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“Law & Order: SVU” Recap: Sports drama

Note: This post contains spoilers for season 16, episode eight of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” entitled “Spousal Privilege.”

In this week's “SVU,” jaw-dropping twists are left behind in exchange for social commentary.

When the Ray Rice video leaked, people jumped to call him a wife beater and criticize his wife for staying. In this episode of “SVU,” the fictional wife gets to defend herself.

In one of the few Detective “Fin” Tutuola (Ice-T, “30 Rock”) appearances of the season, Fin is surfing celebrity nudes for underage victims when he stumbles upon sportscaster and football hall-of-famer A.J. Martin (Chad Coleman, “The Walking Dead) dragging his girlfriend Paula’s (Meagan Good, “Deception”) body across a parking garage.

The detectives attempt to question the couple, knowing nothing can really happen without a complaint by Paula. She relents Olivia’s accusations, claiming it was her fault for being drunk.

Elsewhere, Amaro and Collins are struggling through their own relationship. A drunk Collins defends Paula’s wish to be left alone, but uses it to antagonize Amaro, pushing and hitting him and showing her own jealousy of his wife.

“You can’t take this job home with you, and you can’t take anyone from this job home with you,” Fin said. Wise words, Fin.

Everything changes when video is released by the news source LMZ, showing AJ punching his Paula in the face. The public and the detectives have made up their minds about AJ’s guilt. AJ and Paula marry right afterwards.

While the media plays the punch video over and over, Olivia attempts to talk Paula into testifying, while Paula begs for everyone to stay out of her life. She’s made into a victim by the media but isn’t portrayed as a victim. She’s strong enough to snap to Olivia, and the show never portrays her with a bruise, or shaking or crying. She isn’t what the audience wants to see as a victim.

In the end, AJ is found guilty, and Paula is still angry at Olivia, and the world is still angry at Paula.

Tune into Law and Order:SVU on Wednesdays at 9 p.m.

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