Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–…): Season 11, Episode 21 - Torch - full transcript

When two sisters are killed in a fire, Detectives Olivia Benson and Eliot Stabler are confused about why they are called to investigate. They soon discover that Stabler's old partner, ADA Jo Marlowe, has been put on the case -- despite the absence of a sex crime -- because the two victims were so young, and that she has enlisted the duo to help. However, as the investigation continues, Benson and Stabler find that the case might be more suited to their department than anyone originally assumed, and Stabler's interrogation tactics threaten to get the detectives into trouble.

NARRATOR: In the criminal
justice system,

sexually based offenses
are considered
especially heinous.

In New York City,

the dedicated detectives
who investigate
these vicious felonies

are members
of an elite squad known
as the Special Victims Unit.

These are their stories.

(LAUGHlNG) Just
one quick beer?

No, I'm hammered.
I've got to be at work
in three hours.

Hey, I didn't make you
do body shots
with the Jager girl. Huh?

(CELL PHONE RlNGlNG)
(BOTH LAUGHlNG)

What?



Dude, it's her.
No way.

It's the hot chick
from the bar.

Oh, dude. You...

"I'm bored.
Want to hang?"

Ask her to send you
a naked picture, huh?

"lf you want to..."

MAN: Fire! Somebody,
help! Please!

My girls! My girls
are in there! Call 911!

Frank! I already called,
soon as I smelled smoke.

Hey, hey, hey.
You can't go
back up there.

I've got to get...

(WOMAN SCREAMlNG)

(FlREMEN CHATTERlNG)

Get out of here.



You okay?

There are two
little girls inside
in the back bedroom.

Up the stairs
and to the right.
We'll find them.

Kedzie! Faye!

Kedzie!

(GLASS SHATTERlNG)

Two girls burned
to death.
Eight and ten.

Dad's being treated
for burns
and smoke inhalation.

And the mom?

Neighbor says
she's out
of the picture.

Single dad,
three kids.

Three?
There's a survivor?

Emily Sullivan, 18.
She was out babysitting.

She came home to this.

Well, even if
you think it was arson,
why call SVU?

She told me to.
She says
she's your new A.D.A.

Use your cell phone.

Shoot some video
of all the looky-loos
standing around here.

Oh, man.

Do you know her?

She used to be a cop.

And my old partner.

STABLER: What
are you talking about?

I've been telling you
Jo Marlowe stories for years.

Except the one
where Jo is
actually a woman.

Did he tell you I was
his training officer?

I taught him
everything he knows.

Ah, yeah.

Elliot frigging Stabler.
What's it been, ten years?

Closer to 15.
This is my partner,
Olivia Benson.

Lucky girl, working with El.

Oh, that's what
he keeps telling me.

Yeah.

So, what did you
call us down for?

Well, when you've got
two dead little girls,

The Ledger is going to
run it on the front page.

STABLER: So, you want
answers before they
hit you with the questions.

Yeah, the only time
I like to be surprised

with my pants down
is on my birthday.

Well, pants down
is an SVU case,

but a house fire... I mean,
if it's arson, it's homicide.

MARLOWE: Not in
the eyes of the D.A.

When he sees
dead little kids,
he thinks Special Victims.

So, Jack McCoy
assigned you to the case?

No, I've been
transferred to SVU.

Elliot never got over it
when I left him
for law school.

Looks like he's been
in good hands.
I'll catch up with you later.

KUREK: A.D.A. Marlowe?

Yeah.
Deputy Fire Marshal Kurek.

What have you got?
Well, I'm just
getting started,

but I did find signs
of an accelerant
in the girls' bedroom.

I'm ruling this one arson.

Let's take a look.
Dad's down at Mercy.
Why don't you go talk to him.

I woke up to Kedzie
and Faye yelling for me.

At first,
I thought I was dreaming,
and then I smelled smoke.

So, I ran to their room.

The door was so hot,
I burned my hands.

I tried to save them...

(CRYlNG) I should
have been there,

taking care of my sisters
instead of Joey Bremmer.

It was an accident.

Well, actually, Mr. Sullivan,
we believe it was arson.

Who would do
something so terrible?

It's usually
someone you know.

Do you have any enemies?

I got no problems
with nobody.

Hey, look,
I'm just a working guy.

Sandhog. Local 242.

What about family members?
You're divorced?

Thank God.
Marcy was a psycho.

Emily...

If you don't want
to admit it, fine.
But they need to know.

Maybe she set the fire.

FRANK: Em,

could you get me
some orange juice? Please?

See, Emily's mom,
my first wife,

she died when she was ten.

And obviously, Emily has
a problem with her step mom.

Marcy is a dreamer.
She doesn't mean any harm.

She wants to be a singer.
I said, "Why don't you
join the church choir?"

But she wanted a record deal.

She said that couldn't happen
if she was driving carpools

and helping out
with homework.

So, she left you.
And the girls.

FRANK: I always thought
she'd come back.

If not for me...

For Kedzie and Faye.

BENSON: Judge gave
full custody of the girls
to Frank.

STABLER: It's usually
the other way around.
What did Marcy do wrong?

Failed a court-ordered
psych exam,
and it's quite a read.

"She's an extreme narcissist,
shows poor judgment..."

Yeah, like drugging her kids
instead of hiring a sitter.
Page 1 2.

Took them to a club
for open mic night,

gave them warm milk spiked
with whiskey and Ambien.

Manager found them
unconscious
and covered in puke.

He call ACS?

He didn't want to risk
losing his liquor license.

But the girls told Frank,
and he told the shrink.

And Marcy lost custody.

Flipped out when the judge
ruled against her.
Screamed at Frank.

Said if she couldn't have
the kids, nobody would.

Oh, I can't believe
they're gone.

Kedzie and Faye
were my little angels.

BENSON: When was
the last time you saw them?

Uh...

Last week.
Or maybe last month.

Or maybe Family Court?

I only took the girls
to the club to show them
what Mommy does for a living.

Because they already know
what an alcoholic
does at home.

I'm a performer. I sing.
I'm going to
make it big soon.

"Make a million dollars.
Buy a yacht."

It doesn't look like
any of your fantasies
have come true, yet.

I don't see
"Take care of my kids"
up there on the board.

So, I'm not a perfect mother.
Doesn't mean I didn't
love Kedzie and Faye.

Yeah, but if you
couldn't have them,
neither could Frank.

I didn't mean that.

I had a couple belts
before the hearing
to calm my nerves.

You have a couple
of belts last night?

Black out?
Forget what you did?

I... I had an audition
at a club last night.

I went home with
one of the owners.

Do you know of anybody
that would want
to hurt your kids?

Nah, he wouldn't.

Who's he?

Some kid grabbed Kedzie's
vajayjay a while back.

I thought it was
just puppy love.

Does he go
to Kedzie's school?

No. He's 20, 21.

Kedzie was ten years old.

That's not puppy love.
That's pedophilia.

What did you do?

I yelled at him.
I mean, I was going to,

when I had the time
to get uptown.

When you had the time.

I told her,
"Talk to Emily."

I didn't know
he touched her.

Do you know
the guy's name?

Pizza Face.
He has really bad acne.

Where did this happen?

The Bodega on Lexington,
where he hangs out.

Kedzie had to walk
by on her way home
from school.

I told her to
take a different way.

Did you tell your dad?

I thought she was just

being a drama queen
like usual.

She was always
exaggerating
to get attention.

That's why I didn't
believe her.

Especially the part
about the cat.

What cat?

The one at The Bodega.
Kedzie used to pet it.

And then, last week, she said
she found it in the alley,
burned to death.

What?

She told me that
Pizza Face was there,
laughing.

And he said,
"That's what happens
to bad pussies."

Hey, good-looking.

Do I know you?

No, but I know you.
Pizza Face, right?

Call me that again,
and we're going to
have some problems...

The only problem I got
is you
harassing little girls.

If there's grass
on the field, play ball.

Not if she's ten years old.

What are you, a cop?

Call me "Detective."

Hey.

(GRUNTlNG)

Where are you going?
You're running like
your pants are on fire.

BENSON: Well,
what do you know?

They almost were.

Pizza Face's real name
is Michael Parisi, 23.

Three prior arrests
for sex abuse in the Bronx.

All of the victims
underage girls.

And none of the cases
went to trial,

because all the victims
were too scared to testify.

He set the fire to frighten
Kedzie Sullivan into silence.

The blaze
got away from him.

He ends up committing
two arson-homicides.

But why set a fire?

Why not threaten
to kill her pet
or her parents,

Iike every other
garden-variety
child molester?

Because Mikey
is a firebug.

We found a big-ass lighter
and accelerant in his pocket.

Maybe he smokes.

No cigarettes.

So, you've got a perv
who likes to play with
fire and little girls.

Sounds like
you're double-dipping
into the motive pool.

Told you she'd say that.

Good idea, though,
shooting video
at the crime scene.

Arsonists love to watch
their handiwork.

Problem is,
Mikey's not watching.
He's got his eyes closed.

He's having a private moment.

He's getting off.

I light a couple of candles
if I want to get in the mood.

I don't torch my house.

But a pyrophiliac would.
Bet my paycheck on it.

You can't afford to lose.

Then, I won't.

How are you
going to prove it?

Mikey. You ready to talk?
I can't hear you.

(MUMBLlNG)
I didn't do nothing.
Louder.

I said I didn't do nothing!
You got a hearing problem?

Well, it comes with age.
Along with hair loss
and back spasms.

Upside is,
most people outgrow acne.

Go ahead.
Make fun of me.

No, no.
Not at all. I'm...

Tell a story.
I'm not making fun of you.

Build empathy.

I just meant that when
I was in tenth grade,

they used to call me
Pus Pocket.
Never could get a date.

Had to take my sister
to the Winter Formal.

Hey, at least
you had a sister.

No chick is going
to go out with me.

Girls can be cruel.

Use your family.

I've got three daughters.
Haven't heard a nice word
out of them in years.

And I'm the guy who
pays their allowance.

That's cold.

Look, when they were younger,
they used to be all smiles
and sweetness...

Go for the close.

They hadn't learned
to be mean yet.

Mikey, you're not
a freak.

You just wanted someone
to be nice to you.

A pretty girl like Kedzie.

I only talked to her.

With your fingers.
I didn't.

Mikey. You did.

And you were afraid
she was going
to tell someone,

so you went to her house.
You set a fire
to send her a message.

You're crazy.

You've got a thing
for fire, don't you?

The way it looks.

The way the flames
dance in front of your eyes.

It's exciting.

Beautiful.

The heat, the power.

All right,
and that's your girl.

She comes when you call her.
You can't do without her.

But she's just not
quite enough, is she?

You touch that girl, Mikey?

No, I swear.

(SlGHS)

Don't lie to me.

You touch that girl?

Okay.

Okay, I might have
copped a feel,
but that's all.

Keep talking.
Tell me how you
torched her house.

I didn't.
You get off on this,
don't you?

It makes you feel
like a man.
It turns you on, huh?

(SlGHlNG)

You touch that girl?

Tell me.

All right.

All right, I did it.

I set that fire.

BENSON: There
goes your paycheck.

That's not all
it's going to cost me.

What are you talking about?

Oh, I can hear
the defense now.

"Your Honor,
Detective Stabler
sexually aroused my client

"to elicit a confession.
He was raped at SVU."

His confession
will be thrown out.

We have Pizza Face
on the video.

Along with half
the neighborhood.

Look, he molested Kedzie.

Yes. And those
charges died with her.

I need to re-interview Dad,
see if he'll put
the bastard there.

Frank said that he didn't
see anybody hanging around
last night.

You think I don't trust
your interview skills?

I think that you have
a much more hands-on approach
than most D.A.'s.

Cut the euphemisms, Olivia.

Just because you were
a cop doesn't mean
that you're on our side.

I wasn't just a cop.
I was Elliot's partner.

I wouldn't betray him
any more than you would.

You transferred back here
to work with him again.

Jack McCoy needed
to replace Cabot,

so I was drafted.
It's a happy accident.

Speaking of Elliot,

you and he ever...

No. He's married.

(CHUCKLES)

Yeah.

Where are you going?

To rescue our case
against Pizza Face.
You coming?

I had to wait for my report
to finish printing.

Ready to go collar up?

Got my cuffs,
my vest...

We already
got the guy.

Pizza Face confessed.

Who's that? I'm talking
about Frank Sullivan.

You think
Frank set the fire?

Think? I know it.
Beyond a shadow
of a doubt.

Run it down for me.

The burn trail led directly
out of the girls' bedroom.

There was pour pattern around
their beds, then back down
through the hallway

to the front door
and onto the doorstep.

Meaning the arsonist
poured accelerant
while walking backwards

from the children's bedroom
and out the front door.

He stood there, lit a match,
and fried his babies.

Only way this happened.
BENSON: Okay, hold on.

It could have been anyone.

Yeah, but Frank's story
is total BS.

The burn patterns
on the floor

prove that the hallway
was engulfed in flames.

If he ran through the fire
like he claims,

his feet would have
been burned to cinders.

Looks like he's walking
fine to me.

Is there any way
you could be wrong?

I've been Deputy
Chief Fire Marshal
for 19 years.

Investigated over 300
felony arson scenes.

Every one of my arrests
has resulted
in a top-count conviction.

All right. Let's cut
Pizza Face loose.

Arrest him.

I came back to get my car.
Is there news?

You murdered those
two precious angels.
All right, calm down.

You scumbag! Go to hell!
Calm down...

FRANK: That's crazy.
This is a big mistake.

EMlLY: Daddy,
what are they saying?

Let go of me.
Put your hands
behind your back.

You're wrong about this.

Frank Sullivan,
you're under arrest

for the murders
of Kedzie Sullivan
and Faye Sullivan.

BENSON: Hey! That's enough.
EMlLY: Daddy!

(FRANK GRUNTlNG)

You okay?

Your cuffs on our killer?
I'm fine.

Let's go.

Frank Sullivan
killed his kids.
I want to know why.

What have you got?

Well, for starters,
Frank has been
lying to you.

He said he's a sandhog.
He hasn't worked
since last summer.

And take a look
at his financials.

They're a complete mess.

He cashed out his 401K
to live on.
He's underwater on the house.

And looky here.
It was insured
for the full value.

$1.1 million.
Frank have any record
of fraud?

Criminal record is clear.
Never filed an insurance
claim in his life.

But Emily Sullivan has.

As soon as she turned 18,
she took out a car loan.

Six months later,
the car was reported stolen
and torched under the BQE.

A total loss.

And the insurance company
paid off just in time.

A dress rehearsal
for the big show.

And a prior bad act.

This is just what
I need to convince a jury.

If the melted Mazda
was Daddy's idea.

(SlGHS)

(DOOR OPENlNG)

How's my father?

He's fine.

You're making a mistake.

Where is he?
I want to see him.

You can't, Emily.
He's under arrest.

Then, he needs a lawyer.
My father did not
burn down our house.

Well, if you
really want to help him,
I suggest you talk to me.

You know him best.

So, why don't you help me
get to know him better?

Have a seat.

He's a great dad.

He never let
my little sisters
see him worry.

Worry about what?

Money, mostly.

Collection agencies
were calling all the time.

They got pretty nasty.

You must have
been really worried.

Dad told me everything
would be okay.

But I'm supposed
to start college
in the fall.

I don't know
how we're going to
afford the tuition.

Like you couldn't
afford your car payment.

Until your Mazda conveniently
showed up stolen,
and was torched.

Am I in trouble?

Well, that depends.

Emily, whose idea was that?

It was Dad's.

He didn't want a repo
on my credit report,

just in case
it screwed up
my financial aid.

So, he did it
to protect you.

Well, it's not like
we were stealing.
We didn't get any money.

Insurance just
paid off the loan.

And now, the bank
was going to
take your house.

Your dad was in trouble,
and he didn't know
what else to do.

Emily, if it
worked before...

Why not do it again?

Oh, God.

He really set that fire.

Hey. Hey, look.
This is all a mistake.

Sit down.
No, I didn't do it...

I said sit down! Now...

You're going to tell me
why you burned up
those two innocent children.

No. I loved them
with all my heart...

You were a failure
as a father.
You couldn't pay the bills.

You were going to
lose that house.

You were going to
wind up on the street

or in some cruddy
homeless shelter.

No, no. I would have
figured something out.

Yeah, I think
you did. Right?

(SCOFFS)

You torch the house.
You walk away
with the insurance money.

You keep
the family together.

No, I'd never do that.
That's crazy!

Emily's car.

It worked
with Emily's car.

Now, Frank, I get it.
You did that
to protect her.

This time, you were
protecting all your girls.

No.
It was a good plan.
It just went bad.

You were going to get those
girls out in time, but
the fire got the best of you.

I tried to save them.
I tried to save them.

What did they say to you?
What did they call out?

"Help me, Daddy, help me"?
Oh, God.

And you tried to get through
that door, but the flames
pushed you back.

(CRYlNG) Will you stop?
Will you...

You did the best
you could.

Stop, will you!

Tell me
it was an accident.

Tell me that you didn't
mean for it to happen.

You never thought
your two beautiful girls

would burn to death
in that fire.

Just tell me that, Frank.

It's going to be okay.

I understand.

Just tell me.

There's nothing to tell.

So help me God,

I did not kill my babies.

I want a lawyer.

I don't want to breathe
the air in here anymore.

He really got to you.

You bought that act?

I know tears
when I see them, El.

If the tears
were real.

Raw onion.

Munch likes them
on his liverwurst.

You got me.

I didn't get him.

We have enough
to charge him, though,
right?

Oh, yeah.
Now, it's my turn to
put on a show. No tears.

"Docket ending 1 241,
People v. Frank Sullivan.

"One count of Arson
in the First Degree.

"Two counts of Murder
in the Second."

Appearances, Counselors?

Jo Marlowe
for the People,
Your Honor.

Mitchell Shankman,
Legal Aid Society
for Mr. Sullivan.

How does your client plead?

Not guilty.
Liar!

JUDGE ANDREWS: Young lady.
Liar!

Officers, please escort
this woman out.

Emmy, please.

Listen to Daddy.
EMlLY: I hate you!

I hate you!
I hope you rot in prison!

Em, I didn't do it.

EMlLY: I hate you!

I'll hear the People on bail.

Remand.
That is punitive.

My client has to plan
the funeral
of his daughters.

His victims.

What happened to innocent
until proven guilty?

I have the proof
right here.

It's a conclusive
determination

made by FDNY's
most seasoned
arson investigator

that the defendant
set the fire that
killed his daughters.

They were innocent.
He's guilty.

This is starting to sound
suspiciously like a trial.

I remind you
we're in Arraignment Court.
The defendant is remanded.

Anything else?
Five minute recess.

Give me the blueback.

Excuse me?

Shankman, do I have
to school you?

Your client killed
those two girls.

He's guilty.
You know it. I know it.

This is the time where
you're supposed to come up

with some hair-brained
theory of justification.

Try "He was sleepwalking"
or "He was
delusional because

"he was up all night
worrying so much
about paying his bills..."

Actually, I was going
to ask for a deal.

I told him, "Frank
pleads to the indictment,

"and in return
I don't ask for consecutive
sentencing on the two deaths.

"He does 25-to-life."

And what did
Shankman say?

That he'll tell his client
to take it.
I almost hope he doesn't.

Oh, Jo-Jo. You taste blood,
you've got to be in there
for the kill, don't you?

(CELL PHONE RlNGlNG)
Well, you still get me.

Uh-huh.

That last Moo Shu
pancake is mine.

A.D.A. Marlowe.

Give me half an hour.
That was fast.

Sullivan?

Yeah. Called himself.
Wants to talk.

Where's Shankman?

I wanted to talk
to you alone.

Well, a guy named Miranda
ruined that for both of us.

Your lawyer
needs to be present.

I fired him.

Why?

Because he thinks I'm guilty.

Honey, all of Legal Aid's
clients are guilty.

Doesn't mean they're not
going to provide
a kick-ass defense for you.

Please. Just listen
to me. Please?

No. You listen to me.

Anything you say,
I can and will use
to crucify you on the stand.

I know. I know. I know.
But I need you
to understand...

I'm not some priest
that dropped by

to hear your confession
and forgive you.

It's my job
to put you away.

No.
It's your job to get justice
for my daughters. Isn't it?

Yeah.

Yeah, well,
that's what I want, too.

So, just hear me out.

I fired my lawyer
so you'd take me seriously.

What else can I do?

Give us a minute.

(SlGHlNG)

You know, I'll take a...
I'll even take a polygraph.

I'll take any test you want.
I'll tell you every
bad thing I've ever done.

That's not necessary.

I cheat on my taxes.
I cheated on my wife.

With a $10 hooker
behind the bus station.

What else? I've got
a stash of porn
in my closet.

I've had numerous affairs.

That's enough.
No. It's not enough.

Not until you see
that I've done
a million crappy things,

and I don't deserve
the family I had,

but I will swear
on their graves that
I did not kill my girls.

Well, that's
a nice speech.

Now, what am l
supposed to do?

Just let you
waltz out of here,

while I spend the rest
of my days chasing after
some mythical killer?

My daughters are dead.

They're dead because
I couldn't save them.
I can't live with that guilt.

Well...

You should have just
asked me to bring
a razor blade.

Is that all this is to you?
Just a freaking joke?

10-13! 10-13!

What do I have to do
to convince you?

10-13!

Is that good enough?
Do you believe me now?

Frank, don't make
another mistake.

(ALARM SOUNDlNG)

Do you believe me?

Guard! Frank...

(CRYlNG)
Do you believe me now?
Are you satisfied?

BENSON: How's Frank?

He'll be okay.

He's on suicide watch
at the prison hospital.

Too bad he's not
in the morgue,
stunt he pulled.

It worked.

Jo, don't tell me.

I was a cop
for ten years.

I know when
somebody's lying.

I'm telling you
that Frank Sullivan
did not set that fire.

Well, then your BS detector
is on the fritz.

I believe him.

Jo, he's a con artist.

Look, we all bought
the grieving father routine.

Now you're falling
for the fake suicide?

Fool me once,
shame on you.

And fool me twice,
and I'm an idiot.

And I am telling you
that Frank Sullivan
did not set that fire.

Okay. Okay.
So, who did?

I don't know,
and neither does he.

But we need to look
at this case
with a new set of eyes.

STABLER: Well, we've been
over every detail.

Nobody broke into
that house and doused it
with accelerant.

There is one witness
we haven't questioned.

Who?

The house.

MARLOWE: Everybody says
when it comes to fire,

you're the best
independent investigator
in the business.

They would be right.

(CHUCKLES) I spent 20 years
helping corporations
defend against law suits

where anything from cars
to nuclear reactors blew up.

And then, one day, I woke up.
Had a change of heart. And...

Sounds like
you're my dream man.

I've got a guy
looking at life.
Arson double homicide.

I think he's innocent.

I thought you said
you were a prosecutor.

I am.

Wow. I guess we've both
had a change of heart.

The reason I need
an expert is,

the Fire Marshal refuses
to take a second look.

To him, it's an
open-and-shut case.
Dad did it.

Fire marshals.
Don't get me started.

Did you know it only takes
one 40-hour class
to become a Fire Marshal?

I spent seven years
getting my PhD.

I did my dissertation
on the physics
of combustion.

Good thing I didn't
get you started.

Damn it. It was a case
just like this in Texas

got an innocent man executed
for an arson homicide.

It was really an accident.

(SlGHS) Kurek's whole
case is half-assed.

Give me an example.

Okay.

He cites the presence
of crazed glass as proof
that an accelerant was used.

Says only an
accelerant-started fire

can cause glass
to heat enough
to cause spider cracks.

Not science.
It's an old wives' tale.

How does glass
like that break?

Rapid cooling,

when fire hoses spray
cold water
on the superheated glass.

Wow.

So, is his entire
investigation flawed?

I didn't say that.
I would need to see samples
from the fire scene.

I would need to see
statements
from the eyewitnesses

and the defendant
on the exact nature
of the fire's behavior.

I'll do you one better.

Walk us through exactly
what happened
the night of the fire.

If I woke up
one second sooner,

my girls would
still be alive.

Frank, I need you
to help us out here.
Come on.

Well, I was sleeping,

and then I heard my girls
yelling out, "Daddy! Daddy!"

So, I shot up,
and then I ran
down the hall.

DREXEL: Any smoke
in the hallway?

It was just pouring out
from under the doorway.

I gave this to Faye
on her second birthday.

You should have
heard her laugh.

No matter how bad
your day was going,

she'd laugh and make
everything all right.

Okay. Check this out.

See these spots?

The Fire Marshal claims
that these are pour patterns
caused by an accelerant.

MARLOWE: Are you saying
that that's not true?

Let's show them, Frank.

Now, if the fire
started in this room,

then it would have
grown into a monster,

fighting to get out
to find more oxygen.

Tell me what happened.

Well, I ran
to the bedroom door.

I grabbed the doorknob,
but it almost
melted my hand.

So, then I just...
I rammed the door,
but it still wouldn't budge.

Heat expanded the wood.

You would have needed
an axe to break it down.

Had you opened it,
you would have been
swallowed up by flame.

Then, what happened?

So I ran to the front door
to get some help,
and then I opened the door.

Uh-huh. Okay.

The fire in the back,
starving for oxygen,

sucks in air
from the outside.

When it hits the fire,
it breaks through
the bedroom door,

racing down the hallway,
jumping down the stairs
and out the front door.

Leaving these pour paths
in its wake.

This theory is plausible.
So is Kurek's.

So, you can't prove it.

DREXEL: No.

I'm sorry.

Dang it. I thought Drexel
was going to blow the Fire
Marshal out of the water.

You're so sure Frank
didn't do it, huh?

Well, Kurek screwed up,
we screwed up...

It's up to us
to clean this up.

What happened to my partner
who used to back my play?

We haven't been partners
for a long time, Jo.

Yeah. I've been replaced.
Looks like the party's over.

Well, actually,
it's just
getting started.

McCoy's at the squad room
waiting for you.

Sent me to bring you in.

(CELL PHONE RlNGlNG)

You can hang up, Jack.

So, your phone isn't broken.

I was busy.

I heard.

When I call, you answer.
When I tell you to do
something, you do it.

Even if it means sending
an innocent man to jail
for the rest of his life?

Innocent? He lied to you
about being out of work.

He forgot to mention
that he torched a car.

He even attempted suicide,
with you there
to call for help.

Come on, Jo.
He's snowing you.

Jack, when I first
came to the D.A.'s office,

you told me to stop
thinking like a cop

because probable cause
wasn't good enough in court.

I needed proof
beyond a reasonable doubt.
Aren't my doubts reasonable?

The Fire Marshal
doesn't think so.

But Drexel's theory
is equally viable.

So, let the jury decide.
That's what they're for.

Go to trial, Jo.

I remember what you told
me about trial, Jack.

That a good prosecutor
got convictions,

and great ones get justice.
And great ones get justice.

I give that speech
to all new A.D.A.'s.

Well, I believed you.
Now I'm asking you
to believe me.

Do you believe her,
Detective?

I think if Jo's gut is telling
her Frank's not our guy,
it's worth listening to.

Detective Benson?
Do you now think Frank
Sullivan is innocent?

I don't know.

There is not one
single shred of evidence

that anyone else
set this fire.

Take him to trial.

You know, we're all
in this together, Jo.

We got a confession
from Pizza Face.
Maybe he's our guy.

Or maybe Frank
killed his kids.

But we'll never
know it unless
we find a smoking gun.

What about a smoking house?

Well, we can't
burn a house down.

I can.

This is a crazy idea.
You know that, don't you?

But it could work.

And you've got the ability
to record all this data?

Sensors on the walls
and the floor

to record burn temperatures
throughout the whole fire.

Every single angle
of the house is covered

with these special
heat-resistant cameras.

All right, then.
Let's light this baby up.

(FlRE CRACKLlNG)

The fire was set
in a condemned house

structurally identical
to the Sullivans' home,

recreated with the exact
same furnishings.

Right. Everything's the same,
so the fire burns just like
it did the first time.

You could have saved a lot
of time and money
by just reading my report.

And how long did it take
for the fire to consume
the entire house?

A little over two minutes.

MARLOWE: In two minutes' time,
Faye and Kedzie Sullivan

went from being sound asleep
to trapped inside
an inescapable inferno.

It's called an accelerant
for a reason,

and somebody did
manage to escape.

And he's sitting
right over there.

And this fire will
tell us if he's guilty?

That's right.

And what are we looking
at here on the floor
and on the walls?

The same puddle patterns,
burn patterns,
and spidered glass

that I described in my report
on the Sullivan house fire.

On the right.

Are these the burn patterns
in the Sullivan home?

Yep. Like I said,
they're identical.

And only an accelerant can
cause those burn patterns?

Correct.

And you are absolutely
sure of that?

As sure as I'm sitting
here right now.

Yet no accelerant was
used to start that fire.

What the hell are
you talking about?

Watch. Maybe
you'll learn something.

This fire will be started
by shorting out

these two wires
on this space heater
beside the bed.

No accelerant is being used
anywhere in the house.

That's impossible.

Impossible that it happened
or impossible
that you were wrong?

I know what I saw.

And we know
what we just saw.

The exact same fire,
caused by an electrical
short circuit.

Not by arson.

And this is an animation of
the re-creation of the fire,

with Frank Sullivan's actions
exactly as he described them
to Dr. Drexel.

DREXEL: An electrical short
circuit starts the fire.

The girls cry out,
waking Frank,
who runs to their room.

Unable to break
down the door,

he runs down the stairs,
out of the house,

opening the front door
and the sudden rush of fresh
air causes the flash-up.

You testified that those spots
were caused by an accelerant.

These exact same spots
in the re-creation

were caused by a fire
that started in those
girls' bedroom. Not arson.

That is the danger
of junk science.

Your Honor,
based on this newly
discovered evidence,

the People move to dismiss
this case in the interest
of justice.

I don't know
what to say.

You don't have to
say anything.

I am so sorry, Daddy.

She wanted to
see you, Frank.

I can't believe
I thought you did it.

It's okay, sweetheart.
It's all right.

Now I have to go give McCoy
the bill for the house
I burned down.

Want some backup?

Sure.

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