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Alexandra "Alex" Cabot is a fictional character within the Law & Order universe. She is a primary character in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Conviction. Cabot is portrayed by Stephanie March.

Character overview

Cabot first appears in the SVU episode "Wrong Is Right," when she is hired to work with SVU as their permanent ADA overseeing the legality of its arrests, following a rotating mix of ADAs (among them Abbie Carmichael of the original Law & Order). While she empathizes with the sexual assault victims she deals with, her strict code of legal ethics often forces her to make harsh decisions and judgments that go against her personal feelings.

She does occasionally bend the rules to suit her own notions of justice, however, often with unpleasant results. In the episode "Guilt," for example, she lies to detectives about having a search warrant to convict a serial child molester, and aggressively pressures one of the molester's victims to testify against him. The victim later attempts suicide, leaving him with severe brain damage. Alex is let off with a one-month suspension, but never truly forgives herself.

While Cabot had only been seen dating Defense Attorney Trevor Langan (Peter Hermann), executive producer and head writer Neal Baer has said that there is an unaddressed sexual tension between Cabot and Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). Baer admits saying: "We read the fan sites. We know that people are into the Alex-Olivia thing. All the codes are in there."

Departure from SVU

Cabot was taken out of the show in the episode "Loss", in which she is prosecuting a powerful Colombian drug dealer, Rafael Zapata Gaviria, who worked for the notorious drug lord Cesar Velez. Zapata had brutally raped and murdered an undercover NYPD officer working with the DEA. Cabot receives a threat on her life, as well as that of her mother. Despite warnings from her colleagues, Cabot continues the case, unwilling to let Zapata scare her. Timothy Donovan, a key witness and DEA special agent, is murdered in a car bombing right before Cabot's eyes. Cabot initially wants to try Zapata, even with no witness and her own life on the line, but after pressuring from the SVU detectives and District Attorney Arthur Branch (Fred Dalton Thompson) that her losing case isn't worth dying for, she drops the charges. However, Zapata is immediately arrested by Federal Agents for the witness' murder.

At the conclusion of the episode, she is shot in a drive-by shooting by Liam Connors, one of Cesar Velez's agents, while saying goodnight to SVU detectives Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). Proclaimed dead in the newspapers, Cabot disappears into the Witness Protection Program. She insists on telling Benson and Stabler the truth the night she leaves the city. She is replaced by Casey Novak (Diane Neal).

Reappearance

Detectives Benson and Stabler are the only ones who knew the truth about Cabot's "death" until nearly two years later (Law and Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Ghost"), when she came out of hiding to be a witness in a case against Liam Connors, the assassin who tried to kill her. It was also mentioned that Cabot's mother died during her time in witness protection and that she was unable to attend the funeral. Connors goes to prison, having been found guilty under two counts of attempted murder (Cabot and an eight-year-old boy), plus five counts of murder. Cabot quickly disappears again under a new identity.

Months later in Conviction, Cabot returns to New York and resumes work at the District Attorney's office as a trial bureau chief. It is later revealed in an episode of SVU "Lead," she had left witness protection after Velez was murdered in prison and Connors was extradited to Irelandmarker. At some point between 2006 and 2009 she steps down from this position and began work in the Appeal Bureau.

As of the episode "Lead," Cabot is asked by D.A. Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) to step in to take over for A.D.A. Kim Greylek (Michaela McManus) when the latter requested to return to the Justice Department. At that point, she had not told her former colleagues of her return; it is implied, and later confirmed, that she is still felt traumatized over her attempted murder.

At the beginning of Season 11, it is revealed that ADA Cabot is training in Albanymarker, and will eventually work in the Appeals Court. Executive ADA Sonya Paxton was asked to assume Cabot's role by Jack McCoy ("Unstable"). In the fourth episode of Season 11, EADA Sonya Paxton begins drinking after she makes a mistake at the trial. It is later revealed that she was an alcoholic and it appears she has slipped back into her old habits. She is ordered to go through court-mandated rehabilitation and will therefore be temporarily absent. Cabot returned in the fifth episode, commenting that she had "clawed her way" out of appeals to return to SVU, to prosecute a man running a pedophile rights group. In this episode, Stephanie March is added to the Season 11 opening credits as a series regular. Paxton returned in the ninth episode to "clash" with Cabot.

In Conviction

Cabot's departure from witness protection and return to New York as a Bureau Chief in Conviction is never explained at the time of the show. When she returns to SVU, it is explained that she was removed from Witness Protection three years (2006) prior when Liam Connors was extradited to Ireland. In Conviction, March was a last-minute addition to the cast and most of the early episodes had already been written before she was added. There were plans in a later episode to explain Cabot's departure from witness protection, and a greater exploration of her personal life and past was planned, but the cancellation of Conviction made this a moot point.

References

  1. "Lead."



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