Law & Order: SVU: Haystack

Friday 12 November, 10:00pm on Five

The crime drama series following the NYPD’s elite sex crimes investigation squad continues. This week, a complicated missing-child case leads Stabler and Novak to use unorthodox methods in their pursuit of the perpetrator – but it puts their careers in jeopardy. Laura Kozlowski is entertaining dinner guests when she realises that her one-year-old boy Kendall is missing from his bedroom. The SVU is called to assess the situation, and Stabler establishes that the child was snatched through an open window and taken down the outdoor fire escape. There were no witnesses to the crime. Laura says she can guess who took her son – her estranged husband Dan (Pablo Schreiber, ‘The Wire’), who is currently fighting her for custody. When the police track down Dan, he leads them on a high-speed car chase, then flees his vehicle and throws a large bag into a nearby river. Believing the bag to contain the missing child, Stabler leaps into the water, only to discover that the bag is in fact filled with cocaine. Having been forced into acting as a drugs mule over an unpaid gambling debt, Dan was unaware that his child was even missing when the police started chasing him. “That boy’s my whole life,” Dan says, providing an alibi for time of the kidnapping. It dawns on Stabler and the other detectives that nobody else had seen Kendall for at least a day prior to the time Laura claimed he was kidnapped. When Kendall’s clothes are found in a bin outside the flat and Laura starts to act suspiciously, Stabler accuses her of killing her child and engineering the supposed kidnapping to cover her tracks. When Stabler returns to the apartment the next day to question Laura, he discovers she has hanged herself. It is initially unclear if the suicide is due to guilt about murdering her child or because of Stabler’s forceful tactics.

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