Law & Order: SVU Season 21 Episode 1
I'm Going to Make You a Star
Benson is putting up a WE'LL MISS YOU banner in the bar. Dodds feels a need to be sarcastic about how cheap this party is.
Rollins finds Carisi packing up his things. He tells her that he doesn't want anyone to make a fuss over him. He's scared but if he doesn't make this move now, he never will. Rollins asks him to have one last drink with her.
A young woman named Pilar is watching a video of a big star named Tobias Moore while waiting. A secretary tells her that Tobias will be with her in a minute. We see Tobias watching her through a window.
When Pilar is called in, Tobias calls her gorgeous and tells her to improvise based on a script on the table.
Carisi tells Rollins that he hasn't done a trial yet but feels ready. They go into the Pub where all the SVU staff and all the DA's office staff is gathered for a surprise party.
Tobias doesn't like Pilar's performance and suggests they drink together.
Benson makes a speech about how they will miss Carisi but are proud that he will be the new DA.
Pilar is now a bit drunk as she performs her lines. Tobias closes the camera and suggests she takes her blouse off. Pilar tries to demur but Tobias demands she do it now if she wants the part.
Rollins and Benson return to the station, where a beat cop says Pilar says that a big media figure assaulted her. Rollins recognizes Tobias' name and is shocked.
Rollins and Benson interview Pilar. Pilar is in tears as she recounts how Tobias forced her to undress and pushed her onto the couch. She kicked him and tried to get away. He made her watch him masturbate.
Hadid, Carisi's new boss, doesn't like this case. She tells Benson to vet Pilar and investigate more before they do anything. Benson says to Dodds that at least Carisi is one of them. Dodds says not anymore.
Fin and Rollins talk to Pilar, who is planning to leave town because of her immigration status. They convince her to talk to Tobias while they listen in. Tobias tells her they can have a redo of the audition. She accuses him of forcing himself on her last time. He says she'd better not be trying to shake him down or he'll have her put in immigration detention.
Fin and Benson bring the tape of this conversation to Carisi but he can't do anything without Hadid's permission. He is sure she will do the right thing.
At the premiere, the cops wait around outside while Tobias makes a speech about how he is going to do a remake of My Fair Lady. Carisi joins the cops and tells them the DA's office is vetoing them going after Tobias right now. Benson swears Tobias will not get away with this.
Benson and Dodds watch Hadid do an interview where Hadid claims to be tough on crime and will not allow sexual predators to get away with anything. After the interview they demand an arrest warrant but Hadid insists that tape isn't good enough and Pilar is too emotional to stand up to Tobias.
Later, Rollins tells Benson that she has been researching Tobias and he has victims all over who never file charges. Fin thinks Tobias is paying off the victims. Benson tells Dodds she wants to go straight for their target.
Benson tries to get Tobias to consent to an interview but he won't and claims Pilar is the one she should be investigating. Benson looks at the glass he left behind thoughtfully.
Benson and Rollins tell Pilar if there's any dirt they need to know about it. Pilar says there is nothing. She lived with her mother in Venezeula before coming here.
They are interrupted by Benson having a visitor. It is Judge Barr, who recently stepped down and asks to talk in private.
Barr is now a defense attorney and is defending Toby. She has a veiled warning for Benson and a flash drive allegedly containing five auditions. She claims that Pilar is a poor actress who is trying to take advantage of Toby and that Pilar used to be a prostitute.
SVU looks at the footage. It's five women including Pilar, all saying the same lines. Toby cut off the tape right after encouraging them to be more sexual so that the assaults are not on camera. However, Benson thinks he overplayed his hand.
Fin, Rollins, and Benson try to interview the other women but they won't talk or won't testify. A woman shows up at the station and tells Fin she is a friend of one of the victims he interviewed.
The woman, Gemma, has a ton of specific details about her rape and is willing to break an NDA to talk about it. She's saved the dress and Benson got Tobias' DNA off of his drink the other day. Dodds says to do the DNA test and then arrest him at home. Olivia does and Tobias laughs and says she made a big mistake.
Hadid is angry that Carisi didn't give her a heads up. She hired him because he has a connection to SVU. Carisi says he didn't know either.
There is a news conference and Gemma comes forward and claims she never worked with Tobias and had a consensual affair with him. Tobias says he's ashamed and that this is a private issue between him and his wife of 40 years.
Benson is sure Gemma was really raped. Dodds says so what is she doing then? Rollins says victims sometimes have consensual affairs after the rape.
Carisi comes in. He's hanging on by a thread. Dodds leaves to take a call from the Commissioner. Carisi notices that the room Tobias is in is the same one he raped Pilar in but the couch is different -- he swapped couches so the cops couldn't get a warrant for the one he raped Pilar on.
Security footage shows that Cindy helped swap out the couches in the middle of the night. Also, Hadid went to a meeting in Tobias' office the next day.
Benson orders that Cindy be arrested for destroying evidence. It takes about 30 seconds for her to crack and say she will talk if Tobias doesn't find out. Meanwhile, Gemma has gone to New Zealand to direct a movie and cannot be reached in connection with this case.
Benson has an idea and calls vice. She and Fin go to the projects and talk to a cop named Kat who agrees to go undercover as Tobias' latest victim but wants them to wait on pulling her out til Tobias has ripped her blouse and whatnot so they can finally get him.
During the sting, Tobias tries to choke the undercover cop. Benson and Fin come in and arrest him before she says the safe word. She's annoyed but they say she got what they needed.
Tobias calls Benson names and claims she just hates men.
Benson and Rollins accompany Carisi to the arraignment. There are a ton of women holding up signs saying Tobias raped them too.
Hadid and Carisi have a press conference where Hadid takes credit for getting Tobias off the streets and says sexual assault will not be tolerated in NYC. Benson is disgusted, and more so when she learns Dodds is being transferred to traffic division. Dodds tells her not to sacrifice her career for him and that he insisted she be made Captain as a condition of him going quietly away.