Law & Order: SVU: Predicting Tonight's Ripped-From-the-Headlines Plot

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This past May, a Duke senior named Karen Owens put together a mock study, in PowerPoint form, that analyzed all the student-athletes she'd slept with. She ranked each of her thirteen "subjects" according to eight criteria—including athletic ability, physical attractiveness, and, you know... size. She sent it in confidence to three friends; as you might guess, it quickly ended up on the internet. Then it went viral, to Owens' horror. Sports website Deadspin published her "thesis" in full (later blacking out names), the New York Times and the Today Show showed up on campus to report, and this semester the Duke history department hosted a forum on Owens' place in history.

Tonight, NBC will air a ripped-from-the-headlines episode of Law and Order: SVU based on the incident. I don't really watch the show, but going by what I've seen in the past, here's what I'm pretty sure is going to happen:

We open on two bums (both played by guest star Zach Galifianakis) playing paddy-cake in Manhattan's Tompkins Square Park. After one of them messes up, the fun devolves into a spirited game of tag. Suddenly, one of the bums trips over what appears to be a big log. Upon closer inspection, he whispers, "That's no log. That was a person once."

In the police station. Detective Stabler says to Detective Benson, "We've got our D.B. Name is Cameron White. White male, athletic build, NYU student. Business major. Phi Theta Yule. He rowed crew. Somebody stabbed him in the neck with an ice pick." Benson glances down at the body, which for some reason is in the middle of the police station. "I think whoever coaches crew has some explaining to do," she says.

The detectives arrive at the crew gym of NYU. The crew coach—a muscular guy of about 45 (guest star Patrick Warburton)—is busy sanding his latest boat while the detectives talk to him, which is incredibly distracting. "Who would want to murder White?" Benson asks forcefully, spitting a little as she talks. "I can't think of nobody," the coach answers. "Nobody but Hunter Poole. He's the guy who ranked at the bottom of the NYU sex list." Stabler puts his hand on the coach's arm, halting the sanding process. "What's the sex list?" The coach grimaces. "You don't know about the sex list? This girl Kara had sex with everybody on the crew team and then ranked each guy. She said Cameron was the best at sex, and Hunter was the worst at it." Stabler nods his head and squeezes the coach's shoulder.

Back at the station, in the interrogation room. Kara (guest star Monica Keena) is sitting in the chair, crying. "I never meant to hurt anyone," she says between sobs. "It was a joke. I just had some fun with some jocks, clicked a few keystrokes, sent it to a few friends, and now it's all over the net." Benson glances at Stabler, then leans forward towards Kara. "The internet has changed things," she intones, softly.

We return to the NYU crew gym. Hunter (guest star Jesse Plemons) is shooting hoops while talking to the detectives, which is incredibly distracting. "What do you want?" he asks. He is sweaty from shooting hoops for a long time before they came in. Stabler gets right to the point: "Did you hate Cameron White because Kara said he was better at sex than you are and everybody found out?" he asks. Cameron shoots and air balls it. "No!" he exclaims. "I mean, I disliked him because he was better at sex than I am, sure, but he was still my crew buddy. Girls come and go, but crew buddies are forever." Visibly upset, he air balls a second shot. Stabler grabs his handcuffs. "That's enough for me," he says. "You're under arrest for the murder of Cameron White, who, as everyone now knows, was better at sex than you."

Epilogue: 2070. We see an old lady's feet, and gradually the rest of her. It's Kara, sitting on a wooden chair and wearing a bunch of old makeup on to make her look 60 years older. She lets out a small chuckle, which eventually turns into a loud, triumphant cackle. "It was the perfect crime," she says. "I even made up the sex list from scratch and put it on the web myself!" That odd, shallow percussive synth sound, the one that means Law & Order, plays. This is one they didn't get.

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