The Law & Order: Special Victims Season 20 finale saw Benson's clashes with lawyer Rob Miller finally come to a head after she accused him of killing the young daughter of one of his clients. While the case ended ultimately where Benson wanted it to, the way she and her team got there was controversial.
"End Game" began at a club where men with ties canoodling with young women. One girl has sex with a man, who questions her age. Even though she is overage, the two continue.
Before we see anything more though, the show went to the next day at the precinct, where A.D.A. Peter Stone (Philip Winchester) told Lt. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) the federal attorneys dropped the charges against Rob Miller (Titus Welliver). With Nikki Staines (Callie Thorne) refusing to testify herself, it is up to the SVU team to establish a connection between Miller and the Wally Stevens sex parties. The discussion was interrupted when Det. Dominick Carisi (Peter Scanavino) said they had a case to work on immediately.
A young girl's body was found dropped on a pier, as if it was dropped from the air. The girl was killed before she was dropped into the river. The girl died from an overdose, with semen from two different men inside her. Thanks to her contact lenses, the team identified her as 16-year-old Lindsey Parker, the daughter of a rich couple. Benson and Det. Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) arrived at the Parkers to give them the bad news. Incredibly, Miller is the Parkers' family attorney.
While they told the Parkers their daughter was dead, Miller looked away. He offered to help the detectives with what evidence they needed.
After Rollins left the Parkers' mansion, Benson confronted Miller. She told him she thought there had to be a coincidence that Lindsey died a week after he was released. Benson told Miller to stay away from her and her son, or she might do something they would both regret.
Next, Rollins and Carisi interviewed Lindsey's friend who last saw her alive. The detectives assured the friend she could open about the drug-fueled party. Meanwhile, Det. Odafin Tutola (Ice-T) told Benson about evidence from Lindsey's cell phone. Then, Benson wanted the detectives to show Lindsey's friend photos of Miller, Stevens and other people she thinks are connected to the sex parties. The friend said Stevens did look familiar, then looked shocked when she saw a photo of Miller. She also identified Alex, a real estate developer arrested during the "Exchange" case.
Carisi and Fin asked Alex about Lindsey and her friend being at a Hamptons party. Alex said he also saw Miller there, but refused to testify against him.
Later that day, Benson showed up at Noah's school only to not find him there at all. Miller had two police officers check Noah out. Thankfully, Noah was safe with Rollins, but it didn't make Benson feel any better. She confronted him again outside the school, and he told her to drop the sex party case. "Go to hell," she said as she walked away.
Benson's theory is that Miller panicked when he saw Lindsey at the party because she could ID him as her family's attorney. Benson believes Miller gave her an overdose, but admitted there were dots to connect. Miller must have made a mistake. Stone is not seeing things Benson's way. He is not on Miller's side, but as Benson finally opens up about the threats he's made to Noah, he decides to go all-in.
Later, Stone starts working with Nikki to take some less-than-legal actions to get Miller. Stone went to Benson to confirm he got a search warrant, but would not say with what evidence. When the Parkers and Miller arrived, she had him arrested.
The next day, Benson confronted Stone because she still felt uneasy about the case. Where did this evidence come from that their case rests on? She was worried the case would fall apart again.
While Lindsey's friend Brooke testified, that evidence came to light. The scheme was to create the evidence - the team had deposited cash into Brooke's bank account and made it look like they met at a restaurant using Brooke's cell phone.
Miller and his attorney (Richard Kind) then shocked Stone by calling Staines to testify. Staines was in on Stone's scheme and she revealed that she deposited the money into Brooke's account. Why did she do it?
"I was trying to frame Rob Miller," Staines said.
Stone asked Staines why she would do that. Staines said Miller was trying to blackmail her and was scared of Miller. Staines admitted she was so scared of Miller and for the safety of her daughter that she took incredible steps to frame him.
That night, Miller confronted Benson and told her she could never handle the consequences of crossing him. Fin showed up, and said he heard Staines "put on quite a show." Benson then realizes this was all a scheme. Staines then told her it was all Stone's idea, which left her speechless for a moment.
"You could both be disbarred for this," Benson said.
"You know what, there are more important things than licenses to tap dance around a courtroom," Staines said. She explained that ending the threat to her child's life was more important than following the law. Benson insisted she was not part of it, but Staines said otherwise.
The next day in court, Miller was found guilty. Miller yelled at Stone, accusing him of setting him up. Outside, Benson confronted Stone. She thanked him for what he did, then he admitted he put his whole career in jeopardy because he cared so much for Benson.
"I have to look at a case through clear eyes. I have to go or risk getting blinded again," Stone said. "Take care of yourself, Liv."0comments
Stone walked away and out of the series. The season ended with Benson walking away from the courthouse, shaken.
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