The squad's new sergeant gets a crash course in SVU's special brand of Taking! It! Personally!
Manky Rock Flautist picks up a working girl in the hotel bar after his performance, only to wake up and find his fifty-thousand-dollar instrument gone. He calls the cops, and SVU appears at his door...
...totally coincidentally, as they're already at the hotel investigating a fellow performer's allegation that he rampaged into her room and raped her the night before. Manky Rock Flautist is flabbergasted to hear that, saying he has no memory of it and the hooker must have drugged him so she could roll him.
The hooker is Kim Rollins, Amanda's shitty sister, who's up to her customary no good: playing their mom and Amanda against each other, blackmailing Amanda with their shared past, and finding a way to bone her attorney so she gets a good plea deal. Technically she's locked up for outstanding warrants, and stabbing her pimp in the nuts when he cooperates with the police to draw her out.
Barba is AWOL, but the visit Amanda stupidly makes to Kim in jail lets Kim exposit that Desappio -- who she claims is going to ask her to marry him; ew, Jackie Jr. -- thinks she'll do as little as a year thanks to all the shit they talked about Amanda and how she's not a reliable witness, or wouldn't take the stand and risk airing her dirty gambling laundry, or whatever the play is. Manky Rock Flautist is charged with rape and not allowed to leave the state; we don't find out what happens in that trial.
Stefan Arzberger's "naked rampage" in April of this year.
Arzberger plays the violin, not the flute, and for a string quartet, not a Jethro-Tull-type outfit; the sex worker stole his iPad, not his instrument.
Not sure Zach McGowan of Black Sails qualifies; mostly it's Lindsay Pulsipher's show as Kim Rollins, and she's hateably great in the role again. Ditto Virginia Madsen as Rollins mere, but playing favorites isn't technically a crime.
Jason Cerbone's back as Desappio, though, if he's gotten crossed up with Kim, we may not see him again after he gets sanctioned. Kim's "Agent," Slice, is played by L&O vet Wass Stevens, whom you've seen on SVU, CI, Mothership, AND Conviction (he's usually a uni or crime-scene tech).
And let's hear it for Ashley North, who wins our Tacky SVU Character Credit Of The Week! They didn't even hyphenate "Low Level Hooker" correctly. Hang in there, Ash.
Fin's "She played his flute, and STOLE his flute" is as racy as it gets.
Obviously. Amanda spots Kim on the pawnshop security footage right away, but lies (really badly) that it's buffering, and talks Fin, who should know better generally and especially with this effed family, into covering for her while she tries to bring Kim in herself, like, 1) why would you do her any favors now, I don't care if she's your sister and 2) it never ever works out in that squad. Dodds Jr., working hard to impress on his first day, tracks Kim down at the very same time Amanda is in Liv's office confessing that Kim's the culprit, so that doesn't look great, although Liv is clearly still chapped by Dodds Sr. basically installing Jr. to spy on her. Maybe acknowledge that he has a point instead of giving Jr. A Tone all day?
Amanda; Carisi and Fin, because Amanda; Liv, because Dodds; the Doddses, because each other.
The face when Carisi gets all insecure about the "heated diaper-wipes caddy" he brought for Amanda's shower is a classic.
He also responds to Liv sighing that she can't neg all of Jr.'s ideas in his first week with, "I'll do it." Hee. But speaking of young Jr., Liv opens with a patronizing and passive-aggressive "General note? I prefer to be kept in the loop," then is dunked on with Jr.'s "If you're not comfortable delegating, I can respect that." Ya burnt, Lieu.
When Sr. comes to check in on Jr. at the end of the ep, things seem pretty pro between him and Liv. Amanda's mother is a day-drinker -- no surprise there -- who accuses Amanda of putting work before family like always, then stomps off, saying she'll be back...for Kim's trial. Amanda reacts to this with a pregnancy swoon, but you can't argue that she dodged a bullet there.