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'Law & Order: SVU' fan recap: A parent's worst nightmare

Season 16 | Episode 22 | “Parents’ Nightmare” | Aired May 13, 2015

We’re gearing up for next week’s SVU season finale. It’s called “Surrendering Noah,” and I’m already a-scared for Liv and the moppet. If this week’s kidnapping/child-custody case was foreshadowing, I’m readying my tear-stained throw that I usually cry into when something bad happens to Liv. That poor blankie.

Dana Farhidi (Brooke Bloom) is a rather flighty mom currently battling for custody with her ex-husband, Sam (Navid Neghaban). Their son, Owen (Kaeden Ruperal), is the kind of tyke that’s raising his mom. Girlfriend is usually at yoga, losing her phone … you get the picture. It’s a typical school day for Owen. Until Javier Rojas (Frankie J. Alvarez from Showtime’s Looking, in a complete 180 from his character on that show) shows up, is cleared by a teacher, and walks off with Owen at the end of the school. Dana shows up and is like, “Uh, who?” It’s that horrible moment from every kidnapping drama when the mom runs through the playground out onto the street, screaming for her child. SOMEONE CALL SVU.

The detectives get to know Dana, who’s a mess and doesn’t even know the location of her cell phone. She might be from outer space, ’cause a mom not knowing where her cell phone is in 2015 is all sorts of strange. Carisi later tracks it down at Dana’s yoga studio, and the annoyed side-eyes he receives for interrupting downward dog are priceless. Amaro goes to speak to Sam Farhidi, who is Iranian and automatically assumes that Amaro is assuming that he’s a terrorist and a kidnapper. Easy there, Sam. Amaro knows what custody battles are like. Dude is two kids down.

We learn that Javier is the boyfriend of Fabiana, Owen’s nanny. Javier does odd jobs around the apartment for Dana. Our cops track him down to one of those sad warehouses for illegal humans. Javier is in the wind, but he does Skype a ransom demand to Dana. He wants the absurdly exact sum of $37,000 for Owen’s safe return. The cops managed to track Javier down, but he claims that Dana set the whole thing up. That’s a parenting foul. He wants immunity if he provides them with a phone containing texts from her about the kidnapping. Things aren’t looking swell for Flaky Mom, because SVU discovers the amount of back child support Dana wants from Sam is—tah-dah—37 grand.

Can I mention here how it’s impossible for me as a ride-or-die Buffy fan to separate Brooke Bloom (the actress playing Dana) from her one-episode stint as the head of Tara’s lame college Wiccan group? “Who left their scented candles dripping on my womyn-power shrine?” Wow, that episode was the famed “Hush”! Oh, how I miss Buffy. Dana may be flaky, but she can’t be a kidnapper. This is, of course, way too convenient. But if it’s a setup, how did the incriminating texts come from Flaky Yoga Mom’s phone? Let’s ask Owen. It turns out that, while Mommy’s at yoga, latch-key Noah is receiving visits from Dad. When Dad is over, he tends to go through Mom’s things. Including her phone, which is is always leaving behind.

Dana agrees to wear a wire to catch her ex, which she does. She’s aghast to learn that he plotted the kidnapping as a way of teaching her a lesson about being a better mother. Uh, you could have suggested a parenting class, or maybe some sort of family-therapy moment? Harsh. Dana asks Liv for leniency for Sam, but that’s not going to happen. She also wants to know who is going to take care of her and her son. Liv is basically, “Uh, you? Get a job, b––ch!” And scene!

Next week is the season finale, and Baby Benson is in trouble. His rapist/murderer dad is back in the picture, they go to court, and there’s gunfire. It looks like someone is going to die. It had better not be Barba. He wears such nice suits, and they would look awful with bullet holes.

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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