Law & Order: SVU is ready to turn the tables. There have been male survivors over SVU's 25-year history, but none quite like this.
According to spoilers for Law & Order: SVU Season 25 Episode 3, the man was drugged and remembers nothing the next day -- an experience that is sadly all too common, but usually the victim is the woman.
And to make matters worse, the woman who did it reports it, only for Benson to assume she's the survivor!
The 30-second trailer left me scratching my head, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
The biggest question for me is why the woman turns herself in. That's unusual. Let's hope whatever the reason is, it isn't contrived. SVU could make some great points about gender-based assumptions with this story, but only if everything happens organically.
Sometimes, the series tries too hard to make a point about social problems, which comes off as fake, preachy, or bizarre.
That woman's refusal to identify a rapist because he was Black on Law & Order: SVU Season 25 Episode 2 was a prime example of that, so hopefully, we won't have the same problem this time.
Benson has good reasons to assume that the woman is the victim. A clip on the spoiler video has her walking into the squad room to report a rape.
Still, some implicit bias may be at play; if so, exploring it will be fascinating.
Olivia Benson has always stood up for survivors regardless of gender, and she'd like to think she's bias-free. But nobody is, of course, and she'll have to face that.
From the spoiler video, it seems like she immediately launches into one of her inspirational speeches to support the survivor -- only for the woman to admit that she's the one who did something wrong!
That has to give Benson pause, especially coupled with her recent failure to realize that Maddie was in trouble when she spotted her while stopped at a traffic light.
Her perceived failure to protect Maddie has weighed heavily on her, and Benson is currently viewing every case through the lens of her inability to save a teenage girl from harm.
So, getting this new case wrong will also eat at her, whether or not she had valid reasons to assume she was talking to a survivor rather than a perp.
This story is also important because too many people still label sexual assault and rape as women's issues.
Unfortunately, many women experience this type of traumatic crime. But 1 out of 10 survivors is male, and male survivors often have mental health issues related to being made powerless when our society teaches them they are supposed to always be in control.
This is the other side of the misogynistic coin, and it's an issue that needs to be talked about more.
There have been a handful of moving survivor stories over the years that involved men, but there haven't been any in a while. It'll be interesting to compare these modern stories with ones that happened years ago.
Fin and Bruno's reactions will be fascinating, as will Carisi's as the prosecutor.
The spoiler video depicts Fin reporting to Benson that the man doesn't remember anything, so he's taking the lead on this case. But will he fully believe the victim, or will he have doubts?
As a newer member of SVU who resents how victims were mistreated in the Bronx, Bruno may be more open to the idea that men can be victims than Fin, who is old-school. Carisi tends to be somewhere in the middle.
These different perspectives could lead to some fantastic conflict in the squad room.
Spoilers also say that Benson will be comforting a family when tragedy strikes a second time. Does this spoiler have to do with Maddie's disappearance?
Maddie has been missing since Law & Order: SVU Season 25 Episode 1, so her chances of being found alive are slim. They're not zero, but by now, everyone but Benson has probably lost hope.
The kidnapper might have sent some evidence that Maddie is dead, which may or may not be authentic. But it would also be a reason for Benson to comfort and support them.
It would also intensify her guilt if the family believed Maddie was dead.
Still, Benson'll be determined to find out what happened, and we might get a happy ending by the end of the season if Maddie turns out not to be as dead as previously reported.
The other possibility is that something happens to one of Maddie's parents. That would be a second tragedy rather than an extension of the first.
Maddie's disappearance caused tension and arguments between them. They seemed headed for divorce -- and not just a split for the sake of drama, either. Maddie's kidnapping appeared to bring some hidden conflicts to the surface.
But if one of the parents disappears or dies too, that would be almost too much for the family to handle, and Benson might drop everything to comfort them.
Hopefully, she can balance that with her other cases. Please do not repeat when her half-brother needed help, and she kept walking out of meetings about the case before they were finished.
What do you think, Law & Order: SVU fanatics? How will these stories play out?
Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know.
Law & Order: SVU's historic 25th season airs on NBC on Thursdays at 9/8c. New episodes are available to stream on Peacock the day after they air.