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Spectacle

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"Spectacle"
SVU, Episode 12.16
Production number: 12016
First aired: 9 February 2011
  {{{nNthProducedInSeries}}}th of 366 produced in SVU  
{{{nNthReleasedInSeries}}}th of 366 released in SVU
  {{{nNthReleasedInAll}}}th of 1106 released in all  
Greg Spectacle
Written By
Chris Brancato

Directed By
Peter Leto

Plot Edit

After a sexual assault is broadcast on a college's intranet, Stabler and Fin look for the people involved. During the investigation, the attacker's attention-seeking motives come to light.

Summary Edit

College students are at the computer when a live streaming video is aired from somewhere on Westmore College's campus. Many watch as a blonde girl is held hostage at knife point by a masked captor, on a bare mattress, in what appears to be a dorm room. The video isn't reported to police until after it is finished airing.

SVU soon starts the search for the unidentified blonde and find the room from the video--but no girl and no captor, just a red spray-paint picture of a monkey covering its eyes on the wall with the phrase "See No Evil" below. Shortly after, Benson and Munch have to leave investigate another case, in another state. The detectives use the tattoo visible on the captor's right arm in the video, meaning "Try or Die," to search for the man, but find that several male students have the same tattoo.

When investigating the tattoo, the detectives find Carl Cooper, a former student with a criminal record. He is not the man from the video, but he directs them to his former fraternity, where they find the name of their missing girl. Her name Lizzie Harmon, and she attends Julliard.

Later on while interrogating Phat House members, they bring in Lizzie's Mother. Then Fin dumped her cell and found dozens of calls to the same five numbers – all disposable cells. The phones were shipped to a check cashing place and they have surveillance photos of the people who bought the phones.

Stabler recognizes one of the photos as a student from Westmore that he had questioned – Gregory Engels. At that point another video is broadcast as Cragen is read Engels file aloud. They are able to trace it to a place called Hell's Kitchen.

When arriving there it is empty except for a computer with the monkeys, see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil, with a picture of Lizzie afterward.The monkeys though have a message seemly as see no evil was at the first crime seen, and in the second crime scene, see no evil appeared again but with hear no evil, and at last all three appeared at Hell's kitchen, therefore an obvious message.

Back at SVU, Morales says Engels used the signal of a law firm next door and he has no other information. Huang says the brownstone has meaning for Engels - its where he and his brothers grew up with foster parents. His real parents died in 2001 in a plane crash and no one knows where Greg’s brother Jason is at as he was abducted outside the brownstone two years after his parents were killed. Stabler recalls the case and it went cold. They think Greg snapped. There is a monkey on Jason's t-shirt in his photo, Huang adding this is Engels' twisted way of getting control back.

This also is seems to be another message. Stabler then gets a text message from Greg that says, “I’m done playing games. If you want Lizzie back, come alone.” Instead of telling the others he silently responds, “Come where? Who is this?” the response, “ You know who. Drive north and I’ll send you directions.” He sees an image on his phone of a monkey which says “Leave now! I’m watching you.” Suspecting he is watching from the web cams he goes.

Stabler heads to the location and sees a door painted with “Monkey see monkey do” and he opens it. He closes the door and head to an elevator where the Basement floor button is marked. He steps out of the elevator on the basement floor and calls out to Engels who is there and says he does not have a weapon. Stabler tells him he is under arrest and Engels shows Stabler a streaming video feed of Lizzie being held with another man present.

Engels calls the other man his little monkey and if he doesn’t get a signal from Engels every two minutes, he will kill her. He asks Engels what he wants, and Engels hands him a folder of papers with a photo of his missing brother, and says he wants Stabler to find him.

Back SVU they realize stabler is missing, they call him but he doesn't answer.Back with Engels, Stabler shows Engels that his cell phone is now turned off. Stabler taunts him but Engels yells at him to shut up and tells him to read the file. Stabler asks why Engels went through all that trouble to get him there and asks why. Engels says that Special Victims has one of the NYPD’s highest clearance rates, and Stable asks why he didn’t pick up the phone and call? Stabler asks him what all the crap with the monkeys is, and Engels ask him if that frustrates him, it’s what he’s been going through for years.

He orders Stabler to read the file. Engels complains that the detective only worked the case for two weeks and then labeled it a cold case, and says not this time. Stabler says he wants to help him, but not like this. Engels says the cops don’t give a damn about Jason but as long as he has Lizzie he will make them care. Stabler grabs Engels by the neck but releases him. Engels says if anything happens to him she will be dead before he steps into the elevator.

Back at SVU, Cragen and Fin are still trying to find Stabler with no luck. Fin recalls the last time he saw Stabler he was staring at his cell phone with a weird look in his face. Cragen will call his provider to get them to cough up his text logs. Morales says he broke Engels' code and found a lot information where Engels was writing to law enforcement for help in finding Jason.

Stabler tells Engels that he did everything right to try to find his bother. Engels says at first people were polite and then they stopped paying attention, and says he will beer give up. Stabler asks where his foster parents were the day Jason was abducted and Engels said they were getting high off the money they were paid for taking care of them. Stabler goes through the police reports and look at all the people who were seen on the street that day and they all saw the whole thing and they did nothing.

Stabler said it is the bystander effect, no one does anything because they think someone else will. Stabler reminds Engels that Lizzie is scared just like Jason. Stabler promises to help Engels but he says he promises him that she will be dead unless he finds his brother.

Back at SVU, they track Stabler’s movements from the text he received by matching the texts to his GPS. The realize he is with Engels somewhere in Queens. Morales thinks he can trace the burn phone that Engels used.

Back with Engels, Stabler asks Engels to tell him everything he can about his brother. Jason used to call him Gigg because he could not say Greg. Stabler reminds him he was only 12 years old and it is not his fault, thinking he is doing this out of guilt. Stabler said he can’t imagine what that pain would make him do, and reminds him the pain Lizzie’s mother is going through. He asks Engels to tell him where Lizzie is. Stabler gives him his word he will work Jason’s case, and as Engels is getting ready to tell him, they hear a noise.

Stabler says his phone is turned off but asks if Engels turned his off. They hear Cragen calling out to Stabler. Stabler yells back to him to back off, he is alright. Stabler asks Engels where is Lizzie, and he tells him to go to hell and smashed the iPad. The police burst in with Cragen and Engels tells Stabler she is dead, he killed her.

As they walk Engels out, he is silent when Stabler asks where is Lizzie’s body. Cragen says Lizzie is not in the building, and Morales said they signal died when Engels smashed the iPad. Stabler said he was getting into Engels’ head and wonders if he is that screwed up he would take Lizzie’s life. Stabler goes back to the squad car and gets in the back seat with Engels. He asks Engels why he is frowning, and says he thinks all Engels wanted was revenge. Engels said he just wanted someone to pay attention and to care about Jason.

Engels begins to cry and asks Stabler what he knows about what he’s been through and he does not care about anything anymore. Stabler asks why he is crying, and Engels says that he never wanted to kill her, and Stabler guesses that she is still alive. Engels admits she is, and tells Stabler to find out what happened to his brother,

Back at SVU, Fin slams down the file and says the only thing colder than this case is Stabler making them start from scratch. Cragen asks Huang to check out all the sex offenders living in that neighborhood in 2003 and the rest of them will re-interview all the witnesses.

At SVU, they bring in all the original witnesses who recount what they see. Everyone’s story is different, especially regarding the car seen the day of the kidnapping. One woman says other than the boy getting grabbed it was a normal day. All the stories still hold up.

Benson returns and begins to help work the case. It seems that everyone saw different cars but all said it was a man who grabbed Jason. One witness saw a Mrs. Penner out there that morning but there was no Mrs. Penner on any of the reports. Stabler asks Engels about Mrs. Penner and he said he used to babysit her son Danny for her. He said she was not there they day Jason was kidnapped because she went back to Staten Island after Danny died, to live with her parents. Daniel died at 3 from leukemia. She said all she wanted was her boy back.

Later, they find Miriam Penner spent 6 weeks in the psych ward after her son died. She owned a green station wagon which is one of the cars a witness saw. They wonder if Jason was a replacement for her son. Fin also says Miriam’s parents live in Boca Raton. Benson called her number and said the woman who answered said she was the babysitter but Benson thinks it was Miriam.

They wonder if she thinks they are on to them. Cragen says he will have patrol sit on her house in case she tries to bolt. Then at this point Benson and Stabler make it to the house, when Penner tries leaving the house. They stop her and arrest her finding Jason in the back drugged so he is asleep during the event.

Jason is taken to the hospital to be checked out as Penner screams at them to give back her son. Stabler then gets Greg who leads them to Lizzie and the other 'Captor' and find out it was all a hoax to help find Jason.

At the end, Greg says that he'll take all the blame, but to let his friends go, no charges, just let him see Jason. Benson comes in and tells him to look behind him, at first Jason looks unsure, but then runs to Greg calling him "Gig" because he couldn't say Greg when he was three, the age at which he was kidnapped.

Cast Edit

Main cast Edit

Recurring cast Edit

Guest cast Edit

References Edit

Episode references

Quotes Edit

Finn: (to Stabler) The only thing colder than this case is you making us reopen it.

Background information and notesEdit

Episode scene cards Edit

1 2 3 4

Westmore University
Phi Delta Fraternity House
Friday, January 28

497 West 36th Street
Friday, January 28

2-45 50th Avenue
Queens, New York
Friday, January 28

Residence of
Miriam Penner
126 Copley Street
Staten Island, New York
Sunday, January 30


Previous episode:
"Flight"
"Spectacle"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 12
Next episode:
"Pursuit"
Seasons 123456789101112131415161718

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