Michael Parmelee / NBC

SVU And Chicago PD Join Forces To Catch An Ewww-gitive

Greg Yates escapes from prison, turning the latest Taking! It! Personally! crossover event into an interstate slog.

Initial Crime

Greg Yates killed a bunch of people, including Erin Lindsay's work bestie, Nadia, and is locked up at Green Haven, where the same idiot juror who helped William Lewis escape is detailed as a counselor. Dr. Rudnick -- who killed Yates's pregnant fiancée, thereby touching off the killing spree that put Yates on the cops' radar -- is in a different wing of the same facility...

Real Crime

...and after Yates lures various combinations of the SVU squad and Chicago's Dawson and Lindsay up to the visiting room, claiming he may be able to shed some light on a handful of missing Chicago girls but only if he gets a chat with Rollins and a transfer to the prison's honor block, he puts his real plan in motion: reuniting with Rudnick and grabbing the coattails of Rudnick's escape plan.

REAL Real Crime

Yates and Rudnick swing from vine to stolen-vehicle and murdered-driver vine through upstate New York, thanks to the escape tools Idiot Juror baked into a lasagna the guards failed to x-ray. Then Yates ditches Rudnick and sprees his way back to Chicago to avenge his childhood abandonment by his birth parents, who basically drove him to North Carolina and adopted him out when his mom got pregnant and he started acting out via the serial-killer triangle. The body count is in the double digits by the time he and Lindsay have their final Talking-Killer face-off, and I barely avoided joining that number via dying of boredom.

Verdict

While Barba is present in the first half of the double ep, barely -- and spends most of it acting hectic towards the warden and getting cracked on for taking an Uber all the way to the joint -- the ultimate verdict is rendered by Lindsay, who is "left no choice" but to shoot Yates dead.

Headlines This Was Ripped From

The escape is largely based on David Sweat and Richard Matt's break-out from Clinton last summer, as well as a drone drug drop in Ohio from about a month later, plus you've got a dash of the Boston marathon bombing (Rudnick is cornered in a boat), Robert Durst and Ted Bundy again (Rudnick disguises himself as a lady; Yates fixates on a very specific physical type), and Richard Speck (murdered nurses in Chicago). And of course Shawshank (Rudnick's Switzerland poster covering the hole he carved in his cell wall).

How Was The Real Story Fictionalized?

Richard Matt was a nasty piece of work, but not a serial killer; the Clinton accomplice hadn't pulled this shit before, and backed out at the last minute, meaning she was not stuffed in a car trunk by the fugitives; Yates got further than Matt, and wasn't drunk when he got killed.

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Famous Guest Star Who Obviously Did It

PAT KIERNAN, HOW COULD YOU?! ...Just kidding. It was a delight to see him intoning about the escape and acting like "Con Electric" is a real thing. And I would watch the hell out of a Chicago Corrections spinoff starring Anna Deavere Smith. Or any other thing starring Smith. But as the Green Haven warden, she's merely mildly inept, not actively responsible; it's all Dallas Roberts and Jefferson Mays as Yates and Rudnick.

L&O-verse Regulars

Rudnick was an M.E., of course, and Mays has Mothership and CI credits on his c.v. Kevin Kane, a key aide during the manhunt, has played several officers and/or uniforms on SVU and Mothership.

It's Late, Y'all!

Roberts's revolting orgasmic faces as he examines crime-scene photos are as oogy as ever. When the action heads to Chicago, props cranks up the ick with a severed hand...and the arm it used to belong to.

Fin Speaks For Us All

He gets like three lines. Happily, this is one of them as he rolls into the Windy City squadroom: "Why we gotta keep coming here -- you can't catch these bad guys on your own?" Halstead's answering snap to the effect of "maybe if you didn't let them escape from prison?" gets a "...yeah, that's fair" face-pull from Fin. Hee.

Egregious Breach Of Procedure

The background "check" not really performed on Juror Bronwyn would have revealed, to Barba's embarrassment, that PR concerns required him to drop all charges against her. And it doesn't seem like SVU should have anything to do with an escape from state prison -- they aren't the Marshals -- but it's really Erin Lindsay who's breaching all over the place, running into the woods after Yates when Dodds Jr. has just gotten shot (then dropping her phone), nagging Voight nonstop to let her run point on the Yates manhunt, rushing off to confront him by herself, and being completely and utterly rattled from wire to wire by Yates's bullshit, like, are you not a...detective? In the third season of the show? Shouldn't you be able to handle the get-in-your-head sleaze of a guy like Yates by now? I know he killed your friend, and Roberts is convincingly awful, but maybe one hand's worth of a poker face?

Who On The SVU Team Is Taking It Personally?

Everyone, because Yates; Rollins, because everyone's acting like she's made of eggshells post-maternity-leave: "I have a baby and all of a sudden I can't talk to serial killers anymore!" The delivery's actually pretty funny, but: seriously, show.

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

Rollins's hair looks amazeballs. Carisi remains an infancy know-it-all, this time on the subject of melatonin supplements and postpartum. The last scene, set in a bar with bourbon, is NOT Liv and Voight clinking glasses, then retiring to his apartment for an all-night "debriefing," although it's pretty clear at least to this Benoight shipper that Voight would go there, and has perhaps gone there in his bunk, when he intenses at Liv that "I wish you were here more often." Yeah yeah, he follows up that it would be good for Lindsay to have a lady sensei BUT WHATEVER please put Liv and Marlboro Red over there in an LDR. They have great chemistry. Come on, show. It's sweeps. We watched the crossover; you owe us.

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