Reviews & Ratings for
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" Charisma (2004)

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17 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

One of the most suspenseful episodes of L&O: SVU History

10/10
Author: rochelle-rochelle from United States
17 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It is episodes like this why I watch the show. The close-up shots of all four detectives as they looked at the children in the dark is gut-wrenching.

Meloni's acting was awesome in not "dealing" with his emotional issues from that scene wanting to get his psych eval "overwith". It was awesome seeing how that previous scene affected each of the detectives differently and the one person who we thought was a ROCK was sent home without a gun.

Mariska's scene confronting Sarah in the interrogation room, getting in her face, yelling, was awesome and very moving. Now THAT was what makes Mariska one of the best actresses out there! And the ending scene when Abraham says, "What are you going to do, detective? You going to shoot a pregnant child?" and her reply, "You son of a bitch." was dead on spot on awesome. The way she said that line was amazing and she delivered it with such power and such disgust. I was on the edge of my seat in the last few minutes of this episode not knowing how it was going to end.

The ending was awesome and everyone's acting jobs were spot-on worthy of nominations. THIS is why I watch the show. Awesome, disturbing and dramatic. Very powerful.

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant episode!

10/10
Author: ukxenafan1 from United Kingdom
14 December 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of the best SVU eps I have seen. It deals with the insane leader of a cult (Jeff Kober- ALWAYS crazy!) and the deaths of children who may or may not be his.

What makes this episode so good is that for once on SVU we get a really emotional story. The detectives are forced to undergo counselling after witnessing the death of the children, and deal in different ways. Stabler's increasing anger with the world will continue to make its presence felt in the future. Mariska Hargitay is especially wonderful, in showing Olivia's struggles to deal with the appalling crime, her confrontation with the wife of the cult leader, and the climax of the episode with the cult guy and his teen bride (sort of).

Benson is the ideal woman! Compassionate, strong, beautiful. They have made her pretty much perfect...ah Olivia!! We love you!

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

One of the reasons Season #6 is the best.

6/10
Author: Ddey65 from United States
25 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***MILD SPOILER***

Season 6 of Law & Order SVU is one of the better seasons of this police drama, and three episodes make it even better. The very non-Disney appearance of Danielle Panabaker in the episode "Intoxicated," Jennette McCurdy's Emmy-grabbing role as a terrified sexual abuse victim in the episode "Contagious," and in this case her Captain Redlocks co-star Holliston Coleman as a pregnant, confused 12-year-old cult member.

Coleman plays Melanie Cramer, a 12-year-old pregnant girl who is weeks if not days away from going into labor, and was found by the hospital to have been pregnant before. The hospital she's staying at calls SVU, and Detective Benson is called in to interview the girl, who claims to have a husband. Upon investigating the home of her alleged husband, she and the rest of the NYPD find that he's the leader of a Branch-Davidian-type religious cult who decide to shoot it out with the police, only to end up massacring almost all the children, except for Melanie, who he kidnaps. Needlesss to say the cops are devastated by this and are ordered to take a psych exam in order to continue working on the case. Much to our surprise, Benson passes, Stabler fails, and while Fin also passes as well, he bows out.

The cult leader turns out to be a career con-artist named Eugene "Abraham" Hoff, played by Jeff Kober, a man who has rarely if ever played a normal person. An apparently anonymous caller inquired about her son, who turns out to be one of the victims, and also turns out to be Melanie's mother. Unfortunately, like the other surviving members, all of which are female, none of them are talking. Benson's interrogation of Melanie's mother is almost as vicious as Stabler in other episodes. She knows as well as the rest of the SVU that Abraham's fortune depends on the birth of Melanie's child. She also knows that revealing the true whereabouts of her husband is the key to getting the girl's mom to spill the beans, and leads to an unforgettable showdown. In fact, despite the spoiler tag, I'm not revealing anything else and ending this comment here.

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Kober's psychotic best

7/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
26 January 2015

Jeff Kober is a most under appreciated actor, a kind of Bruce Dern for a different generations. He's played some of the most psychotic villains ever seen on the big and small screen and in this SVU episode he's at his psychotic best. Seeing his name in the credits I knew he'd be the bad guy before the story really got started.

The SVU squad gets into this one responding to gunshots fired at a building where kids are alleged to be. After a short standoff they come in and find a Jonestown like scene. Veteran police officers who've seen it all come undone with this one.

They're all members of a religious cult and Kober is the charismatic and evil beyond redemption leader. The lines between a cult and a harem are completely erased for him, he's impregnated a bunch of his female followers, some of them barely in puberty. He also has no male followers in his cult.

The end is a standoff between Mariska Hargitay and Kober with one of his pregnant child victims holding a gun. A really harrowing moment for Olivia Benson.

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13 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

charisma; beware of false teachers

10/10
Author: ujoshuadesireu from United States
2 February 2009

i am a born again Christian who believes its absolutely imperative to know what is in the word of god. this episode of law and order got deep under my skin and should be more than enough motivation to convince any rational believer to dust off their bibles and start digging into it. this is a horror story of not just what COULD happen to people who are ignorant to what God really has to say about false teachers. It DOES happen. an utter nightmare of what happens when men look to other men to do their thinking for them. my heart goes out to family members who have lost loved ones to these wolves in sheeps clothing. a message to those who are asleep and think this could never happen to them. time to wake up.thanks a million for a truly awesome job and god bless

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