Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 10 Episode 1

Trials

3
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Sep 23, 2008 on NBC
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
153 votes
12

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
When a seven-year-old boy steals a van to get away from abusive foster parents, it's the first string that will begin unraveling a cold case where a serial rapist uses the womens' biggest vulnerability to keep them passive. Meanwhile, Stabler's investigation into his stolen credit card reveals a surprising suspect, the new ADA introduces herself, and Olivia's flashbacks to her assault leave her distracted at work.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Angry little boy claims his foster parents are abusing him...

    10
    ...but he just wanted to be with his real mom!



    Yeah, he was a real pain, but I actually felt bad for him, he was just as traumatized as his real mom.



    Though it wasn't a brilliant plot, it got me hooked till the end, made me go back to the 6th season all over again. I liked the way it twisted, I was pleased to see that they still have the hand of the "entertaining us" art... ;)



    Anyway, the average-made episode was totally supressed by Mariska's awesome work. She looked so tense, so shaken up, that I ended up with a whiplash myself! The way she kept trying to focus on work, the altered breathing, it was heartbreaking to see det. Benson - always the one to save everyone - so broken. The final scene with the therapist (made me cry!), the flashback at the coffee machine, the way she almost cried when she told Stabler about the last victim's suicide...



    I liked the way Stabler softened like 100% to tend to her right after he almost ripped his daughter's head off in the corridor... he's becoming a very flexible guy, alright!



    And Munch complaining about how everyone leaves him behind... well, he keeps up with that and he may just convince Fin to stand by him forever! xD



    In my opinion, this episode was kind of a introduction for what's to come: Olivia's trauma and Stabler's household issues are going to rise, huh? Either this, or we can expect everything to just dissappear like we've (not) seen before.moreless
  • New ADA!

    9.0
    This episode introduces us to a new a new ADA, MacManus. She's firm and looks like she'll be a thorn...perhaps.



    The episode unfolds with a rapist on the loose, sort of. Luke Perry is the major guest star and he plays perfectly the bad guy, who seems like a good guy.



    The episode is formulaic and you know where it's going, who the rapist is and why, but they string you along well enough. Ice T is still with the show if anyone was worried and Belzar is along for the ride. He may actually get some screen time this year.



    QUite frankly it was a good show, what I expected.moreless
  • We have a new ADA

    9.5
    In this episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the following happens. We are introduced to a new ADA. We deal with a 7 year old who stole a van; because he said he had to escape because his foster parents were abusing him. When Olivia and Elliott go to interview him, they find him hiding under the bed in the hospital. When the foster parents are called in, they claim that they have never done anything to the child. We soon learn that the father wants to adopt Christopher but the mother wants to give him back, as he has too many problems. We soon learn from the boy that he was taken to a hotel by his mother and being told to take off all of his clothes and then his mother is given money. We learn that Finn requested a transfer over 3 months ago and is still waiting for it to come through. They go to the hotel, where they learn that clinical trials are being run out of the hotel. We learn that is part of a trail. We soon learn that the foster father knew nothing about the trail. He realised back into the custody of his foster parents, but not before Olivia hands him her card. We learn that the mother birth mother was a rape victim and Olivia worked the case. She goes to visit the victim and asks her why she gave up her son. We soon learn that Christopher was there when his mother was raped. It matches a pattern rapist. The team are soon led to believe that the rapist is actually Christopher's foster father. He claims he is innocent and so they do a voice test stand up, to see if any of the victims can recognize his voice. Out of the three victims only one of them picks the rapist, Noah. The team try to track down the fourth victim. When his birth mother realises that her son is being raised by her rapist, she declares that she wants him back. We soon learn that the people who have stolen Elliott's credit card was his daughter, Kathleen. He flips when he finds out. Olivia learns that the 4th victim killed herself last year. When the DNA from Noah is run, they learn that it was in fact him he raped his wife before they go together. She didn't even know it was him. She married her own rapist. At the end of the episode we see Olivia with a therapist, talking about when she went undercover and was almost raped. She admits that she's jumpy and she can't sleep.moreless
  • A 7-year-old crashes a van in the opening scenes of "Trials". SVU are called in to figure out if the boy was trying to escape issues at home. Just as B&S decide that the boy's only is ADD, he discloses that his foster parents have been abusing him....moreless

    8.0
    I actually quite liked this episode! It had just the right amount of twists and turns to keep the viewer interested, (the ending, especially, was very unexpected!). The actor who played the 7 year old abuse victim was extremely good - I (like Benson and Staebler) also wanted to throttle him at the start of the episode, but really felt sorry for him by the end. I also liked the scene in the beginning, where B&S's patience with the boy was clearly wearing thin, showing that even they can't be nice, caring and sypathetic to children ALL the time! xxmoreless
  • A 7-year-old crashes a van in the opening scenes of "Trials". SVU are called in to figure out if the boy was trying to escape issues at home. Just as B&S decide that the boy's only issue is ADD, he discloses that his foster parents have been abusing him.moreless

    8.0
    I actually quite liked this episode! It had just the right amount of twists and turns to keep the viewer interested, (the ending, especially, was very unexpected!). The actor who played the 7 year old abuse victim was extremely good - I (like Benson and Staebler) also wanted to throttle him at the start of the episode, but really felt sorry for him by the end. I also liked the scene in the beginning, where B&S's patience with the boy was clearly wearing thin, showing that even they can't be nice, caring and sypathetic to children ALL the time! xxmoreless
Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay

Det. Olivia Benson

Richard Belzer

Richard Belzer

Sgt. John Munch

Ice-T

Ice-T

Det. Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola

Michaela McManus

Michaela McManus

ADA Kim Greylek

Dann Florek

Dann Florek

Capt. Donald Cragen

Christopher Meloni

Christopher Meloni

Det. Elliot Stabler

Jae Head

Jae Head

Christopher Ryan

Guest Star

Mary Beth Evans

Mary Beth Evans

Dr. Eichenberry

Guest Star

Sara Gilbert

Sara Gilbert

Caitlyn Ryan

Guest Star

Allison Siko

Allison Siko

Kathleen Stabler

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • John Munch: Captain, Fin and I are thinkin' of going in on a bar. You wanna buy in?
      Donald Cragen: Well gee, John, I don't know. Let me run it by the guys at my next AA meeting.

    • (Stabler reviews the charges on his stolen credit card.)
      Elliot Stabler: This is weird. These guys usually hit electronics, stuff they can resell. This is all wacky stuff. (reading) Hand-carved African tribal mask.
      Fin Tutuola: What, you consider African art wacky?
      Elliot Stabler: It's wacky when I'm the one paying for it.

    • Donald Cragen: Fin, grab Elliot and go check out the Lydia. (Fin doesn't leave) There a problem?
      Fin Tutuola: You know my beef with Stabler, he's a total head case. I'd rather have any other partner.
      Donald Cragen: It's not lady's choice today, detective. Suck it up, do your job.

    • Elliot Stabler: (discussing Christopher's foster parents) What do they want you to eat?
      Christopher Ryan: The stinky food that they make. They're vegetable-tarians. I hate vegetables. They make me puke. They're torture.

    • Olivia Benson: It happened four months ago. I was, um, working undercover in a prison and... and the male guard tried to rape me. And I was-- I was okay at first, and then-- I've started reliving it. Just feel really jumpy, can't sleep. And I fe-- I feel very out of control. And the thing is, is that I wasn't even raped.
      Dr. Fulton: Olivia, you were sexually assaulted.
      Olivia Benson: He came so close, and there was nothing that I could do to stop him. He had a weapon. And he completely overpowered me. And I never should have let him take me down there, 'cause I know better than that.
      Dr. Fulton: Rape victims often blame themselves. You know how misplaced that blame is.
      Olivia Benson: I know, I know. (puts finger to her forehead) I know that here. I've told that same thing to a lot of women. But now I... I feel... I feel like I don't deserve to be here. I feel like-- I feel like he has-- he stole something from me. And... and I need help dealing with it.

  • NOTES (6)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Czech Republic – October 26, 2010 on TV Nova

    • Although listed in the press release as Kaitlyn Ryan, by the time of broadcast Sara Gilbert's character was Caitlyn Ryan.

    • Crew Transitions: Writer/co-producer Paul Grellong has left the series, and Daniel Truly has joined the writing team as a supervising producer. Director David Platt returns with a bump from producer to co-executive producer.

    • Special billing was given to Sara Gilbert (with) and Luke Perry (and) for this episode.

    • Luke Perry (Noah Sibert) was nominated for the 2009 People's Choice Award for Favorite Scene Stealing Guest Star for his appearance in this episode.

    • Michaela McManus is added to the opening credits. Diane Neal and Adam Beach are removed. The new opening credits are ordered: Christopher Meloni, Mariska Hargitay, Richard Belzer, Ice-T, Michaela McManus, B.D. Wong, Tamara Tunie, and Dann Florek.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • John Munch: You know, if one more person dumps me I'm gonna start taking it personally. Aside from my wives, there was Jeffries, Cassidy, Meldrick, Stan "The Big Man" Bolander...
      Munch references two shows in this list of departed partners and co-workers. Jeffries and Cassidy are Detectives Monique Jeffries and Brian Cassidy from seasons one and two of SVU. Meldrick and Bolander are Detectives Meldrick Lewis and Stan Bolander from his time in the Baltimore Police Department (Homicide: Life on the Street)

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