Tonight, Law & Order: SVU season 20 episode 9 focused on a difficult, painful week for the entirety of the unit. Much of it started with an allegation that was made against none other than prosecutor Peter Stone, stemming far within his past.
Here is the impetus for this case — twelve years ago, Stone woke up one night after some hard partying to find himself in bed, alone. He didn’t reminder everything that happened, but a young woman named Sarah Kent just so happened to also be there and, in the aftermath of everything that happened, she claimed that he sexually assaulted her. She woke up, without her clothes on and in bed with him. She knew that she did not consent to anything and that’s what was the impetus for an investigation — one that Stone himself started. He claimed that he was not a rapist and did nothing wrong. With that in mind, he thought that this was the best way in order for him to properly move forward.
Yet, this case ended up being so much more complicated than anyone first expected. For starters, it was difficult to get the real story from Sarah, given that at first, she didn’t want to actually speak to authorities. She just wanted the whole thing to go away. That changed, though, when her husband got involved — he wanted nothing more than vengeance. As a matter of fact, he took some of that vengeance so far that he held Peter at gunpoint in front of people at a bar. The gun wasn’t loaded, but nobody knew that and as a result of it, he sent everyone into a panic. (Yet, Stone didn’t want to press charges.)
The more that this case went along, the more it started to feel as though something was missing. Stone insisted nothing happened, and Sarah had blamed Stone mostly because he was the one person in the room at the time she woke up. It actually turned out, though, that it was Stone’s friend who raped her within the hotel room. He was the one who did the act and then left, and Benson was able to get a confession out of him mostly by testing his character. If he was willing to commit perjury in a rape case, he would probably be willing to do a number of other unspeakable things. That includes rape a woman and leave it as though his friend Peter did the act instead.
The good news here is that Stone was able to escape prosecution after Benson found the real culprit. Yet, this is a case that will likely stick with him for some time. He experienced what it was like being the accused and while he did not actually the commit the act, we do wonder if there is any part of this that remains on his reputation.
This was a painful episode at times, but once again you have to give kudos to Philip Winchester, Mariska Hargitay, and the rest of the cast and crew for giving this material so much nuance and depth.
What did you think about Law & Order: SVU season 20 episode 9 overall? Share right now in the attached comments. (Photo: NBC.)