Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 6 Episode 17


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Mar 01, 2005 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
129 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Fourteen years ago, Stabler had a chance to nail Gordon Rickett for the abduction, rape and murder of Dana MacNamara, but Rickett managed to get off. With the recent discovery of the body of Kerry Lynn Palmer, Stabler has another chance at cracking the case. They can only hold Rickett for twenty-four hours, but are able to glean enough information during that time period to at least have a place to start. Cragen and Benson both worry that Stabler will let his hatred for the suspected child molester interfere with his ability to do his job.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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  • Remake of Se7en

    Essentially, this episode was a made-for-TV version of the final scenes of the movie Se7en, in which the criminal finally succeeds in provoking the detective's anger. The writing here may go a long way to proving that it may be more difficult to sustain a series like SVU about category crime than it is to keep a more generic one like the original Law & Order.
  • A different angle than the typical SVU episode.

    This episode is unique in that it starts with the perp (played very well by Matthew Modine) already in custody. Apparently Elliot had attempted to get this guy for molestation several years ago, but there was not enough evidence so he was free to go. He is convinced, however, that they will be able to put him behind bars this time. Only problem is, they have a finite amount of time to get a confession. Elliot does everything he can to make Gordon (Modine) uncomfortable: the chair in the interrogation room, the light that keeps flashing on and off and the heat. Towards the end of the episode, they believe they have a good lead and they end up tying Gordon to the murder of a young girl. I really liked how there was not a lot of music used while Elliot was interrogating Gordon. All you really heard (and saw) was the light that kept dimming and the heat blasting. I loved the beginning when Olivia is just sitting there across the table from him, staring at him. This is the only episode that I know of that starts with the bad guy already in custody. Great writing and acting all around!moreless
  • great ep. done totally different than the rest. it mostly takes place in interrogation, until the end.

    I loved this episode. i love how it starts out in interrogation and lasts through most of the show. i love how elliot tries to get rickett to need something from him, how he orders a hamburger with extra onions :D, and how he gets into ricketts face. chris meloni did an exceptional job in this episode. i also love the last conversation between elliot and liv in the bullpen.

    el "did you think i froze? is that why you fired first?"

    liv "i fired first because you would have killed him."

    el "he deserves to die."

    liv "maybe he does, but he wanted you to kill him. he wanted you to always remember that you took his life. Not cuz you had to, but because you were angry."

    it shows that liv is willing to do anything to help her partner, including shooting a guy (but injuring him, not killing him) so elliot wont have to live the rest of his life knowing he killed rickett because he was p!ssed off.

    this is one of my favorite episodes. and i think matthew modine was awesome, too!moreless
  • Law and Order Special Victims Unit!

    Detective Stabler and suspect Gordon Rickett have a past with each other. Fourteen years ago he was a suspect in the rape and murder of a young girl, but Detective Stabler was unable to successfully pin the charges to him. Now that another young girl's body has been found, they might have what they need to put him away for good. Benson and Stabler only have twenty four hours to get him to confess before they have to let him walk. Stabler isn't willing to let him get away this time, and uses all of the tricks that he can think of to get him to crack. This is one of my favorite episodes that is focues on Detective Stabler. He realizes during the course of his questioning Rickett that he has enough rage to be just like the suspect. There is so much character development going on with him, because he would do just about anything to ensure that he never became one of the perps that he puts away every day.moreless
  • Intense.

    It's very normal for an episode of Law & Order: SVU to make your skin crawl but 'Rage' really takes the cake.

    Basically the whole episode is set in the interrogation room. It's extremely intense and gets even more so when Olivia steps out. From then on it's man vs man. A battle between two very angry men.

    But what really got me was the two scenes at the end. The first being when Gordon Rickett tells Elliot that without the people in his life controlling him, he would be exactly like Rickett. The second scene being as Elliot is abou to leave and gets so mad that the bashes his locker. I didn't think it was all that bad until Elliot sits down and we can see blod all over his hands. It is then very clear to us that Elliot barely controls his rage at all.

    Perfect episode 10/10moreless
Dann Florek

Dann Florek

Capt. Donald Cragen

Richard Belzer

Richard Belzer

Det. John Munch

Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay

Det. Olivia Benson

Christopher Meloni

Christopher Meloni

Det. Elliot Stabler



Det. Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola

Matthew Modine

Matthew Modine

Gordon Rickett

Guest Star

Anne Pitoniak

Anne Pitoniak

Mrs. Larsen

Guest Star

Michele Santopietro

Michele Santopietro

Linda Cusick

Guest Star

Caren Browning

Caren Browning

Captain Judith Siper

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Goof: Munch comments that when he gets his pension, he'll move to California and enjoy the sun – implying that he is not currently receiving a pension. In the series premiere, it was revealed that Munch is already collecting a pension from his old job in Baltimore. (Of course, since the comment was made to a suspect in the interrogation room, it's possible it was just for show.)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Elliot Stabler: Did you think I froze? Is that why you fired first?
      Olivia Benson: I fired first 'cause you would've killed him.
      Elliot Stabler: He deserves to die.
      Olivia Benson: Maybe he does, but he wanted you to kill him. He wanted you to always remember that you took his life. Not 'cause you had to, but because you were angry.

    • (Rickett talking into the one-way mirror.)
      Olivia Benson: There's no one there. (opens door to where Cragen and Stabler are watching) Come look for yourself.
      Gordon Rickett: Forget it.
      (Benson closes the door.)
      Don Cragen: I wish she wouldn't do that.

    • Fin Tutuola (to Gordon): She says to say hello, and to rip off your nuts and feed them to you.
      Elliot Stabler: Making friends all over the country, aren't you, Gordon?

    • Elliot Stabler: Gordon, you're kidding yourself if you think you're controlling it. It's controlling you. Every lie you tell to cover your inadequacies… every perceived insult you think you're getting… just feeds it.
      Gordon Rickett: You're lecturing me about rage? Are you kidding?
      Elliot Stabler: I'm not.
      Gordon Rickett: What do you know about controlling anything?
      Elliot Stabler: I don't murder people.
      Gordon Rickett: Give it time. You say you see something in me. Well, I see something in you, too. You think you control? You can't. You're controlled by your boss, by your job, by your wife… your kids… What would you be if all those controls went away?
      Elliot Stabler: I'd be you.

    • (Fin plays a suspect in a jail cell with Gordon Rickett.)
      Gordon Rickett: Every cop has a weakness, you just got to know how to exploit it. They treat you like you're an imbecile. If you're not careful, you start to believe them. It's a game for them, they get off on it. They got these huge egos, that's their biggest problem. All you gotta do is let them know who's in charge. Not them, you. They used to call FBI agents gangsters with badges, they were one step away from being the worst criminals in society. Stabler's like that, big time.
      Fin Tutuola: Who's Stabler?
      Gordon Rickett: Jar head detective.
      Fin Tutuola: You know him?
      Gordon Rickett: I do, and he knows me, too. He's been thinking about me for a long time. He tries to hang you with your own words. Catch you in a lie. You're dead when that happens.
      Fin Tutuola: So what do you tell him?
      Gordon Rickett: The truth will set you free.

    • John Munch: I was never much into sports. My high school basketball coach said I looked like a retarded gazelle with a with a spastic disorder. Mr. Daley. Real loving guy.

  • NOTES (4)


    • Detective Munch tells Gordon Rickett he was nuts to come back to New York, and that when he retires on his pension he wants to move to California's San Fernando Valley to live the sweet life. This is almost exactly what Peter Venkman told Vigo the Carpathian he should have done instead of coming back to life in New York in Ghostbusters 2.