‘Law & Order: SVU’ Reimagines Johnny Depp-Amber Heard Trial in Thursday’s Episode

by Suzanne Halliburton
Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Law & Order: SVU gave us their version of the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial Thursday night. But in this alternate reality, the warring couple were pop singers and Amanda Rollins got caught up in some of the fans’ intense anger.

Let’s get to the recap of “Mirror Effect.” First, meet the couple. Julia Goldani Telles portrayed Kelsey Jones. Grant Anstine was Austin Collins. Together, the two sported more than 70 million followers on social media. We met them as the episode opened. The two were attending a red carpet event. Later in the evening, the couple sat in the back of their limo with Austin’s posse. Austin didn’t like Kelsey snapping selfies with the rest of the guys.

And here’s how Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) and Sonny Carisi (Peter Scanavino) came into play. The two were on a casual dinner date, with Rollins’ two daughters staying with her mother. And as they strolled for gelato, they saw Kelsey hop out of the limo and start screaming. Amanda and Carisi take her back to the hotel. She didn’t want to push the issue. She explained that her behavior with Austin is like “foreplay.” In fact, Austin calls it “fight play.”

Rollins Still Is Shaky in This Law & Order: SVU Episode

The Law & Order: SVU writers also are dropping more clues to Rollins’ fate. We know Giddish is leaving the show sometime this fall. On Thursday, she met with her therapist. Rollins already has mentioned to Benson that she’s skipping some of the sessions.

“If you miss appointments, I’ll be forced to report it,” the therapist tells Rollins. “And if I report it, there’s a good chance you’ll be removed from active duty.”

And Rollins is having some PTSD issues over getting shot in the premiere. Her daughters tell her that there’s a monster in the closet. So Carisi finds some spray and promises he’ll get rid of whatever it is. He also adds that their mother is the hero. She can stamp out the monsters.

But another time, Rollins doesn’t react so well. She hears a scream and grabs her gun, running into the bedroom and flinging open the closet door. She was prepared to shoot a squeaky, battery-operated toy.

Now, let’s get back to the case of the week. Kelsey ends up with blackened eyes. But Austin proposes marriage and gives her a big diamond ring. Then there’s another incident. The detectives all race to the hotel room. Kelsey says Austin raped her. They’d been at a restaurant. She got mad because Austin flirted with a waitress. Kelsey’s mother even threw a champagne bottle at Austin. It was an ugly scene. By this time, it doesn’t matter whether Kelsey wants to file charges. It’s out of her hands.

So this Law & Order: SVU episode heads to a very public trial. Austin has so many fans and they’re at the court house to support him. Amanda slips out of the court room during a break and one of the fans begins screaming at her. After all, she’s the cop who arrested Austin. Rollins showed more signs that something isn’t right. She snapped at Kelsey to “toughen up.” Earlier, she told Carisi she didn’t want to be alone at their apartment.

During testimony, it comes out that Kelsey falsely accused her mother’s boyfriend of molesting her. But Carisi basically got Austin to confess on the stand.

Still, the jury finds Austin not guilty of the two most serious charges. They convict on third-degree rape. Kelsey ponders what she’ll do from now on without Austin. Benson tells her to learn to love herself.

And we get one final scene with Carisi and Rollins. Carisi tells her “Look, everybody has monsters in their closet. The question is, what do you want to do about it?” He assures her she hasn’t screwed up their relationship.

“I want to evict the little bastard,” Rollins says. She kisses Carisi. He tells her “It’s going to be OK”

Until next week.