Directed By Helen Shaver
The SVU squad's latest case involves a rape victim who was supposed to testify soon, but was shot and killed during the night with her daughter bearing witness to the murder. The victim, Annette Fox (Alice Barrett), had tried to fight off a mugger that tried to take her purse, but then the thief pulled out a gun and shot Annette in the head at point-blank range, killing her instantly, with her daughter, Jenna Fox (Hayley McFarland), witnessing the whole event.
As a result, Jenna is hoping that the SVU team can avenge her mother and find her killer. Attention is drawn to the suspect Annette was to testify against, her rapist, Luke Ronson (Andrew Howard). He's arrested after it's discovered he had an unloaded gun, but it wasn't the murder weapon, much to Jenna's dismay. However, back at the shelter, Luke is seen arguing with Eddie Skinner (Michael Raymond-James), who tries to escape when confronted by the SVU detectives, but is caught and arrested. Luke reveals that he hired Eddie to intimidate Annette, but not kill her, but Eddie never agreed to killing her. Luckily, the ADA arrests Luke and Eddie for witness tampering and assaulting a police officer. However, Eddie is taken by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), to assist in an ATF sting to bust a cigarette smuggling ring, but an attempt by Detective Stabler to help Eddie results in the sting going wrong and Eddie escaping.
They tail Eddie back to Luke's apartment, finding him holding Luke at gunpoint, demanding money. Elliot manages to talk Eddie down and arrests both men again. Eddie admits to murdering Annette, then reveals where he got the murder weapon from for a reduced sentence. The weapon is tracked back to ATF Agent Greer (Pedro Pascal), who is arrested as an accomplice to the murder of Annette. Sister Peg (Charlayne Woodard) swings by the squad room later to drop off a picture of Annette and Jenna that Eddie wrote an address on.
Jenna is then brought in to be shown the three men responsible for her mother's death, now being kept in the holding cell. For all it's worth, Jenna seems content with the closure and leaves, but to everyone's disbelief and shock, Jenna returns to the squad room, now armed and dangerous with a handgun, and fires into the holding cell, wanting her own vigilante justice for her mother, killing ATF Agent Greer and Luke, and wounding Eddie. In her blind fury for wanting to avenge her mother on her own terms, Jenna turns the gun on Sister Peg and unintentionally shoots her once, mortally wounding her. Stabler, who had reached for his own pistol kept in the drawer of his desk, then orders Jenna to stand down and lower her weapon while Benson tends to the dying Sister Peg. Shocked by her action with shooting Sister Peg, Jenna begins to comply with Elliot's orders and starts to surrender, but Eddie, not knowing when to give up and to not enrage a wounded animal, taunts Jenna, which only serves to enrage her again and cause her to raise her handgun back up to finish the job and end Eddie's life.
This leaves Stabler with no choice but to use deadly force himself to stop Jenna, and pulls the trigger on his own pistol. One round rings out, and nails Jenna in the side of her chest, mortally wounding her. After she collapses, Elliot rushes to her aid, but the damage is done. In her dying breaths, Jenna confesses to getting the gun off the street and it was easy to attain, before succumbing to her wound and dying in Stabler's arms.
Elliot and Olivia can do little but survey the carnage around them as Fin, Cragen, Munch, and the other officers and detectives start to pick up the pieces from what just transpired in their own squad room.
This episode provides examples of:
- Absentee Actor: Richard Belzer (John Munch), Tamara Tunie (Melinda Warner), B.D. Wong (George Huang), and Dann Florek (Donald Cragen) sit this episode out.
- Adult Fear: The possibility of a child being able to easily acquire a handgun off the street and use it, especially when consumed by thoughts of vengeance and retribution.
- Arc Symbol: Too much focus is given on guns all throughout the episode.
- Arc Words: The word "Gun(s)" has been mentioned a lot throughout the episode, and for good (bad?) reason.
- Back for the Dead: Sister Peg returns since last appearing in Season 8, only to be killed in the final scene.
- Berserker Tears: Jenna's eyes are flowing with tears during her Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- Blood from the Mouth: Jenna after Elliot was forced to shoot her.
- Boom, Headshot!: How Annette Fox meets her end.
- Character Death: Recurring Character Sister Peg was killed-off, along with several major guest characters.
- Crowbar Combatant: Eddie whacks Greer with a crowbar when escaping after the ATF-led raid.
- Damsel out of Distress: Deconstructed. Annette fights off Eddie when he mugs her, but she got herself killed for her efforts.
- Depraved Bisexual: Peter Bronson is said to be a gay man and is even presented having few Camp Gay stereotypes. He also raped Annette Fox.
- Did Not Think This Through: Greer gives a handgun to Eddie without considering the fact that the latter has been a felon most of his life.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Elliot rushes to Jenna right after he was forced to shoot her and tends to her until she has her last breath. Olivia is also seen tending to Sister Peg right after the latter was shot.
- Downer Beginning: The episode opens with Annette Fox's murder.
- Downer Ending: The episode ends with Elliot having to shoot Jenna down after she went on a shooting spree inside the precinct.
- End of an Age: This episode is dubbed by many as the end of the "classic" SVU run, and for good reason. Original cast member Christopher Meloni (Elliot Stabler) departs the show after this episode, and ditto Season 2 addition B.D. Wong (George Huang). It also features the death of long-time (circa Season 3) Recurring Character Sister Peg. And while they didn't appear this episode, this season in general closes with the final appearances to date of the show's resident judges Lena Petrovsky and Elizabeth Donnelly.
- There are a few casual dialogues remarking how easily guns can be acquired in the U.S.
- Each scene she shows up, Jenna appears increasingly erratic.
- Girls with Guns: Jenna ultimately acquires a gun, which she uses at the end of the episode.
- Harmful to Minors: Eddie kills Annette by shooting her in the head in front of Jenna.
- Heroic BSoD: Elliot's Shoot the Dog of Jenna clearly shakes him. This will have a major impact in his character.
- In the Hood: Eddie is wearing a black hoodie when he kills Annette.
- Ironic Death: Sister Peg dealt with mentally unstable homeless people, vicious pimps, and drug addicts on a daily basis, not to mention the various attempts on her life, and the person who (accidentally) kills her? A random teenage girl who was aiming at someone else. Then again, Sister Peg risking her life and heroically sacrificing herself is very appropriate.
- Ironic Echo: Elliot quotes "Pop Goes the weasel!" to Eddie when he have him in custody. When Eddie was bailed by the ATF, he mocks Elliott with said quote.
- Put on a Bus: Christopher Meloni and B.D. Wong depart the show after this episode.
- Remember the New Guy?: Annette Fox's rape two years prior was handled by Benson and Stabler, and both Jenna (Annette's daughter) and Peter Bronson (Annette's rapist) are already acquainted to them. All three characters are introduced this episode.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Subverted. Jenna manages to kill two of the three men who are responsible for her mother's death, but (by far) the worst of the three survives and goads her into getting killed by Stabler.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Sister Peg's death was to show how Jenna crossed the line.
- Season Finale: The twelfth one.
- Shoot the Dog: With Jenna on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge in the precinct, Elliot was left with no choice but to shoot her down.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Jenna Fox only appears in this episode as she was killed at the end. But in just one episode, she kills a Recurring Character since Season 3 and the consequences of stopping her leads to the retirement of an original cast member.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Greer giving Eddie his handgun lead to Annette's murder, which ultimately leads to the shootout at the final scene.
- Wham Episode: The effects of Jenna Fox's Roaring Rampage of Revenge on the precinct to the show as a whole is huge.
- Wham Shot: Literally. Just as Benson and Stabler are preparing to transfer the suspects to a larger precinct, Jenna shows up with a gun and starts on a shooting spree.
- Would Hurt a Child: For all it's worth, Jenna was only a young girl, but since she proved herself a threat to himself and his fellow NYPD members, Detective Stabler did what he had to do to protect them from Jenna's blind fury of Revenge.
- You Killed My Father: Jenna did not take Annette's murder well.