Synopsize me, Lieutenant! "A young woman is reported missing, and her boyfriend points Benson and Stabler in the direction of her downstairs neighbor, a convicted bank robber, but in a twist the case brings out other details of his dark past that shock everyone."
Sounds fun! Ha, just kidding. This one's about solitary confinement. Guh? How did they get there?
Relax, detectives. The "missing woman" was simply a ruse to get us into the dark, tortured mind of Callum Donovan, a recently released convict who is kind of having trouble adjusting back into the world. In fact, Donovan is known to the amorous couple living in sin upstairs as "the creepy guy downstairs." Uh huh. And the redhead upstairs (portrayed by True Blood's Deborah Ann Woll) is initially known to the SVU as "a missing victim," but it turns out she was actually "that lying meth head." See, we hardly know these people!
Academy Award-nominee Stephen Rea from The Crying Game brings the tears as the very disturbing Donovan, who is eventually cleared of raping and murdering the lying sack of estrogen when it turns out that she was found, in fact, alive and unraped.
This is now twice in three episodes that Stabler had to go apologize to a wrongfully accused man (the other time was in "Unstable", and that didn't turn out so well) so you'd think that lately he'd realize that maybe going for the softer, gentler, cuddlier Stabler just isn't the best idea. Because this time, it got him thrown off a roof by a spooked Donovan who wasn't ready to go back to jail.
Attempted murder of a copper is not exactly something the legal system takes lightly, and in comes ADA Sonya Paxton (Christine Lahti) with pistols a-blazin' to lock the bastard up and piss off Stabler in the process.
Why did Donovan do it? Simple: his lawyer, Petra Gilmartin (Lauren Walter*), says that he was terrified of returning to solitary confinement, in which he spent the better of his 18-year prison sentence and nearly lost his mind. So this episode is really about how prisoners re-adapt to society after living in solitary confinement. Hey, I've seen Shawshank Redemption. They end up causing the warden to commit suicide, or something, then build a boat.