Law and Order
"Garland's Baptism By Fire"
SVU, Episode 21.18
Production number: 21018
First aired (US): 2 April 2020
First aired (UK): 21 April 2020
First aired (CAN): 2 April 2020
First aired (AUS): 26 November 2020
  th of 502 produced in SVU  
th of 502 released in SVU
  th of 1271 released in all  
Written By
Cheryl L. Davis & Micharne Cloughley

Directed By
Norberto Barba


Garland must put his friendship aside when a pastor at his church is arrested.


Benson attends a dinner party at Chief Garland's house. She meets Edgar Goodwin who takes a liking to her.

Meanwhile, Carisi brings Rollins down to meet with Sherry Blake, a church accountant accused of embezzlement who wants to trade information about a serial sexual predator. Meeting with Blake and her lawyer, Blake reveals an official at her church sleeps with the underage girls and pays them off with church funds. Blake and her lawyer want assurances that the NYPD does its job, revealing the official is a close friend of their boss.

At the Garland house, Garland has his friend Delman Chase say grace as he answers the door. At the door it is Carisi and Rollins who bring the case to his attention. Benson comes up, as Rollins informs them that the informant wants to ensure that Garland lets the case proceed. Garland confirms he will and ask who the perpetrator is. Benson and Garland are alarmed to hear its Delman Chase, who is in the other room.

The Detectives proceed to investigate, with them looking into the church funds and seeing the girls are all being paid, meaning that was hush money. They also learn that Chase runs a charter school for the girls, which may be a hunting ground. Soon Chief Garland comes in to speak with Benson about the case and says he'll recuse himself, due to his friendship with Chase. However, Benson tells him that because he knows Chase then he can most likely help. Garland then says Chase's wife was worried about the embezzlement and they can use that.

Carisi and Benson go to see Laura Chase, who finds an oddity in the checks that were given out with one girl getting a high amount. The detectives visits the girls of the checks and one girl tells Fin and Kat of how Chase tried something with her but she shut him down. They soon visit Renee Taylor, who had the largest amount of money but she denies anything and says Chase helped her ailing mother out. Rollins and Kat realize that something is definitely up and someone has to tell Garland.

Meeting with his friend at the park over a game of chess, Garland and Chase discuss the investigation with the latter being worried that there might be a disasterous result. Garland assures him that everything will proceed. Chase appreciate that statement before they share a hug and the Reverend takes his leave. While he is walking off, Benson appears and speaks with Garland. She inquiries on what feeling he got off from the Reverend, as he sadly states Chase protested too much and he believes something is up.

Carisi meets with Chase and Goodwin, informing them of the court proceedings. Chase bemoans the news and blames Renee for seducing him and is confident that he will not get a guilty verdict. However, this changes when Carisi brings up Michelle and Breyona's testimony. Chase believes it to be an extortion attempt, as Goodwin tells him not to say more. Carisi then tells Chase that his own wife turn on him after realizing his guilt.

Fin tells Benson that Goodwin is hear to see her and Benson has him let in. Fin announces that he will be listening outside, as Goodwin remarks that her Sergeant is protective of her and she confirms that. Goodwin informs Benson that Chase took a plea and was arrested on statutory rape and embezzlement charges, with Goodwin arranging for someone else to represent him. Goodwin apologizes to Benson for his attitude, saying that he had no idea what Chase was really like and that he had been fooled by him. Benson informed him that perps like Chase are adept at hiding their nature. Goodwin and Benson part, with both wishing they met under better circumstances.

Garland visits Reverend Chase in prison

At Rikers, Garland visits Chase him in prison and they discuss the events. Garland is dismayed to see Chase acting psychotic, claiming the Lord was testing him, wanting him to minister the imprisoned criminals. Garland then calls Chase on his unrepentant nature and says forgiveness from those he wrong is at a long stretch. After his rant, Chase tells him not to visit again and starts to walk away. However, Garland stops him mid-way to announce he will pray for him. Once Chase leaves to serve his sentence, Garland cried after leaving him.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast




Background Information and Notes

Previous episode:
"Dance, Lies and Video Tape"
"Garland's Baptism By Fire"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 21
Next episode:
"Solving For The Unknowns"
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