Law & Order: SVU Episode Review: Intent

Synopsis: When a social media star is raped by a MMA fighter, Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and team step in to investigate. However, when the evidence doesn't quite add up, they begin to suspect the victim and her rapist were scammed by an online "catfish" hoax. They are able to catch the perpetrator but must prove her intentions in order to get a conviction.

The episode first aired December 5, 2017

Review: My wife and I are slowly catching up on our TV shows and finally had a chance to watch this fall finale last night. At first, I wasn't really sure if it would be all that interesting, especially since the episode let us witness the rape (eliminating any doubt it happened). But, I must admit, it was better than I was expecting it to be.

The twist with the catfish prank was definitely an interesting one, both because of the difficulty they faced prosecuting it and because the person who committed the crime (Tenea Intriago) seemed likable to the point it looked like they wouldn't be able to convict her.

The most intriguing thing, to me at least, was the fact they weren't even allowed to prosecute her unless the MMA fighter (Steve Howey) confessed to the rape even though he, himself, was also a victim. It seemed a bit unusual and basically meant he would have to sacrifice his career and millions of dollars by confessing to a crime he arguably didn't commit.

The side story with Benson and Sheila (Brooke Shields) and the fact there is still some tension between them was OK and, now that Noah (Ryan Buggle) has been kidnapped while Sheila was responsible for him, it does make me wonder what will happen with that relationship going forward. I mean, if Benson didn't trust her before, how is she going to trust her now?

The more interesting story, however, had to be the sexual tension building between Rollins (Kelli Giddish) and Carisi (Peter Scanavino). I must admit, I momentarily thought they would end up hooking up at the motel and I think it's becoming clear he has feelings for her (and possibly her for him) so it'll be worth watching to see what happens with that. I wonder if he will finally decide to become a lawyer just so he can have a relationship with her.

Final Opinion: It ended up being a better episode than I expected, mostly because of the complicated reasons behind the rape and because of how this episode is setting things up for the future.

My Grade: A


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