Moview Review: “Law & Order – Special Victim Unit – 1st Season, 1999”

22 Memorable Episodes:

This is the first episode of the first season. A cab driver got stabbed many times and then had his genital cut off – a very interesting opener for a series than ran for 10 years so far. As it turned out, his past war crime against women caught up with him. One of the victim killed herself in front of her restaurant and the other confessed to revenge on what he had done to her in Serbia. Benson allowed her own feelings to get in the way of justice, resulting in the killer to get off on Manslaughter 2. Sometimes, it’s hard to uphold the justice when a prior justice has not been served. You can’t help to take the side of the killer.

A Single Life:
A beautiful woman fell to her death from her top floor apartment. Her psychiatrist, a national anchorman were all sexually involved with her and were suspects. As it turned out, she committed to suicide because of the incest by her own father. Her sister finally turned on her father after being controlled or shut up by his trust funds. This was a sad story. The moral of the story is that don’t do immoral things, especially against the innocent, helpless victim like children. People will eventually tell; through their own action – words or death, the truths will come out.

… Or Just Look Like One:
A badly injured, sexually assaulted woman was dumped outside the ER room. Jasmine was a young 16-year-old starting her young modeling career. This story went into the dark side of the modeling industry – all the sex and drugs. By killing the two young models, the photographer and his washed-out model fiance tried to prevent the model from disclosing his polaroid photo collection. This episode shows the ugliness of the model industry, including the parent, talent recruiter, photographers, and the models themselves.

A suspected prostitute was murdered (suffocated with plastic around her head) with his body dumped in a construction site. The murder led the police to solve a 3-decade-long murder case, perpetrated by a vice cop. But this murder was not his own doing. The killer turned out to be her own boyfriend. The motive of this case was kind of weak but the twists and turns kept the audience captivated. The victim dressed provocatively for a night club and was mistaken to be a hooker. Sometime you just don’t know what you are going to be caught dead with. It’s best to dress appropriately.

A well traveled (wanderer) writer man was found dead, naked and his mouth taped up. The usual suspects are the landlord lady, who threw herself on him, the jealous boyfriend of the landlord. He was a sexual predator, who was about to get framed for this crime. But the killer turned out to be the teenager daughter, who on a rage, after being disappointed by the victim’s refusal to take her out of her home and travel around the world. It goes to tell that a young woman, when driven to rage, can kill. Warning to all potential sexual predators – what goes around comes around.

Sophomore Jinx:
A woman was found dead, by a blunt object, on the garden of the campus. The black basketball player boyfriend was suspected. Another basketball palyer was also suspected. It turned out the girl fell on the staircase and hit herself on the wall. But the young lecturer moved her body to the dark garden and had sex to the dead body. It’s a weird plot, but this happened before. Some people, very minority, are turned on by dead bodies. Hard to imagine.

Sex offenders are often being blacklisted by the community – the modern scarlet letter. The classic conflict between victims’ right and the right of the released offenders. In this case, the offender got a bum rap and was accused wrongly but was gunned down by the victim’s father. The true killers were the accusers who imitated the style of killing by reading about the offender’s act on internet. Perhaps, it’s not a good idea to provide too much information to the public. You never know how people are going to use the information. I went ahead and check the sex offenders database near my neighborhood. Thank goodness, there is none within a mile of my home but I was surprised to see how many offenders there really are.

It’s all about “control.” A real estate broker murdered an ADA (Assistant District Attorney) by stalking on his victim. He did the same to Benson and his partner. To be able to pin down on this guy. Olivia Benson took on an enormous risk and may have result in being a victim herself. This criminal is too clever to admit that he shot his victim thus not subjected to death sentence, paving the way for a sequel later on. Being stalked is probably more scary than being victimized on bright day light because of the constant fear. I sympathize with the victims. I can also see that ultimate control a stalker can impart on a victim.

Stocks and Bondage:
A woman died of an S & M that went haywire. It involved the high-flying investment banker and his teenage buddy, an auditor of the investors. The conversion of money to diamonds for ease of transport was an interesting angle for money laundering. It’s hard to imagine an illiquid asset like diamond can be used as a high-value, light asset. I suppose it can be. This episode is kind of weak, not very believable.

A woman was raped at gun point in the middle of the night. All the evidences have been washed away by the command of the raper. When the same thing happened, the raper was caught but couldn’t be prosecuted because the victim did not disclose the rape act. The first victim thought she could identify the raper but couldn’t at the line up. This is the first Law and Order episode I saw that did not have a closure, though the title was “closure.” I guess there would never be a closure for a rape victim no matter what happens afterward.

Bad Blood:
A gay man, the son of a famous conservative politician, was beaten to death during/after a gay party, that was attended and video taped by a gay police officer. The Gunther brothers were suspected due to the seminal evidence. In order to understand what happened, the police needs the recorded tape, which later pointed to the “good” younger brother. The older “bad” brother was playing with the mind of the younger brother and sent him to the rage that killed the victim. This episode goes into the debate between what makes a criminal – nature vs. nurture. Benson’s mother’s rape case was brought to light and Officer Benson was able to see the father who raped her mother. She put that behind her when she decided not to acknowledge him after all after seeing his frail appearance through the window.

Russian Love Poem:
A man died with his full bondage custom stuffed with a banana that he’s alergic to. He turned out to be a very horny guy with relationship with men and especially Russian woman. More Russian women died as the story unfolded. The killer was the jealous boyfriend of the mistress of the man. Lots of Russian. The story plot was confusing and didn’t make a lot of sense.

A judged was shot iin the head and groin in his car. A flight attendant turned out to the killer of the judge who exchanges favor for sex. When the judge didn’t want to continue the relationship with the flight attendant, who was trying to keep her ex-husband from getting out of jail, she shot him. She didn’t get prosecuted because of the fear of exposing the improper behavior of the judge. The last minute drama had the flight attendant nearly killed by her newly paroled husband. The man was shot by Benson. In this episode, Detective Cassidy was written out of the show. I didn’t think he was a good fit for the show anyway, besides it’s ackward after he slept with Benson a few episodes ago.

Three women were raped and the rapist not found for nearly five years, when the statue of limitation would run its course and deemed the cases not prosecutable. After lots of investigation as the time nearly ran out, one of the women admited that she had met the rapist in her church gathering and she had forgiven him and refused to disclose his name. Later, the rapist was found to be the messenger who rode his green bikes and delivered packages. At the end, he was caught but he was then handicapped, the reason why he had not raped again. Nice twist at the end.

3 people have been shot in front of their girl friends. The 1st lady, of a rich family, was accused of killing the man, who raper her in college. The killer was later caught and the woman vindicated. But the bruise mark showed that the other 2 killing may been staged to vindicate the first woman. It’s amazing having lots of money can have someone knocked off without going to jail.

The Third Guy:
An old lady was tied up on her bed, raped and killed. She was robbed by some teenagers but was she raped by the gang. The rapist was supposed to be young and inadequate – seems to fit the profile. As it turned out, the rapist was the slightly retarded delivery man. He thought she wanted him just like the porno movie he had in his possession. The woman had two heart attacks during the entire incident before her death. Interesting that starting this episode, a new psychiatrist was added to analyze the sex crime killer. Of course, he was right on expecting the rapist to be sexually inadequate.

A woman died of strangling in a hotel room. She’s related to a conservative preacher’s son. She was strangled to death by her husband, who suspected her having an affair. Indeed, she was pregnant with the husband’s father’s baby.

Chat Room
A young girl claimed she was raped but turned out to be a way to get away from having sex with her boyfriend. The story turned into the hunt for pedophile on the internet.

Women are being raped on the subway without being noticed. This was quite unbelievable. A man was caught jumping on a woman. But he doesn’t fit the profile. The man was finally caught by the unusual parking ticket. The line-up botched up by tainting of the witness. Turns out a woman was impregnated by the rapist. This story was a real stretch.

An renowned reporter was raped by two men. One of the men were caught immediately after he was turned in by his one-night-stand partner. In pursuit of the other rapist, a bomber blew apart the reporter and the 2nd rapist. The bomber turned out to be an obsessed fan who tinkered with a small remote-control soup-can bomb. The psychological state of the bomber is interesting because his favorite anchor person was tainted after going public with her rape. The “father-figure” strategy of the captain got the 2nd rapist to talk.

Some naked child pictures got developed in a one-hour photo shop. They are being picked up by a piano teacher when the detectives were investigating. The piano teachers were fondling the students when the films were confiscated. A young prodigy testified against his long time teacher and had to answer to the same charge against him. What makes a pedophile a pedophile? It appears the abused may eventually turn into an abuser. It’s sad to see that the underprivileged kids may choose the love of a pedophile over the love of their parents, if at all.

A street vendor reported a Romanian girl asked him to help finding her aunt and reported a sex crime. The aunt was later found to be dead and dumped along the road. Later, Elena was found but she was safe and sound. The drug that killer her aunt was traced to the wife of the couple that hired Elena as a nanny. A crime of sex and torture was discovered against the husband. Elena was used as a stunt slave for the wife. She was found locked up in a cage under the bed. A sick, sadistic man tried to enslave his women. How did the women put up with that was simply amazing. Along this episode, all of the detected went through a psychological evaluation. Someone will be kicked out of the show in the next season. Who will that be? Stay tuned for Season 2.

Overall, this was a wonderful season; it’s got everything about sex crime. How could anyone work with the heinous crime committed against another human being? I guess that’s what keeps people glued to the show. These 22 episodes took me over 18 hours to finish!