Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 13 Episode 10

Spiraling Down

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Dec 07, 2011 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • A rape might not be what it seems, especially when a high profile football player is pre-diagnosed with CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy). *Partial spoilers


    The episode starts out with a girl named Vicki (Kay Panabaker) who 'belongs' to a pimp that way raped. Although SVU collars said pimp, the person who raped Vicki is still at large.

    That's where football player Jake Stanton (Treat Williams) comes in; he has 'illicit hobbies' (prostitutes) but the twist, Stanton has a mental disability called CTE or Chronic trumatic encephalopathy, a disease that's like dementia for football players or sports players where numerous concusions are involved. Stanton didn't know what he was doing, so he can't be held responsible, thus he was found not guilty, with help from his caring but in-denial wife (Beth Chamberlin) and defense attorneyBayard Ellis (Andre Braugher), called up by Olivia, who noticed Stanton had problems.

    This episode shows how sports players (whoget numerousconcussions) are at risk for CTE, which has dementia-like symptoms. So they may not remember saying or doing certain things. Thisepisode is not about police officers misjudging a suicide attempt.Stanton blew himself away by putting a gun to his chestso his brain could be used for medical testing fora possible cure for CTE. Had SVU written an episode like this between seasons 8 and 12, I'd be against the suicide attempt, but this episode; you can understand why he did what he did. You might even feel sorry for him.

    This episode has many powerful and compellingscenes between leading lady Mariska Hargitay, newcomer Danny Pino and guest starLaura Benanti (portraying Maria Amaro, his wife). But I think the guests who stand out the most are Treat Williams, Beth Chamberlin and Andre Braugher.

    This episode is probably the best of the 13th season (so far) and the best (so far) new showrunner Warren Leight himself has written.