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"They'd Already Disappeared"
SVU, Episode 23.07
Production number: 23007
First aired (US): 4 November 2021
First aired (UK): 27 June 2022
First aired (CAN): 4 November 2021
First aired (AUS): 13 January 2022
  th of 502 produced in SVU  
th of 502 released in SVU
  th of 1271 released in all  
SVU2307.jpg
Written By
Kathy Dobie & Micharne Cloughley

Directed By
Bethany Rooney


Summary

When a teenage sex worker disappears, Rollins and Velasco find a key clue in a pile of neglected missing persons reports.

Plot

Rollins and Velasco approach a building, while wondering whether Jones sent them on a wild goose chase before a kid named Jamal approaches. Jamal recognizes that they are cops and asked them if they were going to go investigate the vampire and that it stays in the building. The detectives are surprised especially when he says that at night they see a light go on in the building. When they show him a picture of Beauty, Jamal confirms that she was there and the detectives realized they are on the right track and thank him. They enter the building before noticing a foul odor. To their horror, they uncover a lab with organs in jars along with mummified bodies of women. They also find the latest missing women Tanya and Beauty dead but their bodies had not been harvested yet.

They proceeded to call this in to the others with Benson and Tutuola who bring the chief Medical Examiner Truman who describes the process with the heaters and how no one could have suspected anything because he’s using regular household items. Chief McGrath arrives to tell Benson to make the case, while describing the whole thing as evil. Velasco tells Benson all about his disgust regarding the scene and states that he knows she has seen everything. She tells him that while she has worked on the force for 20 years, she has never seen anything like this and agrees with him on being horrified.

Benson and Tutuola interview Jones once again but he continues to deny any involvement before they show him the pictures of all the mummified girls and describes their torture. Seeing this, he expresses disgust before crying at recalling he brought them to their destination. The Detectives observe his behavior and see that he is genuinely guilty, as he recognized one of the girls and he apologizes to the pictures. After they step out, it is soon revealed that one of the girls went missing while he was in prison meaning he is definitely not the culprit.

Truman soon tells Benson that he did some tests on the girls body and deduce their identities and one of them is a missing girl from Connecticut: her name is Meredith Hart.

Holding a conference, the NYPD offer a reward for anyone who knows the culprit responsible. Fin and Velasco get more info about the perp from a boy named Jamal. They learn he is a Caucasian man who has a pickup truck. Velasco soon states they have found the Hart family.

The Detectives visit Meredith's family with her mother stating she had been dreading this day. She also reveals that Meredith ran off with an older man from the carnival how she would always go to get her daughter but she would always run away. She does not remember the day her daughter went missing but her young grandson Jack speaks up. He is revealed to be autistic but has a very good memory, giving key facts that help the detectives. Jack also recalls the vehicle the man drove, the very vehicle turns out to be the same one that the detectives were looking for and he gives them the license plate. His grandmother is amazed by this and questions Jack on why he never told her and he explains that his mother said not to because she did not want to upset her and would return. With this, the detectives have to go on.

The truck belongs to a man named Trace Lambert and he is arrested by Rollins and Velasco, despite his mother pleading. In the interrogation room, Trace is sitting while the watching Detectives note that he did not ask for a lawyer because he is confident that he will not be charged. Velasco is sent to speak with Mrs. Lambert to get details on her son before Benson comes in and they proceed to talk.

After getting enough info on Trace, Benson goes to see Trace. Using a cunning way of making him confess to the murders, Benson plays on his ego and made it seem as if she did not know he was the killer who she called very intelligent to be able to elude the detectives.

Driven to implicate himself, Lambert confessed to the murders by identifying each girl and their torture. He also reveals that he killed the owner of the building by poisoning him to obtain the whole property, while making the death look like a heart attack. He also gives Benson permission to tell his mother every single detail of his crimes.

Afterwards, he was arrested and imprisoned for the rest of his life. Fin also states the FBI were looking into the spree killings of the eastern seaboard due to the Lambert's carnival traveling there. Fin also says that if Lambert was connected to the murders, the feds were willing to push for the death penalty.

At the end, Truman says he will ensure all of the victims are properly identified so they and their families can have closure. Fin soon spots the grandmother of a victim and goes to speak with her.

Cast

Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast

  • Melvin Abston as Country Jones
  • Blake DeLong as Trace Lambert
  • Dela Meskienyar as Tania Cruz
  • Camila Cano-Flavia as Daria Cruz
  • Laura Gardner as Maggie Lambert
  • Nina Hellman as Lois Hart
  • Christina Shea-Wright as Sylvia Ruiz
  • Keila Brown as Beauty Hanley
  • Noah Melnyk as Jack Hart
  • Keri Rene Fuller as Snowflake
  • Shawana Carter as Missy
  • Alfred Richard Lewis as Jamal
  • Barron Bass as Guy #1

References

Quotes

quotes

Background Information and Notes

  • Octavio Pisano is promoted to the main cast as of this episode and appears in the title sequence.
  • The slang term "NHI" is used to label the file given to Amanda Rollins and Joe Velasco at the local precinct. The first use of this term in the show dates back to the first season of SVU, when a beat cop tells a young Detective Olivia Benson not to work too hard to solve the rape and murder of a presumed prostitute because "she's NHI".
  • This is the first episode since "Forgiving Rollins" in which Peter Scanavino is absent.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3 4 5

City Haven
203 East 112th Street
Monday, October 25

27th Precinct
East Harlem
Monday, October 25

Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
421 East 26th Street
Tuesday, October 26

9th Avenue
East Inwood
Tuesday, October 26

Home of
Lois Hart
219 Bates Street
Enfield, Connecticut
Wednesday, October 27

Previous episode:
"The Five Hundredth Episode"
"They'd Already Disappeared"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 23
Next episode:
"Nightmares In Drill City"
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