Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 5 Episode 18


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Mar 02, 2004 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • Goof: When the social worker shoots herself there is only a small amount of bleeding shown coming through her shirt. As soon as Fin puts his hand on her chest there is tons of blood. There was obviously a bag of fake blood under the shirt.

    • Nitpick: During cross-examination of the social worker during the trial, we learn the reason she didn't return distraught calls from the foster parent of the child that died. She states that she was busy aiding two other children, who witnessed their father beating and shooting the children's mother, before turning the gun on himself. This is a very dramatic moment, as it is presented as though the prosecution was not aware of this. This makes absolutely no sense. For starters, it's certainly one of the first questions that would've been asked, or offered by the defense prior to trial, particularly in light of potentially reaching a plea bargain in the case. Secondly, the defense most certainly would have asked the question on direct questioning knowing that the jury would be looking for the answer, and that the answer was highly favorable to her case. While it may have made a more dramatic moment as written, it's simply illogical to think it would have happened this way.

  • Quotes

    • Maddox: (her closing summation) A social worker's job -- poorly paid, usually thankless. They work in the most deprived and violent parts of our cities, where they can be assaulted, raped, even murdered. Burnout's common. Many don't last 5 years. Mariel Plummer has worked for eighteen. When Jamie died, she had nearly 20 cases. The recommended caseload is 12. This tragedy isn't Mariel's fault. It's the fault of an overburdened system. Too few case workers, too few dollars, too many children in need. Out of grief and panic after Jamie's death, Mariel altered her official records. She admits it; she's sorry for it. Find her guilty on that charge. Not on the charge of endangering Jamie's life. Jamie slipped through a crack in the system. Blame the system. Blame the man who killed Jamie. But don't blame the social worker.
      Novak: (her summation) Mariel Plummer was the crack in the system. She was the one person whose job it was to look out for Jamie, and she failed to do her job. If she made any one of the visits she fraudulently claimed to have made, or returned any one of the phone calls, Jamie would be alive! She turned her back on him. That is child endangerment. This time, you must blame the social worker. Find Mariel guilty, and send a message to her, and to her supervisors, and to the city, and to the state, that the death of even one child is unacceptable.

    • Mariel: (on the phone): Just stop calling me!
      Fin: (takes the phone): Who the hell are you calling a bitch? This is the police. Call here again we're gonna bust your door in.

    • Fin: You raked her face with a cheese grater.
      Lori Ann: She raked herself, she's psychotic.
      Fin: Yeah, and Jamie smothered himself.

    • (Munch busts social worker Mariel Plummer for illegally altering paperwork.)
      John Munch: We were just admiring how you were writing up six months' worth of records in one day.

    • Fin Tutuola: (to Lori Ann) That was smooth. Shutting a murder witness up in a loony bin.

  • Notes

    • Company Credits: Lynn Kressel Casting (Casting), Grant Wilfley Casting (Background Casting), Panavision (Panaflex Camera and Lenses)

    • Crew Additions and Clarifications: Bobby Mancuso (Assistant Cameraman)
      Keri L. Lederman (Assistant Property)
      Jessica Burstein (Still Photographer)
      Alana West (Set Costumer)
      Mick Rossman (Scenic Charge)
      Kevin Brink (Leadman)
      Kevin Fitzpatrick (Best Boy)

    • International Air Dates:
      Finland – October 14, 2009 on YLE TV2

  • Allusions