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“Law & Order: SVU” Recap: Johnny D’s return and baby drama

Note: This recap contains spoilers for “Law and Order: SVU” season 16, episode 15, entitled “Undercover Mother.”

On this week’s “SVU,” a middle aged Irishman returns and baby Noah’s origins are revealed.

While busting a brothel with underage girls, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay, “Ghoulies”) meets a woman named Martha (Lili Taylor, “The Conjuring”). Martha has been posing as a madame to find her teenage daughter, Ariel (Danika Yarosh, “Retribution”), who was caught in a sex trafficking ring three years earlier.

Olivia takes Martha seriously but has to do some major teeth-pulling to get the rest of the squad on board to go undercover as a team. Despite Olivia’s established role as sergeant, her team continues to often question her leadership. No one ever questioned the male leadership of Captain Cragen (Dann Florek, “Law and Order”).

The infiltration of the brothel moves relatively smoothly, when suddenly Declan (Donal Logue, “Grounded For Life”), the undercover police officer/temporary captain, appears with a terrible, phony Irish accent. The squad arrests him and everyone else in the brothel, after which he explains that the squad almost blew his own undercover operation.

“Now I’ll have to spend a week at Rikers!” he said.

There’s no way Declan, faux Irish accent or not, would last a day at Rikers Prison.

The real villain is Johnny D (Charles Halford, “Constantine”). The viewers know this because the name “Johnny D” is said roughly 20 times in a 30 second span. The detectives track down Johnny D, who has kidnapped Ariel. The detectives threaten Johnny D with a bullet to the head, and Ariel and Martha are reunited. Declan leaves the squad with a piece of wisdom, “What doesn’t kill you makes you a better detective.” I’m sure Declan will pop up before the end of the season, at the most inconspicuous time. Declan himself hints at his return, saying, “Till we meet again.”

Olivia goes home and plays with baby Noah, until Dr. Melinda Warner (Tamara Tunie, “Law and Order: SVU”) interrupts her and drops the big surprise: Noah’s father is Johnny D!

Tune in to “Law and Order: SVU,” Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

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