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Ritual (SVU)

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"Ritual"
SVU, Episode 5.14
Production number: E4406
First aired: 3 February 2004
  th of 366 produced in SVU  
th of 366 released in SVU
  th of 1106 released in all  
Warner Ritual
Written By
Christos N. Gage & Ruth Fletcher Gage

Directed By
Ed Bianchi


Plot Edit

When a 7-year-old boy is found murdered in what appears to be a Santeria-like ritual, the SVU squad discovers that the boy was smuggled to New York from Nigeria. Fin & Munch soon discover that the boy's sister is a slave at a white elderly rich woman's home, it is also discovered that the kids were part of a Nigerian smuggling ring. Its eventually discovered that the boy was a sex slave and the man who was using him, murdered him and covered it up as his wife had no idea about his habit. The police manage to hunt down the rest of the shipment of slaves and rescue them, but they have been abandoned by the smugglers to die. The boy's killer is later arrested and in exchange for not being given the death penalty, he gives the police the name of Martin Bosa, the smuggler responsible. With the help of a Nigerian diplomat, Fin tries to catch him in the act, but he catches on and flees. Fin captures Martin, beating him in the process. After threatening to have him sent back to Nigeria for his execution by firing squad, Martin reveals the location of his final slave shipment and the police intercept it and rescue the children.

Summary Edit

Episode summary

Cast Edit

Main cast Edit

Recurring cast Edit

Guest cast Edit

References Edit

Ajani Haruna; Santeria; Benin City, Nigeria; Center for the Study of Santeria; Martinez Imports; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Lagos; Tibet; Ikenga; Long Island City; Hudson University; London, England; Katmandu, Nepal; Marrakesh, Morocco; Yamaya; St. Cecilia

Quotes Edit


  • Novak: A 7-year-old boy is dead. Someone cut his throat, hung him up, and bled him like a pig.

  • Bigelow: All the kids (legal immigrants who might be the victim) are safe...
  • Benson: So our kid's gotta be illegal.
  • Bigelow: Huh, not surprising - the third largest moneymaker for organized crime in the US, after drugs and guns, is the sale of human beings...
  • Stabler: You mean worldwide...
  • Bigelow: I mean the United States.

  • Fin: Ajani's sister kept her doll in a beaded pouch. Where's the pouch to this one?
  • Benson: That's why God invented search warrants.

  • Stabler: Police, please come with us...
  • Marion: I'll do no such thing!
  • Fin: Sure you will, or we'll haul your ass out of here!

  • Stabler: Marion Laymon, you're under arrest for violation of United States Code, Title 18, Section 1584.
  • Marion: Would you mind telling me what that means?
  • Fin: We're busting you for violating the Involuntary Servitude and Peonage Act - in case you hadn't heard, Lincoln freed the slaves!

  • Langham: My client wants to clear up this misunderstanding...
  • Stabler: This is no "misunderstanding" - your client had a slave!

  • Fin[to Mrs. Laymon] Look, lady, I don't give a damn what you and your damn friends do. Slavery is a federal crime. Now you're gonna be spending the next ten years in lock down. That's not the Junior League. Cooperate with us, we'll put in a good word for you with the feds. If you don't, I guarantee you're not gonna like the dress code in the joint.

  • Shaye: My wife was coming home - you think I wanted her to find the place looking like a bachelor pad?
  • Stabler: I'll tell you what I think, pervert: I think your wife surprised you by coming home early, so you had to get rid of Ajani fast, but you couldn't risk just dropping him off somewhere, because he might be able to finger you. So you murdered him, and you made it look like a religious ritual...You can't hide from me behind your fancy education. I smell you...you're nothing but a skell who gets his rocks off screwin' little boys.

  • Shaye: How much longer are you gonna hold me?!
  • Captain Cragen: You'll be leaving soon - for Death Row.

  • Fin: [while beating Martin soundly] They were kids, you sick son of a bitch!

Martin: Another African man brutalized by a vicious cop. I don't think your police commissioner wants more bad publicity.

[during Martin Bosa's interview, Fin shows up with Mabuda]
Martin: You've come to beat me again. I am not afraid of you.
Fin: You should be afraid of her.
Martin: What can a woman do? Claw my eyes out? [laughs]
Mabuda: Deport you. Your passport's been revoked.
Benson: Meet Nigerian Under Consul Kema Mabuda.
Martin: I have a few friends home in Nigeria. Perhaps it is time I paid 'em a visit.
Mabuda: Have them visit you, at Kirikiri Prison, while you await your execution.
Benson: They use a firing squad there, right?
Fin: Yeah. And the warden thinks that's too easy, so he ties you to a pole in boilin' sun, then he has his firing squad start on your ankles and work their way up real slow.
Stabler: How soon can we get him on a plane?
Martin: [convinced] If I tell you what you want to know...?
Mabuda: [nods] I'll ask for leniency.
Martin: There's a truck arriving tonight.

Background information and notes Edit

  • Asante Odufemi refers to the orisha Yamaja as "Yamaya", which suggests that he is originally from Cuba.
  • Allan Shaye's statement that "nobody's been executed in New York State in 40 years" is curious in light of the central event of the Law & Order episode "Aftershock", as well as the events surrounding the original episode "Bad Girl", where the character of Monica Johnson was executed for shooting a police officer. (The statement was accurate in real life - New York State's last execution took place in 1963.)
  • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the United Kingdom, where a partial body was recovered from the river Thames in 2001.

Episode scene cards Edit

1 2 3 4 5

Martinez Imports
131 East 105th Street
Tuesday, December 9

Kern Street Apartments
285 West 182nd Street
Wednesday, December 10

Office of
The Medical Examiner
Wednesday, December 10

Immigration and Customs
Enforcement
26 Federal Plaza
Thursday, December 11

Administration for
Children's Services
Thursday, December 11

6 7 8 9

ACS Children's Center
Friday, December 12

Maggie Shaye Gallery
624 Madison Avenue
Friday, December 12

Shaye Residence
58 East 64th Street
Monday, December 15

Freddy's Diner
162 West 29th Street
Tuesday, December 16


Previous episode:
"Hate"
"Ritual"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 5
Next episode:
"Families"
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