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Law & Order: SVU – Recap & Review – Born Psychopath

photo: nbc
photo: nbc
Law & Order: SVU
Born Psychopath

Original Air Date: Apr 3, 2013

Caitlin – Senior Staff Writer
caitlin@thetwocentscorp.com

This is one of those SVU episodes that redefines “creepy”. Science has nature vs. nurture; we get a 10-year old boy devoid of feeling who hurts the people around him just for the fun of it, in spite of a loving family and healthy home.

Nick is giving a presentation to his “nephew” (read: son) and his classmates when he’s called out to a hospital. A young girl named Ruby has some fairly serious bruises and reports that she got them when she fell after being pushed by a “monster”.

Olivia and Nick first suspect the nanny, Irina, who Ruby’s older brother, Henry, didn’t want taking him to school. Irina does admit that Ruby’s tumble happened on her watch, but says she didn’t see it happen. Henry, on the other hand, says Irina pushed her. During the investigation, Nick finds a box of matches in Henry’s room, the heads cut off and stored separately. Irina insists that Henry is actually the monster, and the mother admits it’s likely, saying he just doesn’t know the consequences of his actions.

Nick tries talking with an uncooperative Henry while Ruby says that her brother did push her down the stairs. Eventually, Henry says he hates Ruby, and says that what he did was “an experiment”. Their father knows his son has issues, but thinks they’re just a phase. Henry’s school counselor is convinced they can help him, but nobody else is as sure. As Nick tries to convince Cynthia to tell their son the truth, Amanda and Liv try to persuade the parents to let Henry see a psychologist, but they refuse point blank. They think they can help alone- a theory that doesn’t line up with Henry slashing his mother’s hand with a knife.

Even still, she continues to insist that he didn’t mean anything by it. Eventually, though, she can’t deny that something is wrong. The father is less collected, screaming at Henry to take responsibility. Finally, Dr. Huang (!!!) comes in to do an evaluation. He determines that Henry is basically a psychopath and should be sent to a facility. With some resentment, the parents agree, but it might already be too late. As Nick continues to lament his situation, Olivia gets a call from Henry, who has set fire to Ruby’s bedroom.

By the time the detectives arrive, the fire is out, but Henry set it with those match heads, locking his mother in a room and tying Ruby to her bed. Now he’s on the loose, having tied up a friend, stolen his father’s gun, and drowned their dog in the bathtub. Nick finds Henry holding a gun to a little boy. He gets him to let the boy go, but Henry holds the gun on him instead. Henry asks what would happen if he shot Nick, and ends up doing so. Nick, thankfully, is wearing a vest and is still able to pin Henry down.

In light of the incident, Cynthia finally lets Nick tell their son the truth. Henry, meanwhile, is going to be locked up until he’s 18. After that, who knows? His parents are distraught, and think Henry is, too, as he plays the part well. But as they hug him, he stares out blankly into space. If nothing else, the kid playing him does a very good job of being terrifying. Also, I know Dr. Huang is apparently heading right back out of town, but that doesn’t mean he can’t come back again, does it?

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