Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 7 Episode 1


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Sep 20, 2005 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (24)

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out of 10
244 votes
  • Disappointing

    I felt a bit let down by this season opener. Yes, they obviously spent quite a bit of money on production values and to hire the guy from Terminator, but this ep fell flat when it came to storyline and character development.

    Usually after watching SVU I feel chilled and disturbed. But not after this episode. There was no real tension or menace here. Even the Stabler character who we've seen get genuinely overwrought, obsessed, insert any other intense descriptor here, before was flat in this one.

    Plus, I really didn't buy the way in which the sex offender character behaved. He seemed innocuous enough at first - I know, I know, the show's heavy handed message was that sex offenders seem just like everyone else (how original) - then we saw him seemingly struggle to control his demons and then as the hour neared its conclusion it was as if he just threw up his hands, said 'what the heck' and went off to track and abduct a teenage girl. Just too quick a switch for my taste and we are never shown what might have triggered it.

    Then to top it off he went from pedophile sex offender to gun-wielding homocidal maniac trying to kill Stabler. And then he didn't actually do anything - he didn't beat or torture Elliot, he didn't kill him, he didn't even secure him well. Didn't make one bit of sense.

    Believable and creepy would have been having the 'perp' continuing to struggle with his demons yet still going ahead with abducting the girl. Not as believable but even more creepy would have been if he had been revealed to be some sort of consciousless, cold psycho. We got neither.

    A good and believable end to the episode would have been him killing himself or trying to rather than going back to prison - I mean, he's facing trial for abduction and attempted rape of a minor plus kidnapping and assaulting a police officer. Grim prospects await.

    Also the 'perp' suggests that Elliot has fantasies just as dark as his own - but that seems like complete bunkum. Especially since the writers answer that question for us by having him grab Elliot's crotch only to find that Stabler is not aroused.

    I hope next episode brings back the high suspense, tension and psychological deviance I tune into this show to see.
  • Plot did not seem to flow.

    I thought the plot was not entirely thoughtout. The plan to use a cop as bait for the rapist was not really explained. I was confused seeing a girl walking down the street and the perp in the van watching her. Was she the cop? And who was Lucy? That part could have been given more time. The show was really dark.
  • Okay does anybody else fell they are making Elliot to "out of control"?

    I love SVU. I have watched it from day one and as each season progresses Elliot seems to get angrier and more out of control. Like in this episode where he defies Cragen. He seems to do that more often then not anymore. Also he looses his temper more often and more seriously each time. This I feel is being overplayed. Its to predictable any more. I love the show and will continue to watch it but they need to rethink Elliot's character. The episode was good, not great and certainly wasn't up to SVU's premier standards.
  • I am still waiting for an answer!

    This viewer was waiting for the premier, and I must admit it was okay! I was expecting better, and got okay! Yes I am disappointed. I am not saying it was bad episode, I just feel like I still am waiting for answers.

    I am not sure why Elliot’s character is spinning out of control, but someone grab him quick! Elliot has, in my opinion, been a strong and compassionate character. I feel like I am loosing him, this saddens me folks!

    I will continue to watch, but I must admit I hope it gets better as the season progresses. Disappointed, but will tune in again next week!
  • Definately painful to watch. It hardly had a proper conclusion. Did he actually molest the girl at the beginning? How far should the police go?

    This episode wasn't very well thought out and seems as if it was cut short. We never had any indication if the perp actually molested the girl at the beginning which sparked the new investigation.

    The whole time it seemed as if Stabler was tempting him to think about rape again, even though the guy was trying to behave.

    It seemed that he was struggling with his inner demons and wanting to do the right thing, but then threw his hands up and gave up for no apparent reason. far too quickly. But the episode doesn't make sense. If it's true that he DID molest the girl at the beginning, then why was he struggling so hard to be good the rest of the episode till the end? Wouldn't he have already given up being good right at the beginning by molesting the girl?

    Then instead of raping the new girl at the end, he wanted to watch even though it was against his old "MO".

    It would have been better to have made him innocent the whole time, and actually make the old cop having molested the girl at the beginning in a weird attempt to get the crim put back into jail. Nice twist, and in fact I thought that was what was going to happen.

    It raises the question though, like their CO said, it's like putting alcohol in front of a recovering alcoholic. Don't we tell alcoholics not to go to bars, and don't we hid alcohol away from them to help them be strong? Yet here we have the police putting the perp in the way of temptation. It's hardly fair on the guy when he's trying to be good.

    One question, did Stabler kill the guy? And finally did he REALLY molest the girl at the beginning, or was he innocent the whole time?
  • Tired idea, stretched too thin

    I'm getting kind of impatient with the "Stabler goes too far" plotlines...It's amazing what this guy can get away with. Also, I know this plot's just a framework to explore the chance of this guy molesting again, and (once again) showing the lengths Stabler will go to to nail a criminal, but it's getting a bit insulting seeing Cragen basically having no control over what his cops do on the job. He tells Elliot he's overstepping legal boundaries by going into those therapy sessions undercover, but Cragen's role is basically to throw up his hands and say "ahhhh these crazy cops...whaddaya gonna do about it..." Who's in charge here? It also angered me how Stabler was pushing this guy SO HARD to do something he sincerely seemed to be fighting against, and nary a word is said about it from the other cast members. Of COURSE, something bad is eventually going to happen, but is Stabler in any way culpable? Apparently not. The better L&E episodes provide shades of gray as to motive on the part of both perps and law enforcement, but I felt very manipulated by this episode to feel one certain way. Am also waiting for some real addressing of Stabler's anger problem. He's gotta go over the line where it can't be ignored anymore, and the show would be wise to realistically deal with that situation.
  • this was alright

    One of the things i found of this episode was it was a little crazy. One of the things is the end, Where elliot sat still after the guy told him that he has those same rapist qualitys as he does. I really hope they dont ruin that character. He is an awesome actor. I wonder why they did that and left us hanging!
  • Disapointing, very disapointing.

    This was one of the worse episodes I've ever seen, with the proper respect. First of all, it was certainly not good enough to be a season premiere. It didn't have the suspense we usually see in this show:since the begining they already showed who was the guilty. The guilty of a crime that still hadn't happened, of course, cause they never let us know if the guy really raped the girl in the station. Besides that, they basically forced the guy to rape the girl, giving him the conditions and the opportunity. It's like offering beer, wine or vodka to a guy that was an alcoholic and just sttoped drinking. Basically, the storyline sucked, there was no conclusion(we will never know ifhe raped the first girl), and the guy ended up as guilty of a crime he was incited to execute.
  • Not a good premiere

    Stabler a rapist. This episode was only written and directed to get Robert Patrick to do a guest spot.

    Was that supposed to be a season premiere? I\'m still scratching my head about it.

    The episode was stretched too thin, and they had no real proof that Ray raped the first girl, so they baited him and waited for the man to fail. Maybe, he would\'ve have raped again, and maybe he wouldn\'t, but having an episode like that proves only one thing about L & O, SVU......their getting very desperate over there and have no idea what to write or do.

    Overall, bad episode, and to top it all off, it was supposed to be Season 7 premiere.
  • Bad season premiere. Could have been a WHOLE lot better!

    Nothing good happened in this episode and in my opinion it was not a good season premiere. I think that since this episode was a season premiere they should have not focused on one character they should have given them equal screentime. And where in the world was Novak?! I like Casey and this was the season premiere and she should have been in it!!! Very poor premiere.
  • stabler goes undercover as a rapist.

    i love chris meloni acting in this terrific episode. i thought it was a terrific way to start of the fantastic season. i was at the edge of my seat the whole time.Chris meloni played this part so well i was totally convinced he was a rapist all along!! i love this episode and meloni !! they way it was written i could see and feel like i was a victim or someone who is dealing from a attack. i felt like i was in there world and this episode scared me when meloni woke up to a gun pointed on his neck. i love stabler!
  • Stabler under cover

    Stabler really went under cover to catch this guy, adn rightfully so. But he did a bang up job, I was really surprised at the risks he was willing to take as well. They were all necessary and completely justified but all the same they were still risks but that is, after all part of his job, knowing which risks are worth taking or not.

    This rapist infuraited me though, he was psychotic and I so tempted to scream at Elliott to shoot him the same time he's better off behind bars his entire life. That's real justice.
  • Law? Order? Where? This is the episode where SVU jumped the shark.

    "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" season premieres never fail to disappoint me, and this one was no exception. I went from loving this show to hating it, all in one episode. I can hardly express my disgust with it, but I'll try.

    Nothing about "Demons" reflected 'law' or 'order'. The writing was horrible, *everything* Un-Stabler did was illegal, and Liv's hair looked like it was styled by a hooker on the corner.

    The show has abandoned its police procedural format--the perfectly working format of crime-investigation-trial--and it has turned into an angsty night soap opera. It's a shame. And the season just gets worse from here.
  • I really liked this episode. I love it when the detectives fo undercover! And Stabler did really good undercover.This was one of my favorite episodes!

    I love it when the cops go undercover! IT was so exciting! This episode was one of my favorites!The end was really good, and i didn't expect that! When I watched this I was so happy that Stabler was going undercover. This was one of the first episodes I saw, so I didn't know if he ever wen tundercover before, and I obviously didn't watch this episodes in order, so I didn't know. I thought this episode was also funny. My favorite part was the ending, kinda, and also when they put the undercover cop as bait (some girl). I thought it was funny. I really love this episode!
  • It's about time Chris Meloni gets a chance to spread his wings a little more!

    Of course I loved the episode because Elliot is my favorite character. I think it gave Chris Meloni a chance to add some depth to his character and show the darker side of Elliot's personality. As the show goes on the crimes tend to get to him more. I think it all is building to what we see in future episodes.

    Nothing is perfect. There is one scene, the scene where they are trashing the ex-cons room, where I think Elliot and Fin overacted a little. They seemed to scream their lines and the acting was a little off there; but hey, none of us are perfect.
  • Law and Order Special Victims Unit!

    When a young girl is found after being sexually assaulted, the Detectives of the Special Victims Unit are called in to investigate. Detective Stabler is approached by a retired police detective named William Dorsey, who claims to know who the perp is and give him the name of Ray Schenkel. In order to get this perp, who recently was released after serving 21 years in prison for raping a teenage girl, Detective Stabler must go undercover as a rapist. This was a really good episode. It was interesting to see that Detective Stabler had to go under cover as a rapist to get the guy to confess. It also kept you on the edge of your seat while you were trying to see if Detective Stabler would be able to get the perp, while still keeping his cover.
  • Really exciting. I REALLY got in to it!

    I saw this episode out of order, and from what I read, it wasn't very good. So the episode started out looking kind of boring. A man rapes a girl and they try to get him to confess. But then when Elliot goes undercover, everything changes. Elliot goes undercover as 'Mac', a perp trying to deal with urges. It was so strange to see Elliot saying things we hear perps say. And I could kind of see in his eyes that he was uncomfortable.

    So 'Mac' and another person going to the ex-perp's support group (sorry, not really sure what it's called) become friends and go on a girl hunt together. It is SO creepy to see a perp in the act. Usually, we see the cases after the crime has been done. But this episode seriously scared me. How the man just went up to a young girl...

    Overall, this would definitely be one of my favorites. I started out lying down on the bed, but I ended up sitting up, pacing, then about two inches from the television. Amazing episode. It's really thrilling, and I was surprized that I REALLY got in to it.
  • Highly underated

    This episode was great! I only have two problems with this episode. One was that there just wasnt enough of the other characters. Instead of just focusing on just Stabler they should have gave Benson, Munch, Fin, ect. more time on screen. The second is that it didnt seem primere worthy. It was a great episode but just didnt stack up to the other seasons' primeres. Other than that i really loved this episode. Meloni did great while undercover. Scared me just how real he seemed as a rapist. And when he started choking the real rapist I was actually scared for his life. i remember thinking "Dang he needs some serious anger manangment!" All in all it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through!
  • I was on th edge of my seat the whole time!!!

    Seriously, when you start talking to your television, you know it's a great episode. I was freaking out the entire time for Elliot. This case really hit him hard. His face at the end almost had me in tears. This is one of the finest episodes of SVU I've seen.
  • You know, I don't know why everyone else seems to hate this episode.

    Christopher Meloni is a great actor, he always has been. And this episode gives him a chance to show just how great he is (and it gives me something to throw in the faces of everyone who argues with me that he's NOt a great actor).

    So why does everyone seem to hate this episode so much? What's not to like? there's a compelling storyline that hooks you from the beginning, when you're unsure if this rapist who's just been released has actually reformed and will be the victim of persecution or will actually turn out to be a threat. There's several morally ambivilent issues (DID Stabler provoke the man to rape again, would he have caved in if he hadn't had any encouragement, did he rape the girl at the beginning, etc.) Every flavor of Law & Order loves questions like these, and loves leaving them unanswered even more, letting viewers piece out the answers for themselves. That's why I love this show so makes me think.
  • Watching Detective Stabler having to do what he did ripped out my insides and stomped all over them.

    First off, let me just say that I am a die-hard Law and Order fan. All three series (I don't consider Trial By Jury to be part of the franchise) are set to be recorded every week, and I watch religiously. This said, Special Victims Unit is my favorite. I'm not sure why, exactly, but it could have something to do with the fact that I love the characters. There's always been a soft spot in my heart for Elliot.

    This is why this episode killed me to watch. Of course, that didn't stop me from watching it over and over again, as I did this morning. Although it kills me to say it, I agree with Schenkel when he said that not all of what Elliot said when undercover was crap. He doesn't have family to lean on, and I'm sure beyond a reasonable doubt that that man has some serious issues to work through. But still, he didn't deserve to be put through everything he was.

    First of all, he was spilling his guts to a group of sex offenders about how he advanced on his twelve year old step daughter. Elliot has a daughter who would be about that age by now. Then, he had to essentially manhandle and pretend to rape a teenage girl who looked about the same age as his oldest daughter. And, of course, this was all before he was handcuffed to a van with handcuffs that came out of nowhere and almost shot three different times. And then, then, he and Olivia didn't even hug when she found out he was all right. That irked me.

    But seriously, this was a very painful episode for the Elliot-faithful to watch, but it was so worth it. It was excellently done, and I couldn't ask for a better hour of angsting on television.

    One more thing - just where DID those handcuffs come from?
  • One of my least favorite episodes.

    I though that this episode was very out-of-character for Detective Stabler. Looking back at some of the older episodes I can\'t imagine that Detective Stabler would ever do anything like this. He encouraged Ray to rape and almost got himself killed and put many people and police officers in dager. This is one of my least favorite SVU episodes ever.
  • elliot goes undercover as a rapist

    Pretty scary episode. I was jumping out of me seat half the time. I was wicked scared when it looked like he was goign to kill the guy at the end. I thought Chris was amazing in this episode even thought elliot creeped me out when he started talking like a rapist. It seemed too real. Otherwise, it was incredible, but I could use some more olivia and munch & basically i wish there was more of everyone. But it was still an amazing episode. Pretty different for a premiere. Maybe they were trying to get chris a nomination for something. Im excited for next week thought, i love crossover episodes!
  • Stabler goes undercover to try and get a rapist to admit to a rape of a teenage girl.

    This episode was very frightening. I couldn't believe it. In the beginning the gut feeling is that the released rapist did the crime. But like all other cases sometimes the hardest part is to prove the crime happened. What I found the most chilling were the scenes where Stabler was trying to befriend the rapist. It was chilling to see the "life" of a released criminal.

    This episode brings up some very important ethical issues. To what extent should police officers go under cover? Are sexual offenders are fully recovered? Will they strike again? Also through this episode we were taken into the minds of these criminals to see what makes them tick.

    The rapist tells Stabler that he also has these dark thoughts, but I guess the main difference between him and us is that "normal" people know how to control the urges to matter how strong.