Law and Order Analysis

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Law and Order: Special Victims Unit is a show following detectives who work in a unit which focuses on special cases such as rape, sexual assault, and child molestation. The show follows the detectives, their captain, and a frequently appearing prosecutor as well. Although purely fictional, the show has a sense of reality to it. It is based in New York City, where there is plenty of real crime daily. The characters themselves can all be related to by the audience in different ways. In season fourteen, episode twenty-four, “Her Negotiation,” the unit faces off against a demented psychopath who knows how to manipulate the legal system to get away with rape and murder. The entire unit seems determined to put this man behind bars, but none more than detective Olivia Benson. In the beginning of this episode, two men appear to be on kitchen duty. One tells the other it’s his turn to do the dishes. The other man goes to the sink, touches the water, and jumps back declaring it is hot. The first man says, “Seriously? That’s not hot.” He then goes to the stove, turns on the burners, and puts his fingertips on them for a while. Then he says, “This is hot. It’s mind over matter.” (www.hulu.com) He acts excited and exhilarated as he is burning his fingers. Afterward he makes the other man smell his burnt flesh. The man who burnt his own fingers in this scene is the criminal for the episode. Thus his craziness has been established. The criminal’s name is Lewis Williams, he has many aliases. He also has some serious charges from his past, but no convictions. He was charged, but not convicted in several cases of kidnap, rape, torture, and murder. Each case fell through in different ways. The unit doesn’t learn of this until about halfway through the episode because of his burnt fingertips. They can’t identify him. He comes into the unit because a junior detective named Rollins is at Central Park where he exposes himself to two teenage tourists from

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