Law & Order: Special Victims Unit featured another major guest star this week, with Adam Arkin stopping by to play a disturbing role. Arkin is best known for his roles on Chicago Hope and Northern Exposure, but he also starred as Ethan Zobelle during Sons of Anarchy Season 2. The three-time Emmy nominee starred as Dr. Adler.
In "We Dream of Machine Elves," the SVU team found Meghan Gale (Sarah Catherine Hook), who was drugged with several rare hallucinogens. Meghan was a tourist visiting New York from Kansas. Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and the rest of the team pieced together her story, discovering that she was picked up by a mysterious woman, raped and then dumped in a public place. They later discovered that another woman was drugged with the same hallucinogens.
A third woman, a Swedish exchange student named Freja (Annie Hagg), turned up. She had a story similar to Meghan's, but she remembered some details that gave them some further clues. Both Freja and Meghan described a man with a white beard as among the people who assaulted them. Benson and Rollins (Kelli Giddish) also know the man must have some connections because the drugs used on the women are very rare.
Benson later drove Freja around, piecing together her memories. They eventually drove up to a home with a red door, where they found Arkin's character peering through a window. The brownstone is owned by Dr. Adler, and the team thinks they should try to get a warrant. Carisi (Dominick Scanavino) told them they needed more hard evidence, so Fin (Ice-T) and Kat (Jamie Gray Hyder) went right up to Adler to interview him. Adler was not helpful, but suggested that countless students could go through his home.
It turns out that Rollins took a course taught by Adler in Atlanta, so she went undercover to sit in on one of Adler's courses. After the class, Rollins told Adler she was a big fan. Adler remembered her from Atlanta and invited her to an open house study session. Rollins went in, wearing a wire and a camera. During this meeting, Adler pushed Rollins to test the drug. Once Rollins took off her glasses, that was the sign for the team to jump in and arrest Adler. They also discovered that Adler was making his own drugs.
At the precinct, Rollins interviewed Adler, who could tell she inhaled some of his drug. Meanwhile, Kat interviewed Adler's daughter Anais (Eve O'Brien), who was clearly brainwashed. Carisi later stormed into Benson's office, where Benson revealed that Freja went home and the only victim they have to work with is Meghan. Unfortunately, Meghan can't really identify Adler as her attacker, and Adler is claiming "academic freedom."
Meanwhile, Adler and Rollins squared off. Adler insisted he was helping his students free their minds and was disappointed in Rollins. He wanted to leave, but Rollins said he would be charged with possession. But he had a way around that, claiming he has a government grant for his research. During a team meeting, Rollins suggested something happened to change Adler. Kat discovered a marriage certificate showing Adler married a Kathleen Bell in 1994, but there was no obituary or death certificate. Now, they have to find Bell.
Bell was hospitalized, and diagnosed with hallucinogenic induced psychosis with paranoid schizophrenia. No one has ever visited Bell. Benson insisted Adler did this, but Rollins was not so sure. Rollins took the lead to interview Adler about his wife. He insisted she was "gone" and that her time on this "plane" is over. Adler said Bell was raped by her father and she was already broken when she came to him. He treated her, and claimed that when their daughter was born, she began to slip. So he dedicated his life to helping other victims of child sex assault and incest. Rollins realizes that his students are not assaulting these women, but "treating" them by recreating their assaults. While defending himself, he accidentally referred to Rollins as Kathleen.
Rollins insisted Adler's mind has broken. Then, Adler began insisting the interview was being watched by "big pharma." He even tried to jump through the caged window, before Rollins brought him down. Adler continued believing Rollins was Kathleen and cried in her arms.
Three days later, Rollins told Carisi Adler hasn't moved at all at the hospital. Still, Carisi wants to arraign him and everyone else involved in the scheme. She asked for a day with Anais before she was arraigned. Carisi asked Rollins why she thought so highly of Adler. She thought he had all the answers to help her, but she realized otherwise. "You dodged a bullet," he told her.
Next, Rollins and Benson took Anais to see Kathleen.
"Are you OK?" Kathleen asked.
"Am I? I don't know," Anais said.
"Your father and I were just talking about you," Kathleen said.0comments
Law & Order: SVU airs on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.
Photo credit: NBC