At the cop shop, Munch is slumped face-down on his desk while static snow plays on the TV/VCR. Dude, I know how he feels. ["Mmmmnpsfffblt." -- Sars] "You still here?" asks Cragen. Munch lifts his head: "Yeah." Cragen asks if he can sleep. "When I close my eyes I see those tapes, every frame," says Munch. It must be like when I close my eyes and I see Dawnie, and Sam, and Jesse's freakish up-dos. But, look, I'm not ready to talk about it yet, okay? "Go home, John," Cragen tells him. Munch snorts: "Back to dead people. Back to Homicide. It's much more clear cut, simple." And CANCELLED. "Back to photographs," says Cragen, "bodies bent, broken." Munch: "Bodies that don't talk back at you, look at you." Cragen pointed out that Munch retired in Baltimore but a few months later found himself with the SVU. "This time I'll do a better job of quitting," says Munch. "Oh yeah, running's good," quips Cragen. Munch sighs, "I don't need this." Uh, yeah you do, because The Beat just got cancelled, too, pal. "Go home," says Cragen. "Take care of yourself." Munch sighs again. "I got two more tapes to watch."
At the Stabler Than Thou Household, Stabler and Dickie and Darling Daughter #3 are reading "Twas the night before Christmas" aloud. "Are our stockings going to be filled tonight?" asks Dickie. Stabler is trying to explain that Christmas comes just once a year, "and now it's February." Ooh, but every night with Big Daddy Stabler is Christmas! I'd like to get his stocking stuffer. Oh man, I'm going to hell for thinking dirty thoughts in front of his kids. Just then his pager goes off. "Give me the phone, honey," he says to Darling Daughter #3, dialing while the rugrats still cling to him and beg for presents. Apparently Evan paged him and he's upset about something. "Just stay right there, and I'll be there as soon as I can," Stabler says.
And he goes chung-chung! over to Pauly's Diner. "My mom threw me out," says Evan. "She said she didn't want some faggot living at her place. I didn't know who else to call." "It's okay," says Stabler. "I wish everything wasn't always 'okay,'" complains Evan. Stabler asks how his dishwashing job is going. "The water cracks my hands," says Evan. "So you quit?" asks Stabler. Evan admits he was fired. Neither one of them says anything for a minute, and finally Evan says, "I think I want to testify." Stabler nods. "That's good. Real good." Evan thinks for a moment. "You think I'm gay?" he asks Stabler. "I don't know," says Stabler. "It's not for me to say." Evan says he's never had a girlfriend. "Well, maybe you don't know yet. It's not something you choose. Besides, there's a big difference between homosexuality and pedophilia," says Stabler. "Which is what?" asks Evan. "Which is . . . homosexuality is none of my business," Stabler answers. "What was done to you --" "I was forced," says Evan. "Is that what you're trying to say?" "Yeah," says Stabler. "Only, um . . . why didn't you stop taking those lessons?" "I didn't think I had any choice," says Evan. Stabler lets this sink in. "Well, whatever person you choose should be your choice. And my guess is, when you're ready to see someone that way, you will. It'll mean something to you, it'll come from you, and it won't be about what was done to you." "And it won't be my fault?" Evan wonders. "Fault?" Stabler shakes his head. "It's supposed to be about love." Evan looks at him and nods slowly. Um, Stabler? We all choose you. You rock.