|←||SVU, Episode 13.04||→|
|Production number: 13004|
First aired: 12 October 2011
| Written By|
John P. Roche
When a beautiful dancer is raped, the suspect's M.O. reminds Detective Amanda Rollins of an unsolved case from Atlanta.
A dancer is followed home and raped by a man with a distinctive tattoo and the details of the attack remind Rollins of a serial rapist she was tracking back home. The detectives arrest Gabriel Thomas, a family man who maintains his innocence, but his description and DNA match this assault and the string of rapes across multiple states that Rollins had been investigating match Thomas' movements. Although the evidence supports the arrest, the more Detectives Olivia Benson and Nick Amaro dig into Thomas' past, the more they begin to believe his story.
The scene, unlike most SVU episodes in the past, opens up with the attacker before he strikes. An unidentified white male follows a young woman on her way home and tries to get her to smile before pulling out a knife and attacking her physically and sexually. SVU appear onsite the same evening, as Benson is questioning her about what happened, she comes across a piece of information that catches Detective Rollins's ear. The victim stated that the perp told her over and over, "Tell me you love me, Mommy."
Back at the squad room, Detective Rollins reports that this followed the same motive as a serial rapist she tracked but couldn't catch while on duty in Georgia. Benson, still unbelieving that a serial rapist would suddenly jump from Georgia to New York, hires a detailed sketch of the perp, who has a distinct yin-yang tattoo on his neck. Upon release to the media, a couple of women in the park find a man matching that description and text a picture of him to the NYPD intake line. By then, a second victim had come forward and identified her attacker upon seeing the picture sent in.
Amaro and Benson arrive at the home of Gabriel and Janey Thomas, and upon questioning appeal to his sense of family and ask him to come along quietly. He does so, believing he is innocent until both victims pick him out of a lineup. Rollins assumes his immediate guilt and is forced to watch as Benson and Amaro question Thomas until DNA testing from the previous rapes come back. Former ADA Sherri West arrives as Thomas's attorney, also believing her client's innocence.
The DNA comes back a match and Thomas is shocked, and remanded without bail. Detective Amaro, not feeling like Thomas is his perp, tries to talk him into confessing to get a better plea bargain but Thomas swears he will not admit to something he didn't do. Upon tranfer to The Tombs, Thomas attempts suicide by slashing both wrists. He is barely saved, and at the hospital Benson talks to Janey Thomas. She tells detectives that she couldn't believe it and that he was the sweetest man in the world, stating that when she miscarried several years ago, he didn't leave her side for the whole weekend.
She also mentions that he was an only child, both parents dead within months of each other, and that she and their six year old son were all that he had in the world. Amaro digs deeper into the miscarriage story and finds signed affidavits from doctors, nurses and Janey's mother stating that he was at her side all weekend, not even leaving to take his pirate makeup off from a Halloween party. Amaro then discovers that he was 100 miles away when one of the attacks occurred, and insists that they may have the wrong guy (especially since a victim along the Atlantic coast described a chipped tooth and a scar along her attacker's stomach).
Cragen instructs them to dig into Thomas's past. Upon questioning, detectives discover that he is adopted, and his parents were good people and never made contact with his birth mother. When Benson and Amaro find her, she tells them about giving up identical twin boys 36 years before.
When prompted, she tells them how one of the boys, Brian Smith, found her and wanted to reconnect. She told him about having a twin, and shortly after their visit he was forced to testify against his adoptive mother because he watched as she drugged her husband and set him on fire. The detectives leave her stating 'I gave him up once, he should have taken the hint'.
Upon this newly found evidence, detectives and the ADA conspire to 'release' Gabriel Thomas, knowing well that his brother won't attack again as long as he was in custody. All the paperwork is done for Thomas to be released but he is to remain in the tank (so they can be sure they have the right person), as the detectives set a trap. All of the previous victims were blond and athletic.
They find that Brian Smith works as a janitor for Central Park and Rollins poses as a jogger for four days until she finally baits him enough to where he follows her on bike as she jogs through to a deserted area with Amaro and Fin on foot. Amaro arrives just in time, as Smith held a knife to Rollins's throat and punches him in the face several times.
Rollins states she is fine, she just wants to get her collar on Smith. However, ADA Novak, trying this case, states that since Rollins was both victim and witness, she couldn't talk to her attacker. Smith tells Fin and Munch that unless he talks to the blond, he wants a lawyer. Rollins goes in, and gets her confession after poking holes in the story that Smith attempted to give her about how his brother was the rapist, not him.
She mentions that he left a fingerprint, and that twins have matching DNA but nobody has matching fingerprints. He eventually breaks down, and confesses everything; that he followed his brother every time he moved so that he could rape as much as he wanted without ever having to worry about being caught, even going as far as to getting the same tattoo on his neck.
Brian Smith is charged, and when Gabriel Thomas is released, he asks who did it. He tells everyone he didn't know when he sees that it's his own twin brother, identical in every way. The episode ends with Detective Amaro telling Thomas that his brother knew, and did it all anyway.
- Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson
- Danny Pino as Detective Nick Amaro
- Kelli Giddish as Detective Amanda Rollins
- Richard Belzer as Sergeant John Munch
- Ice-T as Detective Odafin Tutuola
- Dann Florek as Captain Donald Cragen
- Diane Neal as A.D.A. Casey Novak
- Francie Swift as Attorney Sherri West
- Peter McRobbie as Judge Walter Bradley
- Karen Young as Dr. Meg Whitmere
- Karen Tsen Lee as DNA Tech Susan Chung
- Roxanna Hope as Janey Thomas
- Connie Ray as Biological Mother
- T.R. Knight as Gabriel Thomas & Brian Smith
- Gillian Alexy as Danielle Hynes
- Makenzie Leigh as Lana Mills
- Azie Tesfai as Kendra
- Alexander Garfin as Luke Thomas
- Darlene Violette as Parkmom #1
- Alana Jackler as Parkmom #2
- Ted Arcidi as Prison Guard #1
- Nicholas Miles Newton as Prison Guard #2
- Joseph A. Halsey as Uni
- Gerritt Vandermeer as Janey's Brother (uncredited)
- "What's bugging you, new guy?"
- – Munch to Amaro
- Amaro: Look I get it. His life dovetails with the rapist, but does anyone think it's weird that he just offered all that up?
- Novak: Is he always like this?
Background information and notes
Episode scene cards
Medical Examiner's Office
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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
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