Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Season 12, Episode 4

Merchandise (6 Oct. 2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
8.3
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A malnourished teenage girl is killed when she is hit by a car, and Benson and Stabler soon discover that she and her brother are victims in a human trafficking and sex trade scheme.

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Title: Merchandise (06 Oct 2010)

Merchandise (06 Oct 2010) on IMDb 8.3/10

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Storyline

When a 15-year-old girl is hit by a car and killed, Detectives Benson and Stabler are surprised when Dr. Melinda Warner rules it a homicide. She has found signs that the girl was being starved, and had even recently given birth. As the two look into the case with the help of Detective Odafin Tutuola and Dr. George Huang, they find that the girl had fallen victim to a human trafficking ring, and though some think it's a case for the FBI, the cops instead reach out to Assistant U.S. Attorney and friend Christine Danielson, who has moved up in the world since the detectives last saw her. Meanwhile, Captain Donald Cragen is frustrated by his crumbling precinct. Written by NBC Publicity

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TV-14
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6 October 2010 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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No "Route 1" exists in Wyandanch, New York. See more »

Quotes

Captain Donald Cragen: [about the father] Well, the only thing he's guilty of is poor judgment. A lot of kids get jobs, Elliot.
Detective Elliot Stabler: Well, whatever happened to a childhood?
Captain Donald Cragen: The work was legal, cut him loose.
Detective Olivia Benson: Should I call Child Services to have them pick up the daughters?
Captain Donald Cragen: They're not abused, they're clean and well-fed.
Detective Elliot Stabler: And homeless.
Captain Donald Cragen: Which isn't a criminal act, and I'm not separating this family for anything less.
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One of the most disturbing episodes in the show's history
16 October 2010 | by (Camilla, GA) – See all my reviews

"Merchandise" has to rank as one of the most provocative and unnerving installments in the history of a show known for controversial shows. The idea that youngsters are being used as "merchandise" for the sexual appetites of adults is shocking enough. But, the drama with very little subtlety, "hints" that the numbers are so great that the understaffed police departments can't do get a handle on the situation.

As in the season opener ("Locum"), a young actor takes center-stage: Devon Gearhart. The young thespian portrays a young man who "works" the streets, forced into the "business" like so many others just to survive. Gearhart delivers a performance of heart-wrenching power, especially in scenes with regular B.D. Wong.

The Emmy folks should be a-calling the Georgia native.


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