Law & Order SVU RECAP 5/14/14: Season 15 Episode 23 “Thought Criminal”

Law & Order SVU RECAP 5/14/14: Season 15 Episode 23 “Thought Criminal”

Tonight on NBC Emmy Award-winning producer Dick Wolf’s crime drama, Law & Order: SVU continues with a new episode called, “Thought Criminal.” On tonight’s episode, an aggressive tactic for capturing sex offenders is used by the squad when they go undercover and target a successful photographer who may have taken his fantasies too far. However, no victim is found, making the case challenging.

On the last episode a child was caught in the middle of a famous couple’s nasty divorce Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Murphy (guest star Donal Logue) questioned renowned television producer Frank Maddox (guest starred Bradley Whitford) when he was accused of molesting his 8 year-old daughter Chelsea (guest starred Clare Foley). Maddox’s estranged wife, actress Catherine Summers (guest star Samantha Mathis), wants justice for her daughter but refuses to cooperate, leading the cops to suspect the accusation was a ploy to win the public’s favor. With Catherine’s young sister Rose (guest star Emma Bell) engaged to Maddox and accusations flying back and forth in the media, Benson strives to help a child by discovering the truth.  Did you watch last week’s episode?  If you missed it we have a full and detailed recap, right here for you.

On tonight’s episode a child is caught in the middle of a famous couple’s nasty divorce Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Murphy (guest star Donal Logue) question renowned television producer Frank Maddox (guest star Bradley Whitford) when he’s accused of molesting his 8 year-old daughter Chelsea (guest star Clare Foley). Maddox’s estranged wife, actress Catherine Summers (guest star Samantha Mathis), wants justice for her daughter but refuses to cooperate, leading the cops to suspect the accusation was a ploy to win the public’s favor. With Catherine’s young sister Rose (guest star Emma Bell) engaged to Maddox and accusations flying back and forth in the media, Benson strives to help a child by discovering the truth

Tonight’s episode looks like it is going to be great and you won’t want to miss it, so be sure to tune in for our live coverage of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU at 9:00 PM EST! While you wait for our recap hit the comments and let us know how excited you are about the new season?

Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page for Updates

An Asian woman does an online video and says she’s a 14 year old girl in Thailand that’s all alone and waiting to play. Fin and Amaro track the pervs that are responding. She’s bait. They are waiting to see who is in their jurisdiction. Lt. Murphy says to be sure and log all the responses and what specific illegal acts they are requesting. The cops feed her some more lines to entice the pervs to get specific. Amanda says they are pouring in. The woman says to tell her what they want her to do. The responses triple in moments.

She’s asked to take her shirt off and take a bath. After half an hour they’re up to 800. The Asian woman says she likes to be able to help catch these guys. They have one in Manhattan called Flash that’s at work. He had told the girl he would meet her in Bangkok and bring her back to New York. Murphy tells Amaro to go pick him up. He and Fin head to city payroll to pick up the guy. He thinks they are there about payroll and they clarify for him why they are really there.

The Asian woman is there and pulls her hat off and does the little voice she was doing on camera. Fin cuffs him and says they just saved him a trip to Bangkok. Gordon, the city guy they arrested, is in interrogation with Fin and Amanda. He insists he was just talking to the girl. He says he saw her and she’s not 14. Amanda says it doesn’t matter because he thought she was 14.

Murphy tells Benson and Amaro to keep at Gordon because they don’t know the extent of it and are still checking his computer. Amanda asks if Gordon ever met any of the guys from the chat rooms. He says some of those guys are sick and they might come after him. Fin says the cons in prison will come after him because they hate child molesters.

Murphy says he thinks Gordon needs a shoulder to cry on. Fin tosses a disguised Murphy into the cell with Gordon and calls him a pervert. Murphy tells him they used a girl named Luckie to lure him in and says he was already on the registry for something else he ever did. He cries and says his life is over and asks if he knows what they do to guys like him in prison. Murphy pees himself and Gordon calls for help. Murphy cries and says he didn’t mean to. Gordon is freaked.

Amaro is out with his daughter and ex. Maria tells him Zara misses her and then tells him she got a job offer in LA. He reminds her she hates LA but it’s in corporate communications and makes double their salaries. She asks if he might come along too and says it could be a fresh start. She says there are a lot of options for an ex cop out there. Amaro asks if she wants him to move with her and she says they need to take it one step at a time. He says he needs to think and heads back to work.

Benson says that Gordon gave up his tablet that has some pervie stuff on there. Benson says Gordon thinks of himself as a voyeur but not a perv. They show the material to Barba on a guy Gordon turned in called Erastes. The man described hanging up a young boy upside down and watching him bleed. They want to go undercover to nab him. Barba isn’t sure but they say they can’t afford to let him go.

Amanda and Murphy go to a photography show as a couple to meet Simon Wilkes. Murphy looks at a photo that Wilkes took of a young boy. He tells Wilkes that Flash wasn’t wrong and says he told him he may have some other work that might appeal to him called studies of a school yard and asks if they can talk prices. He asks to meet Wilkes later. Wilkes says to meet at a bar called Peter Js around the corner. Murphy says he’ll be there in an hour.

Murphy meets Wilkes at the bar and tells him that his wife is a fan of his works. Wilkes asks how he knows Flash and Murphy says they met online and chatted and he told him about the school yard series. Wilkes says Greeks appreciated the young male body, hairless and in its prime. Wilkes says it’s all fantasy and Murphy asks what if it wasn’t. Wilkes asks what business he’s in and Murphy says furniture design so he can afford it.

Murphy says they should both turn off their cell phones so they know their conversation is discreet. Wilkes asks where they are and Murphy says there were talking about young boys and money. Wilkes flips out a blade and asks Murphy if he’s talking about more than sex and Murphy says they’re on the same page. He asks Murphy if he’s willing to commit.

Barba listens and says that Murphy is flirting with entrapment. Benson says Wilkes’ wife has a blindspot and loves the guy and Fin says he thinks she’s a sicko too. Murphy says they need to go back to Gordon and get more from him. At Rikers Island, Fin and Amaro talk to Gordon and he wants protective custody. They want to know if Erastes ever talked about really hurting a boy.

Gordon says the guy is into things he would never do. He says there was a live webcast and Erastes kept asking the host to hurt the boy and make him bleed. Gordon says it disgusted him and he turned it off. He says Erastes later bragged that he watched the boy die and suggested that he and Gordon find a boy that no one would miss.

Amaro tells the group about the Damage Groups webcasts that hurt boys. Fin says the darker the skin, the worse they get it because bruises won’t show. Murphy tells them to take over Gordon’s chat room accounts and keep it. Murphy holds Fin back and asks him how long he’s seen this. He says 14 years and says he wants to slam Wilkes in a cage and Murphy asks – how about tonight.

Amanda heads off to a meeting. Benson asks Amaro how he is and says he was hot with Murphy. He tells her about Maria’s job offer in LA and says she wants him to go. She asks if he might go but he says his life is here and he won’t let Maria take his daugher.

In a park, Fin checks Wilkes for a wire as Murphy says they’re there to talk business. Fin says he can help with anything but guns. Wilkes says they want a young boy with no grass on the infield that no one will miss. Fin suggests a South American. He says $40k cash and Wilkes says he doesn’t have that kind of cash but then suggests that he has a venue so they can host a live stream and make the money that way.

Wilkes brings them to the photo gallery and then takes them into the back. He pushes a shelf aside and holds up a small pair of boys’ PJs. He says he’s soundproofed it so no one can hear the screams. He flips the light on and says it’s state of the art. They asks if it all works. Fin looks at all the tools and says he’s a sick freak and he likes him. Wilkes cranks up an autopsy saw and says if he wants to see some skin in the game, let’s peel it off that boy.

brought them to. Murphy says to tear up the place and find some evidence of blood or bone. Fin finds a secret stash of photos and shows them. The group is disgusted. In interrogation, Wilkes insists to Benson that it was all fantasy and that nothing ever happened.

Benson shows him the photos of boys being tortured. He says he Photoshopped them and reminds her that he’s a photographer. Benson says they have him on tape trying to buy a boy. He says that was just a game. Amanda plays good cop and Benson threatens to take him back to his little room and strap him down and use some tools on him. Murphy comes in and yells at her to take a break.

Benson asks why he pulled her out and he says she wasn’t asking questions, she was just yelling. Murphy asks if this is about Lewis and she says she has a shrink and walks off. He sends Amaro in to work him and says to align himself with the suspect. Amaro comes in and uncuffs him and apologizes about Benson. He tells Wilkes that if he’s just a photographer the evidence will prove that.

Amaro says he understands. He says he looks at things all day on the job and it puts things in his head. He says he watches videos at night as a release. Wilkes agrees and says that he was never going to buy a boy and says the other guys were the ones talking about it. Minonna Efron comes in and says his wife retained her and ask the detectives to leave.

In court, Wilkes is up for arraignment. Barba tells the judge that Wilkes built a torture chamber across from the school and says he’s an ongoing threat to children. Efron says he’s an artist with an active imagination but no more than that. The judge sets the bail at $5 million cash. Efron says that’s punitive. Murphy tells the group that he’s being held but they need proof.

Fin says he has some proof that the pictures were Photoshopped. Amaro comes in and says there was a boy taken from the school across the street and was dropped off days later but didn’t know where he had been. They bring the boy in and he can’t pick Wilkes out of the line up. Amaro lets the child and mom go. They also bring some molested kids in but none of them pick him out either.

Fin says a few moms and kids from the school recognized him taking photos but no problems. Amanda says all the trace they found was from Wilkes. Amaro says he must have cleaned it but Amanda says if it had been cleaned his prints wouldn’t have been there. Amaro says he told them he had tortured kids there and asks why anyone would lie about that.

Dr. Huang comes to evaluate Wilkes in jail. He says he has a fantasy life but that was all it was. Wilkes says he’s a visual thinker and Huang asks if he has graphic fantasies and asks to explore that. Huang tells Barba that honestly Wilkes scares him. Benson asks why. Huang says the guy has never sought treatment even though he’s had increasingly graphic fantasies about hurting children. He’s escalating like an addict. Murphy asks if Wilkes will act on them and Huang says that the chamber that Wilkes built is like a potential shooter buying a gun.

Barba negotiates with Efron for a deal. They offer close supervision and Wilkes is interested because it means no jail time. Benson says if they jury is shown his torture chamber they will convict. Efron says they’re done and dares Barba to take it to trial. They leave.

slides. He has the tools out and Fin describes that all the torture tools were taken out of the chamber. Fin says Wilkes told him he wanted to torture a young boy to death in there. Efron asks Fin how long he’s been with SVU and he says 14 years. Efron asks how unusual it is to come across a crime scene with no forensic evidence. He says it happens.

Efron says there is no proof he brought anyone else into that room and Fin says he was planning to. Fin talks to Amaro and asks if he told Wilkes that he also watched videos as a job release. Efron asks if you can predict future behavior based on past then brings up the time he went after three boys with a baseball bat. He says they were tagging his house and came after him.

Huang takes the stand and Efron asks him that he’s saying he can predict that someone will commit a crime and he says he’s making an evaluation. Efron asks if he’s a psychic. Barba says the emotions are stronger than their actual evidence. Amanda gets a message and says Wilkes’ ex-wife is finally ready to talk to them.

She tells Amaro and Amanda that Wilkes has a darkness in them. She says she didn’t know about the extent of his fantasies but then noticed. She says he would close up his laptop but one time he didn’t and she saw him messaging other people about her and Bobby and things he would let them do to them. She says their son was six at the time. She says she made a deal with Wilkes that if would stay away from Bobby and other children, she would keep quiet. Amanda tells her about the room and his ex is disgusted.

Wilkes takes the stand personally. He says he wants the jury to know that he’s a normal person with a wife and a life. He says he takes wedding photos. Barba asks says he mentioned that his fantasies have nothing to do with real life and asks if there is cross over. Wilkes says there is not. Barba asks about other family besides his wife and Efron tries to block it.

Barba asks how often he sees his ex-wife and Wilkes tries to say that it has nothing to do with it. His ex and son come in and sit and Barba repeats the question about why he hasn’t been in contact with his ex and son. Wilkes says he knew he couldn’t be around them because of the pictures in his head. Barba asks if his wife asked him to leave because he wanted to hurt them.

Wilkes says it was his decision to leave and says he would never hurt his son. He breaks down crying. His new wife is shocked – so is his lawyer. In Barba’s closing, he tells the jury that Wilkes watched boys being tortured online and then built a torture chamber with a blood drain in the floor. He says Wilkes never saw his son again because he was convinced he would eventually hurt his own son or even kill him, shouldn’t they be concerned as well.

Efron does her closing. She tells them that Barba has a case with no evidence and no victim and no crime. She says he has a defendant he doesn’t like. She admits Wilkes has pushed boundaries but has never harmed anyone. She says the pictures were Photoshopped and the idea of buying a boy came from the undercover cops.

Efron asks if any of them have had thoughts they knew they would never act on. She mentions cheating on your spouse, killing your boss or mother in law. Efron says don’t think about it or you could be on trial yourself like Wilkes is now. Barba gets in the elevator and then Efron runs in with him. He says it was a nice summation. She says it was a low blow to sneak the ex and son in to rattle him. He asks if she’s given any thoughts to why it rattled him.

The jury is back with a verdict. The judge looks at it and then the foreman says they voted not guilty on attempted kidnapping and attempted sexual abuse of a child. The judge dismisses the jury and thanks them. Efron smiles at Barba. Wilkes goes to his wife and she hugs him. Amanda tells Barba he put up a good fight. Efron comes in the restaurant where they are with Wilkes and his wife and Benson tells Amaro to let it go.

Amaro asks if they just wait for him to do something horrible. He sees his ex and daughter and Maria says she’s moving to LA. He says he’s going to fight her if he has to and she says if they go to court she will bring up things he doesn’t want brought out. She says for his sake and Zara’s he better let it go.

Wilkes is snapping photos of the kids at the school and Amara shows up and tells him to put down the camera. They grapple and Amaro ends up beating the guy down. The cops show up and Amaro tells them that he’s on the job but the cops arrest him and call for an ambulance for Wilkes. They haul Amaro away.