Law & Order: SVU react: A familiar killer in more ways than one

24 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Law & Order: SVU’ Boss Talks Premiere: Rollins Is “Going to Have to Summon Inner Strength”.

In the episode “Devil’s Dissections,” the body of a young woman is discovered floating in the waters of Pelham Bay, and it immediately appears to be the work of serial killer Gregory Yates (Dallas Roberts). Between holding the second-highest political office in the country and plotting his possible run for president, it’s safe to assume Vice President Joe Biden doesn’t have a lot of time to worry about TV spoilers.

In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit — whom we also love to watch on TV. The two-hour season premiere of Law & Order: SVU revealed that Detective Rollins (Kelli Giddish) is expecting her first child, just like Giddish herself. “I guess its just a coincidence that there are now two single moms in the squad room,” showrunner Warren Leight tells The Hollywood Reporter, “except on my stage, three of my five recurring actors are going to have kids in the next four months and you would say that’s an impossible coincidence.” (Giddish’s co-stars Ice-T and Peter Scanavino also have kids on the way.) Although Giddish’s baby news had been out for some time, the reveal about Rollins’ unplanned pregnancy was still surprising given the recent exit of her on-and-off fling Amaro (Danny Pino) as well as her struggle to overcome her gambling and alcohol addictions in recent seasons.

Yates — a former doctor who liked to torture his victims — has been a guest at the Green Haven Correctional Center since being found guilty of murder in last season’s finale. Leight spoke with THR about how Rollins’ life will change, how motherhood will alter her dynamic with Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and why Amaro is not the father.

Just don’t expect anyone from within the ranks to do so, which leaves a major gap in the wake of Nick Amaro’s (Danny Pino) decision to step down from the force last May. “There aren’t enough cops. The two-hour premiere opens on a beach scene — but of course, because this is SVU, it’s got a woman’s dismembered body being carried out of the water. I didn’t want to have deal with fern plants in front of her and fax machines and file folders. … I just thought we would play the reality of what happens to a working detective who finds herself pregnant and how does she adjust to it.

We’re down a man,” says Leight. “We may be seeing someone new join the force about a quarter of the way through the season.” Amaro’s departure means an outsider has to come in. Rollins begins by paying a visit to Green Haven where she tells Yates that Medical Examiner Carl Rudnick has found traces of green nail polish (his calling card) on the new victim. With the gambling addiction and her haunted past, Rollins has had quite a journey, the baby is just another leg. “Well, now she’s got another challenge. Still, the timeline seems too tight for Yates to have committed the crime — and something doesn’t quite add up as his victims were all brunettes and he has never completely dismembered a body. The body is ID’d as Brooke Groves, but when Liv and Carisi (Peter Scanavino) visit her home, they learn the deceased is actually Brooke’s alcoholic and drug-addicted identical twin sister, Rachel.

Team SVU isn’t sure if this could be another Yates victim they somehow missed — they had checked the whole island and found nine victims already there, all of them Yates’ handiwork. Back at the jail, Yates offers up some interesting information: more than a decade ago, he was asked to visit the home of a colleague who needed stitches but was too embarrassed to go to the hospital.

Throughout the 17 seasons, Hargitay’s Olivia Benson has had many hairdos (only one real hair don’t—she’s said her season three haircut almost got her fired). I thought, either we hide the pregnancy, which was hard to do because we had a three-month break between episodes three and four, so that was just going to look ridiculous. Yates says he knows the killer, trades that information for a conjugal visit with his fiance, Susie Frain (Mary Bacon), then reveals that the crime was committed by (drumroll…) medical examiner Rudnick. She’s also mad at Rollins for going without permission, so when the ID comes in (Brooke Groves, 28 years old, an ROTC cadet at SUNY Plattsburgh who became a prostitute), she tells Rollins to stay behind.

At a clandestine meeting by the precinct vending machines, Fin (Ice-T) asks Rollins how she’s feeling and we get our first reference to Amaro/Danny Pino’s exit — she says she’s tired and has been taking too many shifts since he left, but she’s talked to him and he seems happy. A different M.E. is called in and confirms that Rudnick has been fudging his reports and stealing the victims identities — and that the suitcase girl was dismembered while still alive! Back in court, Rudnick has an almost water tight alibi, but the tide turns when Carisi discovers a video in which he is caught confessing to the murders. First of all, we’ll see that instead of bringing her closer together with her family, it’s another chance for her family to malfunction and let her down and feel betrayed by her. They learn that Yates had nothing to do with that case, but he has info: He claims the autopsy photos reminded him of an incident that happened when he was a senior resident back in 2002.

If you’re working a lot, and you’re home with your kid — I guess if you’re a male celebrity, you can date the nanny — but otherwise, you have to meet somebody at work. Second of all, if she does come to New York, she should try not to commit any new crimes and early on, she’s a suspect early on and it starts spiraling down from there for the Rollins clan. Barba’s always been a pretty ambitious guy, and you get the sense that he likes being a DA, but he sees it as a possible stepping stone to a political career. Post, erm, conjucating, Susie tells Fin and Barba she knew Lena — that’s Lena Grenwald, the “girl in the wall.” Susie says she thought she went home to Switzerland, but apparently she never left Harlem (clearly). Benson walks off and Rollins threatens to send him so far upstate he’ll freeze, because the man he named is the Manhattan deputy chief medical examiner.

Rudnick conveniently never mentioned any personal connections to the townhouse the body was found in — even though it was owned by his aunt and he lived there at the time of Lena’s death. The transition that she’s been making for a while from one of the gang to the boss and the costs of that transition will become clearer and clearer to her as the season goes on. When trusty ole’ Warner (Tamara Tunie) comes to review both autopsies, she immediately finds errors, which is enough for Barba to bring Rudnick in for questioning… under the pretense of discussing Yates. It doesn’t take long for him to figure out what’s really going on, stop the conversation, and call his lawyer, one Rita Calhoun (Elizabeth Marvel).

Everybody had a sixth role on that squad, so when one person leaves, it creates stresses and gaps, and people have to fill in those gaps, and that causes more stresses. Rudnick goes to court, where he pleads not guilty, must surrender his passport, and has bail set at $2 million (which, thanks to family money, he posts easily). It may be a true blessing for her, not just the blessing of having a kid but it may be at least, at the start, she’ll be too busy to get herself into trouble.

It’s almost like a mobile that was frozen and now it’s starting to move, so now everything’s in motion, which is a good thing for a show in its 17th year. Speaking of transitions, that’s why it’s about transitions. … Sony has loaned me back to Law & Order for the season, is essentially how that worked out, but I’m a loaner. Since Amaro left the force at the end of last season, that meant the baby could not be Nick’s, because it would be out of character for Nick not to show up in that situation, he’s a very responsible guy. We’d seen one boyfriend of her’s, the guy she knew from Gamblers Anonymous, who Thomas Sadowski has played for us, and we’ve seen one another person with whom she had great chemistry and that’s where we went. When you know it’s your last year, you can really swing for the fences, so it’s been a little bit liberating creatively, as we’re taking more interesting chances and pushing things a little bit because you don’t want to walk away and then, a year later, ask, “Why didn’t I do this?” She’s supportive of me and excited to see what happens next.

He could tell because she had a slightly different scent. “Like you do,” he tells Rollins. “How far along are you, detective?” Later, at the precinct, Carisi chats her up at the SVU Vending Machine Area For Secrets and asks if she’s told anyone yet. He says she should speak to Liv, which she later does. (They agree to wait until later to tell the higher-ups, and Liv gives Rollins encouragement and support.) At arraignment, Rudnick is charged with the murder of Susie Frain. Strangulation was the cause of death, he tells her plainly, and her skull was fractured post-mortem. “I’m just piecing it together, but if I had to guess, Lena was his first time.

Yates says he’s telling Rollins this because he feels a connection to her — she’s bringing life into the world just as he lost his fiancée and unborn child.

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