"Father Dearest"
SVU, Episode 13.20
Production number: 13021
First aired: 2 May 2012
  th of 476 produced in SVU  
th of 476 released in SVU
  th of 1229 released in all  
Teleplay By
John P. Roche

Story By
John P. Roche & Warren Leight

Directed By
Rosemary Rodriguez

Dr. Huang reunites with the SVU Squad to track down a twisted seducer of teenage girls looking for their biological father, an anonymous sperm donor.


Detectives Benson and Amaro investigate the disappearance of a teenaged girl after her young brother calls 9-1-1. While Fin and Rollins look into a possible abduction, they discover the girl had been searching for her biological father, an anonymous sperm donor. The investigation takes a startling turn when a suspect is found to be targeting several young, vulnerable women, all with the same personal connection. But the suspect isn't what he seems, and Dr. Huang must delve into his past to save the women.


Detectives Benson and Amaro investigate the disappearance of a girl, Cate Avery, who was researching children born through sperm donation. They learn that Cate was conceived with donor sperm, and that she had tracked down the donor. She was going to meet the man against her mother's wishes.

Tutuola and Rollins locate the girl, who insists she wasn't kidnapped, but refuses to tell them about her donor father. Rollins notes that on a child donor website that Cate viewed, four other possible girls discussed the same sperm donor; their mystery man suddenly had an urgent need to meet his potential offspring. Tutuola and Amaro interview another teenager (Ryann Shane) who met with "donor 141" through a donor connection website thinking that he was her biological father.

Dr. George Huang says it could be genetic sexual attraction, a condition where children who are separated from their parent or siblings at an early age find a sexual attraction takes place when they're reunited with them. Rollins finds a Dr. Colin Barnes who matches the description from the file that she and Benson got from the donor bank. Detectives Benson and Amaro meet with Dr. Barnes, his wife Anne, and his teenage daughter, Taylor. They ask him about his relationships with his offspring that came through sperm donation. He denies ever meeting or wanting to see any of the children conceived through his sperm. Benson puts Colin in a line-up, but none of the girls identify him as the man claiming to be their father.

The squad checks with Colin and Anne to see if they have any enemies and discover that Colin had a contentious relationship with Phillip Kelly. Colin fired Kelly from the hospital after he discovered him operating while under the influence. Rollins and Fin interview Kelly, who does not fit the description of the suspect but does reveal a fellow that Taylor spoke to at his birthday party. Later, Colin anxiously tells the SVU detectives that his daughter Taylor is missing. The detectives look in Taylor's room and discover that she was listening to the same jazz song, My One and Only Love, that the other teenage girls were listening to when they danced with their donor father.

Colin tells the detectives about Sean Albert, a former college boyfriend of Anne's whom she stopped seeing when she met Colin. Dr. Barnes had Sean arrested when he discovered him taking the MCAT exam for other people. Anne suddenly receives a text message from Sean who threatens to hurt Taylor unless she meets him at a bar. Later, Fin and Rollins confront Sean at the bar, but he refuses to talk to anyone except Anne. Sean confesses to having a vendetta against Colin and the egotistical attitude he throws in everybody's face. He reached out to Colin's daughter because she needed someone who truly cared for her.

Sean realizes that Anne is watching his interrogation from behind the glass mirror. He says he'll only tell Anne where Taylor is, and only if she dances with him. Anne reluctantly agrees. When the song ends, Sean whispers in her ear that he killed Taylor. Anne screams in agony as everyone rushes in to separate Sean from her. Rollins says killing Taylor doesn't fit Sean's MO. Benson and Amaro follow up a hunch to search east side hotels. They find Taylor in a hotel room, alive and well, awaiting Sean's return. Benson tells Taylor that Sean deceived her, but she insists that he's her real "father."


Main Cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast


Episode references


Episode quotes

Background information and Notes

  • B.D. Wong reprises his role as Dr. George Huang after last appearing in the Season Twelve episode Bombshell.
  • Gretchen Egolf returns as the character Kendra Gill who is now working as a Defense Attorney.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3

Apartment of
Angela Riva
44 Avenue D
Monday, April 16

Apartment of
Grace Avery
308 East 4th Street
Tuesday, April 17

New York Cryogenics
342 East 30th Street
Wednesday, April 18

4 5 6

Apartment of
Ashley Riggs
3769 Hickory Avenue
Baltimore, MD
Wednesday, April 18

Home of
Colin & Anne Barnes
5026 Arlington Avenue
Thursday, April 19

Flannery's Bar
349 7th Avenue
Sunday, April 22

Previous episode:
"Street Revenge"
"Father Dearest"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 13
Next episode:
"Learning Curve"
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