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"Sick"
SVU, Episode 5.19
Production number: E4423
First aired: 30 March 2004
  th of 295 produced in SVU  
th of 295 released in SVU
  th of 1021 released in all  
Stabler Novak Sick
Written By
Dawn DeNoon

Directed By
David Platt


Plot Edit

Episode plot

Summary Edit

The episode begins with two girls bickering, where they are in a slasher-film fan chatroom on the internet. One user, known as "PsychoKiller", is found posting disturbing messages about murdering a five-year old girl, which scares the girls into calling the police. The screenname is traced to a Jeremy Ostilow, a husband and father of two. The police then break into the Ostilow family's home. The poster is revealed to be the son, Jeremy Ostilow Jr., aka JJ, who is taken into police custody for questioning. Following this and arguments with the father, JJ is put into the adolescent ward of Bellevue.

The detectives visit JJ's former school where the principal says that JJ had failing grades and once got into a fight with a school bully. When the school bully is questioned by the detectives, he claims that when JJ and he fought, JJ repeatedly screamed "rape", leading detectives to believe that JJ was the victim of molestation. Dr. Huang visits JJ in his facility and JJ says that he was molested by billionaire Billy Tripley, who owned a toy store where Jeremy Ostilow Sr. worked.JJ described the room as the magic kingdom. After describing the incident, JJ said that after telling his parents,who went to Tripley, they were paid off in exchange for their silence.

Tripley is arrested and taken into police custody for questioning. He denies them. Before a trial can come up, a video is released of JJ recanting the allegations, saying that Tripley did nothing, and he concocted the story. Immediately following this video, JJ disappears. His father claims he is "protecting" him by keeping him away from the case and the press. The judge declares that JJ's father must produce JJ as a material witness, but he refuses and is held in contempt of the court. With the father refusing to bring out his son, the case against Tripley seems to be over. Eventually JJ is located at an uncle's house in Maine, but the two flee to Canada before they can be brought back to New York.

However, during one of Tripley's sleepovers, the character of April is shown to be a cancer patient who had been one of Tripley's friends. Suddenly, it emerges from her family that Tripley had sexually molested her. But, following a shoplifting incident conducted by her grandmother, Nora, it is revealed that that April never had cancer and Nora had used mercury poisoning on her for attention. The case against Tripley is shown to be a fraud, with Nora being the mastermind of all this, creating false allegations against Tripley. Nora is sentenced to prison for the cancer fraud and attempted murder in the first degree.

The episode ends with Tripley having a victory party, where he invites the media over. The detectives are surprised, but detective Elliot Stabler does not appear to be worried, insisting that they'll get Tripley, as he'll "just keep giving them more and more chances to".

Cast Edit

Main cast Edit

Recurring cast Edit

Guest cast Edit

References Edit

Episode references

Quotes Edit

  • Dr. George Huang: Peter Pan Syndrome to the extreme.

  • Casey Novak: [after Nora Hodges' scam has been exposed] He deserves to go to jail! Thanks to you, he can claim he's the victim of a false allegation every time a legitimate one comes up in the future!

  • John Munch: Dodge ball?! Haven't they outlawed this barbaric practice yet?
  • Fin Tutuola: I loved this game.
  • John Munch: Yeah, well, you were a sadist. You know, I literally weighed 98 pounds. I can still hear them, "Break the pencil!" I was a walking bruise.

  • Olivia Benson: (speaking to Billy Tripley out on bail at a party in his mansion) Tripley. Got a call from one of your neighbors who found it very unsettling to see so many kids come through your door.
  • Elliot Stabler: What's the special occasion, Billy? They lower the age of consent?

  • John Munch [after entering Tripley's pirate-themed bedroom]: Pervert ahoy. Pedophilic pirate motif.

  • Fin Tutuola: (opening a closet in the Treasure Room.) Oh, this is just wrong. Little jammies, each one a different theme. What's this about?
  • John Munch: Tripley's idea of lingerie.

  • Mitchell Edison [about JJ]: He might have gotten snapped by a wet towel or two. All in good fun, you know?
  • John Munch: Yeah. Getting pelted by Neanderthals in the privates sounds like a blast.

  • Dr. Warner: (while taking DNA samples) Please lower your pants and underwear.
  • Billy Tripley: Why?
  • Dr. Warner: Pubic hair sample. (smiles while holding up tweezers) I'll need ten of those as well.

  • JJ Ostilow [to Elliot]: Give it up, Detective. My parents would die before they'd let anything bad happen to me.

  • Elliot Stabler [reading the chat room printout of what JJ wrote on the internet] "Screw her innocence and then slice her up." Is this about your sister Lisette?
  • JJ Ostilow: No.
  • Elliot Stabler: You're telling me there's another five-year-old out there who pisses you off that much? Believe me, I know what a pain little sisters can be. Just tell me what she did.
  • JJ Ostilow: She melted my favorite CD in her Easy-Bake Oven.
  • Elliot Stabler: That sucks. What did you do?
  • JJ Ostilow: Nothing. I never do anything. When someone makes me mad, I just imagine hurting them. That makes me feel better.
  • Elliot Stabler: So it's like a release valve? You think about it, but don't actually do it?
  • JJ Ostilow: That's what I said, moron.

  • Elliot Stabler: [to JJ]: You really want to grow up to be like one of those perverts, huh?
  • JJ Ostilow: Why wait?

  • Casey Novak: Billy Tripley's guilty of witness tampering.
  • Mary Clark: Can you prove it?
  • Casey Novak: Not yet, but I know Tripley got to the parents, threatened to enforce the non-disclosure agreement.
  • Mary Clark: Are you absolutely sure that JJ recanted under arrest?
  • Casey Novak: I know that boy was molested; JJ told Huang he can identify a birthmark on Billy's penis! [The other people in the restaurant stare at Casey awkwardly]
  • Mary Clark [to the onlookers]: She doesn't get out much.

Background information and notes Edit

  • This episode appears to be based on the charges of pedophilia levelled against late pop star Michael Jackson and many traits of the character Billy Tripley are similar to that of Jackson's. Jackson had never been convicted of the allegations. JJ's case seems to be based off the first of the allegations and April's case seems to be based on the last that would lead to a trial where Jackson was acquitted.

Episode scene cards Edit

1 2 3 4

Faulkner
Preparatory School
771 Madison Avenue
Tuesday, March 2

Bellevue Hospital
Adolescent
Psychiatric Ward
Tuesday, March 2

Residence of
Billy Tripley
4 Sutton Place
Wednesday, March 3

Chambers of
Judge Terhune
Wednesday, March 3

5 6 7 8

Trial Part 38
Tuesday, March 9

Apartment of
Nora Hodges
164 West 29th Street
Tuesday, March 9

Office of
The Medical Examiner
Tuesday, March 9

Rikers Island
Thursday, March 11


Previous episode:
"Careless"
"Sick"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 5
Next episode:
"Lowdown"
Seasons 12345678910111213141516

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