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 21 recap.
SVU season 19, episode 21 was called “Guardian” and focused on Fin Tutuola (Ice-T) investigating a gang rape on a city playground. As always, Peter was there to get the case into court and try to serve up some well-deserved justice, but he found himself dealing with another family that had a dark secret.
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 eighth SVU episode:
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1) Wait, what just happened?!
After getting a mention before the SVU detectives kicked in the door to arrest their initial suspect, Peter made his first appearance in “Guardian” when the investigation turned to a trio of teenagers who alleged that the victim was a prostitute and the sex was consensual.
So who did the state believe—and who did Peter file charges against?
With the victim now denying that she was raped and the defense attorney showing up at his office saying he would call a press conference if the charges against the three teens were not dropped, Stone needed to review the evidence and make a quick but highly scrutinized decision.
(Somewhere in Chicago, Mark Jefferies suddenly felt a headache coming on.)
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2) Was it rape or business?
Electing to charge the victim’s brother with trafficking, Stone had an eventful arraignment when she showed up unannounced. But that didn’t stop him from proceeding to trial, putting the man who claimed to be Tiana’s “driver” on the stand. Unsurprisingly, the defense tried to spin the story so that it wasn’t rape, but our favorite Assistant District Attorney was having none of that.
"Stone: Did Tiana tell you how happy she was when she was incapacitated?"
Once the victim was called to testify, Stone quickly had her declared as a hostile witness because she was refusing to cooperate in hopes of protecting her brother—”your sole caretaker since you were 14.” It was his turn to create a narrative, trying to show how she’d say or do anything to keep her only family member out of prison.
(By the way, did you recognize the trial judge? You should. That’s Ami Brabson, who played Mary Pembleton on NBC‘s Homicide: Life on the Street and is the real-life wife of Andre Braugher. It was her 13th SVU appearance on Wednesday.)
3) The mom factor
Peter Stone found himself blindsided when the defense called the victim’s incarcerated mother as its first witness, and he had only his lunch hour to prepare for her cross-examination. Because what you want to do is go after someone’s mom just hours after her daughter has been on the stand tearfully talking about how hard her life has been.
But Stone got a literal last-second save when Fin arrived, with the man that the victim’s mother had been arrested for assaulting in tow. As everyone else freaked out, Stone asked Mom why she had attacked him, alleging that her son had also pimped her out. You could hear the incredulity at his own words in his next sentences:
"Stone: Malik worked as your pimp, trafficking you? The same way he’s trafficking your daughter now?"
Though Judge Blake ordered the jury to disregard, that’s not the kind of thing you forget hearing. This is almost as twisted as the girl who was in love with her own father. After Tiana survived a heroin overdose, Benson made an emotional appeal to her and we uncovered that the OD was another setup from her brother—which was enough to get her to tell the lawyers the real truth, albeit in the DA’s office rather than open court.
"Stone: I think we can reach a deal, spare Tiana from testifying."
Stone elected to strike a plea agreement with the defense to quietly end the family drama, and the bad brother got 15 years. Although by the look on Peter’s face, this is a case he’s going to be stuck on for a little bit. Likely one of many in his SVU tenure.
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.