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SVU, Episode 9.18
Production number: 9018
First aired: 6 May 2008
  th of 366 produced in SVU  
th of 366 released in SVU
  th of 1106 released in all  
Benson Stabler Trade
Written By
Jonathan Greene

Directed By
Peter Leto

Summary Edit

A wealthy, successful coffee trader and his son are both suspects in a young pregnant woman's murder, when evidence suggests that the woman was sexually involved with both men.

Plot Edit

The show begins with a brownstone fire and the discovery of a woman’s body – Jenna Ludlow – who also happens to be pregnant. The victim’s fiancé, PJ Bartlett comes under suspicion, and he is the son of a very successful and wealthy coffee broker Pierson Bartlett. An affair with Jenna Ludlow and Pierson Bartlett is uncovered, putting both father and son in the cross hairs of Casey Novak . Casey suggests that Pierson get an attorney of his own, since PJ’s attorney Avery should not represent both father and son. Pierson retains Trevor Langan.

Father and son go to trial, with Casey pulling out all the stops. She challenges Pierson about an email regarding the purchase of a coffee plantation, and that Jenna may have been using the email to blackmail them, thinking she would give away trade secrets. Casey also revealed $10,000 a month payments from Pierson to Jenna as evidence of blackmail. Pierson said the money wasn’t for blackmail, it was for the baby that Jenna was carrying. Casey then gets the son PJ on the stand, and tells him that his sperm is immobile, he’s “shooting blanks,” and that he has “funky sperm.” Casey also reveals that Jenna was not pregnant at the time the blackmail began, a fact that seemed to be a surprise to the defendants.

PJ’s defense attorney chases down Casey, who basically declares the defense attorney incompetent, says the trial is over, the only question is how long the jury will be out, and slams the door in her face. Cut to the jury verdict, who state they have been “hopelessly deadlocked” for nine days, and a mistrial is declared. Casey, though, is undeterred and vows re-file immediately. She also decides to check out what happened with the jurors, and finds that only one juror would not budge from the very first day of deliberation. It’s a woman, who is the mother of a disabled child, who was also facing foreclosure of her home. Casey trades information from her in exchange for no jail time.

Casey finds that the juror was paid off by a private investigator, and Benson and Stabler find that the PI has fled the country and his files are being shredded. But, there are files on the PI’s computer hard drive that show that he was tailing PJ Bartlett. When confronted with the information, PJ turns on his father, basically calling him an over-competitive control freak. PJ believes this is partly what drove his father to have the affair with Jenna. The detectives obtain a search warrant for Pierson’s home and safe in order to confirm he has possession of the actual surveillance photos, and are thwarted with Avery arrives with an injunction, saying they violated PJ’s right to counsel.

Somehow, Pierson Bartlett arrives at the SVU squad before Benson and Stabler, who are informed by Fin that Pierson is rolling on his son. Realizing father and son are flipping on each other, Casey states, “What a mess.”

Elliott continues to watch a video with Jenna, and gets a minuscule glimpse of what they know is the murder weapon in the picture. Since they didn’t initially find a camera for this video, they go back to the burned apartment to try to find it, tearing apart mattresses and drawers and cabinets. Lucky for them, they find a digital memory card in the coffee can, download it, and soon afterwards find a camera in the wall that still has the video memory card in it.

Casey and the detectives have a sit down with Pierson and PJ and Avery, telling them about the video and that it shows the murderer. Avery promptly tells them to turn it off, then storms out of the room. When father and son see that the murderer is Avery, Pierson expresses concern that she could be getting away. Casey says, “The front door is the only way out of here. I’ve alerted security. They’re not gonna let her [Avery] leave.” we hear the alarm going off, and Casey exclaims, “The emergency stairs on the roof!” While she stands on stiletto heels on a roof ledge, threatening suicide, she admits she also tampered with the juror and hired the PI. Sometimes she seemed to wobble precariously on the ledge, sometimes she seemed quite steady. To make matters worse, PJ finally gets his arms around Avery’s legs, and none of them rush to help him pull her back, so she yanks PJ over the side with her!

Elliot and Olivia stare in horror at the two dead bodies on a car roof, while Pierson cries in anguish over his now-dead son.

Cast Edit

Main castEdit

Recurring cast Edit

Guest cast Edit

References Edit


Quotes Edit

Pierson Bartlett: Great body.
Olivia Benson: Excuse me?
Pierson Bartlett: The coffee. Though I'll bet yours is smooth and robust.

Pierson Bartlett: I didn't bribe anyone.
Casey Novak: Nooo...that fifty thousand dollar payment to juror number four was charity

Avery Hemmings: You're lucky your cheap stunt didn't kill my client.
Casey Novak: We didn't shove P.J. through that window, his father did.

"I took a coffee-appreciation course at the Learning Annex, turned out it was just a bunch of barista wannabes."
John Munch

"Sorry, but cherubim don't have legal standing in this state."
John Munch to the angel healer

Background information and notes Edit

Background information and notes

Episode scene cards Edit

1 2 3 4

Commodities Exchange
249 Vesey Street
Monday, June 4

Crime Lab
One Police Plaza
Monday, June 4

Crime Lab
One Police Plaza
Wednesday, June 6

Apartment of
Jenna Ludlow
450 West 22nd Street
Wednesday, June 6

5 6 7 8

Trial Part 17
Monday, August 6

Trial Part 17
Wednesday, August 22

Apartment of
Debra Jackson
712 West 181st Street
Wednesday, August 22

Townhouse of
P.J. Bartlett
49 East 69th Street
Wednesday, August 22

Previous episode:
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 9
Next episode:
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