Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 5 Episode 2

Manic

1
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Sep 30, 2003 on NBC
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
118 votes
6

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
When a student is accused of shooting and killing two of his classmates, his lawyer defends that he was forced to take depression medication in order to attend school. The trail of evidence eventually leads to an illegal marketing scheme by a major pharmaceutical company.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The SVU quickly discover who carried out a school shooting but then have to determine who is ultimately responsible. Unfortunately, in this episode they are less an Special Victims Unit and more PC Police.moreless

    5.0
    This is a very weak episode of SVU and in fact seems like a script retooled from another show. A lot of things don't make sense, like why is Detective Stabler the first responder to a school shooting and why is SVU involved in the case at all. In this case a pharmaceutical corp is mailing out sample packs of a new version of an anti-depressant to patients who took the old version. A mother with an unruly son decides to give the drug to him and he has a psychotic break and kills a couple of classmates. In typical Hollywood fashion the show blames the incident on "corporate greed" because the pharm company sent out the samples unsolicited. The mother who, completely on her own, decided to give the drug to her kid is painted as a victim.moreless
  • A crime of ethical design

    9.0
    SPOILERS A frenetic start grabs the viewer as a shooting spree at a school leads to an apparent hostage situation. The stakes are upped when we find a traumatised child left behind and the suspect escaped. This sets up a fascinating if at time slow paced episode, that depends more on the emotional investiment of the viewer towards the child as the team quickly discover through forensics that he child is the killer.



    A number of clever scenes build up our loathing of the child killer - Joe Blaine, yet not is all it seems to be. Throwing the obvious signs that the killer is disturbed and planned to take revenge on the bullies at his school that made his life hell, the plot takes a very bold step to pose a very ethical question re: the way phamacuticals promote their products. From the waning levels of excitment, the change rekindles the latter stages of the middle act and launches a series of scenes full of biting conflict at the pharm. does a great job of covering up its approach to marketing. A very swift set of scenes bring the final act to a close as Alex together with Joe's mother find the salesperson who sent her the drugs and try to prize her from the company line. As you can expect they do and the company ceo is taken away in handcuffs to finish in a very satisfying manner.



    But the question of whether the companies are responsible for what people take is left somewhat open to debate seeing as they do cover the person they send the samples to and not any third party.moreless
  • Law and Order Special Victims Unit!

    8.0
    When Detective Stabler responds to a call that there were shots fired at the local school, he finds two students murdered in the gym, while another is locked in the boiler room. The young boy, Joe, tells the Detectives that someone came into the school, shot the boys and then left out the window after shooting him. Through the course of the investigation, Benson and Stabler find that Joe made everything up. He suffers from depression and after being given a drug called Aptril, he suffered from a psychotic break. This is a good episode. It makes you think twice about taking different kinds of medication without being supervised by a doctor. It also is scary to think that children that young could have so many problems, such as depression.moreless
  • Down with the irresponsible practices of the big, bad HMOs and pharmacuetical companies. But how about a better story line?

    7.5
    So a pharmacutical company his partly responsible for a teen having a psychotic episode and murdering two of his classmates? I don't think so, considering the kid's mother is the one who gave him the drugs to begin with. Yes, her back was against the wall, but no one ever told her the drugs were safe for 13-year-olds. Are gun manufacturers or arms sales people really responsible when someone uses a gun and a bullet the wrong way? Or are gunowners, like parents who don't lock up their guns for example and their kid ends up shooting themself or seomoen else, the ones to blame? Just asking. Lame episode. There's nothing gripping or outstanding about this episode. Blah.moreless
  • Where are They Now?

    8.9
    I really love seeing cast that I recognize in episodes of Law and Order and NYPD Blue. Seeing Rory Culkin in this episode was priceless. I think that this show gives actors an outlet to show off their skills. Law and Order has a knack for great casting. Great Episode!
Dann Florek

Dann Florek

Capt. Donald Cragen

Richard Belzer

Richard Belzer

Det. John Munch

Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay

Det. Olivia Benson

BD Wong

BD Wong

Dr. George Huang

Christopher Meloni

Christopher Meloni

Det. Elliot Stabler

Ice-T

Ice-T

Det. Odafin Tutuola

Rory Culkin

Rory Culkin

Joe Blaine

Guest Star

Bill Cwikowski

Bill Cwikowski

George Waddell

Guest Star

Daniel Jenkins

Daniel Jenkins

Dr. Carl Medwin

Guest Star

John Cullum

John Cullum

Barry Moredock

Recurring Role

Caren Browning

Caren Browning

Judith Siper

Recurring Role

Fred Dalton Thompson

Fred Dalton Thompson

Arthur Branch

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Goof: Originally it is stated that Joe Blaine drew the picture two months before he shot the boys. Later it is stated the picture was drawn two days before he shot the boys.

    • Goof: When they show the shooting victim (Joe) in the courtroom, his bandage is gone but there is no scar where he was shot.

    • Nitpick: The release of information without the patient's consent is a violation of HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which went into effect on 14 April 2003. The HIPAA allows release of medical health information to occur, with an appropriate subpoena or in other specified circumstances, without the patient's consent, but psychological and chemical addiction treatment records still require specific consent, as they did before HIPAA.

    • Goof: Joe's lawyer tells Alex to check the "National Drug Administration's" label warning. That should be the Federal Drug Administration, FDA.

  • QUOTES (4)

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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