“Law & Order: SVU” Season 16 Episode 9 “Pattern 17” aired last Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, at 9:00 p.m. on NBC. In this episode, the Special Victims Unit investigated a serial rapist who also struck in different states in the past, including Atlanta, but was never caught as all of the rape kits done on those particular cases were never tested, revealing a crisis in the national rape database. The investigation caused Detective Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) to visit her hometown and her old work place in Atlanta, where she had several encounters with her former superior officers. Meanwhile, Sergeant Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) was placed in the hot seat in her professional and personal life as CompStat breathed down her neck regarding the case and because baby Noah Porter’s future with her hang in the balance. Read on to learn more about this episode.
The episode began with Sergeant Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola (Ice T) conducting a cognitive reenactment with a recent rape victim named Annie Lin (Samantha Futerman). Afterwards, she told them that she remembered that he had medical gloves on and that he had been humming a church song. They also reviewed the other facts with her — she had blacked out during the rape as he had choked her first. She also remembered the exact direction he was headed as she had looked afterwards. Thanks to that, they were able to find one glove, as Annie had said that he had removed his gloves, but there was no DNA evidence on it.
Back at the precinct, Detective Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) came up with a thousand excuses as to why she was late but was told by Olivia not to oversell it when she was trying to make up an excuse. After learning that the rapist wore latex gloves, Amanda suggested that they put it into ViCAP, which Detective Dominick “Sonny” Carisi Jr. (Peter Scanavino) was just about to do. After she learned that the rapist hummed while raping Annie, Amanda remembered that a rapist with a similar modus operandi had struck in Atlanta back in 2008 or 2009. Before Olivia and Fin left to interview another victim, Olivia instructed Carisi to stick to ViCAP and told Amanda to reach out to the Atlanta Police Department, where she used to work before coming to New York.
At the Leonard Bernstein High School, the victim, a girl named Nina, told them that she had been raped early in the morning. She had blacked out and found herself behind a dumpster. She told them that the rapist had hummed something like a hymn, but like Annie, she was not able to get a good look at his face. However, everything in the attack was similar to the attack on Annie. Thanks to her account, they were able to confirm that the rapist stalked his victims before attacking.
Back at the precinct, Carisi complained out loud, as it turned out that a lot of rapists did sing or hum to their victims. Amanda then was called up by Captain Sam Reynolds (Myk Waterford), who revealed to her that they actually had three open cases with the same modus operandi, but they never had it tested and just left in their storage, as those were cold cases. Olivia then decided to send Amanda and Fin to Atlanta to follow up the rape kits and to interview the past victims there. Amanda then commented that it was still a boy’s club down there. After Olivia went inside her office with Trevor Langan (Peter Hermann), baby Noah Porter’s legal adviser, Fin told Amanda that maybe, it was a good time to get away. However, Amanda told her partner that she was fine and began looking online for flights to Atlanta.
Inside her office, Olivia was surprised that Family Court wanted to hold a hearing regarding the fact that Noah’s doctors had found that he had several healed injuries. Langan then told her that he given her a heads up as he wanted her to be prepared for it.
At Atlanta, Captain Reynolds informed them that they had never pursued investigating any of the rape claims, as all three had dubious histories. One was a prostitute, the other was a junkie and the third had been a teenaged mother. Amanda then pointed out they might have been able to find out if the girls were telling the truth if they had just had the kits tested. Inside the evidence storage room, Fin discovered that the entire place was disorganized and told Amanda that he now knew she had left. She then told him that the faster she leaves Georgia, the better it would be for her.
While she was looking for the rape kits, she was approached by Deputy Chief Patton (Harry Hamlin) who told her that he had pulled it out when he heard that she was coming as he thought that she would go to him first when she arrived and that he had been waiting since yesterday for her. He then told her that he was just trying to be helpful, at which Amanda told him that he would be of more help if he had those kits tested. Amanda then introduced Patton to Fin, who had just walked up to them. Patton then told them that he would make sure to rush the kits, especially as the New York Police Department was paying for it and told them that they only had initial reports, and no case files regarding the three victims.
The next day, they discovered that one of the victims had died, and the other one had moved to Alaska. Olivia then called Amanda up to inform them that Carisi had discovered that there had been three more rapes in Las Vegas in 2010 with the same modus operandi. They then went over to Ashely Miller, who confirmed that her rapist had been singing and gave them the actual lyrics to what he had been singing. After reviewing her original statement, Ashley informed them that after the rape, the rapist’s pager went off and had said other people needed him. This made Fin and Amanda think that their rapist might be a doctor. Before they left for New York, Patton called Amanda and informed her that the DNA for all of the three victims were the same. Amanda then got annoyed as she realized that Patton had tested it before she had arrived.
Back in New York, Amanda informed Chief Dodds (Peter Gallagher) that this was “Pattern number 17,” and what was worrisome was that the rapist was in the middle of a spree. All they knew was that the rapist was white, male and that he had struck in Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Atlanta and New York. Milwaukee and Las Vegas had no results on their rape kits due to backlog or because they did not know if it had been tested. Dodds then told Olivia that she better have something on the Pattern 17 rapist before tomorrow, as there was going to be a CompStat meeting the next morning about it.
The next day, at the CompStat meeting, Deputy Commissioner Hank Abraham (Josh Fais) went hard on Olivia as they had no results to show yet. However, they were interrupted suddenly by Dodds as the rapist had struck again.
At the crime scene, Olivia learned from Carisi and Fin that the rapist had tried to rape a 12-year-old girl named Ryan Catalano but hadn’t been able to finish as her dog had scared him away. It turned out that she had gone out to walk the dog. Then she was attacked and pushed into the backseat of a car. Ryan, the little girl, told them that the car was black, had four doors and that the color of the car and the seats were black. She knew this as she had shoved her earphones between the seats so that she could prove that she was there. She was also able to inform them that the license plate was a Connecticut license plate and was even able to give a partial description of the plate number.
Back at the precinct, Amanda suggested that the crime scene unit should also scrape the nails of the dog, as that would give more evidence besides the swabs of the dog’s mouth. Carisi was then able to match the car that Ryan had described and informed them that it was registered to a doctor named Joseph Conklin (Lou Martini, Jr.), who was under investigation for pushing pills.
At the hospital’s parking lot, they were able to find Ryan’s pink earphones in the back seat. He then started to tell them that everything was consensual and that the women wanted the pills.
Back at the precinct, they asked Annie, Nina and Ryan to try to identify their attacker in a line up. However, none of them looked familiar to them.
In the interrogation room, Conklin told them that he had never been to any of the other cities where the rapist had struck and told them that in exchange for pushing pills to women, he would ask them to perform sex acts on him.
Meanwhile, Olivia was surprised that Family Court wanted her at a hearing the next morning. Amanda then came in and informed Olivia that Conklin was not their rapist, as his blood type did not match up to the rapist’s blood type in Atlanta. Olivia then realized that the real perpetrator had probably stolen Conklin’s car. Because of this, Olivia instructed them to go back to the hospital’s parking lot in order to see who else had access to the cars there.
Carisi and Fin then talked to the parking lot guard, who told them that aside from the hospital staff, EMTs also parked their ambulances there, and anyone had access to the keys. They then asked for his log book in order to take a look at all of the ambulances and EMTs who parked there.
Meanwhile, at Family Court, Ms. Jackson, the nurse who took care of baby Noah, expressed concern at the fact that Olivia’s job seemed to make her not be available for Noah when he needed her most, and it seemed to her that Noah was not her first priority.
Back at the precinct, Dodds and the rest of the team informed Olivia that the security footage of the hospital showed that an EMT named Albert Beck (Jordan Lage) had been seen driving Joseph Conklin’s car the day that Ryan had been attacked. It also turned out that he had been an EMT in Atlanta, Milwaukee and in Las Vegas as well. Olivia was then reminded by Dodds to figure out as well why there was a four-year gap in between his last spree and his current one and to figure out what had set him off.
They then paid a visit to the apartment of Beck’s girlfriend, Lauren Burns, who lived with her daughter Beth (Lizzy DeClement). Lauren then informed them that she had kicked Beck out a month ago and that she knew that Beck was having a sexual relationship with Beth, who was 15 years old. They were then able to tie up the gaps between the rape cases as he had stopped going on sprees when he lived with Lauren and Beth. However, when he didn’t, he would go on his rape sprees.
At the precinct, Olivia and Amanda were able to get the mother and daughter to cooperate with them, as they could charge both of them with child pornography as Beth “sexted” with Beck and because she also sent him pictures of herself.
Later that night, they set Beck up by letting Beth tell him to meet her. She then told him to run but was caught by Fin and Carisi.
Back at the precinct, in the interrogation room, they heard him humming the song that he hummed to his rape victims. Carisi was then able to get him to confess to the other rapes — 28 in different states — as Carisi told him that the inmates in prison don’t really behave nicely to pedophiles, as that was he was going to be known for inside there if he didn’t confess to the other rapes, since he had a penchant for small and petite women.
The next day, Olivia met up with Judge Linden from Family Court, early as she had to be at the CompStat meeting at 8:30 a.m. There, she reassured the judge that her priority was Noah’s well-being. The judge then nodded and told her that she shouldn’t be making promises to her or to Child Services, as she should be giving that promise to Noah.
At the CompStat meeting, Olivia was surprised that Dodds backed her up with the fact that the problem that they had encountered during their case was the fact that the New York assaults could have been prevented if only the rape test kits in the other states had been done. She reasoned that the national database was useless if DNA and rape kits could not be tested.
Back at the precinct, Amanda told Chief Patton that they could proceed in prosecuting the three Atlanta cases as Beck had confessed. He then told her that he thought that they still work well together and told her that they would meet up in January as he would be there for a conference. After she hung up, Fin asked if she was okay. She assured him that she was, but her face said a different story.
And that was all for the recap of “Law & Order: SVU” Season 16 Episode 9 “Pattern Seventeen.” For more news and updates, including spoilers and recaps, on “Law & Order: SVU” and other television shows, keep following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch “Law & Order: SVU” when it returns on Jan. 7, 2015 on NBC.
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