Law & Order: SVU season 19 episode 17 proved to be an episode that was emotional, powerful, and ultimately about misdirection. You think the story was going in one direction only for it to veer into another place.
Tonight’s episode started with the disappearance of a young woman named Haley, who vanished after a class trip to New York City. There were some photos of her partying with some people in the city, including someone wearing a creepy clown mask. The more that the investigation progressed, the more that it seemed as though Haley may have been killed.
However, over time the walls started to close in more around James Turner, her former music teacher, and it turned out that this case was more of a runaway than it was a kidnapping or a murder. Haley wanted to go away from her family and be with James, though she knew that nobody else was going to approve of the decision. That is why they hid out together in the home of his former friend hoping to not be found. She did her best in order to fake her own death and then, after the fact, she and James were going to tour the world together.
There was a certain ripped-from-the-headlines element to this episode, at least in terms we’ve heard stories about teachers trying to run off with their young students before. This is where things aren’t ripped from the headlines at all — to make matters all the more twisted, it was also revealed near the end of the episode that Haley’s mother had also slept with James seventeen years in the past. That means, according to her mother, that Haley had actually been sleeping with her biological father.
This was a harrowing case that had, at the end of the day, a harrowing ending. In the aftermath of everything it was clear that Haley was mentally troubled and it was going to take some time for her to recover from this. Turner, meanwhile, ended up being found guilty to a number of different charges and ended up on suicide watch.
SVU season 19 episode 17 ended up being one of the most demented cases of the entire season, and it was also one that contained a few personal surprises to go along with it. After the case was resolved, for example, it was revealed that Stone’s sister had schizophrenia and visiting her upstate was one of the reasons why he decided to stay in New York. It wasn’t just about carrying on his father’s legacy; it was also about trying to find a way to connect with someone within his family. This is one of his new responsibilities and this is a part of his new life.
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