Okay, this didn’t work out as well, since it’s more summarizing than thoughts, but a episodic crima drama tends to have that effect, I think. There’s always a slew of new characters and we only get to chip away at the main characters bit by bit, and I can’t really opine what will happen in the future since there’s no real seasonal arc. I think too little goes on to constitute as anyone’s “arc,” even though there is character development, however little it may be (ahhh, continuity). Also, I haven’t seen every episode ever made and… this one isn’t fresh on my mind.
There is no doubt this is my favorite Law & Order show. The original is rather formulaic for my tastes and I’m not sure what the difference between that one and Criminal Intent is, besides that Vincent D’onofrio is a little eccentric and I don’t think they actually go to court? I don’t remember. In SVU we care about the people because they actually show little glimpses of their private lives and I don’t know, it just *feels* different. This is another episode with some shocking twists… if you didn’t watch the commercials advertising this ep. How does a school shooting tie in with a white supremacist group?
A group of children are playing in a schoolyard. Then a sniper starts shooting. Uhm, wow. One of the most difficult things to watch? Children being shot at. Even a fake shooting. The SVU are quickly called in to investigate. One of the most difficult things to do in real life? Corroborating any story only witnessed by kids. After hearing a number of different versions of the same event, they check up on a lead. One of the students claims an adult male would shoot her and her friends if she ever told anyone he was touching her. When they reach his apartment, they witness a crime — the would-be suspect is being beat up by the student’s uncle, who found out what happened when the detectives visited the little girl’s home before. Checking out the apartment, all they can find is a toy rifle, a pellet gun.
At the hospital, one of the three wounded students dies. The mother arrives too late and looks grief-stricken. The father comes too; he’s a corrections officer. The Whitlocks are a white couple who adopted a black boy. Before I knew they were the parents, when I heard the name Whitlock, I thought they would be the white supremacists, you know, since they were touting this in their commercials and the fact that Marcia Gay Harden’s guest-starring. Anyway, my theory is a bust. Hmm.
The gang decide to follow another route: maybe someone at Riker’s had a grudge against the CO? They check the serial number on the gun and discover where it was manufactured and where it was shipped to: a gun shop named Gun Ho! on Staten Island. Munch and Tutuola check out the place, only to find it closed. A teenaged boy wearing a shirt and tie and neatly pressed pants answers however, and willingly lets them in. Upon hearing a noise in the basement the pair decides to go downstairs. The boy insists it’s nothing… nothing but a giant swatiska hanging on the wall (that kinda reminded me of Death to Smoochy) and pamphlets talking about white power. It’s Marcia Gay Harden down there, I mean, Star Morrison. They question her about the school shooting and how the gun used came from this very store. She gets riled up since Munch is a Jew and Tutuola is black, so she slaps the former, which is enough to arrest her (for officer assault).
At the precinct (and at that gun shop too), Star spews all kinds of hateful sayings. She stops long enough to say she doesn’t know who that honest-looking white man (Mr. Whitlock) is and why his son would be killed. The owner of Gun Ho! (gosh I should really remember the names… or at least tape the episodes) comes by to pick her up and his son, too. Okay at this point I’m a little fuzzy. I think he gives up the name of the person who bought the gun, because of his lax selling policy. Anyway they bust this skinhead’s ass as he’s sleeping in his stank-ass apartment. All right I’m fuzzy again. The skinhead says he doesn’t know anything about the guard or his kid and tries to make a plea bargain to soften his punishment. The court throws it out and he has to go to trial. Finally, he claims he was given the gun and pictures of which kids to shoot. The owner of Gun Ho! and leader of RAW (RevolutionAryan Whites or something along those lines) approached him after he was released from Riker’s. Skinheads are about violence and RAW is about organization, see… anyway, he gives up the information in court, but is shot by the boy in the neat slacks, yelling, “Race traitor!” He shoots dead the judge and wounds others, including Munch (in the ass) and Stabler, who falls. The teenager approaches him with the gun, preparing to shoot him dead (presumably) when the boy is shot himself… by Star Morrison.
WHU@#$%^&*())(*&*?! Turns out she’s undercover for the FBI and infiltrated about four months prior, which is why she pleaded the Fifth on the stand (oh yeah, there was that part but I don’t remember what led up to it). I guess with enough evidence to go on, the FBI raids Gun Ho! and finds something very interesting, which “Star” turns over to SVU. She apologizes to all the people she racially slurred at; Munch understands and Tutuola is “cool” with it. Can I say, wow, Marcia Gay Harden? I never thought much of her before (not because I didn’t like her, just that I hadn’t seen her in many roles), but she was so believable in her role as a white supremacist, even though she was pretending to pretend… which makes me think why more undercover agents don’t turn to acting. Then again, saving lives > making shitty movies.
With this new information Benson (and I’m sure someone else but I don’t remember, maybe just a random cop) visits the Whitlocks and remarks how quickly they removed any vestiges of their adopted son. Continuing, Benson says that their son had a hefty life insurance payoff — $750,000 in fact, the result of two policies and very expensive premiums. The couple look a little shell shocked — actually the woman looks shocked, I thought the man had no idea what was going on because it looked like he was comforting her and saying this was all crazy. Then I thought, oh the guy is comforting her because he did do it, but he wasn’t admitting that, he was trying to convince her it wasn’t true and the woman was shocked that her husband would do it. Anyway, they BOTH did it and Benson wonders aloud how it looked to neighbors when two racists adopted a beautiful little black boy just to kill him. The wife responds with the final line of the episode, “We’re not racists. We just needed the money.”