Tonight on NBC Emmy Award-winning producer Dick Wolf’s crime drama, Law & Order: SVU continues with a new episode called, “Reasonable Doubt.” On tonight’s episode, a TV producer is accused of molesting his daughter, but the cops suspect the accusations are a ploy when his estranged wife won’t cooperate with them, yet she will speak with the media about the matter.
On the last episode Sergeant Benson (Mariska Hargitay) faced the aftermath of the beast’s final act. In the moments after William Lewis’ death, Sergeant Benson (Hargitay) was rescued by the SVU squad, but her torment continued. The Internal Affairs investigation of her actions is deemed inconclusive, and with no evidence to corroborate her story, Prosecutor Derek Strauss (Greg Germann) convened a grand jury and called for Benson’s arrest. With increasing pressure from Lt. Tucker (guest star Robert John Burke) and Lt. Murphy (Donal Logue) saved herself any way she can, Benson had to choose between her convictions and her badge. Also starred Ice-T (Detective Odafin Tutuola), Danny Pino (Detective Nick Amaro) and Kelli Giddish (Detective Amanda Rollins). Did you watch last week’s episode? If you missed it we have a full and detailed recap, right here for you.
On tonight’s episode a child is caught in the middle of a famous couple’s nasty divorce Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Murphy (guest star Donal Logue) question renowned television producer Frank Maddox (guest star Bradley Whitford) when he’s accused of molesting his 8 year-old daughter Chelsea (guest star Clare Foley). Maddox’s estranged wife, actress Catherine Summers (guest star Samantha Mathis), wants justice for her daughter but refuses to cooperate, leading the cops to suspect the accusation was a ploy to win the public’s favor. With Catherine’s young sister Rose (guest star Emma Bell) engaged to Maddox and accusations flying back and forth in the media, Benson strives to help a child by discovering the truth
Tonight’s episode looks like it is going to be great and you won’t want to miss it, so be sure to tune in for our live coverage of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU at 9:00 PM EST! While you wait for our recap hit the comments and let us know how excited you are about the new season?
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It’s disco night at a club. A woman leaves the dance floor and we see a drug deal going down. They see a badge and guns are pulled. They call cut on the TV show set and one of the actors yells about the interruption. Frank, the producer, comes in late complaining about everything that they’re filming. He tells a gay actor to act straight and take the woman like a man. Frank starts passionately kissing the female lead.
He tells him that he needs to make her want it. He tells them to add more fog. He tells them the set and costumes blow then stomps out to critique an old school police car. An actor tries to talk to them and Frank threatens to kill his character off. Benson and Murphy are on set and ask to speak to Frank about his daughter. He asks if Chelsea is okay and they ask to speak to him in private.
Frank asks what his ex Catherine is accusing him of now and they tell him that Chelsea’s pediatrician says she was sexually abused and that he was doing it. Frank says he’s in a custody battle and is going to call his lawyer. There’s a video of Chelsea saying her dad took off her clothes because she spilled ice cream and put her on the washing machine and said it felt good nad held her tight.
The team talks about the accusations and reveal that Frank was sleeping with his ex’s sister and that the video has time jumps. Barba says they’re all high profile so it’s going to be a media circus. Frank comes in to talk and tells them he’s an ass, but not a child molester. Frank’s lawyer – Cohen – says the pediatrician should be charged for making a false report.
Benson says they just need his side of the story. He asks if he was alone with Chelsea at Catherine’s apartment and he says the nanny and his son Daniel was there as well. He says his ex is nuts. Murphy asks if he assaulted his daughter and Frank says if he wanted to do that, he would wait and get custody and then do it. Cohen clarifies that it’s a big no.
Frank says he and his daughter were playing chess. Benson asks about the laundry room and he says he never goes in there because he’s terrified of spiders. Fin says he didn’t seem rattled and Benson says he used distancing techniques. Murphy says they can’t move forward without the daughter’s direct testimony. They plan to talk to the nanny and check out the laundry room.
Catherine says she knows Frank did it and may not have been the first time. She says he’s obsessed with Chelsea. Benson and Amaro say they can’t move forward without talking to Chelsea. Catherine says that’s why she made the video but Benson pushes and they sit down with Chelsea with Catherine in the room. Amaro asks Chelsea if she knows the difference between truth and pretend.
Amaro asks to talk to Catherine in another room and Benson says she’ll stay with Chelsea. Benson tells her she say the video she made with her mom. She asks if it was real and if her mom gave her lines to say. Chelsea says it’s real. Catherine tells Amaro she was gone to a matinee with her sister when Frank was there. It wasn’t Rose, the cheating sister, it was her other sister.
Catherine says Frank stops by when he wants instead of sticking to the visitation schedule. She saw Chelsea told her they played a secret game in the laundry room then said her vagina hurt. Catherine says he was in the laundry room. The nanny tells Fin the kids were never out of her sight the whole time Frank was there. Fin asks her if she’s drinking mint and parsley to cover the smell of smoking.
She says Frank knew she smoked and said they were playing chess in the living room when she went out to smoke but when she came back they were coming out of the laundry room and Chelsea’s dress was unbuttoned and her tights were off. Amanda talks to Frank’s son Daniel and he says his dad says that boy’s are dirty but he likes girls and dressing them up. Daniel says that his dad said Chelsea could be on the show but not him. He says his parents are always yelling at each other.
Benson tells Murphy that Chelsea’s story is consistent. The mom isn’t quite credible. Murphy says the girl is just a pawn. Amanda says a news site has broken a story of photos Frank took of an actress when she was under 18. That ups the ante to possibly child porn and they go out to investigate this new allegation.
Amanda and Fin pull up and there’s a media circus. They say if Catherine released them, she’s got the results she wants. Mavis answers the door when they ask for Catherine. Mavis tells Chelsea to go find her mom then play in her room. Mavis says she’s sick about Chelsea and says it was bound to happen. She says Catherine had a rule that Chelsea couldn’t be alone with Frank after the Rose incident.
Mavis says she set up nanny cams and she was the one that caught Rose and Frank sleeping together. She says that Frank knew there wasn’t a nanny cam in the living room. Catherine tells them the press attention is why she didn’t want to come forward and she blames Frank for the photos. The photos of her sister Rose are undetermined in age. Amanda says they need jpegs to know when they were taken.
Catherine says if she had them, she would have used them in the divorce. Rose tells Benson and Amaro that Catherine is being vindictive and she released the photos. She says that Frank told her their relationship would cost her the ties to her sister. Rose says Catherine should move on and says it wasn’t her intent to hurt her. Frank tells the cops this is an invasion of his privacy.
Benson says they found his hair in the laundry room. He says it’s all over his clothes and the house and they tell him it’s not that kind of hair. They also found his fingerprints on the washer. Frank admits he was in the laundry room briefly and he says his daughter was in there and he was checking on her. Cohen says they should charge Catherine with child endangerment.
Geraldo Rivero is reporting on the case and Amanda watches. She calls Amaro out to watch the interview with Frank. He says that Catherine has brainwashed their daughter. He says his ex is bitter about the break up. Frank says that Catherine likes drama, is a narcissist and is turning his loving relationship with Rose into a Greek tragedy. Rose is there with him and he says that Rose is doing a stint on his show then is heading back to school.
Catherine comes onto the set and they tell her he’s not there but she’s looking for Rose. Catherine comes in and tells Rose she’s selling herself for a role. Rose tells her not to do this. She asks if she’s drunk and Catherine says she’s never been more clear headed in her life. Frank comes down and gestures for them to roll the cameras. Frank comes in and stands by Chelsea and says it’s enough.
Catherine says that Frank took her into the laundry room and molested him. Chelsea asks if they can please go. Catherine comes to the police station and says that she’s ready to press charges. Mavis takes the girl into the other room as Catherine says she can’t let Frank get away with this. Murphy asks if she and Chelsea are ready for all this and she says they are.
Chelsea sits in a private room and testifies on camera. It’s showed in the courtroom. She repeated the ice cream story and says her dad took off her dress and tights and put her on the washing machine. She says it was moving. She says he touched her on the privates and then kissed her like she showed in the drawing. Barba asks what the red circles are and she says those are the places she touched him. The circles show her breasts and crotch.
Cohen takes his turn and tells her she’s a good girl. He says he knows she does what her mommy says. He asks if her mommy gave her any lines to practice and she says no. She says she told her to tell the doctor what she told her. She asks if her mom reminded her and she says she did so she wouldn’t get confused. Cohen presses and says she did practice lines and she says it was just so she wouldn’t forget. Cohen thanks her and says she’s a nice girl.
Catherine takes the stand and says she didn’t coach her. She says Chelsea told her that her vagina hurt and she asks if she was wiping too rough but she says that it was her daddy. Catherine says she was still reeling from Frank sleeping with her teenage sister. Catherine says that Frank has known Rose since she was a young girl and used to dress her up and call her his little leading lady.
Barba asks what she noticed after discovering the affair with Rose. Catherine says he was obsessed with Chelsea and that she has since found out his behavior is called grooming by pedophiles. She says he was always tickling her, changing her clothes, putting her on his lap and playing just with her. Barba asks if the nanny left them alone.
Cohen takes his turn and tells Catherine he admires her work as an actress. He says that Frank’s actions sound like a loving father and she says he ignores their son. He asks if she has ever seen him do anything inappropriate and she says no. He asks when she started noticing this behavior and asks if it was when Frank broke up with her.
Catherine says that’s not why she took her to the doctor. Cohen shows them a porcelain figurine of a woman that has torn her heart out of her chest. She says she did send it because she wanted him to know how he felt. She says he destroyed their family. Cohen says she was mad and wanted revenge and she says she would never have done this to get back at Frank. Cohen says – yet here we are.
Benson puts her arm around Mavis. The nanny is on the stand saying they were playing chess. She says she never saw them coming out of the laundry room. Barba reminds her she said she saw them coming out of the laundry room. She says she meditates a lot so she can focus on the present instead of living in the past. Barba asks if what she said to the police then was more accurate. She says that all she remembers is them playing chess. She says Chelsea loves her father.
Catherine and Mavis tells Barba that he got to her. Mavis says he always gets that way and Benson asks what she means by always. Mavis and Catherine argue and Mavis tells her she can’t believe she didn’t know what kind of man she is. She storms off.
Amanda says that the defense brought in a psychiatrist saying that Chelsea has an overactive imagination. Frank’s female producer took his side. Fin says the guy is guilty. Amanda isn’t sure. Murphy pulls Amanda into his office and asks if there is something he needs to know. He asks if she’s protecting Frank and she says she doesn’t like seeing people get railroaded.
Murphy says she’s had complicated relationships with older male authority figures. He pokes at her relationship with her dad too. Murphy asks if she has a blind spot about men in power. Back in court, Frank takes the stand. He says the business is tough on women. He says Catherine has struggled as an actress and he says he and Rose never meant to hurt anyone but admits he hurt Catherine.
Cohen asks about the on-set harangue Catherine subjected him to. He says his main issue with his ex is her dragging their daughter into this mess. Frank says that she’s trying to destroy his reputation. He categorically denies hurting her. He says he’s guilty of wanting his daughter to feel like a princess and says she’s a brilliant actor playing a part written for her by her mother.
He says he knows how this looks from the outside. He tells Catherine that he’s sorry they’re there. Frank says they made these beautiful children yet here they are. He apologizes for being arrogant and insensitive but says he has broken now law and would never hurt his daughter. He asks why he would risk everything he’s accomplished and says he doesn’t make sense.
Benson says it was odd that Mavis wasn’t there today. She comes to talk to Mavis and asks why she wasn’t in court and she says she’s heard enough of Frank’s lies. Mavis says she was 12 when Catherine and Frank got married. Mavis says she never liked attention. Benson asks her if Frank notice her when she was younger. Mavis looks nervous and says it wouldn’t matter if he did because he’s Frank Maddox and gets away with everything.
Benson says that she can protect Chelsea if she takes the stand. Mavis says his lawyers will ridicule her and call her crazy. She says she learned a long time ago that it’s Frank’s world and they just live in it. Benson says it doesn’t have to be that way. Mavis goes on a talk show with Ann Curry. She says when she was 13 Frank gave her a part in one of his shows.
She says he promised her if she did well, she could be on more shows. She says she was at a party after the show with famous actors and all this attention. She says Frank asked her to try the hot tub and put his hand under her bathing suit and then inside her and then he raped her. He says that’s how all his leading ladies got their roles. She says she was a kid and believed him.
Ann asks if she told anyone and she says her sister was marrying him and he took care of their family. She says she tried to warn Rose. She says she knew when she saw those photos of Rose. Mavis admits to leaking the photos of Rose. Ann asks why she’s acting now and Mavis says he hurt Chelsea and everyone just looked the other way. She says all you people that sit in silence and watch are Frank’s accomplices. She says talent doesn’t negate responsibility. She says she didn’t make it up or imagine it and says Frank knows what he did to her.
The cops watch. Cohen tries to get a mistrial because the jurors are prejudiced. Cohen admits he can’t produce his client. They ask if Frank left the country. He says he has no knowledge of that. Barba says he doesn’t need Frank there and the judge says he can be convicted in absentia. She says the trial will proceed. Barba tells them that Frank turned up in France. The court took his passport but he has dual citizenship.
Frank does an interview from France and says his wife and her sister have a vendetta against him. He says he won’t ever go back to the US because you can be convicted with no evidence. Rose speaks up and says if the allegations were true she wouldn’t be there with him. She says Frank is an artist and her hero. Murphy tells them the verdict is in.
The jury finds Frank guilty of sexual abuse in the first degree. Murphy tells Benson to get Catherine and her daughter an escort home. Benson clears the press as Catherine and Chelsea get out of the car. They thank her and Benson tells her to take care of her daughter. Catherine makes a brief statement and says the jury has spoken and he’s a convicted felon.
Benson and Amaro still aren’t sure who is telling the truth but they worry about Chelsea either way.