If you’ve missed Law & Order: SVU, this is the ideal All Rise episode to watch.
It felt like a classic episode where the lines were gray, and the trial was complicated.
Emily defended a woman charged with attacking her rapist on All Rise Season 3 Episode 18. While many victims have had similar urges to go after their attacker, is it revenge or is it justice? That’s tricky, legally.
It’s difficult not to empathize with Darlene. Dr. Vasquez, her boss, was acquitted of raping her, so she decided to take vengeance into her own hands.
Darlene: I needed to show him he couldn’t get away with what he did to me, no matter what the jury said. I don’t trust juries.
Emily: You’ll have to move past that.
I’m surprised Emily didn’t use the insanity plea, especially since Darlene struggled with reality. She thought Emily would have her out of jail in time to attend a Dodgers game with her boyfriend. She didn’t grasp how severe this crime was and that she was the one on trial.
The legendary Lou Diamond Phillips directed “Pretty Ugly,” and he had his work cut out for him during those court scenes.
Dr. Vasquez (played by Victor Webster) appeared charming, and anyone would believe him, which hurt Darlene’s case as he showed the court that his hand trembled so severely from the brain damage that he couldn’t practice medicine anymore.
Combining his charm and Maggie’s unique techniques worked toward the prosecution’s side. We’ve never seen a live demonstration of an attack in court before with a melon.
When Maggie gets these ideas, I wish DA Bravo would have appointed her the Head District DA. She’s creative and dedicated to her job.
Emily Lopez always fought for her clients, so it should come as no surprise that she toed the line, insinuating that Dr. Vasquez took advantage of Darlene while she worked there.
Dr. Vasquez maintained that he kept it professional but that Darlene was so easy to confide in. He also played right into her hand when he insisted nothing ever happened, allowing her to clarify if that included anything intimate.
Well played, Emily. She may have overstepped, as the doctor then made Darlene sound crazy.
Emily: Dr. Vasquez, I’m having a hard time understanding why Ms. Schmidt, who you just said was so easy to talk to, suddenly smashed your head with a tire iron!
Dr. Vasquez: You’d have to ask her.
Emily: I didn’t have to. She told hospital staff that you violated her.
Maggie: 402! 402!
Emily: Violate could mean many things.
In all honesty, as things got heated, the person I felt the most sympathy for was Dr. Vasquez’s wife. All these ugly truths were coming out that no one could protect her from anymore.
In many ways, it seemed like this case pitted Maggie against Emily, but it was more than that. It questioned whether the jury, knowing why Darlene attacked Dr. Vasquez, would soften them.
Judge Delgado: The jury already heard it. You can’t unring that bell.
Judge Benner: But you can stop pulling on the rope. It already looks like the prosecution is hiding something.
It also made Lola question if attractive people have an unfair advantage and unattractive people must work harder to be accepted.
That’s what happened to Darlene. She was constantly teased for never having a prom date or told that she should join the convent. So, when Dr. Vasquez paid attention to her and kissed her, at first, she welcomed the attention.
Then she feared he was using her, so she pushed him away, but he raped her. When no one believed her, she lost faith in the system.
It almost seemed like Emily changed her mind and went for an insanity plea because Darlene almost hung herself on the stand when she broke down, insisting that she and Dr. Vasquez had a special relationship, making it sound more like a crime of passion.
There was a crime, but it wasn’t passionate. When Dr. Vasquez confronted Darlene about his car, he taunted her that no one would ever believe her about the rape because she was so ugly, not knowing there was a witness.
That statement haunts women and victims everywhere. It should not matter who you are.
It just seems wrong that the courts can’t retry him, and Darlene has to go to prison for voluntary manslaughter.
The more entrenched Mark gets with the Russian mob, the more I think DA Bravo made the wrong decision. Mark Callan is one of my favorite characters, and in better circumstances, he’d make a terrific Head Deputy Attorney.
However, it was apparent early on that the Russians ordered him to throw that DUI that Teddy was working on. Mark grew even more anxious when he learned that Luke was defending Anna, the driver.
That’s when all his friends grew suspicious since he pulled Teddy off the case and barged into court — a move he recently lectured DA Bravo about.
If that wasn’t bad enough, he announced the prosecution didn’t have evidence to move forward, forcing the court to dismiss the case. This made his two closest friends, Luke and Lola, very suspicious. It’s only a matter of time before they demand answers.
While I loved that Mark would do anything to protect his father, I still wish that Vic and Mark were bonding over something as mundane as the wedding.
Vic: I can take care of myself. I always do.
Mark: But you’re here now with us. So, why don’t you come inside and help me and Amy make dinner?
After all the years they were estranged, it would have been nice actually to see a family dinner where they discussed the wedding plans. To relive the Callan men’s estrangement, watch All Rise online.
I’m afraid Mark is in over his head, and he hasn’t told anyone the truth. Keeping secrets from Amy has never worked previously.
Amy or Lola could help him before anyone gets in any real danger.
Sherri also experienced some family drama, but hers added some comic relief.
After living apart from her family for so long, she didn’t need to see her dad sunbathing practically naked in her backyard or dying his hair, trying to court back her mother.
The only good thing about her dad was he actually liked living with her and had come to appreciate her, which he mentioned to Sherri’s mom.
Sherri’s next big problem — getting her parents into a guest house nearby but out of her space.
“Pretty Ugly” really affected me because it made me think about what Lola referenced.
Do attractive women have an easier time, and men think they can take advantage of unattractive ones, believing that no one will believe them?
That’s a horrifying thought, and it’s even more alarming that Darlene paid for her crime.
Dr. Vasquez is still walking around scott-free. The only justice was his wife heard what a scumbag he was.
Over to you, All Risers. What were your thoughts about this episode? What would you like to see in All Rise’s final episodes?
Did Emily cross a line during the trial? Is Mark in over his head dealing with the Russian mob?
We’d love to hear your opinion, so let us know in the comments.
Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on X.