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Recap / Law And Order S 9 E 19 Tabula Rasa

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A college professor named Marion Hollis dies from being pushed under a subway train. The detectives identify Bill Fallon, a man whom witnesses saw her with. It is eventually discovered that Fallon was formerly known as Nick Taska. A court granted his ex-wife full custody of their two daughters, so he kidnapped the children and vanished. Hollins was a friend of the couple and had recognized Fallon, giving him a motive for murder. Fallon admits who he really is but denies being with Hollis at the time of her death. Fallon's daughter Alexis gives him an alibi; but it's obvious she's lying, and that she and Fallon's new wife are terrified of him.

When challenged, Alexis now claims she pushed Hollis. Because of this, Fallon can't be charged with murder, so McCoy pushes for kidnapping charges. In court, Fallon's ex testifies about his psychological abuse of their daughters; whom he repeatedly browbeat and harangued until they learned to obey his every instruction without question. McCoy lures Fallon, his wife and other daughter into revealing exactly how controlling and demanding Fallon is. He's convicted of kidnapping and forced to relinquish custody of Alexis, who is still underage. Both daughters now hate their biological mother, and McCoy and Abbie sadly watch as the older daughter yells:

Susan Fallon: Are you happy now, you BITCH?!

They reflect that at least in jail, Fallon will finally understand what it's like to have your every move controlled.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Fallon.
  • Berserk Button: Anything that might upset Fallon is this for his wife and daughters.
  • Blank Slate: Fallon/Taska's wife and daughters are in this condition, having been brainwashed and manipulated by him for many years.
  • Control Freak: Fallon, down to the smallest detail.
  • Downer Ending
  • Give The Baby A Mother: Fallon openly states on the stand that he doesn't love his wife; he only married her to provide a mother for his daughters, since he'd decided their own wasn't up to scratch.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Fallon to the extreme where his family is concerned.
  • Missing Mom: Fallon took his daughters away from their biological mother and later told them she was dead.
  • Sinister Subway: Where Hollis was killed.
  • Taking the Kids: Fallon's motivation for kidnapping his children.