|←||SVU, Episode 8.14||→|
|Production number: 08015|
First aired: 13 February 2007
| Written By|
While pursuing a case against a teenage girl who appears to have committed murder while under the influence of several drugs, a video circulates that appears to show Stabler beating a young man to death.
After mob lawyer Sidney Truex is attacked and his wife brutally murdered, Benson and Stabler question their daughter, Charlotte, but her wild night of drunken partying leaves her unable to recall her actions, even though her father insists she was at the scene of the crime. Stabler is charged with excessive force when the daughter's boyfriend dies in his custody. He is eventually cleared when it's discovered that the boyfriend died of a cardiac syndrome when he apprehended him and that his internal injuries were from Stabler using CPR to try to save him, not excessive force.
As Sidney Truex walks his son, Tommy, home from a friend's house, he wonders why his mother was not called instead. Tommy informs him they had tried calling her, but she was not answering the phone. Truex believes she was asleep. When Tommy asks him when he is moving back home, he responds that he hopes it will be soon. Truex tries to explain that, although he and his mother, Maura, are not together, they still love him very much. Once in the home, Tommy asks him to stay the night. Truex makes him a deal. If he goes straight to bed, he will tuck him in and read his favorite story. While they are having their conversation, someone comes up behind them and hits Truex on the head with a lamp. Tommy runs screaming in search of Maura. When he gets to her bedroom, he finds his mother unresponsive on her bed covered in a sheet. He runs back, pushes the panic button, and sits in a doorway cuddling his teddy bear.
As Benson and Stabler make their way up the stairs, Warner explains Truex is still unconscious at Mercy. At hearing the name, Benson verifies they are talking about the mob attorney. Warner informs them he had been hit on the head. The security company found him on the floor when they responded to the panic button. The alarm was either not set or Truex disarmed it when he came in. Maura had been raped, sodomized, and bludgeoned, and she slowly bled to death. There is no DNA because she had been assaulted with a candlestick. Stabler notes the perp has anger issues before asking about forensics. A partial bloody tennis shoe print is pointed out. Warner tells them the only other person not accounted for that lives in the house is a 16-year-old daughter, Charlotte, but she is not home. Stabler wonders where she is at one o'clock in the morning. Warner tells him Tommy had indicated to her that Charlotte was spending the weekend at a friend's house. Stabler asks if Tommy saw the attacker. Warner tells him Tommy is pretty traumatized, so patrol waited for them to interview him. When Benson asks her where Tommy is, Warner wordlessly points the way.
Benson knocks on the door jamb before entering the room where Tommy is sitting still with his bear and staring into space. She introduces herself before asking him to tell her what happened. When she leans down in front of him, she explains she needs for him to be a big boy and tell her what happened. After a brief pause, he looks at her and tells her a monster hurt his daddy.
When a Cragen arrives in the squad room dressed in formal attire, Benson asks where his top hat is. He explains Councilman Baker's daughter got married and he had been paged at the after party by the Chief of Detectives to get some answers on the Truex case. Stabler believes it was personal. He does not believe Maura was a random target. Cragen wonders if there was a dissatisfied client who was sending a message. Benson wonders if the perp was after Sidney and did not know they were separated. When Cragen questions if Maura was the one against whom someone had a grudge, Benson explains she was a sales representative for Tauscher-Leto Pharmaceuticals. Stabler adds that it is difficult to run a background check on the family so early on a Saturday. He suggests they find out from Charlotte, but is told she is still MIA. Stabler adds they found the family phone book in the kitchen and are using it to locate Maura's friend. Cragen informs them he will have the CO at the 15th to post an officer outside Truex's hospital room. Tutuola interrupts them to inform them a family friend said Charlotte spends her weekends with Jennifer Brown. Stabler does not want to tell her the news over the phone and he and Benson leave so they can tell her in person.
Benson tells Jennifer they need to speak with Charlotte. Jennifer claims Charlotte had left before she woke up. Benson asks where she went so early and is told she may have gone home. Jennifer's mother interrupts and asks who they are. Benson shows her badge and informs her they were told Charlotte had spent the weekend there. Her mother asks Jennifer if she lied to the detectives before telling Benson and Stabler Charlotte is not allowed in her home. She explains Charlotte was a good girl until she started lying and skipping school. She believes she may be on drugs. Jennifer's mother tells Jennifer that Charlotte is only using her to cover for her before walking away. Jennifer stops Benson and Stabler as they try to leave telling them Charlotte is not a bad person. Maura would not let her see Ryan Bedford, so she has to lie to see him. She tells them he lives at The Packard on First Avenue.
Ryan answers his door after Stabler flashes his badge. Stabler explains they are looking for Charlotte before asking if she is there. Ryan asks if he is under arrest, which causes Benson to ask if he should be. He defends himself by saying her parents do not like him, but she is 16 and he is 19, and it is not a crime. When Stabler asks where his parents are, he is told St. Bart's before Bedford tells him to tell Maura he will talk Charlotte into going home and she is fine. Benson tells him they will talk to her themselves. Bedford calls for Charlotte and tells her the police are there. As Charlotte walks down the stairs, she thinks her parents had sent them to freak her out. Stabler tries to explain there has been an accident, but she thinks it is a trick. Benson tells her to get dressed and come with them. She refuses. Stabler tells her that her parents had been assaulted before telling her to get dressed. He further explains that Maura is dead and Truex is in the hospital. Bedford offers to go with her, but she tells him to stay and she needs to be with Tommy.
As Huang watches Tommy draw at Stabler's desk, Benson and Stabler escort Charlotte into the room. When Tommy hears his sister say his name, he runs up the stairs and tells her to go away from him. She asks what is wrong with him. Huang explains he is traumatized from watching Truex get attacked and adds he will be all right in time. Charlotte tells them that Tommy likes their Aunt Amy in Riverdale, so they could stay with her. Huang agrees to set it up before excusing himself to check on Tommy. Benson informs her Truex is still in surgery and they will not know anything for a few hours. Stabler asks if anyone has threatened her family. Charlotte wonders if he is joking. Half the city hates Truex for the cases he tries. He had hired a private investigator because of everything that had been happening. Garbage was being spread in their garden and his car was spray-painted with curses.
The private investigator shows Benson and Stabler pictures of the things done to the Truex family. Garbage is on the doorstep. Bags of excrement are set on fire on the stoop. Swastikas are painted on the front door. The family cat had been dismembered and returned in several boxes. Sidney had moved out to protect the family. They are told the suspect is Luccio Ricci. Truex had defended his father, but lost the case, and Ricci blames Truex for his family losing everything they had owned. He shows them a file of Truex's hate mail. He explains the letters were unsigned, but he had taken them to a handwriting analyst with writing samples from his trash who confirmed he had written them. Stabler notes it was enough to take it to the police. The investigator wanted to do that, but Truex felt bad for losing the case and did not want him to pursue it further. Ricci now spends his time in San Marco Hall in Little Italy.
Benson and Stabler arrive at San Marco Hall armed with the picture of Ricci. They locate him immediately as he plays cards with two others. They tell him they need to talk about Truex. He tells them he charged them a fortune for losing his father's case. Benson shows him the pictures of the damage he had done. He denies ever hurting Truex. When Stabler clarifies he just threatened Truex and his family, Ricci claims he was just playing. Benson reminds him he did 18 months for playing when a jury called it aggravated assault, at which Ricci claimed he had been framed. As Benson answers her ringing cell, Stabler asks if Ricci was upset because Truex had his freedom. Ricci repeats he never hurt Truex and adds he should ask him. Benson ends her call and tells him they will asking him because he had just awakened.
Benson assures Truex that Tommy was not hurt. Stabler informs him they heard about the vandalism, threats, and hate mail he suffered at the hands of Ricci. Truex assures them he stopped the harassment when he moved out. When he questions if they believe Ricci killed Maura, Benson turns the question back on him, but he does not remember. He explains the doctors think he has some temporary memory loss. Benson asks him to take them through what he does remember. He remembers walking Tommy upstairs to his bedroom. He felt a pain in his head. He fell down. He thinks he blacked out for a second. When he stops recounting the events, Stabler urges him to continue. He admits he saw Charlotte running down the hallway, which caused him to believe she had killed Maura.
In the interview room, Charlotte denies being at home. When Stabler informs her that Truex had seen her there, she claims he says a lot of things that are not true and adds her father lies for a living because he is a lawyer. Benson thinks they do not get along, but she corrects her saying he is never home. The only way she knows what he is doing is by watching the news. Charlotte claims Maura's idea of parenting was to lock her up so she would not have to deal with her. Stabler notes Maura's method did not work well. Charlotte tells them she got around her rules causing Stabler to comment on her using her friends to cover for her so she could go out with Bedford. She explains she had to because Maura hated him for no reason and would not allow them to be together. Benson reminds her they know she was with Bedford on Friday night before asking what they did. She tells them she and Bedford had gone to a friend's house to get wasted. When they left there, she claims they crashed until Benson and Stabler woke them up. Stabler tells her they need the names of everyone at her friend's house, but she refuses to drag her friends into it. Benson persuades her by threatening to question every student in her school.
At Hanover Day School, Jane Williams denies being at a party and claims she had been babysitting until late. One of her male friends claims he was at his house with his friend watching a game all night. Another male friend says he was home all night writing a term paper that was due the following week. Susan tells them she was at the movies with Jane until after midnight. When Stabler informs her that Jane had said she was babysitting, she changes her story saying they watched the movies while Jane was babysitting. Benson wants the name of the family so they can check out the story, and Susan admits they had a party.
Stabler escorts the other three friends back to the steps to join Benson and Susan. They are not thrilled that Susan had ratted them out. Benson informs them Charlotte admitted to being drunk that night. Stabler tells them they just want to know what Charlotte did that night. One of them announces she did baby blues, but is called a moron for not realizing they meant where she was. Benson tries to clarify Charlotte was on drugs and is told "I guess."
After talking to Charlotte's classmates, Benson and Stabler learn that the students were having a "pill party" where they dump prescription drugs into a bowl and take them at random. Since Charlotte's mother was a sales rep for a drug company, the detectives figure that Charlotte went home to find some more drugs for the party. They check the basement for drugs and find the place trashed. They also find urine in a toilet in the basement. While they can't get DNA from urine, they are able to run a tox screen and determine that there was a large amount of hallucinogens in the system of whoever left the urine. Benson and Stabler have Charlotte come to the station and interrogate her about her whereabouts and what clothes she was wearing the night of the party. She tells them that she doesn't remember what happened that night because she was high and insists that, while she and her mother fought, she would never kill her. Benson and Stabler show her her sneaker with her mother's blood on it. Charlotte is shocked as she tries desperately to grasp the notion that she might have indeed killed her mother in a drug induced state. She becomes suicidal and punches the mirror in the interrogation room, slashing her wrist on the broken glass, while screaming and crying that she "wants to die!"
Charlotte is taken to the hospital, where her father Truex is absolutely furious with Benson and Stabler. He lashes out at the detectives saying that they nearly killed Charlotte and that they had no right to interrogate his daughter without a lawyer present and that their baseless accusations made his little girl depressed and suicidal. Stabler reminds Truex that he was the one who claimed that the saw his daughter at the crime scene, to which Truex retorts that he had a head injury and doesn't know what he saw. Truex tells Benson and Stabler to stay away from Charlotte and that as soon as she's discharged, he's taking her home. Stabler tells him she's going to Rikers, to which Truex yells, "Over my dead body!"
Benson and Stabler are still trying to find more evidence to convict Charlotte, when ME Warner finds evidence that might actually prove Charlotte innocent. Further analysis of the urine in the basement toilet shows that it came from a male. Benson and Stabler realize that Ryan must have been at the home and that he could have been the one that attacked Maura. When the detectives confront Ryan, he takes off running and Stabler catches up with him. While trying to subdue him, Ryan suddenly drops dead. Stabler tries to administer CPR, but it's no use.
Benson speaks to ME Warner about her findings on Ryan. Warner states she can't talk about it. Benson asks what she plans to report and Warner responds that she is reporting it as "internal bleeding" due to blunt force trauma and that it is a "homicide." Benson speaks to Truex to attempt to convince him to have Charlotte state that Ryan is the one who murdered Maura in order for pressure to be taken off of Stabler for Ryan's death. Truex is reluctant to go along with this, seeing as his daughter is a recovering drug addict and doesn't want his daughter pumped full of more medication, but then realizes that it might help prove that Charlotte is innocent. Per Benson's request, Truex agrees to have Charlotte complete an interview under the administration of sodium amytol, a truth serum. Under the influence of sodium amytol in a hypnotic state, Charlotte states to Dr. Huang that Ryan killed her mother as she could hear screams from her mother while Charlotte was collapsed in bed in a drug induced haze. Truex is in tears listening to his daughter recall everything and is relieved that know for certain that his daughter is in fact innocent. "I was going to do everything in my power to help her, but deep down I thought she had really killed her mother . . . "
Ryan's parents decide to file a lawsuit alleging that Stabler used excessive force that killed him. A video of Stabler apprehending Ryan is shown and IRB gets involved. ME Warner stops by Stabler's home to express sympathy for his situation. While she's there, Stabler reports that he administered CPR. ME Warner responded that she wasn't told that at all as that could mean that Ryan was dead before CPR and his spleen erupted from the CPR. She asks for his case file and she and Stabler review it. She discovers that Ryan had Propanonol in his system. Propanynol is a beta blocker. At Stabler's hearing she reports that Ryan had Long QT syndrome, which is an "abnormal disturbance in the heartbeat that can lead to cardiac arrest if left untreated." Ryan was not taking his medication, Propanynol.
Kathy Stabler answers the door to her husband, and he tells her they need to talk. She tells him she saw the news and knew he did not kill Bedford. He confirms it has been a rough couple of days. He has had time to think about what is important to him. He loves his job and he loves his family. He almost lost both. He tells her he wants to come home.
- Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler
- Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson
- Richard Belzer as Detective John Munch (credit only)
- Diane Neal as A.D.A. Casey Novak
- Ice-T as Detective Odafin Tutuola
- B.D. Wong as Dr. George Huang
- Tamara Tunie as M.E. Melinda Warner
- Dann Florek as Captain Donald Cragen
- Robert John Burke as I.A.B. Sergeant Ed Tucker
- Isabel Gillies as Kathy Stabler
- Liza Lapira as C.S.U. Detective Lu
- Albert Jones as A.D.A. Fritz
- Emily VanCamp as Charlotte Truex
- Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick as Tommy Truex
- Ned Bellamy as Officer Garth Phillips
- Justin Klosky as Ryan Bedford
- Cary Elwes as Defense Attorney Sidney Truex
- Allison Hirschlag as Jane Williams
- Jon Conver as Mark
- Noemi Del Rio as Susan
- Tim Kubart as Kevin
- Jessica Tate as Jennifer Brown
- Maura M. Knowles as Patricia
- John Palumbo as Luccio Ricci
- Nick Basta as A.D.A. Brinkman
- Tommy Truex [when Olivia asks him who hurt his dad]: A monster hurt my daddy.
- Olivia Benson: (talking to Dr. Warner) Elliot Stabler could never murder anyone, and if you can't prove that, then I will.
- Charlotte Truex [about her dad]: My dad says a lot of things that aren't true. He's a lawyer. He lies for a living.
- Elliot Stabler (to Kathy): It's been a rough couple of days. And I've had a couple of days to think about what's important. I love my job and I love my family. And I nearly lost both of them. I wanna come home.
Background information and notes
- In the episode "Burned," Elliot is clearly living in an apartment building. There is a buzzer on the right at the landing and the large window in the front door shows a small alcove with a second security door leading into the building. In this episode, his front door opens right onto the street. Also, there is no buzzer visible on any of his walls, and Dr. Warner knocked on his front door without having to be buzzed into the building.
Episode scene cards
Mercy General Hospital
Hanover Day School
Offices of the
Internal Affairs Bureau
New York State
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