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Kimberly Strand recaps the season 15 premiere of "Law & Order: SVU," in which we learn the fate of Detective Benson.

Law & Order SVU Recap: Surrender Benson – 15×1

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Law & Order SVU: Surrender Benson

Last season’s finale of “Law & Order: SVU” left us with Detective Olivia Benson being surprised in her own apartment at gunpoint by serial rapist and murderer William Lewis (Pablo Schreiber). As the show ended, we saw him take her (we were guessing) to the bedroom.

A feeling of horror actually came over me, because of his past crimes and the animosity he and Benson showed for each other during the finale. I know he wanted revenge … and he gets it … to a certain degree. I am sure all of you “SVU” fans are in agreement with me when I say, I was very nervous to watch this episode. I wasn’t sure what to expect.

As the show started, he had her tied up and told her how beautiful she was. She spit on him (which I don’t think I would do), and told him to shoot her. Liv! When her boyfriend called, I thought somehow she could send him a sign that she was in trouble, but to no avail.

She tried to reason with Lewis, saying, “I will pretend this never happened.” No way was he going to go for that, especially knowing how much she wanted him in jail during the season finale.

Then, knowing he wasn’t going to let her go, she told him how the department will get him, “You think that you’ve put people through hell, it will rain back down on you,” meaning her fellow detectives will make him pay (which I wish would have happened). Let it rain – he hits her with his gun.

When all the detectives went to her apartment, you could see the worry and anger on their faces. Everyone was very upset – and then, “It smells like burnt flesh,” – they knew she was in big trouble.

Captain tells them to drop everything – the top priority was to find Liv.

The journey Lewis and Liv took was very ominous. Pablo played this awful man brilliantly. You really believed he was evil. What did you guys think?

As Lewis took her from place to place, he poured alcohol down her throat so she would pass out, making her plead for any bit of water. He beat her, burned her, made her take sleeping pills, toyed with her, and made her watch him rape his attorney’s mother before he killed her. It was awful.

How sick was it when she was tied up in the back seat and he just drove and sang, “Ain’t we got time…”

How excited was I when the cop pulled him over. I thought he would see Liv, but no, Lewis kills him. I think that’s when Liv thought to herself she might not survive the ordeal.

The scene where she tried to get away and then he began to cut her clothes off (this episode had to be hard for her to shoot) – the whole scene was awful! Then Liv said, “You might want to keep me around. I know what you like.”

I thought this was risky, but she had to try. She was playing mind games with him. She knew the details to his rapes. They go back and forth with the talk. He gets mad and puts his gun in her mouth.“You don’t tell me what to do!”

Then she was broken down and said, “I want to live. I’ll do anything.” Poor Liv. At that point, I really thought she did mean she would do anything, didn’t you?

Okay, then the cleaning lady. I really almost lost it when Lewis pulled the cleaning lady’s little 5-year-old girl in. I thought to myself, “there is no way they would do anything bad to the little girl,”… would they? It really scared Liv when he brought her in.

I like that Liv started really thinking about his motivation. It was great (but scary, because who knows how he would react), and then she started questioning him about why he liked young girls and old women. Whoa. When she said that, she wondered if he could get it up (wow) for a real woman, and that he prays on the weak. “I think you’re afraid of me.”LawO_SVU_Features_1

Then … yes! She gets the bar loose from the bed she is tied to and let’s him have it! Tables turned … she handcuffs him and then… her emotions came out in force.

“I want to shoot you in the head and watch you bleed out.” Intense. She brought up her old partner – “he would know what to do.” They talk back and forth – intense conversation. Were you guys as exhausted as I was?

When he started to tell her about what his “daddy” used to do. I thought, okay, now we are going to understand why he is the way he is … but no, it wasn’t like that at all, was it?

He did enjoy being a bad bad guy. After his “speech” when he said, “Those were the best years of my life,” I really couldn’t believe it, and she couldn’t either.

“I want you dead, I want to put a bullet through your head.” She just couldn’t decide what to do … but then she did it, after he said, “I knew it, you don’t have the balls.” Oops, that was a mistake. Wham wham wham – she literally smashed him with the bar.

Well, I knew she was going to have some issues after all was said and done, and she does. I think her therapy is going to be a big part of the season (and she cut her hair off – boo hoo). Interesting that she told the therapist that he did get to her, but not the way you think. I think it has to do with Lewis bringing up her dad? Hum. What do you think?

In conclusion, this was a very trying episode. I think both actors did a fantastic job making it look very real and drawing us into the drama. I am looking forward to seeing how they handle her emotions and how it affects her throughout the season.

This episode of “Law & Order: SVU” was very intense and hard to watch. What did you think of it? How do you think Olivia will deal with this event? 

Kim is married, has two teenagers and lives in Seattle. She is a freelance writer for Reel Life With Jane, and has written two screenplays and is starting a third. Her ultimate goal is to see one make it to the big screen, and be part of that process. She grew up watching TV and movies with her grandmother, and her favorites are “Meet Me in St. Louis” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” Her favorite TV show is “Bones,” and she loves reading, writing, spending time with family and friends, travel, helping with fundraisers, and enjoying good food and wine. Follow Kim on Twitter at @kimberlystrand1.

Kimberly Strand has written posts on Reel Life With Jane.


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