Law and Order
SVU, Episode 1.13
Production number: E0910
First aired (US): 4 February 2000
First aired (CAN): 4 February 2000
First aired (AUS): 8 May 2000
  th of 502 produced in SVU  
th of 502 released in SVU
  th of 1271 released in all  
Written By
Janet Tamaro

Directed By
David Platt


The body of Judge Warren Varella is found in his car in a parking lot after a round of golf -- he was shot in the head and the groin. The flurry of publicity that surrounds the case makes it more difficult for the SVU to do their work. Benson and Stabler begin their investigation by interviewing Varella's widow, Winnie, who has been pretending to turn a blind eye toward Varella's numerous indiscretions.

At Varella's memorial service, the detectives notice that a representative from the Governor's office, Emily Waterhouse, is behaving oddly. Also unusual is the amount of attention that the case draws from a women's group called Together We're Safe (TWS). After doing some digging, the detectives discover that Varella was using TWS as a money laundering operation to contribute to the Governor's re-election campaign. In return, the Governor, who didn't know where the money came from, had put Varella on the fast track.

Part of Varella's scheme included extorting money from vulnerable women that he met through TWS, who would pay Varella to help solve their problems. Varella's solutions often included using his power to tamper with parole hearings, including the recent case of a vicious wife-beater named Roger Silver.

Benson and Stabler also discover a lot of women with prior records and reputations who are happy to "service" Varella in order to expunge certain aspects of their past. Emily is one of those women, but with all of the dealings Varella had going on, Emily is only one in a long list of people to consider in the case.

Munch and Cassidy visit the golf course to do some more digging. An eyewitness -- a homeless woman who was in plain sight of the murder scene -- tells them that she saw a woman in a uniform exiting Varella's car after the shots were fired. The detectives realize that Roger Silver's wife, Gina, is a flight attendant. They go to Gina's apartment, and notice her unusual lipstick color, which matches a type found at the crime scene, and she eventually confesses to killing Varella.

Varella had asked Gina to pay her annual dues, then broke off the arrangement. When she asked to make a call to Albany, he did so only to let Silver out of jail--it turned out that Gina had submitted to the judge to keep her husband in prison. Cragen says he wishes he could exhume Varella's body, and kick his ass. Gina gets immunity from the state attorney general in exchange for helping nail some of Varella’s corrupt buddies.

Silver goes to Gina's apartment, and holds her hostage. Benson and Stabler respond. Silver attempts to shoot Stabler, but Benson fatally shoots Silver. Now Benson and Stabler realize what kind of danger Varella put Gina and Jillian in by getting Silver released.

Also, Cassidy is still being awkward with Benson. Benson tells him that Stabler doesn’t know about what happened between them, and that the two of them don’t discuss their private lives. Cassidy ends up losing his temper with Benson in front of the squad.

Cragen decides to test Cassidy's readiness to deal with sex crimes by sending Cassidy to check up on a 16-year-old rape survivor that Cragen met when he worked in homicide 7 years ago, and she was 9-years-old at the time. She lives in Queens. Her mother's boyfriend raped her, and then killed her mother.

Cassidy visits her, and she details how her abuser systematically violated her, and then had her gang-raped. Later, Cassidy tells Munch that he went to see that girl, and it destroyed him. Cragen notices when Cassidy can't muster out even a stranger offering to help her, in his vulnerable state, saying Benson and Stabler will take the case. Cassidy decides that he lacks the stomach to deal with the kind of crimes that the SVU deals with, so he transfers out of the SVU to a Narcotics position Cragen said is open, saying he's friends with people there who can hook him up. Munch and Cassidy share some last laughs and a goodbye hug.


Main cast[]

Recurring cast[]

Guest cast[]



Munch: I want you to seal this crime scene tighter than an accountant's ass.

[about the murder victim]
Munch: If this was a hit, they would have only shot him in one head.

Cassidy: Paying for sex is just so pathetic.
Munch: One way or another, you pay, my friend.

Jeffries: Wow. $4.7 million in one year.
Cassidy: That's pretty good for a fledgling charity.
Benson: "Fledgling." I'm impressed.
Cassidy: Oh yeah, that's right, I'm a real dope, aren't I? You know what I did last night? I looked it up and I memorized it just so I could impress you.

Sheena Reid: Tyrell's got three kids to support. I go there to remind him.
Benson: Then how'd you make a new one with no conjugal visits?
Sheena Reid: Immaculate Conception.

Munch: Hello and welcome to Parole Phone. If you're paying with sex, press 1. If you want to make a donation to a phony charity, press 2.

Stabler: He was a jerk. He used you and then he was going to dump you. But why go to those lengths to get back an abusive husband? We don't get that.
Gina Silver: Oh my god. I didn't have sex with the judge to get my husband out. I did it to keep him in.

Cragen: [about the murder victim] A dirty judge. Using sex to influence the justice system? You gotta hate that. Plus, the hypocrisy. All that women's issues' stuff while using and abusing. You know, if I could, I would exhume the body and kick his ass... but it's all moot now.

Benson: And the ballpeen hammer? Don't tell me. You were cleaning it, and it just went off.
Roger Silver: Pretty and smart. Nice combination. You married, Detective?
Stabler: Why don't you play The Dating Game with someone who shares your clinical diagnosis.

Cragen: Here you go, Marcus. Happy New Year.
Marcus: What the hell is this?
Cragen: 42 cases that are now your problem.

Cragen: There's an opening in Narcotics. The Captain's a friend of mine. You could do a lot of good over there, you know. It wouldn't...
Cassidy: Wouldn't what?
Cragen: Well, it wouldn't be like this, Brian.

Cassidy: Okay. I'm outta here.
Munch: For good, you mean? Well, maybe you should. You know, you're a sweet guy, Bri. Stuff around here's too weird for you.
Cassidy: Yeah, Captain said I could go over to Narcotics, you know, play cowboy, beat up on some people.
Munch: That's not a bad idea. Seriously. I saw the way you were with that junkie. You got to of her where most guys can't.
Cassidy: I don't know. It's like... sex crimes? Come on. I still feel embarrassed buying rubbers at the drugstore.

Background information and notes[]

  • This is Dean Winters' last appearance as Detective Brian Cassidy until 12 years later in the thirteenth season episode "Rhodium Nights". Winters would also go on to appear elsewhere in the Law & Order franchise with a guest appearance as another character, Mike Stoat, in the Law & Order: Criminal Intent season seven episode "Purgatory".
  • This is the first time that Detective Olivia Benson was forced to shoot a suspect. In this case it was Roger Silver.
  • When Eliot and Olivia first go to question Gina Silver, her apartment is shown as being on West 75th Street. Later, when they talk with her about having detectives watch her home, Olivia mistakenly says that Gina lives in the neighborhood of Washington Heights. West 75th Street is on the Upper West Side, about eighty blocks (four miles) south of Washington Heights.
  • Goof: Cassidy states in a scene that Judge Varella was murdered in a Black Cadillac Seville when the car he was murdered in was a mid 1990's Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham.

Episode scene cards[]

1 2 3

Chambers of
Judge Warren Varella
Wednesday, January 10

City Hall
Thursday, January 11

Office of Carole Pinto
New York State
Parole Board
Thursday, January 11

4 5 6

Apartment of
Gina Silver
263 West 75th Street
Friday, January 12

Correctional Facility
Hudson, New York
Friday, January 12

Office of
State Attorney General
Conference Room
Friday, January 12

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