Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Final season for Chris Noth. Guest appearances by Ellen Burstyn, James Brolin, Joan Jett and Steve Guttenberg.

Brand new seasons of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (season 10) and Law & Order: Criminal Intent (season 7) will be making their UK television debut on the Hallmark Channel in April.

The highly anticipated new series kick off with SVU on Mondays from 20th April whilst CI airs on Thursdays from 23rd April – both at 9pm.

In what is his last season in CI, Chris Noth reprises his role as Det. Mike Logan – but will it all end in tragedy as Noth steps away from the show? Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe return as Detectives Alexandra Eames and Robert Goren in a series which puts the characters’ personal lives very much in the spotlight. Jeff Goldblum will be joining the cast for season 8.

Rocker Joan Jett will be playing a “boss from hell” in an episode of CI entitled Reunion (due for broadcast on 6th August), whilst Steve Guttenberg guest stars on 25th May.

Season 10 of SVU sees Emmy® Award winner Mariska Hargitay returns as Det. Olivia Benson who, along with partner Det. Eliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni), deal with some of the most heinous crimes as part of New York’s elite Special Victims’ Unit.

Ellen Burstyn makes her SVU appearance on 4th May as a face from Stabler’s past in an episode entitled Swing, and James Brolin pops up in SVU playing an ex-military man also with a link to Stabler on 11th May.

“These are world-renowned shows and bringing audiences brand new episodes – never seen before in the UK – really cements Hallmark’s position as a leading broadcaster of top quality US drama shows,” said Jon Farrar, Programming Director, NBC Universal Global Networks.

Friday 28th November
10:00pm on five

The ‘Law & Order’ spin-off following New York’s elite special victims unit continues its sixth season. In this week’s episode, Stabler embarks on a marathon interrogation of a suspected child murderer who first crossed his path 14 years earlier. As the mind games escalate, the detective must fight to contain his rage and extract the confession he needs.

The murder of a 12-year-old girl leads Stabler into a confrontation with an old enemy this week. The crime bears shocking similarities to the killing of 11-year-old Dana McNamara 14 years earlier. The suspect in that case was one Gordon Rickett (Matthew Modine, ‘Full Metal Jacket’, ‘Weeds’), who was arrested by Stabler. Rickett went to trial but was eventually found not guilty. Now it seems that Stabler has a second chance to put him away.

However, the forensic evidence against Rickett in this latest crime is non-existent. “He may luck out again,” warns Cragen. Everything rests on Stabler’s powers of interrogation. Can he break Rickett’s calm, composed exterior in the 24 hours available to him? Stabler receives a boost when Rickett refuses to call a lawyer, giving the cops free reign to question him.

Benson and Stabler begin by probing Rickett’s movements and his involvement in other cases of missing children. They question his motives for leaving his home in California and returning to New York after years away, and uncover a pattern of lies about his jobs and home life. Rickett claims he moved back east to care for his ailing aunt, who has since died. The cops know that Rickett had no aunt – so why did he make her up?

Stabler’s baiting of the suspect appears to pay dividends when he provokes Rickett into a rage. Rickett says that people “disrespect” him and that he will have his revenge over them. “I’m a psycho killer – what are you gonna do about it?” he snarls. But Rickett suddenly breaks down in laughter and reveals that he has been mocking them. “You’re a hoot, Stabler… You’re just like I remember you. Only now they send you in with a babysitter,” he says, with a look at Benson.

Rickett now attempts to turn the tables on Stabler by pointing out the anger he keeps bottled up. “He has no self-control – like a baby,” he says to Benson. During a break in the interrogation, Cragen expresses his fear that the suspect’s barbs are finding their target. “Rickett was playing you in there,” he tells Stabler. Stung by the ‘babysitter’ comment, Stabler insists that he be allowed to continue the interview on his own. Back in the interrogation room, the detective vents his fury on the suspect, but fails to crack his icy composure.

As night turns to day, Rickett’s 24 hours in custody expire and the police are forced to release him without charge. Stabler, however, is undefeated, and reviews Rickett’s tapestry of lies again, convinced that the key to the case is buried in his interrogation. Two details immediately stand out –the story of Rickett’s non-existent aunt and his current girlfriend, whom he was reluctant to discuss. “Maybe he’s afraid she’ll lead us in the right direction,” Stabler says. The cops set off to chase down these new leads – but can Stabler keep his desire for revenge in check long enough to conclude the case?

The veteran crime drama continues its 14thseason. This week, police probe the murder of afactory owner. Evidence points to the boyfriend ofone of the man’s employees, who may have killedhim in an act of jealousy. When factory owner Arnold Zachary is beaten todeath in his office, cops are initially at a loss for alead. Zachary was apparently well liked by his staffand had a good relationship with his wife. The onlyclue comes from CCTV footage of a man in abaseball cap entering the factory at the time of themurder. The man, whose cap displays the letters‘BB’, hides his face from the camera. Forensic tests provide another clue when theyestablish that a white mark on Zachary’s jacketcomes from baking powder. A search of bakeriesin the area leads to one named ‘Bagel Baker’, withthe same logo as the suspect’s cap. Witnessesidentify the man from the video as MiguelCamacho, a driver at the bakery, who tries to fleewhen Briscoe and Green go to pick him up. Under questioning, Miguel denies anyinvolvement, so the detectives pay a visit to hisgirlfriend, Maria, who is employed at Zachary’sfactory and has just had a baby. One look at thechild’s pale complexion and blue eyes suggests toBriscoe and Green that Miguel may not be thefather.When they hear that Zachary gave Maria avery generous eight-week maternity leave, theywonder if baby José is the product of an illicit affair –something that would give Miguel ample motive formurder. “‘You mess with my woman’ – that’snumber one on the top-ten motive list,” Green says. DNA evidence confirms that Zachary is José’sfather, but Miguel and Maria continue to deny thetruth. It is only when Green threatens to chargeMaria as an accessory that Miguel confesses. “Ikilled him for what he did to Maria,” he says. “Shehad nothing to do with it.”McCoy takes over the case but soon clasheswith Miguel’s feisty lawyer, Vanessa Galiano (RomaMaffia, ‘Nip/Tuck’, ‘ER’), who furiously argues thather client is being treated more harshly because heis an illegal immigrant. She fights for his confessionto be ruled as inadmissible on the grounds that,with his poor English, he did not understand whathe was signing. McCoy blames Briscoe for nothaving a translator explain Miguel’s rights, butSoutherlyn argues that Miguel understood hissituation well enough. “Miguel Camacho’s lived inthis country for six years. He’s got a job, he earns aliving and he speaks the language. And if hedoesn’t, he should,” she says. Unfortunately, the judge throws the confessionout, so Southerlyn and McCoy are forced toundertake further detective work. They discoverthat Zachary was paying regular instalments ofmoney to Miguel and Maria, suggesting that thecouple were blackmailing him. But Miguelexplodes this theory when he reveals that Mr andMrs Zachary were actually paying Maria to be asurrogate to their baby. “Mr Zachary, he pay Mariato stay healthy so the baby could stay healthy. Itwasn’t blackmail,” he says. In court, McCoy is incensed when Vanessachanges her case and claims that Zacharycoerced Maria into being a surrogate, arguingthat she has no proof to back it up. Mrs Zacharytakes to the stand and refutes the defence’sclaims, only to stun the courtroom when shereveals that she is perfectly capable of havingchildren herself, but decided to find a surrogatesimply to spare herself the inconvenience ofpregnancy. “What the hell happened in there?”McCoy asks as he leaves the court. “Besides ourstar witness ruining our case?” Southerlynreplies. The prosecutors realise that Mrs Zacharyhas damned herself and her husband in the eyesof the jury. But is she telling the whole truth?

law & order: svu
coerced (6/25)
22.10–23.10

The ‘Law & Order’ spin-off following New York’s elite special victims unit continues its fifth season. In tonight’s episode, a private mental health facility is called into question after a schizophrenic homeless man kills a bystander while kidnapping a boy he believes to be his son.

When five-year-old Adam Forbes goes missing from his apartment, his frantic mother initially blames her ex-husband, Peter –but it soon becomes clear that a stranger kidnapped him. Shortly thereafter, there is chaos at a nearby grocery store when the owner is fatally stabbed and the clerk injured. There is also a trail of disturbing photos of Adam with the name Tate written on them.

A homeless man who lived in the store in exchange for work, Kevin Walker (Leland Orser, ‘ER’), is the primary suspect. The detectives find him wandering aimlessly and talking to himself, and attempt to arrest him. Walker, who is an extremely disturbed schizophrenic, puts up a fight and refuses to tell them where he has hidden the boy. Desperate to get some information out of Walker, Stabler threatens to kill him if he does not talk –and Walker goes ballistic.

When Dr Huang is brought in to assist, Stabler asks him to sedate Walker so that they can question him further, but this tactic is against protocol so Huang’s hands are tied. When Walker becomes dangerously violent, however, Huang is left with no choice and sedates him.

The detectives desperately search for Adam and go to every neighbourhood where Walker has lived. They go to an abandoned building in the Bronx and follow some clues Walker gave them in his ramblings before he passed out from the medication –and miraculously, they find the boy.

There is one problem, however: Stabler is in trouble because it appears that he coerced the suspect when he threatened to kill him. ADA Novak and Dr Huang are particularly angry because their jobs are on the line, so Cragen convinces Novak to let Walker plead guilty in order to receive a reduced sentence. The suspect is almost ready to agree with the plan when the detectives mention that he will have to go to the hospital –and he freaks out again, babbling about how his friend Martha was “murdered” there.

The detectives decide to check out Walker’s story. They learn that he had been a resident of an adult home for the mentally ill called Jackson Manor, and that his neighbour, Martha Davis, had died there at the age of 45. It appeared to be a suicide, but a closer look shows that Martha actually died of heat stroke because she was shut in a room that had no air conditioning.

Another talk with Walker illuminates the rest of Martha’s tragic story. The detectives then go to Jackson Manor, where they arrest owner Randall Haber and hold him responsible for Martha’s death. They also hold Haber responsible for the death of the grocery store owner who Walker killed, because Walker had been deprived of his medication after being thrown out on the street. Will a jury see Haber as a murderer, or will Walker be held responsible for his actions?

law & order: special victims unit
serendipity (5/25)
22.10–23.10

The ‘Law & Order’ spin-off following New York’s elite special victims unit continues its fifth season. In tonight’s episode, a woman and her newborn are murdered, and the leading suspect inadvertently leads them to a serial child molester.

After the body of a newborn baby is found in a sewer, detectives Benson and Stabler head to a nearby apartment to question a very pregnant woman named Brianna Morris, but she is also found dead. It transpires that Brianna had been planning to give up her baby to Ron and Kelly Wolcott, who were excited about the adoption until Ron discovered that Brianna was thinking about keeping the baby. Regardless, the Wolcotts are ruled out as suspects in the killings.

The new ADA, Casey Novak (Diane Neal, who played the same role in ‘Law & Order: Trial By Jury’), is aggressive in her approach to the case and irritates the detectives by second-guessing them. Continuing the investigation, they decide to search Brianna’s apartment where they find a library book written by dermatologist Dr Archibald Newlands (Martin Donovan, ‘Insomnia’). A librarian tells the detectives that Brianna had been obsessed with researching Newlands. Could he have been the baby’s father?

When Dr Newlands is brought in, he is not very helpful, but does consent to a blood test to determine the child’s paternity. The test proves that Newlands is not the father, but throws up a twist: the blood links the doctor to an unsolved child rape case. The statute on that case has expired, but the detectives are confident that there are more victims of the same attacker. When another young girl reports a similar attack, Newlands is brought in to take part in a lineup – but the victim cannot identify him.

The trial against Newlands proceeds, but the accused fails to show up in court on the first day. His attorney convinces Newlands to meet him at a diner, with the detectives in tow, but he still fails to show up. A search of his apartment reveals that this labyrinthine case has claimed one more victim: Newlands is dead. When another girl goes missing, clues which link her abduction to the cold case and the recent attack are found in the playground from which she was taken. This evidence baffles the detectives: it cannot be the work of Newlands, because he is dead.

But at the morgue, they find a packet of blood inserted into Newlands’s arm –he used someone else’s blood for the paternity test.

It turns out that Newlands was the father of Brianna’s child and, as everyone suspects, killed both his lover and the child. However, the child molester is someone else –and is still at large. Newlands’s wife gives them the best lead she can: a patient of her husband’s named Peter Nestler. The man is not at his apartment, but detectives discover evidence there which proves that Nestler is the child molester. Can they find him in time to save the last little girl he snatched, and finally bring the man to justice?

law & order: special victims unit
mother (3/25)
22.10–23.10

The ‘Law & Order’ spin-off following New York’s elite special victims unit continues its fifth season. In tonight’s episode, a psychiatrist known for using unconventional methods is found sexually assaulted and unconscious in a crack house, but the investigators struggle to get her to cooperate with the investigation.

After top forensic psychiatrist Dr Greta Heints is found assaulted and bound in a crack house, she regains consciousness but seems unwilling to assist Detectives Benson and Stabler in finding her assailant. Greta’s husband tells the detectives that she received a call on her private patient line on the night of the attack and then went out, but he is unable to offer any more clues.

Detectives Munch and Fin investigate Greta’s case list and come across a patient called Benny Edgar Ralsay, also known as the ‘duct tape rapist’. Ralsay wears an electronic ankle bracelet used to monitor his activity while on probation, and claims that he was at home on the night of the attack. However, detectives discover that he has a habit of avoiding surveillance by putting the bracelet on his cat.

Ralsay claims to have nothing but total respect for Greta, despite her unconventional and controversial methods. The psychiatrist, it emerges, believes in regressing her patients to their early childhood in an attempt to ‘re-parent’ them –offering them the things they were not given by their own parents, via transference.

Ralsay still maintains his innocence but, when Greta’s office is vandalised, the detectives pick him up. However, prints at the scene of the breakin lead them to Robert Logan, another of Greta’s patients. But when they track Logan down, they find him in hospital after a failed suicide attempt.

Logan tells Dr Huang that he and Greta were actually lovers, and that all they did during their sessions was make love. He goes on to assert that they regularly acted out one of her fantasies, which involved him overpowering her and tying her up. Could this explain why Greta was found at the crack house in such a state, and was unwilling to help the detectives?

Logan also claims that his suicide attempt was a result of Greta’s recent decision to transfer him to a different psychiatrist. However, he regularly suffers from psychiatric fugues, so the detectives are keen to look further into the case –could he have carried out the attack on Greta while he was in a fugue state? Munch questions one of Logan’s good friends who says he had some serious problems, and cut off ties with almost everyone he knew when he started seeing Greta.

The detectives then track down Logan’s sister, Christina, who works in a methadone clinic. She is clearly unhappy with the way Greta treated her brother, and plays the investigators a tape showing Greta extolling the sexual fantasies she projected onto Logan.

The bizarre set of circumstances looks set to baffle the detectives until they touch upon the subject of Logan’s mother, who apparently died of cancer when Logan was a boy. However, Christina has one more sinister secret to reveal that will turn the case on its head…

law & order: special victims unit
manic (2/25)
22.10–23.10

The ‘Law & Order’ spin-off following New York’s elite special victims unit continues its fifth season. In tonight’s episode, a teenager who killed two high school basketball players before attempting suicide claims that his actions were the result of side effects from a psychiatric drug.

Detectives Benson and Stabler are called to a disturbance at a high school. Two star basketball players have been shot dead in the gym, and an apparent third victim, Joe Blaine (Rory Culkin, ‘Igby Goes Down’, ‘Signs’), has been shot in the head but has survived.

As the agitated and mentally unstable Joe recovers in hospital, he attempts to help the detectives search for the killer by drawing them pictures, including one that resembles the school janitor. However, despite having access to the murder weapon, the ageing janitor is not agile enough to have escaped through the window – the only way the gunman could have left the gym.

Fingerprint evidence at the scene soon turns the case on its head, however, when Joe himself is revealed to be the shooter. The detectives deduce that he shot the two boys because they had bullied him, before turning the gun on himself. Joe is arrested and Barry Moredock (John Cullum, ‘Northern Exposure’, ‘ER’), a prominent attorney and ADA Cabot’s nemesis, takes the case pro bono.

Dr Huang examines Joe and concludes that the boy has some serious psychological difficulties. Moredock bases his defence on the fact that Joe was taking ‘aptril’, a manic-depression drug that has severe side effects, but the detectives are unable to locate any doctor who prescribed the drug for the boy. The prosecution, meanwhile, claims that Joe drew a picture of the murder scene months before he saw the psychiatrist, which would make the crime pre-meditated.

With the trial underway, Joe takes the stand and admits that he received the aptril from his mother, Sandra (Mare Winningham, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’). ADA Cabot wants to charge her with endangering the welfare of a child, but Sandra claims she was desperate. She says that her health insurance plan would not provide psychiatric therapy for Joe –but it did cover medication, and one day the drugs “just appeared” in the post.

Probing deeper into the case, the prosecution learns that the mysterious drugs were in fact sent by a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company. The drugs were part of a maverick marketing ploy that involved sending medication to psychiatric patients who were already being treated for their conditions.

The cops track down Jane Wellesley, the sales representative who sent the drugs, but she refuses to answer their questions. However, when Joe accepts a manslaughter plea, DA Branch (Fred Dalton Thompson, in a cross-over appearance from ‘Law & Order’) says that he wants someone else to face charges over the case. The prosecution sets its sights on the pharmaceutical company behind the illicit drugmarketing scheme – but can they possibly win against a powerful corporation?

law & order: special victims unit
tragedy (1/25)
22.10–23.10

The ‘Law and Order’ spin-off following a police unit dedicated to solving sexually motivated crimes returns to Five for its fifth season. In the season premiere, the detectives are in a race against time to find a pregnant woman who disappears from her car.

The show centres around detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni, ‘Oz’, ‘Harold and Kumar Get the Munchies’) as they investigate the worst of New York’s criminals. Benson and Stabler are joined by weathered veteran Detective Munch (comedian Richard Belzer, who has appeared as the same character in shows including ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’, ‘Law and Order’ and ‘The XFiles’) and his no-nonsense partner Detective Odafin ‘Fin’ Tutuola (rapper-turned-actor Ice-T), an ex-narcotics officer. Presiding over the detectives is their world-weary captain, Donald Cragen (Dann Florek, who played the same role in the first three seasons of ‘Law and Order’). ADA Alexandra Cabot (Stephanie March) takes the cases to court.

When the police receive a 911 call from a woman who is being attacked in her car, Benson and Stabler initially believe it could be the work of the carjack rapist who has carried out similar assaults. The police establish that the call came from Annika Bergeron, who is eight months into a high-risk pregnancy. Annika’s doctor warns the police that she has a dangerous condition and must have a caesarean section or she could die.

With pressure mounting to find the missing woman, the cops turn their attention to Daniel Lester, Annika’s ex-boyfriend and the father of her child. Daniel works for a company called Granville Developers and is engaged to his boss’s daughter, Melinda Granville (Kellie Martin, ‘ER’). When Melinda’s mother Rose (Shirley Knight, ‘Desperate Housewives’, ‘As Good As it Gets’) learns of the situation, she generously puts forward a $100,000 reward for information about Annika.

The reward yields a promising lead when Fin receives a call from a man claiming to know about the case. The police arrange for Daniel to meet the informant, but the exchange goes badly wrong when the man tries to flee with the money. Daniel hits the man and knocks him into traffic, where he is killed instantly.

The police identify the victim as Greg Jezic, a man with a history of violence and hired thuggery to his name. Jezic’s bank records show payments from an account in the Cayman Islands, while his phone log reveals that he received a call from Sam Marlett, an inmate at Sing Sing Prison. This call becomes significant when the cops learn that Marlett’s last visitor was none other than Daniel Lester. This, coupled with the discovery of a brochure for a bank in the Caymans on Daniel’s person, gives the police enough cause to arrest him. Once in custody, Daniel breaks down and confesses to the crime.

However, the detectives still believe that Annika is alive, and a receipt from Jezic’s pocket leads them to a beach cottage in a Long Island resort. The cops burst inside to find Annika strapped to a bed, in the throes of labour. Despite her condition, Annika is able to tell the police that Melinda Granville had visited her, and that Jezic told her a woman had hired him to kidnap her. Stabler steps in to deliver Annika’s baby, but can do nothing to stop her dying in childbirth. The shell-shocked detectives are left with a puzzle to unravel. It now seems that Melinda is behind the kidnapping – so why has Daniel confessed to the crime?

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