Tonight, Law & Order: SVU season 19 episode 20 told a story that was ripped entirely from the headlines — heck, the headlines were even referenced on the show!
The story of the Labott family was inspired, in part, by what we saw from the Turpin Family in California. This was a cult-like family that was being imprisoned effectively and force-fed an overzealous form of religion. It was only through the escape of one of the older children that Rollins and the rest of the team found out about their plight.
In the aftermath of all of this, though, what we saw further was more evidence that Rollins simply could not let any of this go — and she did the right thing because of it. Despite it appearing on the surface as though there was nothing the SVU team could do in order to punish the Labott family patriarch William, they had to figure out another way in which to handle this. That’s where Rollins came into play. She busted into the home and found proof that Labott was abusing his children, tying them up and treating them like dogs. It was only at this point that the Special Victims Unit could really get involved — which, in turn, led to a pretty violent stand-off at the end of the episode. The NYPD and local authorities stepped in, but the problem still was that William was not altogether interested in letting people out of the house. He convinced all of them to be trapped in the house to prepared for the end of the world.
Things got heated the moment that the police descended upon the property, which led in turn to an extremely violent shootout that injured many officers. Some of the family members ended up escaping and after that, William didn’t really have a choice anymore. He realized at that point that he had lost and there was nothing more that he could do. Unfortunately, there were still some children in the house in various states of peril. When it comes to Esther, the original escape who started it all, she was found dead.
After the arrest
William found himself arrested and in an interrogation room, and it seems like he’s going to spend the rest of the life hating Rollins and blaming them for the loss of life incurred in the attack. This is when William’s wife admitted that the only reason she stayed was to keep things from getting worse.
In the aftermath of William’s arrest, Rollins learned that due to her bullet killing Esther, she had to deal with an internal investigation. The closing minutes focused on her paying a visit to a local church, one with a different interpretation of the word of God that was more uplifting and less about fire and brimstone.
Law & Order: SVU season 19 episode 20 was all sorts of horrific, but also one anchored by a brilliant Kelli Giddish performance as we saw the fullest extent of Amanda’s rage and thirst for justice. She became attached to this case and with that in mind, became all the more heartbroken when she revealed that it was her own bullet that caused Esther to die.
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