MIchael Parmelee / NBC

Shaking Up Carisi On Law & Order: SVU

An old stalking case isn't as simple as it seems...and neither is the prospect of retirement.

Initial Crime

Millennial-marketing consultant Quinn snaps at a co-worker to quit saying "pivot," then uses the equally overused "double down" one sentence later.

...Fine, that isn't a crime. The push-in sexual assault Quinn survives despite having had a safety-first eye on her surroundings on the way back from after-work drinks is.

Real Crime

A guy who stalked Quinn throughout college, Ray Wilson, has recently gotten paroled after doing time for breaking into her place and trying to rape her. His alibi is both literally and figuratively solid -- security cameras back Ray's claim of attending church group in Belmar, NJ at the time of the rape -- and the retired-cop dad of a college friend of Quinn's, Sergeant Tom Cole, had had a warning word with him when he got out. Somehow, though, Ray's DNA is found on a cigarette butt directly in front of Quinn's door. How conveeeeeenient!

REAL Real Crime

Rather too convenient, in fact, and a couple of red herrings involving Quinn's ex and her lovesick colleague Ryan haven't graduated from the guppy stage; of course it's Sgt. Cole, who on top of apparently committing some kind of tax fraud if he's able to make Montclair property taxes on a cop pension also set Ray up for the rape -- then, when it's apparent the squad is onto him, kidnaps Quinn to his brother's empty farmhouse in Harding, and while he's choosing whether to shoot Quinn, Carisi, himself, or some horrible combo thereof...

Verdict

...Liv sneaks up behind him and blows his brains out for him.

Headlines This Was Ripped From

I can't imagine this is the only such instance -- sigh/ugh -- but a quick Google turned up the Pepper Pike case.

How Was The Real Story Fictionalized?

The Cleveland cop stalked his victim after the assault, not before, and used police records to do it, not a pre-existing relationship.

Famous Guest Star Who Obviously Did It

Despite the show's attempt to fake us out with Sleepy Hollow's Zach Appelman, it's never not Chris Bauer, who plays Cole.

L&O-verse Regulars

Bauer has appeared on all three L&Os, starting with the "Tommy Beltran 99-percent-raged his ex-GF to death" ep from '92, and was a regular on poor L&O relation Third Watch. You may remember Enid Graham, playing Cole's wife Linda, as an ADA from a Bayard Ellis ep. Appelman has played a uniformed officer on SVU in the last few years.

It's Late, Y'all!

Nothing too bracing vis-a-vis the initial crime, but the last sequence is a nailbiter, not least because Benson tells Carisi to be careful like five times, and while you'd like to think that's just Benson momming him, it's just like this show not to let us have nice things.

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Gotta watch your six, Counselor! (He's fine.)

Fin Speaks For Us All

Invited Jesusily to consider joining Ray's church fellowship, Fin fake-smiles, "I'm good -- but please tell me what time the damn meeting ended." Later, his withering "congratulaaaaations, you're a disruptor" drops the degrees in Ryan's vicinity to about 25F.

Egregious Breach Of Procedure

I'm becoming a tad weary of Liv starting these conversations about her personal life with Carisi, then getting all "nunya bidness, freshman" when he asks the follow-up questions she's clearly hoping he will...but that's not a breach, it's just annoying, and her reference to Occam's Razor brings her up even for me. In fact, with the exception of Carisi letting Cole get the drop on him (which ends up working out) and Rollins braying into the phone about needing a kidnapping-case assist from the FBI (which is funnier than it is bad policing), everyone's minding their Ps and Qs this week.

("Except the casting director!" I hear that, Barba-rians.)

Who On The SVU Team Is Taking It Personally?

Liv, because we opened the ep with Tucker announcing that he's considering retiring to fuck off around the house in his underpants for a while (co-signed), so now of course she's drawing parallels between Cole's retirement and Tucker's/her own. We've seen worse, though.

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

Tucker's over it and ready to put his shield down. Bunker's date chemistry is kind of formal and weird considering they've been A Thing for a while now. Wardrobe is still killing it with the lady characters' coats.

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Double-breasted AND a zipper that looks like it works. Want.

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