A Corrections Officer Is Brad To The Bone On Law & Order: SVU
New York's Boldest take it too far when a former inmate blows (...sorry) the whistle on rape at Rikers.
Enjoying an AM beer and a Marlboro 120, Charisse is blackmailed into the car of her former CO at Rikers, Gary Munson, when he threatens to violate her for drinking on the street...and then does violate her sexually. She reports it to her social worker, Fin's son Ken, who tips the squad.
Unsurprisingly, Munson serially raped Charisse in the prison chapel in exchange for "favors" -- protecting her from strip searches and ad seg; letting her see her kids more -- while a lady CO stood lookout. Charisse isn't the only one with whom Munson had this odious arrangement, and often it continued on the outside, since Munson has access to Corrections computers and all the personal information they contain, and could make vague threats against inmates' families on the outside (and friends in the clink) if they didn't go along.
Munson finally gets locked up when Charisse agrees to sting him while wearing a pendant-necklace camera, though of course he tries to play it off like Charisse came onto him despite having had a gun to her head and getting caught mid-thrust, but it's not until the SVU-ers find evidence of time-card fraud that they can flip the lady CO, Wilkins, on Munson and get an indictment that'll stick...
...but the CO's heretofore arrogantly uncooperative union is enraged by Barba daring to go after Munson (whose father-in-law, not for nothing, is an NYPD deputy inspector; Munson himself failed the police exam twice). On the courthouse steps, the union rep, Rodriguez, makes it clear that the DA and NYPD will have a strike on their hands if they don't back down, and elsewhere in the hugger-mugger, some jabroni threatens to crack Barba's head open on the stairs. (Barba writes down his home address all hashtag come at me bro, and rolls his eyes in the guy's face. Love it.)
Just an indictment for now, though Munson's wife Lisa, loyal until she appears before the grand jury and Barba is obliged to prove to her that Munson lied to her to, seems likely to change her vote. And the locks.
Jane Does 1 and 2 v. Benny Santiago and the City of New York, just for starters, and this isn't the first or even third time the L&O franchise has addressed the subject of abusive/corrupt corrections officers.
Brad Garrett as Munson is impressively disgusting. His size is usually played for humorous Lurchy effect, but adds to the sense of menace here. Mostly, though, it's oogish faces like the one he makes when Charisse is unloaded from the transport after a bogus arrest intended mainly to cow her into more "favors."
Ew. Munson is also a sexist dingle about Liv being the boss, which seems kind of gratuitous -- like, we kind of figured he's not great with respecting women, what with the sexual assaults and the threats and whatnot -- but on the other hand, I've heard that Garrett himself is a sexist dingle (not to a felonious degree), so maybe Julie Martin decided to zing him.
Ernest Waddell returns as Ken. Michael Mastro (the judge) has done several CIs and Motherships, including the "Laura Linney kills her rapey boss" episode. Joniece Abbott-Pratt, who plays one of the other inmates Munson's abused, just appeared in an SVU earlier this year as part of the underage-prostitution/Tucker's cousin arc, which would have been a nice bit of continuity were she playing the same character, but: two different names. And I could have sworn Karina Logue as Lisa had shown up on CI in a recurring role, but I was getting it confused with SouthLAnd. (And it seems she's no relation to the character Donal played, either.)
The Foley work on Munson's zipper going up when the squad busts in on him trying to rape Charisse again is shudder-inducing.
Not as such, but his "that's what's up, congratulations!" at Ken's big news (see below) is adorable. Shortly thereafter, he pulls a classic Fin "...wut? ew" face when Ken tells him what Charisse has just reported.
On the squad's part, none! Barba has to get a little creative with bail to protect current inmates from Munson without arousing his suspicions (or...anything else, blerg), and Dodds Jr. has to borrow some tech from Joint Terrorism to pinpoint Munson's cruising locations, but nothing actionable. Barba should probably get a license for that "bitch, please" glare when Munson's lawyer suggests ROR, though.
Everyone, sort of, because Munson is sort of a cop and his FIL definitely is; Barba, because a CO threatened to kill him; Liv should, given the events of "Undercover" and how long she struggled with PTSD from that attack, but it's not mentioned at all, which I find odd. It wasn't that long ago.
Ken and his huz have started a family, using a surrogate (Fin is thrilled, but would like the nipper to call him "Fin, none-a that 'Grandpa' stuff"). Dodds Jr. is transferring to Joint Terrorism, which given Fin's dark comments about how dangerous that division is likely mean he's going to get killed in next week's finale instead. Carisi is still a hall-of-fame vest-wearer
and also passed the bar, and perhaps as a result, when he makes a law-based pronunciamento midway through the ep, Barba neither rolls his eyes nor snarks on him, just agrees that Carisi is correct.