LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT {LAW AND ORDER: SVU}: VULNERABLE (TV)

Summary

One in this series of police dramas—a spin-off of "Law & Order"—about the sexual crimes investigated by the elite Special Victims Unit of the New York Police Department. In this episode, an elderly lady breaks into an apartment, looking for her old friend. When the police arrive, the woman implies that she was sexually assaulted, and Olivia finds burns on her skin. At the hospital, the doctor guesses that she has Alzheimer’s, and when they question her, she is unable to tell them her name, but describes being raped by someone she knows. They investigate the former tenants of the apartment and figure out that the woman is named Bess Sherman, and that she often used to stay with her friend, who lived in the apartment, because she was being molested by her uncle, who lived with her. They realize that her recent attack triggered memories of her childhood assault, and struggle to discover who has hurt her. Upon learning that she lives at a nursing home, Jubilee Towers, they question the woman in charge, Hope Garrett, who says that Bess was released to the care of her son, Joe. When they investigate his home, however, it seems that he has been taking poor care of her and using her money for himself. He denies burning her, but they freeze her bank accounts and get a protective order for her, sending her back to Jubilee Towers.

The detectives learn from the housekeeper that Joe had a party recently, around the time Bess was burned, and Munch and Fin search the trash, finding many cigarette butts. They find prints on several of the cigarettes and look for someone against whom to test them. The other guests reveal that Joe frequently attempts get-rich-quick schemes and has essentially been stealing from his mother to finance his ventures. He continues to deny hurting her, however, and says that his son and a friend were at the party as well. They question the grandson, who says that he would never hurt his grandmother, and also reveals that the friend, Hal, works at Jubilee Towers as a nurse’s aide. When they go to talk to him, they find that he has a very poor bedside manner and has received several complaints, but Hope dismisses them, saying the residents are often confused. They interview several patients, but cannot get a reliable witness, and Hal denies hurting Bess. The investigation turns up a former wrongful-death lawsuit against Jubilee Towers, in which both Hal and Bess were accused, and Warner examines the body and finds a suspicious pinprick in the arm. Hope explains that grieving families want someone to blame for the death and occasionally sue unfairly, and the evidence mounts against Hal.

A short time later, Bess codes and is saved by Hope, who frantically tells Olivia and Elliot that she fired Hal and then saw him leaving Bess’ room right before she almost died. Olivia notices the same suspicious needle mark in Bess’ arm. They bring Hal into the precinct and say that his prints match the ones on the cigarettes that burned Bess, and he eventually confesses that he hurt her in anger over money. He staunchly denies going near her earlier that day, however, and the computers back up his story. They realize that Hope must have been lying about seeing him there, and when they investigate her further, they learn that she has “saved” several patients from the brink of death under suspicious circumstances. After making sure that Bess’ son will no longer exploit her senility and her money, they look into Hope’s background and Olivia concludes that she is a “complete wacko” who deliberately harms patients and then brings them back so she will be seen as a hero. Dr. Huang examines her past patients’ files and theorizes that she gives her patients shots of epinephrine, which causes them to have heart attack-like symptoms, and then revives them, although she has failed to save someone at least once before. They also find that she was previously a nurse, but that her license was revoked for “gross negligence,” and they hurry to arrest her. At the nursing home, the detectives inform her that her fingerprints were found on used syringes, proving that she injected Bess. At the trial, Warner explains that she found suspicious potassium in several of Hope’s former deceased patients, implying that she has killed many other people before. As she is dragged from the courtroom, Hope angrily protests that she has saved many lives and was just assisting those who were already close to death. Commercials deleted.

Details

  • NETWORK: NBC
  • DATE: October 11, 2002 10:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:42:44
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: B:76364
  • GENRE: Drama, police/detective
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Drama, legal
  • SERIES RUN: NBC - TV series, 1999-
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Peter Jankowski … Executive Producer
    • Neal Baer … Executive Producer
    • Ted Kotcheff … Executive Producer
    • Dick Wolf … Executive Producer, Created by
    • Arthur W. Forney … Co-Executive Producer
    • Judith McCreary … Co-Executive Producer
    • Roz Weinman … Supervising Producer
    • Patrick Harbinson … Supervising Producer
    • Lisa Marie Petersen … Supervising Producer, Writer
    • Dawn DeNoon … Supervising Producer, Writer
    • Randy Roberts … Producer
    • Jonathan Greene … Producer
    • Robert F. Campbell … Producer
    • David DeClerque … Producer
    • Peter Leto … Co-Producer
    • Michele Fazekas … Co-Producer
    • Tara Butters … Co-Producer
    • Sheyna Kathleen Smith … Associate Producer
    • Juan J. Campanella … Director
    • Mike Post … Music by
    • Christopher Meloni … Cast, Detective Elliot Stabler
    • Mariska Hargitay … Cast, Detective Olivia Benson
    • Richard Belzer … Cast, Detective John Munch
    • Stephanie March … Cast, A.D.A. Alexandra Cabot
    • Ice-T … Cast, Detective Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola
    • B.D. Wong … Cast, Dr. George Huang
    • Dann Florek … Cast, Captain Donald Cragen
    • Mary Kay Place … Cast, Hope Garrett
    • Andy Powers … Cast, Hal Shipley
    • Georgine Hall … Cast, Millie
    • Tamara Tunie … Cast, Dr. Melinda Warner
    • Tom O'Rourke … Cast, Judge Mark Seligman
    • Sean Grennan … Cast, Wilkins
    • Jay Thomas … Cast, Joe Sherman
    • Jane Powell … Cast, Bess Sherman
    • Elaine Kussack … Cast, Lois
    • Leo Lyden … Cast, Mr. Leonard
    • Marilyn Raphael … Cast, Darlene
    • Arthur French … Cast, Mr. Jackson
    • Lou Martini, Jr. … Cast, Building Super
    • Ryan Patrick Bachand … Cast, Andy Sherman
    • Natalie Toro … Cast, Housekeeper Maria
    • Patricia R. Floyd … Cast, LPN Helen Loy
    • Gary Cowling … Cast, Archivist
    • Juliet Pritner … Cast, Officer Karen Gongola
    • Rosalyn Coleman … Cast, Gloria Padilla
    • Robert Donley Kelly … Cast, Armando Padilla
    • Robert Hock … Cast, Mr. Hamrick
    • Jason Weinberg … Cast, Hope's Attorney
    • Magaly Colimon … Cast, Dr. Erica Olsen
    • Angela Pierce … Cast, Nurse Jones
    • Iris Flick … Cast, Nurse Whetzel
    • Cristina L. Fadale … Cast, Secretary
    • Valerie Geffner … Cast