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Recap / Law And Order Special Victims Unit S 12 E 11 Pop

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Investigation into the death of a young boy leads to a gambling ring.

Tropes in this episode:

  • Ambiguous Ending: Who shot and killed Hank? Nicky or Sandra? Not that it matters.
  • Age-Gap Romance: There is only a decade between Hank and Sandra, but this is often treated as if it's very surprising and gives Sandra a reason to lie.
  • Asshole Victim: No one mourns Hank after he abused Nicky and Sandra repeatedly and forced Nicky to beat Ethan to death.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Hank is dead, Nicky and Sandra are free, but a little boy is still dead and Nicky will have to live with the guilt of killing him (albeit under duress).
  • Boom, Headshot!: How Hank is killed.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: 13 year old Nicky (even though he didn't want to) was forced to beat up a 10 year old Ethan, and Nicky was protesting not to fight Ethan. Nicky easily beat Ethan to death.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Subverted. Benson only appears twice in this episode, and Stabler fills her in on Hank's death when Nicky initially confessed.
  • Useless Bystander Parent: Sandra, although she may grow out of it by the end of the episode, or she may not, depending on whether it was her who killed Hank.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Nicky was forced to hurt a 10 year old Ethan by Hank.
    • Hank hits Nicky too, especially if Nicky loses a fight. Hank hit Nicky after Stabler secretly gave Nicky his business card.
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  • Would Hit a Girl: Hank also beats Sandra as well, but she doesn't press charges because he hits her where it's not possible for anyone to see.
  • Villain of the Week: Hank Roberts.

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