Law & Order: SVU – Recap & Review – Secrets Exhumed

photo: nbc

photo: nbc

Law & Order: SVU
Secrets Exhumed

Original Air Date: Feb 13, 2013

Caitlin – Senior Staff Writer
caitlin@thetwocentscorp.com

There’s a statute of limitations on sexual offences, so cold cases don’t often come up in the SVU. When they do, though, the show makes sure there’s enough drama involved to make them worth being brought up again after all these years.

We see two familiar faces in the first couple minutes of this episode. First, Munch, whose absence for long stretches of time is actually acknowledged, and then our old friend Dana Lewis of the FBI, there to take in a suspect just released from prison in Miami.

Brian Traymor is a suspect is a string of cold case rape and murders, and is now paralyzed from the waist down. They speak to a roommate of one of the victims, and she finds Traymor familiar. He, on the other hand, denies knowing anything about the old crimes. The parents of another victim, Kira, seem to back him up, saying they know their daughter couldn’t have been killed by a stranger. But soon enough, Traymor admits to all his actions- except raping and killing Kira.

As Dana points out, Kira’s case is remarkably similar to those of all of Traymor’s other victims. Amanda and Munch go in search of old evidence, only to find that it was already taken away by another detective. Traymor continues to deny he ever met Kira, so Dana decides to take a shot at him herself. She tries to sympathize with him over his disability. She says she’s making progress and comes out to find Kira’s one-time fiancé, Noah, who apparently knows her quite well.

Dana tells Noah that she actually got Traymor to admit to killing Kira. Still, Noah doesn’t recognize their suspect, either. He also tells Nick that he and Dana used to date, and that there’s a possibility some details of her work might have slipped out. Nick begins to suspect Traymor’s last confession might have been coerced. A meeting with one of the original investigators heightens this idea. Sure enough, Traymor says he can’t remember anything about Kira, and takes the confession back.

Olivia at first denies that Dana could have done anything wrong, but once she starts grabbing at theories as to why Traymor recanted, the two become confrontational. That original investigator doesn’t think Noah had anything to do with Kira’s murder, but he does say Dana was “all over” the case, even though she said she dropped it over personal bias. Liv determines that Dana and Noah were probably close than either of them let on, and Dana all but dares are to question her on the fact.

It turns out that the detectives don’t actually suspect Noah for attacking Kira- they suspect Dana. She calmly denies any possibility, at least until Nick comes in with the new knowledge that Noah got her pregnant, and asked her to have an abortion. When Kira got pregnant, though, he proposed to her. Dana admits to killing Kira in a fit of rage, and then to staging the scene to look like Traymor’s other crimes. When Cragen comes in to arrest her, she says she understands and lets herself be taken away without a fight.

It seems unlikely, given how limited and spread out Dana’s appearances have been, that this was something the writers always had planned for her character. Either way, though, she had built up a friendly relationship with all the SVU detectives she’d met, and this has to come as something of a blow. It does make some sense- nobody is all they seem on a show like this. But still, we’re never going to see Dana in the same light again, if we even see at all. With the time she’s going to spend in prison, it could go either way.

Next Week: Deadly Ambition

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One Response to Law & Order: SVU – Recap & Review – Secrets Exhumed

  1. Carmen says:

    I hated this episode. Hasn’t Dana Lewis been through enough (raped, shot?). Why does every strong woman character on this show have to be put through so much? I didn’t believe the character change at all–it just seemed to come out of the blue, for ratings. Terrible writing. She also cracked way too easily for someone who supposedly cold-bloodedly staged the crime scene and then kept it hidden for 25 years. Also, I sincerely doubt the detectives would jump to suspecting her so easily, especially over an admitted rapist/murderer. The whole thing is so unbelievable. It’s also highly offensive that Dana’s character was seen as “undesirable” because she was a strong-willed FBI agent and “not pretty” (?) as opposed to the “desirable” kindergarten teacher who is red-haired and fragile and constantly referred to as though her principle attributes are her youth and beauty and “goodness” (not a drop of alcohol in her house! Because, you know, if she drank she would have deserved to be raped and murdered). She was the better choice for a wife for an asshole like Noah’s character. This same horrible sexism was applied to the other victims to (the RAPIST-MURDERER was being judgmental of a pregnant woman for being in a bar–“what was she doing in a bar if she was pregnant?” WTF does he care, except to imply it’s her own damn fault she was raped and murdered?). Everyone continuously says she was “not the kind of girl” to bring someone home with her (because that type of “bad” girl clearly deserves it, and doesn’t count. Just witness Detective Amaro’s lack of affect when the suspect Brian recalls his “sex life”–i.e. his rape and murder life–and talks about “replaying the tapes” over and over in his mind. Not even a sneer of disgust? Are we normalizing rape and murder of “throwaway women”–i.e. women who dare not to be teetotaling Christian kindergarten teachers? WTF, SVU, just WTF?). Furthermore I refuse to believe such a strong and brilliant woman as Agent Lewis would have been “broken” by this asshole’s rejection of her (or forced into an abortion, for that matter). She would have seen what a close call she had to being married to such a misogynist douchebag and moved on. She certainly would not have belittled another woman out of jealousy calling her a “speck.” Nor do I believe she would have killed another woman over any man, much less this pathetic Noah character. This sort of pathological “jealousy” of the career-driven woman is a sick stereotype a la “Fatal Attraction” that I had hoped died out in the eighties. Furthermore, the fact that she says when she is confessing that after she killed her “she looked so pretty…I thought up until this moment this little girl had never had anything bad happen in her life.” Bullshit! Of anyone Agent Lewis would know that “pretty girls” get harassed, raped, molested, and passed around as property all the time–even if they are put on pedestals rather than marginalized, they are treated as objects and as property. No wonder this girl had to be a “good girl,” she had to avoid getting raped and murdered! For God’s sake, if she went out and had a drink, she would have been Bryan’s prey! If she wanted to have a career, she would have been Noah’s prey–used for sex and forced to have an abortion because she wasn’t “wife and mother” material! And even though she was in every other way “the perfect wife,” she DID have premarital sex and get pregnant, and so she had to be punished, by the jealous, avenging career-woman. What pathetic tripe, and a pathetic end to a great character. (And yes I am tired of this show treating its female characters like shit. Olivia, daughter of a rapist, sister to a wrongfully accused man who eventually ends up in prison for custodial interference, accused of murder, sexually assaulted, loses her long-time partner, never gets to find love; and Agent Lewis–wasn’t it bad enough she was shot and raped without her having to become a villainous “jealous woman?” Was that punishment for being a successful, crusading career-woman, for not spending enough time with her husband and children, for being too strong, too capable? Like Liz’s punishment for being strong and capable is never finding love? And now Dana has to go to prison for it for life. I guess in one sense it’s true–women ARE punished for being strong and capable. In this case it is the writers punishing their characters and enforcing damaging stereotypes). Shame, shame on the writers of this show. I am done with SVU.

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