Photo: Michael Parmelee / NBC

Rimshot

A sanctimoniously ineffectual episode about a comedian accused of rape does feature a consensual relationship between ham and fist.

Initial Crime

Renee, a sexual-assault survivor, goes to the Comic Strip with her campus Take Back The Night org, to protest the performance of Josh Galloway. It doesn't go well, not least because Galloway is a "rape-joke comic" (note: not actually a thing; don't help, Rollins) who counter-heckles Renee when she stands up to call out that rape isn't funny. Afterwards, two male fans set upon her outside her dorm, and Renee gets away, but not before they fondle her and shove her head down.

Real Crime

As part of their investigation, the SUV squad (joined by Cassidy, a big Galloway fan) heads to the club to check out Galloway's set. He outs them as 5-0, and also isn't funny or even all that shocking, but on their way out, another student, Carly, stops them to report that Galloway raped her the night before. She thinks.

REAL Real Crime

Galloway rightly notes that just because he says horrid things in his act doesn't mean he's that guy offstage, and nips out behind the First Amendment for a smoke, confident his jokey responses on the stand -- and characterization of Carly as a groupie who wanted a relationship -- will get him out of hot water. This, despite having bought a previous victim's silence with his customary swag bag plus an extra diamond watch and a non-disclosure agreement. It almost works, until Renee defies Benson's orders not to set Galloway up and takes a glasses-cam video of Galloway trying to assault her. The ham-handed treatment of a serious issue and the Punchline-bad rendition of a comedy set should probably also face charges, but we'll get into that.

Headlines This Was Ripped From

Daniel Tosh's 2012 "rape joke" controversy (with a nod to the revelation that Derek Jeter used to send his assignations home with gift baskets, and also to the Dear Prudence advice-column controversy).

How Was The Real Story Fictionalized?

Galloway did more than joke. And I'll wager Jetes had better parting gifts. Just a hunch.

Famous Guest Star Who Obviously Did It

Jonathan Silverman of Brighton Beach Memoirs.

It's Late, Y’all!

"Forceful anal penetration with bruising, tearing, and swelling." Italics Benson's.

Egregious Breach Of Procedure

None to speak of; Benson explicitly warns Renee "absolutely not" to try to entrap Galloway, and though Barba thinks Benson's reasons for pressing Carly's case have more to do with her post-Lewis trauma and wanting to assert authority, she doesn't break any rules.

Who On The SVU Team Is Taking It Personally?

Everyone except Fin, despite Galloway calling him "Jay-Z," and Barba, who's disgusted with the entire situation and thinks prosecuting Galloway is a fool's errand. I didn't expect much better from SVU on the topic, but everyone's such a purse-lipped scold in "Comic Perversion" that you start to root against the good guys. "It's 'Sergeant'" Benson in particular needs to dial it back, as her experience on the stand in Lewis's trial had her off her game here, and she's become very nearly unbearable overall. I suppose the fact that I don't have to shout this article over the din of her biological steel drum is something.

Fin Speaks For Us All

I added the category just in time for the one episode when he doesn't say something snarky, but he does have one non-verbal moment I enjoyed; Carly asks if she can sue Galloway, and Fin flops back in his chair all "oh come on."

Verdict

Confronted with Renee's video, Galloway's lawyer (Elizabeth Marvel, and I like Esparza a lot, but I'd love to see her as the SVU's special ADA) is like, aaaaand scene. No jail time, though he has to register as a sex offender for ten years; Barba notes hopefully that Fatty Arbuckle's career withered after a similar narrow escape from justice, but that example's, what, 90 years old?

Revelations About The Continuing Characters' Personal Lives That We Should Remember Going Forward

Cassidy, who had a Google alert already set up for Galloway, gets the stink-eye from his special lady friend for said alert, and after a lame comment from Amaro about how Benson locked up Cassidy's favorite comic, Benson sees Cassidy on her caller ID and declines the call. Brr. Also, Amaro reacts poorly to a mention of his wife by Galloway. Rollins is apparently back under control for the purposes of this episode, but let's check back in with her after the Chicago PZZZZZZ crossover.

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