Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Episode 16.23 Surrendering Noah
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Photo

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Episode 16.23 Surrendering Noah

Episode Premiere
May 20, 2015
Genre
Drama, Crime
Production Company
NBC, Studios USA Television, Universal Network TV
Official Site
http://www.nbc.com/law-order-special-victims-unit
Episode Premiere
May 20, 2015
Genre
Drama, Crime
Period
1999 - Now
Production Co
NBC, Studios USA Television, Universal Network TV
Distributor
NBC
Official Site
http://www.nbc.com/law-order-special-victims-unit
Director
Michael Slovis
Screenwriter
Julie Martin, Warren Leight
Main Cast

At Olivia's apartment, Noah's social worker does her final home inspection and is quite pleased with the home Liv has provided for Noah. So much so that she decides she'll recommend her to be approved as Noah's adoptive parent. Olivia is thrilled - she's finally going to be Noah's legal mother! There's just one thing. She recently discovered sex trafficker Johnny D ("Undercover Mother") is Noah's birth father - the same man whom Barba is preparing to try on 17 counts of rape, assault, trafficking and kidnapping. Against Barba's advice, she decides to list Johnny D as Noah's birth father on the adoption papers. She doesn't want to build her life with Noah on a lie.

Unfortunately, Johnny D's lawyer Braun gets wind of his client's paternity and uses it to move for a dismissal of all charges against his client. He claims Benson's pursuit of Johnny D was motivated by her desire to deny him his parental rights. Barba retorts that Benson was only made aware of the DNA after Johnny D's arrest. After the hearing, Braun makes an offer to Barba that Johnny will relinquish all parental rights and waive visitation if he does only three to five years for prostitution. Olivia refuses - Johnny D is a monster and she won't let him win. Barba points out though that no matter what, Johnny can still appeal for his parental rights and Olivia may be forced to take Noah to visit him in prison for the next 18 years.

The good news is that the judge throws out Johnny D's motion, so he's officially going to trial. The girls Johnny D forced into prostitution, including Martha's daughter Ariel, are in protective custody, and Barba assigns each detective to a girl to act as their confidant. Johnny D has a way of making witnesses disappear and Barba refuses to let that happen this time. The detectives meet with the girls, who all promise to testify, as does Timmer ("Undercover Mother"), one of Johnny D's pimps, but Selena ("Girls Disappeared") is skeptical. She doesn't feel safe and worries Johnny D will come after her. Fin and Amaro don't trust Timmer and Selena, but they're both survivors, and their only chance is to rat out Johnny D.

Meanwhile, Amaro approaches Olivia and tells her he registered for the sergeant's exam and would like to move up the ranks. Liv is supportive of her partner's ambition, but Tucker is certainly not. Tucker considers Amaro damaged goods after his multiple run-ins with One PP. It's never going to happen for Nick.

The trial begins with Olivia detailing the kidnapping, rape and torture of Ariel and three other girls in Johnny D's custody, and how SVU apprehended Johnny D attempting to escape with Ariel as a hostage. When Braun cross-examines her, he once again focuses on Olivia's bias due to Johnny D being Noah's biological father. The next day, Timmer and Selena are scheduled to testify, but as the prisoners are being transported to a motel for the night, Selena pulls a shiv on Timmer, slitting his throat while their guards are on a coffee break. Selena claims self-defense, but the M.E. says it was definitely murder. Either way, Selena now refuses to testify. SVU suspects Johnny D ordered the hit against Timmer, but they have no proof... until they learn the female officer on duty was dating one of Johnny D's pimps and slipped Selena the blade.

Worried Timmer's murder will deter the girls from testifying, Barba brings one of them, Pilar, in to practice her testimony. While Pilar does a great job during the prep session, when she takes the stand in the actual trial, she changes her story completely, saying that Johnny D never beat and raped her - he paid her to clean his apartment and they're in love. After her reversal, Braun takes his earlier offer off the table and requests an emergency appeal to reinstate Johnny's parental rights and stop the adoption of Noah Porter "Drake." Olivia is livid and knows the only way to get Johnny D out of her life is to make sure the other girls give honest testimonies as to the atrocities he inflicted upon them. She meets with the girls at the safe house for a pep talk, and even gives Ariel her "Fearlessness" necklace. They all promise to tell the truth. The next day, the girls follow through on their promise and testify against Johnny D.

The next morning, during Ariel's cross-examination, Pilar and other girls in the gallery stand up and start screaming "Liar!" The judge calls for order, but the girls start cursing at her, too, until the judge instructs the court officers to clear the gallery. People start shoving and shouting and the courtroom turns to chaos, at which point Johnny flips the defense table and lunges at one of the COs, grabbing her gun. He shoots his way out of the room, winging the judge and hitting Amaro twice as he lunges at him. In the hall, the detectives find both the CO and Johnny D dead. Johnny knew he wouldn't make it out alive. Amaro is rushed to the hospital, where he undergoes an emergency laparotomy as well as knee surgery.

Two weeks later, Olivia meets with Judge Ruth Linden and makes it official: she is Noah's mother! After, the squad gets together to celebrate - even Nick, although he has to hobble in on crutches. At the party, he pulls Liv aside and tells her with his knee injury, they're going to try to force him out of the department. He's not going anywhere at SVU anyway, and if he reties now, he gets three quarters pay and can start over again... in California where his two kids live. Olivia tries to talk her partner out of it, but Amaro is steadfast in his decision. It's time to say goodbye.