Law and Order SVU season 19, episode 18: Peter Stone highlights

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT-- Pictured: "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBC)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT-- Pictured: "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBC) /

How did Peter Stone do in this week’s Law and Order: SVU? Check out the highlights in our Philip Winchester-centric SVU season 19, episode 18 recap.

Now that Philip Winchester is officially a series regular on Dick Wolf‘s Law & Order: SVU, we’re keeping tabs on what Peter Stone gets up to.

SVU season 19, episode 18 was called “Service” and dealt with a military officer accused of sexual assault. While Peter was more of a supporting character in this episode, he still found time to butt heads with a familiar adversary.

If you missed any of Philip Winchester’s latest episode, or you’re a Chicago Justice fan who wants to know what Peter got up to, we’re breaking down the installment for you with the highlights for his character.

Here are the highlights from Peter Stone’s sixth SVU episode:

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1) Par for the course

One of the great things about Peter Stone’s character is that he’s not afraid to be a jerk. He has no qualms about saying what needs to be heard even if, especially if, someone doesn’t want to hear it.

We saw that again in “Service” when Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) went to Peter’s office to plead her case. She believed in the strength of the victim’s ID, but Peter pointed out that she didn’t have any physical evidence. He wasn’t doing it to be mean or itinerant—he was telling it like it was on his side, just as Benson was explaining to him how crucial victim ID’s can be in sex crime cases.

"Stone: I’m not trying to be a hardass, but we need some kind of corroboration. The bottom line? If we want to nail this bastard, one of his buddies has to rat."

(The dialogue between Benson and Stone, and how they are learning from each other instead of either one just saying “this is how it is and deal with it,” is so refreshing and one of the strongest parts of SVU season 19.)

Peter also had to be a bit of a bad guy later on, when the episode’s big bombshell was dropped, which we’ll discuss in a separate point. But he laid out a terrible choice: move forward with the case and risk wrecking a witness’s life, or don’t and wreck the victim’s life. Again, not for any other reason than because this is what the situation is and what he has to do.

Peter has a gift for telling the hard truth without coming off as a hardass (as he’d call it), which is definitely a trait that he inherited from his father Ben Stone. (And probably also a bit the charisma of Philip Winchester.)

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2) An old enemy returns

“Service” was really unique in that, since it was a military-themed episode, it brought back the defense attorney from Chicago Justice‘s military-themed episode. Everyone say hello to James Olson (guest star Christopher Wiehl), who previously appeared in “Friendly Fire.”

What a great bit of continuity by Michael Chernuchin and company! It’s a shame that we didn’t get more of a nod to Peter and Olson’s brief history aside from the “You’re a long way from Chicago” line, but for fans who watched both shows, it was still a nice callback. And we got a fantastic bit of snark out of it:

"Olson: She’s a hooker, Peter.Stone: And your client’s a rapist."

In our wildest dreams, it would have been constructive to use the scene between them to get out something more about Peter, like Olson needling him about leaving behind his old team and thus maybe getting some insight into how that departure went down.

But “Service” really didn’t allow for that, so we’ll be thrilled just knowing that SVU is open to using bits and pieces from Chicago Justice, and hope that maybe we’ll see more (paging Anna Valdez!).

And by the way, the perjury scene after the first courtroom exchange? Don’t ever tell Peter Stone he loses. Peter takes that as a challenge, and he finds a way to win. Which moves us onto…

3) Stone’s failed objection

After “Service” revealed that Jim Preston (Marquise Vilson) was transgender, SVU fans knew that was going to come out in the episode’s conclusion. Sure enough, Olson brought it up on cross—and you had to feel for Peter, who repeatedly objected to the line of questioning but it fell on deaf ears. It was absolutely maddening to watch the judge do nothing as Olson dragged out Preston’s personal life, but just as rewarding to see Preston fight back.

"Benson: You’ll ruin his life if he testifies.Stone: And if he doesn’t, you’ll ruin Sandy’s. It’s your choice."

This moment was great on two levels. For one, Peter is still being allowed to fail sometimes, even if it’s just an objection. For two, let’s give a shoutout to Marquise Vilson and his absolutely perfect performance, which carried this episode. The look on Peter’s face when he saw the reaction that Preston got from his fellow soldiers after the verdict was all of us in that moment.

Next: Here's where Peter Stone left off

New episodes of Law & Order: SVU air Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC. For more show coverage, follow the Dick Wolf category at One Chicago Center.