Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Season 5, Episode 17

Mean (24 Feb. 2004)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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When a schoolgirl's body is found in the trunk of a car, Stabler and Benson find themselves investigating allegations of bullying among her classmates.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Munch (credit only)
Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola (credit only)
Dr. George Huang (as B.D. Wong)
Brittany O'Malley
Paige Summerbee
Agnes Linsky
Troy Linsky


When a schoolgirl's body is found in the trunk of a car, Stabler and Benson find themselves investigating allegations of bullying among her classmates.

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detective john munch | See All (1) »





Release Date:

24 February 2004 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Loosely based on the 1992 case of Shanda Sharer in Indiana (see Melinda Loveless) and a similar case in California in 1989. See more »


After the lawyers are done conferring with the judge during the sidebar, the judge removes her hand from her desktop microphone. The camera then cuts to another angle, and the judge removes her hand from the microphone again. See more »


[while investigating the case of a popular teenager murdered by her three closest friends]
Elliot Stabler: I love these little cliques. They're like the Mafia - nobody knows nothin'.
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User Reviews

Television At Its Dramatic Best!!!!!
11 February 2006 | by (new york) – See all my reviews

"Mean" is not only the finest episode ever in any of the "Law and Order" series, but is extremely daring television in its stinging indictment of America's suburban lifestyle--indictments unfashionable to make in this overly politcally correct age. It is mericiless in cataloging the more insidious ways school children can now persecute one another--not just through verbal contact at school, but through cell phone and email messages, and cyber photos that violate a person's privacy. The Agnes Linskys of this age have it worse than those in my day. I contend that the writers of "Mean" based their story on the 1992 Shanda Sharer case. Sharer was a twelve year old girl from Madison, Indianna who went out riding one January night with her teen-aged friends--Melinda Loveless, Hope Rippey, Laurie Tackett, and Toni Lawrence, all under eighteen--only to be bound, locked in the car trunk, driven to a remote area known as the Witches Castle, where she was removed, tortured, set on fire and left to die. The motive, like "Mean," centered around jealousy on the part of ringleader Melinda, except that here it was lesbian jealousy rather than heterosexual. A question this episode asks but does not answer is this--In a siutation like this, where Britany, Paige and Andrea deservedly get their judicial comeuppance, why are their parents not prosecuted, tried, convicted and jailed for raising such monsters? They should be, because it was the American suburban Entitlement they heaped upon their daughters from birth that transformed them into the monstrous bitches seen in "Mean." And the cycle of parents still doing this, and girls evolving into monsters, continues today; so that America, rather than improving, only worsens in its mirroring of Agnes Linsky's contention that it is "never going to stop."

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