Law & Order: SVU Recap: December Solstice
“Law & Order: SVU” Season 16 Episode 16 “December Solstice” aired on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015 at 9:00 p.m. on NBC. In this episode, the Special Victims Unit investigated a case in which the daughters of an elderly and dying novelist accused his latest wife of raping him in order to gain a child so that she could control more of his will and estate. Meanwhile, Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba (Raul Esparza) dealt with some family issues as he tried to convince his mother and grandmother that his grandmother would be better taken care of in an assisted living facility. Read on to learn more about this episode.
In the beginning the episode, Sergeant Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) asked Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba (Raul Esparza) if the fact that Johnny D, a pimp that they had just arrested, had fathered Noah had to be disclosed. Olivia had already started the paperwork. Because of Noah’s history, Barba reassured her that nobody needed to know about it.
Afterwards, at The Elysium Club, novelist Walter Briggs (Robert Vaughn) attended a party with his sixth wife, Charmaine Briggs (Marcia Cross). As they left the party, they were approached by his daughters, Delilah Briggs (Susan Pourfar) and Judith Briggs, who wanted to see him. She told him that Charmaine had purposefully made sure that they didn’t. However, he just greeted them and left with Charmaine.
Meanwhile, they went to the precinct. Detective Dominick “Sonny” Carisi, Jr. (Peter Scanavino), a huge fan of Walter, escorted them to Olivia’s office. They claimed that their stepmother was raping their father. According to them, Walter’s longtime housekeeper had told them that Charmaine gave him pills and slept with him every day. It was bad for his preexisting heart condition. They claimed that she wanted to get pregnant with his child so that she would have another share and stake in his will and estate, which was divided between her and the two daughters. They also claimed that their father was too old to consent to this because he has dementia and is almost eighty years old.
Carisi then interviewed the housekeeper. She confirmed that Charmaine gave him pills when he wasn’t looking and knew that it was wrong. Olivia then sent Detective Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) and Carisi to talk to Walter himself. There, Charmaine refused to let them speak separately with Walter, who began to tell them that it was a man’s duty to keep his wife satisfied before he trailed off, as he had forgotten what he had been saying.
Back at the precinct, they informed Barba about the current case. Amanda was called by the housekeeper who told her that Walter had been admitted to the hospital due to a heart attack. Barba then told them to get proof that it was attempted murder or assault before coming back to him. Meanwhile, Detective Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) met up with Delilah, who was at her theater, fixing up the place. She told him that she was a playwright. Judith was currently at court trying to get a court order that would allow them to see their father anytime that they wanted. She then told Nick that they had indeed spoken to Charmaine about their father’s heart condition before.
At the hospital, Olivia and Carisi were surprised to discover that Charmaine had pulled Walter from the hospital against their wishes, as he was currently in a very fragile shape. According to the doctor, she had placed him inside a private ambulance. She told them that she was going to bring him to a different hospital. Afterwards, his daughters were surprised to hear what had happened. They were there as they finally had gotten their court order to see their father no matter what.
Later, Olivia informed Barba that they couldn’t Walter at any hospital in the city and that the rape and assault charges against her were still under investigation. Barba believed that their case was thing, but allowed them to keep on investigating the case. After they had left, he received a phone call from his mother. He asked her how his grandmother, his Abuelita, was doing.
Meanwhile, Amanda managed to track down the driver of the private ambulance. He told her that Charmaine, after he refused to bring them to an airport in Westchester so that they could go to Canada, had pulled Walter out and had hailed a cab in the middle of the street. Nick and Carisi then managed to locate the hangar. He told them that they couldn’t leave. At the local courthouse, Nick and Carisi informed the judge that he had just had a heart attack. It was due to the fact that his wife overdosed him on erectile dysfunction pills and was currently not mentally competent. Added to that, his daughters moved to claim guardianship of their father over Charmaine. Judith then proved that he wasn’t that sane anymore by asking her father what their names were. After quite a time, he finally remembered. This made the judge believes that he wasn’t competent to make sound decisions. He ordered to move him back to a hospital and that his daughters could see him whenever they wanted to. He then told Carisi that he couldn’t understand why he was being shuttled around back and forth by women.
Meanwhile, Barba helped his mother, Lucia Barba (Mercedes Ruehl) go up the stairs with the groceries meant for his Abuelita. He didn’t understand why his grandmother refused to go to rehab, and why his mother insisted on taking care of her. It was even if it meant that she would have to resign from her job at a charter school. They then entered and visited Abuelita.
Meanwhile, back at the precinct, they learned that Walter had died of a heart attack. Nick and Carisi stopped Charmaine from taking the body away so that he could be examined by their own medical examiner. At the morgue, they discovered that Charmaine had called a private company. It was after he had died in order to collect his sperm so that she could still have his baby. Because of this, Barba decided that Carisi was right in saying that Charmaine had indeed killed Walter Briggs.
At the arraignment hearing the judge issued a plea of not guilty. He posted bail set at one hundred grand. However, as soon as Barba left the courtroom, he was approached by his mother. She left after promising him that she would think about what he had told her. She also told Olivia that her son had told her that she drove him crazy.
After the hearing, Charmaine was hounded by reporters. All sorts of headlines came out in the papers which made Carisi mad.
At court, the next day, Walter’s long-time housekeeper testified that she knew what the pills Charmaine gave Walter were for. She told them that Charmaine would slip the mashed up pills into his orange juice. He wasn’t looking and that she had told Delilah as she had practically raised her. However, Charmaine’s lawyer used that fact to her advantage. He told the housekeeper that since she wasn’t fond of Charmaine, she had unwittingly given Delilah something to put against her stepmother.
Their next witness was the doctor in charge of Walter. He told Barba that what Charmaine did. They pulled Walter out of the hospital and made him go through everything. It had definitely caused a lot of stress on his already fragile health. Charmaine’s lawyer then proved that any activity could have caused him to get a heart attack. Barba managed to establish that what she had done was more dangerous to him than any other ordinary activity.
Afterwards, Barba brought his mother and Abuelita to an excellent assisted living facility where she could stay at. She could get more care as there would be nurses and doctors who would be able to take care of her if ever she fell again. However, she didn’t like it, and told him to leave to help somebody else, as he was due back in court.
Back in court, Delilah testified and told them about the day that her father had been pulled out of the hospital. He established the fact that Charmaine had done this after learning that Judith and Delilah had gotten the court order. However, they were all interrupted after Charmaine, Judith and Delilah all got a video message from Walter. Apparently this video message had been recorded three years ago by a company that sends these messages to a deceased’s loved ones after they died. In the video, Walter informed them that his daughters were rude to Charmaine as their mothers had turned them against her. At court, Charmaine’s lawyer established and confirmed that Delilah’s mother had been thrown out of a window by Walter. Walter then continued to say that Delilah didn’t speak to him until she wrote a horrible adaptation of his book, “The Fifth Assailant.” Then, they started trying to see him and pester him about the rights for it, which he refused to give. Because of that, he opted not to see Delilah anymore, despite the fact that Charmaine had insisted that he should still see his daughters.
Later, Charmaine told the court that she was going to bring him to a lake in Quebec as he had wanted to die in peace. She had given him the pills because she knew that he was proud and wanted to still feel like he was doing his manly duty. She then told the court that she wanted to have his child so that she and the world could still have another piece of him, as she loved him very much. However, Barba insisted that she had lied about where she was taking him and that by removing him from the hospital, she had actually caused him to die sooner. Charmaine’s lawyer then told the judge that Judith Briggs was going to testify for the defense, and the judge gave them an hour to prepare.
In an empty courtroom, Judith told Delilah that she was testifying because she finally understood everything. She told Barba that she was going to tell the court that Delilah had lied to her about the fact that their father refused to see them because of Charmaine, when it was really just about the play. Delilah then told them that Walter refused to give her the rights because she was a woman. Judith then told them to stop fighting because she knew that their father wouldn’t be pleased at what was happening at the moment. Charmaine then agreed to do one year on probation on the condition that Delilah would never get the rights to “The Fifth Assailant.” After Judith voted for her stepmother, Delilah told them that she would take them to court. However, Charmaine told them that it wouldn’t happen because she now had a third vote as she now has Walter’s child via a surrogate mother.
Back at the precinct, Carisi was still sad about the outcome, and went over to Walter’s house where Judith was collecting his things. Judith then gave him an autographed first edition copy of “The Fifth Assailant” and told him that she wished that he had known her father while he was still alive. However, he assured her that he did now him thanks to his books.
Meanwhile, back at the precinct, Olivia asked about his grandmother, and told him that he was a good grandson. However, he disagreed and told her that he was “overcompensating.” Afterwards, he rushed to his grandmother’s apartment building, as he had just learned that his grandmother had died on her bed. His mother blamed herself for not quitting her job. Barba told her that it was his fault because he had brought up the assisted living facility and assured his mother that Abuelita had gotten her wish- the she had died in her own home.
And that was all for the recap on “Law & Order: SVU” Season 16 Episode 16 “December Solstice”. For more news, updates and recaps on “Law & Order: SVU” and other television shows, keep on following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch “Law & Order: SVU” every Wednesday night at 9:00 p.m. on NBC.
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