svu’s “Spousal Privilege”: my review of the episode and detectives

the svu detectives watch a video (from a spoof of tmz) where a drunk couple are fighting. he spanks her and the next thing you know he’s dragging her body out. he’s a celebrity who’s an ex-nfl player and current sportscaster. benson seems to be the only bright detective because she thinks that he knocked her out. if she fell and hurt herself, could the big, buff ex-athlete and nfl star just carry her out? plus, he seems to be violent. i’m not saying try him then and there, but bring him in for questioning and try to scare him into thinking that you’re on to him. make him back off a bit? or will that just make it worst? rollins states that, “it ain’t easy dragging out a 100 pound of drunk.” or something.

benson and fin question the couple. she asks to use the bathroom in order to separate them. by the way, he snapped at his 8 year son with his girlfriend ’cause he wanted to show them something but interrupted the grownups. the son was terrorifed.

at the police station, benson points out that the boy is terrorifed of his dad, but fin just says that his mother beat his ass and, so, he was terrorifed of his mother, too. benson tells them that the father has anger issues and is shocked at her team’s argument ‘gainst her. rollins points out that in the south, they had to pick their own switch. amaro said that he was beat, too. they think it teaches them right form wrong but the american academy of pediatrics opposes this and even spanking. spanking is illegal in 31 countries. you can’t beat a criminal but you can beat your own kid? seriously. hypocrisy. benson seems agitated,”you’re chalking this up to cultural differences.”

anyways, they watch the entire video and realize see aj knocking his wife out. he had previously stated that she was attacking him, but he defended himself and she fell. he got scared. benson pointed out the weight difference, but little people can do some serious harm. broken nose, black eyes, bloody lips, knocked out teeth, bruises, ect.  anyways, i digress. the team picks him up. would they ignore it in real life? celebrities have money, so they can hire the best lawyers. aren’t they afraid of fans coming after them? celebrities’ stalkers? the media accusing them of giving preferential treatment to celebrities. (paula was a newscaster who made 1/100 of his salary.) they even reference ray rice. benson: “After Ray Rice…if it looks like domestic violence, we follow up.”

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the defense and the couple play the race card, claiming that the police is after him ’cause he’s a successful black man, so he needs to be taken down a notch. in the middle of the trial, they get married. needless to say, aj is saving his own ass ’cause you can’t make spouses tesify against each other. something tells me that he doesn’t trust paula. meanwhile, paula, foolishly trusts him with her life and the life of her son. paula’s criticized for staying with him.

calhoun is the defense’s lawyer. she keeps arguing that the two are a passionate couple and it was a heat of the moment thing that got out of hand. she has their priest on the stand who claims that they are a loving couple of equals. he claims that they’re good people. calhoun tells the jury that aj is working on his issues and is in anger management. benson states that she doesn’t believe that works. calhoun argues that their detective was in it and he is back in the squad. benson states that amaro is a decorated cop who lost his temper with a child molestor and not his wife. i’m surprised that calhoun didn’t mention that he was not convicted and it was so recent! maybe, the show is trying to say that defense attorneys feel guilty sometiems and subconsciously tyr to sabotague their cases? probably just lazy writing. benson explains to the jury that victims often stay with their abusers because of emotional and/or financial dependence on them. she forgets to mention physcial safety? the fear of the sadness and/or betrayal the son may face? victims might know that abuse escalates when the victim threatens to leave?

he says he’s sorry. he’s charismatic. the prosecutor, barba, thought he’d lose because she didn’t want ot testify and he’s charismatic. he only agreed ’cause he got angry at calhoun and aj. that doesn’t make sense? wouldn’t he be angrier if he loses (which he think he will?) are the writers trying to say the jury is stupid? they seem to imply that a lot and casey novak, a former ada, even stated “no jury is that stupid” after they find out about the case where the grandma is poisoning her own granddaughter for donations. it’s the episode where they base it on the michael jackson case.

barba shows the jurry that paula is a victim, even though she claims she’s not and they’re in love and will work it out on their own along with their priest’s help and anger management class. she takes part of the blame and points out that they were both drunk. he points out that she quit her job as an a and e reporter to be with him. she moves in wiht a much older man after a few months. he asks her the last time she spent time with guys, girlfriends, or her sister without him there? paula just says that aj is her life as well as her son and home. he asks her when the last time she spent time with anyone close to her. he asks if it’s because they don’t approve. he points out that she looks at him before answering. he tells her not to be afraid of him ’cause he can’t hurt her. does he really care about her or trying to get sympathy from the jurors? both? she snaps that she wont leave him and he asks if she’s heard that statement from her sister and/or friends that she ought to do that.

calhoun makes a desparate argument that what happened happened out of the blue, they were both drunk, came from homes where violence is expected, they were stressed out from the event and from his fans (aggravated tone which seems to impy that she’s trying to scapegoat them; really desparate matter), and concludes that they will tear his family apart. she says that she doesn’t think that this is what the justice system is supposed to be about and asks them if they think that that is what it’s about. (she doesnt go for the race card. )

she seems to act really passionate because seh thinks it’ll help win the jury over. part of her must have known that she’s going to lose ’cause she tried to stop a cross-examination and she was so shocked that she los the case? she probably wanted the judge to toss the “not guilty” verdict but the judge dismisses the jury. she coudn’t even finish her sentence. i wonder if she’ll stop representing criminals. she’s the go-to lawyer for the svu detectives. maybe she’ll even be a prosecutor again?

Barba states that by not convicting aj, the jury is sending a message out to society that it’s ok to beat your wife, to control her, to intimidate her,ect. he points out that society has grown and understand that women are not property. barba implies that aj thinks of her as his property. i wonder if he’s not allowed to say it. he’s found guilty, but barba thinks he’ll get 2 years aka the minimum. their dr (witness) stated that he could’ve killed her since he’s so strong (ex pro athlete) or given her a serious cranial injury(brain). barba points out that aj doesn’t care abou this wife which is why he picked her up like garbage and that he knew how dangerous it was for her to be unconscious, yet he didn’t get her any medical attention.

sub-plot: rollins states that a woman can be blamed for causing a man to attack her. she’s drunk and she gets in nick (her lover)’s face and shoves him several times in front of the entire bar. he smashes the glass and walks away. (he pays extra for it.) amaro merely states he’s doing what aj should’ve done. so…if the couple hate each other, why are they staying together? cant get anybody ’cause of their job? doubt it. just bizarre. oh, she seems to be a lousy detective at this point. plus, the illegal gambing club.

it’s sad that domestic violence is focused thanks to celebrity beatings. (benson states that hey check out cases that look like domestic violence after ray rice. real life ray rice story: reinstated to nfl on nov. 28th, baltimore ravens fired him, got counseling instead of sentencing. the tmz bit of this episode is like the video of him beating her.) so society thinks celebrites are better than the rest of us? what happened to we are all created equal? well, it’s obviously not true. some look better, some are far more resilient, some (20%) are dandelion children which means victims of child abuse yet grow up w/o any psychological problem, some 1/3 children of self-made millionaires grow up to be failures despite all the parental encouragement, support, ect. some even survived concentration camps w/o losing self-worth. (see dr dean ornish’s reversing heart diease). they believe that self-worth comes from within.

by the way, series star Mariska Hargitay (benson), runs the Joyful Heart Foundation which fights domestic violence and has done so for over a decade. she became interested after she won the role of det(now sergeant…wonder if elliot would’ve become one if meloni hadn’t left ’cause he wanted more money) benson.

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