Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 9 Episode 9

Paternity

2
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Nov 27, 2007 on NBC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (28)

6.7
out of 10
Average
376 votes
  • As The SVU Turns

    5.0
    One of the biggest gripes of SVU it is the melodrama of Elliot Stabler and his family. But with the birth of his second son Elliot Jr was the saving grace of this episode. The episode begins with the death of a boy's nanny and the boy's paternity. The mother is a real bitch who cheats on her husband with the boy's real father. Fans of Boston Legal will recognize Mark Valley as the husband. Then the wife rubs his nose of it saying he has to pay child support and has no visitation. You almost can't blame him that he kills the bitch.
  • When the paternity of a missing young boy is placed into question, Stabler wonders if he really is the father of Kathy's child.

    10
    First of all, this episode I will say brought me to tears. I know, I'm pathetic, right? The case at the beginning with the little boy was terrible. It turns out his father actually isn't his father--and meanwhile, his wife is dumping him for the other man that is really the boys' father. Pheew, corn-fusing. I thought it was terribly sad and definately wouldn't want to be put in that position. Moving onto the car wreck. Interestingly amazing. I thought Olivia did a fantastic job helping Kathy. She did all she could to make sure her and her baby were safe. My nickname for her is "savage" because she never lets anything beat her. She so proved it on paternity after a car wreck she proved she was perfectly fine. The ending is what I'd like to comment on. If you didn't know I am an Elliot/Olivia shipper, you will now. The hug seriously brought me to tears. I couldn't help it. It's the first time in NINE YEARS these two hugged. It was definately at the top of my list of "cute things that happened this year" list, lol. I am sorta wishing for more hugging in the NEAR future, hehe. But all in all, GREAT episode.
  • Absolutely horrible, pointless and disgusting. Please avoid this episode. Seriously poorly plotted, dull, tediously written, abysmal storyline and full of plot holes.

    1.0
    This episode was an absolute waste of time. Ok, Let me start off with this piece of garbage. First, the detectives investigate the murder of a nanny who now suspect her employers of having a lot of dark skeletons in their closet. Then, you have Fin and Lake reminding Stabler that there was a seriously accident. And last but not least, it was Benson and Stabler's wife, Kathy who were in the serious accident that is what the dangerous tragedy caused between Stabler's family. This episode, unfortunately, is not only absolutely horrible, pointless and disgusting, but is also very poorly plotted, dull, tediously written, abysmal stoyline and full of plot holes.

    The entire acting performances was Monday-Morning Awful, all the direction is extremely ridiculous, and the storyline is very depressing and sad.

    There were a lot of plot holes, missing evidence, and serious cheap characterizations in this episode that my girlfriend and I almost quit before the end of this.

    Absolutely horrible, pointless and disgusting at least last week's episode was awesome.

    Please avoid this episode!
  • Law and Order Special Victims Unit!

    8.5
    When a young boy is found, the Detectives of the Special Victims Unit are called in to find out what happened to his parents. What they find out is that his mother seems to be more interested in her boyfriend than her husband, Jake, and left her young son Tommy in the care of the nanny while she went to be with her boyfriend. Things get tense when they find out that Tommy is not Jake's biological son. The case gets personal for Detective Elliot Stabler, when a car accident threatens the life of his family.

    This was a good episode. The beginning of it was a little on the slow side, and it took me a while to get into the story line that involved the little boy Tommy and his family. But the episode definitely took a turn for the better when the drama was focused on Kathy Stabler, and whether or not she and the baby was going to make it out of the accident alive. It was nice to see that there was a little bit of bonding between Kathy and Olivia, which you normally never see on the show.
  • oh dear god...what has become of SVU?

    1.0
    I admit, I haven't been watching SVU for years like many people...but I think I know what constitutes a worthy episode from a filler. This was neither. It was just...garbage. The plot line got twisted, filled with plot holes left and right. The writing, directing, and acting were terrible. The lines that people said...oh jeez...I wanted to turn it off. The "plot twists" if you can call them that, were just plain sad. Since the episode, I feel everything on TV is worthless..

    I have lost the will to enjoy TV...I feel like a zombie. Please spare yourself from this episode. Unless you want a good laugh...or cry.
  • Good gravy, what has happened to this show?

    6.3
    They spent half an hour on the crime and then the last half on an incredibly manipulative drama. When did this become a soap opera?

    We have all the hallmarks of a bunch of lazy writers who are plum out of ideas.

    **spoiler alert**

    1) We have the Instantaneous Hollywood Birth, where a woman goes from water breaking to baby in ten minutes. Uh, you've never had kids, have you? Try ten hours.

    2) The added false drama of the car wreck plus Stabler's wife crashing in the van only to be miraculously fine in the final scene.

    3) A rather interesting SVU case (for once!) that is wrapped up in about ten minutes.

    This show has truly jumped the rails. The only reason it even got to a 6 is because of the effort the actors are putting in this increasingly sensationalist show.

    Sheesh
  • OMG finnaly we get to see something between our favorite coupple!

    10
    I just loved it! the car scene was awesome, and i believe Mariska deserves another emmy for this episode, but the one thing i totally loved of course was when Eliot hugged her, that was awesome, her face was like OMG ive waited for this so long, it was sooo sweet, and then when they looked at each other and with that weird scilence between those 2 and they were staring at each other thil liv interupted the moment, OMG it was fenomenal. I hope they keep it up with the great e/o chemistry, and love cause i still hope something bigger happen between these 2. hope to see more episodes like this for the rest of the season!
  • Not the SVU we know

    2.0
    What is going on here?

    The first part of the episode was pretty generic and has been done before (boy found wandering on the street in blood, nanny's dead, mom has been sleeping around with boyfriend, her husband isn't the boy's father, losts of daddy angst between him and Elliot, finally the husband shoots the unfaithful wife in the head). The whole point of the fisrt half seems intended to give Elliot the reason to ask Cathy if its really his kid.

    The next half of the show was somewhat eventful but somehow predictable and a bit overdramatic. In my opinion the worst episode of the season, I just wish I hadn't chosen to ask my roomate to watch this particular episode with me (trying to make her a fan of the series). Way to lose a potential fan, guys.

    What happened to the real SVU?!
  • hug!!!! =D =D =D =D =D

    9.6
    ok so i missed the first 15 minutes of this episode due to the fact that i was watching whitest kids on youtube and completely forgot it was tuesday!!! i was SO mad that i forgot. like what?!?!? i've been waiting for this episode forever!! but thats besides the point. about 40 minutes into the episode is when olivia and kathy get intot he crash. (drunk driver) which im surprised that olivia wasnt more struck, seeing as her mom was an alcoholic. but either way. when kathy is on the phone with elliot i think olivia has this look of "shut up... i love him.." kind of jealousy. and she should, i hate kathy. now when i first saw the commercial for this episode (i KNOw this sounds REALLY bad) but i was hoping that kathy and the baby would die. and elliot could be with olivia. horrible i know. but no, while watching it when i found out that kathy had the baby right then and there, i and kathy flatlined after the baby was already born, i was like AHH! i hope kathy dies. (still horrible i know). but come on. then olivia would have the baby she always wanted. and her and elliot could take care of it. it would have been the most perfect thing ever. i mean, sad for elliot and the kids, but olivia should be there! not kathy! im SO mad that kathy woke up. but THEN! at the end of the episode elliot hugs olivia!! YES! like full on "thank you.." hug. she saved his baby and his baby's mama... and she didnt get anything before that hug. she deserved it, i think she loves elliot and to save HIS wife... must suck.
  • SVU tries its hand at a comedy episode. Wait, that wasn't a comedy episode? Oh, SVU, say it ain't so...

    1.0
    Ok. So right after I watched this episode last night, I was in a bit of a dazed state. I was confused, hurt, felt just a bit violated, and had only insults and horrible things to say and those wouldn't really be informative or helpful to anyone.

    But now, with a little more distance from the episode and with my sheer indignance having subsided a bit, I think I'm in a better position to articulate exactly why this was one of the worst episodes I have ever seen, of any television show, let alone one of a pedigree as high as a member of the Law and Order franchise.

    I haven't been watching new episodes at all recently, but I've been a fan of the whole franchise for quite a while, and I just caught a bunch of episodes of SVU and CI when TNT or TBS or whatever it was ran a marathon over Thanksgiving break, so some clear examples of the typical quality of a Law and Order episode were fresh in my mind.

    But the entire time I was watching the episode, I just had this overwhelming impression that the whole thing was just utterly devoid of a fundamental sense of believability or intelligence. It's kind of like when you watch a D-grade action movie ("On Deadly Ground", a Steven Segal production from the early-90's is my perennial personal favorite example) and the actors are trying to sell this really poor dialogue and carry themselves with dignity and intensity through a ridiculous plot, and there's this level of forced and completely unconvincing seriousness that just causes you to burst out into laughter. That's the impression I got from this entire episode.

    I was in shock for the first twenty minutes or so, but when I realized it wasn't going to end, I just went with the sheer camp ridiculousness of it all and was able to enjoy myself (albeit for all the wrong reasons). It really was entertaining for a while, but by the end I began to feel not a little sad. After all, it's one thing to see this level of quality in a Segal picture, but to see it on a show like SVU was truly wince-worthy. It was like these characters, so familiar and reliable, had become puppets, trapped in a parody of an SVU episode, conceived, written and executed by eighth graders. I mean, this wasn't just an unintentionally funny line or a cheesy one-liner embedded in a decent episode. There were whole scenes that would pile on ridiculous moments in bunches, amplifying them with these quick cuts, like they had been re-edited for some Youtube comedy clip or a Conan sketch. Come to think of it, the best comparison I can think of right now to what I witnessed in this episode are those Walker: Texas Ranger clips Conan likes to show. Imagine an episode composed entirely of those clips and presented to you with a completely straight face under the guise of a Law and Order: SVU episode, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Just don't expect to fully enjoy it. It's one thing to see someone parody a show you like, but to see it unintentionally parody itself was shocking and frankly, a little sad.

    Like I mentioned earlier, I have not seen a new episode in a long time, so I'm hoping this was simply a one-time lapse into lunacy and not what all new SVU episodes are like. I'm also willing to concede that if I see it a second time, it may not be quite as bad as I remember it. But I assure you that I didn't go into this episode looking to tear it to shreds. I was expecting what you always expect from Law and Order, and what it has always delivered in the past, and it was only after twenty minutes of exposure to this deplorable dud and after I overcame my stunned silence that I began to laugh in astonishment.

    After all, if anything, the Law and Order franchise is built on consistency, the consistent application of a winning formula, and while there is inevitably some variation in quality from episode to episode, this one just totally blew the bottom off the barrel. It was utterly astounding. But, hey, after all the other episodes and their legitimate and engaging drama, at least now we'll always have this black sheep on hand when we're in need of a good giggle. Get all your comedy and drama in one place with Law and Order: the first truly full-service TV franchise. That is of course, assuming that this isn't SVU's modus operandi these days, in which case, I won't be tuning in any more, at least not unless I'm particularly in need of some serious belly laughs. I wish you could take this one back, guys.

    (P.S. TV.com is somehow not letting me rate this episode a zero, so I'll say that the one point is for the unintentional comedy, and what joy I got out of that.)
  • Not a good episode for SVU!

    2.6
    Crash scene very unrealistic, the whole Kathy/Elliot story has been done, redone and now it is just annoyingly painful to watch, especially in this episode. It was very predictable, they go from questioning the baby's paternity to full trust and love and are a happy family, I don't buy it and I really didn't need to see it. There was some great drama, and I like the acting by Mariska, but then it became a fairytale.....so not SVU. It really left me not wanting to see more instead of my usual I can't wait untill next week. I don't like what they are doing with Elliot's character, it is too boring for tv. Now what he goes home to baby and wife every night, and lets Olivia solve all the crimes?
  • What the heck? *Spoilers in review*

    4.5
    This episode starts out good, you enjoy it for the first 28 minuets, its a good typical SVU story that we all love to watch. Then in the blink of an eye it becomes a horrible disgrace to the franchise. Olivia and Kathy are in a car accident that is full of obvious medical mistakes. I'm not a doctor and even I can point out a lot of the things they do wrong and/or where unrealistic. Olivia would have NEVER been allowed to go back in there in the first place, she would have been forced to be examined. The accident then causes Kathy's water to brake and she goes into labor. The episode is just screaming lame by this point. The baby is born on the way to the hospital (who is magically clean) and everyones happy in the end. I am shocked that they actually filmed this crap. Law & Order SVU is a good show and this terrible out of place storyline was very unexpected and uncalled for.
  • Aw, what were they thinking?!?! :(

    5.6
    I had several issues with this episode. First I must say, I love Law & Order SVU. It's one of my favorite shows. This episode did not measure up. The case of Tommy and his cheating mother was just boring to me. The case didn't have enough action in it for me. It was too...straightforward for SVU. I'm pretty sure they did this so they could rap the case up quickly and focus the ending on Kathy Stabler.

    The actress who plays Kathy was terrible!! Her little whines and yelps were awful. She was not believable at all. When I was watching her, she looked like she was in pain but she didn't sound like she was in pain. I was disappointed in her performance. I feel that she could have done a better job.

    I think it was ridiculous to have Olivia in the car working on Kathy. The guy who was instructing her was not much bigger than she was. Are we really supposed to believe that there was no one else available to get in the back of that car? I think that Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay did the best they could with the script they were given but the entire story...sucked. I hate using that word but that's how I feel. I genuinely feel sad when I don't like an episode of SVU. This one was just terrible to me.
  • A case hits close to home for Elliot and some unresolved issues between him and his wife are finally talked over.

    9.0
    Even though the car crash was somewhat unbelievable, I still think this was one of the better SVU episodes yet. The case they had was interesting and made for a good background for all the personal issues. As for the scenes at home and in the hospital between Elliot and Kathy, I think it was crucial to show the issues they still have/had, since they haven't been back together that long. It shows they still have a lot to work through and I think it's good that the writers didn't just ignore this. It was also good to see some more Kathy/Olivia interaction. It has always been about Elliot with these two and now they have their own shared personal experience.

    So, overall, it was a good episode!
  • ok so idk why people think this episode was bad.

    9.8
    ok so it was great! I don't know why some people say it was stupid. Did anybody really think that they were going to kill someone? they wouldn't do that...it would be cruel. and i think it was amazing how liv saved kathy and yay everyone is happy and the hug !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i loved it so much. elliot and olivia hugged and even if you aren't a shipper, you have to admit that you smiled during that. Aside from some medical mistakes, the episode was great. I just wish they had devoted more than 15 minutes to the crash. overall, wonderful episode.
  • Was ok, the end was better.

    7.9
    A case where a cute boy is found with blood all over and then they found out that his nanny was killed.
    After that the boy's father finds out that he is not really his father, the real father is the guy that his wife is slepping with. Kathy and Liv get into a bad car accident.

    Elliot has a baby boy :)

    The end of the episode was very cute. But overall was just an ok episode, not a lot of drama in the beginning, they were smart to put a cute kid on so we didnt pay attention to that hehehe expecting more for the next.
  • Fine until crash, which was overly dramatic and unrealistic.

    6.0
    Law and Order SVU is one of my favorite shows. This episode, however, is the reason I joined this site: I had to write a review about the ending, involving the crash (which is not a spoiler, because they showed an incredible amount of commercials focused on only this 15 minute aspect of the episode). As I watched, I thought several things:

    *This is overly dramatic to the point of being silly/sappy. Are they losing ratings or something?
    *That is obviously not possible and seems ridiculous (mainly the time it took to give birth)
    *That was predictable (Kathy is out in time to give birth, and the baby is okay, but of course there will now be either a problem with the baby or -- and this is specifically what I said to my friend next to me would happen only moments before it did-- Kathy's heart monitor would go flat.)

    The crash could have been a good part of the episode... I certainly was looking forward to seeing the episode because of the commercials. However, the details made it overdone and almost silly. By showing less it could have made the episode so much better. Show the crash; Olivia waking up, calling for help; Fin telling Elliot and Elliot's reaction; and maybe bits of the rescue, like when they were trying to get Kathy out. Even having her water break would be okay. That would be enough drama without watching the entire getting out process and worrying that the baby would be born any minute (OBVIOUSLY not possible to happen that fast, and, I would imagine, annoying to any woman who has had to go through childbirth), nor would we have to see the baby being born. Cut from Olivia going to hold her head and the firemen starting to get the car apart to the hospital, maybe.

    Also, some people seem to think the hug between Elliot and Olivia was romantic. But they have been partners for nine years, which would make them good friends in any occupation, and Elliot would therefore be very greatful that she is okay. In their occupation, the constant emotional stress and danger they experience every day would make them very close to one another. Let's not try to read romance into it... especially in an episode that shows more than the usual of Kathy and Elliots relationship.

    Not that I would say this episode is bad. I thought the beginning was perfectly good, and I like how Elliot was affected by the case (suddenly worried that because he and Kathy were separated, the baby might not be his). And I don't mean I like it because i thought it was good that Elliot had this thought... a small part of me was going, oh, come on, Elliot... but it was very fitting. If only they hadn't overdone the end.
  • I don't watch commercials

    9.1
    I don't watch commercials, so I was surprised when Kathy and Olivia got rammed into by the drunk driver (notice how they downplayed that) I was actually tearing up. Okay, so the ending wasn't "medically accurate" Olivia moving her head right after the crash, directions of the needles, etc. Must we criticize every aspect of the show, can't we just enjoy the over dramatization of it? The other part of the story was wild, the guy is not the father, but would have to pay child support and let the real father have rights? Crazy legal system we have ain't it? I like that shows are starting to show how women screw over men too. Oh, I am a woman by the way. But I like equality.
  • Paternity!

    10
    What can I say about this episode. It was the best episode of SVU that isn't directly about personal issues I saw for a very long time (probably since Burned of S8). It had a good case and it was very interesting. The little boy Tommy was so happy when his dad was found and his dad made me mad when he abandoned him at the precinct. I am glad that Elliot talked the dad out of committing suicide and again Elliot put his job before his family, forgetting that Kathy had an appointment. I liked the tension when Elliot questioned the Paternity of his new child. The crash scene was excellent but the only thing that bothered me was how Olivia had to do the IV when she wasn't trained. The paramedic did not look larger than Benson and he could have fit in through the window of the car. I liked how at the end Elliot welcomed his son to the world and then thanked Olivia for saving Kathy and his son. I liked the scene at the end the hug and the final line of the episode. It was so nice and showed Elliot and Olivia's friendship.
  • an amazing episode that will leave you wanting more.

    9.6
    Sometimes after a particularly good SVU I find myself wishing that there was more, and this was one of those episodes. The first 45 minutes of it was the case, that eventually made Elliot leave town for a short amount of time. This meant that Olivia would have to drive Kathy to her doctors appointment, and this is where the excitement starts. Olivia's car is hit, not too hard, but the car is still totaled, and Kathy who is 8 months pregnant is trapped in her seat. When the paramedics show up it is up to Olivia to help save her, and toward the end things seem to look bad...but I would never give away the ending. We see a tiny bit of EO goodness, when Elliot hugs Olivia and she closes her eyes and enjoys his touch. It left me smiling, and was a great episode.
  • A throw-away crime for some excellent character story.

    8.8
    The story about Tommy and his mom, nanny, and two dads was thought-provoking enough for Elliott, but for the viewer, it was typical and uninteresting. Usual SVU plot lines would have taken a turn for the bizarre and unimaginable when Olivia and Kathy set out for the doctor. I agree that the accident was a little dramatic, and that it was "riddled" with medical inaccuracies, but I also don't think accuracy was what the show was going for this time. The Jaws of Life and the 10 minute drive to the hospital were put into the show for suspense, for the viewer to ponder whether Elliott would make it there in time. It was excellent suspense, and while he was off-camera, the viewer was forced to wonder what was going through his head. I cried when the baby was born and also when Liv and Elliott hugged at the end, but then giggled when they both brushed it off.
  • The best so far!

    10
    The character development was amazing. Mariska deserves another emmy for this one--her performance was captivating. I was on the edge of my seat for the last 20 minutes of the show through the entire accident scene. I thought the writer (as well as the actors) did an amazing job at really portraying the character's emotions throughout the last half of the show. Yes, there was a need for suspension of disbelief with some of the details throughout the accident scene, but I think artistically, it worked for me and did not bother me the slightest bit. I would have to say out of every episode, this goes down as my number one favorite--I can't wait until it re-runs so I can watch again.
  • this episode will have you on the edge of your seat.

    9.8
    stabler gets involved in a case where a missing boy gets returned to his father. later it turns out the wife has been having an affair with a man for years. then it is revealed that this new guy is really the father of the little boy. it makes stabler reconsider the fact that he may not be the father of his wife's baby. so later on stabler is resolving this case and olivia has to take his wife to the doctor. some jerk runs either a stop sign or red light and smashes into olivia's car on the side that stabler's pregnant wife is on. they need to get the jaws of life to open the roof and door. and the whole time stabler's wife is going into labor and in and out of consciousness. olivia is there for stabler's wife the whole time. even when she gives birth in the ambulance and flatlines. it was such a moving episode. this is great television!
  • the episode starts ok then it gets weird when elloit accused his wife of not being truthful with him. but he sounded desperate when he was talking to her that episode was so kewl.

    10
    This episode was ahhh-mazzinnnggg i loved it was so good they should have more episodes with his family in it. that episode did show us that he does have a heart in there somewhere in there. if they have more episode with his family and trouble happening to him where he can not do anything but just hope because that is where his true colors. a cop who does have bad things happen he responds just like any human would, he becomes very sad. one because he was not there and two he accused his wife of lying and he probalby did not want to leave her on that note.
  • Very scary thought!

    8.8
    A very scary moment for not just Elliott's wife but also his partner Oliva. As they both are in a car wreck. The scenes looked intense. As both were trying to fight for their lives. So Stabler not only has to deal with not one, not two, but three, count em three lives. Including the baby that Kathy is carrying. As you see this becomes personal for him as he really cared for Olivia as the viewer can tell. And the baby and Katy will also make it while it seems that she is carrying a boy. When Oliva asks him what the name of the bagy will be. As Kathy wants to name the baby after Stabler.
  • One word: Yes!!

    9.5
    The ending that should have been, was.

    I can see lots of disagreements with this review of this episode coming now...from those whose only reason for disagreeing was that they were expecting a different ending.

    First half of the episode was well handled. Boy shows up covered in blood from what turns out to be his dead nanny. Stabler goes on TV with boy to find his father which happens. Wife caught cheating. Husband is not biological fatber of boy. Biological father files for custody. Wife wants divorce. Husband kills wife. Husband tries to commit suicide. Stabler goes to see husband while Benson takes Kathy to doctor appointment.

    The ending that should have been, was. Kudos to the writers.
  • I loved it! The storyline was okay, some things not quite believable, but great character development for both main characters.

    9.0
    While this episode may not be a typical SVU episode, I really enjoyed it. To be honest, it was Emmy Bait for both Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay, but I loved it. The interaction between Olivia & Kathy was great and sweet, and I found myself holding my breath. There is a special moment between Olivia & Elliot, and I almost cried. I thought the episode also made a good point: even though a child may not be yours biologically, if you love it and raise it, it is still your child. If you are really into the characters, this episode is definitely a must-see!
  • Absoulutly well-planned, and awesome character interaction!

    10
    I think this was an 'ok' episode.. Olivia, once again saves the day! And then, at the end, we see a Big Character emotion... Elliot hugs Olivia... It was a sweet hug, between two partners. What kept me on edge, was when Kathy (Isabelle Gillies*) was trapped, and I thought she was going to give birth in the car. But, when they got her in the ambulance, and we KNEW the baby was coming then... But when Kathy's BP was going down, and she flat-lined, that's what got me. I was holding my breath forever it seemed....

    So I say that this episode was totally worth watching!

    ~Elizabeth
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