Law & Order: SVU – Recap & Review – Beautiful Frame

photo: nbc

photo: nbc

Law & Order: SVU
Beautiful Frame

Original Air Date: Jan 9, 2013

Caitlin – Senior Staff Writer

A woman leaves her son with a babysitter and drives off to a boyfriend’s house. But when she gets there, it’s to find him shot dead. Then, thanks to concerned calls from neighbors, the police arrive and arrest her for murdering him.

Her name is Jesse, and she’s a rape victim who worked with the SVU in a difficult case. She passed out at a club and could barely recall the details of her own rape before being taken home- rather forcibly- by Tommy, that now deceased significant other.

Jesse had been seeing another man, Michael, who claimed that he had only picked her up and dropped her off again outside the club. She, however, claims her raped her. However, she also made up another story before getting to that point. Besides this, Michael is a CI with ties to the lawyer now prosecuting Jesse. Barba knows they have a lot before them, especially with the details of the original rape case, but rallies all the detectives anyway.

Michael is a married man, which Jesse didn’t know until the middle of their night together. She tried to say no, and he ignored her. But he maintained that Tommy, who was abusive, was more likely to have done the damage. Now, the opposing DA wastes no time in taking Jesse to the stand and in getting the judge to have her locked up with a bail that she can’t pay. She’s dragged away asking what’s going to happen to her son, and begging Olivia for help.

Jesse explains that she went to meet Tommy and tried to help him when she found him shot. While she was on the phone with 911, officers arrived and arrested her. The gun used in the actual murder belongs to a store owner who claims Jesse stole it after they slept together. That’s a lie- he actually gave the gun to Michael, who was claiming to be a friend. Michael also told him to make up the story about Jesse. The detectives and Barba arrest him on conspiracy to commit murder.

Barba clashes with the prosecuting DA, who works for a separate county. This means that both Jesse and Michael will the tried for the same murder in those two counties (Barba believes Michael killed Tommy and framed Jesse). Both the trails start out reasonably well, with Jesse and Michael remaining composed and consistent on the stand. Unfortunately, Michael’s lawyer has tricks down her sleeve, including manipulating Carol, a witness to the shooting.

Carol’s husband was once a friend of Michael’s before getting sent to jail by him but having his sentence reduced. Michael took advantage of Carol, and the two slept together. He threatened to reveal the truth unless she agreed to testify on his behalf. In fact, he worked against all the witnesses to get Jesse framed for his own crime. He is arrested, but the only way to get Jesse out right away is to agree to drop the original rape charges against him. When even his own lawyer turns on him, Michael is dragged away, and Jesse is reunited with her son. Still, she’ll never see justice for her own rape.

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