Law & Order: SVU - Saturday November 3

law & order: svu
families (15/25)

The ‘Law & Order’ spin-off following New York’s elite special victims unit continues its fifth season. Tonight, the case of a dead teenager takes an alarming turn when detectives learn that she may have been involved in an incestuous relationship.

When police chance upon the body of 16-yearold Shannon Coyle, killed by a blow to the head, they struggle to establish any leads. Shannon’s mother, Susan (Helen Slater, ‘Supergirl’), and younger brother, Brian, are distraught at her death, while the detectives learn that Shannon’s father, Barry, is out of the country on business.

Suspicion soon falls on Shannon’s choir teacher, Steve Abruzzo, when the cops find his house keys in Shannon’s bag. They swoop on Abruzzo’s apartment, only to find him in bed with Lisa, Shannon’s best friend. Lisa claims to be in love with Abruzzo, and lets slips to detectives that Shannon had a secret boyfriend, Aidan Connor. She explains that Shannon only had the keys to Abruzzo’s apartment so that she could meet Aidan there. “Their parents said they couldn’t go out, so they have to sneak around,” Lisa explains.

Abruzzo is charged with sleeping with a minor, while Benson and Stabler go to question Aidan Connor. “I didn’t kill Shannon –I loved her,” he tells them, before explaining that he left her in a taxi and was at home when she died.

The case takes on a darker complexion when ME Warner (Tamara Tunie, ‘24’, ‘NYPD Blue’) reports that Shannon was two months pregnant and that tests indicate she and the baby’s father were related by blood. With Shannon’s father away, and in the absence of any other male relative, the likely suspect is her brother, Brian. But the lad swears he is innocent. “I never slept with her!” he insists.

While Brian’s DNA is tested, Benson and Stabler talk to the Connor parents to find out why they were so opposed to Aidan and Shannon’s relationship. Aidan’s mother, Debra (Jane Seymour), blames it on the Coyles’s snobbery. “They thought they were too good for us,” she says. Aidan’s father, Jason, however, claims that his wife is the one who looked down on the Coyles.

But detectives are bewildered shortly after, when Jason Connor is found shot dead in his car, and the murder weapon is registered to Susan Coyle. Benson and Stabler head to the Coyle residence only to find that Susan and her son have fled. “Why would Susan be running if she didn’t murder Jason?” Stabler asks.

With Mrs Coyle wanted for murder, the ME returns with further news: Shannon and the man who impregnated her have the same father, but the culprit is not Brian –Aidan Connor was the father of her baby. This means that Aidan and Shannon were half-siblings, and –although they had no idea they were related –it seems their father was well aware.

Stabler realises they are dealing with a massive deception. “Jason Connor and Barry Coyle are the same person,” he says. The detectives establish that Jason Connor lived a double life with two different families after he began an affair with Susan Coyle and had children with her. He kept his wife Debra in the dark by inventing ‘business trips’ to cover his frequent absences.

Once Susan Coyle is arrested, the case begins to fall into place. She explains that Shannon’s death was an accident –Jason had seen Shannon with Aidan and was forced to tell her that her boyfriend was actually her half-brother. After hearing the news, Shannon slipped and fell in shock, sustaining the fatal blow to her head. But the question remains: who killed Jason Connor?

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