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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Episode 13.18 : Valentine's Day

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Poster

TV Info


Episode Premiere

April 18, 2012

Distributor

NBC

Genre

Drama

Show Period

1999 - now

Production Company

NBC, Studios USA Television, Universal Network TV

Cast and Crew


Director

Peter Leto

Screenwriter

Warren Leight, Julie Martin

Main Cast


Additional Cast

Synopsis


Boyd Hartwell is at the Hong Kong airport getting ready to fly back home to New York City after an exhausting business trip. He opens up a video chat on his computer to talk with his beautiful wife Christine Hartwell who's at their house. She answers the video chat wearing a smile and a beautiful negligee. Their chat starts to get seductive when the doorbell breaks the mood. Christine walks off to answer the door and is suddenly attacked by a masked figure with a gun who starts to forcibly rape her. Christine cries for help as Boyd horrifyingly watches the rape unfold from his computer over 8,000 thousand miles away.

Benson and Amaro arrive at Christine's apartment in New York City. Boyd is currently unreachable, flying back from Hong Kong, but he called his mother and told her the situation and how the kidnappers threatened to kill Christine if anyone called the police. Boyd's mother tried to sit silent, but called the police anyway to report the attack. They walk into the apartment and find no signs of Christine or forced entry, but do find definite signs of a struggle. Based on the timing of the attack where the husband was able to witness it from Hong Kong, Benson and Amaro believe it could be personal.

"All we know for sure is that Christine has been missing for 12 hours and our only witness is still in the air," Benson tells Capt. Cragen is the squad room. Cragen surmises that if it really is a rape abduction then it is someone she has crossed paths with before; they need to search her life and see if anything unusual pops up. Fin and Rollins interview Boyd's hedge fund partner Justin Shaw and catch him in a lie that he hasn't seen Christine in awhile. He finally cops to seeing her for lunch the other day but swears nothing inappropriate happened between him and his partner's wife.

"Sixteen hours, got to be the longest flight of his life," Amaro says as they wait for Boyd to clear customs at JFK airport. They finally see him as he walks out clutching his cell phone pleading with someone on the other line not to hurt his wife. He tries to run as Benson approaches as he screams that he's been told no cops or else his wife dies. Back at the squad room, Boyd tells the detective the details of his wife's rape and kidnapping and gives them his cell phone where he recorded the horrifying computer chat. When he landed, there was a voicemail from a crying Christine who said the kidnappers wanted 250,000 dollars for her release. Amaro suddenly sees his wife waiting at his desk and kicks himself for forgetting about Valentine's dinner with her. He immediately walks over and apologizes.

The SVU squad sits inconspicuously at the park where the kidnapers wanted Boyd to drop the ransom money. They watch people walk in and out of the location until Christine herself walks over to the drop point and grabs the money. The squad immediately swarms Christine who cries in a panic to let her go or else "they" are going to kill her. Back at the squad room, a bruised Christine tells Benson that she was raped and kidnapped by three black guys who made her do things to them because she was a rich bitch. "Most rape victims shut down, not Christine," Benson suspiciously tells Amaro as they consider there may be more to the story than Christine is letting on.

Finn and Rollins track down a suspect named Darel who matches the description of one of the attackers Christine gave them. He denies raping or attacking Christine but does admit to selling her drugs. It seems their sweet housewife has an affinity for cocaine and ecstasy. Benson and Amaro confront Christine on these accusations and tell her the DNA came back from the rape and the results showed a lone white male, not three black men as she previously told them. She breaths in and tells them her attacker is really a delivery man named Kevin Fahey.

In the interrogation room, Kevin adamantly denies to Rollins and Fin that he raped Christine. He tells them it was consensual; she liked to role-play sex games. "She wanted it, to tell you the truth, she got off on it," Kevin tells them about his six-month relationship with Christine. He's a deliveryman, and she would consistently order things from his company so he would have a reason to go to her apartment. "It was like our game," Kevin says. He played along to any role-playing ideas she wanted. "I'm telling you the truth; she set the whole thing up. It was supposed to be our screw-cation," Kevin tells them. "She even had a place all set up. This really cool loft in SoHo."

"Why are you accusing me? I was raped!" Christine fights back to Benson who confronts her on the inconsistencies of her story. She denies ever having sex with Kevin on purpose; she was forced to have sex and even take drugs for fear of her life. The case has turned into a "he said, she said" ordeal as Rollins and the rest of the squad believe she is lying' "she's using present tense, she's mixing tenses�" Finn agrees; "it's as if she's making it up as she goes along, she's trying to convince us." Amaro tells the squad that the loft Kevin supposedly used to hold Christine captive is actually owned by Boyd's business partner, Justin Shaw.

Finn and Rollins interview Shaw who denies knowing how his "f pad" was ransacked as they look around at his trashed SoHo apartment. Shaw tells the detectives that Christine was a regular at the apartment, even knew the security code. He then shows them a secret motion-activated camera above his bed that would've recorded anything that transpired in the apartment. Later, the squad looks over the video and finds a wild Christine on top of Kevin, lustfully and freely having wild sex with him. "I'm going to go out on a limb here and say a jury is going to have a hard time of seeing this as coerced," Cragen tells his squad who now have proof of Christine's lies.

Benson confronts Christine on her pathological false statements but she continues to pedal the same story. "I was terrorized!" Christine yells back at Benson before lawyering up with Counselor Marvin Exley. "You're going to earn your paycheck with this one," Benson smiles to Exley as she walks away. ADA Casey Novak decides to charge Christine on filing a false report, but she's cautious about their chances; "thing that scares me on cases like this, there's always another shoe to drop." Later, Amaro and his wife share a coffee as he tells her about the case. She then opens up to him about how her re-assimilation back into the city is going since she got back from her tour in Afghanistan. "It's two different worlds, my body's here... I just don't know if I am yet."

At trial, Novak shows the sex tape of Kevin and Christine while Kevin is on the witness stand. He tells the jury about their relationship and how they would role-play and get kinky every time he delivered a package. He then explains how Christine wanted him to pretend to rape her while her husband watched on video chat, but he did not know she was going to ask the husband for ransom money. Exley cross-examines Kevin and gets him to admit he was once in jail for armed robbery and has no hard evidence that proves he ever had an actual relationship with Christine. In the heat of his cross testimony, Kevin announces that the only evidence he has is that he wasn't the first deliveryman that Christine had an affair with.

In the hallway after court, Christine is talking to her attorney when she spies one of the jury members walking out for a cigarette. She discreetly follows the homely jury member and asks for a cigarette as they soon share a quiet moment alone together. Later, Christine is examined by her attorney on the stand and denies all the allegations that are being leveled against her. She tells the jury that she's a nice housewife being thrown into a travesty of lies by her deliveryman. Novak treats Christine as a hostile witness as she finds it hard to believe that Kevin, Shaw and now this third delivery man all testified that they had an affair with her, yet Christine continues to say all three of them are lying.

The jury foreman stands in front of the judge and announces they are hopelessly deadlocked in reaching a unanimous verdict. Novak notices Christine and a jury member giving each other a cordial eye and smile. The judge and the lawyers question the jury member, asking if Christine had influenced him in any way, but he denies the accusation. The judge tells Novak that she is not dismissing a juror unless hard evidence is found of improper communication. Later, with the jury still hopelessly deadlocked, the judge calls for a mistrial. Christine hugs her husband as they walk out of the courtroom free and vindicated.

"There's not a chance the bosses will let this go to retrial," Novak tell Benson and Amaro as they walk out of the courtroom. Amaro walks up to the jury foreman and asks what happened in the deliberations. She says it was 11 to 1 in favor of guilty, but one jury member refused to budge; "he said he just looked into her eyes and just knew she was telling the truth." The next day, Amaro follows his wife as he watches her walk into a building and meet with an attractive unknown man.

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PREMIERE PHOTO

Dann Florek
The Film Set of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
Dec 22, 2010
Dann Florek
The Film Set of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
Dec 22, 2010