Law & Order: Special Victims Unit/Wrong Is Right

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Wrong Is Right
Season 2, Episode 1
Airdate October 20, 2000
Production Number E1403
Written by Jeff Eckerle &
David J. Burke
Directed by Ted Kotcheff
← 1x22
Slaves
2x02 →
Honor
Law & Order: Special Victims UnitSeason Two

Wrong Is Right is the first episode of the second season of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and the twenty-third episode overall.

Starring: Christopher Meloni (Detective Elliot Stabler), Mariska Hargitay (Detective Olivia Benson), Richard Belzer (Detective John Munch), Michelle Hurd (Detective Monique Jeffries)

and Dann Florek (Captain Donald Cragen)

Guest Stars: Adam Kaufman (Michael Goren), Stephanie March (A.D.A. Alexandra Cabot), Gerry Bamman (Craig Prince), Isabel Gillies (Kathy Stabler), Erin Broderick (Maureen Stabler), John Driver (Police Commissioner Lyle Morris), Paul Wasilewski (Danny Burrell), Lance Reddick (Dr. Taylor), Nathan J. Wetherington (Jason Sloan)

with J.K. Simmons (Dr. Emil Skoda)

and John Doman (Munch's Informant)

with Laura Regan (Denise), Lauren Kressel (Student #2), Michael X. Martin (Principal Dietz), Christopher Wynkoop (Local Police Officer), Geoffrey C. Ewing (Ralph Noble), Denise Burse (Counselor Scheider), Albert Bigelow (Ryan Witherspoon), Suzanne Grodner (Teacher), Michael Hollick (Coach), T.J. Kenneally (PD Eisendrath), John A. McGinty (Policeman #1), Elizabeth Martin (School Secretary), Curtis Holbrook (Student #1)

Uncredited: Ice-T (Detective Odafin Tutuola)

Contents

Plot Overview

While driving his daughter home from a party on the beach, Stabler comes across a stopped police car and a fire. He rushes to the officers' aid in putting out the fire and they discover a dead man beneath the once flaming blanket. Maureen is also witness to this, something which her father would prefer that she hadn't seen.

Meanwhile, Captain Cragen is dealing with the fallout of the psyche evaluations administered to his unit. As indicated by the interviews, Stabler and Jefferies didn't fare well. Jefferies admitted to sleeping with a man whom she knew was once a suspect in a case after meeting him in a bar and Stabler, ever the angry cop, admitted to fantasies of killing perps. Cragen calls Jefferies into his office and tells her that he's putting her on desk duty for a while to limit her time on the scene. Elliott fairs a bit better, but he's informed that his job is certainly in jeopardy.

Stabler puts this information on the back burner while he, Benson and Munch investigate the crime that he stumbled over the night before. They discover that the man killed frequently argued with his wife to the point that concern was raised from the neighbors (although no one was around to hear any argument when he was killed, if there was one) and that he's the guardian of a high school student named Michael Goran. He's absent but his guidance counselor points Stabler and Benson towards Jason Sloan, a troublemaker who Michael gravitated towards. Jason tells them that he hasn't seen Michael since he stayed over on Saturday to avoid Andrew and that he doesn't know where he is now. He suggests that Michael is involved with a girl who calls him from "somewhere."

Munch, meanwhile, is on the trail of Kroft's employment. He was recently moved to the city working under a national security contract involving guidance systems. They ask for everything related to Kroft, but wind up with a dozen boxes censored without prejudice. Munch supposed that there's something more going on with Craig Prince and calls up his pal at the FBI, who doesn't know anything about Kroft because DOD and NSA have wiped his slate clean because of Kroft's system expertise. Prince, on the other hand, is being investigated for possible bribery.

Cragen, after meeting with the new ADA, believes that he can put some degree in trust in her and asks that Munch and Jefferies get a search warrant for Andrew's workplace. She pulls some strings with her uncle, a judge, and delivers on the warrant. Meanwhile, Stabler and Benson find the Lexus in Poughkeepsie. There's blood in the trunk and, presumably, the murder weapon. The car was left at Michael's girlfriend Denise's house. Benson and Stabler track him down to Denise's high school where he's in the mentoring program. He admits to killing Andrew in a struggle and dumping his body on the beach and is arrested.

But, back at the precinct, Munch won't let go of his theory that this runs deeper than a kid killing his guardian. Benson decides to work with him, despite her skepticism over Munch's theories. They begin to go through the paperwork when Stabler is called away from duty to talk with Dr. Emil Skoda, as part of his follow-up examination. He tells him about how Maureen saw the murder and it got under his skin until he saw that the perp in this case was a model citizen. He goes back to work and tells his partners that he talked too much, but they distract him with a revelation of their own: Andrew Kroft was once George Kacazynski, a convicted sex offender and pedophile from San Diego. They've tracked down his priors, including four convictions. Radio Velocity insists that they didn't erase Kroft's files and that if they knew he was a pedophile, they would have never hired him.

Munch provokes the head of security but backs off after a while. He decides to take another jab at his honor, but at a later date. The first priority is to talk to Michael about who the man really was. Andrew was raised Belgian until he was adopted by Andrew, a friend of his father's, when his parents were killed in a car wreck. Stabler suggests that Andrew assaulted him, but Andrew tells them that he was never abused by Andrew. Stabler, however, is not convinced.

Head of Security Danny Burrell finally talks with Munch and tells him that the red flagging of his profile was temporarily disabled so that he could aid the Pentagon during the Gulf War but that flagging was never reinstated after the war was over. Stabler and Cragen try to use this to get Michael off of the Murder 2 indictment, but because he won't admit to being abused, the indictment sticks. At Stabler's home, Maureen suggests that the reason why Michael isn't talking is because teenagers feel that adults are always judging them. She says that everyone has friends, even someone like Michael.

During the deposition, Cabot gains testimony from an expert from CSU, Stabler and Benson about what has happened in the case. They recap the case to this point until Stabler comes up with a new idea. The two ride up to Poughkeepsie to talk with Denise. She tells them that he was once best friends with a guy named Danny Burrell, but the two had a falling out for reasons that she doesn't know. Danny tells Stabler (with Benson out of earshot) about a time when Andrew attempted to sexually assault him in the bathroom. With this information, Cabot brings it up in court, which leads Michael to admitting, finally, that he's been abused by Andrew since he was eight. But, he didn't shoot him because of Andrew's advances.

He shot him because he wanted to escape from both Andrew and Craig Prince. Prince was involved in Andrew's frequent assaults and may have even killed a boy in Belgium with Andrew. Cabot cuts Michael a deal and Stabler arrests Prince for sodomy and endangerment of a child among other things.

At the newest hearing about Stabler's anger problems, Cragen attests that he is a good cop, but he is faced with the horrors that come naturally to working in SVU. He presents the panel with pictures of victims and tells them that Stabler should be commended for his self-control in these situations. The Morris Commission eventually clears him based on this evidence.

Jefferies, however, doesn't fare as well. Fin Tutuola, a detective from another precinct, has been reassigned to take her job.

Notes

Arc Advancement

Happenings

Characters

  • Stabler: Stabler is cleared by the Morris Commission after he meets with another psychologist and Captain Cragen gives testimony about the stress involved with the cases that SVU takes on.
  • Jefferies: Jefferies, after being seen as a possibly unbalanced person by the Morris Commission is reassigned to desk work out of the field temporarily while she is re-evaluated. She doesn't fare well in this questioning. She is still assigned to desk work when she meets Fin Tutuola, her replacement.

Referbacks

  • 1x22 - Slaves: Much of the internal character drama stems from the previous season finale, in which a forensic psychologist examines all of the SVU squad members and informs Captain Cragen that one of them should be removed from duty. That one, as finally revealed in this episode, turns out to be Monique Jefferies, rather than Elliot Stabler. This is likely because while Stabler's issues were entirely fantasized, Jefferies actually did have sex with a man whom she knew was a suspect in a case.

Trivia

The Show

  • First Appearances: This episode features the first appearances of two cast members who will go on to be long-running billed members of the series. Stephanie March is credited right away as ADA Alexandra Cabot, while Ice-T only briefly cameos as new detective Odafin Tutuola.

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • Jimmy Buffett: When Stabler comes into the office wearing a Hawaiian shirt, Munch makes a snide comment about Jimmy Buffett. Jimmy Buffett is an American singer-songwriter whose songs typically revolve around beaches, tropical islands and laid back parties. His fans, dubbed parrotheads, generally assume the uniform of a Hawaiian shirt and shorts when Buffett plays a concert that they go to see.
Munch: Jimmy Buffett in town?

Memorable Moments

Quotes