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Glasgowman

"Glasgowman's Wrath" is the sixth episode of the sixteenth season of the American police procedural-legal drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU). The episode is based on Slender Man but is renamed "Glasgowman". The episode is a Halloween episode, loosely based on the Slender Man stabbings. It received mixed reviews after its release where it was even compared to The Blair Witch Project. Despite being credited, main characters Fin Tutuola and Rafael Barba do not appear in this episode. A babysitter's ghost stories become reality when two young girls go missing and another is found stabbed.

Summary Edit

Best friends Perry Gilbert and Mia Harris sneak into the woods with Mia's young sister Zoe in tow. Their search for the mythical Glasgowman leads to a series of violent events, leaving Zoe gravely injured and the other girls missing. While Detectives Rollins and Sonny work to locate the suspect, Sgt. Benson digs through the stories to distinguish fantasy from reality.

Plot Edit

The episode starts with a girl, Zoe Harris, being scared by her sister, Mia Harris, and Mia's friend, Perry Gilbert. One of the girls is recording a video blog of finding something called "Glasgowman" they enter a park to search for Glasgowman. Zoe tells her sister she's scared but is ignored. In the morning, Zoe is found in the park with multiple stab wounds by a bird watcher. Amanda Rollins and Carisi respond to the call. Rollins travels in the ambulance with the girl while Carisi interviews the bird watcher. At the hospital, Rollins shows the bird watcher's photos of the suspect to Nick Amaro. Zoe's mothers arrive at the hospital and hound Amaro and Rollins for answers. Amaro calls Olivia Benson, who's home with her son on her day off, in on the case. Later on, once inside the Gilbert residence, the detectives discover that the girls had abandoned their phones. Zoe is then questioned, but her mothers don't take well to the questions the detectives are asking her.

The police soon find the person that people believe to be Glasgowman, whose actual name is Charlie Dorsey, and find that he is just a homeless man with a mental illness. Carisi manages to bond with Charlie and they find that he isn't guilty for the crimes of which he has been accused. They soon learn that one of Perry's babysitters told the girls the story of Glasgowman. When interrogating the babysitter, they learn that he has made a make-believe map which is like the park where Zoe was found. They soon find Perry and Mia in an abandoned boathouse upriver from the city.

At the hospital, the doctor informs detectives that Perry's wounds were self-inflicted. The detectives then look into the possibility that it was Perry who hurt Zoe. ADA Pippa Cox comes to prosecute Perry as a child in Family Court. The judge sentences Mia to the custody of her mother with a recommendation for weekly psychiatric care. Perry is labeled a juvenile delinquent and remanded to a psychiatric hospital.

On the night after Halloween, 12-year-old Mia Harris and her friend Perry Gilbert drag Mia's younger sister Zoe into Inwood Hill Park to find a mysterious being known as Glasgowman. When the girls hear noises, they run off, but Zoe goes missing.

Zoe is found the next morning with head trauma and stab wounds. A birdwatcher informs Sonny that she saw a man looking over Zoe before taking off into the woods.

Meanwhile at the hospital, Zoe's mothers Joan and Robin speak with Amaro and Rollins where they learn their daughters were supposed to be sleeping over at Perry's house, but the girls aren't answering their phones and they are missing.

When Amaro and Rollins arrive at Perry's house, her mother Barbara claims that Perry was sleeping over at Mia and Zoe's house. Rollins discovers the girls' cell phones buried in the cage of Perry's hamster.

When Zoe awakens from surgery, she tells Benson that Perry and Mia wanted to go to the park because the spirits would be out and brought a camera with them just in case they saw something scary. Then, they saw someone and started screaming for Zoe to run. Zoe claims the Glasgowman caught her and knocked her down.

When the police search the woods, they find a homeless man fitting the description of Glasgowman, but Perry and Mia are nowhere to be found. It is discovered that Glasgowman is discovered as a 36-year-old man named Charlie Dorsey, who is a mental patient and repeat offender off his medication.

Charlie claims that he found Zoe bleeding, but did not hurt her. He leads the detectives to the camera that Mia and Perry dropped when they ran away. Rollins also discovers bloody knives which Charlie claims are used for hunting and fishing.

When the detectives recover footage from the camera, they discover that the girls talk about using a map to find the mansion of Glasgowman. When questioned again about what happened, Zoe explains that if Glasgowman likes one, they get to live in his mansion that contains portals to other realms. She also reveals that she got the map from Perry's babysitter Leslie, who would tell the girls scary stories.

When the detectives arrive at Leslie's apartment, they discover it covered in drawings of Glasgowman and his mansion. Leslie explains to them that Glasgowman is fictional and that he used Charlie's image to create a graphic novel around him. On the wall, the detectives find a painting of what Leslie calls the gateway to the mansion (based on one of Charlie's hideouts in Untermyer Park).

Amaro, Sonny, and Rollins discover the location where they find a cat, stabbed to death. Perry and Mia are found covered in blood with a knife. Perry reveals that Glasgowman did this to them and that he would be back to bleed the devil out of them.

While at the hospital, Mia tells the detectives that Glasgowman started chasing the girls, but Zoe tripped and fell down. She and Perry came back and saw him standing over Zoe's body, stabbing her until they yelled at him to stop. Glasgowman caught the girls and said he would bleed them out if they didn't go with him.

Perry tells the detectives that she and Mia walked around for hours and then Mia started crying, saying that she wanted to go home which made Glasgowman angry. He forced the girls into the gatehouse where he tied up Mia and killed the cat. He was about to tie up Perry when he heard helicopters, so he stabbed her and left.

Perry says that all this happened on Sunday night. When Sonny shows her some pictures, she picks out Charlie as Glasgowman. Only problem is that Charlie has been in custody since Sunday afternoon.

The girls' doctor notifies Rollins that the stab wounds of Perry are not as deep as Zoe's stab wounds. She also mentions that the wounds are on the left side of Perry's body and that they are fresh in spite of Perry's claims that she was stabbed the night before.

Later, the detectives learn that Perry's prints were on the knife found in the gatehouse which means that Perry must've stabbed herself after she tied up Mia. They also learn that the DNA from Charlie's knife matches Zoe's, but the knife handle not only has DNA from Charlie, but from Perry and Mia which means that Charlie was telling the truth.

Sonny informs Charlie of the news and tries convincing him to get into a program.

When Rollins and Sonny talk to Mia, Mia admits that the whole situation was Perry's plan and how Zoe got stabbed.

When Perry is questioned, she claims that she was only following Glasgowman's orders and that he gave her an assignment: to take innocent blood or he would take her breath away at midnight. She stabbed Zoe to prove her loyalty by killing her, but when she stabbed Zoe, she did not detect Glasgowman's presence.

Perry claims that Glasgowman lead her and Mia into the gatehouse in the form of a cat and when she looked into the cat's eyes, he told her to kill Mia, but she stabbed the cat instead.

In Family Court, Perry explains on the witness stand that Glasgowman told her that they would live a true life in his mansion, but he got angry when she would not stab Mia, so she ended up stabbing herself instead, but it was not enough. She claims that because the police rescued the girls, Glasgowman's partners from other realms will come to kill them.

The judge declares Mia not responsible and releases her to the custody of her parents with a recommendation that she and Zoe receive weekly treatment at a psychiatric facility. Perry is adjudicated as a juvenile delinquent on the assault charge and remanded to the Creedmore Psychiatric center.

Production Edit

It was announced that Oona Laurence, Chloe Csengery and Mina Sundwall would be guest starring as Zoe Harris, Perry Gilbert and Mia Harris respectively.

Reception Edit

Anne Easton of The Observer wrote "On the heels of Halloween, the spookiest time of the year, SVU presents an episode that's part Blair Witch Project, part Slender Man homage. Much like the plot of Blair Witch, "Glasgowman's Wrath" features three youngsters heading into the woods on a quest to capture a video image of an illusive figure; in this case it's three girls on a quest to see the supposedly iconic Glasgowman." Easton went on to state "While maybe a bit unoriginal in plotting, this episode was still adequately spooky and disturbing, particularly with regard to the violent actions carried out by the youngsters." Easton finished her review with "On the surface, this episode of SVU may seem like a simple tale of young girl's devotion gone awry, but once again it's the undercurrent of the installment, filled with various incarnations of complicated issues, the main one of which seems to be who do you trust and at what level, that make this a satisfying episode." Bill Bodkin of Pop-Break gave the episode an 8 out of 10 rating and stated "'Glasgowman's Wrath,' despite the awful name, is a terrifically acted, tense and well thought out episode." Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy of The Guardian said "It is an episode beautifully aware of its own narrative devices, using its storytelling prowess to call attention to our cultural lust for violence and our deliberate repression of the fact that the greatest evils may not take our forms of choice." Narsimha Chintaluri of TV Fanatic wrote "Overall, tonight's episode was seasonal rather than topical but the twisted tale of these little girls' delusions proved to be an entertaining hour." Gabi Quinn of The Eagle called the final scene "chilling", she also called Will Harris one of the better guest stars of this season of Law & Order: SVU. It was said "Viewers were left feeling extremely disturbed by episode 6 –– it was all too familiar with the devastating story that happened in Wisconsin."

Cast Edit

Main Cast Edit

  • Mariska Hargitay as Sergeant Olivia Benson
  • Danny Pino as Detective Nick Amaro
  • Kelli Giddish as Detective Amanda Rollins
  • Ice-T as Detective Odafin Tutuola (credit only)
  • Peter Scanavino as Detective Dominick Carisi, Jr.
  • Raúl Esparza as A.D.A. Rafael Barba (credit only)

Recurring Cast Edit

  • Jessica Phillips as Assistant Corporation Counsel Pippa Cox
  • Griffin Matthews as Leslie Connolly
  • Jayne Houdyshell as Judge Ruth Linden
  • Joanne Baron as Defense Attorney Diane Schwartz
  • Tony Campisi as Defense Attorney Steve Roth
  • Yvonna Kopacz-Wright as Dr. Darby Wilder
  • Dashiell Eaves as Sergeant Kevin Donlan

Guest Cast Edit

  • Will Harris as Charlie Dorsey
  • Chloe Csengery as Perry Gilbert
  • Mina Sundwall as Mia Harris
  • Oona Laurence as Zoe Harris
  • Stephanie Kurtzuba as Joan Harris
  • Tricia Paoluccio as Robin Thornhill
  • Jeanine Bartel as Barbara Gilbert
  • Matthew Montelongo as Rick
  • Jodie Lynne McClintock as Nancy Ernst

Background information and Notes Edit

  • This episode was based on the Waukesha, Wisconsin "Slender Man stabbing". Two 12-year-olds girls held down a classmate and stabbed her 19 times in order to become "proxies" of the fictional horror monster Slender Man, made popular by the internet video "Marble Hornets". One of the girls claimed that Slender Man watches over her and could read her mind. She was found unfit and trial was suspended until her condition improved. On November 12, 2014, she was found competent enough and trial resumed. In December 2017, she was sentenced to 25 years in a mental hospital.