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September 16, 2014

Law & Order SVU: Burned

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 10th 2007 2:49PM
svu cast(S08E11) Boy howdy, things sure are tense between Dets. Benson and Stabler. I thought their issues were in the past, but they never really can be, can they? Stabler immediately pushed Benson's buttons in this episode when he suggested that a man who is addicted to drugs and alcohol isn't technically abusive. Of course, Benson grew up with an alcoholic mother and she knows that abuse comes in many forms. Stabler knows that too, dammit, but he feels an obligation to side with the man in a nasty divorce case because his own divorce isn't going too well.

Now to the story: A woman, Valerie (Michael Michele), accuses her soon-to-be ex-husband of raping her. But it all seems fishy because she and her husband, Miles (Blair Underwood), are going through a nasty, nasty divorce. Their daughter, Tessa (Tiffany Evans), is in the middle of it.

The first half of the episode is a back-and-forth, second guessing whether or not Miles actually raped his wife, and bickering between Benson and Stabler. Then things get real interesting. It becomes a contest of which parent can sink to the lowest level. Valerie insists that Miles raped her, even though he swears he only grabbed her and shook her. We don't know the truth until the very end, when Olivia learns that Valerie was sleeping with a man from her divorce lawyer's law firm and that was who she had sex with on the day she claims Miles raped her. But things have gotten out of control at that point. Valerie's lie has sent Miles to jail, but he got out on bail and immediately doused her with gasoline and lit her on fire.

This was a great episode because no one was truly innocent, except the daughter caught in the middle of her parents' divorce. Miles was guilty of making life hell for his family while he was addicted to drugs and alcohol. His wife, Valerie, made their divorce hell for him in retaliation. But she took it way too far and pushed him over the edge. She was still lying about her husband raping her even as she was dying in the Burn Unit. Of course, the whole fiasco made Stabler sign the divorce papers. And the two detectives ended up agreeing to give each other a break because both of their lives have changed since they were first partnered together.

Did anybody notice who directed this episode? It was Eriq la Salle, formerly Dr. Benton of ER.

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BC McKinney

Ahhh, right, I recognized him, but couldn't remember whether his "Homicide" character had appeared in the "L&O" universe. Of course, with about 30 seasons of the various "L&O" shows around, various actors have appeared multiple times in different roles

January 11 2007 at 7:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Simone Sartre

Thank you for sharing Law & Order's Burn episode. It was a very powerful and intense episode! The scene with Michael Michelle laying on the gurney in the Burn Unit at the hospital was very well depicted. I appreciate having the opportunity to visit TVSquad.com to confer on what I had seen. Simone.

January 11 2007 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
johnnymac

One more that you missed. That was Peter Gerety who played Det. Stuart Gharty on Homicide for a few seasons playing the judge that Benson and Stabler went to talk to about the restraining order.

January 11 2007 at 10:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

It was a little strange to see Michael Michele, who played Detective Rene Sheppard on "Homicide: Life on the Street" and a crossover episode of "Law & Order", playing a different character here, while Richard Belzer, who played Detective Munch on "Homicide" and various episodes of "L&O", continued to play Munch on "SVU".

And yes, I kept hoping Stabler was finally going to snap and pop bitchy Olivia in the kisser--or else ravish her in their squad car.

January 11 2007 at 12:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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