Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Season 9, Episode 12

Signature (8 Jan. 2008)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
8.5
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 192 users  
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Detectives Benson and Lake get the help of an FBI agent as they search for a serial killer who brutally attacks young women. However, there are signs that the agent may not be able to handle the mental and emotional weight of the case.

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Title: Signature (08 Jan 2008)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Detective Elliot Stabler (credit only)
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Sergeant John Munch (credit only)
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Dr. George Huang (as B.D. Wong)
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FBI Special Agent Lauren Cooper
Jane Cronin ...
Helen Moore
Rosemary De Angelis ...
Mrs. Tillman
Cindy Katz ...
Valerie Barrow
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Storyline

Detectives Benson and Lake get the help of an FBI agent as they search for a serial killer who brutally attacks young women. However, there are signs that the agent may not be able to handle the mental and emotional weight of the case.

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detective john munch


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TV-14 | See all certifications »

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8 January 2008 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Olivia says that the lands and grooves on a shell casing will prove that the rogue FBI Agent killed the serial killer with a particular gun. Shell casings do not have these markings, only the fired bullet does. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
FBI Special Agent Lauren Cooper: Those who fight monsters has better make damn sure they don't become one.
[Lauren reaches into the back of her waistband]
Detective Chester Lake: Gun!
[before Benson and Lake can react, Lauren puts the gun to her head and pulls the trigger]
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Signature
7 June 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is my first review of an SVU episode. I didn't get into the show until about 2 years ago, but it's a great show. One thing that always bothers me is the 1-word episode titles that make it difficult to distinguish between episodes, but oh well.

This episode really moved me. First, Chris Meloni & Ice-T don't appear. Adam Beach gets good face-time, helping Mariska out this go-around.

The FBI agent (Erika Christensen) who teams with Mariska Hargitay is very good. Besides that, the storyline tugs at the viewer's heartstrings.

Basically, a serial killer who specializes in torturing women for days upon days is the centerpiece of the story. He's killed over 20 women. There are especially brutal scenes that show what the killer did to his victims.

I don't want to get into the plot too much, but there's 2 scenes that I want to discuss. First, Mariska (aka Detective Benson) locates a victim who's still alive. I don't know the actress's name, but hopefully she got some more acting jobs based on her performance, because it's excellent, even though it's short. The terror & screaming seem all too real. I just felt so sorry for her.

UPDATE: The actress who played the victim who survived her initial torture is named Amanda Leigh Cobb, & IMDb lists this as her only acting credit. Hopefully she will reconsider, because she's got potential & range that would serve her well in an acting career.

The final scene has enough emotional impact to stop a freight train in its tracks. I still haven't seen half the episodes of the show, but Mariska really reacts to the death of one of the central characters in a way I'd never seen her do before, literally breaking down & sobbing.

The death is just so quick & such a waste. I found myself skipping back on my DVR to watch that final scene over & over. I think you will, too.


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