EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'Law & Order: SVU' fan recap: Welcome back to TV, Marcia Cross!

Season 16 | Episode 16 | “December Solstice” | Aired Feb 25, 2015

Before we get into last night’s SVU, I just want to point out that the #SVUDieHards got #rectalprobeelectroejaculation to trend on Twitter last night. There’s no fan like an SVU fan. You’ll understand the significance of that unsettling hashtag in a moment. Oh, look—Marcia Cross is back on TV!

Robert Vaughan is Walter Briggs, a famous novelist enjoying his twilight years being cared for by his much younger wife. Charmaine Briggs (Cross) reminds him who people are, wipes the dribble from around his mouth when he eats his strained carrots, and does him. She does him A LOT. Erectile dysfunction pills are akin to breath mints in the Briggs household. Briggs’ two daughters (half-sisters from different marriages) keep getting rebuffed by Dad and Evil Stepmom. He’s cordial, but Charmaine constantly runs interference. We’re led to believe that she’s a hellish gold-digger, torturing the old guy with pleasure in attempts to get knocked up so she can get the full payout. Wasn’t this a storyline on Desperate Housewives? Wasn’t this EVERY storyline on Desperate Housewives?

Judith and Delilah (the daughters of ole’ Wally) pay the SVU a visit, and accuse ginger evil Charmaine of rape. They believe that she’s force-feeding their dementia-stricken daddy those pills so that she can park and ride on him all the live-long day. There’s some skepticism about this (and excitement, because Carisi is a huge Walter Briggs fan). It’s from Rollins. Am I mistaken, or was she trying to convince people that her old boss raped her a few episodes back? How soon we forget, Mandy.

Rollins and Briggs superfan Carisi roll up at the Briggs mansion, and inquire as to Wally’s well-being. Everything is hunky-dory until Briggs refers to his erection as “a varnished eel” and Twitter blows up. He’s like Hemingway, but with much longer sentences and way more penis metaphors. We also learn that he’s kind of a misogynist and believes all women should be Duggars. Charmaine hurries them out when he starts to fade mentally. Her husband is tired, and she’s very busy. Dr. Oz is on in an hour, and Walter’s restraints don’t just tie themselves.

The detectives arrive back at the station. Yeah, things are a little shady, but ol’ Wally and his “varnished eel” seem to be having the time of their lives with Big Red. Nevertheless, Briggs’ daughters Judith (a lawyer) and Delilah (a playwright) are filing for visitation rights. Good luck with that. Marcia Cross once blew up an apartment complex. You probably predicted that Walter Briggs has a heart attack, right?

Detectives arrive at the hospital to find a lonely IV tube, one of those heart bleep-bleep finger thingies with no finger to love, and an empty bed. Charmaine has absconded with her husband. He didn’t even have time to order terrible food. Charmaine gets things done. Whenever I’ve been in the hospital, I’ve waited HOURS for that orderly to show up with that wheelchair I don’t have to ride in to be released. Dude is barely stabilized and he’s already on his way to Quebec, to a “lake.” That’s what Charmaine gives the detectives for a destination when they catch up to her at Walter’s hangar. I’m thinking the “lake” is actually “a place where I can harvest his baby batter and then put a pillow over his face.” Walter isn’t long for this world, and Charmaine is determined to remain in control of his remaining hours. However, the hearing the daughters have called put a crimp in her plans for poutine.

Carisi and Briggs have a moment, and Walter notes how degrading it is to be so old that he needs to be wiped by someone else. And then he drops the phrase “feathered shuttlecock,” which I think is another euphemism for his equipment. He’s so very elegant when it comes to talking about his junk.

Everyone meets in family court. Walter manages to recognize his daughters, and they are granted visitation rights. Yay! Oh, wait, no. He’s dead.

Walter kicks off, and sadness. Things take an ominous turn when his doctor reveals that Walter’s body had sperm in his urethra. But wait, how did Walter … you know … when he wasn’t taking his pills? Oh, you don’t need pills! Just put a cattle prod up him to induce … you know. It’s called “rectal probe electric ejaculation.” It sounds like the title of a Parliament album, and ALL the kids are doing it! Charmaine and her prod stopped by to extract some spermatozoa before her husband’s death. So she’s up on charges because this looks shady.

The trial ensues. Judith and Delilah take the stand to accuse Charmaine of keeping their dad isolated from them. The girls are taken less seriously when Walter’s obit triggers a video he recorded prior to his death to post on the web. Is this really a thing? That’s awesome. “I’m dead now, so I’d like to finally be able to say F**K YOU to Auntie Sara and that cat of hers.” We learn that Delilah was actually a huge bitch because Walter didn’t want her adapting one of his books into a play. We learn that she’s a playwright just like Madonna is an actress. They’re both terrible.

Charmaine and her cattle prod just wanted a piece of Walter to cherish. Uh-huh. Judith didn’t know all of this, and ends up siding with Charmaine. This is good because now she’ll be allowed to hang out with the half-sibling gestating in Charmaine’s gold-digger womb.

Things are left somewhat vague (I hate that). Who is the real villain of this piece? Is it Marcia Cross’ character, with her cattle prod and her doubling down on Walter’s money via baby? Is it Delilah? Because whew, is she a bad playwright or what? Is it Carisi, because he’s constantly reminding us that he’s in law school? No, it’s the SVU writing team who are the real villains. #VarnishedEel #FeatheredShuttleCock #RectalProbeElectroEjaculation


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

You May Like