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Recap

On a reality show called Hearts Desire, women compete for the heart of Bachelor Ryan and Ryan is supposed to choose someone. It's on in the background where Benson and Tucker are eating dinner and they don't like it. Rollins and Carisi debate over who should win the competition. Meanwhile the girls on the show discuss their dates which makes Rollins cry though Carisi thinks it's very cheesy and ridiculous.

The scene gets darker as Ryan and one of the girls do a lot of drinking and he seems to be groping her (this is supposed to be part of the reality show). The girl is visibly upset at footage of sex with Ryan. She claims not to remember this. The director cuts to commercial.

Rollins shows the video to the others. Carisi is surprised this hasn't happened before. Fin thinks reality shows are all phony. Rollins wants to investigate. Benson gives her permission 

A director claims that the rape claim is fake and that Melanie doesn't want the police involved. She discovers she can't get rid of them easily so she takes them to Melanie with a preamble about what Melanie should say. The director is surprised when she is asked to leave the room.

Rollins talks to Melanie. She doesn't know what she feels because everyone is watching and filming. They go to the bathroom for privacy. Melanie doesn't remember having sex but it makes sense now that she's seen the video. She never reported it because she didn't remember what happened. The producers told her it wasn't rape because she said she wanted to lose her virginity to Ryan eventually. Carisi tells her that's not true. She doesn't understand why Ryan would rape her. She asks to borrow one of their phones so she can call her mom.

The director doesn't want Melanie going to the hospital.

Fin and Carisi talk to Ryan. He claims she gave him her virginity and that the sex was wonderful. He insists the rape claim was part of the script.

The guys fill Benson in. She asks if this is part of the show. Producers show up. They claim to be appalled by the accusation, but they seem to think that Melanie cried rape to stop from losing the game. They have an interview with Melanie to show them. Melanie claims in the interview that last night was a dream come true.

Melanie says that was before she realized about the sex. Rollins says rape kit tested positive for condom lubricant. Melanie doesn't want to go back to the house but the Princes have already put her in a hotel.

Barba will do what he can. Ryan shows up with his mother. The mother says she called the show. She's upset that her son has been accused of rape. Ryan now claims they didn't have sex. He claims he got freaked out because Melanie said that she wanted to have sex once they were married. But he wanted to stay on the show so he lied. Benson says the rape kit was positive. The mother wants to know what brand of condom. Ryan claims someone else came in and had sex with Melanie after he left.

Rollins and Benson interrogate the director again. They want to see the night footage. The Princes say they missed something. Footage shows Ryan saying good night and leaving. The director doesn't know where the sex footage came from. Benson says they will handle the unaired footage.

Production is suspended. House security cams will stay on and they will resume filming as soon as the investigation is over.

Interviews commence. Another girl claims to have spent the night with Ryan. Lizzie told her that Melanie and Ryan didn't work out and she should try. She found Ryan in the bar and they went to his room.  Maybe Melanie knew they were going to air that and lied to stop it.

John Valentine interrupts that Melanie is here looking for Ryan. It's on film. Melanie claims to have got an STD. Benson sends Finn and Carisi to the lunge as the girls start physically fighting. All the girls start fighting. Fin and Carisi break it up. Benson and Rollins tell Melanie about the timeline discrepancy. Benson demands the cameras be turned off. The Princes claim they check everyone for STDs before they are allowed on set. All men including producers and crew are tested for STDs

Footage is missing of after Ryan left. The Princes show up. Lizzie says there was a lot of complicated footage, it was on another hard drive, etc. They have footage of another guy, Graham. Lizzie claims the files were missing before because they were mislabeled. Benson is skeptical. Barba tells the Princes they tampered with evidence. Benson says she believes the Princes that they fired the editor.

Rollins and Carisi interview Melanie who is shocked that Graham was involved in this. She wants to know why director Lizzie didn't know.

Benson and Fin confront Graham. He claims he didn't rape her. He asks Lizzie to back up his story. The cameras are rolling and Prince won't turn them off. Graham is arrested on camera.

Graham claims that the producers told him not to come forward about his consensual sex with Melanie because they wanted Melanie/Ryan.

A special edition of Hearts Desire airs to report on the rape. Prince claims they made it their mission to catch the rapist. Benson and Tucker's date is interrupted so they can see that the interviews were filmed. Gigi claims that the cops didn't care that Graham was with Melanie. They make it look like SVU was incompetent and they had to take matters into their own hands. The Princes were filmed investigating all the footage. They even had film of their interview with Melanie at the end. They make Lizzie the director the fall guy, claiming she has been fired and covered up evidence on purpose. Benson is disgusted.

Melanie wants to know what will be done about the Princes. Barba is going to have a hard time making his case because the Princes manipulated all the witnesses. Barba and Benson talk to Lizzie who says the Princes ordered her to cover up evidence and that they would make Melanie accuse Ryan. Lizzie didn't think that Melanie was really raped. They want to use Lizzie as an informant. She meets the Princes in the park and accuses them of covering up. Mr. Prince claims this is what executive producers do. (Why are they stupid enough to do this in public?) Lizzie films it. Barba and Benson informs the Princes they have committed several felonies and could end up on the sexual offenders list. They make a deal and get a felony charge. Lizzie doesn't think they'll serve time. Lizzie is bitter and feels she brought out the worst in those girls. Melanie will never get over what happened. Graham also pleads guilty. Her mom comes to get her. She feels lost. Benson counsels her that she will get through this with time. Melanie feels stupid about thinking that she and Ryan would live happily ever after. Benson watches sadly as Melanie cries in her mother's arms.

Show:
Law & Order: SVU
Season:
Episode Number:
21

Law & Order: SVU Season 17 Episode 21 Quotes

Sonny: Did you see what I just saw?
Rollins: She wasn't acting. Did they just air a rape?

Benson:I'm sorry, can you turn this off?
Tucker: Or throw the TV out?