After a long hiatus, the brethren in blue of “SVU” return to viewer’s screens on Wednesday, April 11th with an all new episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
In an episode entitled “Justice Denied,” the unit re-opens one of Benson’s closed cases when a similar crime is committed to determine if they’re dealing with a copycat criminal or a case of wrongful imprisonment.
When a rape occurs and it’s the same M.O. as an earlier case, Detective Benson is positive she knows who did it. The only problem is that the man that she’s sure committed this crime has been in prison for the last eight years and there’s no way he could have carried out this latest assault.
The case is particularly painful for Benson for obvious reasons, but also because it further complicates her relationships with both her new friend, Defense Attorney Bayard Ellis, and her new love, Executive Assistant District Attorney David Haden.
This episode has everything faithful “SVU-ers” could want; an intriguing crime, tension in the squad room, some simmering personal problems, and even a flashback to 2004.
And, with actors Andre Braugher, Harry Connick, Jr. and Mark Consuelos garnering screen time with the “SVU” regulars, the star power in this episode is certainly evident.
Stuart Feldman, co-writer of “Justice Denied,” offered his insight on the storyline. “There are shows on television where the hero can do no wrong. Detective Benson is certainly flawed. In this story, we get to use her history with the unit and see how she deals with the possibility that she may have made a serious mistake with this case.”
New “SVU” detectives Amaro and Rollins, while still showing respect for Benson, voice their concerns about the new found evidence and the doubt it casts on the guilt of a currently incarcerated man. Even Benson’s superior, Captain Cragen, expresses his suspicions about the validity of the conviction.
Despite the rising number of questions surrounding her actions, Benson still believes that she’s done the right thing, that she’s put the right man behind bars. But, her confidence in her work is, rightfully so, a bit rattled.
All of this conflict, both professional and personal, makes for a very heavy episode for Detective Benson.
In an early episode of “SVU” entitled “Wrath,” Benson points out that, “Even one wrongfully imprisoned man is too many.” This is a clearly a thought that’s guided her throughout her career and comes into play heavily in this new case.
This episode shows the disparity in the vastly different meanings of the word ‘conviction’; one a firmly held belief, a certainty; the other, a guilty verdict. The antonyms of the word include ‘doubt’ and ‘acquittal’. All of the synonyms, and antonyms, of the word ‘conviction’ are expressly explored in this intriguing episode.
So what’s the real story here? It’s the story that will unfold in “Justice Denied,” Wednesday night on “SVU.”
For exclusive videos of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast about this episode, please visit the sites listed in the supporting links section of this article.
“Law & Order: SVU” airs Wednesday nights at 10e/p on NBC.