This is a Season 9 (06/07) Episode that aired only last week in the UK. A package is delivered to One Police Plaza featuring suspected child pornography, but when an ex-con with a record for burglary is ruled out as the suspect, Benson and Stabler re-investigate until the child and his mother are traced. When parent and child collapse and Benson is also poisoned, an assassination attempt is also ruled out, and eventually the photographs and videos trace back to a different kind of child abuse entirely.
There was an episode in the parent series Law and Order which also had the same twist, but it wasn’t used to wrong-foot the audience quite so spectacularly. In the storyline it makes a change that it’s Benson who gets to go out on a limb and be obsessed by a case. Due to the up-in-the-air potential divorce storyline in that season, only Stabler (Chris Meloni) ever seemed to be out of control which was in danger of getting boring even when the acting was as good as this show. The show’s writers of are still trucking along handling abuse storylines to an extremely high standard and Loophole is intelligently handled, with just the right amount of grey areas and an ending that doesn’t resolve everything.
Since this episode will be an oldie to American audiences, we’re sure it will roll around on a repeat showing in your area soon or the individual episode could be sourced from iTunes.