The SVU unit is confronted with a murder case yielding too many suspects and too many confessions in "Tragedy," the opening episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit's fifth season. Things take a truly disturbing turn a few episodes later in "Loss," wherein Assistant DA Alexandra Cabot's (Stephanie March) relentless prosecution of a murder tied ...
The SVU unit is confronted with a murder case yielding too many suspects and too many confessions in "Tragedy," the opening episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit's fifth season. Things take a truly disturbing turn a few episodes later in "Loss," wherein Assistant DA Alexandra Cabot's (Stephanie March) relentless prosecution of a murder tied in with a Colombian drug cartel results in her death -- or so it appears to the world. The next episode, "Serendipity," introduces Diane Neal as Cabot's replacement, ADA Casey Novak, who immediately develops an adversarial relationship with detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni). Novak's professional zeal is admirable, but she proves to have as many human flaws as anyone else in the series -- notably in the season finale, "Head," in which she lives to regret allowing a child molester to cop a plea and win a lighter sentence. Season five marks the series' 100th episode, "Control," about a mutilation victim who turns out to be a sexual predator and kidnapper -- leading to Benson being raked over the coals in court because she'd refused to heed the warnings of one of the predator's potential captives. Benson is also the focus of attention in "Escape"; trying to defuse a hostage situation involving an escaped convicted pedophile, the detective ends up concluding that the man was the innocent victim of widespread political and departmental corruption. In a similar vein, the SVU unit's skipper, Captain Cragen (Dann Florek), faces the grim possibility that he may have unwittingly railroaded a guiltless criminology professor on a rape-murder charge in the episode "Criminal." And like Cragen, Det. Munch (Richard Belzer) is forced to confront the demons of his own past while handling an assisted-suicide case in "Painless." Hal Erickson, Rovi
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