Now and again, an episode of Legislation & Order: Particular Victims Unit actually makes its viewers suppose, and that is undoubtedly the case for the aptly titled Season 6 episode, “Doubt.”
“Doubt” zeroes in on the case of Myra Denning (Shannyn Sossamon), an MFA artwork pupil accusing her graduate professor, Ron Polikoff (Billy Campbell), of rape.
Because the occasions of the episode unfold, it turns into more and more clear that theirs is a traditional case of he mentioned / she mentioned, the place the one two individuals who actually know what occurred on the night time in query are Myra and Ron themselves.
The final scene cuts to black simply because the case between Myra and Ron is ending in courtroom, when the jury is in the course of their sentence about to declare him responsible or harmless. So, did Ron Polikoff actually rape Myra? Hold studying whereas we go over the information of their case and try to elucidate the ambiguous ending.
Did Ron actually rape Myra?
“Doubt” calls on its viewer to cross their very own judgment as regards to whether or not the professor is responsible or the coed is mendacity. Even within the SVU universe, the powers that be are divided, with Benson (Mariska Hargitay) believing Myra and Stabler ( Christopher Meloni) believing Ron — solely to find towards, as time passes, that they are now not satisfied of their preliminary positions.
In reality, when NBC first aired the episode, the community let viewers vote on-line about what they thought the decision needs to be. 60 p.c mentioned he was not responsible, 20 p.c mentioned he was, and the opposite 20 wished extra data earlier than drawing a conclusion within the ballot.
The rationale this fictitious case is so murky lies within the particulars surrounding the 2 major characters. For one, Ron’s boundaries as a professor are a bit questionable. “I discover that my college students are extra sincere and relaxed about their work in a home setting,” he tells the cops as a justification for why he invited Myra to his home to debate her portfolio, including that he did not suppose she’d present up so late, at 9 p.m. one night time.
Ron can also be forthright about the truth that he has sexual, albeit consensual, relations together with his graduate college students.
The intercourse that each events admit befell that night time was additionally reasonably violent in its acts. The way in which Ron tells it, Myra, who was intoxicated and admits to kissing him first, demanded he choke and strangle her, biting him when he wasn’t inflicting her sufficient ache. From Myra’s perspective, she bit him as a result of he was choking her and she or he was making an attempt to get away.
However outdoors of that night time, police have cause to suppose that Myra is just not precisely a reputable sufferer for 3 causes. First, she tries to accuse Stabler of touching her inappropriately the morning he drove her house after her rape equipment and walked her to her door. Second, Ron’s protection lawyer, performed by Viola Davis, brings up a current arrest that she managed to get out of by fabricating her grandma’s demise, although her grandmother turned out to be very a lot alive.
And lastly, Myra makes a suicide try understanding full properly that Benson is on her method over to her home, and can arrive in time to avoid wasting her life.
At trial, Ron makes an attempt to persuade the jury that he is the sufferer, saying that he misplaced his job and housing as a result of unfounded accusation, which has additionally led to his daughter having to alter faculties and his ex-wife submitting for sole custody.
However then once more, why would Myra, a younger artwork pupil, undergo all these lengths to make up the traumatic occasions of this night time and relive the assault infinite occasions with legal professionals, cops, after which much more publicly, on trial? It would not appear she stands to realize a lot, other than peace of thoughts, if he’s certainly convicted.
What do you suppose? Ought to Ron be discovered responsible?