"Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" Season 16 Episode 4 "Holden's Manifesto" aired last Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, at 9:00 p.m. on NBC. In this episode, the team raced against time as they tried to stop Holden March (John Karna), a young man who wants revenge against all the women who had rejected him in his life, as his rampage escalated much more quickly than they expected. Read on for the full recap below.
The episode opened with a video that Holden March (John Karna) took, in which he said that it was not fair that all the pretty women in the park were having dates, except for him. He found it unfair that he was all alone.
Sergeant Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) was at the hospital with baby Noah, whose fever had gone significantly down. Lucy, Noah’s babysitter, came by in order to relieve her, as Detective Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) had called her to Olivia that she was needed at a crime scene right away.
At the crime scene at Central Park, Nick and Detective Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish), informed Olivia that the young woman, Gwen Young, had been stabbed repeatedly, and someone had tried to rape her. However, she was lucky as the stabs were shallow, but what was strange was that the attacker had counted out loud each time he stabbed her. Meanwhile, unnoticed by everyone, Holden, standing by a tree could not understand why no one had noticed him. However, he promised in his video that everyone would soon know who he is. Afterwards, Olivia asked Nick if he could ask his mother to relieve Lucy at the hospital for a while.
According to Gwen, she was attacked after she had left her friends at the boathouse. He had groped her; and when she pushed him back, he got angry and stabbed her eleven times, counting each stab he made. Afterwards, he had called her Gigi and told her that it was her fault and that she had “missed” her chance with him. However, the strange thing was that no one had called her that since the ninth grade, and she did not recognize him at all.
From how he attacked her, their initial analysis of him was that he had shown signs of obsessive and even stalker like behavior.
After a few hours after Gwen’s attack, they received a call in which another girl was attacked with the same modus operandi. Amanda and Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola (Ice-T) went to Mercy Hospital to interview the new victim, Haley Morton. She came home from a date at six in the morning and was about to enter her building when he attacked. He dragged her behind the stairs, and tried to rape her but she had pushed him away. When she did this, he got angry and stabbed her fifteen times, counting at each stab, and said: “I know what you like, Haley.” He then accused her of not liking him because he was not black. Haley remembered that she had dated a football player who was an African American, but besides that, she did not really remember who he was and was only able to provide a very generic description for her attacker.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief William Dodds (Peter Gallagher), wanted a full press conference for the attacker, whom he believed was only one person, which they were still figuring out.
According to the information that they had, the team knew that the attacker targeted blonde, attractive girls in their early twenties, used the same knife, counted each time he stabbed the girls and knew personal things from their past, even if the two girls did not know each other at all. Olivia then told them to cross reference it with unknown knife assault attacks in order to get a lead somewhere. For the press conference, they were to release the information on the two known victims, and the generic sketch that was provided. Amanda also informed Olivia that they were on “pattern number 13.”
During their canvass of unknown knife assaults, Nick interviewed a girl named Jean Asher who had been assaulted by an unknown male, but he had not succeeded in hurting her as he had run away immediately. However, he called her JL, her initials, as her name was Jean Louise. She then revealed that she had not gone by that name in years, as she only used that name when she worked at a restaurant called Catignano’s.
Meanwhile, Holden, in his apartment, filmed another video in which he said that he did not understand why women rejected him, as he dressed nicely, clean, and would know how to be gentle and caring towards them. However, most women threw themselves at rude men who only used them. He then got annoyed at his neighbors, who very sexually active and noisy. He then got a kitchen knife and knocked on the door, while telling the video that since women had rejected him, it was now too late as they had missed their change. He then smiled as the door opened and called his neighbor by her name.
At the hospital, Olivia became concerned about Noah, as Noah’s doctor told her that his scans had shown that his ribs were fractured, probably due to an abusive foster home that he had been at and that they wanted to perform more tests on him. This meant that Noah would have lung issues when he gets older.
Nick and Amanda paid a visit to Catignano’s where the manager told them that there was a busboy that he had fired after Jean Louise Asher had left, as he had spilled iced water on a guy because he and his girlfriend were getting very cozy with each other. He also mentioned that the busboy, Holden March, was a “little bit off.”
Fin and Amanda paid a visit to Holden's parents at their home at Nyack, while Chief Dodds told Olivia that they needed her to give her statement at ComStat and that they had to solve the case quickly.
Meanwhile, Fin and Amanda learned from Holden’s mother and stepfather that Holden had been bullied a lot as a kid and was on the spectrum as he had an Autism Spectrum Disorder. He had been on medications and was seeing a psychologist. The mother also informed them that Holden had a new job as a bike messenger and that he rented an apartment at Murray Hill. However, when Nick and Olivia confronted him, he made a scene, saying that they were violating his rights and were prohibiting him from going to work. After that scene, Olivia ordered 24-hour surveillance on him.
Thanks to the pictures that Holden’s mother had sent, both Gwen and Haley were able to identify him. Gwen had met him when they were 11 at a summer camp, and he was very shy, and often bullied by the other kids. Haley’s younger brother had been classmates with Holden, and she had rejected him when he asked her out to a dance, as she was dating an African American football player at that time.
Putting together the information, they concluded that Holden was out for revenge, as he seemed to remember every slight that happened to him since kindergarten. Olivia then ordered a warrant for his arrest, and they learned that he had never gone back to his apartment and had not shown up at work that day. Because of this, they stormed the building and found that his neighbors had been stabbed to death. A woman was in the living room area, while the man she was having sexual relations with had been killed in bed. Nick also found several rounds of ammunition in the radiator, which meant that he was armed with a gun, and they found a laptop with a video of Holden with a knife over the body of his neighbor and told the world that since all the pretty women had rejected him, that he would be coming for them. Beside the laptop was a 300-page manifesto entitled “Now You Know,” in which he listed down the names of those he was angry at, and all the women who had rejected him. Amanda reported this to Olivia, as she read the manifesto.
At the precinct, Olivia warned everyone that the 23-year-old Holden March was armed and dangerous. The parents were coming in from Nyack, and his psychologist, who also left her office just in case, had informed them that Holden did not have that much anger before.
As they waited for Holden’s parents to arrive, Chief Dodds told Olivia and Nick off for not having created probable cause when they first encountered him so that they could have arrested him right there and then. However, they were interrupted by Noah’s social worker, who was concerned that Olivia had chosen to go to work instead of staying with Noah in the hospital.
After looking at the list of names, Holden’s mother said that Mrs. Syncovich, then Ms. Evans, had rung a bell, as she had been his English teacher in his sophomore year and blamed her for destroying his love for writing. They then went to St. Francis High School, where they learned that even after she got married, Holden had insisted on calling her Ms. Evans.
Nick and Amanda then went to St. Anne’s, where Mrs. Syncovich’s husband worked, as it was possible that he was out for revenge on him. They then learned that Mr. Syncovich had been murdered, and the four girls who were students under him were taken as hostages by Holden. However, the pair were able to find Holden, who held a gun to a girl’s head and threatened to shoot her. Meanwhile, the entire school was evacuated, and snipers took their positions in case anything bad happened.
Amanda then managed to let him allow her to tell the SWAT team outside to back off. However, Holden, who only talked to Amanda, told her that all pretty girls lie and demanded for their guns. Afterwards, he had Amanda handcuff Nick to one of the cabinets and expertly guessed that they had dated before, as all pretty girls fell for guys like Nick. However, Amanda told him that she knew exactly what he was, and little by little, developed a rapport with Holden, at which at one point, allowed her to free the hostages, and Nick. However, Chief Dodds was getting impatient as Holden was not within firing range yet.
Amanda then told him that she had read his manifesto and thought that he was brilliant in order to put down his guard. As she developed rapport with him, she was able to get closer and made him put down his gun. Then she got him to go closer to her as she told him that she was going to kiss him, and at that moment, he was shot by one of the snipers. Since the shot was close to Amanda, she was visibly shaken. However, she refused Nick’s attempts to comfort her saying that she was fine and asked why he did not stop them since she already had him under control.
The episode ended with a video of Holden saying that he forgave all the women who had rejected him, since if it weren’t for them, he wouldn’t have been known, as it was “better to die in infamy than in obscurity.”
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