Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 5 Episode 4


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 14, 2003 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (28)

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out of 10
253 votes
  • Hits the bullseye immensly


    From the start this episode will grab your attention and have you captivated until the very end and then it will twist your nipple rings some more! Surely this has to be THE candidate for the best ever episode?! It is a story worthy of Steph March's exit from the show. From the very start you wont fail to appreciate the horrific nature of the crime and the threat level of the suspects being dealt with here. An initial feeling of something awry permeates the opening scenes as the team struggles to identify the body. All leads get cold as the team gets a vibe that the victim was a cop. Confirmation comes when the DEA turns up at the office to reveal her id as a NY cop. The DEA provide more compication by hindering the investigation until SVU promise to prosecute the case as a murder/rape of a prostitute.

    The SVU becomes frustrated as all leads apparently end in dead-ends. However, Tutuolo's contact leads them to the primary site of the murder and the boat of a drug cartel lieutenant - links to the fibreglass found on the body. They arrest him and this is were all the hell breaks lose.

    Scene after scene after scene is filled with rising tension and a teneble build up of fear as ADA Alex dangles her safety on a line she inadvertently intimidates the cartel lieu.nt. I dont think Ive seen such a terrifying antaganist as Rafael Zapata Gaviria. He really gets into Alex's face and also into the viewers!

    With intimidation stretching across the episode, the threat of real harm grows steadily until the chief DEA agent is dealt with in one of the best scenes of this show. It interesting to see Alex character now fully comprehend the danger she is in, esp. with her mother also causally targeted by member of the cartel.

    All this in the 1st two-thirds of the epsiode.

    The final act takes the already high intensity level and incredibly lifts it to another level as the case against the Zapata looks to be dead in the water. Just when it looks like hes going to get away scot free, US marshalls arrest him and take him into protective custody and persuade him to provide evidence in return for immunity, against his employers.

    This scene becomes a doorway into the best final scene(s) I probably ever seen in a L&O episode, which is difficult to say with CI my preference franchise. A true tearjerker moment and and ending with the most ultimate twist.

    Superb, fantastic... insert your own superlatives.
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