Heavy Lies The Crown
Benson and the team pull a complex case of gang retaliation on her first day as a big shot.
NBC's overwrought promo department strikes again. Which part were we not supposed to see coming? Or not believe, or whatever? It's SVU; nothing here struck me as a flabbergasting twist. Either I missed something, or the network thinks we're Mennonites.
Avery Capshaw's parents come home to find their apartment trashed and Avery missing. Dad is sure Avery's forbidden boyfriend, Manny Montero, kidnapped her (and there's blood in their bed; yikes). Avery is found teetering on the edge of a rooftop, and jumps despite Rollins's pleading with her (she lands in a…well, it's basically a moon bounce, inflated by the cops for that purpose), because she thinks Manny got killed…
…because Manny's boys in BX9 (literally) gang-raped Avery to punish Manny for screwing up a drugstore robbery of Oxycontin, and made Manny watch, and…Avery's body reacted involuntarily, in ways that might have made it seem like she enjoyed it.
Romeo and Juliet finally agree to testify against the other members of BX9, but Manny is killed while in protective custody; a group of BX9-ers on "motocycles" (nice chyron, fake news) menaces the Capshaws in their car; and it turns out that Manny's brother, Jesús, wasn't killed by a rival gang, but by his own BX9 brothers.
It's unlikely to be this recent story about village elders ordering a gang-rape as punishment, given the timing, but I suspect that, as a gang ritual, this isn't unheard of.
The most recognizable guest star is Teresa Yenque, a L&O-verse regular who plays Manny's ailing abuelita here and obviously did NOT do it.
"White girl wanted a trip to the boneyard." "She was coming like a freight train the whole time." Manny's tongue is cut out after he's dead (we don't see this, fortunately).
A refreshingly conscientious episode, although Rollins is more than happy to grab Fin and bolt from Benson's sergeant-graduation ceremony when they get the call -- but nobody is chafing under Benson's command (yet), and Fin even gives her a jauntily proud salute when she comes back to HQ still in uniform. Aw.
No one -- and in a couple of cases (Benson blowing off OG's direct threat against her; Rollins not showing much reaction after watching Avery jump), it seems like they should be. Amaro seems mildly offended that the gang members won't think he knows about the community gun, bullets from which let SVU crack the case.
None that we see. The team can't bring charges on the rape because the corroborating witness is dead, but manages to get the rapists on other charges, thanks to inciting one of their girlfriends' jealousy.
Amaro's laundry is still on the line after he accidentally killed that kid (an informant snarks, "Aw, don't shoot, I'm not 14" -- burn). Asked directly how it went in DC with Maria, he won't make eye contact and says, "One day at a time." Speaking of that, Rollins is sipping from a huge refillable water bottle full of caffeine of some sort at Benson's ceremony, and the others tease her for it, but at least she showed up; Cassidy's "still undercover," an excuse Fin isn't buying. Benson herself takes zero time to acclimate to identifying herself as "Sgt. Benson." It took Rollins a year to teach Fin to use social media (hee).