Next week on NBC, Law & Order: SVU season 18 episode 18 will feature hypnosis as a key part of a case. Meanwhile, we will marvel at some of the coincidences when it comes to TV timing.
This episode (entitled “Spellbound”) is rather unique mostly in that it’s airing less than two weeks after Bull over on CBS chose to air an installment with a similar sort of focus. The two shows were in no way inspired by each other; it’s just interesting to see two different takes on roughly the same topic from two different networks.
As for what will be coming up on this edition of Law & Order: SVU and how it chooses to include hypnosis in the case, we present the following synopsis:
Synopsis – “The SVU investigates a charismatic spiritual healer (guest star Stuart Townsend) when a client claims he incapacitated and assaulted her using hypnosis.”
If you recognize Townsend’s name, it’s because he’s had a rather storied career already. He’s been on shows like Salem and Betrayal, and has done many movies including Queen of the Damned and Chaos Theory. We’ve also seen him in a couple of episodes of Elementary.
Beyond the hypnosis part of the equation, this story does feel rather textbook — you have a man who believes that they have some sort of physical or psychological power over women, and he uses that to take advantage of those within his orbit. It’s similar to “Net Worth,” “The Newsroom,” or many other recent episodes were there were some similar themes discussed. If you’re watching Law & Order: SVU on a regular basis, then you are already rather familiar with the format of the show and what they tend to give to you when it comes to content. Where there is a little more variance is with the procedure, and how the team works to uncover the truth about what happened and determines guilt. Not every suspect investigated is guilty, but this particular profile superficially suggests that they will be. As mentioned, this show does often feature rapists who carry with them an air of perceived invincibility.