"Parents' Nightmare"
SVU, Episode 16.22
Production number: 16022
First aired: 13 May 2015
  th of 476 produced in SVU  
th of 476 released in SVU
  th of 1229 released in all  
Written By
Kevin Fox & Brendan Feeney

Directed By
Jean de Segonzac

SVU detectives race to find a boy kidnapped for ransom.


Eight-year-old Owen Farhidi disappears from school and his mother Dana receives a ransom request. When surveillance footage shows that Owen recognized his abductor, Detective Amaro works with Dana and her ex-husband Sam to find and arrest the suspect, but tensions between the estranged couple obstructs the investigation. Meanwhile, Sgt. Benson is asked to take the Lieutenant's exam to formally take the lead over her squad.


After Benson drops Noah off for his first day of daycare, Lt. Tucker waits for her in her office with big news: One PP wants a lieutenant running the SVU squad instead of a sergeant and Tucker wants her to take the Lieutenant's exam. Benson is reluctant, but intrigued about it. She makes an offer to Fin to be a sergeant, but he turns it down.

Meanwhile, across town, Dana Farhidi is getting her 8-year-old son Owen ready for school. After school, a man named Carlos picks him up and forces him into a van. When Dana goes to pick Owen up from school, he's not there.

It is revealed that Dana and her husband, Sam are going through a tough custody battle. After forgetting her cell phone from yoga class, Carisi goes to get it and finds numerous voicemails from Owen, begging his mother to answer the phone or the man won't let him come home.

When Amaro visits Sam at his restaurant, Sam swears that he didn't call the school to have someone pick up Owen and he didn't take him. After looking at security footage, Dana identifies the kidnapper as Javier, her babysitter Fabiana's boyfriend.

The police raid Javier's home, but he's not there. Just then, Dana gets a phone call from Javier demanding $37,000 in cash. The detectives prepare Sam to make the drop, but Javier gets away. After he is caught and Owen is rescued, Javier claims that Dana paid him to take her son.

When Olivia talks to Owen, Owen says that Javier was mad at his mother for not picking up the phone. Fin and Carisi talk to Dana, who says that she talked to Fabiana about her divorce and Sam's money. When Fabiana is questioned, she claims that she had nothing to do with Owen's kidnapping.

Carisi discovers the ransom amount that Javier demanded is the same amount of money that Dana accused Sam of concealing during their divorce. Javier claims that Dana told him the amount of money to demand from Sam. Dana hired Javier to take Owen, paid him the first two installments of $500, texted him the school number, told him how to sign Owen out of school and made sure that she would be late picking him up.

When the detectives show Dana deleted text messages from her phone to Javier, Dana claims that she never sent Javier the texts. When Carisi and Benson talk to Owen again, Owen tells them that Sam comes by the house even though he's not supposed to and that he goes through the e-mails on Dana's phone.

The detectives go back to Javier, who is willing to tell to them who set up Owen's kidnapping if he it gets a deal. He tells them that Sam set up the kidnapping and told Javier to say Dana did it.

The detectives put a wire on Dana and she goes to the restaurant to talk to Sam. Sam reveals that he just wanted to teach Dana a lesson for being irresponsible and was the one who set up Owen's kidnapping. In the end, Sam is arrested by the police.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast


Episode references


Olivia: A mother would never do that to her own son.

Olivia (to Dana Farhidi): The DA will plead this down to unlawful imprisonment, it's a misdemeanor, but Sam could get six months.
Dana Farhidi: Six months? How will I support myself?
Olivia: You'll have to figure it out. You get a job. There are a lot of working mothers.
Dana Farhidi: It's been so long, I wouldn't even know where to start.
Olivia: So learn. You have a child, Dana. It's not about you anymore. You need to be the parent, not Owen.

Fin (about Olivia): She's gonna need a new sergeant and wants me to take the exam.
Amaro: Wow. Congratulations.
Fin: I'm not interested. Not gonna happen. I don't need the headaches.
Carisi: You got that right.

Background information and notes

Episode scene cards

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64 Clinton Street
Tuesday, May 5

Surveillance Van
209 West 140th Street
Tuesday, May 5

Previous episode:
"Perverted Justice"
"Parents' Nightmare"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 16
Next episode:
"Surrendering Noah"
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