Congratulations Olivia, it's a boy!
Law & Order SVU “Spring Awakening” could have been the series finale, but lucky for fans – and the cast and crew - that the show was renewed for a 16th year. As a season finale, it worked to set the stage for more personal stories next season. Season 15 was heavy on personal drama and, at times, the quality of special victims cases has suffered. In “Spring Awakening,” the SVU case felt like an afterthought and was too contrived regarding Benson's custody of Baby Boy Doe.
Some fans may be happy that the episode ends with Benson having custody – for one year – of Baby Boy Doe/Noah. I have mixed feeling about it. Benson desperately wanted a child so I am happy for her that she has what she wants, at least for now. The custody issue could become a built-in arc for next year at this same time, and it could end well, or end with her losing custody, the latter not a happy ending for Benson. Either way, baby-centric stories don't do too much for me so I hope we won't have too much focus on the baby next season. (Updated note: We never actually hear Benson agree to take the baby, so who knows, maybe she was simply trying to decide at the end of the episode.)
While emotionally I am happy for Benson, my rational mind thinks the manner in which Benson got custody wasn’t realistic. Would a judge grant custody to a person that hasn’t been officially vetted, especially if she is aware of the recent turmoil Benson has suffered? I know of people who jumped through more hoops to adopt a rescue dog from a shelter. While the judge has been aware that Benson is very interested in the welfare of the baby, this does not mean that Benson is the right person to take charge of this child. Raising this child may help Benson in her healing process, but clearly Benson needs to keep her job, so it’s likely someone else will be taking care of Noah while Benson is working, with erratic, long hours at times. I suppose in the case of this baby, whose foster parent assignments have been inconsistent, Benson taking charge could only be an improvement...so we hope.
Had this been the series finale, I would have been underwhelmed, mostly because of the SVU case. The episode provided a well deserved happy ending for Benson, and it was great to see Richard Belzer return as Munch, the voice of wisdom, stability and reason. It was also nice to see Peter Hermann (Mariska’s husband) having a very visible role. (What fan doesn’t think that Benson and Langan should throw caution to the wind and get together?) It was disappointing not to see Raúl Esparza, who, despite appearing in the first billed credits, seems to be missing from episodes more than he is in them. It’s also a shame that we had to watch Donal Logue’s story arc end; he’s a fantastic actor and his presence added so much to the show. I wish him all the success in his new series. But the case was predictable and I felt little suspense. I watch so many crime shows that I admit I may be getting desensitized to them. There are only so many variations on special victims crimes and it could be a plus that the writers are throwing in some personal drama to bring new interest to the Special Victims Unit. All I ask for is drama that doesn’t feel recycled. With the amount of involvement IAB is having with SVU as of late, I suggest a spin off series “Law & Order IAB” and get them out of SVU’s face for a while. SVU has been going to the IAB well a little too much which may contribute to my feeling of repetition with some of the personal drama stories.
A more serious issue is that I question whether I like, or care about, the SVU characters any more. The exception: Benson. Despite Benson’s recent problems with beating William Lewis, lying about it, and then going off on her own to apprehend him, I still consider Olivia Benson one of the most interesting and respected characters on television today. But that’s about it for this show. Amaro has anger and control issues, which feel stale. I have no real interest in watching Amaro work through his problems because, frankly, I am not sure I like him. Too often, he acts like a controlling, know-it-all, spoiled brat. Rollins has a gambling problem, she has questionable judgment with sex partners, and in this episode, she lowers herself to blackmail. It’s hard for me to find anything redeeming in her, and strangely, I can’t even put her in the category of a character that I love to hate. She's a character out of a bad soap opera. Fin is just…there. Barba adds a spark - when he's there. Some of the lead characters are too heavily laden with angst and after a while, I feel like they are a lead weight around my neck. They never improve, they only get worse. They don't use their brains and don't learn from their mistakes. I’m not asking that they all suddenly find happiness and everything is unicorns and rainbows, I simply don’t want all their flaws thrown in my face with every episode while the victims are relegated to window dressing.
I struggled with this review. I've read it 5 times now and it sounds like it was written by a person who hated the episode and hates the series That is not my intent. It's because I DO care about the series that I am critical of where I believe it is going wrong, and praise it where it goes right. Law & Order SVU is a show with strong bones, strong leadership, strong writing, and solid acting, but it sometimes needs some tough love. I'm glad it has another year and hopefully we'll have new surprises in season 16.
Here is the recap:
Mariska Hargitay – Sergeant Olivia Benson
Ice-T – Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola
Kelli Giddish - Detective Amanda Rollins
Danny Pino - Detective Nick Amaro
Raúl Esparza - ADA Rafael Barba
Richard Belzer – John Munch, Special Investigator
Donal Logue - Lt. Declan Murphy
Emma Greenwell - Ellie Porter
Peter Hermann - Counselor Trevor Langan
Raza Jaffrey – Prosecutor
Jessica Phillips – ADA Pippa Cox
Michael Potts - Sgt. Cole Draper
Jason Cerbone - Counselor Desappio
Gavin-Keith Umeh - Little Tino
Kate Blumberg – Mrs. Wilkes
Jayne Houdyshell – Judge Linden
Michael Mastro – Judge Serani
Raushanah Simmons – Prosecutor
Edwin Lee Gibson – Tino’s Attorney
Joshua Malina - Simon Wilkes
Karl Miller – Hans Erhard
Sonia Manzano – Judge Gloria Pepitone
Sara Contreras – Alminia Aguilar
Karen Christie-Ward – Sister IAD
Thedra Porter – Chantal
Diomargu Nunez – Officer Sanchez
Geeta Pereira – Hooker #1
Shana Solomon – Hooker #2
Rob Morgan – Homeless Guy
Simon Wilkes is at a schoolyard taking photos of kids at play and Amaro approaches and says Simon has 5 seconds to put the camera down. Simon explains it is a public sidewalk, then tells Amaro to smile and he points the camera at Amaro. Amaro grabs Simon’s arms to pull the camera away. Simon hits Amaro in the head with the camera and tells him to leave him alone. Amaro slams the camera to the ground and begins to beat Simon as Simon begs for someone to call the police. Amaro continues to beat him as the police arrive.
Afterwards, EMT workers take Simon away on a stretcher and his wife leaves with a police officer. Amaro, cuffed, is placed in the back seat of a squad car.
Meanwhile, in family court, we find that Baby Boy Doe has no foster parents again The judge comments this is his fourth home in four months and asks if they can do better. ADA Pippa Cox believes they can get it right but for now the judge returns the baby to ACS.
At another precinct, Amaro is being booked. He whines he is entitled to a call and the officer replies when he is done being processed.
Back at family court, Benson asks Cox if she can visit the baby. Cox replies it is fine with her and then points her to Chantal from social services who asks what is her interest.
Back at the precinct, Amaro’s injuries are being documented and he is fingerprinted. The officer then gives Amaro his phone and tells him he can make that call now.
Later, Rollins speaks with Amaro who now is in a cell, and when he asks if IAB is here, she says she is sure they are on en route. She tries to counsel him and he says he knows he should not talk to anyone until his lawyer gets here. Benson and Murphy race up and Benson tells Amaro she is so sorry, but Murphy asks him what the hell was he thinking? Amaro tells him don’t worry about it, and, raising his voice, he says he was off duty and it is none of his concern. Murphy counters that everything is his concern, commenting that Amaro went after Simon Wilkes and wonders again what he was thinking. Murphy then tells Amaro not to answer that. Benson notices Amaro’s injury and asks if he is okay. Amaro replies it is just a cut. Murphy asks if Simon is alive, and Rollins explains that she called the hospital; Simon is sedated now and has a concussion and broken ribs. Murphy comments that is felonious assault and, turning to Amaro, adds it could be attempted murder if they really want him out. Benson asks Amaro if Simon came after him and if that is how he got that cut, and Murphy stops her, saying that is enough, none of this is privileged, no more questions. He tells Amaro that he knows he does not value his advice but even if he thinks he did the right thing, stand down and keep his mouth shut. Benson nods in agreement and Amaro is silent.
Later, Amaro is being questioned by Sergeant Draper of IAB, with his lawyer present, who argues Amaro was defending himself. Draper says that is not what the witnesses and the unis said. Draper outlines the trouble Amaro is in and that he was arrested and will be charged. He turns off the camera and says the duty captain wants assault 2 and there will be an independent DA who may increase that and Amaro better hope his vic pulls through.
At arraignment court on Saturday, May 3, Amaro’s attorney pleads that Amaro is not guilty of the charge of assault in the first degree. The prosecutor recommends remand as this is not the first time Amaro has been in that courtroom and considering the brutality of the beating and that the victim may not recover. Judge Serani sets bail at $500K. Amaro’s lawyer asks if he has collateral on the house, and Amaro says he can’t ask his wife again. His lawyer asks if there is anyone else as Amaro is taken away. Mrs. Wilkes walks up to Benson, Rollins, and Fin who were watching the proceeding and says, “You people, you just can’t stop.”
Back at SVU in Murphy’s office, Murphy gets off the phone and tells the detectives that One PP won’t budge and the DA won’t budge as it is not Amaro’s first time. Benson questions the bail amount, saying Amaro is not a flight risk and not dangerous. Murphy explains that Amaro acted like Dirty Harry; he beat a man bloody. Rollins argues it was a man who threatened to string up little boys and silt their throats. Murphy reminds them Wilkes was found not guilty and is not even on the registry. Fin says they all know what Wilkes is, and Amaro got cut and was defending himself. Murphy asks Fin if he was there. Rollins suggests they go out and talk to witnesses that support that story, and Murphy orders they will do no such thing and not to even think about investigating on their own. He asks if that is clear and Rollins quietly replies “Yes sir.” Murphy states they will go about their business as usual and asks where are they on that tourist. Fin explains he caught that call; Hans Erhard was a German who was robbed, beaten, and sodomized in his hotel room last night. Murphy asks if he got his statement, and Fin explains he is recovering from surgery; the perp raped him with a gun. Murphy tells them to go to the hospital and see what he remembers.
At Bellevue Hospital on Saturday, May 3, Hans Erhard tells Fin and Rollins that he went on Craigslist looking for a real New York girlfriend experience. She came to his room and asked to order champagne from room service. She did not look like her picture, maybe 25, rough, and said her name was Lisette. She got right down to business and unzipped his pants and put her hands on him. He heard a knock on the door and thought that room service had arrived and he told them to come it, it was open. In came a man with a gun, Latin, scary, he hit Lisette with a gun and held it on him and demanded his wallet and passport. Hans was nervous opening the safe so the man hit him with his gun. He took everything then forced him down on the bed and used the gun to rape him. The girl was in the corner, crying, terrified. When Hans comments that room service never came, and Fin states this was a scam, she set him up.
Back at SVU, with the details on the board, Fin explains that Hans, who is 32 and a tourist from Cologne, Germany, answered an ad on Craigslist looking for company, and Rollins adds he ended up getting rolled and raped. The girl he met said her name was Lisette, and Rollins points out her surveillance photo and Craigslist ad. Murphy asks if they are assuming she was in on the job, and Fin explains she told him she was calling room service but the hotel shows only one outgoing call to a no name cell. Rollins says she never called for help and she must have taken the stairs because there is no footage of her leaving. Murphy asks about the doer, and as Rollins shows an image from the surveillance video, Fin explains the man was a pro, and hotel security doesn’t recognize him or the girl. Murphy wonders if they move around, and tells them to check all Time Square budget hotels. Benson asks that CSU didn’t get anything from the hotel room, and Fin mentions that for a mid town tourist hotel, they will be going through bodily fluids, hairs, and prints for weeks. Benson asks if there are any open cases with a similar MO, and Rollins states there were 4 in the last year, there were robberies and beatings but no rape and no arrests were made. In each case, the vic returned to his own country. Murphy asks if the ad is still up on Craigslist, and Rollins explains it was sent from an Internet café and TARU says there is no point in trying to track it. Murphy asks if there is any point in answering it, and Benson asks if he is thinking on answering it, saying “Talk about being proactive.” Fin comments they just rolled somebody last night and they might be laying low, but Murphy wonders if they are feeling lucky, especially if someone calls – he uses his Irish accent – saying they are “visiting from Ireland, feeling lonely.”
At the Duchess Hotel on Saturday, May 3, Murphy, in the hotel room, comments via the surveillance mics in the room to Rollins, who is in the lobby, asking if there is any sign of the woman as she is late. Rollins sees her and tells Murphy the girl is on her way up and no one is with her. In a room next door, Benson and Fin have surveillance cameras set up watching the room and area. Murphy tells them he doesn’t want them to bust in until the pimp shows his weapon. Benson comments that if he has a gun they should get him in the hallway. Murphy explains that he can take care of himself and he needs the pimp in the act. There is a knock on the door and Murphy, using his Irish accent, calls out that it is open. Lisette enters and leaves the door cracked open. Murphy waves her in. She looks skanky and staggers in, and when Murphy looks disappointed, she says it was an old picture. She comes on to him immediately but he asks if he can get her something to drink. She asks if she can order from room service and he says to be his guest. She makes a call and in the lobby, Rollins sees the pimp arrive and she calls up to the room. In the room, Murphy gets out his money and she puts the whole wad in her bra. She comes on very strong, going for his pants and he tells her to slow down as the pimp stands outside the room door. The pimp busts in and tells them both to get their hands up, pointing a gun at them. He asks Murphy for his cash and Murphy says it is in her brassiere. The pimp grabs Lisette by the hair and Murphy asks him not to hurt her. The pimp pushes her to the floor and she hits the wall hard. As Murphy tells him his wallet and passport are in the dresser, Fin and Benson open the door from the adjoining room and knock the pimp to the floor, their guns drawn. The pimp claims this is entrapment. Lisette goes for the pimp’s gun which is on the floor and Benson loudly tells her if Lisette moves, she will shoot. Lisette says he took her money, but Benson has no sympathy, telling her to get up and pulling her up to stand. Murphy tells the detectives to cuff them both and get them out of his face.
Back at SVU, Murphy asks if anybody has heard form Amaro. Benson states she saw him this morning and he is a good as can be expected. Fin says Little Tino, the pimp, has a lawyer, Benson adding that Lisette, AKA Ellie, is in holding waiting for legal aid. Rollins questions that the pimp doesn’t even look out for his own, adding that is penny wise. Counselor Trevor Langan enters looking for Ellie Porter, apologizing for being late, saying he just caught the case. Benson comments she thought Ellie had a public defender, and then introduces Rollins to Langan, saying he is a high priced mouthpiece for lowlifes. He reminds her – “And you, once.” He adds how soon they forget, and it is nice to see her. She counters it is Sergeant now, and asks if he caught a pro bono. He says yes, he does a few of them a year and it keeps him an honest lawyer. Murphy wisecracks that is an oxymoron. Benson introduces Langan to Murphy and Langan comments about the changes. He asks Benson if she is doing okay with everything, and she says she is fine, giving a forced smile and thanking him. He walks off. Rollins comments to Benson that Langan is tall, and Benson comments, “like that’s a skill set.” Rollins asks if Benson and Langan have history, and Benson replies that she doesn’t date lawyers. Rollins asks, “since when?” Benson sits down at her desk and doesn’t answer.
At Manhattan Correctional in the visiting room on Sunday, May 4, Amaro’s lawyer tells him that Wilkes has no permanent damage but that Wilkes and his wife are adamant about seeing a prosecutor. The DA oversees police brutality for the whole office and after that Twitter screw up last month, she will lard this up with every charge she can. Amaro questions that she wants to side with a pedophile who was outside s schoolyard taking pictures of young boys. Amaro’s lawyer reminds him it was a day after he was acquitted of all charges and it was not illegal. Amaro comments Wilkes keeps his torture chamber too, and the lawyer says it is within his rights. And their best argument right now is self defense. He outlines a scenario but Amaro admits he did not ID himself as a cop. He lawyer says he used more force than necessary to protect himself but Amaro counters he tried that with IAB. The lawyer reminds Amaro that IAB is not the jury and Amaro says he is not going to trial. The lawyer says they can try for a plea bargain but they are what they are.
Back at SVU, Hans ID’s Lisette/Ellie in a line up. Benson comments to Langan that it was pretty definitive, but Langan counters she needs to look at Ellie as a victim. She was pimped out at 16. Benson reminds him Ellie tried to pull a gun on Murphy. Langan says she was coerced by her pimp. Benson reminds him Ellie set up a tourist to be raped and is a career criminal. Langan counters that up to now, it has only been misdemeanors; she needs rehab, not jail time. He walks off.
Meanwhile, Hans does not pick out Little Tino from the line up which makes Little Tino’s lawyer happy.
Afterwards, Murphy tells the squad that eyewitness ID is the most unreliable form of evidence and asks if they have anything else. Rollins says Little Tino has a record, and runs with a Queens based Dominican gang and has an extensive record. Fin says there was no DNA in the rape kit and the gun is being checked for Hans’ DNA. Rollins adds they still have him on the gun charge and maybe the attempted robbery on Murphy. Murphy says there was another witness in the room when Hans was being raped – Ellie. Benson reminds him she was his accomplice and she was the only one ID’d in the lineup, thinking the defense will have a field day. Murphy states her record says she started working for Little Tino when she was 16 and she can testify to underage sex trafficking. Benson thinks Ellie will not help them as Little Tino has her pawned. Fin reminds them that pimps almost always take care of legal so they can control their girls. Murphy wonders if that will come back to bite him. He tells Benson she knows Ellie’s lawyer, try to get him to see the upside of a it down.
Later, Benson meets with Langan and Ellie and despite her being encouraged to testify against Little Tino, she refuses. But when Benson brings up Ellie having to go through full withdrawal, describing how sick she will get, it doesn’t work. Ellie says lady detectives love saving girls like her but she likes her life just the way it is. Benson says they will be sending her over for booking and accomplice to rape. Langan asks for a minute with Ellie, and Benson tells him to take two, she isn’t sure it will do any good. She storms out of the room.
Later. Benson is at her desk and Murphy says the DA is going to charge Little Tino with attempted robbery, and Ellie too. Benson thinks it is something, at least they are off the streets. Murphy states it is not as proactive as he hoped. Benson thinks Ellie will not go against Little Tino, that she did everything she could. Murphy asks, “Did you?” When she asks what does that mean, he comments that Benson seems to have an antipathy toward…but he then tells her never mind. He asks how is Amaro, and Benson states he spent another night in jail. Murphy thinks Amaro might have to get used to that; this could be the end for him. Benson comments that she knows. As Murphy leaves, Pippa Cox approaches Benson and drops the bomb that Baby Bay Doe is Ellie’s son.
At a later day, Rollins meets with Amaro in the visiting area of the jail. Amaro admits he went after Wilkes but Rollins says she didn’t hear that, he’s not going away for beating up that sick bastard, She thinks Wilkes is looking to cash in from the city. If Amaro doesn’t fight this, Wilkes will ends up with a major payday. Amaro admits he does not have much fight left. She reminds him he has a lot of people pulling for him but he has to put out his hand. He says people like her, Fin and Benson, but Murphy is not in his corner. The cell door opens and John Munch – Special Investigator John Munch – enters and says he is [in his corner]. Rollins tells Amaro she didn’t think he would mind another visitor. Rollins exits to let them catch up. Munch wisecracks that he is gone half a year and Amaro has been arrested twice, commenting it is a cry for help. They hug
Back at SVU, Benson walks into the observation area and sees Langan in the interrogation room with Ellie. Murphy walks up and Benson asks that he called Langan, and Murphy says they can’t talk to her without her lawyer present as she has invoked. Benson argues that they are just telling her ACS has her son, not that she’s going to care. Murphy says she might, telling her to show Ellie the baby’s photo and see if that motivates her to testify against Tino. She takes the file and enters the room.
Meanwhile, Amaro talks with Munch and Amaro whines that this wouldn’t have happened had he not just driven away with Maria and Zara. Munch says there is something he meant to tell him from when Maria came into the squad room and made that scene in front of everybody. He knows Amaro does not give up on things but he can’t save his marriage, it’s over. He says no one likes to hear this but if anyone knows when a marriage is over, it’s John Munch. Amaro states that marriage is his whole life, and Munch reminds him he will always have Zara and he would not want Zara to see him like this, in here. Amaro comments it is not like he has a choice, adding that both One PP and IAB want him gone. Munch tells him not to flatter himself, the reason he is in their radar is because they are worried about their image and this will pass. He adds they don’t understand what they do, even if they once did it themselves. He thinks the only thing the big boys care about is self preservation but Amaro is police – he is a detective. Amaro comments that he isn’t one now. Munch knows that Amaro went after Simon Wilkes because Simon is a bad guy and that Amaro lost his head for a minute but his impulse was right. He explains that Amaro fights for the victims, for the survivors, that’s who Amaro is. He tells Amaro they should get out of here, and when Amaro seems confused, Munch explains that between his salary and two pensions, he didn’t exactly throw his money around the last 30 years. He posted his bail. He tells Amaro, “Let’s go.” Amaro looks stunned.
Meanwhile, back at SVU, Ellie is surprised her son Noah is still alive. She last saw him before Christmas last year, and when Benson asks why she got rid of him, Ellie says she didn’t. She was told Noah had died but won’t say who told her. She does not know who is his father. Little Tino said she could keep the baby as long as she kept working. Tino’s mom ran a day care facility at her house and she was good with kids. Benson explains that she found Noah when she arrested a couple who had 3 underage kids using for child rape videos. Ellie knows the couple, saying they did business with Tino, they sold him a girl once who was about 10. Benson asks if she would be willing to testify to that and she is reluctant. Benson continues to press, saying that Ellie will do time and who knows when she will see Noah again?
At the home of Alminia Juarez in Sunnyside, Queens on Sunday May 4, the detectives prepare to go into the house and Murphy tells ESU to take the lead. They forcibly enter the home where there are many women and kids. Benson tells them to get the kids out of here. Fin asks Alminia where is her son, and she says he is in bed with Fin's momma. Benson tells them to search the house, as he is here. Meanwhile, Tino climbs out a window on the second floor and runs off. Rollins chases but when a police car blocks his exit, Rollins catches up with him, gun drawn, and orders him to put his hands up. She pushes him against the wall and Murphy cuffs him. Tino claims this is police harassment and he was just visiting his mom. Rollins asks who are the girls, and Tino says his mother runs a day care and it is legit. Rollins questions a day care, in the middle of the night?
Back at SVU with Tino in interrogation with Fin, Benson exits the other interrogation room where his mother is held and tells Murphy that Alminia said she had no idea about the weapons or the drugs, and that her ex-husband must have hid them there. Rollins informs them that 3 of the girls are under 18 and were all being held against their will, working for Tino. Murphy says they have them all on running an unregistered day care center and asks if there is any chance Tino’s girls will testify. Rollins explains they think Tino is looking out for them. Benson counters that Ellie doesn’t. Murphy instructs Benson to keep working her; she made a statement but they have to get her to testify before a grand jury. Benson states that Ellie wants to see her son. Murphy thinks this is good, suggesting she let them bond. As Murphy walks off, Rollins asks Benson if she is okay with all this, and Benson doesn’t know; she’s spent the last 4 months searching for Baby Doe’s mother and then ends up arresting her. Rollins comments now Benson has to turn her. Benson adds that her only leverage is a baby she can’t possibly take care of.
In the Rikers Island visiting room on Monday, May 5, Benson, along with Noah, meet with Ellie, with Langan present. Ellie is doing better and is on meds for withdrawal. She picks up Noah and says she missed him as she hugs him. Benson watches and smiles as Ellie thanks her.
Later, Benson and Rollins meet up with Amaro after his hearing and his lawyer told him they are digging in and want him to do time. Rollins says he had a bad run and his luck has got to change. She gets an alarm on her tablet and then says she is late for a meeting. She tells him to hang in there and she walks off. Benson comments to Amaro that Munch bailed him out, and Amaro says with two pensions and a cushy job, plus he still has the first nickel he ever made. They laugh. Amaro thanks Benson for having his back, and she says always.
At the photo studio of Simon Wilkes on Monday, May 5, Rollins calls over Mrs. Wilkes who tells Rollins she wants her to leave. Rollins says she wants her to hear what she has to say first. Rollins states loudly for workers to hear it is about her husband’s on line activities last night, and Mrs. Wilkes tells the workers to take a break. She asks Rollins what does she want, asking haven’t the police done enough, her husband is still recovering and that her partner is crazy. Rollins states her partner will be taking anger management classes while her husband is free and keeps having these perverted fantasies and keep taking photos and keep his torture chamber. She asks if that is what she really signed on for when she married him? Mrs. Wilkes states that marriage is complicated and there are compromises. Rollins says yeah, there are, and then shows her something on her tablet. Rollins says last night she went into her husband’s chat room and reads back some of the perverse messages he posted there and that she corresponded with him all last night and he wants her to send him photos of boys. The second she does, and the second he downloads them, his ass goes down for possession of kiddy torture porn that they both know he will download. Mrs. Wilkes is irate, getting in Rollins' face that Rollins is there to blackmail her. Rollins states whatever it takes, she is in denial and her husband needs help. Rollins also says he needs to do something else; he tells IAB he swung first and that Amaro had to fight back in self defense. If he doesn’t do that, she will make sure his ass is in jail by the end of today and he WILL die there. Rollins storms off as Mrs. Wilkes stares ahead, stunned.
In court where Tino and his mother are being arraigned, a prosecutor tells the judge that Tino should be remanded immediately and mentions his flight from police last night. Tino’s attorney says there is nothing illegal about a son visiting his mother and the girls in the house will testify to being family friends and his clients were unaware of the weapons which belonged to his mother’s ex. On the day care issue, his mother is single and trying to make ends meet and is a good caretaker, her only concern last night was for the safety of her charges. The prosecutor argues the day care was operating illegally in the middle of the night, and they have a witness prepared to testify against Tino that her three month old infant was kidnapped and sold while in the care of his mother. He will be bringing those charges soon. The judge allows for bail but says Tino must wear an ankle GPS until his case comes to trial and his mother can go on her own recognizance. Tino glances back at Benson.
At the St. Bernadine Halfway House for Women in Brooklyn on Monday, May 5, Benson tells Ellie she will be safe here. Fin tells her she has to testify at the grand jury tomorrow. When she says she is nervous, Benson says they will prep her and she will get through this. Ellie asks if then she will get Noah back, and Benson informs her that will take a little bit of time and Ellie has to focus on getting clean and working her program. Benson tells her to call her if she needs anything, and Ellie says she is going to do this and she does not want Noah to grow up in foster care like she did. She wants him to be safe, growing up knowing that he is loved. Benson nods and then says she will see her tomorrow.
Later, Sergeant Draper walks into a room where Amaro and his attorney are waiting and tells them that Wilkes came in with his wife, saying they do not want to press charges and admits he attacked Amaro. Amaro looks surprised as Draper asks if he knows why Wilkes would do a 180 like that. Amaro says no, and when his lawyer says Amaro has been locked up and made no contact, Draper reminds him that Amaro made bail yesterday and today Wilkes shows up. Amaro says he didn’t make contact, and Draper questions that Wilkes spontaneously decides to step up and do the right thing? Amaro’s lawyer says his conscience must have gotten the better of him and asks if this means the DA will drop the charges. Draper says they will have to talk to the DA about this but even if she decides not to prosecute, Amaro still faces administrative charges. He adds that this isn’t over. He leaves them to discuss it. When Draper leaves, Amaro asks his lawyer what is going on, and he says Amaro caught a break and the charges will either be dismissed outright or plead down to disorderly conduct. He will ask for an offer of adjournment in contemplation of dismissal and Amaro will do anger management – psychiatric verbal judo. Amaro asks if he will keep his shield, and his lawyer says as long as he doesn’t screw up again. One speeding ticket and he’s gone.
Back at SVU, Murphy tells the detectives he just got off the phone with One PP and Simon Wilkes admitted he threw the first punch at Amaro, instigating the fight. Benson claps her hands and Rollins asks if he is kidding. Fin asks if Amaro will be back, and Murphy says Amaro and his lawyer are with the DA right now and whether he comes back to SVU or not is up in the air. Benson follows Murphy into his office and asks about the “up in the air” statement, then says she knows he has hooks at One PP and he should tell them this is not who he is. Murphy asks, “It isn’t?” then reminds her Amaro came after him when Murphy was undercover and sucker punched him on the street. Murphy states he won’t shank him but he won’t help him, either. Every favor you use, you owe 6 more and he is not wasting one on this guy. Rollins knocks on the door and enters and Benson asks her to just give them a second, but Rollins ignores her and says she is sorry to interrupt but she just got off the phone with the halfway house; Ellie skipped out after dinner.
Benson and Rollins go to the halfway house where the nun tells her Ellie told the girls she was freaked out about testifying tomorrow and ask if they had anything to help her take the edge off to help her sleep. She found her gone when she did bed checks. Rollins asks if she knows of any place Ellie would go to score, and the nun asks “Are you kidding me?”
At the freight yard in Brooklyn on Monday May 5, a search is going on and Benson asks Fin how did they end up here He explains he told TARU to trace Tino’s GPS ankle bracelet and it shows he was there an hour ago. The just picked him up at his mother’s house and they claim he was there all night. Rollins alerts hem that they may have found something, and leads them to an area where a burned body was found. Benson looks exasperated.
The detectives speak with witnesses who explains there was a bunch of guys, that Ellie was high, and they are also reluctant to talk to the cops.
Back at SVU, Murphy is shocked at the photos of the body and the fact that Ellie was gang raped, tortured, and set on fire. Rollins says the prelim tox report shows alcohol, cocaine, and heroin in her system. Benson explains Ellie said yesterday she was scared to testify and Benson told her that she would be safe. Murphy says she was, she was in a secure facility and no one pulled her out, she left on her own. Benson thinks they didn’t do enough. Rollins nods but Murphy says she made her choice. Benson turns and looks at Tino in the interrogation room and tells Murphy she’d like to know who made the choice to green light her because god knows it wasn’t this clown, meaning Tino.
Benson walks into the interrogation room and questions Tino and he claims he did it because she turned and she got what was coming. But she isn’t buying it and neither is Fin, who wonders who is pulling his string. Tino still claims he did it. Rollins, who is watching with Murphy, says Tino is lying; autopsy showed the presence of semen from at least 6 different men, Tino wasn’t there alone. Murphy asks if she has witnesses, and she stammers, saying reluctant ones but not Little Tino as they are scared of someone else. He suggest they lean on them to see if anyone will make and ID, adding if Tino wants to do time to protect his boss, he is inclined to let him. Benson says that whoever killed Ellie gets away with it, and Murphy says for now, maybe someone down the line will give him up to save their own sorry ass. As Murphy packs his bag, Benson says maybe not. When Ellie's boy grows up, what happens if he finds out that somebody got away with the murder of his mother? He tells her is she wants to pursue that case, it will be her prerogative, as CO. She asks, “Come again?” and he explains he got an undercover assignment. Benson asks now? - now that they are just getting used to him? He agrees, but says officially he is on leave and they can’t fill his post, so he recommended Benson as acting CO in his absence. He grabs his bag and walks to the door, and grabbing his umbrella, tells her to take back her office and tell everyone he said “Godspeed.” He walks out and passes Munch walking in. Munch tells Benson he knew that guy; asking who the hell is he? Benson says he is Mary Poppins. When Munch seems confused, Benson says “never mind” and hugs Munch. She asks how has he been, and he says never better. She heard he bailed out Amaro and he says that is why he is here; he wants to make sure he gets his money back. He tells her to keep an eye on him as he is a good kid and is at sea right now with his marriage, the job and two kids. Benson says she knows, and he says she needs to keep reminding him of that. She thinks it is better coming from him as Amaro looks up to Munch like a…she asks if he ever thought about having kids. Munch explains that he and one of his exes – he doesn’t remember which one – came close but it was not meant to be. She asks if he has any regrets, and Munch says, “Je ne regrette rien” [I regret nothing]. He tells Benson it is nice to see her and he has missed her, most of all. Benson smiles as Munch adds, “Sergeant.”
Back in family court, the judge comments about Baby Body Doe’s birth mother being located and is now dead, then asks if there is any other living relative who would be proper guardians for this child. Trevor Langan walks in and says no, and he explains he represented Ellie who did not know who the birth father was and has no living relatives. He knows she loved her son and he is there as Noah Porter’s representative and to be of service to him an any way he can. The judge sees Benson is there again. The judge officially declares Noah an orphan and says he should continued to be cared for in an ACS facility. Benson shakes her head. The judge comments that Benson rescued the infant and that she is the only one that has taken a consistent interest on his behalf, asking if there is any chance she might like to become a foster mother to this baby? They all turn and look at her and Benson seems confused. The judge says she has a feeling about this, calling it a judge's hunch. She adds if Benson agrees, she will order Noah Porter into her care as custodial parent for one year, at which time she will be given the option to permanently adopt him. The judge asks her if she agrees, and Benson looks around but doesn’t answer.
Later, Benson picks up Noah at the home and says he looks so healthy and the social works says they do their job. Benson holds him and says’ “Hi Mister. Hi!” She smiles . She sits in a rocker and hold the baby close as we fade to black.
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