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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Episode 15.16 : Gridiron Soldier

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Poster

TV Info


Episode Premiere

March 05, 2014

Distributor

NBC

Genre

Drama

Show Period

1999 - now

Production Company

NBC, Studios USA Television, Universal Network TV

Cast and Crew


Director

Jean de Segonzac

Screenwriter

John P. Roche

Main Cast


Additional Cast

  • Winston Duke
  • Glenn Morshower
  • Glenn Fleary
  • Greg Finley

Synopsis


After another failed sports bet lands her in some serious debt with her bookie, Rollins contacts the only person she knows who can float her a loan and keep it discreet - Nate, her former sponsor (and former lover). He offers one condition: Rollins must attend a Gamblers Anonymous meeting. She agrees and shares a touching story about her father's history with gambling.

Back at SVU, an old friend from Georgia visits Rollins worried about his missing nephew, Cedric Jones, a college football recruit in town to check out a university. Jones went out after an official dinner, never returned and missed his flight home. Rollins and Fin question the football coach and Jones' chaperone, Eddie, neither of whom exhibits surprise. Jones had a few drinks, probably just came to party and, more importantly, admitted he already committed to Georgia Tech. Later, Amaro discovers Jones ended up at a gay bar where he was arrested for assault and charged with a hate crime for gay bashing.

The victim of the hate crime identifies Jones and, after some rigorous questioning and a lot of vague answers, Jones asks for a lawyer. At this point, the only person fighting for Jones' innocence is Rollins. Benson allows her some leverage to investigate and it's a good thing she does. It turns out the football team, angry about Jones' commitment to Georgia Tech, pranked Jones in the form of "straight baiting." With some help from a blindfold and two hot girls, Jones anticipated some kinky sex... but instead received oral sex from Ty, a gay cheerleader.

Despite this, Benson reminds Rollins they don't have a case against the football team - at best, the prank amounts to third-degree rape or rape by deception. All the adults consented in the act and, above all, no evidence exists to back up the claim. Rollins pleads for more time and Benson bends - but warns they will drop the case if evidence fails to surface. Rollins, Amaro and Fin take the instruction to heart and question the football team and cheerleaders in search of cell phone footage of the prank. None of the players strays from the party line and a depressed Rollins retreats to a bar - until she receives a major interruption. Jones attempted suicide in prison... and the resulting injuries guarantee he'll never play football again.

Records prove Jones saw one of the cheerleaders implicated in the prank before he tried to hang himself. When questioned, she admits the coach instructed her to warn Jones to stay quiet by showing him a video of the prank. This grabs Benson's interest and she confronts the coach on campus, but he stops short of admitting anything new and allows SVU to herd the whole football team in, one by one, for individual questioning. After hours of interviews, Amaro and Benson finally catch a break with Jones' chaperone, Eddie. Benson pegs him as a victim too wrapped in self-loathing to admit the false nature of his hard-nosed faƧade. He caves and confesses that his own hazing resulted in rape. And in his words, now he "doesn't feel anything anymore." He punches through a window in the room to prove his point.

With Eddie's confession, SVU has enough to arrest the coach and a handful of players on rape charges. More admissions trickle out to reveal a systemic problem of sexual assault. Later, Amaro approaches Eddie to thank him for his courage. The coach accepted a plea that keeps Eddie from testifying; no one will know about the rape. But Eddie says he's done with football and hits Amaro with one more revelation: he's gay. And Eddie can't imagine playing football as a closeted gay man for another ten years. He calls himself a coward - a stronger person would come out and still try for the NFL. But he's not ready for that. And according to Eddie, neither is the NFL.

Meanwhile, Rollins gathers her clothes post-coitus at Nate's apartment. Before she leaves, she tosses him a wad of cash - a lucky streak put her over the hump. Now they're even.

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PREMIERE PHOTO

Dann Florek
The Film Set of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
Dec 22, 2010
Dann Florek
The Film Set of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
Dec 22, 2010