Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 3 Episode 18

Guilt

0
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Mar 29, 2002 on NBC
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
159 votes
10

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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When A.D.A. Cabot is faced with a reluctant witness in a child molestation case, she goes above and beyond the normal scope of duty in her search for evidence to convict the serial abuser. But her passion supercedes her compliance with the law as she misrepresents herself to Benson and Stabler to bring them into an illegal search of the traumatised boy's home -- jeopardising not only her case, but the careers of all involved. SVU Bureau Chief Elizabeth Donnelly is faced with the frustrating task of bringing Cabot in line to preserve the integrity of the Special Victims Unit.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Alex should be disbarred

    2.0
    Had this been real Alex Cabot would be disbarred for going into the victim's home without a warrant. It is understandable that the motivation was to get the evil child molester put away it does not justify it.
  • Emotionally engaging!

    8.5
    The SVU gang tries to get a former victim of a pedophile to incriminate the perpetrator with a wire but fails when no incriminating words are spoken. Cabot goes the distance, above and beyond, to ensure the serial predatory pedophile is brought to justice when the former victim attempts suicide.



    Pretty much every woman in this episode has a sucky attitude EXCEPT for Olivia and Cabot, IMO. As Cabot comments towards the end, the judge acted as if Cabot had just shot her puppy, when she announced she deplored Cabot's actions of searching a property without a warrant. Cabot's short-haired blonde boss and the mother of the former victim were ABSOLUTE b-words.



    To me, Cabot is the heroine, no matter what anyone says.moreless
  • The reason why Alex Cabot made an amazing ADA.

    9.6
    The way that Alex goes to get this information is amazing. Not only does she violate someone\'s right to privacy, she also gets it to stand up in court. Even though she gets her conviction, the only reason that she did an illegal search was so she could ease her feelings of guilt about the victim trying to kill himself. Does that not make her human? How many of us wouldn\'t go that extra mile to make ourselves feel better, and to right a wrong that we had once commited?moreless
  • Alex Cabot takes centre stage, as she becomes emotionally involved in trying to convict a child molester, risking her job in the process.

    10
    I love Stephanie March, and this is one of her best episodes. The usually ice cool and by the book Alex Cabot is wracked by guilt after a young witness attempts suicide and end up in a coma. This leads to her bending the law to get evidence against the guilty man, and lying to Olivia and Elliot.



    A really strong episode, and good to see Cabot getting more involved. Sometimes she comes across as rather cold. Its also rather nice to see Stephanie March looking a little rumpled and less than immaculate for a change! She's almost too perfect sometimes.moreless
  • Alex Cabot's finest moment

    10
    To quote A.D.A. Alexandra Cabot, the strictest follower of the letter of the law, from her first episode: "I plan to stand on your shoulders to reach a broader constituency. Why would I do anything to shorten my grasp?"



    In the worst test of her heart and mind, of her intellectual strength and personal beliefs in the entire series, Alex Cabot is faced with a dilemma that has been the destruction of many a hero since the days of Antigone: the law or justice? Do what is legal or what is right? Every which way the unit turns, some legal technicality or civil liberty is protecting a serial child molester. Events hit a climax when they learn videotapes of his crimes lie hidden somewhere in the apartment of a victim who recently committed suicide, whose mother's new hatred for Cabot and her detectives has pushed her out of earshot of any more possible pleas for cooperation.



    According to the law, they have no case and should accept defeat. In a truly bold, selfless act of heroism and possibly insanity, Alex sends Benson and Stabler to search the apartment. The tapes are found, the smoking gun. One problem:

    Cragen: Cabot told you she had a search warrant?



    The defense attorney has no say in the tapes as evidence because his client's civil rights were not violated. The verdict: GUILTY. The detectives are innocent because it was a good faith search; Alex lied to them. Alex is the only person who has to suffer, and she planned it that way.



    Not only has Alex been suspended without pay, nor will she ever hear the end of this from Liz Donnelly, but she has thrown away the reputation that has mattered so much to her from Day 1 in the Special Victims Unit. In this episode, she's truly fighting for the victims, not in the least for herself. Alex has sacrificed herself in the name of justice instead of sacrificing justice in the name of the law. She is a truly genuine, selfless hero; no wonder everyone hates her.moreless
Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay

Det. Olivia Benson

Richard Belzer

Richard Belzer

Det. John Munch

Stephanie March

Stephanie March

A.D.A. Alexandra Cabot

Ice-T

Ice-T

Det. Odafin Tutuola

Dann Florek

Dann Florek

Capt. Donald Cragen

Christopher Meloni

Christopher Meloni

Det. Elliot Stabler

Beau Gravitte

Beau Gravitte

Roy Barnett

Guest Star

Kay Lenz

Kay Lenz

Linda Cavanaugh

Guest Star

Bret Harrison

Bret Harrison

Sam Cavanaugh

Guest Star

Ned Eisenberg

Ned Eisenberg

Roger Kressler

Recurring Role

BD Wong

BD Wong

Dr. George Huang

Recurring Role

Joanna Merlin

Joanna Merlin

Judge Lena Petrovsky

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Goof: When Stabler and Benson were searching the victim's apartment for the tapes, they weren't wearing gloves which they are required to do so they won't contaminate potential evidence.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Alex Cabot: (after being reprimanded by Judge Petrovsky) Petrovsky acted like I killed her dog. That's one more enemy to add to the list.

    • Judge Petrovsky: (after hearing of Alex's actions) Miss Cabot, I scarcely know where to begin. The liberties you have taken. The disdain you have shown toward the law in this court are highly unethical and a disgrace to your position. Be assured I will recommend your office to look into your actions. And you have done yourself a real disservice in my courtroom. I won't forget it.

    • (In Donnelly's office)
      Alex Cabot: I take full responsibility for my actions.
      Liz Donnelly: Of course. You did it for the greater good, the safety of society. Bull. You did this for you.
      Alex Cabot: I did this for hundreds of Barnett's future victims.
      Liz Donnelly: One. One victim. Sam Cavanaugh. Did it work? Did it assuage your guilt?
      Alex Cabot: No. I don't think that's gonna happen anytime soon.
      Liz Donnelly: I've got news for you. It won't happen. Ever.

    • Elliot Stabler: You should have told us.
      Alex Cabot: I'm sorry.
      Olivia Benson: No you're not.
      Alex Cabot: I am sorry you were ever in the middle of this. But you're right, I'm not sorry about the rest.

    • (Benson and Stabler walk back into the station.)
      Elliot Stabler: Barnett's being processed, we're heading to Mulligan's to celebrate.
      Fin Tutuola: You're probably not gonna want to do that.
      Olivia Benson: And why's that?
      Fin Tutuola: Dad's mad.
      Donald Cragen (to Benson and Stabler): Get your asses in my office.

    • Alex Cabot (to Sam's mother): The only reason I am here is to find evidence against the man who hurt your son. I am more than willing to accept blame for what happened to Sam, but do not let Roy Barnett get away with what he did.

    • Kressler: This was a blatant Fourth Amendment violation, sanctioned and indeed carried out by the people. Therefore, any evidence found must be suppressed.
      Cabot: Mr. Barnett's Fourth Amendment rights were not violated. Linda Cavanaugh's certainly were, but she isn't the defendant, Mr. Barnett is. He has no standing to contest a search of someone else's home.
      Kressler: Are you actually arguing that you can march in like the Gestapo and search any private residence?
      Cabot: I am arguing I can search any private residence that doesn't belong to your client and it will have no bearing on these proceedings.
      Petrovsky: While I deplore the assistant district attorney's actions, I am forced to agree that the illegal search of Linda Cavanaugh's residence is a civil tort. The defendant's privacy was not violated, therefore he has no legal standing to contest the search. Motion to suppress the evidence is denied.

    • Cabot: I am here to inform you that these premises are considered a crime scene and subject to search by the police.
      Cavenaugh: What crime?
      Cabot: Your son's suicide attempt was never fully investigated.
      Cavenaugh: Oh, maybe he didn't do it, maybe I forced the pills down his throat.

    • Kressler: You want to prove he tried to kill himself because he was abused so that you can prove he was abused. What kind of logic is that?

    • Benson: She did that to protect us.
      Cragen: What are you now, her lawyer?

    • Alex Cabot: He is as bad as his client, hoping the victim is too traumatized to testify. He's lucky I didn't knock his teeth down his throat!
      Don Cragen: I'd pay real money to see that.

    • (Pedophile Roy Barnett tries to leave town.)
      Elliot Stabler: Oh, he's leaving town. You know, we're sure gonna miss you.
      Roy Barnett: What now?
      Olivia Benson: We're helpin' ya pack. (takes packing box from Barnett)
      Elliot Stabler: You think all this stuff is gonna fit in his cell?
      Olivia Benson: Probably not.

    • Alex Cabot: Your sole purpose in this process is to bring me a case I can prosecute, not one I have to fix.

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  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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