In the criminal justice system, sexually-based offenses are considered especially heinous. And when those offenses revolve around a bestselling erotic novel that promises to release a woman’s “inner Venus,” they also tend to get especially ridiculous.
If you didn’t catch Law & Order: SVU‘s take on Fifty Shades of Grey last night, you missed out on an hour stuffed with twists, hammy performances, and dry references to nipple clamps. Veep‘s Anna Chlumsky guest starred as Jocelyn Paley, the author of a wildly popular novel that “makes Fifty Shades look like a Disney story.” Broadway (and Revenge) vet Roget Bart joined her as Adam Cain, a blowhard talk show host who rapes Jocelyn, then claims their rough sex was consensual. Sound intriguing? Then you’ll love this collection of the night’s best lines:
1. Cain, to Jocelyn when she first appears on his talk show: “I don’t know if I should kiss you or spank you.”
Jocelyn: “Who says you can’t do both?”
2. Detective Rollins, describing a scene in the book that’s similar to Jocelyn’s rape: “In Act Five, the main character is choked with a belt and sodomized. She has like, 18 orgasms.”
3. Sergeant Munch, describing the book: “The prose is pretty florid, although I admire any author who can work kitten nipple clamps and and ‘Albinoni’s Adagio’ into one sentence.”
4. Cain, proclaiming his innocence: “She gave me her panties in a restaurant.”
5. Detective Amaro, after Cain rapes Jocelyn again: “He also probably knows it’s Act Nine in the book — elevator sex. I read the masterpiece last night.”
6. New DA Rafael Barba (Raul Esparza!): “How about if Cain opens his mouth again, I’ll move for a gag order?”
Cain’s lawyer: “From what I heard, your witness likes those too.”
7. Detective Ice-T, after Munch mentions the book’s Renaissance allusions: “You can put a diploma on it — porn is porn.”
8. Cain’s ex-intern, Katie: “He’s not really a bad guy. It’s just when he gets that belt in his hands, he loses it.”
9. Cain, while on trial: “I don’t need to rape anyone, thank you. I do fine with volunteers.”
10. Barba, about to enter an unorthodox line of questioning in court: “As a regular Joe, I am curious about how this ‘belt around the neck’ thing is exciting. I am sure, Your Honor, that the jury is curious as well.”
Judge: “I’ll allow it.” When does the judge not allow it?
11. The crème de la crème: Barba ties his belt around his neck, then turns to Cain, who’s on the witness stand: “You said that she likes it rough, so show me how she likes it.” He makes Cain take the belt. “Feel the leather. Hold the belt. Now show me how you pulled on the belt.” Cain gives a weak tug. “You can do better than that. You call that being dominant? Show me,” Barba says. Each time he admonishes Cain, the talk show host pulls a little harder. “Show me,” Barba continues. “Pull it. Pull it. Tell me how you like it. Show me how you like it. Pull it. PULL IT!” And then Roger Bart chokes the crap out of Raul Esparza. In front of a jury. QED.
Phew! If you need me, I’ll be giving my mind a deep cleanse by reading some Laura Ingalls Wilder.