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TV Review: Law & Order: SVU – “Perverted”

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Rock on, synopsis: The sexually mutilated body of a biker gang member is found, and everyone is caught off guard when the evidence points to Benson, leaving Munch and Fin to investigate while Stabler attempts to prove his partner's innocence.

So how does SVU celebrate Green Week on NBC? By reusing DNA to turn it into DNA someone else can use! But, oh crap, I just spoiled the entire episode for you. Here I am, supposed to conserve the suspense, not let it biodegrade on the Internet. So I'll do what I can to rectify the plot, starting with what NBC gave up in their preview.

There's a dead biker and Olivia is a suspect. Her business card is found on his bloodletten, castrated body bent up against a tree in a public park. But why on earth would she … rather, how could she? She's been sick with the flu of the non-H1N1 variety. Nevertheless, the evidence begins piling up, and of course it all points to her.

It's not just the business card. A 911 tip spots a car hitting another biker, while reporting a partial plate. Her car has that partial, and has an unexplained fender dent. He's a seedy guy, and she deals with them all the time. All of it's circumstantial, but you know what can't be explained away? DNA.

(Okay, that didn't look as dramatic as initially intended. DNA is an acronym. but how do you capitalize something that's already capitalized? I should have written "You know what can't be explained away? BLOOD." In fact, let's go with that.)

You know what can't be explained away? BLOOD.

(Wow, what a difference. Now we can continue forward.)

Benson's blood was found on the knife that killed the biker. That's all Internal Affairs needed to arrest her, because, well, it's freakin' DNA. Unless it was planted.

And at this point, you're pretty sure that was exactly what happened. Had they written Mariska Hargitay's character off, it would have been not only the best kept secret in TV, but they would have probably picked the most uncharacteristic way to have the show's signature character exit. When they wrote off Det. Ed Green in plain ol' Law & Order, at least the suspected murder was explained in a more dramatic fashion. So ya just know this is a frame-up. But how?

While everything biker-related is being investigated, the lab comes back with some strange results pertaining to the DNA match. Some deep research indicates that it could have been fabricated. Oh yes, this is a big discovery. And it's interesting how the line penned by Dan Frumkin in the New York Times article, "Any biology undergraduate could perform this," was almost the exact same line echoed by the technician that gave Benson's framer some well-constructed deoxyribonucleic acid. With all the "dirty cop, frame-up" discussion, it's an ominous note on which they end the show: DNA evidence from here on out could no longer be credible.

Or can it? In the show, they determined after extensive testing that it wasn't really her blood. So what the hell's the problem?

How technology helps good and evil is a pendulum. Much like the ongoing battle between casinos and blackjack gamblers, the tennis match of using new gizmos to "get away" and "put away" will probably always be scored a deuce. Pretty soon those "minority reports" you hear about could be planted to frame someone. Oh … you say they were? See, now I spoiled yet another drama for you.

Twist Factor — I've ranked others lower, but a 4 of 10 seems appropriate, based on the sudden ending that had nothing to do with the plot. This episode got me to think about the concoction of phony DNA evidence, rather than Benson's frame-up. That was slightly a surprise, even if her innocence wasn't.

The Verdict — We the people find this episode, "Perverted," guilty of predictability because of the irrefutable evidence that ties Benson to the show. Not even Dick Wolf could find a science lab that could fictionalize that fact. We believe the journey that led to finding Benson's framer was at least enjoyable. We also ask that you remind us not to eat using any public silverware ever again, even if that's what Green Week wants us to do.

Law & Order: SVU broadcasts at 9 p.m. ET Wednesdays on NBC.

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  • http://intentional-stones.typepad.com Simbelmynë

    The entire show feels that way to me.
    After the first couple of endearing times our hero heroically rescues a young girl from imminent death at the hand of a pervert or our heroine spits in the face of another perv who couldn’t possibly have beat the odds and changed as he so ardently and believably claims, the repetition of these themes go REALLY tired.
    Let’s set up an entirely new and unconventional set of conventions and repeat them week after week.
    Why expect something different?

  • http://www.notesfromnancy.blogspot.com NancyGail

    Was Ed Green the character played by Jesse L. Martin? Think HE just left. Never thought he got killed off.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    He wasn’t killed off, but in his last episode he was charged with murdering someone. Like Benson. Only Green actually did it, but later they learned it was justified.