This week on Law & Order: SVU
, when a boy doesn't come home from school, the detectives question the influential leader of the Romanis. The case takes them to a lot of possible suspects -- not only the leader but a journalist and also a neighbor.
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Where Did He Go?
It's a big day for Nico, a fourth-grader who's off to school on his own for the very first time. The route seems long for a kid in New York City -- he has to walk a few blocks and then take the train. But he's ready.
On his way back home, the train station he's supposed to use is no longer accessible, and suddenly the city feels that much larger. Nico is seen waiting to cross the street, and a bus goes by. But after it passes, Nico is nowhere to be seen!
Finding the Suspects
Nico was last seen at the school, which is in Manhattan, so it's the SVU's case now. They learn Nico is bullied at school because he's a Romani, or referred to by the kids as gypsies.
The parents believe the Rom-baro (rep for the king of Romanis) may have had something to do with it since they haven't been paying their tithes and are now outsiders from their own community. The detectives visit the powerful and influential man but no leads seem to come out of it.
But they do find something after finding out someone has been getting into Nico's voicemail and deleting his messages. It turns out an all-too-eager journalist has been hacking into Nico's voicemails -- illegally, of course -- AND other voicemails in the area.
After some haggling and threats, the journalist gives up the fact that a woman left a message to the Rom-baro saying people think her son took Nico. The journalist caught the son's name -- Marc.
The case leads Amaro and Rollins to New Jersey thanks to a tip from a dog-walking neighbor. They bring Marc, who has developmental issues, back to the station. He's seems almost ready to tell what he knows, but then the questioning is interrupted by his lawyer -- the Rom-baro. Dead end there.
Looking for new leads, the detectives talk to two girls from the neighborhood, one who saw Marc holding a rabbit's foot the night Nico disappeared. There's the warrant the detectives need.
At Marc's room, they not only find the rabbit's foot hidden under the mattress but also a subway card, which leads to Marc's arrest. The swipes on the subway card lead the detectives to a new area to search.
Amaro and Rollins are seen leaving the precinct, and then right afterward are seen at the morgue. It's Nico. He was killed the night he went missing, and his body was recovered at a construction site. He was strangled with his own scarf, and cigarette burns covered his body. Now the detectives are looking for a killer. But Marc is set free because there's no DNA match from the cigarette burns.
Completely distraught by his release, Nico's mother tries to light Marc on fire. When Olivia asks why she did it, Nico's mother divulges a fact that wasn't released to the press -- the cigarette burns.
How did she find that out?
The detectives are puzzled over who could've known about the burns and told Nico's mother. They rule out the parents and Marc.
The girls. Amaro realizes the girls are everywhere -- at the house and gave up the info about the rabbit's foot. After rewatching surveillance at the train station, it turns out the very two girls Amaro and Rollins talked to earlier are seen on video with Nico. So they lied. Olivia figures out they did it and planted the rabbit's foot and subway card.
Needing the very person who despises police, the Rom-baro, they get Marc to reveal that the two girls, Emma and Courtney, snuck into his room. Olivia and Amaro head to the school to question the two girls. Emma at first doesn't budge, until she's shown the photos of Nico with the burns.
Sobbing, Emma confesses that Courtney did it, she did it all. She "tried" to stop her, Emma says.
When Emma is led out in cuffs, Courtney realizes that the truth has come out. And while Emma showed remorse, Courtney doesn't, at all -- which is chilling. When Olivia asks her why she did it, Courtney responds with an evil glint in her eye -- why not?