“Townhouse Incident” was a drama filled episode where again Benson found herself held hostage, but this time she had company. Benson’s babysitter Lucy, sensing something was wrong at the home of another client and asking Benson to check it out, unwittingly puts Benson in this life threatening situation. But if anyone could get all the hostages out alive, it would be Benson. Despite the fact that we all know Benson would survive the ordeal, the real drama was watching how she calmly worked on her captors in order to find any foothold in gaining control over the situation. I know I am not the only SVU fan suffering from fatigue with Benson being placed in perilous situations, but I must admit that they did a fantastic job with this story. It also allowed Mariska to display her Emmy-winning acting talents; she doesn’t have as many opportunities to do this with Benson now in management. With all the horrors that Benson had to face with William Lewis, you can bank that this situation will mean after-effects to Benson’s mental well being.
It’s interesting that Benson’s long history of mistrust with Ed (“Mother”) Tucker – now Captain Tucker – has developed into one where she now trusts him with her life. And it’s Tucker’s sometimes annoying steely resolve from working Internal Affairs that has made him the perfect person to help Benson keep everyone cool with the hostage situation. In a way, Tucker has shown more character development over the last few seasons than anybody else on the show. He’s gone from being hated to someone that fans tolerate, maybe even (gasp) LIKE. Tucker can still annoy, but he seems to have genuinely softened toward the Special Victims Unit. Is it out of any feelings/respect for Benson or has he realized that there aren’t the problems with the SVU as there were in the past?
While this was a nice feature for Mariska, there was enough to go around for the other cast members and everyone brought their A game. (Note: Kelli Giddish did not appear in this episode.) The episode even LOOKED good, with great on location shots that were well presented with interesting camera angles. When I enjoy an episode visually, I tend to like the story even more, and this episode was one of those cases.
One lesson Dodds learned: Always be mindful of the underwear that you’re wearing before you go to work. You never know when you’ll be asked to strip down to your skivvies in public!
The role of Noah Porter Benson has been recast, which makes sense, considering that the timeline of episodes and the growth of a small child rarely synchronize in the television world. It does concern me a bit that, like Noah 1.0, even Noah 2.0 makes no sounds whatsoever. I'm not sure if it's because they are trying to show that Noah may be developmentally delayed, or if it just costs the show more if the child utters one word or any sound at all (or both). Having a family member with severe developmental delays, the lack of speech and verbal sounds were early indicators of a problem, and I could be just transferring my fears to the fictional Noah.
The story of the "push-in" rapist re-appears briefly, and it's possible they have their man - or it's the set-up for another arc at some later time.
There was one glaring continuity issue: The date on the episode title cards was listed as January 4, but the date on Benson’s phone, which showed Noah’s photo, displayed the date as Monday, November 30. Also, the previous episode, “Catfishing Teacher” took place in late December, after the date on Benson’s phone, but we saw no evidence of this traumatic experience for Benson in that episode. If we are lucky, this date inconsistency will not rip a hole in the space/time continuum.
For Raúl Esparza fans, it was great to see him in this episode, even if it was only briefly.
Here is the recap:
Mariska Hargitay - Lieutenant Olivia Benson
Ice-T - Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola
Kelli Giddish - Detective Amanda Rollins
Raúl Esparza - ADA Rafael Barba
Peter Scanavino - Detective Dominick “Sonny” Carisi, Jr.
Andy Karl – Sgt. Mike Dodds
Robert John Burke – Captain Ed Tucker
Joe Reegan - Joe Utley
Amber Skye Noyes - Roxie Volkov
James McMenamin – Ralph Volkov
Wendy Hoopes - Lisa Crivello
Cole Bernstein - Tess Crivello
Jack Gore - Luca Crivello
Kevin Geer – Chief Gabriel
Bronwyn Reed – Lucy
Sean T. Andrew – Captain Sasso
Josh Saviano – Counselor Don Taft
Anthony Grasso – Richard Crivello
Hasaan Gilmer - Pierson Dawes
Allyson Morgan – Nurse Roberts
Qurray Ann Kadwani – Stacey King
Tommy Pope – Glen King
Jack Nawada Braunwart – Noah Porter Benson
Lucy, Benson’s sitter for Noah, visits the home of Lisa Crivello to pick up her son Luca to walk him to school. She gets suspicious when Lisa is acting strangely and sends her away. When Lucy gets to Benson’s apartment and while Benson is playing with Noah, Lucy mentions this. Lucy says Lisa’s voice was shaky and there were red marks on her neck. He husband was also there, yelling. She asks if Benson can swing by. Benson nods.
Later, Benson knocks on the door of the Crivello home and Lisa answers. Lisa tries to blow her off but Benson mentions Lisa’s cut. At first Lisa says she should go, and Benson suggests she would come back later. A voice from inside growls quietly to “let her in” and Lisa then tells Benson just come in now. As soon as Benson walks in the door, she is grabbed and slammed against the closed door by a man (later identified as Joe) with a gun, and a woman (later identified as Roxie) is holding a gun to Lisa. Joe and Roxie scream to her to put her hands up and she complies. Joe threatens to blow a hole through her face if she moves. Benson says okay and freezes.
Benson identifies herself as a police officer who is there by chance. Another man (identified as Ralph) dumps the contents of Benson’s purse and she admits she is armed and her weapon is holstered on her right hip. Joe searches her and finds her phone. Joe says they have a problem here, and ask if the “old man” has told them where the money is yet. Ralph says no, he is holding out. Lisa explains they don’t keep cash here, and Roxie flings her down. Joe tells Ralph to kick Richard's ass until he coughs. Ralph enters the other room and kicks Richard Crivello repeatedly as he lay on the floor. Joe asks Benson who knows she is here, and she replies no one, and when Joe says she better not be lying to him, she insists she is not. He holds up Benson’s phone and shows the lock screen with a picture of Noah and asks if this is her son. She says it is. Joe says this is good, it means she doesn’t want to die. He tells Roxie to tie her up. Benson suggests they don’t need to do that and that they should talk, but he punches her and she falls to the floor, stunned. He growls that he told her to shut the hell up, and he pushes her back with his leg. Lisa’s daughter Tess looks on in fear.
Meanwhile, back at SVU, Dodds arrives in the break room while Fin is reading the paper. Dodds asks if anyone uses the heavy bag in the weight room, he brought his gloves. Fin asks if Dodds boxes, and Dodds replies at the Golden Gloves and the Pro Am, and asks if Fin does. Fin stays seated and says he does not want to hurt him. Carisi enters and says they have a call, and asks where is Benson. Dodds says she is at a DNA conference all day. Carisi says their push in rapist may have struck again, this time in Chelsea. When Fin questions if it is the same guy, Carisi states he is black, tall, in his 20s, he is armed and the MO is the same and the vics ID’d the sketch. Fin says “just like they did before” with skepticism. Dodds comments either way, to bring him in alive, and tells Fin to notify central and alert transit. Fin adds housing, saying he knows the drill. Dodds says he is sure he does, and tells Carisi to tell the One-One they are en route and he will text Benson when they get there.
Back at the Crivello home, Ralph continues to kick Richard who denies they have a safe. When Ralph tells Joe that Richard says they don’t have a safe, Joe is angry as Ralph swore there was cash here. Ralph says Roxie is upstairs going through the jewelry and when she is done, they should go. Joe barks to Ralph that he said there was a safe and to go find it. As Ralph walks off, Lisa whispers to Benson that Roxie rang the bell at 6AM saying she had been robbed and when she went to call 911 the two men burst in. She says Ralph used to drive a truck for her husband’s stores and Richard had fired him. Luca is tied up upstairs. Ralph whines that he wonders what is taking Roxie so long, and a message rings on Benson’s phone. Ralph asks who is there, and, as Joe snorts a drug, tells Ralph not to worry about it. He tells Ralph to go downstairs and find that safe. Ralph complies and Joe mentions to Benson she got a text about a rapist. Benson states she really needs to answer that, and Joe sends an answer of his own, saying she just did. Roxie comes downstairs and says he found $200 and a bunch of crap jewelry. She pulls out her gun and asks Lisa where is the real stuff? Lisa insists there is nothing here. Joe suggests they bring Luca downstairs and Benson suggests he not do that. Lisa admits they have a safe deposit box. Ralph comes upstairs saying he found electronics, and Joe tosses it off, saying they have a new plan – they are taking mommy to the bank.
Meanwhile, at the home of Stacey and Glen King on Monday, January 4, Carisi, Fin, and Dodds get the details on the attack from Stacey and Glen. He went out the window. She was not raped but it was close. She scratches his face. Later, Fin and Dodds are outside looking at the fire escapes – the building is on lock down - when Carisi approaches and said the suspect climbed up and neighbors says he is checking doors on the adjacent roof. They race up.
Back with the hostages, Joe opens the upstairs bedroom door and brings Benson into the room with Roxie, who has Tess. Joe sits Benson on the bed and ties her hands. She looks at Luca, who is sitting on the floor, also restrained.
On the rooftop, the detectives apprehend the suspect, who is armed. They order him to put the gun down and he asks if they are going to shoot him like the other guy. Fin says no and they quickly cuff him.
Meanwhile, Benson’s phone pings with a message and Joe reads it, saying they caught the rapist. He thinks they should celebrate, and asks who is up for a party. He picks Tess and says she is coming with her. As Tess screams while Joe pulls Tess into the other room, Benson pleads with Roxie, who looks unhappy with this latest turn of events. Benson tells Roxie this is on he (Roxie) and says to let her in there. Roxie slaps Benson hard, and then puts the gun to Benson’s chin, telling her not to do that again. Luca looks concerned as Tess can be heard screaming from the other room. Benson looks dazed.
Back with the rape suspect, he claims they got the wrong guy. Fin says they have prints and DNA and the labs will tie him to all the cases. Carisi adds that the girl he assaulted and stuffed in the dryer was 12. The suspect says he knows he wants a lawyer. Fin tells him to go ahead a lawyer up, he is still going down.
Back at the house, Luca hears Tess and tells Benson that Joe is hurting her and to make her stop. Roxie tells Benson to make Luca shut up, and Benson says they will have to untie them and Benson insists she is not going to do anything. Roxie complies and Benson consoles Luca and he quiets down. When she hands Luca headphones and a tablet so he can watch a movie, she tells Roxie she can’t believe this is how she thought this would go down. When Roxie replies that Benson does not know her, Benson says she knows she doesn’t like to hear her boyfriend raping a 16 year old. Roxie isn’t buying any of it despite Benson’s continued pleas. Another message comes in for Benson and Roxie looks at it. She asks who is Lucy, and Benson explains Lucy is her sitter and she is also Luca’s sitter and she needs to talk to Benson. She needs to know about Noah’s day care pick up and she really needs to answer that.
Back at SVU, the rape suspect is in interrogation and his lawyer, Counselor Don Taft, arrives who accused the detectives of planting the gun. Barba says this is the man’s third rape and they have multiple IDs. Dodds mentions the DNA and forensics and Taft says to save it for the judge. He goes in to speak with his client. When Barba asks where is Benson and Fin says she is at the DNA conference, Barba says she is not, he was there all morning and he would have seen her. Dodds and Fin look at each other with concern.
Lucy, meanwhile, speaks with Carisi and when he says Benson is not there, she admits she is worried, She sent her to the brownstone of another family she sits for – she had a strange vibe from the mom . She says she hasn’t been able to talk to Benson but she got a weird text.
Carisi races to the other detectives and Barba, with Lucy following. He tells them they have a problem; Benson sent a message to the babysitter. He hands Fin the phone who reads the message: “Stuck at precinct all day, pick up William at day care he has a play date with Lewis today.” When Barba hears the name William Lewis, he says this is not good and asks when they last heard from Benson. Dodds says he texted her a few hours ago and she answered back. Barba asks that Dodds didn’t actually speak with her, and when Dodds says no, Barba and Fin thinks that William Lewis is a code for 10-13. Carisi adds that Lucy said Benson checked on a neighbor this morning, and Dodds asks where.
At the brownstone, Benson’s phone rings again and Roxie looks at it, saying Barba keeps calling, asking why. Benson says it is just her office. Joe comes back in with Tess, who looks in shock. Benson tries to comfort her and Joe sees Benson is untied and complains to Roxie. Benson explains she was just helping with Luca. Roxie says she is not going anyway, and Joe threatens of Benson pulls anything she will not see her son again. He ties up Benson again. Roxie’s phone rings and it is Ralph. They got the cash from the ATM but Lisa wants to talk to the kids again and when Roxie says no, Lisa grabs the phone anyway and screams that she wants to know now. Roxie explains Lisa just wants proof they didn’t kill them and Benson suggests they take a photo and send it to them. Joe yells at the kids to smile and he takes a photo. He tells Lisa to get the cash or they are dead. The doorbell rings and Benson suggests she answer it and she can get rid of them. But Joe tells Tess to do it.
Tess answers the door - Roxie is standing near with the gun pointed at her - and it is Carisi and Fin pretending to be truant officers. Tess says both kids are sick and her parents are not home. She says she has to go and closes the door. Fin comments to Carisi that GPS says Benson is still inside and Carisi adds that girl is not okay.
Afterwards, Roxie tells them the others are gone and Joe thinks they are cops. He asks Tess what she said to them and she says nothing, just that she and Luca were sick. Benson comments they may have figured out she is here and their next move it to call for backup and now is the time for them to go. Joe wants her to stop talking but Roxie is wavering, saying he should listen to her. Roxie wants to get out but Joe pulls her and makes her look at Benson, saying Benson is a cop and everything she says is a lie and a trap. Benson states there is no perimeter here and urges him to look out for himself. She suggests they slip out the back before they figure out who they are. Joe says they are not going anywhere until they get the money.
Outside, police and ESU arrive and set up a perimeter and try to see or hear what is going on inside. Dodds arrives and Chief Gabriel, there with Carisi, says they have a level one going on and the precinct has the area on lock down. Everyone in the line of fire has been evacuated and everyone else has been told to shelter in place. Carisi asks if they have called into the house yet, and Gabriel says they are waiting for the hostage negotiations. Captain Sasso says the pole cams are up and they see two armed suspects, a white male about 40 and a younger white female. Fin says Benson is inside with a teenage girl and a younger boy. Sasso says everyone seems sequestered in the 2nd floor bedroom. Carisi says Richard owns the Crivello grocery chain and was MIA today, and Lisa is a stay at home mom. Sasso has no visual yet but is working other angles.
Inside, Joe looks out and sees they are surrounded and gets angry. Roxie laments they should have gone and thinks they will kill them. Benson tries to convince them to let the kids go, and to keep her, she is their best asset. Joe asks Roxie about Ralph and they begin to argue. Joe is losing his cool. He tells Benson she will get them out, and tells her to call them and order them to stand down. She says they won’t. He threatens to shoot Tess and Benson asks for her phone to call her Sergeant. He leaves her speaker on as he wants no secrets.
In the police van, Dodds gets a call from Benson who says they are all okay. Joe says he wants the cameras down and the snipers to back away, and Benson repeats this, making sure to mention Joe’s name. Fin writes down Joe’s name on the board next to the photo. Dodds says a negotiator is en route and asks if everyone is okay. Joe scoffs at the negotiator and Benson says they just want to talk. Joe counters he knows what that means. Roxie reminds him to get away from the window and he does. Benson tries to convince him to talk to them, saying if he doesn’t they will burst in there and take him and Roxie out. Roxie urges him and Joe says fine, asking who at the NYPD does she trust? She says her squad, her detectives, but Joe wants someone with more pull, someone who cares about Benson. He asks if there is anyone at the NYPD who cares if she lives or if she dies? She doesn’t answer.
Later, Ed Tucker – now Captain Ed Tucker - arrives and gets an update from Dodds and Carisi. Tucker wants to know everything they told Joe, and Dodds explains they agreed to pull back ESU and turn off the cameras and get him here. Carisi says Joe sounds pretty hopped up, so Tucker assumes Joe's on drugs. Tucker thinks Joe’s emotions are up and he’s high – not much room for rational thinking. Chief Gabriel introduces himself to Tucker, saying he is the incident commander. He explains that ESU is set and the hostage negotiation team can walk him through this. Tucker says he is alright; he was on the team before IAB and he takes the refresher twice a year.
In the brownstone, Joe pushes furniture up to the walls and windows as a barrier. He asks Benson what about her friend, the one with the juice? Benson says he will be there and when he gets there he will want to know how everyone is doing and asks if he will let her check on Richard and Roxie can go with her. Joe claims this is all Benson’s fault and if anyone dies…Roxie says no one is going to die and Benson is going to get her guy and then they are going to get out of here. Joe asks Roxie what about her idiot brother? Benson comments that the whole place is surrounded and if Ralph saw a cop…the phone rings and he holds his gun to Benson and tells her to answer it on speaker. Benson answers, saying they are on speaker and Joe is here with her, Tucker identifies himself and asks if everyone is okay. She replies that Joe and Roxie are taking good care of them. Dodds writes Roxie’s name on the board. Benson adds that the children are unharmed and the father’s injuries are under control. Tucker asks about Lisa, and Joe tells Benson to say that Lisa is here. Benson asks what if Tucker wants to talk to her, saying that if Tucker thinks she is lying he is going to get nervous and they don’t want that. He says not to say a thing about the bank. Joe puts her back on speaker and Benson says Lisa is not there right now, but she will be back soon. Fin tells Carisi there is a third hostage taker and thinks they are making a bank run. Dodds suggests they check the family’s financials to find the bank and Gabriel will check every bank in the zip code. Carisi says to get a photo of the mother and he will text it out. Fin asks to let them know if they get anything on the third
Tucker, still speaking with Benson, asks if Joe is there with her, and Benson says yes, he can hear him. Tucker speaks with Joe and asks if everything is alright. Joe explains he has a gun on Benson and wants no tricks, and Tucker says he’s done this a lot more than he has and he can get Joe out of this. Joe tells Benson to tell him, and Benson informs Tucker that Joe has some things that he needs. Joe says he wants an SUV with tinted windows, no driver and not rigged, and a million dollars in cash. He also wants the streets to a helipad be cleared and all the traffic blocked like he is the freaking Pope, and wants a helicopter standing by, and wants a CJ4 jet fully fueled, no pilot because he can fly. Tucker says that will take some time, and Joe points the gun at Tess and says to Benson to tell him or else. Benson states calmly that Joe is not playing around, and Tucker says he understands and tells Joe he will get all things in motion but asks as an act of faith to release the kids? Joe’s suggestion is to shoot the kids right this second, there’s his good faith. Joe hangs up. Tucker hears that ESU has the place covered and is ready to go inside, and he says he is sure they are but this doesn’t need to get tactical yet, Joe is making demands which means he is looking toward the future and he wants to live. Dodds informs them the mom just made a withdrawal at an ATM and Fin and Carisi are on the way.
At the Commerce Bank of Manhattan on Monday, January 4, Ralph and Lisa are waiting in a room and Carisi and Fin are there waiting with police backup to apprehend Ralph. Ralph asks if Joe gave him up, saying he is the one who made him do this. Carisi tells him Joe is not his friend right now, he is, and Ralph should tell him everything that is going on in that house.
Barba arrives on the scene and Dodds tells him they have Ralph Volcov, with a record for assault and drunk driving, and who was fired from Crivello’s grocery chain after two failed drug tests. Barba wonders if this is a revenge plan, but realizes Ralph is not the ringleader. Inside the police bus, Ralph says this was Joe’s idea, Ralph didn’t want to hurt them, they ("we") needed the money. Barba introduces himself and ask who is we? Ralph says he and his sister Roxie, their mother needs a new hip as she can hardly walk. He adds Roxie is in the house but she didn’t want to hurt anyone either, that is all on Joe. Barba asks if Joe is his real name. and when Ralph looks down, Barba demands that Ralph look at him. Barba says if anyone dies in there, Ralph is on the hook for felony murder; Ralph helps them or he is gone. Ralph says Joe Utley is his real name.
Meanwhile, Carisi speaks with Lisa who is being tended to by EMTs. Lisa tells them each person had a gun, 3 pistols and Joe had a machine gun. They took Benson’s gun. Lisa pleads to go back in there as she promised to bring back the money and she needs to see her kids. She says they were okay a half hour ago and mentions the photo she received.
Back in the police bus, Barba shows Ralph that photo and he admits this is the last time he had contact with Joe and Roxie. Dodds comments they need Ralph to call them, but Ralph says Joe is going to be mad. Fin shows him a photo of Joe from a military database and Ralph confirms that is Joe. Dodds reads off that Joe was dishonorably discharged from special forces, adding they sent him down for the war on drugs and he joined the other side. Tucker enters and informs them Joe is about to call Ralph, but Ralph says this wasn’t his idea. Tucker tells Ralph to play along and tell Joe he has the money and to ask the negotiator to let them hook up safely. Ralph comments that he doesn’t think he should get involved, and Fin asks Ralph if he ever wants to see his sister alive again? Dodds hands Ralph the phone and Joe asks Ralph where the hell is he and does he have the cash? Ralph replies yes, he has it right here. Joe says the cops know they are inside and he should get back here and tell them to let him in. Ralph says the house is surrounded, and Joe tells him to just do it, the cops will let him in. Ralph says he can’t they got him. Inside, Joe yells “son of a bitch” and yells at Roxie about her brother, the cops have him. Roxie asks if he is okay and Joe replies he is not really concerned about Ralph right now. Roxie says she is and asks if they are going to get him back. Joe’s phone buzzes as does Benson’s. Joe looks like he doesn’t know what to do and Roxie screams for him to answer one of them. Joe answers the call with Tucker who says he is there with Ralph. Joe says he wants Ralph AND he wants the cash here now. If they lie again, his pretty little girlfriend dies. Tucker says nobody can make him kill anybody if he doesn’t want to. Joe scoffs and gives the phone to Benson, who says he really wants Ralph in there now. Tucker says he understands but it’s not something he can do right now. Benson tells Joe and Roxie that Tucker is telling the truth; they are not allowed to send in civilians inside. Joe brandishes his gun and says he is done talking. Tucker says over the speaker that ESU is all over this block and asks if he knows who they are. Joe replies they are like SWAT. Tucker says if Joe stops talking to him, they pull him away and those guys take over. Joe asks to talk to Ralph. Tucker holds the phone to Ralph, who tells Joe he can’t go in, they have snipers. Joe tells Ralph he is an idiot, and says to Roxie that Ralph said he could do this, that he could get the money. He tells Roxie this is her fault; she said Ralph was good for this and he could get the money. She tells Joe he should have gone and not to blame this on him and this is his fault. She says that Richard – still laying on the floor bleeding – is not doing so great and he is going to die. Joe pushes her to the floor and she drops her gun. Benson sees this but Roxie quickly picks up the gun. Tucker asks if everybody is okay, and Benson says okay, they know Ralph is not coming in here but do you have his money? Tucker says good idea, asking Joe to make another deal. . They will give him the $50,000 Ralph got. Ralph adds he also has bonds from the safety deposit box, and Tucker adds those too. Tucker says the money the bonds – and Joe should give them the kids; a trade for a trade. Joe agrees, holding up one finger, and Benson says if they give him the money, they will send out one person.
Later, with EMS on the scene, Tucker is on the phone with Joe, saying he made the right choice. They have the money and twp EMTs are standing by to take Richard out of there; he promises no guns and no tricks. Joe asks Benson what are they wearing, and she looks out the window, seeing one of them is Dodds. She explains they are wearing EMT uniforms and Joe asks how will he know that they aren’t carrying? Benson shakes her head and Joe gets on the phone and tells Tucker he wants both those guys to strip down now. Tucker insists they are not carrying but Joe insists they make them strip. Tucker agrees but says they keep their vests on. Joe replies that is fine, and asks what about his car and if his helicopter is ready. Tucker says they are working on all of it and they need more time. Tucker gets on the radio and tells the guys entering as EMTs that Joe wants them to strip.
Inside, Roxie dumps the money on the floor while Joe holds a gun on Dodds and the EMT, wearing their vests and only a T-shirt and boxers. Joe asks about the car and Dodds says they told him to tell them the car is on the way and so is the helicopter. Joe asks how does he know they aren’t lying, and Benson says if they say it is coming, it’s coming. Joe says fine, then, pointing to Richard, says to get him out of here. As they move to pick up Richard, Joe demand their vests. They comply.
Outside, Dodds and the EMT take Richard out. Dodds says it is not good in there but Benson is okay. Tucker, on the phone with Joe, thanks him, saying it’s good to get Richard out of there, now they are on to the next step, the car is pulling up. A nice black SVU pulls up and Roxie confirms to Joe the car is there. Joe says he is sending someone out to check the car, and he wants the keys in the ignition and the engine running. He wants all the ESU guys gone, screaming he wants a clear path. He tells Benson – calling her boss lady – to put the vest on Roxie. He cuts the restraints on her wrists and while Benson helps Roxie with the vest, Benson tells her she doesn’t need to do this. She adds that Ralph is safe and this is her chance. She should go out there and not come back, she knows she does not want to die. Roxie asks how does she know, and Benson whispers that when she gets out there and drop to her knees and put her hands up. Roxie tells her to shut up and to buckle her in.
Roxie walks out the door and carefully down the steps. She moves to the car and checks inside while Benson watches from inside. Roxie calls Joe and says everything is clear, but she comes around the other side of the car and sees a large number of police with guns trained on her. Joe tells her to get back in here, but Roxie is frozen in place. Joe asks what is taking so long, and yells to her to get in here and lets go. She moves to open the door to the SUV, then looks to the police. She tells Joe she is sorry, and she moves away and drops to her knees and puts up her hands. Carisi yells to the others that she is surrendering. Joe hears through the phone that they have her. He holds the gun up to Benson’s face and says, “Damn you.” She asks him to take it easy, but he wants to know what she said to Roxie. She insists she didn’t tell her anything. He pulls the gun away and screams, then he pulls her to the chair and says he is sick of her lying to him, shoving her down. Benson says this is better for him, they don’t need her, they are so close to getting out of here. The phone rings and she says he should tell Tucker how they are going to do this – Joe’s terms. Joe answers the phone and Tucker says Joe has what he wanted – the money, the car, the chopper and the plane. But now Tucker wants something – the kids. Joe says no, they are all going out there together and if anything happens, everyone will die with him, end of negotiations. Tucker states he kept his side, they will need at least one kid. Joe replies fine, when he gets into the car, he will give him the little kid, but he is keeping his girls. He sits down while Tess and Luca huddle together, crying. Joe asks Benson if they are taking him out, and she says if he keeps his gun to her head, they will not try to beat his trigger squeeze, that she knows for a fact.
Outside, Chief Gabriel tells Sasso, Tucker, and the detectives that they are not going to let them drive out of here. They are not to shoot until Gabriel gives the green light. Tucker asks if maybe if Joe comes out and sees the massive police presence that they ask him to lay down. Gabriel says to take a knee is not Tucker’s call. He thanks him for his help and tells Tucker to keep Joe talking as long as he can, but ESU has this now. He asks if this is clear.
Inside the house, Joe has Benson and the two kids huddled around him and Benson tells him to keep his gun to her head. Joe says she doesn’t need to worry about that. He says let’s go. Outside, Dodds can see them exiting the garden level and they walk to the street slowly. Benson tries to reassure Luca and Tess as Joe screams for police to get back – farther back. They comply. Sasso radios for the sniper to wait for the green light. Joe tells Benson the kids are going in the back of the car. Benson tells Joe they don’t really need the kids any more, if he keeps the gun on her and lets the kids go, they can make this about him and her; she is all he needs. He tells the kids to go. Benson calls out he is letting both kids go, and then she thanks him as the kids race off. She says she is just going to let Tucker know the plan. He says he is going to tell Tucker, and Benson swings around and punches Joe. The command is given to take Joe out; the sniper fires and hits Joe squarely in the head. He drops to the ground, dead.
Benson stands there frozen as the Carisi and Tucker race to her, Tucker yelling for someone to secure Joe’s weapon. As Tucker and Carisi hold on to Benson, she says she is okay. Fin stands over Joe’s dead body and states dryly that Joe was dead before he hit the ground. Benson asks where is Noah, and Carisi says they will bring him. She asks but WHERE is he, and Carisi says he is with Lucy right now and they will find them for her. Tucker urges her to just take care of herself. She stops and tells Tucker thank you. He asks for what? He adds that she did a great job in there. He suggests they get her out of there. As Benson walks off with Tucker and Carisi and police swarm the scene, we fade to black.
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