Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Episode 12.21 Reparations
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Photo

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Episode 12.21 Reparations

Episode Premiere
Apr 6, 2011
Drama, Crime
Production Company
NBC, Studios USA Television, Universal Network TV
Official Site
Episode Premiere
Apr 6, 2011
Drama, Crime
1999 - Now
Production Co
NBC, Studios USA Television, Universal Network TV
Official Site
Constantine Makris
Christine M. Torres
Main Cast
Additional Cast

Isabel and Oliver practice their Krav Maga skills in a simulated attack. Suddenly, they hear a scream from down the hall. They rush to check on Isabel's roommate, Catherine. She is huddled on her bed, crying, and her torn panties are on the floor. Isabel tells Oliver to call the police and tell them to meet them at the hospital. At the hospital, the nurse finishes bagging evidence in a rape kit as Stabler and Fin enter to interview Catherine. Catherine, a high school teacher, tells how she went to bed early and when she woke up, the man was already on top of her with his hand over her mouth. Isabel keeps interrupting to add details, such as the fact that the attacker got in through the fire escape. Fin ushers Isabel outside the room to take her statement. Stabler thinks Catherine knows who attacked her. She says it was Kevin, Isabel's older brother.

Fin takes Isabel's statement. Isabel thinks one of Catherine's students attacked her. Just then, Fin gets a text from Stabler informing him that Catherine named Isabel's brother as her attacker. Stabler wonders why Catherine thinks it was Isabel's brother who attacked her. She tells him that Kevin is always on the fire escape hanging out and she's caught him watching her through the window. Fin asks Isabel about her brother. Isabel explains that Kevin is bipolar and agoraphobic, then becomes defensive when she realizes that Kevin is a suspect, insisting that he didn't attack Catherine. Catherine's grandfather, Grant Harrison, arrives. Grant tells Catherine that she's coming home with him. She wants to go back to her apartment, but Stabler advises her to stay somewhere else until they make an arrest. Catherine's worried that Isabel will hate her now.

Fin briefs Stabler on Kevin's record. He pled guilty to unlawful surveillance in 2008 for taking photos of a woman undressing in her bedroom, although he claimed he was shooting stills for his job at an engineering firm. So Kevin is a registered sex offender. A CSU tech enters to share that he's lifted two dozen prints belonging to Kevin from the fire escape outside Catherine's window. So far, no prints inside. Stabler comments that they've got nothing putting Kevin in Catherine's bedroom. The CSU tech shows Stabler an image of a partial shoe impression they recovered by the bed, a men's size 11. Fin reports that Kevin was fired two days ago for "acting crazy."Fin and Stabler find Isabel and Catherine fighting in the apartment. Stabler advises Catherine and her grandfather to leave. Grant grumbles as he walks away that he always said it was a bad neighborhood.

Fin asks Isabel where Kevin is, but she doesn't know. Isabel insists he didn't do anything wrong and guesses he must've stopped taking his meds, as he does every few years. Isabel admits that when Kevin goes off his meds, he gets out of control. She reluctantly looks for her set of keys to Kevin's apartment. As Stabler and Fin wait, Fin spots Kevin going up the fire escape. Fin follows Kevin up to the roof, tries to talk him down. But Kevin is manic and can't stop talking about the beauty of the city and the bridges (that he designs in his work as a construction engineer). Unseen by Kevin, Stabler come out of a rooftop door and approaches him. Fin distracts Kevin while Stabler creeps up from the other direction. Just as Kevin is about to leap off the roof, Stabler takes him down. They arrest Kevin and take him to Bellevue, a psychiatric facility.

Stabler and Fin try to interview Kevin at Bellevue, but his doctor won't allow it as he's sedated. Back at the precinct, Stabler and Fin discuss the case and wonder which A.D.A. will be handling it with Hardwicke out of town. On cue, A.D.A. Casey Novak walks in. She was censured and lost her license for three years, but the D.A.'s office hired her back, though she's still on probation. The detectives fill Novak in on the details of the case, which she summarizes as a shaky ID and no evidence. Fin shares some background on Kevin Wright, that he was involuntarily committed by the court three years ago for slicing his wrists. He was prescribed court-ordered therapy and heavy medication. Stabler notes that Kevin was also sexually assaulted and it's not uncommon for victims to become predators.

Stabler and Fin interview Kevin. Kevin admits that he was molested by his uncle, but claims he doesn't even know Catherine and was never in her room. He explains that his fingerprints were on the fire escape because he goes up to the roof to look at bridges; they're his passion. Later, Fin shows Stabler and Novak some blown-up photos of bridges. Kevin wasn't lying. Stabler comments that these bridge photos put the images that Kevin was arrested for in a different context. The woman is barely in focus; the rest is of a bridge. Novak thinks the case is falling apart. The rape kit gave them nothing, and the partial shoe print revealed trace evidence of a type of cafeteria cleaning agent sold only to New York City Public Schools. Fin realizes that the perp is from Catherine's school as Isabel suspected. Novak tells them to cut Kevin loose. Stabler says they should tell Catherine.

Stabler visits Catherine at her grandfather's apartment to let her know that Kevin wasn't her attacker. Catherine wonders how she can ever fix her friendship with Isabel after falsely accusing her brother. Grant comforts Catherine, reminding her that though she made a mistake, a man raped her. Grant tells Catherine that he knows her attacker was black and he's still out there. Stabler tells Catherine that they have new evidence connecting her attacker to the school where she teaches. Stabler reminds Catherine that Isabel told them she had been threatened before. Catherine doesn't want to be wrong again. After hesitating, Catherine tells Stabler that there's a guy who's new who brings fresh vegetables to the school every day. They had a run-in in the parking lot in which the man stared at Catherine, filled with rage and muttering "effing bitch" under his breath.

Stabler and Fin find Dwight Talcott unloading some vegetables from his van. He has a long record of burglary and possession convictions. The detectives arrest Dwight for burglary, assault and the rape of Catherine Harrison. Dwight's mother, Lorna, sees him being led away, promises that she'll take care of it. At the precinct, Dwight denies knowing Catherine. He wants a lawyer. The detectives report to Novak that they didn't get anywhere questioning Dwight. Just then, Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Joe Dekker arrives. He's there to defend his cousin, Dwight Talcott. Dekker assures them he's gone through the proper channels and he demands the warrant and all discovery by the close of business.

Dekker brings Lorna to Novak's office. Dekker tells Novak that Lorna is Dwight's alibi, since Lorna was with Dwight when Catherine was assaulted, proving he couldn't have done it. Lorna tells Novak that Dwight is not a rapist. She admits that he's an addict and a thief who has lied and stolen money from her, but he's not a rapist. Dekker points out that Dwight has never been accused of even one sexually motivated crime. Dekker gives Novak a copy of the security footage from the 119th Street Community Center, where Lorna claims she and Dwight were from 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. on the night of the rape. Dwight was helping Lorna organize community watch rotations, something she's done since her days with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Dekker tells Novak to call him when she's dismissing the charges.

Stabler, Fin and Novak watch the security camera footage from the community center. Novak comments that if Catherine fingered the wrong guy again, her credibility is shot. Stabler and Fin think they still have a case. Novak comments that they might have a better shot at winning with an A.D.A. who has a better reputation. The detectives tell Novak they have confidence in her. Just then, Stabler notices footage showing Dwight heading out back door at 8:20 p.m. and he doesn't return until 9:15 p.m., at which point he's a mess. It was more than enough time for Dwight to get to Catherine's place and back.

Novak presents the evidence to Dekker and Dwight. Dekker says it doesn't prove anything, and points out that Dwight could have been anywhere out of view of the camera. Novak offers a deal. If Dwight pleads guilty, she'll drop the rape charge, leaving just burglary, which carries a sentence of 20 to life. Dwight insists to Novak that he didn't rape Catherine. Novak wonders who the jury will believe, an innocent school teacher, or a cracked-out multiple felon. Dekker tells Novak that he's looking forward to seeing her in court, referencing the judge they will appear before, Judge Petrovksy. Judge Petrovsky is the judge Novak lied to, which is the reason she was censured.

Novak conducts her direct examination of Catherine, asking her to describe the attack. As Catherine is testifying, Grant arrives and causes a disruption in the gallery. Lorna shudders when she sees Grant. While Catherine testifies, Grant stares Lorna down and she reacts. Dekker cross-examines Catherine. He reminds Catherine that she said it was dark in the room when she woke up. Dekker damages Catherine's credibility by establishing that she first falsely accused Kevin of raping her. Dekker has Kevin stand in the gallery to disprove Catherine's assertion that he and Dwight have a similar height and build, and to try and make Catherine look like a racist. Dekker points to the difference in the men's age, features and skin tone. Novak objects, stating that the witness only claimed the men had similar builds. Judge Petrovsky overrules Novak and gives her a reproving look.

Dekker asks Catherine about her interaction with Dwight in the school parking lot. She says it was the first time she'd seen him. Dekker wonders if it would surprise Catherine to know that Dwight delivers vegetables to the school every day and that witnesses will say that she's passed him in the hallway more than once. Catherine says it would, because she's pretty observant. Dekker comments that Catherine is so observant that she first picked Kevin Wright as her rapist, now she's picked out Dwight, and maybe tomorrow it'll be Dekker, because that's what black men do, they rape white women. Catherine denies she's falsely accusing Dwight, and says she saw him. Grant blows his fuse and bursts out that they're raping Catherine all over again. The court officers drag Grant out of the courtroom as he yells at Lorna that her son raped Catherine, who's no slut like Lorna.

Later, Fin shows Novak and Stabler the connection between Lorna and Grant. In 1964, Grant and his buddies beat the living hell out of Lorna and raped her. Lorna reported that she was attacked by three Klan members when she was going door-to-door during a voter registration drive for SNCC, but Grant and his friends were never charged. They claimed that Lorna was a prostitute. Lorna was charged with resisting arrest and assault, but not prostitution. The cops barely investigated. Stabler thinks Dwight went after Catherine to make Grant suffer for having raped his mother all those years ago. Fin wonders how they prove it if Dwight doesn't have to take the stand. Novak proposes that she'll subpoena Lorna. Stabler points out that Lorna was gang raped and didn't get the justice she deserved. Novak responds - without her testimony, neither will Catherine.

Novak visits Lorna and Dekker at Lorna's apartment, asks her for the whole story. Novak offers that they can talk there and Dwight can plead out, or Lorna can testify in open court. She hands Lorna a subpoena, which Dekker snatches away. Dekker thinks this is pretty low, even for someone who needs to win as badly as Novak does. Novak insists she's trying to win for Catherine. Lorna says no one can make her do anything, including testify. Novak points out that if she refuses, she'll be held in contempt and taken into custody. Lorna is unafraid - jail is just steel and concrete. Dekker says what Dwight is accused of is terrible, but what Grant did is worse. He leaves.

The next day, Fin stops Dekker as he approaches Grant outside his apartment building. Fin tells him to think it through. Dekker says he just wants to talk to Grant. Fin might buy that if Dekker didn't look ready to kill. Fin tells Dekker it's a mistake to be here. Just then, Grant sees Fin and Dekker and yells at them to get back to the ghetto where they belong. Fin tells Grant to go inside and flashes his badge at him. Grant insists he hasn't done anything wrong. Fin calls him a rapist hiding behind the statute of limitations. Grant comments that you can't rape the willing, then walks away. Fin tells Dekker no one wants to put Lorna on the stand, but Dwight needs to pay for what he did to Catherine.

Novak meets with Dwight and Dekker and offers a deal of 25 to life. Dwight thinks it sounds like a really good deal for whoever raped Catherine. Dekker reminds Dwight that if he doesn't plead, Lorna will have to testify. Novak promises she'll leave Lorna alone if Dwight takes responsibility for what he did. Dwight comments that sobriety's not all it's cracked up to be. As soon as he got clean, he started remembering what the men did to his mother. Dwight was present when Lorna was attacked. He was only six and the men put a gun to his head and made him watch. Dwight says he started having nightmares and the only way to stop the pain was to find Lorna's rapists. He hired a private detective and Grant was the only one who was still alive. Novak asks why he raped Catherine. Dwight wanted Grant to know what it felt like, knowing he couldn't protect somebody he loved.

Dwight makes his statement before the judge. He admits that he broke into Catherine's room from the fire escape. He says he woke Catherine up and ripped her clothes. But then he states that he didn't rape Catherine. He couldn't bring himself to do it. Dekker reminds Dwight that perjury voids his deal. Dwight insists he didn't commit the rape. Judge Petrovsky accuses Novak of trying to railroad another defendant into prison. Novak insists that both Dwight and Dekker agreed to the deal. Dekker suggests maybe Dwight didn't do it. Novak reminds them - the victim said he did. Dekker points out that Dwight is already facing life for burglary and assault, so why not confess to the rape - unless he's not guilty. Judge Petrovsky thinks that's a good question, and suggests Novak find out before she wastes any more of her time.

Novak and Stabler meet with Catherine, who wants to know if it's true that her grandfather raped Lorna. Stabler tells her it is. Catherine cries, says Grant lied to her. She tries to leave. Novak asks if Grant told Catherine to say that Dwight raped her. Catherine admits Grant told her that no one would believe her if she didn't say it was rape, and he said that black men rape. But Catherine insists she's not like Grant, she works at an inner city school and moved to Washington Heights. Novak shakes her head at Catherine; she lied to her and the judge and jury. Stabler arrests Catherine for perjury.

Grant finds Stabler and Novak as they lead Catherine down the courthouse corridor in handcuffs. Stabler tells Grant that Catherine is going to jail for perjury. Grant assures Catherine he'll get bail together for her. She turns to Grant and accuses him of teaching her to hate all of her life. Catherine declares her hatred for what Grant says and how he thinks. They keep walking and encounter Dwight and Dekker. Dwight apologizes to Catherine, and she apologizes to him. Novak tells Dekker that 20 to life is still on the table. Dekker says if she makes it 15, it's a deal. They shake on it. A resolution to the case, but no one is really a winner.