A man traipses through Central Park with his foster son, who gripes about it, but since this is a trip to recover a dead dog, I kind of sympathize. Instead, they find two dead bodies. The maggots weren't really conducive to helping me keep down my supper.
Olivia's there solo (as in without Elliot) getting the dirty details from Warner, who says there are multiple ligatures, and electrical burns on the victim's areolae and labia. Special Agent Lauren Cooper (played by Erika Christensen) from the FBI's behaviour analysis unit shows up, because this body matches the profile of a guy she's hunting: the Woodsman. Likes to put a bucket over victims' heads and drown them. The male victim, dead of a gunshot wound, likely stumbled upon the killer with the body. She's been dead for some time, he's been dead less than twelve hours. One more thing: the killer likes to watch the scene from above. Why? "He's God." Kind of hard to handcuff God. Too bad Elliot's off this week.
Meloni and Ice-T have the week off, or, as they say at SVU, they're in "Montreal on an extradition." This leaves Olivia and Lauren free to have a sexy-off. Lauren outlines the Woodsman details: sexual sadist; kills, body dumps, and poses them. Twenty-four victims. He strangles and revives, rapes with foreign objects, burns genitalia. Some of the victim timelines overlap, which makes them think he likes to have one victim watch another. Olivia gets all het up because Lauren should have mentioned the possibility that there's another victim out there, but Lauren says he's not predictable. Huang says the email doesn't square with the Woodsman's profile (dumping the bodies means he thinks of them as garbage, but sending an email to lead the authorities to the bodies suggests empathy or even remorse), but Cooper chalks that up to a sexual sadist "evolving."
Two possible matches are identified for the dead Jane Doe: one is Bunny Jones. "Prostitute," says Huang knowingly. Well, not technically. She's an exotic dancer, reported missing by her pimp/boss, Lavender.
At the club, Lauren and Olivia find out it's pronounced "La-VAN-der": "Do I look like a damn flower to you?" And Bunny Jones ain't missing any longer; she's right over there. Lauren gets pissed that he didn't cancel the missing report, and he tries to soothe her by offering her some alone time with Bunny so she can get her freak on. For his offer, he almost gets his arm ripped out of his socket.
Outside, Lauren chides herself for being unprofessional, and gets a mini-scolding from Olivia, who nevertheless adds that it's nice to know Lauren's human. Lauren says detachment gets drummed into them from day one. Olivia's all, "Join the club!" and then admits that it doesn't always take, especially when there are kids involved. Meanwhile, the victim has been identified as the other missing person: Kate Barrow.