"Above Suspicion"
SVU, Episode 14.02
Production number: 14002
First aired (US): 26 September 2012
First aired (UK): 23 October 2012
First aired (CAN): 27 September 2012
First aired (AUS): 4 October 2012
  th of 476 produced in SVU  
th of 476 released in SVU
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Written By
Julie Martin & Warren Leight

Directed By
Michael Slovis

The Special Victims Unit tries to stop a growing scandal when Captain Cragen is arrested for the murder of an escort.

Summary[edit | edit source]

The SVU squad is reeling from the fallout after Captain Cragen wakes up with a dead escort - a potential witness in an SVU case - in his bed. Tensions run high at the precinct as the detectives contend with District Attorney Paula Foster's investigation of Cragen, as well as the arrival of a tough new captain, Steven Harris. Brian Cassidy treads an increasingly narrow line as an undercover cop in Bart Ganzel's escort organization, as Detective Nick Amaro struggles with the case and his marriage.

Plot[edit | edit source]

In part two, Amaro has Cassidy pinned down at gunpoint in the bathroom. Cassidy explains that Carissa used him as an excuse to get to Cragen. Meanwhile, Ganzel finds a hidden microphone in his condo while hanging a picture.

Foster gets notice that the bugs in Ganzel's condo went dead, but she can't get ahold of Cassidy to find out what happened. She asks Olivia to track him down. Benson goes to Amaro's apartment, suspecting that he has something to do with Cassidy's disappearance.

Cassidy convinces Ganzel to cooperate with the police in order to bring conclusive evidence against Delia. In exchange, Ganzel asks for the evidence from three years of wiretapping to be used against him in the future.

Rollins and Fin ask Ganzel to testify against Delia in court, but Ganzel says that he'll only testify if he's granted full immunity.

As they leave Ganzel's apartment, Olivia & Cassidy discover two carjackers attempting to steal Ganzel's car. One carjacker runs away and Olivia gives chase while the other carjacker pulls a gun on Cassidy.

Cassidy pulls his gun, an NYPD patrol car arrives and a female officer pulls her gun. Despite Cassidy shouting that he is an undercover officer, the officer ends up shooting him twice in the chest.

Internal Affairs learns that the officer who shot Cassidy is Alana Gonzalez, a clean cop who has never had any trouble. Olivia is suspicious because the patrol car arrived too fast and both officers have been coached. Captain Harris agrees with Olivia and they decide to investigate on their own.

While questioned, Alana claims that she didn't know that Cassidy was a police officer, but Rollins says they know it was an arranged hit and Alana will go to prison unless she cooperates. Alana reveals that her sergeant told her that Cassidy was armed and dangerous and she would get a promotion if she "took him out."

Foster meets with Ganzel's lawyer, Mr. Querns to tell him that he is also being accused of Ganzel's crimes. Foster and Olivia play the tapes from the wiretaps for Mr. Querns in which Ganzel speaks ill of him and talks at length about how Querns is the scapegoat for his illegal activity. Mr. Querns decides to resign as Ganzel's attorney in order to testify against him.

When Querns goes back to Ganzel's loft to resign, Ganzel confesses that he killed Carissa because she and Cassidy were having an affair. He explains how he set Carissa up to frame Cragen, but he became upset when he found out about Cassidy and killed Carissa in Cragen's apartment. Luckily, Querns recorded the whole conversation on his cell phone.

Cragen is off the hook for Carissa's murder and when Olivia is picking him up from prison, she delivers some bad news: Cragen is cleared of the murder charge, but three of Delia's escorts have accused him of solicitation and forced sodomy.

Olivia heads to Foster's office to question her about the string of failed investigations into Delia's business practices. She suspects Delia has a mole in the department, but Foster urges Olivia to let Cragen take the fall because Delia is too powerful to take down. Foster has to leave in a hurry to tend to a medical situation with her daughter which gives Olivia an idea.

Under Oliva's lead, the SVU team begin looking into Foster's finances. They learn that her daughter's medical expenses are much more than Foster can afford which means that she is getting money from somewhere else.

Olivia realizes that Foster is Delia's mole in the department. She confronts Foster about the money and eventually Foster confesses to receiving bribes to drive investigations away from Delia.

In the end, Foster and Delia are arrested and it is revealed that the District Attorney was complicit in the crimes, along with numerous high-profile politicians and various vice squad police officers who had taken bribes from Delia.

Delia's escorts recanted their accusations against Cragen which clears his name, but Cragen knows that it won't be the same now.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Main cast[edit | edit source]

Recurring cast[edit | edit source]

Guest cast[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Episode references

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Amaro: Who are you working for?
Cassidy: Look, Amaro, I think we got off on the wrong foot here.
Amaro: Man, shut up! I don't like you, I don't trust you.

Tutuola: Well, just hurry back, Captain. Harris won't stop busting my chops about how I dress.
Cragen: He's right.

Foster: Olivia, You can't win them all. We took down a major player in sex trafficking and I made sure that your captain can retire with full benefits.
Benson: And a destroyed reputation.
Foster: He did hire those women.
Benson: He didn't have sex with them. You're taking the word of prostitutes over a 30-year respected cop.
Foster: With his share of demons. I can't have an SVU captain paying for escorts.
Benson: So Delia gets away with murder? Maggie Murphy? Anya Solar? Iris Peterson?
Foster: We don't have a shred of evidence that ties Delia to those crimes. We can't even prove they were crimes. Maggie could have been an overdose, Iris, a suicide, Anya, a car accident...
Benson: So go after them for prostitution. Go after her like you did Ganzel.
Foster: That ship has sailed.
Benson: What does that mean?
Foster: I dropped those charges. I granted her immunity on them. Confidentially, Delia is going to be cooperating with our office on future cases.
Benson: She's turning over her client list?
Foster: We're talking to her.
Benson: Okay, then.
Foster: I know I've disappointed you and I do feel sorry for your captain. For what it's worth, Olivia, I tried.

You don't understand what it's like to have a child completely dependent on you. Agonizing about her every single day. Terrified about what's gonna happen to her when you're gone. You can't ever understand that. You're not a mother.

–Paula Foster

Benson: Let's go for a walk.
Foster: Why?
Benson: Because I'm going to have to arrest you, and I don't want to do it in front of your daughter.

Background information and notes[edit | edit source]

  • This episode premiered alongside Lost Reputation as a special two-hour event.
  • This episode was dedicated to the memory of John Moresco.
  • Foster says Olivia is not a mother but she becomes an adoptive mother next season.

Episode scene cards[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4

Supreme Court
Motion Hearing
Friday, May 18

Lobby of
Bart Ganzel's Loft
141 Varick Street
Saturday, May 19

Rikers Island
Visiting Room
Sunday, May 20

Office of
Paula Foster
352 Hudson Street
Wednesday, May 23

Previous episode:
"Lost Reputation"
"Above Suspicion"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 14
Next episode:
"Twenty-Five Acts"
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