Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Episode Review: Contagious (2005)

Synopsis: During a medical exam following a car accident, doctors determine a 4th-grader (Jennette McCurdy) has been sexually molested. She eventually gives SVU detectives a name and other victims come forward, but evidence emerges pointing to false accusations being made.

Review: It's extremely cold outside today so I find myself sitting on the couch watching re-runs of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit with my wife. This one came on a little while ago and impacted me a lot more than expected.

On the surface, there isn't really much about this episode that sets it apart from others in the series. However, Jennette McCurdy's performance really stands out. Her fear of naming the man who abused her seemed very real and I couldn't help but feel heartbroken as they tried to navigate through that fear to get the truth.

I thought the episode had a nice surprise twist involving the man she does eventually accuse (Daniel Hugh Kelly), especially since the case, at least at first, seemed fairly cut and dry. He had two other girls accusing him and there was circumstantial evidence linking him to an earlier murder. I fully expected him to be convicted until a new detail was revealed.

The other thing that stood out for me when it came to this episode was Elliot Stabler's (Christopher Meloni) emotional state throughout. It was easy to tell he was seeing his own daughters when helping the victims and the way he blew up at the suspect's wife (Rebecca Lowman) was something that was somewhat unexpected. Between that and McCurdy's performance, the episode created an emotional roller coaster.

Final Opinion: This is an entertaining episode featuring a couple great performances. Normally, I'll just use the reruns from this show as background noise but this time I was definitely paying attention.

My Grade: A


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