Law & Order: Special Victims Unit/Season 5

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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–present) is a long-running crime drama, part of the popular Law & Order franchise created by Dick Wolf. The show focuses on the Special Victims Unit, a special squad dealing with sex crimes and crimes against children.

Tragedy [5.01]

Stabler: If she dies because you're holding out on us, I will personally stick that needle in your arm myself, you little prick.

Benson [to a suspect covering for her lover]: "Stand By Your Man" sounds much better when Tammy Wynette sings it.

Benson: I've got a psychic who says she can channel Annika for the right price.
Munch: Let me guess. She's in a cold, dark place near a body of water.

Manic [5.02]

Moredock: It's a fact that Aptril causes anxiety and insomnia.
Alex: I suffer from anxiety and insomnia. I don't go around and shoot people.

Alex: I need your advice.
Dr. Huang: Lie down on the couch.
Alex: Not that sort of advice.

Mother [5.03]

Javier: I didn't want to let her in.
Stabler: Why did you?
Javier: She sounded desperate. [pause] Okay, she gave me 40 bucks.

Stabler: Lady, I've got 4 kids. If I ever talked to one of them like that, I'd arrest myself.

Dr. Greta Heints My God! If I'd have known that I never would have taken him down that path.

Loss [5.04]

[Last episode of Alex Cabot until Seasons 6 and 10]

Fin: Okay, you live like a monk, how come somebody wouldn't have any pictures or nick-nacs around?
Munch: Some of us appreciate simplicity, others of us lost the nick-nacs in the divorce settlement.

Stabler: Look, we had a good run. Conviction rates are up. We had to get screwed sometime.
Benson: Cesar Velez can probably do more damage to Zapata now than the justice system ever could.
Alex: It just-- It never seems like enough, you know. The Feds'll get Zapata for killing Donovan. But what about Livia Sandoval? She dies without any justice, and we're supposed to be happy about it? We tell ourselves that we speak for the victims, but we don't. We can close cases. But the victims, even if they survive, their lives are ruined. I just get so sick of it.
Stabler: Alex, we can't always win.
Alex: But that's just it. Even when we win, we don't.

Serendipity [5.05]

[First appearance of ADA Casey Novak]

Novak: I wanted straight homicide. No living victims, all the glory.
Benson: Lesson #1: Nobody is prepared to handle the children.

Novak: Got a minute?
Branch: When you save a young girl's life, you get 2. Have a seat.
Novak: I can't do this.
Branch: Sure you can. Just bend your knees and let gravity take over.

Coerced [5.06]

[after Kevin has confessed]
Stabler: It's not coercion.
Dr. Huang: You pushed Kevin into a psychotic break so I would drug him so you could coerce his confession.
Stabler: I did what I had to do to save that boy.
Dr. Huang: Great. What are you gonna do next? Bash in people's skulls to make 'em talk?
Stabler: You know, your way, Adam wouldn't have been found until he was starved to death.
Captain Cragen: All right, that's enough, both of you. Did the medication hurt Kevin?
Dr. Huang: No.
Captain Cragen: Then what's the harm?
Dr. Huang: Unless a court forces him to, it's Kevin's choice whether to take it. We don't have the right to make that decision for him.
Stabler: Do me a favor. Stop treatin' this perp like he's your patient.
Dr. Huang: He became my patient the second I gave him that injection!
Stabler: Then do me a favor. Start thinkin' about the victims here. The kid he kidnapped. The 2 people he stabbed. They're your victims, Doc! Not Kevin!
Dr. Huang: You made Kevin a victim, and I'm gonna testify on his behalf if this goes to trial, which Kevin will win since you handed the defense its case!
Stabler: How'd I do that?
Dr. Huang: They're gonna make you say that he wasn't rational until he was medicated, which means he's not responsible for his actions before then. You get it now?!

[Stabler, Novak, and Kevin confront Randall Haber and his attorney]
Attorney: What the hell is this?
Stabler: Randall Haber, you're now under arrest for the murders of Lester Hale and Martha Davis.
Haber: Murder? Martha Davis committed suicide.
Stabler: We exhumed her body. She died of severe heat stroke.
Kevin: Because you told them not to turn on her air-conditioning.
Haber: A jury's gonna believe him? He murdered that grocer in cold blood.
Stabler: Which only happened because you withheld his medication and kicked him out on the street. That makes you responsible for Lester Hale's death.
Attorney: Okay. One count of Man-2 with a sentencing recommendation.
Haber: Are you crazy?! I'm not makin' a deal.
Kevin: Why did you tell the aide to cut Martha's wrists? I heard you.
Haber: He doesn't know what he heard. He's a mental patient!
Novak: He's back on his medication. He's perfectly lucid, and he's our star witness. 2 counts, Man-1, concurrent. He does his 15.
Haber: 15 years?
Novak: That, or a jury can sentence to to 25 to life. [opens the door] It's your choice.
[Haber confers with his attorney]
Haber: Deal.

Choice [5.07]

Balthus: [holds up a sandwich] Why isn't this in an evidence bag?
O'Halloran: Because it's my lunch.

Benson: Did you know that in just one night of drinking, fetal alcohol syndrome can set in?
Stabler: I didn't know that.
Benson: If your wife got pregnant again, would you allow it?
Stabler: If Kathy got pregnant again I'd shoot myself.

Abomination [5.08]

Munch: If an overbearing mother and a distant father cause homosexuality, how come I'm not gay?
Fin: Maybe you're in denial.
Munch: That would explain a lot.

Ian: It's so weird, you know. I've been sitting here for a while, and everybody who walks by, I wonder: Does he know? Does she? James used to always talk about how happy he was that he was gay. He said guys are so much more fun.
Novak: Yeah, I agree with James.
Ian: Everything's different now, you know. No matter what I do, nothing will be like it was before.
Novak: Ian, I had my job to do, and I made you deal with something you weren't ready for. I'm sorry.
Ian: Yeah. I'm not.

Control [5.09]

Grandfather: (interviewed by Olivia Benson after spotting Gorman) First he was jabbering nonsense. Then I saw he was bleeding like a...stuck pig! Next thing I know boom he falls.

Munch: He could've been the member of some cult. In ancient Rome, priests of the goddess Cybele would castrate themselves to achieve divine status.
Fin: How d'you know that?
Munch: The Internet.

Captain Cragen: So either Gorman was snipped by a homeless guy, or had a voluntary penectomy. Not a word I get to use everyday.

[Benson is suspected of stabbing Gorman to death]
Benson: You didn't even ask me if I did it.
Stabler: I know you didn't do it. You would've shot the bastard.

Shaken [5.10]

Stabler: I love my children. And if one of them was sick, I would do anything in the world to make them better. But I would also pray to God that if all hope were gone, He'd give me the strength just to end their suffering.

Stabler: [choked up] I could've killed my kid over a lousy carpet!

Escape [5.11]

[An escaped sex offender takes Benson hostage, and sends the detectives on a search for the truth regarding his case.]
Captain Cragen: Deputy Eckerson is requesting our assistance.
Stabler: Wow. Pigs really do fly, huh?

[Fin escorts Jeremy in cuffs down the corridor]
Jeremy: I didn't do anything.
Fin: Sure you did. You obstructed justice, hindering prosecution, plus you're a lying piece of crap, but we're not gonna charge you with that one.

Brotherhood [5.12]

Stabler: Spin it any way you want, Counselor. You know Rob Sweeney's guilty.
Henry: I've known Rob since he was a freshman. He's a good kid.
Stabler: He's a rapist.

Henry: Nice ink on your arm. How many men in your platoon got heatstroke and broken bones trying to earn that tattoo? You were pushed as far as you could go so you would bond as a unit. That's what a fraternity is all about.
Stabler: Rob Sweeney doesn't give a damn about "bond".

Hate [5.13]

Captain Cragen: Whatever this is, let's be careful not to say Muslim men like to burn their wives.
Munch: No. If they want to burn people, they fly an airplane full of gasoline into an office building.
Dr. Huang: Excuse me, but they were extremists.
Munch: Sorry. But my next door neighbor's Iranian. At airports, even he's scared when he sees Middle Eastern passports. I mean, let's get real. People know it's wrong, but they think it anyway.

Captain Cragen: Casey.
Novak: Who talked to a reporter about this burned woman?
Captain Cragen: And it's nice to see you, too.

Ritual [5.14]

(during Martin Bosa's interview, Fin shows up with Kema Mabuda)
Martin: You've come to beat me again. I am not afraid of you.
Fin: You should be afraid of her.
Martin: What can a woman do? Claw my eyes out?
Mabuda: Deport you. Your passport's been revoked.
Benson: Meet Nigerian Under Consul Kema Mabuda.
Martin: I have a few friends home in Nigeria. Perhaps it is time I paid 'em a visit.
Mabuda: Have them visit you, at Kirikiri Prison, while you await your execution.
Benson: They use a firing squad there, right?
Fin: Yeah. And the warden thinks that's too easy, so he ties you to a pole in boilin' sun, then he has his firing squad start on your ankles and work their way up real slow.
Stabler: How soon can we get him on a plane?
Martin: [scared] If I tell you what you want to know...?
Mabuda: [nods] I'll ask for leniency.
Martin: There's a truck arriving tonight.

Novak: You have 2 choices: cooperate, and spend the rest of your life in prison; or don't, and die by lethal injection.
Professor Shay: Am I supposed to be intimidated? New York State hasn't executed anyone in 40 years.
Novak: You're right. But, given your crime, a jury will be willing to break tradition. So, go ahead, gamble. It's your life.

Families [5.15]

Benson: What's your name?
Suspect: Screw you!
Benson: Screw You, you're under arrest for attempted rape until we nail you for the other 11.
Suspect: Prove it.
Stabler: [to a witness] Does he look familiar to you?
Witness: [looks at the suspect] That's him. That's the bastard who tried to rape me!
Benson: See, Screw You? Wasn't that easy?

Stabler: Aidan, your father was also Shannon's father.
Aidan: Shannon's not my sister.
Stabler: Our DNA tests prove she is.
Aidan: How can you know this?
Stabler: Because Shannon was pregnant, and we tested the fetus's genes.
Aidan: The fetus? Oh, God.
Stabler: Aidan, listen to me. This is not your fault. None of this is your fault.
Aidan: No. No. She was my sister?! [sobs] I had sex with my sister?! [retches]

Home [5.16]

Novak: Bringing up Adam with paranoid fears isn't against the law. I mean, you can raise your kid to be a racist so long as it doesn't cause harm.
Stabler: Well, there's your difference, right there. This is like vehicular homicide: Adam is the car, Marilyn's behind that wheel. Her paranoia drove his actions.

Marilyn: [to the jury] You're trying to take my children away from me. I know how you people are: Police, district attorneys, DYFS, you destroy families! Be careful. If you don't live your lives by their rules, they'll come after your kids, too.

Mean [5.17]

Novak: [of the defendants] They're monsters. They're mean, vicious little girls who think that they can do whatever they want, and up until now they've gotten away with it. But not anymore.

Stabler: I love these little cliques. They're like the Mafia. Nobody knows nothing.

Careless [5.18]

Stabler: What about that autistic kid in Milwaukee last year? Parishioners held him down. They were laying on top of him to cure him.
Benson: That could explain the ring mark. (she walks around behind Cragen and wraps her arms around him to demonstrate) Someone holds Jamie, he struggles, they hold him tighter.
Captain Cragen: [breathless) Until he can't breathe. Thank you, I enjoyed that.

Plummer: I saved thousands of children and I'll only be remembered for losing one.

Sick [5.19]

Munch: Dodge ball?! Haven't they outlawed this barbaric practice yet?
Fin: I loved this game.
Munch: Yeah, well, you were a sadist. You know, I literally weighed 98 pounds. I can still hear them, "Break the pencil!" I was a walking bruise.

Novak: Let's talk about the Tripley scam.
Nora: Well, that was April's lie. And I believed it.
Novak: We have the scrapbook.
[Nora looks on at Conrad, then turns to the ADA]
Nora: Well, it's not as though he's an innocent victim, is it? He's a pedophile. He deserved it!
Novak: I'd just as soon clear this one off the books, so fill in the blanks and I won't charge you with the fraud counts related to it.
[Conrad whispers into her client's ear, then turns to Novak]
Conrad: It sounds like you know everything already.
Novak: Crime lab found a hair in April's underwear.
Nora: During the party, I snuck into his room, and I took it from his hairbrush. When they asked me for the clothes she'd been wearing, I'd already planted it.
Novak: Do you have any idea how much damage you've caused?
Nora: But you agree with me! He deserved it!
Novak: He deserves to go to jail! Thanks to you, he can claim he's the victim of a false allegation every time a legitimate one comes up in the future!
Nora: Sorry.
Novak: I don't believe you. But you'll have a good long time to pay for it in prison.
Conrad: We just made a deal.
Novak: I'm not charging her with fraud on Tripley. I'm charging her with fraud on the cancer scam.
Conrad: Münchausen.
Novak: Bull! She's been working this for a year. Totaling all the bake sales, canister donations, and Internet solicitations, she's bilked people out of 60 grand!
Conrad: What are you offering?
Novak: Not a thing. I'm taking you to trial.
Nora: Please! Please! Think of April! There is no one else to look after her!
Novak: You've gotta be kidding me! What you were doing nearly killed her! I'm charging you with fraud and attempted murder.
Nora: But you heard what she said! I'm sick!
Novak: No jury's that stupid. They'll see it wasn't Münchausen. Just pure unadulterated greed.

Lowdown [5.20]

Fin: [of closeted black men] It's different for black men. They go out, have sex with other men, then come home, have sex with their woman, and pretend they're straight. [pause] Don't look at me, I just know stuff.

Dr. Warner: I tested Jeff York's blood, high viral load. When did you 2 date?
Benson: 5 years ago. We only slept together once, and we used protection.
Dr. Warner: Condoms are effective, not perfect. It only takes once.
Benson: I know; I'm gonna get tested. I just haven't had time.
Dr. Warner: Why don’t we do it here? Right now.
Benson: Melinda. I’ll do it.
Dr. Warner: Olivia, how many rape victims have you told to get tested?
Benson: All of them.
Dr. Warner: Would you tell them it’s alright to wait?
Benson: [long pause] OK.
Dr. Warner: Sit down and roll up your sleeve. No paperwork; I’ll do it myself.

Criminal [5.21]

[after the captain has informed Vega of new evidence clearing him of Wheeler's murder]
Vega: A mistake?! That's the best you can say? We made a mistake?!
Captain Cragen: I'm sorry. I'll talk to the ADA, get you outta here right away.
Vega: [sarcastically] My hero.
Captain Cragen: I wanna make things right.
Vega: There's nothin' you can do.
Captain Cragen: I can try.
Vega: Can you bring Rebecca back to life?! Can you give me back my career?! [Cragen walks up to him] Get outta my face.
Captain Cragen: You're usin' again. Not even trying to hide it.
Vega: Makes the time go quicker.
Captain Cragen: You need to get cleaned. I can get you help.
Vega: [sits back down] Your help put me here.
Captain Cragen: You change your mind, you know where to find me. [to the guard] On the gate!
[the gate opens; Cragen is about to leave]
Vega: Who killed Rebecca?
Captain Cragen: Somebody who wanted to hurt you. Any ideas?
Vega: Besides NYPD, no. So, this guy rented a car like mine?
Captain Cragen: Yeah.
Vega: Where from?
Captain Cragen: A place on Houston. I'll keep you posted.
Vega: I won't hold my breath.

[the police find Vega strangling Kyle Luhrmann at gunpoint in Central Park]
Luhrmann: You gotta help me! He's crazy! He's gonna kill me!
Captain Cragen: I don't blame him! But let him go, Vega!
Vega: He killed Rebecca!
Luhrmann: I didn't do anything to her! I swear!
Vega: Tell 'em what you did, or I'll blow your head off!
Luhrmann: [tries to breathe] I killed her!
Vega: Why?! What she do to you?!
Luhrmann: I loved her, but she told me she was marrying you. I went to her apartment and gave her one last chance. She blew it.
Vega: You're dead.
Captain Cragen: Put the gun down. You got your confession. You shoot him, you're dead. You kill him, you lose your daughter, too.
Vega: Gabrielle's better off without me!
Captain Cragen: She came to see me. She begged me to bring you home.
Vega: The only way I'm leavin' here is in a body bag!
Captain Cragen: Not if you let him live. He confessed to murder. He's finished. Let me help you.
Vega: Nobody can help me.
Captain Cragen: You're still thinkin' like a junkie. Fine. Go ahead, kill him. Show me you're still a murderer, too.
[Vega slowly and remorsefully releases Luhrmann, sobs, and drops his gun, but just as he is about to approach the captain, Luhrmann grabs the gun and is about to shoot Vega]
Cop: GUN!
[other cops shoot Luhrmann; Luhrmann hits the ground dead]

Painless [5.22]

Stabler: Christina brought him breakfast. He rapes her for lunch.

Dr. Solway: Why do you care if I live or die?
Munch: Because my father killed himself. When I was a kid... I thought it was my fault. The night before he blew his brains out, he punished me for being a wise-ass. I told him I hated his guts. Those were the last words I ever said to him... It haunts me to this day. You're the only person I've ever told.
Dr. Solway: Why me?
Munch: Because we're the same. I feel guilty; my father was suffering, I couldn't help him. You feel guilty, because of what you did to Christina. Please. I don't want you to die.

Bound [5.23]

Dr. Huang: I looked at the autopsy photos of the first 3 victims. [Tosses rope to Stabler] Strangle me?
Stabler: [grinning] I'll try.
Dr. Huang: [hastily reaches for the rope] I'll hold the rope.

Judge Terhune: [opens his door to find Novak standing outside] What the hell do you want?
Novak: I'm so sorry to bother you at home, Judge Terhune, but it's urgent.
Judge Terhune: Well, I'm in the middle of something pretty important myself.
Man's voice: [from inside] Joe! Are you foldin' this hand?
Judge Terhune: No! [to Novak] Look. C'mon. C'mon. C'mon in. C'mon.
[Novak follows him inside]
Novak: I just need your Honor's signature.
Judge Ridenour: You just hit the jackpot, dearie.
[Novak stops at the door of a room; inside there are several judges playing poker]
Judge Terhune: [sits down at the table] I'm in. I believe you all know ADA Novak.
Novak: Judge Ridenour, Judge Petrovsky, Judge Wyler, Judge Bradley. I've had this nightmare before, only I was naked.
Petrovsky: How charming.

Poison [5.24]

Novak: Why did you tell the defendant to seek psychiatric help so this tragedy doesn't occur again?
Judge Taft: She was upset.
Novak: Because it sounds like you think she really did poison her daughter.
Judge Taft: It was a mistake! Is that what you want me to say, Miss Novak?! One mistake in almost 3 decades on the bench?!
Novak: Didn't you make another arguably bigger mistake when you wrongfully convicted Rosalin Silvo of murdering her daughter and sent her to prison for 10 years?!!
Judge Taft: That's a totally separate issue, and completely immaterial to this case!
Novak: You can't object, Judge Taft.
Judge Bradley: But I can, Miss Novak. Get back to the case at hand.
Novak: Did you tell Karen Campbell to suffocate her daughter?
Judge Taft: Absolutely not.
Novak: But you talked to her even though it was clearly improper.
Judge Taft: It was a mistake!
Novak: You don't make mistakes, though. You make judgments! Who's innocent, who's guilty! You saw Rosalin Silvo, and she was a whore. That means she's a bad mother. And then you saw Karen Campbell. Why did you talk to her, judge?!
Judge Taft: [to Judge Bradley] Your Honor!
Novak: Why talk to Karen Campbell?! Why talk to a woman that tried to murder her daughter?!
Judge Taft: I didn't know!
Novak: Didn't know what?! That she'd turn around and try to do it again?!
Judge Bradley: [bangs gavel] That's enough! Miss Novak, try that again, and you're in contempt. [to Judge Taft] Sir, you will be, as well, if you don't sit down. Now.

Judge Bradley: [after Karen is convicted of her daughter's murder] Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you've performed your duties admirably, and I thank you for your service. And may I say, for the record: This is a crime that could've been prevented. While this trial exemplifies the very best aspects of our legal system, it has also highlighted its flaws. It is my sincere hope that in the future, those flaws can be corrected. The defendant will be held over for sentencing. This court is adjourned. [bangs gavel]

Head [5.25]

[a suspect is secretly filming people going to a public toilet]
Munch: Gives whole new meaning to "live, streaming video."
Dr. Huang: You're either looking for a urophiliac, that's a sexual attraction to urine, or a coprophilia...
Benson: Okay. Let's not go there.

Munch: [waits for the voyeur suspect to answer the door] If there's any poetic justice, we caught him in the bathroom.