Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 15, Episode 10 of NBC's Law and Order: SVU, titled "Psycho Therapist."
And just as I was getting used to Wednesday nights free of semi-fictionalized sex crimes -- playing Settlers of Catan, learning how to make a soufflé, effectively keeping my nail polish chip-free -- Law and Order: SVU jumps right back into its arguably most upsetting story yet: Olivia's assault and kidnapping. In case you missed it, Liv was kidnapped by William Lewis (Pablo Schreiber), who was set free after a mistrial, at which point he broke into her apartment. He proceeded to torture her for four days, even making her watch as he raped the mother of his former attorney, and kidnapping her to a beach house where she eventually escapes and beats the living daylights out of him before calling the police.
In this episode, Benson finally faces her attacker in court in what predictably becomes one of the most infuriatingly obnoxious scenes of the season. Seriously, this guy is the worst. It's hard not to sit there just yelling, "What the??? That's not what happened!" or just "@&$@#&!!!!!" Here are some of the most annoying stunts pulled by Lewis throughout the trial:
For starters, how dare he hurt Olivia??
The show begins as Liv speaks with her therapist, then she makes out with him, then Lewis appears from behind her as he pulls a gun on her and then...we see she's just in court preparing for her time in front of the jury. It's just Liv and Barba. Leaving the courthouse, she gets in an elevator only to be followed in by Lewis...who turns out to be a regular guy getting on the elevator. As Liv enters her apartment, she hears rustling and panics, but it's only Cassidy (Dean Winters). Dun dun.
He wants to plead guilty to rape and sodomy
For starters, this is a lie seeing as he neither raped nor sodomized Detective Benson. Knowing Liv wouldn't want to be further labeled as a victim, he offers her the choice between a lie that will put him away forever and the truth, which will be more difficult to prove. Staying true to form, Liv rejects the easy path and instead pursues her version of events that will hopefully put him behind bars. Barba reminds her that they will go after her for excessive force which could leave enough doubt that Lewis could walk free yet again.
Lewis makes himself his own attorney
Seeing as his attorney failed to get the plea accepted, Lewis fires his attorney and appoints...himself as her replacement. Like, could he be any more narcissistic? Now we're forced to see him talk even more throughout the trial. While Barba protests that Lewis is using this as a means of retraumatizing Liv, the judge allows the swap.
He implies that SVU planted evidence in Liv's apartment
Taking the stand, Finn recalls entering Liv's apartment to find many cigarette butts and keys and a coat hanger on the stove. Feebly limping toward Finn ("because of a beating given by Benson," he remind us), he reminds the jury of the initial mistrial due to contamination in the lab. He tries to convince us that Liv was obsessed with him after this trial, seeing as she was forced to take some time off. He asks Finn if it's possible they would have had time to plant evidence before CSU arrived. In addition, Lewis feels the lab may have been biased after being told that he was the only suspect in this assault against a police officer. Finn assures him there were no mistakes.
He thinks Rollins could have framed him for Liv's kidnapping
Rollins testifies before the court, describing the blood trail that led up to Mrs. Mayor who was hanging in the closet. Since Rollins had a history with Lewis before the arrest (she sent her dog after him before his initial arrest when two girls accused him of exposing himself), he feels she could have been angry enough when the mistrial was declared to frame him for Benson's kidnapping. Ummm what? What is this nonsense?
He claims Liv could have killed the officer who pulled them over
Next, Amaro takes the stand. He explains that the officer who pulled over Olivia and Lewis was DOA. Lewis reminds him that Olivia's prints were also found on the gun, so it's equally possible that she killed him.
He calls on Viva and Luisa Nuñez as witnesses
Barba approaches Liv, asking her if there's something she hasn't told him, because Lewis added the maid and her daughter (who happened upon them at the beach house) to the list of witnesses. We see a brief flashback where Liv tells Viva that if the police find out they're here, they'll take away Luisa. Although we know the truth, Liv tells Barba that she told them to leave for their own safety. While Barba clearly doesn't believe this completely, Liv testifies under oath saying she was handcuffed to the bed, heard them approach the house, freed herself, and restrained Lewis so Viva and Luisa could escape. She goes on to claim that, once the mother and daughter had left, Lewis got free and she was forced to subdue him with the rod from the bed frame.
However, Viva testifies that she did in fact hear Liv beat Lewis with a rod, but also that Liv told her immigration would take away Luisa if she didn't follow what she said.
He keeps whining about his injuries
Lewis has his doctor take the stand in order to recount his lengthy list of injuries from the beating. Drawing on Liv's claim that she beat him until he was subdued, he cries, "Could I run with a shattered knee?" Yeah, yeah, yeah, no one cares! Also, throughout the whole trial he limps around the courtroom, complaining about being a little blind and a little deaf, which is dumb because he really deserves to be completely blind and completely deaf, so yeah, he's just being annoying.
He accuses Liv of trying to seduce him
While on the stand, Liv is forced to endure Lewis' degrading questions and commentary. He reminds the jury that she's not married and has no kids -- as if those facts would make her some sort of sexual deviant. He asks about her father, claiming its necessary to know her psychological demons in order to understand why she came on to him. He calls upon her accrued vacation time as proof of her "social isolation and long time immersion in sexual assaults."
Since Liv doesn't know how he got into her apartment in the first place, Lewis suggests that she invited him in. Why else wouldn't she have pulled her gun on him, he asks. He continues to claim the whole thing was a role playing fantasy for her. He asks her if she attempted to seduce him with stories from past cases? Liv explains that it was just a tactic to stay alive, but Lewis seems to have trouble understanding that. He accuses her of sending the Nuñezs home in order to be alone with him.
He claims she almost killed him because he mentioned her father
He says this is why she beat him nearly to death, but Liv maintains that he broke free of his restraints and she did what she had to to subdue him. "You and I both know that's a lie," he scoffs.
His ridiculous closing statement
Lewis admits that he has a temper, drinks too much, acts out, but he says he's only human. Seriously, these excuses are just too much. Last I checked "being human" wasn't really a great excuse that could hold up in the court of law as an excuse for attempted rape and murder, but what do I know? He continues on to ask the jury to look at Liv and then look at himself. "I ask you, who's the victim here?" *Eyeball roll*
The stupid verdict
Before reading the verdict, the jury asks that it be noted that many of them had issues with the conduct of Detective Benson that they weren't sure how to address -- they just want it on the record. Couldn't the jury have given some more details on that? Are you just allowed to do that in court without any further description? I'm not entirely sure what they're referring to. I'm assuming it's the sense that she lied about the excessive force, but couldn't they have said that?
Anyway, the real verdict:
-Attempted murder: Not guilty
-Attempted rape: Not guilty
-Assault on a police officer: Guilty
Total sentence: 25 to Life
As he's leaving the courtroom, he smirks at Liv. With the verdict read, knowing he'll be behind bars for the rest of his life, Liv finally lets her guard down. She goes into a stairwell and sobs.
We'll probably see Lewis again
Just before the end of the episode, we jump to "four months later." We see Lewis being rushed somewhere on a gurney after having a seizure. As his worried doctor wheels him away, she says, "We're gonna get you out of here." We see a malicious smile spread across Lewis' face... it seems as though we'll be seeing more of Lewis in the future.
"Law and Order: SVU" airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.