What happens when the people wearing a badge become the enemy?
It was a big moment as Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) finally met Stabler for aid in this dark case.
It also brought up Stabler’s struggles with the Brotherhood that showed signs of more corrupt cops as Bell wondered if the Task Force was facing its end.
However, a shocking turn at the end revealed this case was even more complex than suspected.
That made Behind Blue Eyes a wild episode that brought up how hard it can be to trust the right people these days.
A pack of ‘cops’ turn into predators
At a church, Stabler prayed while remembering his times with the Brotherhood. Father Lin (Jason Tam) teased him a bit for not visiting for a while but said that Stabler needed to unload himself. He told Stabler, “God be with you,” as Stabler replied, “always is.”
Stabler left the courtroom with a squad of officers yelling at him as a traitor. When a reporter asked about Stabler’s record, he snapped that he took his oath seriously and honor his promise to the city and its people, “that’s who I am.”
Across town, a group of men dressed as NYPD officers arrived at a house. They then burst in, knocking the owner down and holding others at gunpoint. The officers then broke into a compartment to show a pack of drugs inside.
Hearing a noise, they found a woman and her daughter sobbing. The cops grabbed the woman and beat her husband when he tried to fight back as they dragged the women into a nearby bedroom.
Stabler arrived at the hospital to meet Rollins, who said that while the assault might qualify as an SVU case, the fact the victims claimed the attackers were cops had her reaching out to Stabler. Stabler said the Brotherhood was always about the money, but Rollins suggested they were trying to send a message.
The victims were Maria Esparza (Glenys Warrior Javier) and her teenage daughter Jazmin (Isabel Wicker). Maria cried that she’d been forced to watch them attack Jazmin as Stabler promised he’d do anything to help her.
Jet was outside Bell’s office to hear her talking to Goldfarb on how they closed the Cole case, and Bell should end on a high note. Bell realized the Task Force was being set up to close down, and allying with Stabler would be a bad move for Bell’s career. Goldfarb said she was only looking out for Bell and putting out feelers for her new job.
Stabler arrived as Goldfarb left, telling them to focus on the job at hand. He and Bell stopped by the house owned by Maria’s son Gabriel (Abel Santiago), who had a record in drug dealing. Whelan pressed Jet on what she heard, but she brushed him off.
The cops entered with Gabriel, naturally assuming they were more attackers. He pulled a knife as Stabler tried to calm him down, even with Gabriel saying Stabler was “a rat.” However, he figured someone who went against other cops wasn’t part of this dropping the knife.
Gabriel said there were six attackers but didn’t want to turn on his friends. They found ammo for a MAC-10 which the NYPD didn’t use. Gabriel finally gave up; he’d heard about a blue-eyed man taking on some other gangsters.
That same blue-eyed man, Vaughn Davis (Christopher Cassarino), was outside a prison with Manny Rivera (Anthony Lee Medina), watching as Dante Scott (Pooch Hall) was released. They exchanged hugs as they walked out, Vaughn showing off a new car.
Robin Hood was never this bad
Jet found some hits on the weapon while Vaughn led Dante to his nice home to show “The Robin Hood,” his squad of fake cops. Dante was wary, but Vaughn reminded him of what they went through in foster care without help from cops, and this was their way of taking back power.
Jet and Whelan visited a man who’d had his place shot up, but he refused to talk. Vaughn was teaching Dante how to pull off a fake raid, including how to shoot to kill.
Dante joined The Robin Hood on a raid on a stash house. They got the drugs, only for Vaughn to go after a woman there. When Dante returned to the home, he found the owner beaten and Vaughn having the woman tied up.
He made the mistake of calling Vaughn by name, and after a brief struggle, Vaughn shoots the woman dead and then yells at Dante, “you see what you made me do?”
The victims were Roman and Tiana Samuels, with a clue of a bracelet left behind. Roman (Osei White) was okay but devastated at the loss of his sister. He confirmed a blue-eyed man did this and that Dante had tried to stop Vaughn. An officer found broken glass with blood, which could be a clue.
As Manny patched up his leg wound, Dante confronted Vaughn as he never signed up for this. Vaughn said they were brothers, and Dante owed him, with Dante finally backing down.
The blood work came back to Manny Rivera as they traced his former foster father, Leonard Baker (Daniel Jenkins). He said Manny couldn’t follow his rules, so he sent him back into the system, and he dropped out of sight.
Jet tracked Manny’s social media to a club in an abandoned subway station. Stabler and Rollins talked to Maria and Jazmin, who identified Manny as the one who raped her.
Jet (in a very nice evening dress) was preparing to go undercover with Whelan, who brought up how anxious Jet seemed. He said they needed to be a team, with her offhand mentioning that might not be an issue soon.
The pair headed into the club, Jet having hacked a database to learn the secret knock. Manny and Dante were inside, Dante trying to press about Vaughn’s behavior with women, repeating what had been done to them, unaware that Manny was just as guilty.
Jet began charming Manny, talking him into giving her his phone for her number, which was really an excuse to clone it before leaving.
A shocking connection is revealed
Back in the squad room, Jet was surprised Manny called her to invite her to a party and how he was busy that night. They then got a hit on Manny called Dante about a big score that could solve everything.
Stabler and Whelan picked up Reyes, who’d been busy with a trial and preferred this job over a long drive with his family. They arrived at a house in time to see The Robin Hood squad surround it.
A gunfight erupted as the cops came over to fire at The Robin Hood. Another squad of cops arrived only to open fire on the Task Force. Bell yelled they were real cops, but they kept it up.
Seeing one of the other crew leaving, Stabler shot him. It was Dante, with Manny refusing to leave him and abandoned by the rest. When Reyes unmasked Dante, Bell was struck that the pair shockingly recognized each other.
Stabler let Manny know he was going to take a hard fall unless he gave up the crew, who didn’t hesitate to leave them both behind. Manny only asked for a lawyer as Stabler left him with the photos of Tiana.
Bell wanted to focus on the case as Stabler pointed out those cops were deliberately targeting the Task Force. Bell said to keep it quiet as Velasco shared that SVU had records of nine women assaulted by someone posing as a cop.
Bell arrived at the hospital to find Reyes standing outside Dante’s room as he was in critical condition. Bell pressed on how he knew Dante and Reyes showed a photo of them with Manny and Vaughn as kids in a foster home.
Reyes said what happened in the house was what drove Vaughn. When Bell asked what happened, Reyes’ look made her realize she wasn’t going to like the answer.
The last act threw the case in a wild new direction and sets up a more powerful episode of Law & Order: Organized Crime to come.
Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 3 airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.More: Law & Order: Organized Crime