Law & Order: SVU wanted you to know that their episode about a verbally, sexually, and physically abusive R&B star who beats his pop star girlfriend up was not based on Chris Brown and Rihanna. Because, at one point during Wednesday night's inexplicably star-studded episode (Jeffrey Tambor, what in the actual hell are you doing here playing not-Chris Brown's lawyer?!), someone jokes that not-Chris Brown Caleb Bryant (same initials!) and not-Rihanna Mischa Green "should go on a double date with Chris Brown and Rihanna." See, not the same people!
Nevermind the fact that the on-screen duo bears some obviously striking similarities to the real-life pair's drama: Caleb wears a s**t-eating grin the entire time, is racially insensitive (he refers to his lawyer as "his Jew", though if you were to summon a Jewish person at will and Jeffrey Tambor shows up, maybe you're doing something right), plays the victim card during his trial (where he gets a soft punishment of community service) while continuing to behave like a world class douche, gets a tattoo that resembles his abused girlfriend, and tweets out pictures from her bedroom. Meanwhile, the photos of a bruised and bloodied Mischa — who eventually winds up back in the arms of Caleb — go viral. How do we know they go viral? Because Perez Hilton, who takes time off from being a new dad to have one of the 73 truly bizarre cameos in this episode, tells us so.
No, the episode is clearly meant to be a cautionary tale for Rihanna (because by the end of the episode not-Rihanna freakin' dies at the hands of fake not-Chris Brown, who had already murdered not-Rihanna's manager at a club) and Team Breezy. "Women and girls look up to you!" Mariska Hargitay cries to not-Rihanna, later foreshadowing, "Stranglers are more likely to kill." She also warned Mischa regarding abuse, "Men do this once, they do it again."
The whole thing would have felt pretty bleak and even more depressing than the real-life saga of Chris Brown and Rihanna had it not been for these key moments:
- Dave Navarro plays a guy at a music studio who clearly has no scruples or moral compass. So, himself.
- BAMF Sue Simmons makes a cameo as a newscaster covering Caleb's trial! Sue Simmons, for all of those that live outside of the New York metropolitan region, is a beloved newscaster who once dropped the F-bomb on live television. She is awesome.
- Wendy Williams plays a talk show host (so, herself) who asks not-Chris Brown about his relationship with not-Rihanna and also, "How you doin?"
- Law & Order's New York Post knock-off newspaper New York Ledger with their dead-on headline: "Beauty and the Beating." I have no doubt someone from the New York Post got fired for not thinking of that first.
- Ice-T interrupting Caleb and Mischa's terrible duet "You Can Count On Me" to show these young punks how it's really done. Okay, that didn't happen, but it should have.
[Photo credit: Michael Parmelee/NBC]