‘Law & Order: SVU’ Fall FInale Recap: ‘Depravity Standard’

By Kitin Miranda | 2 years ago
‘Law & Order: SVU’ Fall FInale Recap: ‘Depravity Standard’
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT — “Depravity Standard” — NBC Official Website/Photo by Michael Parmelee/Law & Order:SVU

“Law & Order: SVU” Season 17 Episode 9 “Depravity Standard”  aired on Wednesday, Nov. 18,  2015, at 9:00 p.m. on NBC. In this episode, an old case of Lieutenant Olivia Benson’s (Mariska Hargitay) was revisited as alleged murderer and kidnapper Lewis Hodda (Tom Sizemore) got his day at court once more. However, things did not go as Olivia and Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba (Raul Esparza) planned, and made a shocking discovery about a former colleague of hers. Meanwhile, things were not looking well for Detective Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish), who was in her final stage of her pregnancy. Read on to learn more about this episode.

The episode began with a videotaped confession which Lieutenant Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) had overseen almost three years ago, in which Lewis Hodda (Tom Sizemore) confessed to murdering the young Hector Rodriguez.


The scene then shifted to the Supreme Court, where Hodda, despite having agreed to plead that he was guilty, decided to recant and told the judge that he wasn’t guilty and that Olivia had coerced and threatened a confession out of him. This meant a new trial, and Hodda got a new lawyer in the form of Counselor Lisa Hassler (Robin Weigert).

Meanwhile, Olivia allowed Detective Dominick “Sonny” Carisi, Jr. (Peter Scanavino), who was currently studying law, to shadow Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba (Raul Esparza) on the case.

They then hit a snag on their side after Laurie Colfax (Mili Avital), the mother of one of the survivors in the case, told them that her son wouldn’t testify, leaving them with only one usable case- the death of the young Hector Rodriguez after he disappeared in 1999.

During the trial, Hassler made it seem as if Olivia had coerced a confession out of Hodda. He told the jury that he had been worked for six hours before the taped confession and that Olivia had threatened to brand him as a child molester, which would put a definite target on his back in prison. Hassler also pointed out that Olivia had lied to Hodda about there being witnesses who saw him kidnap the other boys in order to get a confession out of him, but Olivia refuted this by saying that the police were allowed to do this, especially as time was of the essence. Yhey needed to save Laurie Colfax’s little boy, Wyatt, who had gotten kidnapped by Hodda.

Later, while Hodda was on the stand, based on a note from Carisi, Barba mentioned the phrase “little boys,” which seemed to trigger something in Hodda.

However, Hassler turned the tables on them by bringing in Olivia’s former colleague, Dr. Huang (BD Wong), as her expert witness, who noted that Hodda would have said anything at all in order to survive the ordeal of feeling threatened by authority figures such as Barba and Olivia, as Hodda had been abused by his father as a boy.

Hassler then also tried to paint Auxiliary Policeman Stephen Lamotin (Alex Karpovsky) as someone obsessed with Hector as he had done extensive research on the case, and had been first suspected by Olivia’s old colleagues. However, Lamotin had been cleared, especially as he had been the one who had led them to Hodda in the first place.

Jury deliberations then took almost a week, with the jury asking to hear Olivia’s, Huang’s and Hodda’s testimonies again, and as they asked to clarify the definition of a voluntary confession.


As it was taking so long, Hassler went to Barba with a deal that would get Hodda to serve for only eight years in prison.

However, Barba wasn’t fast enough as the jury, before they were able to agree to the deal in front of the judge, finished their deliberations.

As they were deadlocked, the judge ruled it a mistrial.

Later that day, during the memorial service for Hector, Laurie told Dolores Rodriguez (Liza Colon-Zayas) that their family would help them go back to trial again and that Wyatt would testify against Hodda.

Meanwhile, Detective Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) had been admitted to the hospital. After a while, she quickly noticed that something was wrong as her back started to hurt badly. The doctors then ushered Olivia and Carisi out, but not before they discovered that Amanda was haemorrhaging badly.

Do you think that is the last we’ve seen of this case? What do you think will happen to Amanda and the baby? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Photo Source: NBC Official Website/Photo by Michael Parmelee/Law & Order: SVU





About the author

Kitin Miranda enjoys writing, learning new things, telling stories, and doing theater. When she is not busy with her many projects, she can be found reading a good book, writing poetry or fiction, updating her blog, discovering new food places around her neighborhood, or watching American or Asian TV shows.