Law and Order
SVU, Episode 10.03
Production number: 10004
First aired: 14 October 2008
  th of 502 produced in SVU  
th of 502 released in SVU
  th of 1271 released in all  
Kathleen & Bernadette Stabler.jpg
Written By
Amanda Green

Directed By
David Platt


When Stabler gets a call to help catch a trespasser, he's shocked when the clues lead him to a suspect in his own family: his daughter Kathleen. Things get so bad he seeks help from his estranged mother.


Olivia visits Kathleen and has brought her grandmother Bernadette. They talk, with Kathleen believing her father hated her but Bernadette reveals he does not while begrudgingly hinting to Kathleen that she, herself, was suffering from bipolar disorder after listing an incident where she injured Elliot as a child. Bernadette also reveals Elliot covered up the story to his father.

Realizing she needed help, Kathleen thanks her grandmother while Bernadette has Olivia promise to keep this from her son.

In court, Kathleen accepts a plea in which she had to undergo treatment and medication for her condition. Seeing this, a confused Elliot questions what brought about this change while Benson makes a subtle reference to his mother


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast

  • Ellen Burstyn as Bernadette Stabler
  • Steven Flynn as Mr. Foster
  • Sarah Bennett as Ronda Foster
  • Megan Tusing as Julia
  • Fiona Dourif as Detective Nikki Breslin/Mikki Braithwaite
  • Rob Welsh as Will
  • Jay Sullivan as Boy
  • Brian Anthony Wilson as Detective Jawarski
  • Peter O'Hara as Detective Corman
  • Sheila Kay as Waitress
  • Robert Mauzell as Corrections Officer
  • Ed Kalegi as University Professor (uncredited)



Stabler: Liv! Patrol dumped this one on us, why? Because a whack job was found naked in the shower?
Benson: Elliot.
Stabler: Last week it was because a guy had his 'johnson' out taking a piss in the alley. What's next? Fido puppy humping in the dog run?
Benson: Elliot, I called you in.
Stabler: Why because your "Spidey Sense" tells you she was a rape victim?
Benson: Because she's your daughter.
Stabler: Kathleen...

Kathleen Stabler: [high] Hey, Olivia. You want to come play?
Benson: Uh, that's probably not the best idea, sweetie...

Bernadette Stabler, on the depression that accompanies bipolar disorder: Well, that's the price we pay for greatness, honey. The higher you fly, the farther you fall.

Elliot Stabler: What the hell just happened?
Olivia Benson: Maybe God remembered how cute you were as a carrot.

Maddox: Your new ADA's a smart cookie. Looney bin's the safest place to hide from the long arm of the law. I have to say, Elliot, I'm surprised you called me.
Stabler: My daughter needed a shark, you're the deadliest one I know.
Maddox: Thanks?

Background information and notes

  • The song Kathleen is singing during the shower scene at the start of the episode is called "The Eddystone Light" by Burl Ives.
  • After Kathleen is diagnosed with bipolar disorder after her OD, it is referred to as BPD. However, BPD is actually meant to stand for "Borderline Personality Disorder", which is a completely different condition (though bipolar disorder may also be present, and BPD is often misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder).
  • The first and only appearance of Bernadette Stabler, Elliot's mother on SVU. She later appears in the Law & Order: Organized Crime episode "New World Order".

Episode scene cards

1 2 3 4

Dorm Room of
Kathleen Stabler
Hudson University
Friday, October 3

Saint Mark's Hospital
Emergency Room
Friday, October 3

Office of
Assistant District Attorney
Kim Greylek
Friday, October 3

Long Beach Island
New Jersey
Saturday, October 4

5 6 7

Part 74
Monday, October 6

Hal's Crab Shack
Long Beach Island, NJ
Monday, October 6

Part 74
Tuesday, October 7

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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 10
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