Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 4 Episode 1

Chameleon

4
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Sep 27, 2002 on NBC
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
106 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
The detectives go on the trail of a recently paroled rapist responsible for the murder of a prostitute during a raid at a men's club and are called to the scene where he was shot in self defense by his own gun. However, the murder weapon was also used in another crime while he was still in prison, leading the detectives to investigate the victim through a trail of previously unsolved cases, a spending spree and another victim.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A shifting plot full of twists and turns, where nothing is as you would expect, even the ending.

    9.0
    A great example an L&O show. One with an evershifting plot, where the facts are everchanging leading to several epiphanies throughout the episode.



    This story takes goes off at two major tangents throughout its plot arc, changing the very nature of the crime involved. So you like that type of structure - you will like this.



    Furthermore, the suspect is an example of one of the more superior types that the show portrays. The character is excellently played by Sharon Lawrence. The cocktail personality within her character takes this from a so-so story to a great one and really brings a sense of deceptiveness to the whole scenario. This adds to the overall past-faced feel of the screenplay and ratchets the limited action, but huge intrigue and drama to a level it may not otherwise have reached.



    In fact from the first act, when the severity of the crime increases, to the realisation of just how big the encompassing crime might be, the level of threat grows gradually throughout, providing the great ending that is does as Alex Cabot has a political card played on her by her own DA to stop the woman's capital sentence, in order to sway female voters to remain with her in the next election for DA.



    The key scenes happen in the middle act of the show, which is suprising, as they tend to be towards the beginning or end. They involve the Maggie attempting to sway Elliot and the Dr. into believing that she is the victim of a violent partner, playing her sharade, and thus allowing the Dr. to understand her condition.



    Locations dont do much to tantalise viewer visual perception, as they are mostly in and around the PD. While dialogue is above average. However, its the plot and its twists that reall make this a superb example of this franchise.



    The ending on its own shouldnt be missed, bring a healthy dose of resonance at the endgame. Dont miss it.moreless
  • Exciting episode.

    10
    When Benson and Stabler go on the trail of a recently paroled rapist responsible for the murder of a prostitute during a raid at a Men's club and are called to the scene where he was shot in self defense by his own gun.



    This episode was interesting (like most of the episode) especially the fact that this happen at a Club during a raid. Interesting how the rape kit described as no fluids in the body. When they find their murder dead due to a prostitute shooting him. It turns that what the prostitute did, might had been done for self defense.moreless
  • An interesting SVU episode

    10
    This was quite an interesting SVU episode mostly because the perpetrator was a female serial killer who manipulates other's emotions to get what she wants. The serial killer claims she was raped and portrays herself as a victim, when really she is a cold hearted killer who takes what she wants at any cost.



    The ending was perfectly fitting. The killer committing suicide. She is definitely my favorite, elusive, unique SVU perp.



    The acting by Sharon Lawrence as Maggie Peterson was convincing. Maybe not as good as Charlize Theron's Aileen Wuornos in Monster but it does take talent to play a character like that.moreless
  • Law and Order Special Victims Unit!

    7.5
    During a raid at a men's club, the NYPD find the body of a dead prostitute. Once another prostitute is found, Detectives Benson and Stabler set out to warn all of the working girls in the city. While checking out a known working hotel, they find that several shots had been fired and find Maggie Peterson, a working girl, had shot the john she was with. After several more men are found dead, they find that Maggie has a thing for sleeping with men, offing them and taking off with their credit cards.



    This was an ok episode. There wasn't anything spectacular about it. I did like the part where Maggie was being questioned in the interrigation room. She put on an act for each person that was talking to her. Playing the victim for Dr. Huang, a tease for Detective Stabler and almost shutting down completely when Olivia entered the room.moreless
Dann Florek

Dann Florek

Capt. Donald Cragen

Richard Belzer

Richard Belzer

Det. John Munch

Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay

Det. Olivia Benson

BD Wong

BD Wong

Dr. George Huang

Christopher Meloni

Christopher Meloni

Det. Elliot Stabler

Ice-T

Ice-T

Det. Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola

Rick Johnson

Rick Johnson

Court Officer #1

Guest Star

Dwandra Nickole

Dwandra Nickole

Mrs. Kerber

Guest Star

Andrea Landi

Andrea Landi

Woman #2

Guest Star

David Lipman

David Lipman

Judge Arthur Cohen

Recurring Role

Charlayne Woodard

Charlayne Woodard

Sister Peg

Recurring Role

Judith Light

Judith Light

SVU Bureau Chief Elizabeth Donnelly

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Donnelly remarks that Lewin is trying to avoid alienating the female constituency that got her elected in not pressing for the death penalty against Maggie Peterson, though it is established in Law & Order that Lewin was an interim appointee serving between the departure of Adam Schiff and the election of Arthur Branch (discounting the fact that this episode was aired out of sequence and Lewin had already been replaced by Branch).

    • It was frequently mentioned throughout this episode that Maggie Peterson would be the first woman executed in the state of New York. This is incorrect, because Ruth Snyder was the first woman to be executed in New York in 1927. There was also a previous execution seen in the Law & Order episode "Bad Girl" (of Monica Johnson).

  • QUOTES (3)

    • (Huang profiles the killer on their current case.)
      George Huang: I'm not confident with calling the suspect a serial killer.
      Fin Tutuola: How many guys she gotta whack until you're confident?

    • Nora Lewin: Do you really think the first woman the state executes should be a single mother, prostitute, rape victim...
      Elizabeth Donnelly: ...serial killer.

    • Alex Cabot: (regarding women) They've proven they have the right to die by lethal injection just like any man.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

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