Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 4 Episode 21


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Apr 18, 2003 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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out of 10
118 votes
  • Justice At The End

    I loved the ending how the freak Charles "Cheryl" Avery got gang raped and the look at that witch Benson's face.
  • Another Great Episode

    This was the very first episode of law and order SVU i had ever seen. Even though im a frequent watcher now and sometime i mix up stories, i can never forget this one. What they failed to mention in the summary was that this girl cheyrl was a born a man, but had surgery to become a women. This story was very well written and Alex and Olivia were very sensitive to this situation. The Ending had a huge twist that you sorta knew would happen but you hoped it wouldnt.This was a must-see Episode. Excellent!
  • This show, this episode, is not afraid to talk a controversial issue and revolve around it with great truth and comfort.

    When a young woman cries rape at the hand of her boyfriends brother things being to spiral into a world of lies and controversy. Sarah Avery, a transexual individual, is discovered to be lying to her boyfriend about her status as a transexual. Forced by fear and what society calls normal she felt she needed to hide this truth but when his brother finds out she does all in her power to silence him. Though it isn't an act of malice and simple fear driven by past horrors she is convicted none the less and confined to a male prison. In the eyes of the law they still see her as male and there is nothing the ADA or anyone else can do. She ends up at the mercy of a gang rape. It is these kind of actions and this narrow minded thinking that leads to gay, bisexual, and transexual individuals living in fear and distrust. This show is so true to life that sometimes it is just frigtening.
  • A transvestite kills a man who is threatening to expose her secret.

    The episode begins at a party where a young man is struck over the head and killed. The woman who hit him claims he was trying to rape her. As the investigation continues, Benson and Stabler find out that the woman, Cheryl, is actually a man who is taking hormones and planning on a future sex-change. Cheryl takes a deal, but then decides to take her chances at trial when she discovers that the law requires her to be housed with male inmates. Cabot finds herself sympathizing with Cheryl and tries to help her, but an overzealous defense attorney blocks her efforts.

    What made this episode so exceptional was the way in which it incorporated human emotion into the process. Cabot is usually pretty gung-ho about prosecuting criminals, but this time she really allowed herself to become involved. The show also demonstrates the inability of the law to provide a just solution for someone in Cheryl's position and raises a lot of questions about what should be done in that situation. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it.
  • An attempted rape victim turns to a suspect after it is revealed that she is transsexual and the man she claimed to kill in self defense discovered her secret.

    I really loved this episode, it was very important. It dealt with the issue of transsexuality in a very delicate matter. Personally I feel that being a transsexual isn't any less normal than being gay and hopefully both will be accepted in our society in the future.

    Stabler was the one the detectives who seemed to have the most problems with Cheryl's gender. He refused to call her a "she" after he found out and he didn't seem very sympatethic. It was the same with her boyfriend, Eddie (although that was understandable - the poor guy got the shock of his life,) but I do believe that men might have a harder time accepting a women with a penis than women. (Which is not an offense, its simply the way society tells men to act, that this is gross and wrong, while women are often taught to be more sympatethic.) He annoyed me in this episode, and being one of my favourite characters I actually got very mad at him. I was amazed by Olivia, though, she really understood Cheryl. (And although I understand the legal issue I think it was horrible to place her in a men's prison.)

    Alexandra Cabot was also amazing in this episode, and we came behind her ice queen act. She showed emotions and she was feeling guilty for Cheryl and her situation. She and Olivia had a sweet talk at the end, which I think was a piece of great acting from both Hargitay and March. All in all a very good and important episode which at times was uncomfortable to watch, but I think it was necessary for the message to get across, and I liked the way the show dealt with this issue.
  • Law and Order Special Victims Unit!

    During a party Joe Cappilla is found with his brother's girlfriend Cheryl in the bathroom, where he is down for the count and Cheryl claims that Joe tried to rape her. What they find is that Cheryl is a transvestite who has not yet had her entire sex change operation. They find that the rape was made up and Cheryl was using it as a cover for the fact that she tried to keep Joe from telling his brother his secret. This was a good episode. The storyline kept you interested. At first you think that its just going to be another rape case just like the rest, until you find out that Cheryl is really a man, who lives as a woman. The Detectives have to go through a lot to prove what really happened in this case.