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Law and Order
"Debt"
SVU, Episode 6.02
Production number: E5203
First aired: 28 September 2004
  {{{nNthProducedInSeries}}}th of 476 produced in SVU  
{{{nNthReleasedInSeries}}}th of 476 released in SVU
  {{{nNthReleasedInAll}}}th of 1229 released in all  
Hannah Wu Huang Debt.jpg
Written By
Amanda Green

Directed By
David Platt

Plot[]

When a six-year-old and her baby sister are found abandoned in an apartment, SVU is called. With the help of Huang as a translator, the detectives surmises that Jiao Wu, the children's mother, has been gone for a week and must've run off with a boyfriend. The detectives question Jiao's friend, Penny, who informs them that Jiao met a man through the dating service Golden Happiness, though Penny insists that Jiao would never leave her children for him. Benson and Stabler learn from Golden Happiness that Jiao Wu had been paired up with a supposedly wealthy Wall Street man, Howard Kendall. In reality, Howard Kendall is a mail boy with a history of assault and driving while intoxicated. Howard explains to Benson and Stabler that Jiao had called off the wedding after learning that he wasn't rich. The detectives track down the sweatshop where Jiao was employed and questions the workers there about Jiao. A coworker of Jiao's points the detectives into the direction of Jiao's sister, Li Mei. Li Mei claims that she has not talked to Jiao in two weeks, and requests to see her nieces. When Li Mei questions Hannah about Jiao, Hannah reveals that Jiao had left to pay a man money to smuggle Jiao's oldest daughter, Ping, into the U.S.

Stabler and Li Mei travel to Chinatown, with Stabler posing as Li Mei's boyfriend in order question the locals. They learn that Jiao had recently gone to visit the INS Detention Center to see Ping, who had been caught trying to sneak into the U.S. Stabler and Benson visit the detention center and meet with Ping's lawyer, Roger Baker, and an INS Agent. According to the agent, Ping was bailed out by a Winnie Chan, and is now in the hands of the smugglers. With nothing more they can do, Stabler and Benson encourage Li Mei to rest and get ready for family court the next morning regarding her nieces. Li Mei fails to appear, causing Stabler to question Li Mei's boss about her whereabouts. Li Mei's boss says a teenager named Tommy confronted Li Mei and took her out the back door. Stabler retraces their footsteps and finds Li Mei lying on the ground, badly beaten. At the hospital, Li Mei becomes hysterical and reveals that the smugglers killed her sister, and now she must pay off Jiao's debt.

While escorting Jiao's children out of ACS, Hannah shows Li Mei a picture of Ping that a man had given to her. Realizing that Ping is now being prostituted frightens Li Mei, and she refuses to tell Stabler where she is meeting the smugglers to hand them the money. Stabler manages to convince her to reveal the location, and the whole squad goes undercover during a sting. Tommy is arrested, along with the smuggling ring's leader, Ricky Yao. Stabler persuades Tommy to reveal the whereabouts of Jiao's body, which is found in a brothel in Flushing. When the detectives and CSU arrive, they find the house empty, and unearth Jiao's body. Novak offers to strike a plea deal with Yao, who refuses and taunts the detectives with Ping. Knowing that Yao will order Ping's death the moment he reaches Central Booking, Stabler has Kathy's cousin, who works in Central Booking, misplace Yao's papers, delaying him. While this is happening, Fin tells Stabler and Benson that Vice picked up a few of Yao's prostitutes. Stabler and Benson question one of the hookers who reveals that Roger Baker was the one who turned her over to Yao. Stabler interrogates Baker and learns that Yao has another brothel on Mosco Street.

The detectives raid the brothel while Novak is in court with Yao. The judge orders Yao's release, who then orders the hit on Ping. Novak attempts to stop one of Yao's men from calling the brothel to relay Yao's orders, but is too late. Benson and Fin burst into the room and see Ping being held at gunpoint. The man threatens to kill Ping but Stabler enters from another door and shoots the man. Li Mei arrives to the scene and reunites with her niece. Fin approaches Stabler with the news that IAB is waiting for him. As the ambulance drives off, Li Mei and Stabler lock eyes before she turns her attention to her niece.

Cast[]

Main cast[]

Recurring cast[]

Guest cast[]

  • Ming-Na as Li Mei Wu
  • Jack Yang as Ricky Yao
  • Aaron Yoo as Tommy
  • James Hong as Sweatshop Owner
  • Kim Chan as Mr. Zhang
  • Curtis L. McClarin as Customs Officer
  • Gene Canfield as Counterfeit Unit Detective D'Allesandro
  • Craig Walker as Howard Kendall
  • Loren Dean as Roger Baker
  • Sabrina Jiang as Hannah Wu
  • Andrew T. Lee as Charlie Ping
  • Ted Oyama as Clerk
  • Karen Tsen Lee as Penny Chen
  • Jenny Wong as Ping Wu
  • Cindy Lee Moon as Jade
  • Nancy Eng as Sweatshop Woman
  • Helen Palladino as Mrs. Armita
  • Pam La Testa as Neighbor
  • Rich Chew as Chinese American Officer
  • Corrine Hong Wu as Prostitute
  • David Ng as Chinese Thug
  • Roger Wu as Man with Gun
  • Frankie Dellarosa as Court Officer

References[]

Quotes[]

Ricky Yao: How about the two of us, candlelight, bottle of Cristal.
Olivia Benson: I don't date scum.
Ricky Yao: Such a beautiful woman with such a foul mouth. What a turn on.
Olivia Benson: Shut up and wait for your lawyer. I bet Junior's already spillin' his guts.
Casey Novak: You ready to deal?
Ricky Yao: Like I told that hot lady cop, I have nothing to say.
Casey Novak: Maybe this is will change your mind. We found Jiao’s body buried under your whorehouse in Flushing.
Ricky Yao: Check the property rolls. Mrs. Chan owns that place. Sweet old lady.
Casey Novak: Grandma didn’t slit Jiao’s throat.
Ricky Yao: How do you know?
Customs Officer: We used to raid sweatshops every week for making phony handbags, designer jeans, even T- shirts, but since 9/11, we put all our manpower into DVDs.
Olivia Benson: Boot-leg movies pose a threat to national security?
Customs Officer: When al-Qaeda’s selling them. Interpol raided a sleeper cell found 20,000 copies of Lion King, cheap to make, the profit margin’s higher than drugs and a hell of a lot less risky.
Elliot Stabler: Using Mickey Mouse to fund terrorist attacks on America. What next?

Background information and notes[]

Episode scene cards[]

1 2 3 4

Chen's Market
252 Grand Street
Tuesday, July 13

McMaster, Kennedy
& Barringer
58 Wall Street
Tuesday, July 13

Zhihua Buddhist Temple
73 Hester Street
Wednesday, July 14

Immigration and
Customs Enforcement
26 Federal Plaza
Wednesday, July 14

5 6 7

Family Court
Thursday, July 15

ACS Foster Home
Queens, New York
Thursday, July 15

Immigration
Detention Center
Saturday, July 17


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Season 6
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