Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Law & Order SVU “Turmoil” Recap & Review

All Photos from NBC

Law & Order SVU “Turmoil” was aptly named, as there was enough Stabler family turmoil packed in this one episode to last a whole season. I have never been a fan of Stabler family drama, so when I saw the previews, I approached the episode with a sense of dread. While the episode did have some great parts, I think that the case of the girl who was raped, and Cabot being scrutinized by the state bar, were far more interesting than the Stabler family drama. The problem child in this episode is Elliot’s son Dickie – and I laughed when Dickie’s friend’s mother said he hates being called Dickie. It was never my favorite name either, so I was glad to hear that maybe down the road he will be referred to as Dick or better yet Richard. But I certainly hope that we don’t hear from Dickie-Dick-Richard for a long time. In fact, I hope that the writers forget about the Stabler family for at least the next two seasons. This includes the Stabler parents, kids, spouses, grandparents, illegitimate children, well, you get the picture. Pets, however, would be fine because they can’t have any speaking lines and rarely get into trouble that requires the police force or the legal system. (As I write this, I am sure the writers are creating a Stabler dog that happens to have gotten off its leash and is a witness to a sex crime while running free.)

The real problem child in the SVU universe is Elliot Stabler. Wow, he has some issues. My recommendation is that he seek immediate help for his control issues, his anger issues, his family issues – the list could go on and on. Stabler is just a mess and frankly he is becoming almost completely dysfunctional not only as a father but as a detective. Don’t get me wrong, Chris Meloni does a fine job in this role, it is just that I am tiring of seeing Stabler, week after week, seem to lose more control over his emotions and behavior every week.

And poor Don Cragen, he always takes the heat for what Stabler or Benson does. Munch says this would be Cragen’s last suspension and the next time he is out. Unfair, I say, since Cragen can’t be with Stabler and Benson every second of the day to control their every move. My suggestion is that if Stabler can’t clean up his act, then Cragen should consider suspending him.

I also feel some pain for Cabot. She’s taking the heat for the problems with SVU – just as Sonya Paxton did. The pressure of trying to clean up SVU likely pushed Paxton over the edge with her drinking, and I don’t think Cabot got it right away that Paxton was trying to give her a kick in the pants so Cabot will learn to watch out or herself. Paxton hit the nail on the head when she said that Benson and Stabler are loyal to each other and not to Cabot. That became evident when Benson basically throws Cabot under the bus by putting in a formal request for a new ADA on the grounds of professional ethics, accusing Cabot of sacrificing a rape victim to save her own ass. For the number of times that Cabot has come through in her career to cover the screw ups of Benson and Stabler, I think that Benson had a lot of nerve kicking Cabot when she was down. I’m glad, though, that things worked out for Cabot with this case.

Here is the recap:

It’s morning in the Stabler household, and Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) tells his son Dickie (Jeffrey Scaperrotta) he will be late for school. Dickie tells him he is waiting for Shane, but Stabler doesn’t like Shane driving Dickie anywhere, and tells Dickie not to take the expressway. He tells Kathy that he is looking for a green folder, he needs it for court, it’s for the Nikki Sherman rape case. Dickie finds the folder on the table under his backpack, and says Nikki is the sophomore at Manning Prep who said she got raped by the football player, and says she likes to party. Stabler gets a weird look on his face, and asks if Dickie knows her. He says no, but everyone says she is a lying slut. Stabler tells Dickie not to ever talk about a victim like that, and Dickie rolls his eyes, saying it’s their words, not his. But when he says the photos were pretty hot, Stabler asks which photos. Dickie says it’s the ones with her top off like “girls gone wild.” Kathy (Isabel Gillies) says she doesn’t want him on that web site, but Dickie says they were on Shane’s phone. There is a knock on the door, and Shane (Joshua Page) walks in. Stabler walks up to him and Shane says hello, and when Stabler walks up to him, Shane asks if something is wrong. Stabler takes Shane’s hat off and says "no hats indoors” and asks who sent him photos of his rape victim. Shane says he does not know, it was viraled out to hundreds of kids, and then adds, “sir.” Stabler glares at him and then says drive straight to school, no stopping.

In a Supreme Court pre-trial hearing, as Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Nikki Sherman (Shana Dowdeswell) are in the gallery, the defense attorney (Joseph Siravo) says the prosecution is concealing evidence and that Nikki Sherman was not raped. ADA Alexandra Cabot (Stephanie March) objects, saying they turned over everything. But the defense attorney asks about Nikki’s recant of her statement, where she admitted she wanted to have sex with his client. When Cabot has no idea what he is talking about, he says he has a witness who said she recanted. Cabot says it is a desperate attempt to intimidate Nikki, but he says she changed her story and that the prosecution buried it. As they continue to argue back and forth, a man stands near the courtroom door, and Judge Petrovsky (Joanna Merlin) takes notice, and she tells Cabot to request a continuance. When Cabot seems confused at what the judge has told her to do, saying she does not need more time, Petrovsky says she will give her 48 hours to review her evidence. Cabot is even more confused. She sees the man standing by the doorway as Nikki’s father gives her an earful. She also reassures Nikki there will be a trial and they will win.

Benson and Stabler approach Cabot and they say they gave her all the evidence. But Cabot says Petrovsky gave her two days to get her story straight, and apparently she is being investigated by the state bar. They turn to look at the man at the door, who motions to Cabot.

Outside the courtroom, she tells the man, Liam Black, that this is just fallout for Sonya Paxton’s drunken performance. He says to keep telling herself that, and state bar. He says word is that Manhattan SVU likes to bend the rules. Stabler says he can dig all he wants they won’t find any dirt, but Cabot clarifies they are investigating her, not them. He says if her license gets yanked, they are next. He says collateral damage is like Jell-O, there is always room for more.

Back at the SVU squad, Benson and Stabler return to find Captain Don Cragen (Dann Florek) waiting for them as they get off the elevator. He tells them that since their cell phone was off while they were in court, Kathy called him, his son Dickie is missing. Stabler moves to leave and Benson says she will go with him, but he says he will call when he knows something.

Stabler gets home to an anxious Kathy, who has not been able to get Dickie on his cell phone. He started a fight with a kid at school and no one has seen him since lunch, but Stabler thinks he is just with Shane. A detective is there, and asks who is Shane. He says Shane Newsome is just the kind of trouble he doesn’t want hanging around his kid, he’s into drugs and he has a record. Kathy said his calls are going to voice mail. When Stabler says Dickie is not a runaway, she tells him to let them help look for him. Stabler seems to object, but Gomez asks about the fight in school, and Kathy tells her the other boy was Danny Proctor. The teacher did not know what the fight was about. Gomez asks if there were any other personality changes, mood swings, etc. but Kathy say no. Stabler says if his son was taking drugs he would know it, but she reminds him he just said he hangs out with an addict. Kathy wants her to file a missing persons report and Stabler relents. Kathy gives him a picture, and asks for permission to use the cell phone company to access his chip to try to locate him. Stabler says he will go make the call and walk out.

Kathy follows him and he tells her she is overreacting, but she says she wishes he would. His phone rings, and it is his bank. Dickie tried to use his emergency credit card at an ATM in Manhattan. When Kathy says the card is not set up to give cash, he tells her he does not know that. He tells her to call the cell phone provider to track his calls. He is going to have a heart to heart with Shane’s mother.

At the Newsome residence, he asks where Shane is. She says Shane relapsed twice but is straight now, he takes a urine test every morning. There is tension between them, and he says he knows how an addict works, and she says his son is a good influence and she thought a cop would understand. But he says he is also a parent. He asks her for a list of Shane’s friends and the place he hangs out. But she wants to know why he is looking for him, and he says when he finds him he will find his son. He tells her Dickie is truant, and she says he is blaming Shane. She adds it may come as a shock, but Richard is not perfect. He says his name is Dickie, and she says it shows how well he knows him. No one calls him that any more, he hates it. He hands her his card and asks if she hears from Shane to give him a call, but she doesn’t take it, saying he won’t hear from him anymore and asks him to leave. He puts the card down by her phone and leaves.

Back at the SVU squad, Cragen asks what he is doing there, and Stabler says he is working the rape, he thinks Dickie is out joyriding with Shane and trying to get money out of his ATM. He’s ready to work the rape case. They go over the evidence, saying they have Nikki’s statement that Sam Baylor raped her in a basement bathroom at am unsupervised party. Fin (Ice-T) says Baylor’s DNA matches, and she says rape and he says it was consensual. Munch (Richard Belzer) confirms all they had went to Cabot. Stabler says Nikki did not recant. When Cragen says he will tell Cabot they have all the bases covered and she had nothing to worry about, Stabler says maybe not. He mentions the photo that Dickie said was floating around the Internet. Cragen asks if this just slipped his mind, and he said he just found out about it this morning and did not have a chance to track it down. Cragen is not happy and tells him that they may have to reopen the case, and tells him that problems with his son is affecting his judgment. He says all he needs is more time, but Cragen says that it seems he had enough time to put out a BOLO on Shane’s car and it is sitting in impound, it was towed from Harlem. Stabler asks Fin to pull the footage from the last ATM and Cragen nods for him to go ahead. Cragen tells him to work Dickie’s whereabouts while they wait for the photo and tells Benson to handle the Proctor interview, the boy that Dickie fought with.

At Cardinal Catholic Prep School, Benson catches up with Proctor, who seems to be passing around a bottle with his pals. When Benson says she hopes that is soda he is guzzling, he says, “I already have a mom, bitch!” causing Stabler to grab him forcefully, and throwing him down. Stabler asks him to start talking about Dick, ad he said Dick started it, Dick jumped him because he pounded Shane for selling him a stolen DVR, saying he needed cash quick. His mother showed up and took it back. He said Shane wanted the money to get into the army. He says Shane and Dick are always talking to the recruiter on campus. Benson and Stabler walk off, with Stabler wondering what a recruiter is doing talking to a minor.

They head to the recruiter and Stabler asks about Richard Stabler. Sgt. Jordan (Réal Andrews) knows about it, saying that they wanted to enlist in the buddy system, Shane is 18 and he didn’t want to wait. But Stabler says he is 16 years old, and the recruiter says some parents sign their kids over for training in discipline and loyalty. Stabler says his son is going to college, and the recruiter says he hope he is planning on paying as Dickie’s grades won’t land him a scholarship. Stabler tells him if his kid comes in again to kick his ass out. Jordan says the army has no intention of turning him down, and in two years Stabler no longer has a say. Stabler glares at him. Meanwhile, Benson has received a call saying the ATM footage is in.

Back at the SVU squad, Shane is there on the ATM video with the credit card and someone is standing behind him and it does not seem to be Dickie. Dickie is still not answering his cell but has made calls to Newsome, which is pinging towers in Harlem. Stabler wants to go and look for him. Munch enters and says he found Nikki Sherman’s photograph, she’s topless at what looks like a party. Munch also notes Sam Baylor in the photo and says TARU says it is not photoshopped. It looks bad for Nikki.

Cabot is at SVU, complaining that it is 3 AM and why is she just hearing about this now? Cragen says extenuating circumstances because Stabler’s son is missing. But she says they just showed her a photo that will make the jury think that the rape victim is a liar, and asks what they are going to do. When Benson says they would question Nikki, Cabot says don’t bother, she will do the interview herself. Stabler says the state bar is not climbing down his neck, but she adds because he missed the photo. She asks if he forgot Nikki’s recant statement as well. He says not a chance. She says they are being watched and anything he does against protocol stacks the deck. He says she doesn’t get it, he doesn’t care. Cabot looks to Benson and back to Stabler, saying that her head is not the only one the chopping block. We then hear Mrs. Newsome asking Fin if they called her down there to find her son or not, and he says he just has a few questions. When Cabot asks who that is, Stabler says it is Shane’s mother, he and Dickie are missing. Cabot says Stabler does not belong in that interview, and he says he wasn’t going to, he knows procedure. She tells him if he did, she wouldn’t even be there. He gives her a look and walks off. Cabot turns to Cragen and says Stabler is screwing up her rape case and now she can’t even talk to Nikki Sherman until the morning. Cragen tells her to cut him some slack, but she says personal investigations involving family members are completely against procedure, he knows it, she knows it, and so will One PP. She walks off.

Mrs. Newsome is in an interview room, and she has a record of Shane’s calls, and besides many from Dickie, there is one she does not recognize. She accused them of not caring about her son. Fin reminds her Shane is an addict, which is a lifetime disease, and Benson says he also has two counts of assault and a burglary with no jail time. Mrs. Newsome says Shane goes to counseling and still does community service. But when Benson shows her that Shane is using Dickie’s credit card to take money out of the account, she pauses and asks if they think Shane forced Richard into giving it to him. Fin reminds her that Shane gets violent when things don’t go his way, but she says that was when she was using. She also clarifies that the DVR was not stolen, his father sent it to him and he had every right to sell it. She thought he was using again and says she jumped to conclusions, just like them. Benson asks if there is anywhere special where they would go and wants permission to access the GPS on his cell phone so they can find him. But Newsome says not to pretend that they care, and that the next time they talk it will be through a lawyer.

In the observation room, Stabler tells Cragen they have to subpoena the cell phone provider, but Cragen tells him the case belongs to Queens. They cannot prove that Shane broke the law. Fin enters and says he traced the unidentified number on Shane’s cell, the call cane from a payphone across the street from a homeless shelter in Harlem. Benson recalls that Shane’s mother said his sponsor works at a shelter. It is also the same area where Dickie made his last call. Cragen tells him to stay out of this and send Fin and Benson to talk to Shane’s sponsor.

At the homeless shelter, the sponsor tells Benson and Fin that Shane is clean and sober and he likes it here. Shane seems close to Harold Moore, and Shane thinks he can save him. She wanred him that Harold cannot be trusted. Harold is the only person that Shane trusted to give his number, and she told that to Richard. She identifies Dickie Stabler. She says he is a great kid, he was just there an hour ago. She tells them Harold can be found 10 blocks east by the old church. When Fin and Benson exit the shelter, they see Stabler, and they tell him they may have just found Dickie and Benson tells him to get in the car.

Meanwhile, Cabot has come to Nikki’s school to talk with her. She shows her the photo and Nikki asks where she got it. When Nikki hears it was on the Internet she begins to cry. Cabot asks her to tell her everything. She says it was a party and they spiked her drink but does not know with what. A football player threw the party and her friend Amy had to get her out of there because she didn’t remember. Cabot thinks she was dosed with rohypnol – a roofie. She said the party was three weeks before she was raped. When Cabot asks her why she would go to another party after that, Nikki says they are seniors and popular and everyone wants to be friends with them. Cabot tells her she is going to call her father and is bringing her home. She tells her that her father will find out sooner or later and it is better that it come from her.

Back with the detectives, they come up on Dickie beating up Harold (Rob Campbell), the homeless guy. Stabler runs out and yells for him to stop and then grabs him. Dickie says he is looking for Shane. They take Harold in to have his injuries looked at, and when Stabler wants to take Dickie home, Benson stops him and says his son just assaulted a man with a 2 by 4 and there is no way he is going home. She tells him not to make this worse than it already is.

Back at the SVU squad, Benson asks Dickie to walk through it, but Dickie is worried that Shane is out there hurt. While Stabler watches from the observation area, Dickie tells Benson he gave Shane the credit card. He says Shane needs the money to get into the military. Dickie says Shane is not taking drugs. She says they must be pretty close, and he says he is not stupid, he knows where she is going, and his dad does this all the time when he tries to get personal. As an example, he asks “How about you, ever sleep with your partner, detective?’ Stabler looks up with a stunned face. Benson answers “Never. Are we done playing games?” Dickie says he doesn’t have a lot of friends because his father is a cop. He thinks Harold knows where Shane is, when Shane called for the bank code he heard Harold in the background. Stabler turns off the sound, and comments he won’t get father of the year award. Cragen says maybe next year after Stabler re-channels Dickie’s energy to contact sports. Benson walks out, and asks what they are going to do about the assault charge, and Stabler says if Harold presses charges he will bring him back. Munch says Mrs. Newsome called and authorized Queens to track Shane’s cell phone, and they just called with his position. It’s central booking.

At Manhattan Central booking at One PP, Stabler and Benson arrive looking for Shane. His name is not on their list and there are no minors in the tank. In the property room they are calling Shane’s cell phone and follow the ringing to a phone that came in with a drug collar for possession with intent to distribute, the suspect’s name was Douglas. Benson sees there is blood on the phone.

Back at SVU, Dickie is sitting next to Stabler’s desk. Benson hands him a sandwich but he won’t take it. Stabler asks him what is his problem, and he says his dad thinks Shane talked him into drugs. Dickie doesn’t think his father gives a damn about Shane. But Stabler asks him if he knows who he is, and he says he is his father, not a friend. This is why Dickie says he did not call him for help. Stabler says his job is to worry about him 24/7 and the people he hangs out with are his business. But Dickie says Stabler does not get to chose his friends. He says he is done listening to him. Stabler asks him if he has lost his mind, and Dickie says he is not the first Stabler to do that, is he? Stabler pauses for a second and then his face changes, and then he stands up and grabs Dickie and slams him against something. Benson stands up, but Stabler stops himself and Kathy also walks up to try to calm him, and she walks away with Dickie.

Munch comes in with the lab results from the blood on the cell phone; it’s Shane’s. Benson finds that Shane’s phone was found on Neal Douglas, who was arrested for possession with intent and assault with a deadly weapon, he pistol-whipped a man. The charges were dropped with the victim recanted. Man 2, the charges were dropped when the witnesses disappeared. Benson and Munch look to Stabler who seems to be trying to still calm himself, and when she mentions his names, he takes a deep breath and says they should head to the tombs and rattle his cage. But Munch says they have to call Cabot, he says to tell her to meet them there.

Benson asks Douglas about the phone, and he says he does not talk without his suit. When Stabler asks another question, Douglas asks him if he just asked him a question without his lawyer here, Cabot walks in and says he just violated his right to counsel but don’t take it personally, that is Stabler’s M.O. He asks her what she is there for, and she said nothing. She ends the interview.

Outside of the room, she says she is not going to the DA on a missing kid that is not even in her jurisdiction. Stabler reminds her that Shane’s blood is on the phone found in Douglas’ possession. Cabot says the same kid he thought was a suspect is now a victim because he let his personal bias get in the way. He says blaming him will not help find Shane. She says there is nothing she can do, and he asks, can’t, or won’t? She walks away from him.

With Liam, Cabot tells him that SVU turned the picture of Nikki over to her the night before last. He asks if she turned it over to the defense, and she said an hour ago. He asked why the delay, and she said they wanted to prove it was genuine and get the victim’s side of the story. But he says this does not prove she did not withhold evidence, it just means she is not doing it now. She asks what she can do to convince him, and he says to find the recant statement. She says there isn’t one, and he says if her cops aren’t doing their job, file a complaint. She says she is not calling One PP, but he says she’d better do something because the defense has a witness that claims that Nikki recanted. When she asks who, he says she knows he can’t tell her that. She says he has a right to know who her accuser is, and he says if charges are filed against her. She says she can’t do her job with a noose around her neck. He says he promises not to leave her hanging. He leaves, and Cabot’s phone rings. She answers the phone, and says, “Where the hell are you?” She says nothing and quickly walks out of the office.

As Cabot is leaving the courthouse, a voice calls out to her. It is ADA Sonya Paxton (Christine Lahti), some sort of beverage in her hand. She waves, and Cabot walks over, saying she thought she stood her up. Paxton said she couldn’t quite make it through the door, she wasn’t quite ready. She wants to give Cabot some much-needed advice – don’t give the state bar any more ammunition. She said she didn’t blow a trial by blowing vodka on to a judge and she sure as hell wasn’t forced to take a Breathalyzer in open court. As Cabot starts to walk away, Paxton said it was scotch and she has never been accused of a Brady violation. Cabot is angry, saying that she takes her oath very seriously and she did not withhold evidence. Paxton says even if the cops didn’t turn over every scrap of evidence she is still culpable and they will yank her license. Cabot says Benson and Stabler would not do that. Paxton says they are good cops but their loyalty is to each other, not to Cabot. Cabot responds that she knows Paxton did not get along with Stabler but this is low, even for her. Paxton denies having an ax to grind, but Cabot says Paxton just wants to bury it in their back. Paxton asks who she will blame when she looses her job? Cabot asks if she is telling her not to trust them, and Paxton says no, she is telling her to do her job and watch her ass. She walks away, leaving Cabot standing there looking a little concerned.

Meanwhile, Stabler is on the phone with Kathy and asks her to put him on the phone, but Dickie will not talk to him. Benson comes up and asks if Dickie is still not talking to him, and Stabler says he will get over it. They see Nikki enter the SVU squad and ask her what is wrong. She yells at them, saying that they promised if she pressed charges she would get justice. She tells them that Cabot talked to her father about the picture and then she dropped the charges against Sam. She tells the stunned detectives he is already celebrating and says she should have never listened to them and pressed charges. They asked if she told anyone else that, and she said just her friend Amy Wagner. She said Sam had a lot of friends that were going to come after her. She has been shoved against a locker and gets nasty phone calls saying she was asking for it. Stabler asks her to give them some names, but she says what for, they won’t do anything. She just wants to go home. Benson says she will take her home.

Stabler walks back into the squad room and seen Munch standing near Cragen’s office door, peering in. He tells him Cragen in getting is ass handed to him because of Stabler. Cragen opens the office door and says, “Munch, you’re in charge” to which Munch replies, “Not again. For how long?” Cragen says they have not decided yet. Stabler says he is sorry, and Cragen says to save it for Mrs. Newsome, they have a body dump matching Shane’s .

ME Warner (Tamara Tunie) is on the scene and says Shane was found naked. He took a lot of blunt force trauma with stab wounds. No sign of sexual assault. Benson sees blood spatter on the blacktop. There are patterns marks on his neck. Cabot comes up and tells Stabler he should not be here, and he says he’s been hearing that a lot lately. He asks her if she wants a badge, she should come to him, not Cragen. She says she did not call One PP and if he was doing his job he would have kept him on a leash. Benson pipes up and says she is so busy telling them how to do their jobs she forgot to do her own. Cabot asks if she talked to Nikki, and Benson says she did and she also put in a formal request for a new ADA. When Cabot asks on what grounds, Benson says professional ethics, accusing Cabot of sacrificing a rape victim to save her own ass. She walks away, leaving Cabot standing there stunned.

At the morgue, ME Warner says Shane was stomped to death. There were 15 stab wounds but they weren’t deep enough so the perp used his boots to kill him. His ribs have multiple fractures but it was the compound fracture to the 8th rib that killed him. The cartilage snapped and punctured the lung. It was a slow death, about 36 hours ago. Tox screen prove that Shane has been clean for months. Stabler, meanwhile, overhears this while he sanding nearby and gets a look of regret.

At the Manhattan Detention Complex, Benson enters a room and sees Cabot who says, “After you.” Cabot walks in the holding cell where Douglas is there with his lawyer, who asks what she is offering. She says she is offering the same thing she offered before, nothing. He says then she shouldn’t have talked to him at all, he heard there was a state bar investigator in town. Cabot says while he is chumming the waters, Douglas will be arraigned for murder 2. Douglas seems shocked to hear this, and he asks who is dead. They tell him it is Shane and he had his phone in his pocket. He says it wasn’t him, but Cabot says if he doesn’t come up with a name, it was him. His lawyer says talking to him will violate his 5th Amendment rights, but Cabot doesn’t care what his client does for a living, but murder trumps narcotics every day of the week. He says his regular customers bring things to barter and most of it is worthless. The guy got 4 dimes and he got the phone, he didn’t know he dropped a body for it. He doesn’t know the customer’s name. When Cabot says he needs to know it now, he stands up and says he doesn’t check ID and it’s a nasty-ass homeless guy who hangs out by the church. Benson gets on the phone to Fin and asks him to pick up Harold Moore from the hospital and put him in the box.

Back at the SVU squad, Stabler is looking at the ATM photo and photo of Shane’s body, and Benson asks him how he is doing. He asks how should he be doing. She reminds him that Warner said he was murdered probably right after he asked for the back code and there is nothing they could have done. He says that is wrong, he pulled the footage from a drug store next to the ATM and all he had to do was look at it earlier, he could have saved him. She says he doesn’t know that, and he says she can tell that to his mother, she won’t believe her any more than he does, and he walks off.

Fin tells Benson that Moore left the hospital against doctor’s orders and they will have to troll the alleys. She asks if he can take Munch, who asks where she is going. She says to check on Nikki Sherman. Munch says maybe she should not push her to re-file charges because she is shaky right now, but Benson thinks they can prop her up because Sam raped her and he belongs in prison. Fin tells Munch they should roll, but Munch says he can’t because he is in charge. Fin asks how long is the suspension this time, and Munch says 10 days but there won’t be a next time. If Cragen gets jammed, the brass will show him the door.

Fin arrives where Harold Moore is pushing his cart, and when he tries to stop him, Harold cuts at him with a knife. Fin gets out his gun and while Harold points the knife at Fin, Fin tells him that he will shoot him, so Harold drops his knife. Fin tells him to get his ass on the ground, and as he cuffs him, Harold sobs that it was not his fault.

At Nikki’s home, Benson knocks on the door and asks her to open up. A neighbor opens her door and asks if she can help. Benson shows her badge and asks if she knows Nikki Sherman, and she says she should be home and she looks in on her when her father is gone. Benson says Nikki is not answering so the woman gets her keys. Benson unlocks the door, and calls out to Nikki. She sees her laying on her bed and she is not moving. She sees an empty bottle of pills, and she tries CPR.

Meanwhile, back at SVU, Fin questions Harold about Shane, saying that Shane was a friend who bought Harold food and talked to him. But Harold repeats that it is not his fault. Fin says Shane knew he was a lost cause but wanted to help him anyway, he saw Harold like God sees him. Harold knew Shane from before when they sued to get high, He said it was the bottles, times are hard and no one throws them away anymore, and how can he survive without redemption? Meanwhile, Stabler is at Mrs. Newsome’s but she closes the door in his face. While Fin continues to talk to Harold, Benson is with Nikki as they rush her in to the hospital. Harold, meanwhile, is angry that Shane said he didn’t have any money but he lied, he had a bank card and Shane pretended the card didn’t work.. Harold screams that he needed that money. Fin calls him a sorry son of a bitch as that wasn’t even Shane’s card and that he killed him for nothing. Harold says he got his phone. Fin says he belongs in a body bag but he is going to put him in a cage for life instead. Harold makes a run for Fin, but Fin flips him to the ground like a rag doll, and puts his foot on Harold’s throat. Harold says he did not mean to kill him, but Fin, standing over him, says yes he did. He pulls Harold back up and says took Shane’s stuff and left him naked in an alley. Fin throws him against the grated window, and Harold asks, why not, he didn’t need them anymore.

Meanwhile, Cabot is with Sam and his attorney, saying she decided to comply with their demand for a missing witness statement. The lawyer asks why, she already dismissed the indictment. She says she re-filed again this morning, along with additional charges of witness tampering and obstruction. They look stunned and the lawyer says she better have the evidence to back that up. She gets on the intercom and asks someone to send in her witness. Sam asks his lawyer what is going on, he thought he said it was over. Amy walks in, and Sam asks what she is doing here. Cabot says they remember Amy Wagner, she’s the witness that they said that Nikki had recanted. The lawyer said that is right, the prosecution has to make full disclosure, he doesn’t. But Cabot says he didn’t do his homework, and she asks Amy to tell them what she told the police last night. Amy said that she told them that she lied about Nikki saying Sam didn’t rape her. Sam gets an slightly angry look on his face. Amy goes on to say that she did it because Sam gave her things and she got invited to parties and hang out. But Sam gets really angry, and calls her a lying bitch, he didn’t give her anything. His lawyer tells him to shut up, and then says to Cabot if Amy lied to him, then she is probably lying to her, saying she isn’t a very credible witness. Cabot says she thinks a jury will believe her. She asks Amy if she is wiling to testify that she sold Nikki out for some clothes and an Ipod. She glares at Sam and then says yes. The lawyer asks Cabot to make him and offer, and she says no. He asks if she is really going to put a suicidal teenager through a rape trial. Cabot tells him all Nikki wanted was her day in court and she intends to see she gets it. Sam asks what that means, and Cabot says it means he is going to prison and he is going to find out exactly how Nikki felt when he raped her on the bathroom floor.

Back at the Stabler home, Dickie comes in from outside, and his father is there, saying, “You don’t get to do this.” Stabler looks at him and says Dickie was gone all night, no way, no more. Dickie says Mrs. Newsome won’t even see him and he lawyer says she does not want him at Shane’s funeral. Stabler seems to soften, and says that is his fault, he can’t fix it. Dickie says he can, and he slaps down Army consent forms, and he tells his father to sign them and he is out of here. Stabler says he can’t do that. Dickie yells for him to sign them, and he walks off and says if he makes him wait until he is 18 he will never see him again. He throws the pen down on the paper and yells again for him to sign them. But Stabler reaches out and grabs his son and hugs him and they both begin to cry. He says he is not signing them, he is his son. He repeats he is his son, while Dickie continues to cry, and Stabler continues to hold his son as we fade to black.

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Shelly said...

My head is still spinning from all the stuff going on in this episode. I guess they needed to combine the two because either story on its own might not have been worth its own episode.

I understand that they're trying to "clean up" SVU, but is it just me, or has Cabot been a witch since she came back? She acted as if she had no sympathy at all when they said Elliot's son was missing. The "old" Cabot would have at least said, Elliot, I'm sorry about your son, but... it just seems like any comradery they used to have is now gone.

And gee, Benson and/or Stabler broke the rules YET again. If I were Cragen I would fire them both. We've all lost track of the numerous times he said "don't do..." as they walk out the door to go do it. It gets tiresome. Elliot does need to get a grip, though. Quickly.

Thanks as usual for the great review All Things... this ep did hold my interest, but I'm not sure if it was for all the right reasons...

Meryl said...

I too am really upset about Alex's character assassination. She is my favorite ADA, and in these new eps she might as well be a different person.

Anonymous said...

Cragan returns in the next episode so RELAX he hasn't lost his job because of Stabler.

Anonymous said...

I am starting to think that they brought in Paxton to be the bitch and clean up SVU so they would have an excuse to make Cabot into the same type person. A shame really because they are going too overboard with Cabot. It's OK for them to toughen up Cabot a bit, but as always with the SVU writers, they have to take things to the extreme. The same with Stabler. He is becoming an idiot. If I didn't know better I'd say it was 'roid rage. Benson is also getting a little pissy with everyone too and her sanctimonious attitude is getting on my nerves.

I used to think the show was dropping in ratings because of its new time slot, but now I think it's because people realize that the show just isn't as good anymore.

Jojo said...

I agree with most of your comments ATL&O - Stabler is horribly unhinged and Benson was harsh with Cabot. Like Shelly said, though, Cabot's being a real witch lately too.

There is way too much personal stuff going on - it's odd, I used to watch SVU to get a real 'procedural' start-to-finish case, and I watched CSI to get the procedural but with more personal stuff. Now SVU seemingly has way more personal problems with their characters than CSI does! Which is OK in doses, but it's becoming a little overwhelming when everybody seems to have very big issues. Isn't anybody of a normal temperament anymore? It's making the episodes so heavy, as well. I've been watching some of Season 2 and there's all these light quips that are thrown in. Haven't seen them in a while.

My favourite part of the episode was Fin's mad karate move in taking down the homeless guy in the interrogation room. Until the stomping on the neck. Is police brutality in vogue? Oh, but +1 to Benson for putting on gloves before handling Shane's phone.

There was too much going on in this episode. And I don't like the Stabler family, which means I didn't really get all that into it. I'm really not sure how long I can keep justifying my viewing by saying I'll-forgive-them-for-this-questionable-episode-because-I-love-Mariska.

John K. said...

Indeed, as Cabot is becoming unlikeable in-series, anyway. I've been observing it for a while, but this episode is confirmation. Ironic, since she's one of the most popular characters in SVU. Then again, why bother returning the character if this is the end result?

Kevin (Ket) said...

I saw this episode yesterday and I didn't like it at all. It's more than just what the characters seem to be becoming. This episode was just full of over-acting. I don't know what's up with Dickie Stabler; is it because the material has to work with is just bad? Or is he a bad actor? But he was just insufferable (and, really Benson, why would you suggest that he might be gay knowing his unhinged father is watching?)

Turmoil might be an apt name, but this episode didn't calm down at all, even just to give a breather. Just a bunch of work politics that tells me the folks over at the Unit don't seem to even like working with each other anymore. Guess the whole ADA Greyleck ordeal has just left a bad taste in everybody's mouths.

John K. said...

To be fair, they've always had issues with A.D.A.s, as even Casey Novak's early days weren't easy. Because of that, I'm not quick to say it's aftermath from Kim. Did it help matters? No, unfortunately.

I agree with Jojo, as I watched a MyNetwork rerun after the episode, and it's like watching two different series.

BTW, I laughed at the pet line. Stabler should get a pit bull, which would fit him well.

Kevin (Ket) said...

I didn't mean left a bad taste in their mouths. I meant left a bad taste in ours. I thought about it a bit, and I think they really want to have a tough-as-nails-no-nonsense ADA in the series.

But, the way I see it, they tried to do that with Casey Novak. But her character ended up developing in a softer direction, more akin to Cabot, but also a little more of an idealist (which was both a virtue and character flaw, in my eyes). They tried to do it with Kim Greyleck, and fans just weren't responsive to her approach (and who can blame them? Her glare burns holes into your soul).

Sonya Paxton could've been prep for the new Alex Cabot, but there was no secret that she was only temporary, which I think is a shame since I think they could've used the fact she is older than her predecessors to change the dynamic of the characters a bit. It bothers me that they insist on having a young woman always be the ADA of SVU. But Alex Cabot is just an inappropriate choice, because she already has history in the series of playing with the law to serve the victims. So now that's so by the books...

Anonymous said...

I can appreciate this 11th season. I liked all the episodes. I do not understand when they say that in recent years has focused much SVU personal life of Elliot and Olivia. SVU since Season 1 was thus always showing the Elliot family. What is the problem if we have a good story to watch. And the errors, the vacillations of the detectives are normal, after all they are human beings dealing with vicious criminals, psychopaths, who do not deserve the compassion of anyone. It was on SVU I learned that there is difference between law and justice. Not always do justice to the law, so the detectives revolt and sometimes end up breaking the lei.Para Finally, I would say that I love, love the work of Christopher Melloni and Mariska Hargitay. They are great actors and beautiful.

Anonymous said...

The personal stuff is minimal...its not in ALL the episodes but I have to admit that its nice to see the personal stuff. You want to be able to relate to the charactors and what they are going through and what their families are going through. Stabler had the issue with Richard (Dickie..yeesh I hate that name) and it affected his work. He said his head was in the game but it wasn't. WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE AT SOME have problems at home and you go to work thinking you won't bring those personal problems there but you do.

I am enjoying this season very much. I love how everyone has their opinion and are free to express it but I hate it when people bash this show..or in their review they say stuff like "I don't know why I am giving a review for this episode it wasn't worth it". I refuse to read crap like that...

I have watched all the seasons so far and I have to admit it's still a good show. It can have its ups and downs but EVERY SHOW goes through that. Still my favorite show...

Kevin (Ket) said...

If you don't want to read a negative opinion, you're not obligated to read it. The thing about reviewers is (and people often forget this) it is not their job to agree with you. I like the show too, but it has flaws; we don't have to think it's a perfect show. Some of us happen to think the flaws are starting to be laid on thick these days.

Alexandra said...

while Stabler and Benson aren't perfect, and COULD be performing better you seem to not lay ANY blame on Cragen. You said he can't follow them eveyr day but yes it is fair of him to get suspended for someone else's actions, when he is the boss, and so is supposed to be supervising them, and know where he is.

This episode did a great job of showcasing how Cragen is the father of the squad room, and just like Stabler is losing control at home, Cragen is losing control of his squadroom.

The blame doesn't lie only on two people (Benson and Stabler) the blame lies on everyone.

It's also like with addictions (see how the ep ties everything in together). The person to blame isn't just the addict. it's the people who let the addict get to that point. Family members and coworkers who saw the signs and didn't do anything.

Not until everyone takes responsibility can stuff get better. I think the only person blameless here is ME Warner. She's pretty awesome.

Anonymous said...

Alexandra, your vieewpoint is whacked. People have to stoop blaming other people for their own problems. A person who is an addict will always be an addict if they think that the people that let him/her get to that point are at fault. For example, a person who is morbidly obese (food addict) should not be blaming their family, co-workers, friends for their weight because nobody is forcing them to eat. Same with a drug addict, no one forces them to take drugs. It is a choice.

The only person responsible for Stabler being out of control is STABLER. Yes, Cragen is his boss, but even a person's boss can't always control someone who is clearly out of control. Cragen's only mistake is that he should have completely taken Stabler off ALL cases until Dickie was found. Poor Cragen, he tries to do right by his people and then they just take advantage of the poor guy. I wish he would just fire that whiner Stabler already.

A drug addict will be a drug addict, a drunk an acoholic, and an overeater will be obsese until they realize that they themselves are the problem, not somebody else.

Anonymous said...

First of all KEVIN (KET) whatever the hell your name is...I never said that you can't give the show a BAD REVIEW...I am GLAD we all have an opinion about the show and are able to express it...I PERSONALLY avoid the bad reviews UNTIL I have had a CHANCE to watch the show and make an opinion of my own. AND if you actually read my post I said the show has its ups and downs MEANING FLAWS!!!!! but that doesn't mean the show is bad. The mothership has PLENTY OF FLAWS AS WELL but no one ever points those out do they??

I am not tired of the personal story lines you want to know why?? BECAUSE I LIKE KNOWING THAT THE CHARACTORS HAVE PERSONAL LIVES OUTSIDE THE SQUADROOM AND HOW THEY DEAL WITH THEM AND HOW IS AFFECTS THEIR WORK..heck I work in a law firm and I know that if there is something personally going on with me I have to create a balance fir my home life and my work life..KIND OF LIKE THE CHARACTORS.....I AM NOT SAYING YOU HAVE TO AGREE WITH ME BECAUSE THIS IS MY OPINION.

All Things Law and Order said...

Anonymous, no need to "yell" here. (Typing in caps as you did is considered yelling.)

By the way, there have been many negative comments about the mothership, just not many recently, as it seems many view the show as being far better that SVU this season.

Maxine said...

In my personal opinion SVU is off and on good this season as well as L&O.

SVU - Turmoil: I give it a 5/10, because of all the 'crap' that was in the story lines, too much drama not enough of the reason the show is called "the Special Victims Unt"... how I long for the episodes for the third season!
(A Stabler family pet... bad idea! The family is already 'coo-koo crazy'.)

L&O - Defense: All right, a 9/10! Law & Order is getting better and better as episodes progress, 20 years may be a good thing for this show! I hope it will stay on 20 more! (A WHOLE new cast by then!) Congrads to L&O.

CI - Why? All the drama OFF screen. Vincent D'Onofrio signed a petition about moving the show. (

Anonymous said...

Sorry to yell All Things but I come on this website to post often and every post that I write gets crapped on...SO I have decided to refrain from coming to this site. I understand its your opinion but you have a negative opinion about SVU and I wonder why you go through the trouble to write a negative review week after week. Why do you waste your time when you NEVER give it a good review. Perhaps there are people out there that liked this episode and others and while they understand your opinion is your opinion there is no need to bash the show and that is what I think you do. Your negativety is what gets spread around to other sites like

This will be my last post...I know there are many anonymous posters so its hard to determine which one I am but I am tired of your negative input about SVU and I will not longer be supporting your site.

Jojo said...

"....every post that I write gets crapped on".

Your post only got 'crapped on' because you 'crapped on' the review to begin with. And then following up with yelling and things like "...whatever the hell your name is" is pretty childish.

Have you read reviews that are love-fests week in, week out? Not only is it subjective, but very boring. Creative criticism is what instigates discussion - I don't want to read reviews full of "this was great, the show is going excellent!", followed by comments of the same thing - especially if it's not ringing true.

I love the show - I really do - which is why it disappoints me when it isn't quite on par with what I expect, because I *know* it could do better.

Besides, wasn't there an episode a few weeks ago where ATL&O said that she liked?

ATL&O - I'm not defending you here, because I know you can defend yourself =P I just want to say that I appreciate the effort you go to in writing the reviews and recaps. Sometimes I do think that you are being harsh on SVU, but then I do understand where you're coming from and it's abit like tough love, really. I can only hope that the writers are reading them too!

All Things Law and Order said...

Jojo - thank you for your support, it is appreciated!

To set the record straight for everyone - I wouldn't spend the countlss hours to recap the show, provide episode information on upcoming episodes, episode pics - and on my other blog, "These Are There Stories" - news updates on all the stars of the show, if I didn't like SVU.

I think SVU can do a lot better. I think they are catering to Chris and Mariska storylines almost too much, to the detriment of the quality of the show and the story they are trying to tell. I have followed SVU since day one, not on my blog that whole time but on other forums, and those that know me from way back know that I have said very complementary things about SVU, and sometimes very negative years about the mothership L&O. Being a fan does not necessarily mean that everything that comes out of my mouth has to be gushing love. Sometimes being a fan means saying things that aren't positive in the hopes that it will be considered constructive criticism for the people on the show. As Jojo said, it is "tough love".

I welcome all kinds of opinion here, and welcome those who disagree with me!

Kevin (Ket) said...

"Anonymous said...
First of all KEVIN (KET) whatever the hell your name is..."

Ballsy for somebody who posts under the the name "Anonymous". I didn't like the way this episode was handled. I like Law and Order SVU. But I didn't like this episode. You may notice that I am not a regular commenter. But I did want to see what other people said about "Turmoil" because I was interested in why I reacted so negatively to the episode. Who knows? Maybe I would've come here and saw all sorts of good comments about it and question whether maybe I was overly harsh. It just so happens I wasn't. Other people had negative feelings about it (and recent episodes) too.

"Anonymous said...
This will be my last post...I know there are many anonymous posters so its hard to determine which one I am but I am tired of your negative input about SVU and I will not longer be supporting your site."


CANADA..yo said...

Wow the comments on this site are well ummmm WOW is all I can say. All do a great job with your reviews but, now don't start hating on me when I say this but you do tend to post negatively week after week. Now I know your blood is boiling because you are just giving your opinion but its negative and you do have to remember that there are people that happen to have liked the episode so your negative comments will upset them. You may not care if you upset someone but for me personally I tend to not read your reviews because most of the time I disagree with you. Sorry. I do think you give the mothership way better reviews when I have found their episodes to be a bit dry at times and I am getting tired of McCoy. His charactor annoys me endlessly just like Stabler's family drama annoys you.

Anyway, I can see why that anonymous poster got so upset and he or she has the right to express their opinions just like you do. I don't come to this site as often as I used to. I try to stay away from a lot of negativity in life and I happen to like this show very much. Very much. I am not an EO shipper and I hate posts like that but I still enjoy the story lines and I give it the benefit of the doubt. The writers have a very very tough job and I can't imagine its easy for them to please everyone.

Anonymous said...

To the angry anonymous poster(s) and to Canada_yo, ATLAO did not write in her review that she didn't like or hated the episode. I reread it and only saw her commentary on the CHARACTERS' behaviors. The character's behaviors WERE bad. Stabler IS a mess. How cao you not watch that episode and NOT see that Stabler needs mental help? How can you watch that episode and NOT say that Benson is acting holier-than-thou? Some of you Stabler and Benson fans really need to seek help if you can't handle an honest and critical review of the events of the episode.

Like Jojo, I appreciate a review that looks harder into an episode that just being an obsessed fan. Sometimes I think that the rabid SVU fans are a bunch of people with the maturity level of teenagers.

Keep it up ATLAO. You are doing fine. I also agree that the mothership is dancing circles around SVU this season and that Connie and Cutter will soon replace Stabler and Benson as being the HOT couple in the L&O universe.

All Things Law and Order said...

Thank you to my defenders.

I really do not hate SVU, I just think they are steering their characters in the wrong direction. I really do think that the mothership is having a great season so far and I am not ashamed to say that this season they have had better episodes than SVU of late.

I guess I am just not into the Stabler family drama.

Pinky said...

OMG!! Craziness....everyone is not going to agree with everything that is written here and not that I am defending anyone but everyone is entitled to their opinion. END OF STORY. This has gotten way out of hand. Stop the hatin' people and just enjoy the friggin show....its just a show. Like it..don't like it...whatever..move on already..this is crazy.

Rob said...

Bit late to this party, but that's better than never as the saying goes.

"I wish he would just fire that whiner Stabler already."

Seconded. There have been a lot of good Stabler moments during the series' run, and when I started watching again it was partly because somebody told me that Stabler had mellowed, that he didn't brutalize suspects all that much any more. So I watched both the new episodes and reruns, and I was glad to see not only Stabler showing signs of control by NOT beating the crap out of guys when I thought he might, but by acknowledging that he had a problem and having a number of episodes tackle that. (The episode where he arrested his old partner's son after that son had beaten up a girl during a 'roid rage attack would be one example.)

In that episode, Stabler at one point saw his old partner beating up his kid in a courthouse men's room and he immediately stopped him. He then started beating on the father in a rage of his own, but the point is that he knew it was wrong for a father to beat up his own son. Well, I guess he forgot, because in this episode he slammed his own son up againt a wall and might have started smacking the kid around if they'd been alone. Because he's mad at his kid for saying he has a history of going crazy. And he responds by...going crazy. You sure proved him wrong there, El!

daniel said...

i thought this episode was average because pf the stable family drama and i was disappointed that there was more of it this season. I love Alex cabot this season, shes the same as ever but much tougher as she should be and with all the things the detectives have been through with cabot i was appalled that olivia requested a new ada.

All things your detailed recaps just proves that you dont hate svu and being critical also makes great writing, so thanks.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the Stabler family. My opinion is that Stabler is good with Olivia in working on cases, but the Stabler Character is not interesting enough for me to care what is going on in his family life. He is actually quite annoying, but I like him with Benson working on cases. Please no more personal life episodes. It is ruining the show and I tend not to watch the episodes that is predominently about Stabler and his family. No more episodes on the personal life of any of the characters is what I prefer. But the Stabler family episodes has got to stop.

NikkiBubbles said...

Jeeze what with all the negative jizz? YEah it was little boring since the whole episode wasn't really about a case, but come on it was not that bad....
I don't like Alex though... sorry. It's not just cuz her character had to be a bittcchh i personally think that Stephanie March can't act... I miss novak.. she kinda let herself go though in season 9, but at least she can act & she's pretty.
Umm the best parts in the ep 4 me was when Dickie accused El & liv sleeping 2 gther, when Liv totally slammed Alex with her request 4 a new ADA,& the cute father/son moment at the end... Hey is anyone else tired of Kathy? seriously she's SO naggy!
Thanks 4 recap & review[=

Anonymous said...

Why dose dickie stabler say he is not the first stabler to go crazy

Jasmine Lee said...

Super late response but i just found this after rewatching this ep on USA, anyway to the last commenter- there is an ep (i forget the title) where Stabler's daughter gets in a bit of trouble. She breaks into someone's house and steals a necklace which she wears while singing in the stranger's shower ha.. I think she had taken some sort of pills but the ep goes into Stabler's past concerning his manic-depressive mother and mental illness in his family.

Anonymous said...

Umm, big CPR error. When Benson does "CPR" on Nikki, she doesn't pinch her nose when giving breaths. It is painfully obvious and a huge "oops". I reckon they should know how to do real CPR in life or on TV by the time this episode aired, both for authenticity and if needed off air.

Braxtyn Coleman said...

This episode was too much all together... I ride for Alex Cabot all day cause she's "that bitch" in the courtroom. The way she was in this episode is the she shoulda been years ago when she first started at SVU. Benson and Stabler have great chemistry but don't need to work together cause what Sonya told Alex was the realist shit POSSIBLE. At the end of the day you gotta take responsibility for your actions. Liv made a bitch move putting in a new request for a new ADA. Because Alex was checkin them on they bullshit Oliva and Elliot wanna get pissy, the fuck? I feel like if they got some serious punishment shit would change. Alexandra Cabot is my girl and I don't think she was totally wrong in this episode. I just don't think they was expecting her to boss up on they asses. I do admit somethings she show no empathy for the victims to win her case, but as far as I'm concerned, she's the best ADA that Svu has had, Sonya good too, she just need to get that drinking under control. Overall the episode was juicy.