that thing where it breaks loose. Strobe lights flicker. Recorded gunfire goes off. Someone grabs Raina. Can’t Fin just clothesline somebody? Nope. The detectives are horrified to see that KOBS is broadcasting their Raina-taking on a giant LED screen outside the building. In their sick minds, they’ve just leveled up by taking down the game lady. This is what happens when EVERYONE gets a trophy at first-grade Field Day.

The detectives race to track down the kidnappers. They’d better hurry, because some hurl-inducing video of Raina being beaten and tormented has gone up. The cowardly masks weren’t lying about what they threatened to do to Ms. Punjabi. And my gorge is starting to rise, because SVU‘s creators aren’t pulling any punches on this one. The vids that the KOBS freak team keep releasing get more and more graphic. Raina is stripped, beaten, humiliated, and eventually gang-raped. She’s then forced to record a statement in which she admits she slept with her fiance for the backing money, and that women don’t belong in gaming. I personally want to drive over to that basement and tire-iron those responsible. But, just like some gamers need to realize it’s just a game, I need to realize this is just one (rather heavy-handed) TV show.

One of the KOBS jerks realized (after the GANG RAPE, maybe?) that things have gone a little too far. He geotags one of the vids, and the cops are able to track the gang to the rape basement. KOBS then has Raina call them and lure them into a trap. She’s tied up to a booby-trapped shotgun in a warehouse, in the hopes that the SWAT team will take her out. KOBS is chased to the roof, and a #NotAllGamers pissed-off Fin saves Carisi from getting shot by the head corn-KOBS. Fin loves being a gamer, and he doesn’t need a bunch of short-assed virgins in masks wrecking it for him.

The denouement? A traumatized Raina will testify against her rapist-kidnappers, but she’s leaving gaming. Rollins notes that this goes against what she said earlier about the haters winning if she gives up. Raina notes that they seem to already have. Sadness. Seriously, do you think my mom kept my 8-bit NES in the attic so I can go over and cuddle with it?

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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