Law & Order: SVU – Recap & Review – Her Negotiation

photo: nbc

photo: nbc

Law & Order: SVU
Her Negotiation

Original Air Date: May 22, 2013

Caitlin – Senior Staff Writer

A season finale of SVU basically means that an already intense show cranks up the drama several times over. This time, though, we won’t really see how bad things get until the final few seconds of the episode.

Things starts out with an unusual montage. The majority of it is the detectives actually enjoying a weekend for once. But then there’s the guy who burns a coworker’s hands on a grill and later exposes himself to two women in the park.

Amanda and her dog apprehend the guy, William Lewis. Before he burnt his friend, he stuck his own hands on the grill and now has no fingerprints. Nobody is happy to come in on their day off, but Amanda finds their perp suspicious. A photographer backs her up, saying she knew he would do something eventually. Lewis says it was all a misunderstanding. At first, he’s relatively casual. But he gets more and more creepy by the moment, soon asking for an attorney.

Amanda is convinced that Lewis burnt his fingers on purpose, and given what the photographer says he said to the women, she has a good argument. In court, William goes against his own lawyer’s advice to plead not guilty, still maintaining that he didn’t do anything. Unfortunately, Barba points out that the women are tourists, and if they leave the country, the case will fall apart. Later, Cragen returns a camera to the photographer. He doesn’t know that, on the other side of the door, she’s being held at gunpoint by Lewis, who rapes her.

Alice is found the next morning- alive, but tied up and bleeding. Lewis burned her with cigarettes and branded her with a coat hanger, much to the chagrin of Cragen, who’s become close to her. The detectives go to Lewis’s halfway house and find the coworker he burned. They catch Lewis himself that night, and he goes with them downright cheerfully. Again, he denies the charges against him- at first. Then he describes everything (and then some) in gruesome detail.

Olivia is highly disturbed and convinced they have an easy case. But Lewis didn’t technically confess- everything he said could be construed as hypothetical. He chokes himself to get out of a lineup and attends trial via video feed from suicide watch. Finally, though, Amanda is able to link him to his past and several other rapes and a murder. Somehow, he’s escaped all the charges. His lawyer pushes for an insanity defense, but he declares himself competent. The prosecution needs Alice to defend. Cragen and Olivia go to get her and find her dead.

Dr. Warner says that Alice had a heart attack, but neither Olivia nor Amanda is convinced. Barba does his best to negotiate, but Lewis has convinced his lawyer both of his innocence and the idea that Olivia has a vendetta against him. By now, it’s been two weeks since the incident in the park. The original two victims went home long ago, and the lawyer wants all the charges dropped. She goes at Barba and the detectives with everything she has, eventually trying to smear Olivia’s reputation in court.

As the trial continues, the lawyer presents evidence that Lewis’s DNA sample and the DNA sample taken from Alice’s rape kit could have co-mingled. The judge declares a mistrial and the lawyer gets Lewis out on bail. Nick checks in with Olivia, but she says she just wants to go home. When she does, she finds Lewis waiting for her with a gun. He pushes her off screen, we cut to black, and people everywhere curse the fact that SVU’s writers finally discovered the concept of ending a season on a cliffhanger.

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