Law & Order: SVU Season 16 Episode 20 Review: “Daydream Believer”

Law & Order: SVU

There are no credits in between Chicago P.D. and Law & Order:SVU, leaving no time for the audience to breathe in between shows. Greg Yates, the crossover’s criminal with a Ted Bundy-esque personality, is a serial rapist and murderer who has just made this investigation very personal.

Yates has just kidnapped Chicago P.D.’s Nadia and takes pleasure in toying with her as he drives her away to New York. Voight is the first to realize that Nadia has been taken when she doesn’t answer her phone, while the audience is left to watch as Yates takes pleasure in torturing Nadia. Voight and Lindsay catch the first flight to New York with Fin and Amaro, when they realize where Yates is headed. They find the car he used to transport Nadia empty, and it takes everything for Lindsay to keep it together.

Yates isn’t just satisfied with one victim though, and he immediately begins stalking another girl. One victim turns into two when his victim’s roommate comes home, and he rapes and bludgeons these girls out of sick necessity. Yates is smart, but he’s also getting desperate. After leaving his latest victims, he heads over to his fiancee’s apartment, who is stunned at the police’s accusations against him. Yates is slippery, never admitting to anything and telling enough lies about Nadia to set Jay off. Rollins keeps her cool and gets Yates to talk, but he knows that he can use the opportunity to taunt everyone. Through Yates’s fiancée, the team finds his “sacred place,” a park beach filled with decomposed bones. It’s too late for all those victims, and sadly, it’s too late for Nadia, whose cold body is also found near the beach.

With too many victims but no definitive physical evidence to tie Yates to any of them, ADA Barba’s best shot at putting this man away is trying him solely with Nadia’s death. Yates is so cocky that he represents himself in court. He takes pleasure in taunting Lindsay on the stand, bringing up Nadia’s past as an escort and an addict. Yates then takes it one step further by dangling Will Halstead and his connection to the Intelligence Unit through his brother Jay. If this wasn’t enough, Yates next publicly accuses Voight of sexually assaulting Nadia and driving Nadia to revert back to her addiction. The look in Voight’s eyes speaks volumes about his restraint, but you can still see the ideas rolling through his mind about what he would like to do to Yates in that moment. For now, though, Voight has to put his faith in ADA Barba, a good call since Barba is able to rattle Yates at one point, thereby finding his Achilles’ Heel.

Barba’s tactics only become smarter. During the trial, Barba slowly sets a plan into motion to lure Yates’s true nature out of the shadows. Slowly allowing Yates to get a good, long look at Nadia’s autopsy photos, Barba lures this animal’s primal instincts out. It’s too much temptation, and Yates leaves himself exposed after nearly salivating at the thought of his victim in pain in front of the court. Yates is definitively found guilty. Later when Voight pays Yates a visit in his jail cell, he takes pleasure in torturing Yates with the idea of how easy it would be to snap his neck, but it will be so much more satisfying to hear of Yates going through his own torture at the hands of some prison inmate. So the cat becomes the mouse.

Multiple teams worked tremendously hard to put away this monster, but that doesn’t make the cost any more devastating. RIP Nadia Decotis.

[Photo via NBC]

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