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"Design"
SVU, Episode 7.02
Production number: 07001
First aired: 27 September 2005
  th of 502 produced in SVU  
th of 502 released in SVU
  th of 1271 released in all  
Benson Design.jpg
Written By
Lisa Marie Petersen

Directed By
David Platt

Benson counsels a suicidal pregnant woman who claims she was raped by a millionaire. When she turns up dead, Benson digs deeper to find the real truth.

Summary

Benson saves April Troost from committing suicide, but feels responsible when Troost dies during the trial of the man she accuses of raping her and getting her pregnant. It isn't long before detectives learn that Barclay Pallister wasn't the only man April picked up in a bar who has no recollection of sleeping with her, and the squad realizes that Troost was no victim. Their search takes them from prospective parents looking to adopt her child to the men she drugged and raped to the sperm center she used to work at, which ends up at the center of the case. The sperm center is run by Troost's father, a doctor who wants to create a "better human being".

Plot

The detectives proceed to interview all of the donors that April met who all claim that they met her a bar and they woke up in their bed alone feeling sick, before it is revealed she slip something in their drink; Rohypnol. Elliot meets with Pallister who confirms the same story as the other men before Elliot tells him what happened. Pallister repeats his innocence but wonders what method April used.

Warner soon reveals the method of how April could've gotten the samples to Fin and Munch. It is also noted that since the men were drugged and unconscious, they never knew what happened.

In the prencinct, SVU are wondering where April could've taken the baby, before Barclay Pallister arrives telling them that they have to find his baby. When Casey tells him that they don't know where the baby could be, Pallister reminds her that she owes him for all he has endured because of the case.

Benson brings in April's father who tries to beg his daughter to give up the location of the baby but she refuses to budge. Seeing this, he begs Novak to take the baby from her. After a deal was made for April who gives up the location of the baby.

It is revealed that Sarah was placed in the custody of April’s mother Lorraine who is trying to flee the city with the baby but Stabler and Benson threaten her with arrest if she does not comply with handing the infant over. Lorraine begrudgingly complies and walks away.

The baby is taken to the hospital while Benson shares words with Cragen about April and her mother noting that they haven't seen the last of them. Sarah is identified to be all right with no medical conditions and discharged.

The Detectives soon bring Sarah to Barclay who reveals that he has already made a room ready for his daughter. Barclay brings up the research of April’s father and how he learned about her IQ, while noting that Sarah now has the best genes from him. The episode ends with the detectives watching Barclay holding his new daughter.

Cast

Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast

References

Quotes

  • Melinda Warner: The only explanation is a technique called "Electro-ejaculation."
  • Fin Tutuola: I don't like the sound of that.
  • Melinda Warner: (picks up a metal rod attached to a power box) Nothing to it. Insert this end in the rectum and electric shock causes an involuntary ejaculation.

  • John Munch: I thought i'd heard of every sex crime.
  • Fin Tutuola: Damn, who thinks this stuff up?

  • Dr. McManus: The intelligence of the world's population is rapidly declining. Poor less educated people are reproducing at higher rates than bright successful ones.
  • Elliot Stabler: I have four kids.
  • Dr. McManus: (pause)... Yes.

  • April Troost: I'm too beautiful for prison.

  • April Troost: You have a sick imagination.
  • Olivia Benson: On my best day I couldn't make this stuff up.

  • Barclay Pallister: You have to find my baby.
  • Cragen: Mr. Pallister
  • Barclay Pallister: You must make April tell you where she put the baby.
  • Novak: She won't. Not unless I make her a deal.
  • Pallister: You have to.
  • Novak: I make her a deal and she walks.
  • Pallister: You owe me.

  • Olivia Benson [to April]: Novak let you off, didn't she?
  • April Troost: Yeah.
  • Olivia Benson: I'm glad.
  • April Troost: Why?
  • Olivia Benson: Because you don't deserve to be a mother and I'm gonna make sure you never see that child again.
  • April Troost: Good. Maybe the kid might have a chance.

  • Captain Cragen [to Olivia]: Liv, you gotta stop beating yourself up. The baby matters more. Now she'll be loved.

Background information and notes

  • Electroejaculation, a process described in the episode when used for the crimes discovered, is a breeding procedure used on livestock, where a probe rectally penetrates the animal and a shock then triggers an orgasm for sperm to be collected for insemination.
  • This episode concludes with the Law & Order episode, "Flaw", which aired Wednesday, September 28, 2005.
  • Bobby Flay is the real-life ex-husband of former "SVU" cast member Stephanie March.
  • This is far from the first time that NBC has featured a female character who used date-rape drugs to rape her male partners. In the mid-1990s, the character of Sami Brady on "Days of our Lives" used a date-rape drug to accost her sister's fiancé, and in 2004, the character of Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald on "Passions" used a date-rape drug to accost her former fiancé in the hopes of getting pregnant.
  • Nitpick: Since all plea bargains are subject to the discretion of the court and not the ADA, it's unlikely that April Troost could just walk off because Novak said that she could, especially considering she was still under arrest.
  • Nitpick: No one in Barclay Pallister's laboratory is wearing eye protection, which could get him in serious trouble with OSHA if they ever find out about it.
  • They were able to charge McManus with stealing sperm, but in "Waste" and "Birthright", they were unable to charge doctors with stealing women's eggs because 'body parts have no monetary value'. If that holds true for eggs, then it should also hold true for sperm. (This can be explained by Olivia asking the woman how much she paid for the sperm. Since the woman paid a specific amount of money, it gave the sperm a specific price. The eggs, on the other hand, were removed to perform a procedure and all costs involved were placed on the procedure, not the eggs themselves).
  • According to the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Unofficial Companion, Donald Trump was originally set to play the role of Barclay Pallister but he wasn't ready in time for filming, resulting in him being replaced.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3 4

Pallister Labs
43 West 37th Street
Wednesday, March 2

Trial Part 15
Tuesday, March 22

Trial Part 15
Wednesday, March 23

Apartment of
April Troost
104 East 16th Street
Wednesday, March 23

5 6 7

Pallister Residence
135 East 84th Street
Thursday, March 24

McManus Institute
114 East 57th Street
Friday, March 25

Rikers Island
Tuesday, March 29

Previous episode:
"Demons"
"Design"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 7
Next episode:
"911"
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