Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 9 Episode 1


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Sep 25, 2007 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (25)

Write A Review
out of 10
337 votes
  • Wonderful season premiere that deals with a woman with multiple personalties.

    This episode was simply amazing. Wonderful acting by all the cast, including recurring actress Isabelle Gillies who plays Elliot's ex wife turned girlfriend Kathy and Cynthia Nixon, it seems, was born to play this role. She played each different character to perfection. This episode not only sparked the new season of SVU, but it started the beginning of Adam Beach's character Chester Lake, Kathy's pregnancy, and what I'm sure to be a season of dramatic moments and episodes. The plot was amazing, and yes the whole multiple personality thing is some what overused in TV and film, but it still made for a very compelling episode. Plus, I am a believer that people with multiple personalties do exist, and up until that last scene where it's reveled that Janis lied, I really believed that she had multiple personality. Plus we had some humerus moments with the short lived Sgt Munch, so that made me happy. The only thing I could find wrong with this episode is I'm not a fan of Adam Beach's acting.
    Amazing episode, the best season premiere we've had since the pilot.
    All in all 10/10
    EO shippiness 2.5/10
  • When a child is reported missing the team finds out that it is the women reporting the missing child that is really the case.

    I really like this episode it was awsome. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what happened. I love how they had Elliot and Olivia based on the case. I loved how the woman had several personalities and then to find out that she was sain. I was not expecting her to kill her parents but it was an interesting story twist. Also when "Dory" held Elliots wife hostage and they had to go in when she had the knife. It was an awsome episode. I really loved it and I can't wait to see more episodes to this season. I love this show.
  • Benson and Stabler get a report of suspected child abuse. While looking into this case, they will find more about this certain child abuser than they thought.

    First of all, this episode was brilliant. I loved Cynthia Nixon's character most of all. She did an amazing job with her character, and the different levels she had to take this character. The whole case was twisted and chilling. Especially at the end, where we find that the whole case was pretty much planned out and faked. I rate this episode exciting, because it kept my attention the entire time. It was certainly an episode I look for in the series. Definately chilling, great guest stars, and most of all amazing writing. The writers did a great job with this one!
  • An overall good episode with a nice ending twist.

    The episode starts with a woman walking into the precinct and reporting a case of child abuse. When the detectives go to the apartment where the mother and baby live they discover that the woman that reported the abuse is the same woman that she accused. They set out to find her baby, and they find the woman, Janis, hiding in a cave and saying that she is only a kid. They take her to the precinct and Huang evaluates her. He says that she has Dissociative Identity Disorder. As the detectives progress in the case, they discover that Janis and her sister were abused by their father when they were younger. While the sister, Cass, was in prison, they developed a plot to kill both of their parents. The plot was for Janis to pretend to have Dissociative Identity Disorder, and get off for killing their parents. The find this out after the trial, so they cannot arrest Janis or it would be double Jeopardy, so they arrest her sister.

    I, personally, liked this episode. The twist at the end, when we find out that Janis had been faking the disorder, had me wondering what was going to happen. My personal favorite 'alternate' was Dory. I loved the scene were she was at Elliot's house with a knife and Kathy. This was a good start to a new season and I thought it was a winner. I recommend this episode.
  • Great Episode.....until the end

    Cynthia Nixon has to be one of the best guests to appear on the show. I thought she was great, her sister (on the show) and the stars of the show were all very good. It was the ending that was really skeptical. Thats where some episodes of Law and Order really bother me. Its like they can't admit that the "suspects" can be innocent or get away with a crime. the way it ended with stabler and DA Casey using a magnifying glass to find a law book in the background was really reaching for straws in my opinion. The way Nixon was the whole episode for them at the end to call her out as being fake i thought was really shoddy. i dont believe anybody could fake 5 personalities like that and in a courtroom of all places. then for Nixon to admit she was faking was bad in my book also because if someone was that smart, they would never have admitted it in the last 5 minutes of the episode... i mean, come on. This episode reminded me of the one where their was a rape victim against a teacher, and they ended it without telling us the verdict. first 50 minutes, 10/10, last 5 minutes, 0/10. Nixon's character and her sister were sexually abused by their Father while the Mother watched, so i didnt really feel bad for them. i would have given this a 10 if not for the really bad ending in my opinion.
  • Great until the ending!

    Great way to begin the ninth season with a few
    Changes but in a good kind of way. Adam Beach
    Joins the cast as Detective Chester Lake and that he may
    Become a love interest for Casey as those two have really
    Good chemistry. Also they opened the credits with new pictures which I like as change is good. Captain Cragen was only there for a few minutes but he was reassigned just this one show. And loved it that now Sgt Munch was being given a hard time with his new title. Good until the end where the woman who had "mutiple personalities" really was mentally ill and played it to the hilt. Sadly, she got away for murdering her parents, which made me angry. Which was no excuse whatsoever. Just hated the ending in an otherwise great show!
  • a crazy lady with 5 personalities causes troulbe for svu

    i thought it was a good episode i liked it alot even thought im all for e/o moments i thought this episode was very interesting. olivia's hair was not that great but she still the best! elliot looks much better this season i have to say grrr lol adam beach is ok in my book as of now i still dont like the fact that he joind the cast but whatever
    ice- t was bearly in it as usual idc about his character that much so it didnt really bother me tht much... much was captain lol wow that didnt work out at all!
  • Did the ending make sense?

    I liked the episode in general, and I really like the show, but towards the end of this episode, I found there was some things that didn't make any sense. For example, Cynthia Nixon's character was meant to have "multiple personalities" so that when one personality did something, the other personality would not realize it. So, when "Janus" was looking at the file in the office, and saw Stabler's home address, "Dorey" shouldn't have known the home address because it was Janus who saw it. The officers should have picked up on that right away. Also, generally females do not have a male alter personality (Burt) any comments? does anyone have a theory about how they could explain Dorus getting the home address?
  • Great Season Premiere!

    Although Alternate wasn't the best episode ever of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, it was a great season premiere. Season eight's finale left us with many questions -- Is Elliot's daughter, Kathleen going to prison for DUI? Will Elliot be punished for trying to cover it up? Will Olivia get in trouble for sending her fugitive brother money? Is Cragen in trouble? What about Casey Novak? What will Elliot do about Kathy's pregnancy? Alternate answered these questions in a timely manner, without taking away from the case.

    The case of itself had me trapped. The detectives think nothing of the psyciatrist who comes to SVU to report child abuse, until they find out that she may be the one abusing! Detectives Benson, Stabler, Lake, and Tutuola find out more and more about this woman -- and that she has multiple personalities!

    Now, spoilers.
    Kathleen is puished by having to do community service, which she complains about. Kathy is still pregnant, and Elliot has moved back home. Olivia was suspended, but returns in the very beginning of the episode. I don't think anything about Casey was mentioned. Cragen was temporarily reassigned due to Olivia sending money to Simon & Elliot covering up Kathleen's DUI. Munch is put in charge as sargeant, but it doesn't last long, as Cragen returns during the episode.

    What I thought --

    Pros --
    Three months was a long wait for all of us! And it was worth it, because they didn't pretend the drama of season eight's finale never happened.

    I personally don't think Detective Lake was all that bad.

    The case was great. I was totally tricked.

    Cons --
    No Elliot and Olivia moments, but it's not a big deal.

    When Casey was strangled in the court room, her facial expression was...very bland. Totally could have been done better.

    All in all, it was a great season premiere!
  • This is an awesome episode.

    Out of all of the season openers I have to say that this is probable the best. Although I think the 7th season opener had Robert Patrick, this was a very original episode. It starts with a woman coming to report a child abuse case, she says she is a shrink but when they look into her thay can't find anything on her. Of course she has something to hide, we all do. But her secret is so much bigger, deeper, and interesting. Of course the show had to end with a SVU twist, and the twist was just...awesome. It sort of jumped at you so fast I wasn't sure what had happened until a little later. It really was an amazing episode, Cragen was reassigned and Munch (Sargent now) took over for the time being. I was expecting something amazing, something clever and different from the rest of the shows, and SVU did all of that in less than one hour.
  • A really good episode!

    I loved how everyone was involved in the episode, even though Cragen's role was minimal. I love the "group effort" episodes. I felt bad when Cragen left for temporary reassignment. I'm thankful it only lasted for one episode. Munch looked cute and weird at the same time in that uniform. (Someone here in the group predicted that Munch would be in charge. Good call, even though it was only for one episode). Janice really had me thinking that she had multiple personalities. I was skeptical at first but by the end, I was convinced that she really was mentally ill. I was annoyed, but not surprised, that Janice basically got away with murdering her parents. But at least her sister was arrested. I liked the scene where "Dory" went to Stabler's house and was sitting with Kathy. I didn't take the scene seriously at all although it was extremely serious since the woman had a knife. I could NOT stop laughing at Dory's pigtails. I also liked the courtroom scene. When Casey got close to Janice I said to my friend "Imagine if Casey gets choked like that lawyer did in Primal Fear". We were laughing like idiots when it happened. (Primal Fear is a really good movie by the way, starring Richard Gere and Edward Norton). I liked Chester Lake in this episode, no creepy vibe at all (like I got from him last season). I wonder if he'll end up being a love interest for Casey (which seemed to be hinted at last season). I also liked how no one took Munch seriously as the Sarge, especially Fin and Elliott. It was good seeing to see that Elliott is back home with his family and I like Liv's new hair cut. :-) I think Cynthia Nixon did great. I never would have expected she could act like that.
  • This was probably the best season premiere episode of any show.

    Well, I thought this season premiere episode was one of the best premieres I've watched, but I still got Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy. What can I say? The plot was brilliant! Who would have thought she was faking it all alone. I really thought she had about 5 other personalities. I'm also a fan of Lilly Allen (and wish for her to return to The 4400 even though unlikely) and I was glad to see her again. Cynthia Nixon was brilliant in her role for this episode. The story was also compelling and it kept me interested. I thought it was kinda funny that Munch became Captain temporarily. I was glad it was Munch though, I love his character. I just gotta say that Law and Order SVU is one of the shows that can go on for so many seasons and still is great.
  • They're Back...But with a bang?

    Ok, so we all know what happened. If you didn't watch it, then go watch it LOL. Usually I describe it all, but I'm not going to this time =)

    What I did like about the episode is that it explored the "multiple personalities" area. I found it very interesting actually. I mean we've all scene it before but I don't know, I just liked it better. The ending was actually a shock, but only to a point. At the end when Benson and Stabler talked to the 2 sisters, you so knew that they were going to arrest the other sister, since they couldn't get the 'original' one because of double jeopardy (Sorry, I'm totally spacing on the names right now, too early). You all know who I mean though. So if they actually DID that much research on that, then they would know that that would happen...

    They went into Elliots family a bit more which I liked, but was a little disappointed how it started. I was expecting more with that happened in the season finale last season; with Olivia and especially Elliots daughter. *Shrugs shoulders* I guess I expect too much =/ I know some of you others out there felt the samne damn way!!! =) LOL

    The Sergeant Munch thing? Well it was looking to stir up some interesting things, but it ended just like that. It was kind of tacky how it was only for one episode, then Cragen came back at the end. WTF? I was waiting for some more smart a** comments from Elliot about how he isn't and won't listen to Munch. It could have been interesting, but oh well. Things are back to normal =)

    So, it wasn't my favorite episode by any means, but it wasn't that bad. =) Oh and thats all I could really come up with, for the classification. It didn't really fit any of those for me, but oh well. Thats all I have to say for now.
    Agree or not...? I don't care.

  • Sgt. Munch? Surely you jest...and they did

    Since we last saw SVU last May, Kathleen got community service for her DUI, Olivia was suspended (we were not told for how long), Eliot is dealing with a pregnancy and Capt. Cragen was on the hook. He starts the episode by leaving but, true to SVU form, is back by the end because of that TV appearence by Munch. Oh yeah, the plot. These two sisters who think they can pull one over with the fake multiple personalities scam to hide the fact they were abusued by their father. Speaking of which, if the fingerprints on the gun belonged to Janice, why did they arrest the sister. They never did explain that one.
  • A woman with multiple personalities confesses her daughters kidnapping... kind of... (spoilers inside)

    For the most part, I liked this episode, but there were definitely some parts that could have been better.

    What I liked was the idea of the story. Never before have they addressed a multiple personalities issue. Cynthia Nixon was a spectacular Guest Star (I've never watched Sex in the City, but Nixon was amazing). Laura Allen was also fun to see, because I miss her on The 4400. The story was enticing and kept me on the edge of my seat. I hated the commercials because I wanted to know what happened right away.

    Sgt. Munch -- enough said. I really liked that Elliott was back with Kathy and his family. And I guess there will be a new Stabler member after all. Kathleen was funny too, and now that she's doing her time for her DUI, I think we might see more of her (anyone confused, by the way, that Maureen used to be the "main" child, and now Kathleen is and we hardly see Maureen? Will Dickie and the other Stabler become a larger character eventually? And what the heck is the other twin's name?)

    I liked the new opening credits video as well. Everyone has a pretty good picture.

    And finally: BD Wong was actually in the episode, which, if you read my review for "Screwed" was one of my biggest disappointments. And they even snuck Tamara Tunie in there... right under our noses... damn, they're good.

    What I didn't like was Mariska Hargitay's hair. I liked it a lot better in Seasons 6 & 7. Given that that has almost NOTHING to do with the episode itself...

    I also didn't like that there wasn't really a follow-up with the note Casey got from Branch at the end of last season... and it would have been a great way to introduce Jack McCoy as the new District Attorney... but no Sam Waterston on this episode.

    I think the main thing I disliked about this episode was that it was an episode that turned out in the end to technically not be an SVU case... Because in the end it turns out that Janis is faking all her personalities and conspired with Cass to kill their parents (I totally called Laura Allen being involved with the murder, by the way).

    I also did not like that they kind of just wrapped everything up from the end of Season 8. Just hearing Cragen saying virtually "I saved everyone's ass but my own," didn't cut it for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that everyone returned, but it wasn't answered that well...

    All in all, SVU is still good and I'm looking forward to Season 9! (Especially with Melissa Joan Hart)
  • This was a good episode!

    This episode reminds me of the more "older" episodes of L&O: SVU. The storyline was also interesting although it didn't have to do with sex crimes. It's about a woman who comes into the precinct claiming another lady has post-partum depression and may have killed her baby. After investigating, the detectives realize that the two women are the same lady. Eventually they find out she also has severe mental illness. Cynthia Nixon who plays the woman is incredible. I've never seen "Sex and the City" or any of her movies/tv shows, but she is good. One minor detail I didn't really care for was when Munch (temporarily) replaced Captain Tragen. It didn't really contribute to this episode, but Munch is funny. Also, I don't understand why Adam Beach is back. I mean, don't they have enough detectives and other characters on the show?
  • Anti-climatic compared to the previous season closer.

    Don't get me wrong, this episode is good. Cynthia Nixon was so good at being crazy, I was almost surprised by the end. Any any glimpse (however brief) into Stabler's family is welcome. "People will think it's mine" Perfect.

    But compared to the weight at the end of season eight, it really doesn't hold up. Every character seemed then to have a cliffhanger with their story and now suddenly everything was tied up off camera. Stabler's daughter and Benson both got off easy. Fin seems fine and the Captain is there and back again before the episode ends. It would be a fine episode for the mid-season plateau, but for after "Screwed", I expected more. Then again, I have high expectations for my favorite shows.
  • Apparently this ep copied a well-known movie rather closely, and there were some enormous plot-holes; but all the main characters got a look in, Elliot is home with his family where he belongs, and Cynthia Nixon was great. I guess it evens out.

    I'll tell you what I loved about the episode at the end, but there were some things that bothered me, too.

    First, I never saw Primal Fear but in reading the synopsis, I recognized scenes from the SVU episode. That shouldn't happen. There are no original ideas, so I don't mind the writers using the same research material; but parts of this ep border on plagiarism. Shame on the writers for their laziness.

    Next, I can't understand what happened to Munch's pocket handkerchief. Always before he had it when he needed it, but in this episode, it magically vanishes so he has to leave an unstable woman alone in an office full of confidential files to go off and get her a tissue. I knew right away that there would be trouble from that. Why couldn't they have written in a more believeable excuse for him to leave the room abruptly, like a confrontation out in the squadroom over the rights of the mentally ill when they become a danger to society?

    Finally, I had huge problems with the law journal. How did Cass get it out of the jail? Prisons control their resources pretty tightly and Cass never should have been able to take it with her.

    If we accept that Cass did somehow get the journal out of the prison, I have to wonder why the police didn't find it before taking the case to trial. Given the sisters' history, they should have been thinking conspiracy from the moment their parents were killed. That would have led them to investigate Cass and the journal should have turned up then. Finally, I have to ask myself why Cass didn't ditch this incriminating piece of media before the murder was ever committed. And for someone smart enough to pull this off, wasn't she kind of stupid to let it appear in a newspaper photograph?

    I think it was sloppy writing to get to a twist ending. They could have accomplished much the same thing by having the cops think conspiracy from the moment the bodies were found. They would have taked to Cass's former cell mate who would have told them about her fascination with DID/MPD before the trial. Then there could have been a more interesting twist at the end where, maybe the MPD was real, but one of the 'sane' personalities (Janice or Dr. Young) who didn't know about the others planned the murder and the defense.

    Now, I gave the ep an 8.5 despite these problems because they fianlly seem to be back in form. We had funny lines, dramatic moments, everything there should be in an SVU episode. I loved Cragen's reaction to Lake's, "It's been a pleasure working for you." I just wonder how long it will take for him to mesh. Poor guy, I actually felt sorry for him, and up til that moment, I didn't even like him. It was fun watching them harass Munch, and while I am glad that Cragen is back, I wish they had explored that shift in the relationships among the squad a little more. The interrogation of Janice/Dr. Young/Petra/etc. was fun. Benson and Stabler still work together great, and I liked the way Elliot flirted with "Dorrie", though I wonder if the signature would have stood up in court.

    And I was so excited to see Elliot at home with his wife and kids where he belonged (and shirtless, yum!) Kathleen's little hissy fit was funny. I really wished I could be there to mock her. She deserves it. We also know now that Kathy is no shrinking violet and that she can keep her head in a serious crisis. I really like the way she handled herself with Dorrie. The fact that Liv was there and Kathy could see how She and Elliot worked as a team was great, too. I hope we see a lot more of the Stabler family at home this season.
  • Alternate personally without any Sex in the CIty or sexual crime

    Cynthina Nixon plays or at least at first seems to play a woman with multaple personalities. She reports a baby being missing. At first we are lead to believe that she has kidnapped her own daughter and that the muiltipe personalities are a ruse. However we find that in fact the girl is her niece and that her sister had her all along. We find out that and her sister who is ten years younger then she is cooked up a sceme to eventually kill their parents which Nixon charecter does by the end. The last thing we learn is that it was a sceme cooked up from when the younger sister was in jail and she is arrested even though the older one is Not Guilty by Mental defict. THe younger sister goes to jail.
    What a way to start a year.
  • and Exactly why I watch this series. Absolutely Fantastic Season Premiere! If the rest of the season is like this episode, I couldn't be any more excited! This episode was better than the entire last season!

    Fantastic cast integration, plenty of everyone across the board! Answers to all the questions hanging in the air since the finale, and a great classic SVU story with a classic twist at the end. This episode was better than the entire last season all by itself and I can't wait to see if they can keep up the momentum!

    The story is about a woman who comes into the precinct to report a case of child abuse and ends up leading the detectives on a merry confusing chase to figure out what is going on. It was great to see Cynthia Nixon and Laura Allen guest star along with a host of other great supporting cast, including a great defense lawyer, guest psychiatrist (Bronson Pinchot) and even a great little old lady who had me in stitches. The writing for the episode was hysterically funny throughout.

    And did I mention new opening pics for everyone! I can't tell you how excited I am about that. I may need to go make a new banner!
  • Law and Order Special Victims Unit!

    While investigating a suspected case of child abuse, Benson and Stabler find out that the woman who reported the crime, a psychiatrist, may be the focus of the case. It turns out that she isn't a psychiatrist at all, but the mother of the child suspected of being abused. The case takes a turn for the worse when they find out that Janice has Muliple Personalit Disorder. During their interrogation Benson and Stabler meet five different personalities. But they find that the real character is Janice, because she set up this ellaborate hoax.

    Great episode. I think it was a great way to start the ninth season. The only problem I had with it, is that they didn't talk about some of the issues that happened at the end of Season 8 that I felt needed to be answered before they started on the new season. Overall it was a roller coaster ride like you expect from SVU. Cynthia Nixon did a great job. I honestly believed that she had multiple personalities.
  • The gang is back, and a woman with a multiple personality disorder has them running around.

    First of all, I cannot tell you enough how much I missed this show. I had to live off reruns (not that that's a bad thing) but I was really itching to see new cases.

    Case-wise, it was great despite the fact that there were spiders in it (I hate spiders). I could barely look at the screen when they were showing how the spiders were milked of venom. And I have to admit Janice was good. I wasn't expecting the episode to end the way it did. Cynthia Nixon was absolutely brilliant as the mentally unstable woman.

    As for our beloved team, it's funny to see Munch behind the captain's desk, and he looked pretty weird in that uniform. Maybe I'm just not used to seeing him in command, though I wanted to see how he'd handle the pressure. Maybe they could've had Cragen come back in the next episode just so we could see if Munch had adjusted to the role of CO.

    Chester Lake isn't as bad as I thought he was, but he's still not my favorite character. I gotta say, though, his performance in last season's finale and this episode was way better than the first time we saw him.

    It's nice to see Elliot back with his family. I loved Kathleen's comment about Kathy's pregnancy, that really cracked me up. ^^

    Over-all, this was a great season premiere. Just what we'd expect from SVU.
  • The end was done wrong but the rest was vintage SVU.

    SVU is back with a great episode starring a multiple personalities woman accused of child abuse. It was really interesting to see which personality was going to come out when she was around. She ended up not having multiple personalities after all, rather just a con woman . The tension between her and Stabler was great as was the tension between Munch and his fellow detective friends. The only issue is that the end went a little too fast. They should have eased their way through the return of Cragen, it like lasted 2 seconds. Then we found out that the woman was a fake which was time wasted when we could of had some E/O moments.
  • A woman with dissociative disorder has some interesting interactions with the squad and then kills her parents.

    Wow, this episode was unbelievable. I was totally riveted throughout the entire episode and was actually fooled that the woman actually had the disorder. I have to give credit Cynthia Nixon she was AMAZING. I liked her well enough on Sex and the City but she was awesome in this episode. I couldn't believe it actually. She was so good she actually freaked me out a bit. The storyline was incredible and finding out at the end that it was all a setup was great, such a twist. My only complaint is that the way they found out it was a setup was a book on a shelf in a picture... highly unlikely in real life. Oh well, that's why we love TV.
  • They're baaack! After a long summer, my SVU is back and in fine form. This is an example of what makes SVU great.

    Everyone appeared--even Munch! The case was interesting and kept me guessing. Cynthia Nixon should receive an Emmy nod for her guest work as the "multiple personality" laden Janis. I particularly liked the judge's comment about swearing in each personality seperately at trial. Hands down though, best line of the night belonged to Olivia when she commented on Petra showing up and **** Elliot."
    I would have liked to have seen a little more "catching up" with the SVU staff. Olivia obviously had been off for a while, and I would have liked to have seen more character interaction at the beginning. Not enough E/O connection.
    I liked the honest reaction of Fin to Munch's promotion to acting CO. It wouldn't be easy to see an "equal" suddenly be your superior, especially when it's resulting from the loss of their beloved Capt Cragen. I was glad to see him back at his desk by episode's end.
    I worry that the additon of Adam Beach (although I have nothing personal against him), will lead to even less screen time for characters like Munch and Fin, but I am hopeful that the SVU writers will be able to find a balance and get everyone in on the action.
    All in all, great premiere and I'm looking foreward to the season.
No results found.