T.V. Series Review: Law and Order: SVU Season 13

Law and Order: SVU Season 13 Trailer

Law and Order: SVU Season 13 Summary

Season 13, Episode 1: Scorched Earth

The detectives of the Special Victims Unit are called to the scene when a hotel maid (Anika Noni Rose) reports being assaulted by an Italian diplomat (Franco Nero). Bureau Chief ADA Cutter and ADA Cabot prosecute the high-profile case, which quickly grows more complicated as the maid’s credibility is publicly questioned. Detective Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) joins the Manhattan SVU from Atlanta, while Detective Benson struggles to cope with the fall-out from the shooting in the precinct.

Season 13, Episode 2: Personal Fouls

As a long time coach (Dan Lauria) is inducted to the Metro Basketball Hall of Fame by former students, an ex-player (Aaron Tveit) accuses the coach of sexually abusing him as a child. Detective 2nd Grade Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) transfers into the SVU squad from narcotics and is thrown onto the case. The detectives interview former players but no one admits to abuse, forcing Detectives Benson and Tutuola to dig deeper into the coach’s most successful player (Mehcad Brooks) and his manager (Heavy D).

Season 13, Episode 3: Blood Brothers

When a pregnant thirteen-year-old girl (Piper Curda) refuses to identify her baby’s father (Jacob Kogan), Benson and the SVU squad work to determine if she was raped. Their investigation leads to a high-profile political couple (Kyle MacLachlan and Paige Turco) and the son (Anthony Keyvan) of their housekeeper (Judy Reyes). The detectives uncover much more than they bargained for when a family secret is revealed and a family member goes missing.

Season 13, Episode 4: Double Strands

A dancer is followed home and raped by a man with a distinctive tattoo and the details of the attack reminds Rollins of a serial rapist she was tracking back home. The detectives arrest their prime suspect (T.R. Knight), a family man who maintains his innocence, but his description and DNA match this assault and the string of rapes across multiple states that Rollins had been investigating. Although the evidence supports the arrest and ADA Novak pushes to close the case, Benson and Amaro dig into the man’s past and begin to believe his story.

Season 13, Episode 5: Missing Pieces

Amaro is called to a case after spending time with his daughter Zara (Alison Fernandez) when a woman (Lisa Joyce) visiting from Buffalo claims that her car was stolen with her baby still buckled in the backseat. Benson and Amaro get as much information as they can from the anxious mother and her boyfriend (Dennis Flanagan) at the station, while Tutuola and Rollins track their path from Buffalo for clues. When the parents’ stories don’t add up, the detectives must uncover what really happened to the missing baby, and the truth surprises everyone

Season 13, Episode 6: True Believers

A young music student (Sofia Vassilieva) is raped at gunpoint in her own apartment by a young drug dealer (Cedric Sanders). With her help, the SVU squad makes a quick arrest. Cutter takes over the prosecution when he finds that opposing counsel is high-profile defense attorney Bayard Ellis (Andre Braugher). As Ellis works to undermine their police work and damage the victim’s credibility, Cutter makes the detectives take the stand to prove they have more than just a he-said, she-said case.

Season 13, Episode 7: Russian Brides

When a young woman is found brutally murdered, the SVU detectives use her distinctive tattoos to identify her as a recently engaged Russian mail-order bride. Upon questioning her distraught fiancé (Timothy Busfield), they learn that she was kidnapped and held for ransom the night of their engagement party. While the detectives follow the money to a deadly blackmail scam run by the Russian Mafia, Captain Cragen tracks down another bride (Izabella Miko) and goes undercover as a sad and lonely suitor to lure out a killer

Season 13, Episode 8: Educated Guess

A man in custody (David Gelles) at a mental hospital claims to have witnessed a rape in a break room. Despite the witness’ shaky credibility the SVU begins an investigation, but the alleged victim (Natasha Lyonne) denies being assaulted. Benson and Rollins struggle to piece together what really happened to this young woman, especially when her aunt (Carrie Preston) and mother (J. Smith-Cameron) say she has been repeatedly institutionalized, and has cried rape in the past. The detectives eventually learn that the family is hiding a dark secret.

Season 13, Episode 9: Lost Traveler

A Romani child (Cameron Ocasio) disappears on his way home from school. Benson and Amaro interview the distraught parents, who are distrustful of the police. The initial investigation leads Tutuola and Rollins to the powerful leader of the Romani community (Mark Margolis), but he denies any involvement. The family remains hopeful their boy will be found, especially when they discover his cell phone is still active. When Cutter and Cabot threaten to jail a meddling newspaper reporter (Gavin Lee) with a powerful defense attorney (Ron Rifkin), the detectives narrow the suspect pool to a mentally challenged neighbor.

Season 13, Episode 10: Spiraling Down

A military colleague (Dominic Fumusa) of Amaro’s wife (Laura Benanti) reports his fourteen-year-old daughter (Kay Panabaker) missing. The detectives find the girl working as a prostitute under a possessive pimp. They quickly set up a sting operation to entrap Johns on rape charges with a minor, and arrest an aging pro quarterback (Treat Williams). Cabot seeks to make an example out of the football legend, but Benson calls defense attorney Bayard Ellis to his aid after the man’s wife (Beth Chamberlin) tells her about the brain damage resulting from his injuries on the field.

Season 13, Episode 11: Theatre Tricks

An actress (Jenn Proske) in an interactive theater production is raped on stage, while the audience believes it to be part of the show. The SVU detectives hit a dead end in their investigation when they learn the show’s passionate director (Fisher Stevens) gave the audience, including the assailant, masks to wear during the performance. Rollins and Tutuola track down an obsessed fan (Adam Driver) of the young actress who recorded the assault while stalking her, which leads Benson and Amaro to a respected divorce court judge (Kevin Pollak). With the judge’s reputation on the line and Cabot hesitating to charge him, the SVU squad explores the underbelly of the New York theater world to uncover who really orchestrated the public attack.

Season 13, Episode 12: Official Story

The CEO (John Doman) of a private military contractor is confronted by Occupy Wall Street protesters and later found drugged and sexually assaulted in a park. Benson and Amaro begin their investigation, but find the victim unwilling to cooperate. A much larger crime and conspiracy in Iraq is unveiled when the SVU squad and the new Executive ADA, David Haden (Harry Connick, Jr.), learn that the attack was retribution by a father (Holt McCallany) for the rape of his daughter (Megan Ketch). Meanwhile, Benson begins to develop feelings for Haden as they work the case.

Season 13, Episode 13: Father’s Shadow

An aspiring actress (Charlotte Graham) is found unconscious in Central Park with drugs in her system and evidence of sexual trauma. Benson and Amaro pay a visit to the reality show producer (Michael McKean) for whom she had auditioned just before the attack, and stop him from assaulting another actress (Miranda Lambert) on the casting couch. The detectives arrest the producer and Cutter quickly presses charges, but the situation turns dangerous when his distraught son (Cameron Monaghan) takes drastic action in order to get his father out of jail.

Season 13, Episode 14: Home Invasions

A gunman storms a family’s home, killing the parents (Alex Manette and Dawn Evans) and leaving their teenage daughter (Lauren Kelly) in critical condition. When a hate crime investigation turns into a dead end, the SVU detectives struggle to find a motive for such violence. Of the family’s acquaintances, the only one having a criminal record is the brother (Esai Morales) of their housekeeper (Elizabeth Rodriguez). The clues lead to a surprising revelation about Rollins, which threatens her future in the Special Victims Unit.

Season 13, Episode 15: Hunting Ground

Benson and Haden’s romantic weekend is interrupted by news that an underage prostitute (Emily Kinney) has gone missing. As the SVU detectives dig into her disappearance, they find a pattern of several missing escorts who all posted ads on a popular newspaper’s website. From one of the few victims who escaped (Reyna de Courcy), the squad learns that the killer (Fred Arsenault) hunts his victims in a bird sanctuary. The line between Benson and Haden’s personal and professional lives starts to blur as the squad races against the clock to find the girl before it’s too late.

Season 13, Episode 16: Child’s Welfare

Benson’s half-brother Simon Marsden (Michael Weston) turns up in New York after a five-year absence and says that Child Services is threatening to take his children away from him. Benson asks defense attorney Bayard Ellis to represent her brother, but the seemingly simple case turns into a disaster for Ellis and his client. As Olivia tries to balance her personal life, the unit lands a case where a homeless couple finds a newborn baby abandoned near a hospital. Munch, Tutuola, Amaro and Rollins follow the evidence to a shocking discovery: a couple (Danielle Straastkad and Graham Anderson) abducting women and imprisoning them so they can give birth to girls, while abandoning boy babies.

Season 13, Episode 17: Justice Denied

A rape victim (Cynthia LaForte) is brought to the hospital after a harrowing hours-long ordeal, and Benson recognizes the suspect’s M.O. from a case she solved eight years ago. The jailed suspect (Guillermo Diaz) confessed to Benson after a tough interrogation in 2004, but has been claiming his innocence ever since his conviction. The SVU is forced to reopen Benson’s old case to determine if they are dealing with a copycat or a case of wrongful imprisonment. Re-interviewing a past victim (Samantha Soule) reveals that she may have been raped by someone else, causing Benson’s detective work to be challenged and scrutinized. Olivia’s personal relationship with Haden is also placed in jeopardy when Bayard Ellis gets involved with the case.

Season 13, Episode 18: Valentine’s Day

A rape investigation is set into motion after a husband (Rich Sommer) sees his wife Christine (Chloë Sevigny) being attacked while video chatting. The kidnappers demand ransom, and Benson, Amaro, Rollins and Tutuola are staked out when the missing housewife arrives to pick up the money. She frantically tells the detectives about her ordeal, but Benson grows suspicious of her story and it soon becomes clear that she is a con artist. When the case gets to trial, Novak finds herself prosecuting an unlikely suspect. Meanwhile, Amaro begins to think that his wife is lying to him about her personal life.

Season 13, Episode 19: Street Revenge

A string of rapes in West Soho inspires a group of vigilantes to organize against both neighborhood crime and the NYPD. While a reporter (Gavin Lee) takes every opportunity to publicly criticize police efforts, the squad struggles to find a lead in the case until one of the vigilantes (Hani Furstenberg) is attacked and another (Keir O’Donnell) claims to be in love with her. As Cragen and Benson fight for control over the investigation, Amaro becomes sidetracked with his wife’s involvement with a man from her unit in Iraq.

Season 13, Episode 20: Father Dreams

Benson and Amaro investigate the disappearance of a teenaged girl named Cate Avery (Shannon Maree Walsh) after her young brother (Jake Katzman) calls 9-1-1. While Tutuola and Rollins look into a possible abduction, they discover the girl had been searching for her biological father, an anonymous sperm donor (Eric Close). The investigation takes a startling turn when a suspect (James Van Der Beek) is found to be targeting several young, vulnerable women, all with the same personal connection. The returning Dr. Huang (BD Wong) must delve into the suspect’s past to save the other women in similar situations.

Season 13, Episode 21: Learning Curve

As Tutuola’s son Ken (Ernest Waddell) seeks out Munch’s help to tell his father that he is getting married, his fiancé (Miguel Govea) is brutally assaulted by a local street gang. He becomes the latest in a string of recent hate crimes against gay men, and before SVU can make an arrest, a school teacher (Tony Hale) is similarly brutalized even though he does not fit the pattern. As the detectives search for a connection, they learn that he was dismissed from an elite private school for having an inappropriate relationship with a student (Dylan Minnette). In trying to help Cabot make her case, they quickly realize that the facts do not add up and that another teacher (Jane Adams) may hold the clues to what really happened.

Season 13, Episode 22: Strange Beauty

While off-duty, Rollins spots a young woman (Morgan Lynch) screaming in the back of a moving taxi. The unit quickly identifies the victim as a rebellious teenager, estranged from her family and experimenting in the world of tattoos and self-mutilation. The case takes an unexpected turn when Dr. Warner presents the detectives with a cleanly severed leg, reminiscent of a similar finding in an old unsolved case. The detectives are drawn into the psychological elements of self-mutilation and ritual amputation as they investigate two brothers (David Eigenberg and Patrick Fischler) and a one-legged acquaintance of theirs (Britt Lower) in order to link the cases and find the missing woman.

Season 13, Episode 23: Rhodium Nights

An underage escort is found dead at a wild bachelor party, and Cragen cautions his team to investigate with discretion, as there were several high-profile people at the scene. In their efforts to question a well-known leader in the New York escort world, Bart Ganzel (Peter Jacobson), Benson and Amaro encounter former SVU detective Brian Cassidy (Dean Winters), who has been working undercover. With his help, the detectives dig deeper into a vicious power struggle between Ganzel’s escort business and that of Delia Wilson (Brooke Smith). Meanwhile, Amaro’s already shaky marriage is brought into focus as a hooker (Pippa Black) begins to make advances on him. Before the case filled with systemic corruption is cracked, a shocking event threatens to destroy the life of one SVU squad member.

Law and Order: SVU Season 13 Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Take this with a warning, SVU covers rape and sexual assault and more. If you can not handle it, do not watch. Otherwise this series covers cases that are very real (depicted fake for the show) while also having a character arc for the detectives

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