Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Season 14, Episode 12

Criminal Hatred (30 Jan. 2013)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
8.1
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SVU and the DA's office struggle with finding the right strategy in a case dealing with a gay man who is picking up and then attacking closeted gay married men.

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Title: Criminal Hatred (30 Jan 2013)

Criminal Hatred (30 Jan 2013) on IMDb 8.1/10

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John Munch (credit only)
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Captain Donald Cragen (credit only)
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Minonna Efron
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Charles Murphy
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Judge Delilah Hawkins
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Jeremy Jones
Jenny Bacon ...
Laurel Dunleavy
Annika Boras ...
Melissa Murphy
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Curren
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SVU and the DA's office struggle with finding the right strategy in a case dealing with a gay man who is picking up and then attacking closeted gay married men.

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TV-14 | See all certifications »
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30 January 2013 (USA)  »

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Quotes

Detective Olivia Benson: You're going to claim that a gay man married to another gay man hates gays?
A.D.A. Rafael Barba: Watch me.
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User Reviews

 
Spousal privilege comes with same sex marriage
2 February 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Despite Max Carpenter giving a really mesmerizing performance as a self loathing gay man, this episode was one of the most confusing ever done by the SVU series, in fact from the whole Law And Order franchise.

There've been a series of rapes of closeted gay men that the squad comes upon and therein lies the problem, you've got victims who just won't talk. Then SVU gets a report of a dead man in a state of undress in a hotel room and of course efforts are redoubled and these guys are hauled into court to prosecute Max Carpenter who the squad has zeroed in on as the rapist/murderer.

With all the advances in guaranteeing civil rights for LGB people and the massive educational efforts making sure that folks know that being gay isn't the end of the world, I fear that the closet will still hold its attractions for some. I remember some years voicing that notion and getting shouted down for it. This episode underscores what I said then and now.

Max Carpenter is a gay man, making his living on his looks and love making abilities and he's drunk the heady wine of gay liberation a little too well. When he finds a closet case he degrades and humiliates them and in one instance goes over the top and murders one. Probably did not mean to, he wants them to live with their humiliation. He knows that closeted folks don't want to reveal anything. The prosperity even with a closeted existence that his victims enjoy no doubt angers him even more as Carpenter lives on society's fringes.

He's even married and the ADA Raul Esparza tries to get the spousal privilege denied in order to get his husband to talk in court albeit under subpoena. The judge properly slapped that one down. Later on the husband provides more damaging evidence without having to open up and say one word of testimony. That's where the confusion sets in on this episode as the DA is supposed to be upholding the law as well as prosecuting under it.

Some sympathy was shown for the closet cases, none of them were rightwing preachers or loathsome elected officials protecting their position and privilege through law. These are people who made a life choice in an earlier time and lived to regret it.

In the future it will be harder to justify either entering a celibate priesthood as a Catholic or actually marrying and raising a family and living a double life. There are still places in the USA and around the world where a closet looks mighty inviting. Laws will change, attitudes will follow, but a lot more slowly.


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