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"Merchandise"
SVU, Episode 12.04
Production number: 12004
First aired: 6 October 2010
  {{{nNthProducedInSeries}}}th of 295 produced in SVU  
{{{nNthReleasedInSeries}}}th of 295 released in SVU
  {{{nNthReleasedInAll}}}th of 1021 released in all  
Benson and Stabler Merchandise
Written By
Judith McCreary

Directed By
Peter Leto

Plot Edit

Episode plot

Summary Edit

A teenage girl is spotted running through a farmer's market where is she is later hit and killed by a car. Dr. Warner tells Elliot and Olivia that the girl's death is a homicide. She's been starved, abused, and had given birth within the last year.

At the SVU precinct, the pipes in the building have burst, flooding it with water. Cragen asks Olivia and Elliot why they questioned Dr. Warner's ruling, and the detectives feel that they cannot make a murder charge stick since the girl was killed by the car, not abuse. Cragen tells them to find the person who starved her. As the detectives look at video footage, they see that another was running behind the girl as well.

At the farmer's market, some witnesses identify the girl as Carly. She worked at Mission Farms, which gives at-risk children day jobs. Fin talks to the manager of the farmer's market and discovers the girl's full name is Carly Holbart, who's 15 years old. She has an address on the Lower East Side, but when Fin goes over to the apartment, it's discovered that the Hobarts were evicted after Mrs. Holbart passed away of cancer which drowned them in hospital debt. They put out a BOLO on Mr. Holbart's car.

Later, the detectives find Mr. Holbart's car and discover Mr. Holbart with his two younger daughters and tell him about what happened to Carly. At the precinct, Mr. Holbart says he hasn't seen Carly in a year. He put Carly and her brother, Micah to work after he couldn't afford to pay the bills. They were sent with a woman named Magda Paloma to work in farmlands. He spoke to his kids a few times, but then the phone was disconnected. He gives the detectives Magda's phone number and license plate number. Mr. Holbart didn't know Carly was pregnant or abused. He breaks down crying, saying that he sent Carly and Micah away to work so they could have food, shelter, and be safe. When Mr. Holbart is shown a picture of Carly running, he notices the boy running after her is his son, Micah. He asks the detectives to help find Micah.

Cragen says that Mission Farms is fake and the license plate number that Mr. Holbart gave them was from a stolen car that's never been recovered. The cell phone number was from a disposable cell phone and Magda Paloma appears to be a ghost. Cragen tells the detectives to let Mr. Holbart go since he hasn't done anything wrong. Fin looks at footage taken from a cell phone and it appears that Micah pushed Carly into traffic and it's also learned that Micah's been arrested for prostitution and resisting, possibly being forced into the sex trade. When Elliot asks how a kid Micah's age could be arrested for prostitution since he's not legally old enough to consent, Fin goes to find out.

Fin speaks to Detective Cruz, who arrested Micah before. He tells her he needs to find Micah and asks to speak face to face with their pimps. Fin and Detective Cruz have all the pimps lined up and Fin asks them for information. One guy tells Fin that Micah is a drop-off at a group stable. Fin tells him he wants Micah delivered to him tomorrow. The guy agrees and says a girl named Jasmine will deliver Micah.

With the SVU precinct dripping water everywhere after the pipes burst, the detectives move into the command center trailer. Olivia says that they've identified 3 Hispanic females with Magda's description with facial scars. Cragen asks to put together a mug book to see if Micah can identify which one is Magda.

The next day, Olivia and Elliot wait in the car at the meeting place. Fin calls and says that Micah's here. A young girl, Jasmine brings Micah to Fin. When Elliot approaches Micah, Micah runs. Olivia is able to catch Micah while Elliot has Jasmine. Micah puts up a struggle, ripping his shirt in the process. The detectives notice the wounds all over Micah's back. Micah begs to leave and is scared that he'll be punished. Later, Micah is still screaming in the back of the squad car. Olivia talks to Jasmine, who refuses to go with the detectives. The detectives restain Micah's arms so he doesn't hurt himself.

At the hospital, it discovered that Micah has suffered fractures, sexual abuse, and malnutrition. His blood also shows farm pesticides. The detectives talk to Micah, who wants to leave. An attorney, Dan Goldberg tells the detectives he's Micah's guardian ad-litem and they cannot talk to Micah. Elliot talks to Goldberg about Micah's situation and Goldberg says as long as Micah's a suspect in Carly's death, he can't be questioned and his job is to protect Micah.

Outside the precinct, Cragen is upset because the workers working on the pipes in the building aren't working and wasting time. Olivia and Elliot talk to Cragen about Goldberg. Cragen says they need to get a psychiatric evaluation of Micah's intent when he chased down Carly. Elliot thinks the judge will cut Micah loose if they get a psychiatrist to say that Micah didn't mean to kill Carly. Cragen sets it up with Dr. Huang.

At Bellevue, Dr. Huang talks to Micah, who wants to leave, but Dr. Huang tells him he'll open the door, but Micah cannot leave. Micah tells Dr. Huang everything that happened to him: how he was forced to have sex and how he worked day & night, hardly eating at all, except for scraps and garbage. He also says that 3 babies were born and taken away. Carly gave birth to a little boy who was soon taken away. He said Carly wanted the baby and asks if the baby is dead. Micah says if Carly left, they were beaten. Micah admits that he pushed Carly and she got hit by a car. He had no idea that Carly was trying to save him.

Elliot tells Goldberg that Micah needs to look at mug books, but Goldberg says it's Dr. Huang's call. Dr. Huang says he'll recommend immunity and witness protection which Goldberg says that no family judge will allow that. But Dr. Huang says that a federal court will and the FBI is taking over the case. He says that human trafficking, sex trafficking, and the Mann Act are all US code violations. Elliot says Micah's not going anywhere and tells Dr. Huang that he isn't the only one with the FBI on speed dial.

At the US Attorney's office, Olivia and Elliot talk to Christine Danielson. She tells them that there's little help for US kids being enslaved in the United States and says she can protect Micah's friends, but hasn't decided if they're taking their case. Elliot begs Danielson for help and she makes Olivia & Elliot special deputy US Marshal badges, giving them credentials they need to work outside their jurisdiction, and makes them take the oath.

At the hospital, Danielson asks how Micah's doing with the ID's and Fin says so far, nothing. But when Micah jumps away from the table, Goldberg holds up a mug shot picture to the window of a woman named Victoria Reyes. They later discover that Victoria goes under several alias, especially Magda Paloma. She has a long record which is sealed. Danielson thinks she can’t get cooperation from the US Attorneys for help and Elliot asks her what kind of press they want: live victims or dead kids.

Later, at the Federal Corrections Institution, Victoria is being held there and Danielson offers her immunity, through AUSA Ben Daltrey, but she refuses to talk. Danielson threatens to have her current deal vacated. She says her case is bigger and the AG loves headlines. They show Victoria the photos of Carly and Micah. Victoria says she knows them, saying she got $1,000 each. She sold them to Liam and Julie Ryan, wanna-be farmers, Liam met her and took them off her hands, and she never saw the farm. She met him at a farm and feed store and they got 7 kids and they tricked the kids out. She had been serving less than a year and stopped taking their calls when she heard they burned some of the workers when they heard the heat was closing in. They kill only the kids, the illegals are too scared to talk. Olivia tells Elliot than Fin ran Liam and Julie Ryan and there is no record of any land being leased in Suffolk County, no bank accounts and no credit. He says to have Fin fax their photos over to that store.

As Danielson, Olivia, and Elliot ride in the car, Fin tells them the Ryans lost a family farm due to foreclosure and they moved to North Carolina and Florida. They skipped before the Sarasota police could question them about allegations of using illegal workers. When the cops got there, there were only 5 bodies were found, dead from cyanide poisoning. Cragen cuts in and says the Ryans are leasing a farm off the books from a farmer going bankrupt. Benson asks for the address and Stabler asks the Suffolk PD meet them with no light or sirens.

They drive up the dirt road, and a truck is heading right at them. Elliot drives toward them head on, with Olivia's head out of the window her gun drawn. The truck veers off and the detectives get out of the car. Elliot keeps his gun on the Ryans as he orders them out of the car and tells Olivia and Danielson to go, and they get back in the car and trace to the house.

At the house Olivia kicks in the door and enters the house, but she and Danielson can't find anyone. Olivia thinks that they are in a root cellar, and races there. She finds a roomful of children, chained up. She struggles to free them as EMTs arrive. They only have a short time to treat and save the kids.

Later, as the Ryans are led off in full wholesale body chains, Danielson tells the detectives the Ryans invoked right away. She also says they found a laptop in the truck along with a suitcase full of cash. They hope that the laptop will lead to the babies that the Ryans sold. Danielson also says the Ryans will be in a maximum security prison and serve a life sentence without parole for kidnapping, slavery, and criminally neglegent homicide. Elliot and Olivia turn in their US Marshal badges.

At Bellevue Hospital, Mr. Holbart is there with Micah. They tell him Micah will not be charged with Carly's death and he has to undergo counseling. Elliot tells Mr. Holbart that he talked to a shelter geared towards families which has temporary housing for Mr. Holbart and his kids until they get back on their feet. Mr. Holbart thanks them and goes back to Micah, comforting him as he cries.

CastEdit

Main cast Edit

Recurring cast Edit

Guest cast Edit

References Edit

Wyandanch, New York, Suffolk County Police Department

Goofs Edit

The Suffolk Police Car in this episode is white with mustard yellow and purple stripes (as seen in Shattered; SVU). In real life, Suffolk Police cars are white with blue and red stripes (a quick google image search for "suffolk police car" turns up countless reference material the production staff could have used to get this right)

Suffolk police car2
Real Life Suffolk Police Car
GoldjdAdded by Goldjd

Quotes Edit

  • Elliot Stabler: How'd Huang take the bad news?
    Fin Tutuola: If I were you, I'd keep my distance. I didn't know he used that kind of language.
  • Dr. George Huang: I gotta call my boss.
    Elliot Stabler: Hey Doc? Micah's not going anywhere.
    Dr. George Huang: How are you going to stop me?
    Elliot Stabler: You're not the only one with the Feds on speed dial.
  • (Benson and Stabler observe child prostitutes during a stakeout.)
    Olivia Benson: They're not your kids, El.
    Elliot Stabler: I know.
    Olivia Benson: We can't save them all.
    Elliot Stabler: I'd settle for just one.
    Olivia Benson: As long as we keep criminalizing victims instead of going after their perps, it's never gonna happen. We should at least arrest their johns.
    Elliot Stabler: So what? It's a slap on the wrist. I mean, Spitzer walked; he was a former prosecutor.
    Olivia Benson: Guy gets caught with an under-aged hooker, the charge should be rape!
    Elliot Stabler: Hard-time isn't a deterrent.
    Olivia Benson: Neither is the death penalty. It's just the price of doing business. It's time to treat these bastards like the scum they really are.
  • Finn: (to the pimps) Fact: you are all now my bitches!

Background information and notesEdit

Episode scene cards Edit

1 2 3 4

Farmer's Market
Management Office
318 West 24th Street
Tuesday, September 28

541 East 116th Street
Wednesday, September 29

257 West 155th Street
Friday, October 1

Bellevue Hospital Center
Emergency Room
Friday, October 1

5 6 7 8

Bellevue Hospital Center
Therapy Room
Saturday, October 2

US Attorney's Office
Eastern District
Saturday, October 2

Federal Correctional
Institution
Interview Room
Danbury, Connecticut
Sunday, October 3

Bellevue Hospital Center
Sunday, October 3


Previous episode:
"Behave"
"Merchandise"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 12
Next episode:
"Wet"
Seasons 123456789101112131415
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