Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Season 4, Episode 18

Desperate (14 Mar. 2003)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 147 users  
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After a young boy witnesses the brutal sexual assault and murder of his stepmother, his father blocks the efforts of the detectives to question him.



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Title: Desperate (14 Mar 2003)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola (credit only)
Dr. George Huang (as B.D. Wong)
Dan Hoffman
Signy Coleman ...
Kim Hoffman
Max Jansen Weinstein ...
Tommy Hoffman
Dawn Trent


A boy is found with a dead woman who is assumed to be his mother. Later it is learned that the woman is not his mother, but she is married to the boy's father. They learn that the man is rumored to be abusive towards his wife and was also the same with his first wife, the boy's mother, who vanished a few years ago. But it seems like the man is friends with the police where he lives so they didn't really pursue the allegations. Stabler later learns that the boy's mother was taken away by an underground who helps abused women escape their abusers. Stabler finds the woman and tells her about her son, so she decides to return and face her husband. Written by

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detective john munch | See All (1) »



Release Date:

14 March 2003 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


When interviewing the husband he mentions Jill's name twice but when Olivia is talking to Elliot afterwards she says he never mentions his wife by name. See more »


ADA Alexandra Cabot: Well, he wouldn't be a single parent if he hadn't killed his wife.
See more »


References Columbo (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

Max Weinstein is awesome in this episode
12 September 2012 | by (NC, USA) – See all my reviews

I actually called someone about this episode after it aired to tell them about Max Weinstein's acting. Also bought the season's DVD set as well so I could see it again. This was before HULU and Amazon streaming days.

Highly recommend this episode if only for the last scene between father and son in the courtroom. Max Weinstein is great throughout the episode, but the last few minutes are absolutely awesome! Highly recommend this episode to every watcher of SVU. Too bad they later became so graphic in what they showed. Not a current watcher. Older episodes are better for those that don't like to see all the violence.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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