Law & Order Special Victims Unit s19e10 Episode Script


1 In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous.
In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit.
These are their stories.
[dramatic tones] Grandma? [screams] He's my blood.
[echoing] He will never be a part of you the way he is a part of me.
Grandma, Grandma! Hey, mama's here, sweet boy.
Mama's here, you're okay.
Grandma Sheila.
- I saw her.
- Oh, honey.
You just had a dream, okay? But mama's here with you now.
- Can I sleep with you again? - Noah.
You know how we talked about you sleeping in your own bed all night, remember? Please, mama, please, mama, please, mama.
Okay, okay, okay.
One more night, okay? Eddie wants to sleep with us too.
Of course, it wouldn't be a proper slumber party without Eddie.
Grandma Sheila, is she all right? - Yes, honey, of course.
- I want to see her.
Okay, now let's go to bed, honey.
Let's go to bed.
This morning, we're going to continue with ecosystems.
Now who remembers what ecology is? I know, I know! How organisms act to each other in their environments.
Good, Taylor, but next time, wait till I call on you.
Now organisms are Mariel? Any living thing.
Yes, and living things interact in different ways.
Now some can cooperate, like ants building a nest.
And others prey on each other.
So who can give me an example? The tick is sucking the dog's blood.
It means the tick is a parasite.
- Yeah - Are you okay? I'm on a new medicine, it's making me sleepy.
- Oh, okay.
- I'll be fine.
Okay, clean up, everyone.
Snack time.
- I'm sorry I spilled juice.
- No worries, accidents happen.
Let's just get some paper towels.
- [gasps] - Oh, my God, Cody! Go find Principal Flock, now! Mariel McLaughlin is 15, has MD, epilepsy, and some learning issues.
Cody Hill is 19, has autism.
And you said a teacher found them together? On the floor of a supply closet.
We don't really know what was happening, but we do have mandated reporting.
You did the right thing.
This is Mariel and Cody's teacher, Vanessa Banks.
They should have been supervised, I don't know how they slipped away.
- Did they say anything to you? - Not really.
They were both pretty upset.
So I thought it best to separate them.
Their parents are on the way.
Obviously we don't want legal action.
Mariel is underage.
Well they have impaired social interaction.
They're very sheltered, immature.
Okay, we'll talk to them.
We'll sort it out.
- Am I in trouble? - Oh, no, honey.
I just need to figure out what happened between you and Cody.
Oh, my God, Mariel.
Detective Rollins, SVU.
- You called the police? - We had to, Mrs.
[exhales] Mariel, are you all right? What happened? Mommy, Cody raped me.
- Oh, my God, sweetie.
- Okay.
- Are you okay? - [sighs] [dramatic music] I'm sure my son didn't do anything wrong.
Tell the police officer, Cody.
Can you tell me how you and uh And Mariel ended up alone in the supply room? I told the cafeteria monitor that Mariel left her sweater in class.
And I wheeled her out.
Okay, and when you were alone, what did you do? I helped her out of the wheelchair.
We laid down on the floor, then we had sex.
- Cody, what? - It's okay.
Mariel's the Little Mermaid, because she can't use her legs so good.
And I'm her prince, Eric.
That's his favorite movie.
Look, this is just kids being kids.
My son doesn't even fully understand what sex is.
Yeah, I do.
You put your penis inside the girl.
It means you're in love.
- Is that what you did, Cody? - Yeah.
I don't know what to say.
This is a discipline issue, not a police matter.
It might be, Mr.
Did Mariel's mother make a complaint? Overprotective is putting it mildly.
It's not up to her.
Mariel's underage.
We need to bring Cody to the station, get a statement.
We'll talk to the ADA.
Cody helped me out of my chair.
I can walk, but it's hard for me.
She has muscle weakness, atrophy.
Oh, I see.
Mariel, then what happened? I took my sweater off.
We took our pants off.
Mariel, you said you were raped.
Did Cody force you to do something that you didn't want to? No, we're in love.
We're getting married.
What? Sorry, do you know what rape means, Mariel? Yes, when a boy puts his penis on your vagina.
I heard one of the aides talking about it.
- And that's what Cody did? - Yes.
Okay, and did you say no, or that you didn't want it? No.
I liked it.
- Like we were real grown-ups.
- Mariel, honey.
Um, give us a minute, okay? Can I just II don't know what's going on, but I should get my daughter home.
She's she's not well, she has anxiety issues.
Well, I understand, but we need - to get Mariel to a hospital.
- A hospital? Yeah, for a rape kit.
She needs to be tested for STDs, - just to make sure she's okay.
- We'll go to her pediatrician.
And you're more than welcome to call her doctor, of course, but she really needs to be seen by somebody with experience in these kinds of cases, okay? Mariel.
- So he's 19? - And autistic.
And she's 15 and says he raped her? Rollins doesn't think she understood what the word meant.
I get the sense this is a Romeo and Juliet scenario here.
- Should we call Liv? - No, we don't call Liv.
- She's still on leave.
- So what do we do? We take his statement, then we wait on the rape kit.
Take it to Barba, figure out if we've got a crime.
- You cool with that plan? - Yeah, I'm cool.
[dramatic tones] Well, how invasive is this procedure? The nurse will take some swabs, and some photographs.
Levy, thank God you're here.
- Hi.
- Hey, Detective Rollins, SVU.
Alexandra Levy, Mariel's pediatrician.
Mariel's right here.
- You feeling okay, Mariel? - I'm okay.
- She's really nervous.
- We can sedate her.
Which sedative? Likely ketamine, 10 milligrams.
The IV has to be in her right arm.
- She's got phlebitis in the - I remember, Dawn.
Mariel, can I take your vitals? Excuse me.
- You doing okay? - [sniffs] It's just seeing her like this.
She puts on a brave face for me, but it never gets any easier.
What, may I ask, is her condition? She was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when she was four.
That put her in the wheelchair, and then epilepsy.
Blood cancer, twice.
Sounds like a rough road.
Well, like they say, the lord never gives you more than you can handle.
Can I just see what the numbers are? - Oh! - War! Ready? - I-de-clare-war! - I-de-clare-war! You got me again! I surrender, I surrender.
[phone buzzes] - I thought you said no work.
- It's Amanda, I'll be quick.
You're where? Uh, no, I'm coming right now.
- Hi.
- Hey, sorry.
- I hope this isn't a bad time.
- No, come on in.
I'm just getting beat at cards again.
- Noah, how you doing, bud? - I'm great.
So, Noah, how about you change into your PJs, right? And I'm going to talk to Amanda for a second.
- I'll be super quick.
- He seems good.
Yeah, he is.
We're getting there.
He still wants to sleep in the bed with me.
And I'm letting him, so I don't know if that's for him or for me.
I hear you.
So, you guys managing without me? Yeah, and Fin loves being in charge, I can tell you that.
[laughs] Okay.
- You got a file? - Yeah.
I just wanted you to go over this.
Just make sure we're not missing something.
15, 19, both have disabilities.
She's in a wheelchair? Yeah, but she's not paralyzed.
And the rape kit came back negative for trauma, semen.
So whatever they did, it seems like it was consensual.
- What does Barba say? - He doesn't want to pursue.
- But there's something else.
- Yeah.
Yeah it's it's the girl's mother.
You know Jesse had a fever last week, right? And of course I was concerned, but I didn't rush to the ER.
And you know, I've seen you when Noah's sick.
It's just I don't know.
Granted, this mother's been through a lot.
But you think there's an issue.
[exhales] I'm not sure.
But I had Warner check Mariel's tox screen.
Well, if she's incapacitated, then that's a different story.
Anyway, I'll find out.
Well, keep me posted.
I mean, I'm supposed to be off-duty, but I'm just here playing cards.
- I'm ready for bed! - Wow, that was fast.
All right, see you guys.
- Say bye.
- Bye-bye! All right, keep me posted.
[dramatic tones] You made the right call, Amanda.
- So Mariel was drugged? - You could say that.
She had half a pharmacy in her system.
But she is sick.
And a lot of these drugs make sense.
Like the Valproate, for seizures.
- But? - She also had a cocktail of others.
Paxil, St.
John's Wort, Ginko.
And some of these have severe adverse interactions with the anti-seizure medication.
Could that just be an oversight? Not by any reputable professional.
If this was purposeful, I'd say you're looking at medical malpractice.
And possibly a case of child abuse.
[soft dramatic music] - We're going to Disney? - Yeah! Oh, my God, this is the best birthday ever! Ever, ever! Whoohoo! Yay, we're going to People have been so generous.
Mariel loved Disney World.
She's lucky she's got so much support.
People just respond to her, you know? How brave she is.
Now, you said you were here about Cody? Uh, yeah.
We wanted to let you know that the ADA is not going to press charges.
Oh Well, that's probably for the best.
Is it time for school? Why are they here? Detective Rollins? Yeah, we're just talking to your mother.
- Are you feeling better, Mariel? - She is, but we're going to take off another day from school.
Now you go rest, okay, honey? She's having a reaction to the ketamine, I should really get back to her.
Well, actually, we have something else that we need to discuss.
Mariel's meds.
I don't understand.
You know, they did a tox screen at the hospital, and our medical examiner found some issues.
She's on Valproate? Yes, I told you, she has epilepsy.
- And she's also taking Ginko? - Mm-hm.
Did you know the combination can induce seizures? - I didn't.
- Yeah, so who recommended the supplements? Well, you know, I'm always looking for a new regimen.
A new protocol.
I do research online for alternative medicines and therapies.
It's a full-time job.
I'm a single mother.
I must have missed something.
So Mariel's father is not in the picture? He left when she was six.
He couldn't handle her illnesses.
I'm sure it can be overwhelming.
Listen, we can get you some support or counseling.
Thank you, but I'm fine.
I'll call Dr.
Levy, I'll have her make an adjustment to the medication.
[dramatic tones] I took Mariel off Paxil and recommended against Ginko Biloba a year ago.
Yeah, but you can see she's still taking it.
I doubt her other specialists would have given her refills knowing that she's had seizures.
It must be a mix-up.
Well, have you seen this kind of mix-up before? - No, I haven't.
- So Can I ask, is this related to the sexual encounter? It might be, how long has Mariel been your patient? About two years, she was 13.
They were new to the city.
A parent comes in, tells you about their child's medical history, you believe them.
Well, these, these other specialists.
Can you tell us what they were treating her for? I'm sorry, you're going to have to ask Mariel's mother for that information.
Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
I need to make some calls.
[exhales sharply] So what now, we ask Barba for a warrant? Or, we get a parent's okay to look at Mariel's medical history.
Dawn's not going to agree to that.
But Mariel's father might.
Okay, should we check in with Fin first? Better to ask for forgiveness than permission.
I'm not a bad father, I send money every month.
But her mom tells me Mariel spending time with me is too stressful for her.
- Do you believe that? - Well, Dawn knows what's best.
What she's gone through with Mariel, in an out of hospitals ever since she was a baby.
So she's been ill her whole life? MD at four, leukemia at six.
You don't know what a gut punch it is to see your little girl losing her hair.
And throwing up.
You know, maybe there was a part of me that couldn't handle it.
But when she was younger, you were there, right? - The hospitals, the doctors? - Yeah, I tried.
We moved half a dozen times chasing the best treatments.
Did you happen to save any of those old records? So what are we looking at? Munchausen by Proxy.
A mental illness where a parent makes up fake symptoms, - or causes symptoms.
- Medical child abuse.
Isn't that usually with younger kids? It usually is, yes, but Mariel's 15, that's a long time to go along with being sick.
I'm positive that this is what we're looking at, Fin.
Multiple diagnoses from a dozen doctors that we know of, from six different states.
50 different medications, at least ten surgeries.
Well, aren't these doctors to blame? No, because the mother is She's a very smart liar.
Master manipulator.
From one doctor to the next, she says that they've lost the records.
So she fills in the blanks herself.
And these doctors have no reason not to believe what she's been telling them.
So Dawn has been medicating Mariel.
She's been making her own daughter sick.
And she knows how to do it.
She's been getting drugs from online or off the streets.
All right.
Now it's time to call Liv, Barba, and Child Services.
When can me and my mom go home? It's movie night.
Is she okay? We're still figuring some things out.
- Does she know why she's here? - She's a smart lady.
- She didn't ask for a lawyer.
- Maybe not that smart.
Aren't you supposed to be on leave? I am, but I need to be here.
I get it.
We got enough for a case, Barba? Based on the files you gave me, probably.
I need a full medical and psych work-up on Mariel.
And I need a court order for a full psych eval on Dawn.
How about a confession? She's been getting away with this for 15 years.
She's good at covering her tracks.
So she knows what she's doing is wrong? Mrs.
McLaughlin, I'm Lieutenant Benson.
Oh, someone in charge, good.
I need to be with Mariel.
She must be so scared.
Dawn, don't worry.
Mariel is fine.
So I just have a few questions about the number of different doctors that Mariel's been to.
She was born with a compromised immune system.
She has multiple issues.
Like a seizure disorder? Now when did that start? - May of 2010.
- So it says here that a doctor Sanders from North Carolina conducted a dozen tests from May to October of that year.
But they were all negative.
When you have a sick child, you don't give up just because one doctor has his head on backwards.
She was diagnosed in December, after we moved to New York.
Do you have documentation of that? I'm still not clear why you need it.
Okay, Mrs.
McLaughlin, I'm just going to be honest with you.
Your daughter's medical records, her files They show that you weren't looking for doctors who could cure Mariel.
You were looking for doctors who would agree with you, who would say that she was sick.
No, I'm a good mother.
I was raised in an ugly, abusive household.
I am blessed to have a daughter.
To show her what love should be.
That's not love.
That's what you wanted, not what he wanted.
- Okay, okay.
- She wanted.
We know you love your daughter.
And you're doing the best that you can.
And doctors, they don't always know the answer.
I just want my child to be well.
Healthy, happy.
That's all I've ever wanted.
- Can you understand that? - Yes, but you are hurting her.
No you're wrong.
I'm taking Mariel home.
Fin! - Mariel! Mariel! - Whoa, whoa, whoa.
- No, no, no, Mariel, honey! - Hold on, hold on, no, no, no.
- We're going home right now.
- Mommy? - We're going right now! - Take it easy, take it easy.
- Oh, no, no, no.
- [heavy breathing] Let me go, she needs me.
- Hey.
Hey, hey, hey.
- Mariel! - Is my mom okay? - Yeah, she's fine, honey.
I got you, why don't we sit back down, baby? Okay? - Let me go.
Mariel! - Nice and easy, nice and easy.
- Let's lower her down - She's seizing! - Mariel! - It's okay.
SVU portable, we need a bus.
We have a minor having a seizure.
Airway's clear.
Mariel, hang in there, honey.
Mommy! - Mommy? - Noah! - Noah, come here, baby.
- Mommy, you made it! Noah, hey, baby Go outside, Noah.
Go on the porch.
No! Olivia? Liv? - Oh, Melinda.
- You all right? Yeah, yeah.
How's Mariel? Recovering.
She had excessive amounts of Paxil, Ginko, and other supplements in her system, which caused the seizure.
[exhales] And how's her health otherwise? She'll need more evaluation, but initial reports are encouraging.
It appears she doesn't have MD.
Or a seizure disorder.
Dawn McLaughlin's being held at Bellevue, pending her psych eval.
- Mariel's alone? - Rollins is with her.
Her father's driving up from Pennsylvania.
- Okay.
- Let's get you home.
I got a patrol car outside.
- I'll see you.
- Mm-hm.
[exhales] Lucy.
No, Noah's asleep? Don't wake him.
[dramatic tones] If I was really trying to harm her, I could have.
Mess with her feeding tube, made her overdose.
Did you ever think about doing that? I was just trying to raise her right.
Because you weren't raised right? Did someone hurt you when you were young, Dawn? My stepfather.
[soft dramatic music] - But this is about Mariel.
- And you too.
How did he hurt you? I was abused, so I'm an abuser? If her lawyer goes with psych defense, she could get off.
Just as long as she never gets custody of her daughter again.
Sometimes I would act like he hurt me worse than he did.
Then mom would let me stay home from school.
Just us.
You taught yourself how to manipulate authority.
Learned self-preservation.
Why do you think you gave Mariel the meds that caused a seizure? I just I wanted someone to see that she was sick.
To treat her.
She fits all the diagnostic criteria for Factitious Disorder, or Munchausen by Proxy.
There's a cognitive distortion in her thinking.
She knows what she's doing is wrong, but she doesn't know why she's doing it.
And she certainly can't stop herself.
Is she competent to stand trial? In my opinion, yes.
But she's going to need a lot of treatment.
So is Mariel.
I don't understand, I'm not sick? No, you're going to be fine, Mariel.
You're walking, you're getting stronger.
It's going to take a while, but you are healthy.
But I'm always so tired, sick to my stomach, weak.
This can't be.
I know it's hard, sweetheart.
But your mom was making you sick.
She was giving you medication that made you feel bad.
But, why? Mariel, because there's something wrong with your mom's brain.
And she didn't understand how to take care of you.
She didn't know what was good for you.
[scoffs] She loves me.
She does love you, absolutely.
This is a lot to process, and we are going to get you a lot of help to feel better.
And Mariel, you're going to be okay.
- What's he in for? - Stealing all the ice cream.
I never trusted that elephant.
So, what's happening with Dawn McLaughlin? Yeah, she was arraigned today.
Charged with reckless endangerment.
The judge ROR'd her, which was completely against my recommendation.
Do you really think this woman belongs behind bars? She's mentally ill, like Like Sheila Porter? Noah keeps asking me to see her.
I don't know what to tell him.
Just avoid the subject all together.
Liv, you're going to get through this.
You've gotten through a lot worse.
[phone buzzing] It's Fin.
What? Dawn just showed up at Mercy Hospital.
No! No! I'm taking this out of you.
They are hurting you.
No! You were the one hurting me! Dawn, back up, Dawn! Now we're going to have to arrest you.
- You can't be here.
- Hey, hey.
You're going to be all right.
[crying] Stay the hell away from our daughter! - Mariel, I love you! - You love me being sick.
You took away my life, you almost killed me! No, they're lying to you! I'm the only one who knows how to take care of you.
- Get her out of here.
- I am the only one! [sobbing] All I ever wanted was to be normal.
Now I never will.
[sighs] Okay, Barba.
Yeah, thanks.
Dawn made bail, she's out again.
What? How is that possible? One of her supporters raised the cash through GoFundMe.
I mean, she's not allowed within 100 feet of the hospital or Mariel.
They GPS'd them both.
Ugh You know, what Dawn did to her daughter, she took away her childhood.
It's unforgivable.
But She's sick.
I just, I can't wrap my head around that we want her punished.
Listen, Rollins, why don't you go home and be with Jesse? I haven't forgotten that you have a kid too, you know? After what Liv went through, I'm fine.
Look, you're a single mom.
You're a full-time cop.
Your life is not easy.
And it's okay to say that out loud every once in a while.
[phone buzzes] Rollins.
What? Mariel? Okay, you, uh You just stay you stay where you are.
Okay, we're on our way.
[door opens] What did you do? You're too late.
She's dead.
I killed her.
[dramatic music] I felt so good.
Colors were brighter.
I felt alive, like I was coming out of a fog.
You were detoxing from a lot of meds.
My whole life, I thought I was stupid.
She did that to me, my own mother.
Tell us what happened earlier.
You mean after she came to the hospital - and tried to kill me? - Listen, Mariel.
That shouldn't have happened, and I'm very sorry.
- But you were safe there.
- How do you know? What if she came back and there was no one there to stop her? Is that why you went to your mother's apartment? - To stop her? - I just wanted her to leave me alone.
I thought if I brought a weapon, like that hammer, she'd listen to me.
What happened after you got there? She tried to hug me.
I wouldn't let her.
She went to get my pills so I'd calm down, she said.
I said I didn't need pills, to leave me alone.
Then what happened? She said I was her daughter forever.
That I'd always need her to take care of me.
So I hit her with the hammer.
[soft dramatic music] Was your mother trying to hurt you? - Was she threatening you? - I just knew she was never going to let me go.
- I had to.
- But was she coming at you? - Mariel, were you - Don't you get it? I felt good.
I was in control for once.
- Not her.
- Mariel, stop talking.
My daughter was brutalized.
And whatever happened, Dawn deserved it.
I mean, you see that, right? I mean, you can let her go now.
I'm sorry, I can't do that.
- Well, I'm calling a lawyer.
- No, I think you should.
Cause of death was blunt force trauma.
The wound is consistent with having been hit from behind.
The first blow caused her to fall to the floor.
- Was she unconscious? - Not necessarily.
Knocking someone out is harder than you think.
And she was clutching her head with both hands.
- Was she incapacitated? - I would say absolutely.
How many blows did the defendant strike after her mother was incapacitated, - clutching her head? - Three.
- How did you determine that? - From the cast-off.
Stripes of blood on the wall.
There were three.
When the hammer was pulled back, blood spattered onto the wall, forming a line pattern.
Thank you.
Warner, you evaluated a tox screen done on Mariel as part of a rape kit several weeks ago.
- Yes.
- And you found multiple counteractive medications and supplements.
- That's right.
- Side effects include a higher risk of seizure, confusion, lack of judgment.
Yes, but at the time of the murder, she had detoxed for several days.
Have you ever seen a case of Munchausen by Proxy like this? With 15 years of prescription abuse? - No, I haven't.
- So you don't know the effects that this type of long-term abuse could have, or how long it might take to fully detox.
Thank you.
Redirect, Your Honor.
From the position of the body, the number of blows, the blood spatter.
In your opinion, is this consistent with self-defense? Not likely, no.
- People rest.
- Ms.
Miglani? We call Dr.
Elizabeth Olivet.
Olivet, you examined Mariel 48 hours after she was informed her mother had been diagnosed with Munchausen by Proxy.
- Is that right? - Yes.
So after she found out that her mother had force-fed her medications, subjected her to multiple and painful unnecessary medical treatments and surgeries, had in effect, destroyed her childhood.
- Yes.
- Did you find she was suffering from PTSD, mood imbalances, dissociation? Yes, but that didn't alter my conclusion that Mariel knew right from wrong.
She was aware of the consequences of her actions.
Wasn't she terrified of her mother? Afraid she'd never escape her control? She expressed some of those feelings, yes.
But she also expressed extreme anger and rage at her mother.
Defense exhibit D.
A copy of the DSM-5 and articles on Munchausen by Proxy that Mariel had Googled that day.
Can you read the highlighted section? "Despite the number of cases of Munchausen by Proxy, "that have been evaluated and treated, there is little research on effective treatment.
" And this, defense exhibit E.
The state of New York sentencing guidelines for reckless endangerment.
The crime that Mariel's mother had been charged with.
I've highlighted the minimum sentence, which is? - One year.
- So after Mariel found out that there is no treatment for Munchausen's.
After finding out the sentence could be as minimal as one year.
A few hours after her mother had violated an order of protection and tried to pull out her IV.
Is it possible that Mariel lost faith in the system to protect her, and felt her only option was to defend herself? To save her own life? It's possible, yes.
Nothing further.
No questions, Your Honor.
Mariel did use the hospital computer to research Munchausen by Proxy.
- How long was she online? - A few hours.
And the defense claims that's part of her emotional disturbance? All it takes is one juror, what else? Well, that's it for her Google searches, but she did watch "The Little Mermaid" - seven times in three days.
- What does that mean? Well, her classmate, Cody.
The 19-year-old with autism.
- We didn't charge him.
- Well, Mariel thought that she was the Little Mermaid, and that Cody was her Prince Eric.
[dramatic tones] My whole life, I wanted to be normal.
Like a real girl, but I was always in the hospital.
Sick, tired.
Food didn't taste good.
I had trouble using the bathroom.
I couldn't walk.
I couldn't think clearly.
- How do you feel now, Mariel? - I'm getting healthier.
Stronger every day.
I feel like I have hope.
How did you react when you found out that your mother had made you ill? At first, I couldn't believe it.
But then when I started to feel better, I realized it was true.
I was sad, but I was with my dad, and mostly I didn't want to think about her anymore.
Tell me about the day you went to your mother's apartment.
I was having a good day.
I was up.
Walking on my own.
Then my mom came in, she was yelling.
She tried to tear my IV out.
- The cops took her away.
- How did that make you feel? Scared, like I'd never get away from her.
So when my dad left the room I snuck out.
I got a hammer from his truck.
I went to my mom's apartment.
What did you intend to do? To tell her to leave me alone.
- What happened? - I told her to stay away.
She said that would never happen.
That the jury would feel sorry for her and not put her in jail.
That there was nothing I could do to keep her away from me.
Then what did you do? I must have swung the hammer.
I just remember feeling so afraid.
Like I'd never be free, ever.
Thank you Mariel.
Nothing further.
Hi, Mariel.
I'm very sorry for what you've been through in your life, and the last thing I want to do is cause you more pain, but I have I have a few questions, okay? I understand.
After your mother came to your hospital room, you decided to confront her.
From the timeline that was a few hours later, does that sound about right? - I guess.
- Do you remember what you did during those two hours? Do you remember watching "The Little Mermaid" on the hospital computer? - Objection, relevance.
- I'll get there, Your Honor.
I'll allow it.
- Yes, I did.
- Is that your favorite movie? Yes.
You thought you were the Little Mermaid, and your friend Cody was Prince Eric? - Yes.
- Mariel.
- Do you love Cody? - Yes.
What did your mother feel about that? She said I was too sick to have a boyfriend.
Too sick to get married.
Your mother took you out of that school, didn't she? She said because of Cody.
It's why the police came to the school, our house.
- Were you angry about that? - Objection.
I'll allow it.
She told me I'd never see Cody again.
That I'd never get out of the wheelchair.
You were angry that she stole your childhood, and she wouldn't let you grow up? Ariel, in the movie, is mad at her father, but he let her get married.
My mother was like Ursula, evil.
You were angry she wouldn't let you be a real girl? I am a real girl! I'm not a mermaid.
She was never going to let me.
- Never going to let you what? - Never going to let me.
All right.
I hate her! I hate her, I hate her! Move to strike, non-responsive.
I wanted her dead.
I'm glad I did it, I'm not sorry.
[dramatic music] You did your job, Rafael.
I also might have sent a horrifically abused teenager to prison.
They could acquit.
Or you could drop the charges.
I drop the charges, that's tantamount to saying there's no rule of law.
That the judicial system changes its mind.
Makes exceptions on a whim.
Or for sympathetic defendants.
Yeah, that's the jury's determination, not mine.
Well, the law says she's guilty.
But your heart says she's not.
So So what are you going to do? I don't know.
I don't know.
[dramatic tones] [elevator bell dings] I know it's been a very long run Hold the door, please.
Thank you.
Yeah, I'm heading back in now.
Look, I don't want the girl to get life either, but that's the law.
I'm in the elevator, I got to go.
Okay, thanks.
Wait, the McLaughlin case? She could get life in prison? You're jurors on the case.
I didn't realize you were here.
[dramatic music] I would not have expected this from you, Mr.
I apologize, Your Honor.
We can discuss how and why this happened after we adjourn.
For now, Ms.
Glazer, I need to confirm what happened.
You three saw Mr.
Barba this morning.
Yes, in the elevator.
And what did you overhear him say? He said Mariel McLaughlin could get life in prison.
And you two overheard this as well? Yes, Your Honor.
I have no choice.
I hereby declare a mistrial.
I'd like to apologize to the court, to Ms.
McLaughlin, and to Ms.
And if defense council agrees, I'd ask for the case to be moved to family court.
I can only hope this wasn't your intent in the first place.
And if I find out it was, God help you.
So waived, we're adjourned.
Barba, report to my chambers now.
See you guys at 3:00, thank you.
There you are.
[laughs] What are you doing here? I was in the building, checking in with Dodds.
You know I got to come back to work eventually.
You okay? I heard Judge Barth read you the riot act.
I deserved it.
Well, whether you deserved it or not, I have absolute faith in your humanity.
The family court judge gave Mariel a three year sentence.
Suspended to probation, community service.
With the stipulation of regular mental health evaluations.
So Justice was served.
Hope so.
My dad rented an apartment for us.
I have to keep seeing a psychiatrist, and do community service.
Cody's going to volunteer with me.
I think I'm going to like helping people.
- Sure you will.
- Mariel.
I know you lost a lot of years, but you've got your whole life ahead of you.
Can I ask you something? Do you think it's wrong that I miss my mother? [soft dramatic music] No, I don't.
Mariel, let's go.
Hey, you take care of yourself, okay? Thank you.
So you want to grab a cup of coffee before we head back? You know, actually, I'm going to head home.
- Can you cover for me with Fin? - Yeah, you got it.
There's ten seconds left of the clock.
They're going to make a comeback.
But there she goes! She steals the ball, she heads across the court, she shoots She [grunts] scores! Yeah, that's right! Yes! [laughs] [clears throat] Hi, Mom.
It's me.
Yes, I know it's been a while.
Can you just be happy I called? Okay, wait, listen, um Can you say hello to Jesse for me? Okay.
- Can you say "hi, grandma"? - Hi, grandma.
[laughs softly] You heard her?