Law & Order: SVU Recap: Surrendering Noah

By Kitin Miranda | 1 year ago

Law & Order: SVU” Season 16 Episode 23 “Surrendering Noah” aired last Wednesday, May 20, 2015, at 9:00 p.m. on NBC. In the season finale, the Special Victims Unit and Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba (Raul Esparza) geared up for the trial of Johnny “Johnny D” Drake (Charles Harford). However, things became complicated after Johnny D discovers that little Noah was his biological son, which caused complications for Sergeant Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), who was completing the process of adopting Noah. In the end, a surprising turn of events caused one of their own to be caught in the crosshairs during the trial. Read on to learn more about this episode.

The episode began with the Social Services worker inspecting Sergeant Olivia Benson’s (Mariska Hargitay) as part of the final processes in Olivia’s adoption of Noah Porter. After she approved everything, Olivia’s lawyer then told her that their next step was to wait for a judge to sign off the adoption. Olivia then disclosed to her and Noah’s lawyer that the biological father of Noah, which she had learned of while the adoption process was underway, was a criminal named Johnny “Johnny D” Drake (Charles Harford).


At the Special Victims Unit, Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba informed the team that he needed them to vet and prepare the witnesses for the trial against Johnny D which was coming up soon. Olivia told them that she had to testify, and even though Barba told her that she wasn’t obligated to say that Johnny D was Noah’s father, she insisted on doing so as she didn’t want her relationship with Noah to be based on a falsehood. Later, Detective Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) informed Olivia that since Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola (Ice T) didn’t want to become Olivia’s “number two” if she was bumped up to become lieutenant so that she could head the department, then he would try for it instead.

Meanwhile, in prison, Johnny D’s lawyer, Evan Braun (Michael Kostroff) told Johnny D about the existence of his son with Ellie Porter, one of his past victims, and they both filed a motion to have the charges against him dropped as he implied that Olivia, the lead detective in Johnny D’s case, had vested interest in seeing that Johnny D  go away for life.

Later, Internal Affairs Detective Ed Tucker (Robert John Burke) told Olivia that they had cleared her of any liabilities when it came to Johnny D and Noah and told her that the department itself would never promote Nick because of past incidents with his temper. Later, Olivia apologized to Nick after telling him not to take the exam anymore.

Meanwhile, Braun met with Barba, who later told Olivia that they had offered a deal that he would go away for three to five years, or ten, and waive all rights he had over Noah. Olivia then refused even if it met that Johnny D could appeal for parental rights and court mandated visitation.

The judge then threw out the motions of Johnny D, which caused the team to prepare all their witnesses for the upcoming trial, including Timmer (Jas Anderson), a pimp, and Selena Cruz (Laura Gomez), who used to work for Johnny D.

Olivia then gave her testimony, but Braun managed to get under skin, after he implied that Olivia had a personal vendetta against Johnny D. Afterwards, the team decided to transport Timmer and Selena as Barba moved their appearance to the next day instead of the medical examiner. However, Selena managed to kill Timmer with a blade that was slipped to her by one of the officers in charge of the transport, as she was dating one of Johnny D’s pimps.

They then put Pilar Morenas (Jamila Velazquez) on the stand, but she changed her story and said that Johnny D hadn’t done anything wrong to her. Because of this, Olivia went to Ariel Thornhill (Danika Yarosh) and the other girls and encouraged them to say the truth the next day on the witness stand which they did. However, while Ariel was being cross examined by Braun, Pilar and the other girls shouted from the gallery that Ariel and the other girls were lying.

As the judge tried to regain order in the court, Johnny D flipped the defense’s table, took an officer’s gun and held her hostage and ran out. He was then pursued by Nick, who killed him after Johnny D shot his hostage. Nick was then rushed to surgery as Johnny D’s shots had hit his liver and knee.

Two weeks later, the family court judge signed off on the adoption of Noah Porter Benson. At home, the entire team, including Barba, gathered together to celebrate.


At the celebration, Nick told Olivia that he would be moving to California as there was no more room him to grow in New York and because his two children were in California as well. Olivia then thanked him and told him that he, as her partner, had helped her grow a lot and promised that they would always be friends.

Afterwards, they all toasted to family.

And that was all for the recap of “Law & Order: SVU” Season 16 Episode 23  “Surrendering Noah.” For more news, updates and recaps on television shows, keep on following Movie News Guide (MNG).

Catch an all new season of “Law & Order: SVU”  when it returns for a seventeenth season this fall on Wednesdays at 9:00 PM on NBC.

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