What happened to Peter Stone in this week’s Law & Order: SVU? Find the highlights in our Philip Winchester-centric SVU season 20, episode 5 recap.
Peter Stone is dishing out Chicago Justice on Law & Order: SVU, and we’re keeping track of what happens next for his character.
Thursday’s episode was entitled “Mea Culpa” and it was all about Stone, as a woman came out of his past to accuse him of sexually assaulting her. Stone turned to Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and the SVU team for help, but would he get it?
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.
So what happened to Peter Stone in this week’s SVU episode?
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“Mea Culpa” opened with Stone finishing up an arraignment, and making the choice to go out for a drink with a random woman who recognized him on the street. Hey, Peter, your judgment recently hasn’t been that great.
But that wasn’t the worst part. A second woman (that would be Alexandra Breckinridge from This Is Us and American Horror Story) spotted him in the bar and then slapped him, telling him, “You raped me, you son of a bitch.”
And cue everyone’s brains exploding.
Peter woke up the next day on the couch in Fin Tutuola’s (Ice-T) apartment, because his response to this accusation had been to go and get unbelievably drunk again.
Despite that, he still remembered who the woman was: a girl he’d met in a bar 12 years earlier, when he was still playing professional baseball. Peter remembered becoming involved with her, but he insisted that he’d woken up in his bed alone. He’d called her the next morning wondering what happened, and she’d threatened to call the cops. Uh, maybe his alcohol problem is a little more long-running than we thought.
Determined to clear his name, Peter took Fin with him to speak with his old teammate turned bar owner Reggie, to ask about the events of August 2006. Reggie married the friend of the woman who had accused Peter of rape, so they were able to find the accuser’s name and address, and Fin went to speak with her himself.
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Sarah was not happy to see Fin on her doorstep and told him not to come back. She’d moved on, too, with a husband and daughter of her own. So why was she now accusing Peter of rape but not willing to talk to the police about it?
By this point, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) had noticed that something was wrong with Peter, but he didn’t tell her the truth until hearing a plea to “get my life back” from the victim whose case he was trying to prosecute. Peter went to Benson’s apartment and told her everything but her reaction was cold comfort. In fact, she thought he was asking her to make the case disappear!
Peter: No matter how drunk I was, that’s not who I am.
He reiterated that he wasn’t asking for absolution; he wanted Benson to open an investigation. Which as SVU has proven for 20 years, she’s very good at. While she went to interview Sarah, the news hit the rest of the squad like a ton of bricks, with Fin and Carisi more willing to believe Peter than Rollins. The latter took it particularly hard.
Carisi: A busload of nuns could say that Peter Stone was in Albuquerque at the time of this rape. And still somewhere in the back of my mind, every time I see him, I’m gonna wonder. Did he? That’s what sucks.
Fin: And we know him.
Sarah admitted that she didn’t remember much of the encounter due to being drunk, but claimed that Peter became “different” once they were in to his hotel room, and that she woke up in his bed naked. That was enough for Benson to arrest Peter on rape charges, and he was furious that his side of the story didn’t wind up meaning all that much.
SVU had Peter arraigned off-screen and released on his own recognizance, so he could go sit in a bar and get drunk again—next to Sarah’s husband Gary, who was still shocked that his wife had cheated on him and decided to pull a gun on Peter.
While this was going on, Carisi pointed out to Benson that Gary and Sarah’s views on the state of their marriage at the time of the assault didn’t match. Something else was going on in their past that hadn’t come out yet, and they probably should find it before Gary put a hole in Peter’s head.
Benson and Sarah both arrived on the scene, so “Mea Culpa” had Benson suggest to Sarah that she try talking her husband down. Pleas from her and their daughter Emma, plus a reminder from Peter that his family needed him, got Gary to surrender. The situation prompted Benson to think again about Stone’s innocence or guilt—because of the paternity of Sarah’s daughter.
Where was this going? SVU brought the audience back to Reggie, who was now having a sit-down with Benson. She pretended like she was on his side, then dropped the bombshell of the DNA test. Yep, it was Reggie, not Peter who had raped Sarah and fathered her child.
That earned him a pair of handcuffs, while SVU concluded with Peter reflecting on how close he’d come to jail time based on something ill-advised he’d done almost two decades earlier. Older and wiser, he blamed himself anyway. Even Benson apologizing for doubting him didn’t take that off his shoulders. Not with the standard he now holds himself to. How times, and people, have changed.
For the latest SVU season 20 spoilers and news, plus more on all of Dick Wolf’s other series, follow the Dick Wolf category at One Chicago Center.