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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit recap: the team handles a wild Mother’s Day

Law & Order SVU
Stabler (Christopher Meloni) meets Noah (Ryan Buggle) with Benson (Mariska Hargitay) on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Pic credit: NBC

It wasn’t a happy Mother’s Day for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

After a hard case involving the return of Captain Garland and Benson clashing with another cop, the SVU team had to track down a kidnapped girl, leading to a dark predator.

It also had a huge personal moment for Benson, as well as an ending setting up the crossover with Law & Order: Organized Crime to make Did You Believe in Miracles a dramatic hour for the show.

A disappearance leads to a dark tale

The story opened with Benson enjoying a video of Noah dancing. She was surprised at him taking his tablet back, claiming he was working on a Mother’s Day surprise.

At Hester Academy, a teacher enjoyed a kid’s drawings as he claimed his sister, Elizabeth, was “gone far away with Luke.” However, the teacher was concerned by the boy, saying he didn’t think she was ever coming back, to call the cops.

Claire Lee (Virginia Kull) and her husband, Paul (Reggie Lee), claimed this was a misunderstanding and Beth was with their church group building homes upstate. They insisted nothing was wrong as they gave the number to Luke.

However, the number was a burner, so Rollins and Fin headed upstate to meet workers, who said Luke had called to say they were delayed coming up. The cops mused something was wrong.

There were no reports of any accidents as the Lees kept trying to reach Luke, who they trusted as a member of their church. Paul admitted he was so busy with work that he didn’t pay too much attention and worried he’d made a mistake trusting the wrong person.

Hasim Khaldun helped the squad out as Benson showed a video of Beth (Isabella Russo) with Luke (Alexander Koch), who seemed a bit close playing guitar with her. 

Rollins and Khaldun talked to Pastor Daniel Adams (Paris Remillard) and his wife, Molly (Mary Neely), who praised Luke’s work while admitting that Luke was actually Nick Pearce, son of a wealthy New York family who’d fallen off the radar. 

The Lees were shocked and worried, with Paul eager to find him, but Claire couldn’t believe Nick would hurt Beth. She admitted that she and Nick were “very much in love.”

A dark ‘romance’ is exposed

The team figured Nick had seduced Claire to get closer to Beth but came up short trying to find any clues. They tracked down an ex-girlfriend who related she was worried Nick was dating her to get to her daughter to call it off. She shared how Nick had shown maps to a cabin upstate.

Paul was still upset about his wife’s affair, as he asked the cops to bring his daughter home. With the local police, SVU raided the cabin, finding Beth hugging Nick even as he was arrested. She claimed she was “home” and cried when they pulled her away from him that “this is God’s will.”

At the hospital, Beth refused both a pregnancy and rape test as the Lees were too busy arguing over this, with Claire still refusing to believe Nick was that bad of a guy. She even quoted the “God’s will” line.

Nick made the whole thing sound like he’d been “chosen” to begin a new church while his lawyer argued that without Beth’s complaint, there was no case.

Rollins gave Benson the room to talk to Beth, discussing women in the Bible as Beth claimed she was still “pure.” The girl was brainwashed into thinking God chose her and Nick for a new life. 

While there was evidence the pair were going to live together at the cabin, it didn’t seem they had sex. Nick pled not guilty with his lawyer, Richard Pace (J.C. MacKenzie), bringing up it was Beth’s own choice. He then blamed the Lees for pushing Nick into this, including Paul making “deviant acts” that had Paul snapping in court. 

Claire was shocked while Carisi talked to Paul, who related that he and Nick had a drunken hookup. Claire had known about it but was in denial. Carisi groaned on how bad this looked for the case. 

The team figured Nick was smart to seduce both parents to use as blackmail just in case he was caught. Sure enough, he and Pace were ready to plead this down as Nick actually wanted to marry Beth, which even Pace couldn’t believe.

Nick made himself look like the good guy trying to “save” Beth from an obviously troubled home, which Carisi realized could make a jury think he was crazy and thus not guilty.

A wild turn and a big reunion

Rollins and Khaldun had a brief talk about Rollins’ family, with Khaldun bringing up Carisi and Murphy. They were interrupted by a message Beth had gone missing again. 

The team found messages with Beth believing she and Nick were getting married by a bridge. They tracked them down to the Brooklyn Bridge, where they were exchanging vows, Beth announcing she was pregnant. 

The Lees were horrified by this, Claire finally accepting what kind of person Luke was. She talked to Beth alone, offering to give consent to marry Luke, which was to trick Beth into getting a hospital checkup.

Beth was pregnant, meaning Nick was guilty of statutory rape, and his lawyer wouldn’t want this to go to trial. The Lees knew Beth would be upset over being tricked but would raise the child as their own and prayed one day their daughter would forgive them. 

At a cafe, Benson was overjoyed at Noah’s Mother’s Day surprise: a framed photo collage of them together. On their way out, they ran into Stabler, who was on his way to visit Kathy’s grave before lunch with his own mother.

Stabler was happy to finally meet Noah and see Benson as a mom. Just as they parted, Benson got an Amber alert on her phone to tell Stabler a cop’s daughter had been abducted…the cop being Jessie Santos, an arrested member of the Brotherhood.

That concluded the SVU portion of the story to lead right into Law & Order: Organized Crime, as this complicated case just led to a bigger one.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 23 airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC.

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