Done and done! Elliot's got some shark lawyer who I guess he's clashed with in the past, but I don't remember her. Anyway, she's the best! Elliot wonders about returning the pendant to the Fosters, which the lawyer advises against, as it'll give the Fosters the evidence they need. As she goes in Kathleen's room to talk to her, Olivia shows up with a couple of the DA's detectives in tow, just making sure everything's copacetic, I suppose? Unfortunately for Elliot, Kathleen wigs out because "this bitch is trying to lock me up!" she screams. She then proceeds to flirt with the DA detectives and exercise her right (she's 19) not to be committed -- whereupon the DA detectives arrest her. Olivia promises Elliot she'll stay with Kathleen as along as she can. Oh, great -- Liv's going to prison undercover again!
Back at the lawyer's office, she outlines for Elliot and Kathy that if Kathleen refuses to admit she's bipolar -- even in the face of compelling evidence like her serenading the hookers in Rikers with "I Will Survive" -- then the psych defense is out. But there are options, like suggesting Mr. Foster met Kathleen while at the party to complain about the noise, then took her back to his place, and concocted the break-in story when his wife caught them. Kathleen's horrified that the lawyer wants to lie, but Elliot's all, "Hey, we don't know what happened." As for the lawyer: "I don't want the truth, I just want a plausible story to give the jury reasonable doubt," she says. The only other option apart from Kathleen admitting to mental illness is demonstrating family history of it. Elliot's all, "I believe seasons one through nine of Special Victims Unit are available for your viewing pleasure."
So in a nice beachfront cottage we meet Mama Stabler, played by Ellen Burstyn. Oh, that's Ellen Burstyn. I saw her name in the credits and I've been picturing Ellen Barkin this whole time. She's excited to see Elliot, because it's been, apparently, at least a couple of years. So -- not close, are we? He eventually breaks the news about Kathleen, and tiptoes around why he needs his mom's help. Like, "Remember the time you tried to hitchhike in your slip to meet Georgia O'Keefe? Or tried to buy plane tickets with a Macy's card?" These are episodes the increasingly agitated Mama Stabler chalks up to high-spiritedness and creativity, but Elliot keeps pushing, and she yells, "Just go tell the judge that your mother's nuttier than a fruitcake!" She stomps off onto the beach, saying she needs some air. Hey, where did we see that before?