Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 15, Episode 14 of NBC's Law and Order: SVU, titled "Wednesday's Child."
This episode begins with William Lewis' crazy psychotic face creepily saying "Tick tock." Then the kettle whistles and Liv snaps out of her daymare. Just a note for those of you who have managed to avoid all of the Save Benson saga episodes -- Lewis is the guy who kidnapped Liv and tortured her, after making her watch the rape of another woman and murdering a few people along the way. With that said, it's clear why Lewis is still haunting her. He's the absolute worst.
Next, Liv ventures to the grocery store, but not for any food items. She heads straight for the pregnancy tests. A real shocker. Could there be a little Liv on the way? Maybe, but don't hold your breath. Liv visits her therapist where she explain how she thought there was a possibility she was pregnant these past few days, but she took the pregnancy test which came back negative. While Brian is thrilled with the latest update, she had started imagining a whole different life. From her face, we can tell she liked the look of this different life.
Tom Moore (John Benjamin Hickey) returns home from a work trip to find his son Nicky missing from his bed. He wakes up his wife, Lisa (Jodie Markell), who appears to be similarly shocked. Seeing as Dr. Moore works for the UN and has won awards including a Humanitarian Award for Third World Neonatal Care, this case is considered high profile. With no sign of forced entry, the detectives begin questioning neighbors and passersby. One woman says the boy used to yell, "I want to go home! You're not my mom!" Turns out Lisa and Tom aren't his biological parents. They adopted him two years ago from Georgia -- the country, not the state.
Tom goes on to explain that Nicky has some socialization and developmental issues because of his time spent in the orphanage. He has a difficult time bonding with kids, but has indiscriminate friendliness toward strangers. To make matters just a bit more stressful, he has Type 1 diabetes and his pump only holds enough insulin for three days. Dun dun.
More references to "the new mayor"
Hank Abraham, Acting Commissioner for Public Information, pays Liv a brief visit explaining that the "new mayor believes in keeping enemies close." That's really all he does. He doesn't even play a big role in the episode, but I felt he should be included because clearly Law and Order: SVU really really wants us to remember there's been a regime change. Per everything in Law and Order: SVU none of this is based on actual events. Cough cough.
A twist in the case
Rollins talks to a homeless man who lives in his car near their apartment. He tells her that Lisa and Nicky left Tuesday and Lisa came back Sunday. But where was Nicky on Sunday? The man doesn't know, but he's certain about those dates because it messed up his desired parking spot.
Lisa says she took Nicky to their house in Connecticut on Tuesday night and returned on Sunday, just as the homeless man said. She claims she stopped for groceries on the way back and Nicky fell asleep in the car on the way back on Sunday. Amaro asks how she got Nicky in the house. "Is it possible that Nicky wasn't in the car when you drove back from Connecticut?" Liv questions. They show her a photo taken from the bridge showing Lisa driving, but no Nicky in the backseat. She immediately starts sobbing while shouting, "I had to! I had to do it!" Usually not a positive thing to say to the SVU detectives.
A betrayed husband wants answers
Liv wants to see if Tom can get her talking. He clearly had no idea about any of this. He asks where Nicky is, only to have her sassily retort, "Oh! So now you want to know where Nicky is?!" (or something like that). I guess she's a little bitter he's been away on business...for the UN...saving the world and all that. She goes on to say that Nicky's behavior was out of control -- banging his head, opening up the car door when she was driving 70 mph -- she just couldn't handle him any more. So what did she do? She gave him to someone who could handle him -- a strict religious family. She even signed over power of attorney.
Apparently, this is not a crime
Liv and Hank Abraham confront ADA Pippa Cox who says they can't charge Lisa with anything more than filing a false claim because the state of Connecticut allows for these non-legal transfers of children -- No state or federal law even acknowledges these exchanges. However, Liv reminds them that only Lisa signed over power of attorney since Tom was away, rendering the transaction void.
Quinnipiac Child Care Center in East Haven, CT
We meet the woman (Constance Schulman) who was given Nicky -- although she was only the one to find him a new set of parents. Schulman, who plays Yoga Jones on Orange Is The New Black is similarly upbeat and kindhearted as this character. Maybe this is all part of Yoga Jones' storyline on OITNB! Is this all part of her previous life before going to prison?
Ok, as I was saying, Schulman's character clearly has no system or organization for the whole "rehoming" process -- no IDs, all fake addresses from the applicants etc. In fact, the couple who "adopted" Nicky gave her the address of Yankee Stadium. Of course, Yoga Jones (as I'll call her since her character here doesn't seem to have a name) didn't even realize it was a fake. She says the couple went by Roger and Alex Pierson. They drove a blue handicap van seeing as Roger is disabled. After running their names through the system, it turns out they're both on the sex offender registry -- they essentially troll for unwanted adopted children.
The real search begins and time is running out
The police search a house in the Rockaways, where the couple has been living after the old family left after Hurricane Sandy. Clearly, they left in a hurry. There are three girls' sleeping bags on the floor as well as Nicky's pajamas. One DVD inside the DVD player shows two young girls asking, "Want to have a playdate with us?" We see Nicky being stubborn, unwilling to talk. While the video doesn't show anything explicit outright, Amaro wonders, "What's on the disc they took with them?"
Detective's can use technology too
By checking a super hip smartphone app, the detectives can see Nicky's insulin levels are getting dangerously high. Liv orders the detective to look into all pharmacies that have received requests for insulin.
A suspect is brought into custody
Good thinking on Liv's part. Rollins and Finn take down Alexa (Rosanna Arquette) at a pharmacy as she is trying to pick up Nicky's prescription. She makes an attempt to run, but obviously to no avail. During questioning, the detectives tell her about Nicky's sky-high insulin levels, hoping to win her sympathy, but she (somewhat correctly) points out that Nicky would have his insulin right now if it hadn't been for the police. They bring up the other kids but Alexa dismisses them, saying, "Everything these kids have done, I'd done backwards and in heels before I was six." Amaro reviews her file and asks her about the baby she lost to fetal alcohol syndrome ten years ago. We can see this is the key to her heart. "Losing a kid leaves a hole in your heart," she says. Before revealing Roger's location she pleads, "Don't tell Roger I gave it up so easy. Please."
Next thing we know, the police are at a motel in Queens. They open the door to find the two girls from the video fighting over a board game. They tell us that Roger took them out for a treat and then brought them back here (without supervision). Rollins makes a move to open the door to the next room, but one of the girls immediately warns, "Don't go in there. He's sleeping." We enter the room to find a baby in a drawer along with a girl we haven't seen before.
This girl, Caitlin, says Roger and Alexa don't let them out very much. Roger said she was too old for the webcam after she turned ten, so she just helps out with the other kids. And the baby in the drawer? Roger brought him home as a Christmas present for Alex. "It made her really happy," she explains.
Liv shows a photo of the baby to Alexa, who says Roger found him in the train station bathroom. She says he wasn't going to end up like the others. He was her baby. Their conversation is cut short as Rollins reports a witness has spotted Roger and Nicky on the way to the airport.
They search the airport. A security camera shows Roger (Mark Boone Junior) entering a bathroom without exiting. Police rush to the bathroom to find Roger's wheelchair sitting alone in a stall. No Roger in site. With no sign of Roger, Liv shows Alexa the security footage of Roger walking outside of the airport --- actually walking. Alexa is outraged. He made her do everything for him. She rattles her brain to think of where Roger might take Nicky. A thought dawns on her.
Roger is arrested
The police find Roger shoveling down mountains of Chinese food at his go-to restaurant. They call him out on the fact that he can actually walk, at which point Roger unapologetically explains, "You can park anywhere, your woman gives you sponge baths." He knows Alexa won't say anything because she's so loyal, until Amaro shows him the picture they showed her of him actually walking outside of the airport. "You showed her that?!" he moans. Clearly, she wasn't that loyal. Sorry Roger (slash Bobby from Sons of Anarchy).
He says he left the kid at a "cinnamon donut place," noting that the "kid was a pain in the ass." But aren't most kids? Amiright??! Not a good enough reason to throw 'em to the donuts.
The final search for Nicky
Rollins and Liv realize the kid may have tried to go home since he was already at the airport. Although this is a domestic airport, the kid may have mistook Georgia the state for Georgia the country. They find him collapsed in the bathroom of a plane headed for Atlanta, Georgia. Luckily they get him to a hospital and Nicky will be just fine. A happy ending...
NOT. He also has to go back to his true adopted parents. Liv is absolutely not happy about this. "You don't just discard a child," she tells Lisa, but that doesn't stop Lisa and Tom from reuniting with their traumatized child.
But what happens to the other kids? The girls are in foster care, but what should they do with the baby? In family court, "Baby Boy Doe" is declared destitute and given over to child service since his parents have yet to claim him. Liv looks absolutely crushed. Poor Liv. Poor Baby Boy Doe.
"Law and Order: SVU" airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.