Law & Order SVU – Recap & Review – Mask

photo: nbc

Law & Order SVU

Original Air Date: Jan 12, 2011

Caitlin- Associate Staff Writer

I’ve liked seeing the range of guest stars this show has hired through the years, but it’s been a while since one really got be excited to watch the episode. This week, though, brought Jeremy Irons as a man who may or may not have raped his daughter.

Not interesting enough yet? Well, there’s still the victims this week being a lesbian couple (I’m always happy to see same-sex partners on TV), a serial rapist (okay, not too big a deal on this show), and, of course, Elliot going undercover as a sex addict.

A couple young boys spy on an apartment through binoculars. A man and a woman are in bed, but they quickly realize what’s going on isn’t consensual. Another woman comes in and the boys watch in horror as the attacker starts kicking her. They call 911. The women are Debbie and Anne, a lesbian couple, and the detectives get photos from the witnesses showing the attacker wearing a mask. Debbie is an OB-GYN working in the area of “designer babies”. Watching her girlfriend fight for her life, she gives them a lead to a man who said she should be stomped out for her line of work. The suspect is a pest controller and a jerk, but not the right guy.

Huang tells them the rapist is wearing the mask to become an actual monster to his victims. Back at the hospital, Anne’s estranged father, Jeremy Irons, shows up. Okay, okay, his name is actually Dr. Jackson. He gives Debbie permission to make a decision on Anne’s life should the worst happen, but thankfully it doesn’t come to that. When told about Debbie’s attack, though, he seems to panic. Her rapist said he was going to “cure her of Falmouth”. Apparently Anne was the real target. He knows this because he’s a doctor who works with sex addicts- and possibly the rapist.

ADA Hardwick gets on his case, but Huang says the idea sex addicts (not rapists) can be cured is a good one, and that Jackson has written a book as a past addict himself. Jackson recalls his many past partners and the detectives press him on why he won’t turn in the guy who attacked his daughter. He says the guy was probably equating himself with a Hindu god who cured people by having sex with them. What is Falmouth? The place where he may have raped his own daughter, too drunk to realize it, and causing their long estrangement. Worse, when they mention the name to Anne, she starts seizing in her bed.

Elliot confronts Huang about his fondness for Jackson’s work, but Huang points out he’d never defend a rapist, even if one could be cured. We also learn this rapist has attacked women in several other cities- just as another victim shows up. This girl admits she was attacked before, and says she managed to cut her attacker in the forearm with a knife. Unfortunately, they can’t get any more information from Anne, who’s been put into a coma. With Jackson by his daughter’s side, Elliot goes undercover in his group therapy, posing as a sex addict. As you might expect, the members are a disturbing bunch, though several seem to genuinely want to get better.

As Jackson sits with Anne, he recalls what he can of the night he may have attacked her. For the most part, he just remembers swimming and Anne being naked next to the pool. Meanwhile, we see through Elliot that Jackson’s group is apparently a full-time thing, as the members sleep in the building. Elliot is partnered with a woman, Courtney, who would totally have had sex with him in her past, which I’m sure won’t have any negative consequences whatsoever. Sure enough, after running into a guy who appears to have a cut on him arm, but one that’s already healed, he runs into Courtney, saying he’s “been a naughty boy” for sneaking in his cell phone.

She flirts with him, and things get nerve-wracking; especially when another guy walks in. He appears to have a hurt arm, too. On top of everything, Jackson, finally briefly leaving Anne’s side, comes in and sees Elliot. Thankfully, Elliot manages to convince him not to say anything, at least while in the room. He’s sure the new guy is the rapist, but Cragen says they need to be sure. Finally, a break- Jackson comes in with Linda, an old friend of Anne’s. She reveals that Jackson had sex with her, not Anne, and that she didn’t regret it. Anne was so upset because Linda was her first lover. Relieved of his consuming guilt, Jackson agrees to go after the rapist.

For a while, everything is settled. The guy is indeed afraid to roll up his sleeves for the group. But that’s only because he has a tattoo. Perplexed, Elliot and Jackson look into the group’s computer system and eventually realize a guy who maintains the system was in the room when Jackson confessed to possibly raping Anne. Then they realize Courtney is missing. Apparently, the real rapist lured her into a trap by posing as Elliot. She doesn’t realize the mistake until the man comes in, but Elliot and Jackson are right on his heels. Once he’s arrested, Jackson’s patients all leave him for letting Elliot into their midst. Now, though, he just wants to make amends with his daughter.

It says a lot about this show that this is what can be considered a relatively straightforward, non-twisty episode. Still, I liked it a lot. We got to see a bit more of Huang than we usually do and Jackson’s clinic provided a wealth of colorful characters. I hope he and Anne will be able to repair their relationship and that she’ll recover enough that they and Debbie can all be happy.

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