Law & Order: SVU's Big Benson Romance Reveal Is Proving to Be Divisive | E! News
Law & Order: SVU dropped a bombshell on viewers last night. the operations when Benson was taken hostage in "Townhouse Incident. Previous episode: "Catfishing Teacher", "Townhouse Incident" Law & Order: Special Victims Unit · Season 17, Next episode: "A Misunderstanding". It's Season 17, Episode 11 of your favorite Law & Order: SVU. Entitled “ Townhouse Incident”, tonight's Law & Order: SVU may remind viewers of a similar episode way back in Season He has a play date with Lewis today.
Abby explains how she met up with Chris and says they texted. She was not slutty but a little flirty. Calhoun states they saved the texts and had told Abby not to have any further contact with Chris. Abby says she still sees him at school, and says she has only said hi to him. Meanwhile, Carisi speaks with the parents. They state that when Abby came home at 11, Laura knew something was wrong as they always talk but Abby said she was tired. Laura said her housekeeper Pilar found the dress on the trash and when Abby came home she asked her about it.
Andrew said they went straight to the police that night. Laura thinks something did happen. Abby continues to tell Benson what happened, explaining how they got to the darkroom, saying it is where people go to see what develops.
At first they were just making out and when he put her hand under her dress, she got nervous. She told him not to go down there, to slow down. He pushed her up against the wall and she felt him get excited. He put his finger in her and she told him to wait. He stopped, but then he tried to put his penis inside her. Benson and Calhoun assure her that is normal. When the detectives to ask Chris to explain what happened, the parents get testy but after prompting from Fin, Dennis tells Chris to go on.
Chris says he and Abby were dancing and they made out a little, and she was into it. He asks if she wanted to go to the darkroom, which is code for…he never says and his parents glare at him.
When Fin asks for a DNA sample, Dennis stands up and asks if they have a warrant, Fin pulls one out and says yes they do. Ellen is shocked and Dennis says they should have told them, adding he will be contacting a lawyer.
But Chris says nothing happened, and Laura says she knows how these things go, how girls are. Back at SVU, Benson asks Dodds and Fin what is their take, and they say Chris is privileged but not arrogant, and he has no record, has straight As and is waiting on an early decision from Stanford. Dodds said Chris seems genuinely surprised by the allegations. Chris is their only son, the golden boy. Benson gets a message as Carisi comments about the father of a teenage, virginal daughter, recalling his own father with his sisters: Benson looks at the message and asked that Chris put himself in the darkroom with Abby and Fin confirms he does but he swore nothing else happened beyond some kissing and touching.
Dodds says that is proof of contact, not rape or even intercourse. Benson tells them to bring them in. Benson reminds Calhoun she does not have an all-access pass here, Carisi tells Benson Barba is in her office.
She enters with Calhoun and Barba asks if the boy has lawyered up already. She explains she is there for the victim. Buchanan tells Calhoun as fun as it would be to get the band back together, the Roberts have retained only him this time and they will be up in a bit. Calhoun explains she is here representing the Stewarts. She says blankly that it is pro bono, and looking and his ample size, states not all of them lawyers have to worry about their next meal. He tells Barba that in 20 minutes Barba will realize he has no case.
Benson and Barba look at each other. Fin and Dodds speak with Buchanan in the interrogation room with Chris and his parents there. Buchanan speaks for Chris and while Buchanan talks, Chris says that Abby still thinks they are friends, showing him a text he got from her.
Carisi is observing with Benson and Barba and he says this is not good. He asks Barba is he is right, and Barba says like a broken clock.
As Barba moves to leave, Benson says Abby is an imperfect victim. He tells her to call her friend Calhoun and he leaves. Benson looks off and says, "my friend. Buchanan tells Barba he assumes this is the last they will hear of this, and Barba says they will be in touch. Barba walks over to Calhoun and says they have a problem. She tells him to put it into context; Abby is insecure and non-confrontational and if she were more assertive they might not even be here.
Barba says she was assertive enough to text him, and Calhoun stresses she was answering his texts every time.
Barba thinks Buchanan will crucify Abby in front of a jury. Barba asks what she wants him to do, and she replies that there were a hundred kids at that dance, asking if they talked to any of them. Carisi counters that actually you CAN at any time.
Fin threatens to call Notre Dame as Jack is waiting for a football scholarship, and Jack folds, saying Chris needed a name on his list.
Later at the school, with Carisi, Fin, and Dodds, Jack explains there is a competition to see how many virgins you can bang and everyone had a name on the list but Chris. He takes a large portrait off a wall and shows the names written on the wall behind it and the girls involved.
The list goes back years. Carisi worries Barba will use the names and Barba says it goes to motive. Carisi worries it outs a lot of teenagers, mostly the girls. Benson states firmly that Chris lied to their faces, Dodds reminds them so did Abby about the texts. Benson says she thinks the kid is good for it but going to trial with where they are now, she thinks Barba should sit down with both families and hammer out a plea.
Barba states he will see what he can do. Later, at their home, Barba speaks with the Stewarts about a plea for Chris for misdemeanor sexual misconduct. As Barba tells them this will get Chris on the sex offender registry, Abby overhears the discussion and she enters, saying her life is over, everyone is laughing at her.
Laura storms over to Barba and glares at him, and he says he is sorry, this is all he can do. Calhoun says they will take sexual misconduct as long as Chris will go on the registry. They balk at the registry. Buchanan says they will consider endangering the welfare of a child, but Barba says he has to go on the registry. Buchanan asks if Benson and Calhoun prepared that for him, arguing they all know what this was — a misunderstanding between two sexually inexperienced teenagers.
Barba states this train is leaving the station; he has offered no prison time; if they say no and Chris is convicted, he is looking at prison time. Barba asks Chris if this is what he wants, and when Chris worries it will be on the news, Barba explains what will happen if he is arrested and charged and his name made public Dennis tells Barba not to threaten his son, Abby is slandering him and they will fight this.
Chris asks what if he just says sorry to Abby and her family, but his own parents jump in and tell him absolutely not. They leave and Buchanan says they are calling his bluff; if he wants to take this to trial, he will regret it. At a later date, Chris is arraigned and Buchanan pleads not guilty. Later, Benson is walking to the court and Dodds catches up with her. She is glad he made it, adding it is helpful for the victims to see them in the gallery.
He apologizes for bringing up the victim in front of everybody and Benson waves him off, telling him it is not a problem.
Dodds counters that Chris is not a predator; this is a high school make-out session gone bad, they shouldn't be going to trial. Buchanan walks by and says good morning, the Roberts family with him. Chris looks like his appearance has been altered — hair and glasses — to make him look more innocent. Dodds comments to Benson they made Chris look like Harry Potter.
In Supreme Court part 13 on Monday, January 18, Barba questions Benson, on the stand, about the texts from Chris, including those sent while he was being questioned.
She says this type of communication between assailant and victim is common. Girls like Abby who are shy like Abby have trouble speaking up for themselves and teenage predators often prey on less assertive victims. Barba asks how unusual is it that Abby did not file a report immediately afterwards, and she says it is not, it happens with many victims.
When he states she testified a more assertive girl might not have been targeted, he says it sounds like she is blaming the victim. Buchanan asks, with dripping sarcasm, if there is nothing the accuser can do to contribute to the situation - if she is sexting, willing to go to private areas and enthusiastically engage in foreplay — none of this could possibly lead on a young, inexperienced teenage boy; Barba objects, saying this is speculation.
Buchanan says it is more like common sense, but then withdraws the comment. Carisi states Chris was being taunted by the others to step up. When Barba states by assaulting Abby that in the eyes of his peers, Chris was no longer a loser, Buchanan objects.
He also states that Chris bragged on social media.
Under cross, Buchanan brings up that Carisi said Chris was pressured to claim he had scored, there is a long pause, and Carisi must admit yes. Barba jumps up to redirect — even though Buchanan had not stated he was finished — and asks if during the initial interview with Chris did Chris lie to him.
Carisi testifies yes, he flat out denied having any sexual contact with Abby and only when they confronted him with the DNA evidence did he admit the truth.
Buchanan objects as this is prejudicial, adding that Chris has always maintained that all contact was mutual and consensual. Barba glares at him, saying except when he was lying about it. Benson tells Roxie this is on he Roxie and says to let her in there. Luca looks concerned as Tess can be heard screaming from the other room. Back with the rape suspect, he claims they got the wrong guy.
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Fin says they have prints and DNA and the labs will tie him to all the cases. Carisi adds that the girl he assaulted and stuffed in the dryer was The suspect says he knows he wants a lawyer. Fin tells him to go ahead a lawyer up, he is still going down.
Back at the house, Luca hears Tess and tells Benson that Joe is hurting her and to make her stop. Roxie tells Benson to make Luca shut up, and Benson says they will have to untie them and Benson insists she is not going to do anything. Roxie complies and Benson consoles Luca and he quiets down. Another message comes in for Benson and Roxie looks at it. Back at SVU, the rape suspect is in interrogation and his lawyer, Counselor Don Taft, arrives who accused the detectives of planting the gun.
Dodds mentions the DNA and forensics and Taft says to save it for the judge. He goes in to speak with his client.
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When Barba asks where is Benson and Fin says she is at the DNA conference, Barba says she is not, he was there all morning and he would have seen her. Dodds and Fin look at each other with concern. Lucy, meanwhile, speaks with Carisi and when he says Benson is not there, she admits she is worried, She sent her to the brownstone of another family she sits for — she had a strange vibe from the mom.
Carisi races to the other detectives and Barba, with Lucy following. He tells them they have a problem; Benson sent a message to the babysitter. He hands Fin the phone who reads the message: Dodds says he texted her a few hours ago and she answered back. Carisi adds that Lucy said Benson checked on a neighbor this morning, and Dodds asks where.
Benson says it is just her office. Joe comes back in with Tess, who looks in shock. Benson tries to comfort her and Joe sees Benson is untied and complains to Roxie. Benson explains she was just helping with Luca. Roxie says she is not going anyway, and Joe threatens of Benson pulls anything she will not see her son again.
He ties up Benson again. Joe yells at the kids to smile and he takes a photo. He tells Lisa to get the cash or they are dead. The doorbell rings and Benson suggests she answer it and she can get rid of them. But Joe tells Tess to do it.
Tess answers the door - Roxie is standing near with the gun pointed at her - and it is Carisi and Fin pretending to be truant officers. Tess says both kids are sick and her parents are not home. She says she has to go and closes the door. Afterwards, Roxie tells them the others are gone and Joe thinks they are cops. He asks Tess what she said to them and she says nothing, just that she and Luca were sick.
Benson comments they may have figured out she is here and their next move it to call for backup and now is the time for them to go. Joe wants her to stop talking but Roxie is wavering, saying he should listen to her. Roxie wants to get out but Joe pulls her and makes her look at Benson, saying Benson is a cop and everything she says is a lie and a trap.
Benson states there is no perimeter here and urges him to look out for himself. She suggests they slip out the back before they figure out who they are.
Joe says they are not going anywhere until they get the money. Outside, police and ESU arrive and set up a perimeter and try to see or hear what is going on inside. Dodds arrives and Chief Gabriel, there with Carisi, says they have a level one going on and the precinct has the area on lock down.
Everyone in the line of fire has been evacuated and everyone else has been told to shelter in place. Carisi asks if they have called into the house yet, and Gabriel says they are waiting for the hostage negotiations. Captain Sasso says the pole cams are up and they see two armed suspects, a white male about 40 and a younger white female.
Fin says Benson is inside with a teenage girl and a younger boy. Sasso says everyone seems sequestered in the 2nd floor bedroom. Sasso has no visual yet but is working other angles. Inside, Joe looks out and sees they are surrounded and gets angry. Roxie laments they should have gone and thinks they will kill them. Benson tries to convince them to let the kids go, and to keep her, she is their best asset. Joe asks Roxie about Ralph and they begin to argue.
Joe is losing his cool. He tells Benson she will get them out, and tells her to call them and order them to stand down. He threatens to shoot Tess and Benson asks for her phone to call her Sergeant.
He leaves her speaker on as he wants no secrets. In the police van, Dodds gets a call from Benson who says they are all okay. Dodds says a negotiator is en route and asks if everyone is okay. Joe scoffs at the negotiator and Benson says they just want to talk. Joe counters he knows what that means. Roxie reminds him to get away from the window and he does. She says her squad, her detectives, but Joe wants someone with more pull, someone who cares about Benson.
He asks if there is anyone at the NYPD who cares if she lives or if she dies? Carisi says Joe sounds pretty hopped up, so Tucker assumes Joe's on drugs.
Chief Gabriel introduces himself to Tucker, saying he is the incident commander. He explains that ESU is set and the hostage negotiation team can walk him through this. Tucker says he is alright; he was on the team before IAB and he takes the refresher twice a year. In the brownstone, Joe pushes furniture up to the walls and windows as a barrier. He asks Benson what about her friend, the one with the juice? Benson says he will be there and when he gets there he will want to know how everyone is doing and asks if he will let her check on Richard and Roxie can go with her.
Joe asks Roxie what about her idiot brother? Benson comments that the whole place is surrounded and if Ralph saw a cop…the phone rings and he holds his gun to Benson and tells her to answer it on speaker. Benson answers, saying they are on speaker and Joe is here with her, Tucker identifies himself and asks if everyone is okay. She replies that Joe and Roxie are taking good care of them.
Tucker asks about Lisa, and Joe tells Benson to say that Lisa is here. He says not to say a thing about the bank.
Joe puts her back on speaker and Benson says Lisa is not there right now, but she will be back soon. Fin tells Carisi there is a third hostage taker and thinks they are making a bank run. Carisi says to get a photo of the mother and he will text it out. Fin asks to let them know if they get anything on the third Tucker, still speaking with Benson, asks if Joe is there with her, and Benson says yes, he can hear him. Tucker speaks with Joe and asks if everything is alright.
Joe tells Benson to tell him, and Benson informs Tucker that Joe has some things that he needs. Joe says he wants an SUV with tinted windows, no driver and not rigged, and a million dollars in cash. He also wants the streets to a helipad be cleared and all the traffic blocked like he is the freaking Pope, and wants a helicopter standing by, and wants a CJ4 jet fully fueled, no pilot because he can fly. Tucker says that will take some time, and Joe points the gun at Tess and says to Benson to tell him or else.
Benson states calmly that Joe is not playing around, and Tucker says he understands and tells Joe he will get all things in motion but asks as an act of faith to release the kids? Ralph asks if Joe gave him up, saying he is the one who made him do this. Carisi tells him Joe is not his friend right now, he is, and Ralph should tell him everything that is going on in that house.
Barba wonders if this is a revenge plan, but realizes Ralph is not the ringleader. Barba introduces himself and ask who is we? Ralph says he and his sister Roxie, their mother needs a new hip as she can hardly walk. Barba asks if Joe is his real name. Barba says if anyone dies in there, Ralph is on the hook for felony murder; Ralph helps them or he is gone. Ralph says Joe Utley is his real name.
Lisa tells them each person had a gun, 3 pistols and Joe had a machine gun. Lisa pleads to go back in there as she promised to bring back the money and she needs to see her kids.
She says they were okay a half hour ago and mentions the photo she received. Back in the police bus, Barba shows Ralph that photo and he admits this is the last time he had contact with Joe and Roxie. Dodds comments they need Ralph to call them, but Ralph says Joe is going to be mad. Fin shows him a photo of Joe from a military database and Ralph confirms that is Joe. Dodds reads off that Joe was dishonorably discharged from special forces, adding they sent him down for the war on drugs and he joined the other side.
Tucker tells Ralph to play along and tell Joe he has the money and to ask the negotiator to let them hook up safely. Dodds hands Ralph the phone and Joe asks Ralph where the hell is he and does he have the cash? Ralph replies yes, he has it right here.
Joe says the cops know they are inside and he should get back here and tell them to let him in. Ralph says the house is surrounded, and Joe tells him to just do it, the cops will let him in.
Roxie asks if he is okay and Joe replies he is not really concerned about Ralph right now. Roxie says she is and asks if they are going to get him back.
Joe answers the call with Tucker who says he is there with Ralph. Joe says he wants Ralph AND he wants the cash here now. If they lie again, his pretty little girlfriend dies. Joe scoffs and gives the phone to Benson, who says he really wants Ralph in there now. Benson tells Joe and Roxie that Tucker is telling the truth; they are not allowed to send in civilians inside.
Joe brandishes his gun and says he is done talking. Tucker says over the speaker that ESU is all over this block and asks if he knows who they are.
Joe replies they are like SWAT. Tucker says if Joe stops talking to him, they pull him away and those guys take over. Joe asks to talk to Ralph. Joe tells Ralph he is an idiot, and says to Roxie that Ralph said he could do this, that he could get the money.
He tells Roxie this is her fault; she said Ralph was good for this and he could get the money.