Cyber Crimes & Division

Julie Benz in Sole Custody (2014) (aka: Badge of Betrayal)

Zoey (Julie Benz) and husband Barry (Rick Ravanello) are not only cops but both work out of the same precinct, except whilst Zoey works the day shift in the cyber crimes division where she is hunting down one specific stalker Barry works night shifts and so usually doesn't come home till late. But Zoey becomes suspicious that all of Barry's late nights are work related and after discovering he has been cheating on her kicks him out, something which brings out Barry's aggressive side as he flips when he discovers Zoey has locked him out of their home. Having tried to make things work for the sake of their son Timmy (Maxwell Kovach) and accepting Barry back only for him to cheat again Zoey goes to court and has custody papers served on Barry. But then disaster strikes when one night there is a fire at Zoey's home and Timmy dies leading to the cops to suspect Zoey of being responsible for the fire and Timmy's death. That is until she starts to investigate things for herself and not only begins to suspect that Barry is behind it but all is not as it seems.

Having just finished watching "Sole Custody" or "Badge of Betrayal" as it is also known I know that by tomorrow this movie will have faded from my memory because just about everything is not only obvious but ordinary. Take for example when Zoey prompted by her friend discovers that Barry is cheating on her, you can already hazard a guess that after throwing him out she will let him come back only for him to cheat on her again, it is what happens in 99% of these made for TV movies which feature a cheating husband.

Rick Ravanello in Sole Custody (2014) (aka: Badge of Betrayal)

All of this cheating aspect is interwoven with scenes of this internet stalker becoming obsessed with Zoey's fake online profile which is hysterical for various reasons. Not only do these scenes feature some of the tackiest high tech gloves you will have ever seen, gluing wires to a glove do not make them high tech, but it is plainly obvious that all of this is a red herring to make us think that maybe the cyber fiend was behind the fire. There is also the stereotypical hilarity of actors trying to sound like they know what they are talking about when it comes to the internet and dropping words such as "shell" and "proxy" do not convince for one second.

Anyway this all leads to the fire and Zoey finding herself suspected of causing it and so guilty of killing her son except of course things are not that simple so Zoey investigates. I won't give anything away other than to say she begins to suspect Barry and what she discovers shocks her but of course she is one woman against a husband who has regular cop buddies rather than hers who are part of the cyber squad and are desk jockeys.

The sad thing about "Sole Custody" is that both Julie Benz and Rick Ravanello have appeared in some above average TV movies but here find themselves swimming in a sea of mediocrity. Their characters are so ordinary that neither is really given much to do other than look good which both do with ease.

What this all boils down to is that "Sole Custody" is just another middle of the road made for TV movie which is pretty obvious from start to finish. As I said you probably won't remember that much of it after the first 24 hours but for those who enjoy made for TV movies it will be another entertaining distraction for a rainy afternoon.

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