We open with a shower scene and some SVU misdirection. Look out, mystery showerer! You're totally going to get raped by that guy! Only it turns out that shower woman is an intruder, and she runs off, wearing only the shower curtain.
Which means she left her clothes behind, and her identification. It's Kathleen, Elliott's daughter, and Olivia gets to break the news to him. Oh, no -- he's not going to be able to do anything, since he's suspended, and -- wait, what's that? Suspension all resolved between episodes? Oh. OK, then.
Anyway, Kathleen was at a house party next door with other Hudson University students, and the detectives find her in a park, still wrapped up in the shower curtain, totally high. She tries the, "oh my god, can you believe this happened to me on the first and only time I've ever done drugs?" routine, which works as well as it can when Daddy wants to believe it. Stabler winds up getting a different story from Kathleen's roommate, who says Kathleen is high all the time and constantly bringing men home with her, at least when she comes home. Elliot weasels Kathleen's drug connection out of the roommate, and the source is a stereotypical goth type. Elliott shakes her down and finds drugs in her backpack. He arrests her, and it turns out she's an undercover drug agent. She says she wasn't targeting Kathleen, but Kathleen does more drugs than entire wings at some old folks' homes.
Kathleen runs off, and the agent/lead singer of Evanescence points them to an abandoned laundromat, where Elliot finds her unconscious in her bra and panties, under some skid. She's self-medicating because she's bipolar, say the doctors, but Kathleen refuses to admit there's anything wrong with her, which poses a problem for the high-powered defense attorney Elliott hires. If they're going to make a case, they need to prove family history of craziness. Enter Ellen Burstyn, playing Elliott's mother, whose mental illness made for a horrifying upbringing for Elliott. Apparently, this one time? She was in a snowstorm and was chasing snowflakes. Which doesn't sound so bad, except for the fact she was chasing them with her CAR. With Elliott in the back seat, and he wound up with a broken arm. So YEAH, maybe there's some bipolar family history. Sure, everything looks bad when you remember it.
Olivia tries to get Elliott's mama to talk some sense into Kathleen, and she succeeds, except for the fact Elliot, unbeknownst to everybody else, has returned the diamond pendant Kathleen stole to the owners, effectively convicting her. Kathleen pleads guilty to a misdemeanor. They tried to make her go to rehab, she says yes, yes, yes.
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A woman is showering and singing, in a sweet voice, a shanty called "The Keeper of the Eddystone Light." It's about, as far as I can tell, giving birth to porpoises. Showering woman is brought to you in Victim-Cam, and as she turns around in the shower, we can see she's wearing a diamond pendant. We also see someone open the bathroom door and creep in, carrying a club. When he starts yelling "Get out of my house!" and swinging at the showerer, we realize two things: One, is that the bathing beauty is the intruder here, and two, the director of this episode would like to let it be known that he is a big fan of Psycho.
While the showering woman freaks out and falls out of the shower, ripping the curtain from the rod, the man starts yelling, "Rhonda! Call 911! Tell them we have an intruder!" He didn't call 911 already? He went creeping into the bathroom and is only now calling for backup now he's found out the intruder is a naked woman singing old-timey shanties? While he's distracted, the woman climbs out the window, which only enrages him, because dammit! That's his shower curtain!
"This crazy bitch terrified my family. I want her arrested now," the man tells Olivia, in the officious douchebag way that some men have. What a relief for Olivia to get some direction, because I don't imagine she realized her job involves arresting people. She tells buddy of the necessity to find the shanty-singing shower scamp first, and buddy's wife figures it can't be THAT hard to find a shower-curtain-clad woman who left her ID behind.
This is when Elliot shows up, grumbling about having to show up on scene for a "naked whackjob in the shower." Yeah, dammit! If Elliot's going to move his ass, can't somebody have the common courtesy to at least get herself raped? Also, I GUESS HIS SUSPENSION HAS BEEN LIFTED. Can't have a plotline carry over from another episode, can we? Olivia tells Elliot she called him, and he sarcastically asks if her "Spidey-sense" tells her this woman is a rape victim. "It's your daughter," says Olivia, and she holds up the evidence bag containing the showerer's ID: Kathleen Stabler's driver's license. "Kathleen," says Elliot softly. Goddammit. I have a daughter! I don't need another episode of this! We just had Elliot's kid on a child porn site! I DON'T NEED THIS!
But let's not worry too much, because in reruns in syndication, no one will ever be reminded of Elliot's suspension. Olivia weakly tries to tell Elliot that he can't investigate this case, and Elliot ignores her and says he's not letting the precinct squad do it. He's going to find Kathleen. And he's going to start by asking the homeowners leading questions to try to establish some sort of connection between them and Kathleen, whom they insist they've never seen before. "Maybe you don't realize from where. Do either of you work at Hudson University?" he asks. The man says no, but their next-door neighbor has a son who goes there, and he had a party tonight. While Olivia goes to talk to the neighbors (is she really going to leave Elliot alone here?), Stabler's all, "Awesome, case closed! This was obviously just a harmless prank!" The man's all, "Nuh-uh. She broke into our house, she stripped naked and she took a shower." So, okay, the foundation of 60% of the submissions to Penthouse Letters, then. The wife is upset too, since their baby was in the next room and could have been hurt. By showering? "Yeah, but there's no reason to believe that this woman is dangerous," says Elliot, suspiciously enough that the husband asks for his name and badge number. Elliot introduces himself as "Detective Stabler," so the husband's all, "Oh, I see," and accuses Elliot of trying to cover it up. Elliot says his daughter would never hurt anyone, but husband kicks him out of the house anyway. Elliot, surprisingly wisely, leaves.