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"Chasing Theo"
SVU, Episode 18.08
Production number: 18009
First aired: 11 January 2017
  th of 476 produced in SVU  
th of 476 released in SVU
  th of 1229 released in all  
Svu1808
Written By
Julie Martin & Robert Brooks Cohen

Directed By
Jean de Segonzac

Summary

A six-year-old boy disappears from his bed in the midst of a wild, drug-fueled party thrown by his mother. With a child's life on the line, the case causes Benson to scrutinize her own role as a mother.

Plot

Gloria Ramirez is putting a young boy, Theo Lachere, to sleep before heading out for the night, leaving Theo's mother to have him put on noise cancelling headphones before going to sleep as she was having a party.

Benson is on the phone with Ed Tucker when Noah climbs onto the kitchen counter wanting cookies, causing Olivia to grow scared for her son getting hurt. She tells Ed that she'll call him back.

Early the next morning, Gloria arrives to see the front door open and messy home so she closes the door behind her and goes to Theo's room to get him ready for the day. Upon seeing an empty bed, she begins looking for him and yells for Theo, waking his mother Nadine. Nadine emerges from her room in her robe, confused. Once she learns from Gloria that her son is missing, she rushes to find her phone to call the police, who in turn call in SVU. Rollins and Carisi arrive upon the scene and learn of the party due to the drugs on the table. Rollins immediately begins judging the woman as she had drugs everywhere even with a six-year-old son in the apartment.

As CSU begin looking throughout the home, Nadine notes a missing rug and how she had checked on her son every hour the night before. A CSU tech finds a trace of blood in Theo's room as Carisi interviews Gloria about what happened the night before.

Benson is called in and calmly speaks with Nadine who is still in her robe and crying. She is told to get dressed and go with them. At the precinct, Nadine reveals that she had an ex-wife Dr. Fran Conway and how Theo was a sperm donor baby. Nadine gives them contact information for Fran and admits trying to call her with no answer. As they question her, she remembers a stranger who was taking pictures and asking after her son the night before.

Nadine's friend Kat, who had spent the night, confirmed the story. It causes Carisi and Fin to question Kevin Dorsey, who reveals that he was a private detective hired by Fran Conway. The two men head to the hospital and catch Fran after she got out of surgery. She grows upset with the news of Theo's kidnapping and reveals that the PI was hired so she could get evidence so as to sue for custody.

Fran arrives at the precinct and Nadine approaches her to ask about Theo. The two women argue so they are pulled apart to get questioned by the detectives. Fran is not happy to be a suspect and said that she had only seen him two weeks ago due to what Nadine would agree to. Fran reveals that Nadine barely let her see him. Carisi and Rollins question Nadine for more information and Rollins judges Nadine about her drugs. Fran revealed that Nadine had been dating men as well.

Upon learning that Nadine had seen a man named Gabriel, they question her and learn that she broke up with him two months ago. Rollins continues to judge the woman as the detectives learn that Gabriel was a drug dealer.

Tucker comes by the precinct to check on Benson and their conversation is stilted and awkward. He asks her to leave the precinct with him, to which she refuses due to her worry for the missing boy.

Rollins and Fin arrive at Gabriel's home with a warrant and find children's toys and clothes, with Gabriel rushing out the window. They chase him down and began questioning him as Carisi finds a gun on the man so he is brought into the precinct for more questioning. He calls his lawyer and they meet up with Fin and Carisi who learn that Nadine broke up with him two months ago and tells them everything he knew, which wasn't much.

Twelve hours in have the detectives worry after the kid. Rollins found a van with a man carrying what could be the missing rug from Theo's room. Nadine looks at the photo and grows scared that Theo was rolled up in the rug. Nadine admits to Rollins that it was hard being a single mother and that she had shut out Fran due to fear of being less liked.

Fran is shown the photo and is also upset. Fran reveals that they didn't both get inseminated due to her worrying about work. She also reveals that mothering the other woman caused the end of the relationship and how she didn't rush to adopt Theo due to how much she was working.

Rollins, Carisi and Nadine approach and reveal that Gloria had a brother who worked for the company behind the van. The detectives head to Gloria's home which is empty except for a shrine to Theo: many photos of him on a mirror with white candles lit in front of them.

Showing the two women a photo of the shrine, the detectives ask Nadine and Fran about Gloria. After Oscar returns the van to work, the detectives bring him in and he is questioned by Fin and Carisi. He reveals that he took the boy on behalf of his sister, blaming Nadine for why Theo was taken. He then reveals that he gave his sister money to buy a used car to drive to Mexico. Upon finding the purchased car, they send out an amber alert and put a photo on the news.

Due to the media attention, a man pinpoints them to a motel, but by the time they arrive, the car is gone and neither Theo nor Gloria are there. The detectives enter the room and find that it was a mess, with a piece of paper on the floor with directions to Juárez. They rush off to a nearby gas station that the car was said to be at and find an empty car. As they look around the station, Gloria and Theo are spotted by Benson on foot and they rush off. As they run, Gloria almost gets them run over by a car, and they are then cornered by a police car stopping them from going forward with them blocked from behind.

Upon being removed from Gloria's arms, Theo immediately begins crying and wants to go with Gloria and not go home. He is taken to a hospital to get looked over. After Nadine and Fran rush into the hospital room, Theo immediately mentions wanting to go with Gloria and not caring about his mother or Fran.

Gloria is questioned by Fin and Carisi and reveals that with Nadine's plan to take Theo to Ibiza would get him killed as she and her friends wouldn't pay attention to the young boy. She then says how she is the one who knows things about Theo and how Theo wanted to go to Mexico with her to her family's ranch.

Theo reveals to Benson and Rollins Gloria's plan and what had happened the night of the party: how Oscar came into his room and they played a game where he was a mummy in his rug before meeting Gloria at a motel where he was able to watch cartoons. He then asked after Gloria, yet again. Benson approaches Fran and Nadine and fill them in on what happened. Nadine is more focused on taking Theo home whilst Fran is more worried about how Theo was doing.

Both women are told by Benson that Child Protective Services had been called in so neither women could take him home. A social worker meets with Theo, Fran, and Nadine all together for some time. Afterwards Benson reveals what would happen next and Fran promises to stand up for Nadine in family court if she could be able to be apart of Theo's life as a second mother. Nadine apologizes to Fran and the two women hug.

Benson begins to head out with Fin and Carisi approaches Rollins and tells her that she is a great mother. He then suggests plans with Rollins and her daughter for the night.

At home, Benson says goodnight to Noah with Tucker there. They finally discuss how his idea to retire is what has caused their friction. Tucker admits he knew they both tried to last. She admits that her time and attention had to be on Noah, causing them to break up. He leaves after telling her to take care of herself. Noah calls her so she heads into his room.

Cast

Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast

References

Quotes

Background Information and Notes

Episode scene cards

1 2

Apartment of
Kevin Dorsey
457 West 44th Street
Saturday, January 14

Apartment of
Gabriel Norton
252 Broome Street
Saturday, January 14

3 4

Residence of
Gloria Ramirez
22-31 41st Street
Astoria, Queens
Saturday, January 14

White Gate Motel
238 Ward Avenue
Bordentown, New Jersey
Sunday, January 15


Previous episode:
"Next Chapter"
"Chasing Theo"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 18
Next episode:
"Decline and Fall"
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