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Recap / Law And Order Special Victims Unit S 16 E 4 Holdens Manifesto

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Holden March posts a video online in which he complains that women don't pay him attention. Benson tries to spend time with her foster son Noah in the ICU, but has to investigate two near-identical cases of young women stabbed and sexually assaulted. The detectives trace a previous victim and establish that the perpetrator knew her from a restaurant where she worked; the manager identifies Holden, a former employee. The case has now attracted huge media attention. Benson is under pressure as Chief Dodds orders her to solve the case quickly, and Noah remains in the hospital. Meanwhile Holden records himself as he kills his next door neighbors, who have made him jealous by having noisy sex.

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Holden's mother and stepfather reveal his history. He is a social misfit who changed schools numerous times because of bullying. Benson and Amaro try to question him at his home, but Holden records them on his phone, saying they are violating his rights; this attracts public attention, so the detectives leave. Two of his victims identify him, and the SVU returns to his apartment. Holden has now disappeared, but the neighbors' bodies are found, along with evidence that he is planning a mass shooting. Rollins uncovers a lengthy "manifesto" written by Holden, and the video of the murders, which ends with him threatening to kill all the women who ever rejected him.

Benson faces the wrath of Dodds for not arresting Holden before, and is warned by her social worker that she may lose custody of Noah. From studying a "hit list" Holden left, the detectives work out he will target a school - but by the time they get there, he has already killed a teacher and taken four students hostage. He takes Amaro and Rollins hostage too when they try to reason with him. Rollins uses her knowledge of his manifesto to persuade him to let the other hostages go; then lures him into position so a sniper can take him down. Benson, shaken by the reaction of Holden's grieving mother, visits Noah in hospital and tells him she loves him. The episode ends with a chilling final message that Holden recorded just before the school shooting.

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