Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Season 5, Episode 14

Ritual (3 Feb. 2004)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Two garbage collectors run into what they first think is a scene of animal sacrifice.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. George Huang (as B.D. Wong) (credit only)
Allan Shaye
Maggie Shaye
Sullivan Walker ...
Martin Bosa
Malika Samuel ...
Na'imah Haruna
Susan Blommaert ...


When the remains of a boy are found and evidence that points to Santeria are found. They begin by checking out local practitioners but the man in charge claims that who did was not a true practitioner. They learn that the boy is Nigerian and that he was brought over as part of the slave trade. Written by

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3 February 2004 (USA)  »

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[when Shaye denies being the killer, despite the strong evidence against him]
Elliot Stabler: So this is all just one crazy cosmic coincidence. You just happen to buy a tribal artifact just like the one worn by the dead boy's sister; your wife buys a candle like the one that was right next to his body?
Elliot Stabler: Professor, I'm not that bright - you're the educated guy here - would *you* buy that coincidence?
Allan Shaye: [very sarcastically] Yes. Because... *that's what happened.*
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User Reviews

8 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am a fan of Law and Order SVU and this was an interesting episode. It was important to shed light on modern day child-slavery. However, the portrayal of Santería I found misrepresenting. In the episode Santería is said to be from Nigeria, as well as all of its followers. That is not accurate. Santería is a religion that originated in the Caribbean - more specifically Cuba - where Yoruba traditions were combined with Catholicism. While Yoruba people are found in Nigeria, Santería did not originate in Nigeria. It is an Afro-Cuban religion practiced by numerous Cubans and Cuban Americans. As a Law and Order fan I was disappointed in the ignorance and clear lack of research when producing and writing this episode.

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