SVU, Episode 11.04
Production number:
First aired: 14 October 2009
  th of 476 produced in SVU  
th of 476 released in SVU
  th of 1229 released in all  
Exec. ADA Paxton Hammered
Written By
Dawn DeNoon

Directed By
Peter Leto


After a night of heavy drinking, Dalton Rindell wakes up to a bloody apartment, a terrible cut on his head and a dead woman in his bed. Unable to recall the night before, Dalton immediately calls the police. Detectives Benson and Stabler suspect the crime is the result of a deadly love triangle; however Dalton does not recognize the victim. After questioning Dalton and the victim’s family and friends, Benson and Stabler are provided with leads in several different directions. Unsure which lead to follow, the two detectives decide to return to the bar where the night began in order to piece together the gruesome truth.


Episode plot


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast


Audrey Hale; R-T Development; Clarissa Hale; Operation Save & Deliver; Westside Women's Health Clinic; West Falls Lounge; Serena Benson


[at the behest of the judge, Benson enters the courtroom with a breathalyzer]
Benson: Where would you like me to administer the test, your honor? Right at the defense table?
Dalton: Guess again.
Judge Moredock: Unfortunately, the prosecution.
Benson: No. You can't be serious.
Paxton: Could you please clear this up, Olivia? They're trying to ruin my reputation.
Judge Moredock: I have no desire to ruin your reputation, counselor. [to Benson] Detective, were you drinking with Miss Paxton last night?
Benson: I wasn't drinking.
Judge Moredock: Was she?
Benson: I saw her consume two drinks.
Judge Moredock: So you did lie to me. How many drinks did you have after Detective Benson left?
Paxton: I object to this line of questioning, your honor.
Judge Moredock: Then blow!
Paxton: No. I can attest, as an officer of this court, that I am not intoxicated.
Benson: Sonya, your eyes are bloodshot and watery, your speech is slurred, and you stink of booze. Now, blow.
Paxton: I thought you were my friend.
Benson: Just do it.
Paxton: Don't do this to me, Olivia. Please don't do this to me.
Benson: You did this to yourself, Sonya. Now, blow.
[Paxton exhales steadily into the breathalyzer; Benson removes it]
Benson: I got it.
Judge Moredock: Bring it up here. Let me see.
Paxton: I saw it, your honor. It's .07. It's legally sober.
Judge Moredock: I was hoping for a 0.
Benson: It's still climbing.
Judge Moredock: For the record, your blood level count is .082.
Paxton: That's residual from last night. I'm fine, your honor. I am ready to proceed.
Judge Moredock: Counselor, you have a problem. I'm ordering you removed from this courtroom.

[Benson and Dalton exit the courthouse after Dalton's trial has ended in a mistrial and dismissal]
Benson: I hope you know that you're the luckiest man alive.
Dalton: Ya think? No matter how long I live, no matter what I do with the rest of my life, my obituary is already written: Dalton Rindell, the man who killed Audrey Hale.
Benson: It's still all about you.
Dalton: I've destroyed so many lives.
Benson: You finally owning up to it? You know, you can never serve time for this, no matter what you tell me. So, why don't you get it off your chest? Tell me.
Dalton: After seeing all the evidence, after watching that prosecutor falling down drunk, ruining her own career, it was like looking in the mirror. [shook up] I finally realize that I'd done it. I killed her.
Benson: Why?
Dalton: [sobs] I swear, I don't know. I swear to God! [inhales] I had no reason to hurt her. My doctor told me that in an alcohol blackout, maybe I might've known exactly what I was doing. But the memory never formed. And it never will. Maybe the stress from my business going under made me snap and I took it out on her. I don't know. How am I supposed to live with that?
Benson: I don't know.

Captain Cragen: (to Benson and Stabler) Now what part of taking a killer-rapist on a field trip sounded like a good idea?
Munch: Dalton wasn't technically under arrest...
Captain Cragen: Zip it, John. They are perfectly capable of making their own half-assed excuses.

  • Stabler: That woman was a walking clusterf...
  • [he stops as he sees Paxton walk in]
  • Paxton: That's probably how I would've put it. Except I wouldn't have censored myself.

Background information and notes

  • This will mark the last appearance of Christine Lahti as ADA Sonya Paxton until Turmoil.
  • This marks the first time onscreen that Olivia visits her mother's grave after learning her mother's death back in Taken and understand the cause of her death in Intoxicated.
  • The case has some elements ripped from the headlines of the abortion doctor, Dr. George Tiller, who was murdered in his church. Other elements were ripped from the case of Paul Cox, who murdered a couple while under an alcohol-induced blackout.
  • ADA Sonya Paxton's fender-bender excuse is based on Vegas defense lawyer Joe Caramagno showing up late to court. The judge declared a mistrial after a breathalyzer test was administered. His story starts out as a fender-bender, but keeps getting more improbable as he explains.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3 4

Mercy General Hospital
365 West 32nd Street
Thursday, July 30

R-T Developers
1494 Sixth Avenue
Thursday, July 30

Residence of
Linda Peters
129 West 23rd Street
Thursday, July 30

154 East 57th Street
Friday, July 31

5 6 7 8

Supreme Court
Frye Hearing
Part 67
Monday, August 10

Supreme Court
Trial Part 67
Wednesday, September 2

Supreme Court
Trial Part 67
Thursday, September 3

Supreme Court
60 Centre Street
Thursday, September 3

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Season 11
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