No Surrender Recap: Law & Order SVU

We returned to wading through suspects before we get to the perp in “No Surrender,” Law & Order SVU (2/22/2017), a story about how military training might be an obstacle when coming to terms with a sexual assault. It was, at any rate, quite an obstacle for Olivia Benson. It took quite a while for her usual helpful lines to get much further than “I know this is difficult” and “I’m here to help.”

The victim was Beth Williams, a young Army captain who is the first woman to graduate ranger school. She has a Silver Star and 3 confirmed kills. Beth just found out she was selected to be the face of the Army in a 3-month media tour. But first, she gets to go home for a little celebration with friends and family. In response to when they are getting married, her fiance, Mickey Reid, says they have set a date. Beth agrees and they kiss. She gives a little speech thanking her family and friends for their support and is pretty cozy with Mickey. The next time we see her, a man running on a jogging trail finds her beaten and bloody. She is rushed to the hospital and SVU is called in.

At the scene, Beth’s backpack was found with $5,000 in cash in it. At the hospital, Rollins talks to Beth’s mom, who has no idea why her daughter would be carrying around that much moolah. Carisi talks to the very cooperative fiance. He says he and Beth had sex before the attack because they hadn’t seen in other in 5 months. He willingly provides his DNA. His friend, George, corroborates that they played X-Box all night. Benson goes to see Beth who can’t remember anything about the attacker, while fighting back tears. She clams up and asks to speak to her superior officer, Dantley. A doctor arrives to take Beth for testing, cutting short any further questioning.

At the station, Fin finds some Captain Williams haters online. Major Dantley stops by to make sure that Beth will be a Jane Doe in the media. Benson says that’s always up to the victim. Carisi interrupts to report that the rape kits results only point to the fiance, but blood samples taken from Beth’s body give them a more viable suspect: Jose Marquez.

They easily locate Marquez and bring him in. He has a video that proves he was in a fight with Beth at a club where she whipped his ass. That was where she got the $5,000. His alibi that he was at a clinic getting stitches checks out. Benson goes back to talk to Beth, who explains that she needed the money to help her mom get her Parkinson’s meds. She wants Benson to call her “Captain Williams,” and is not having any of Benson’s compassion. All her training is supposed to mean that she be alert, vigilant and morally strong at all times, and she blames herself for the attack for letting her guard down. This scene sort of makes the rest of this story implausible, but let us press on.

Red Herring No. 2 is an online hater going by the handle Superman78. When they get his real name via subpoena, it turns out that Gary Cook is on the list of people at the fight between Beth and Jose. He is hauled in for questioning in handcuffs, after resisting arrest– not for the assault. He tried to run from Rollins and Carisi because he was carrying drugs that constituted a parole violation. The interrogation segment was just ridiculous when he establishes his misogyny bona fides but it turns out he went off to visit his grandmother in Yonkers after congratulating Beth on her victory at the fight.

In the meantime, Beth has identified Gary Cook as her attacker, claiming that he followed her after the fight. She confronted him, shoved him and told him to back off, but she knows he kept following her and is sure it was him. In addition to getting proof that Cook really was visiting grandma at 4:50 a.m., Carisi has some video further corroborating his story. “Cook’s telling the truth,” Fin declares, leading to another brilliant Benson deduction: “Which means that Captain Williams isn’t.” Duh.

When confronted, Beth brushes it off as a mistake. Through some receipts at a bar near the fight club, they learn that fiance, Mickey, lied too. He wasn’t playing XBox. He was out drinking. At Mickey’s house, his friend, George, folds like an accordion when threatened with an obstruction of justice charge. Beth and Mickey broke up after the party and Mickey went out drinking. He asked George to cover for him. Thinking Mickey might have went to Beth’s, the detectives rush over there where they find Beth beating the stuffing out of Mickey in the basement. After getting that out of her system, Beth cries in Benson’s arms.

Beth’s lying to the police and vigilante justice are overlooked. Either she knew the whole time that her attacker was Mickey, in which case it is perfectly understandable why she let her guard down; or she had temporary amnesia from him hitting her in the head with a rock and beat his brains in when she recovered the memory. In either case, trying to pin the blame on Gary Cook can hardly be seen as morally strong. Benson “on your side” manages to convince her that she will be a stronger role model for telling the truth and testifying. Benson even gets to call her Beth.

Cast of No Surrender:
Mariska Hargitay – Olivia Benson
Kelli Giddish – Amanda Rollins
Ice T – Odafin Tutuola
Peter Scanavino – Dominick Carisi Jr.

Guest Stars:
Sarah Booth – Captain Beth Williams
Ryan Metcalf – Mickey Reid
Joe Holt – Major Robert Dantley
Frankie G – Jose Marquez
Brian Charles Johnson – George
Leslie Lyles – Sylvia Williams
Perry Yung – Master Randy Lui
Kris Eivers – Gary Cook
Joe Hansard – Kevin Collins
Stephen Bradbury – Judge Colin McNamara
Christopher LaPanta – General Fuller
Jane Fergus – Newscaster
Thomas Grube – Male Party Guest
Babs Winn – Female Party Guest
Camari Brown – Jogger

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