Tonight, Law & Order: SVU season 20 episode 5 introduced one of the creepiest adversaries of the season. Think in terms of Arlo Beck. Sebastian Roche’s character was the leader of a powerful, influential cult and someone who claimed that he wanted to “empower” women.
Yet, what was underneath the surface here was something far more sinister — there was a murder within this group and with that, the team had to figure out precisely how to figure out what really happened. Was it someone who desperately wanted to leave the cult and expose some of its secrets? Arlo was at the center of it all — he had a number of devoted believers who would be willing to do almost everything for him.
Was Lila one of these believers who would do anything? As it turns out, there was some substantial evidence of this very thing, something that they were able to specifically find via her heart-rate monitor. She insisted that she did not murder one of the other cult members, but in the end, there was too much evidence to pin her down.
Yet, there was a larger question still at the heart of this case: Did Arlo coerce her in order to commit the murder? Was this his own doing? The more the episode went along, the clearer that it became that much of everything was his doing. It was just such a great challenge to convince anyone to flip on him. He understand these women, how they felt, and how they acted. He could manipulate them to their heart’s content. He was not the sort of person who was going to confess right away, but with some additional coercion (including to his attorney), he was stopped before he could flee the country.
What’s happening with Benson and Noah?
While Rollins was taking the lead on much of the case, Benson was dealing with a very-stubborn version of her son. We didn’t get a big update on the relationship between the two tonight, but they’ve been going through a rough patch for the better part of the season. We don’t think that this is meant to represent anything larger beyond just that Noah is stubborn; yet, it’s still something worth watching.
SVU season 20 episode 4 was a fantastic hour for Amanda Rollins, who charged headfirst into this case and was determined to bring Arlo down. She recognized that some of the women who went into Arlo’s cult were damaged, and she had been through her fair share of it herself. As a matter of fact, she pushed so far into the case that Benson wasn’t pleased with some of her methods.
In the midst of what was a tough case (Arlo was eventually brought down), it was nice to have a moment for Rollins and Benson as Olivia told her she was happy for her, and Rollins agreed that it was time to go behind a desk for a while.
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