Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 1 Episode 5

Wanderlust

8
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 18, 1999 on NBC
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
154 votes
9

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
After a travel writer is found tied up with a woman's undergarments choking off his air supply, Benson and Stabler initially suspect his landlord's boyfriend, but suspicion soon turns to the landlord and her daughter. Both seem far too interested in what their tenant is doing with his time. After learning the daughter had a sexual relationship with the tenant, things take an even stranger turn.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • WanderLiv

    6.0
    For a man without much of a personal life due to being a travel writer, when Richard Schilling aka 'Schilly' ends up dead in the room he was renting from a private home owner, the investigation into his murder becomes quite complex.





    The suspicion going back and forth between the landlady and the sex offender boyfriend with the victim's own role being portrayed in several different ways while a bit messy made for an intriguing mystery and I really like Patricia Richardson (known best as Tim Allen's wife on 'Home Improvement'). Her characters always have a unique spice to them.





    The Stabler family scenes weren't highly relevant but I liked them. I appreciate at least one SVU character being humanized with an elaborate home life.





    Half this episode, however, was amateur hour.



    The misuse of the term 'pediophile' in regard to the landlady mother's boyfriend seemed like uneducated writing. His record is for touching teenage girls, pediophilia is the sexual interest of prepubencent children.





    We then have Benson accusing the landlady's daughter Virginia on the sole basis of the flaw in her story that she didn't remember what the body looked like when she found it which was extremely unprofessional.

    I'm not saying that it wasn't suspicious but it wasn't evidence, they had nothing that placed her at the crime scene and they had aboslutely no notion of her having a relationship with the victim much less her motive until her confession.





    "Come on, nobody forgets that!"





    Seriously? Where was Huang when that ignorance out of her mouth, for her entire lack of brain activity in this episode?! I really wanted to smack her.

    Wrong Benson. It's called repression!

    Or Virginia still had reason to want to pin it on the mother's boyfriend without having been the killer herself. It's not uncommon for kids with a divorced or single parent to have trouble accepting the parent dating and then throw in this man's criminal record of being handsy with teenage girls. It's completely plausible that Virginia was uncomfortable with this man dating her mother and being in her home. So regardless of who'd committed the murder she could have seen it as an opportunity to get rid of him. She did mention in her confession that Schilling was the only reason she could cope with being in that house, that she would break down while he was away on one of his trips.

    She could have also been trying to cover for her mother.





    Perhaps if Benson had a personal reason for her judgement to be unprofessional or had they developed the daughter's plausibility I'd have bought it.





    Schilling was not known for being into relationships, even his ex-wife had realized that so clearly Virginia felt more strongly for him than he did for her and he was leading her on having promised her that he'd take her on one of his trips then turning around and saying he needed to travel light when she packed up her stuff to take him up on it. Since Virginia was seemingly emotionally fragile it does make sense in the end why this would send her into a ***cidal rage.

    I still wish we'd gonna more though, the relationship between Schilling, the mother, Virginia and the sex offender boyfriend needed to be clearer to really shed light on why Virginia was felt so drawn to Schilling.



    Overall, not the best episode IMO but it was interesting.moreless
  • May to December gone twisted.

    7.5
    Benson and Stabler investigate the death of a tenant, who is also a travel writer. At first they suspect the landlady's boyfriend, who was a sex offender. But her daughter confessed she had a sexual relationship with the man before he died. They say he got killed after he and the girl got caught. But the girl admitted of killing him instead of rape because he wanted to travel light. They both had desires to travel, and that's sparked up their relationship. Talk about May to December romance gone twisted.



    This was a good episode, and there were no court scenes. And than actress from 'Home Improvement' suspected of murder, she was alright.moreless
  • this was a good ep

    9.0
    in this ep of the show law and order svu a man is found in his appartment with tape over his mouth and womens panties in his mouth. and they start to investgate and find out the mother could of had something to do with it so they go and question her and then they find out that her new boyfriend is not who he says he is and he was a convicted sex offender but thing is the daughter lies and says it was him. and then they find out the daughter was in love with the guy and so she had sex with him alot and the day he was killed she had sex with him and she stuffed the panties after she killed him since he would not take it with her. this was a good epmoreless
  • Just when you think who know who the killer is...look again...

    9.0
    This episode was full of many twists and turns! You never knew who to believe was the actual killer until the last 15 minutes or so of the show. At first I suspected the landlady (played by Patricia Richardson, of "Home Improvement" fame) since she was for the most part in love with the guy. Never did I expect it to be her daughter though. We find out that her daughter was "raped" by the tenant, only to find out that she was in love with him?! And got so jealous that she got obsessive...enough to kill him. Wonderful, wonderful writing. This was one of my favorite episodes of the season (I think Stalked was my absolute favorite though!).moreless
  • Wanderlust.

    9.5
    I liked this episode a lot. It showed how a mother daughter relationship was not easy when a man is involved. This episode started with a well known author found dead in his apartment with panties shoved in his mouth. The panties were his landlords but she says it wasn't and reported that her daughter was missing. They find the daughter in the train station and proved that she knew a lot about the trains helped a man find his train when Liv and El couldn't. I like how my country's food was commended in this episode and in the end the daughter was charged but not before she called her mom a BI**H.moreless
John Dossett

John Dossett

Tom Dayton

Guest Star

Henry Strozier

Henry Strozier

John Freeman

Guest Star

Lisa Tharps

Lisa Tharps

ADA

Guest Star

Michelle Hurd

Michelle Hurd

Det. Monique Jeffries

Recurring Role

Isabel Gillies

Isabel Gillies

Kathy Stabler

Recurring Role

Erin Broderick

Erin Broderick

Maureen Stabler

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Nitpick: When Benson is asking for information on the phone from Belize, she does so in Spanish. Even if in some areas of the country people speak Spanish, the official language is English, so she shouldn't need to ask in a different language.

    • Goof: When Benson and Stabler find Virginia and are leaving, a man walks over and asks for help. A woman in a cream sweater is walking by on the right, but after Virginia gives him directions several seconds later the camera pulls out and the same woman walks by again in the same direction.

    • Goof: During a scene in which Benson and Stabler are talking outside, two guys can be heard in the background yelling, 'Hey! They're on TV!'

    • Goof: Benson and Stabler interview Annabel Hayes at work and in some shots, the actress' hair is pushed back behind her ears and in others it is not.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • John Munch: The guy's wanderlust is one adverb short of Robert James Waller.
      Monique Jeffries: Mmmm... Bridges of Madison County.
      Brian Cassidy: That was incredible.
      John Munch: How 'bout incredibly banal: short, muscular sentences displaying total absence of original thinking?
      Brian Cassidy: I was talking about the movie.

    • (Munch has just explained one of conspiracy theories.)
      Jeffries: Is there anything you just accept?
      Munch: Yeah, ... compliments.

    • Donald Cragen: (to Stabler) Hey, don't worry when you feel something. Worry when you don't.

    • Donald Cragen: Elliot, your feelings will always be apart of your police work.
      Elliot Stabler: Yeah, but I...
      Donald Cragen: The more you try to deny that, the more control they will have over you.

    • Olivia Benson: (to Elliot) Haven't you ever tried to protect someone you love?

    • Olivia Benson: Virginia, Detectives Munch and Cassidy are going to take you home.
      Virginia Hayes: Can I drive?
      John Munch: Since you're probably as old as my partner, I don't see why not.
      Brian Cassidy: What?
      Virginia Hayes: Cool.

    • John Munch: Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia.

    • John Munch: Think you can still make direct deposit from the great beyond?

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • This episode is inspired by elements of the Vladimir Nabokov novel Lolita, including plot points and character names. Lolita features Humbert Humbert, a man in his forties, who becomes obsessed with a widow's 12-year-old daughter Lolita, who seduces Humbert. The term Lolita is often used to refer to extremely young women who seduce much older men.

    • John Munch: Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia.
      This is a play on words from the well-known quote 'Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus', best known from the 1947 George Seaton film Miracle on 34th Street; originally from an editorial in the New York Sun back in 1897.

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