‘Law & Order: SVU’ Season 17, Episode 21: Photos And 5 Preview Clips For ‘Assaulting Reality’

Law & Order: SVU Season 17, Episode 21 is titled “Assaulting Reality.” As hinted by the title, Olivia Benson and the Special Victims Unit will be investigating a case that involves a reality TV show. However, will the NYPD get to the truth? How difficult will it be to discern scripted scenes from what really happened? Based on promotional photos and five preview clips, it is more complex than anyone realizes.

In addition to the promo and two sneak peeks for “Assaulting Reality,” the SVU Writers Room posted two additional mini-clips on Twitter. Based on what has been released so far, Benson and her squad have a tough time untangling the truth from lies. Some characters claim the reality TV show, Heart’s Desire, is scripted. However, the victim is sure that she was sexually assaulted, as she stated on live television.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, it was stated that “Assaulting Reality” is inspired by the popular show The Bachelor. The press release from NBC gave a few additional details about what to expect on Wednesday’s episode of Law & Order: SVU.

“The producers of a reality dating series make Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and the SVU part of the show,” Carter Matt wrote regarding the synopsis for Season 17, Episode 21, “when they investigate a contestant’s claim that she was raped.”

The promo for “Assaulting Reality” reveals that on live television, a video of a reality TV show contestant sleeping with a man is aired. The contestant, Melanie, jumps up from her chair and claims she doesn’t remember it happening. It turns out that SVU detective Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) just happens to watch the show.

Even though Heart’s Desire is classified as reality TV, one character claims otherwise. The Law & Order: SVU Season 17, Episode 21 preview clip shows one person saying that Heart’s Desire is scripted.

However, things get even more complicated for the SVU detectives. A sneak peek shows the Special Victims Unit arriving at the set. When looking for the victim, Amanda Rollins and Sonny Carisi (Peter Scanavino) are stopped by a woman. She identifies herself as the co-producer of Heart’s Desire. She tries to stall them and even makes excuses.

When detectives meet with Melanie in “Assaulting Reality,” the co-producer uses non-verbal cues, coaching her on what to say. It turns out that the only place without a camera is the bathroom. Once Rollins, Carisi, and Melanie have privacy, the contestant claims she doesn’t remember anything. The reality show participant also says there is no chance of consent because she was a virgin.

Another sneak peek of “Assaulting Reality” was released by NBC. It shows that it isn’t just one person on set that has issues with the investigation. The head producers of Heart’s Desire show up. The pair, who are also married to each other, seem to be meddling with the case. First, they try to make it seem like they are concerned about the accusations. Next, they talk about the safety of the participants and how each participant is “like their own daughter.”

When Olivia Benson doesn’t seem to be affected by their words, the producers pull out the big guns. They want to show SVU detectives the victim’s morning-after interview.

The Twitter account for SVU Writers Room posted two mini-clips of “Assaulting Reality.” The first shows a quick snippet of Melanie getting cozy with her date. They don’t get intimate, but it is clear she is smitten with the young man. He has one hand on Melanie’s leg and the two kiss. In the background, Melanie talks about “the fog,” referring to things getting steamy between the two.

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The second mini-clip for Law & Order: SVU shows the couple kissing with glasses of champagne. With her voice edited to fit the video, Melanie talks about feeling like a princess.

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Will these video snippets hurt the investigation in “Assaulting Reality”? Could the morning after interview cause Olivia Benson and the Special Victims Unit to doubt the victim’s story? How will the detectives on Law & Order: SVU weave through the mess of reality TV to figure out the truth? Was there a sexual assault on Heart’s Desire, or is there more to the story?

Law & Order: SVU Season 17, Episode 21, titled “Assaulting Reality,” airs May 11 on NBC.

[Photo by Michael Parmelee/NBC]