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We Met Kate Dixon's Son on Law & Order — Here's Where You Know Him From

Lieutenant Kate Dixon's personal and professional lives collided in the latest Law & Order episode, forcing her to re-evaluate her convictions.

By Jill Sederstrom
"I Realized I’d Forgotten to Get Dressed" - Tony Goldwyn on his Juilliard Audition (Extended)

Law & Order fans got to meet Lieutenant Kate Dixon’s son for the first time in an emotional case that tested her resolve as a police officer. 

How to Watch

Watch Law & Order Thursdays at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock

Kate’s (Camryn Manheim) personal and professional lives unexpectedly collided when a security guard was accused of killing a wealthy condominium developer in Season 23, Episode 11.

When the security guard, Ryan Marley, was brought in for questioning, the single dad was forced to bring his pre-teen deaf daughter Alex into the precinct with him and reached out to her teacher at the school for the deaf to give her support during the stressful situation.

That teacher just happened to be Dixon’s deaf adult son, Patrick Dixon, played by James Caverly. 

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“Ryan called me, asked me to come,” Patrick signed to his mom. ”They don’t have any other family to reach out to.”

For the first time, fans got to see the close bond Dixon has with her grown son as the two navigated the difficult case together. 

Patrick and Kate Dixon on Law And Order Episode 2311

What else has James Caverly starred in?

If Caverly looked familiar, there’s a good reason for that. He also played the role of Theo Dimas on the popular TV series Only Murders in the Building.

The actor — who shared with Speakeasy Stage in 2013 that he was born deaf — played a central role in the crime comedy-drama as the son of wealthy deli magnate Teddy Dimas (Nathan Lane). An entire episode in Season 1, titled “The Boy from 6B,” was even shot entirely from Theo’s perspective as a deaf resident of the building trying to navigate in a hearing world. 

“My hope is that more and more people will realize that there are many different ways that a deaf character can be included in the arts, written into film, written on to stage plays,” Caverly explained in a video promoting the episode. “There are many and infinite possibilities.”

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Lane also delivered high praise about his on-screen son. 

“James Caverly is an extraordinary young actor and his ability to do something that was very difficult and very emotional take after take after take,” he raved.”I was so proud of him.” 

Along with his run on Only Murders in the Building, Caverly also appeared in two episodes of Chicago Med in Season 4 as the character Peter Rush.

Patrick and Kate Dixon on Law And Order Episode 2311

A case got personal for Kate Dixon

On Season 23, Episode 11 of Law & Order, Kate’s commitment to the law was put to the test after her ability to understand sign language revealed an unexpected twist in the case. 

Ryan Marley was taken into custody after detectives learned that he and his daughter Alex had been squatting in the ritzy, currently unoccupied, ew apartment building after being evicted from their own home. Ryan was struggling financially after his wife died of cancer, leaving behind significant medical bills. Ryan also had to provide for his daughter’s special needs, prompting him to break the rules in order to survive and move into the penthouse after learning that West — who had been given the apartment by his wealthy father — had no intention of ever living there. 

“He’s a good guy. And Alex is a great kid,” Patrick told his mom. “They’ve been through a lot lately.”

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In court, Ryan claimed he and his daughter were sleeping in the penthouse when he heard someone come in during the middle of the night. He saw a shadowy figure in the living room and claimed the man pointed a gun at him, before later pointing it at his daughter. In the struggle for the weapon, Ryan took control of the gun and shot the “intruder” only to realize later after he turned on the lights that it was West, he testified.

“I was protecting my daughter,” he insisted.

Alex also took the stand to support her father’s claim. 

Patrick Dixon and Alex Marley on Law And Order Episode 2311

The emotional story convinced prosecutors that Ryan may have been acting in self-defense and they agreed to offer him a plea deal for a much lighter sentence.

Kate and her son went to the apartment where Alex was staying with a friend’s family from school to deliver the good news, but the case took an unexpected turn when Kate saw Alex sign to Patrick that she had lied on the stand. The gun had really belonged to Ryan, not West. The single father had purchased the weapon to try to protect his daughter when they started to live on the streets.

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Torn about what to do with the knowledge that West had not pulled a gun on the father and daughter like Ryan claimed, Kate confided in Detective Vincent Riley (Reid Scott)

“Did Patrick know?” Riley asked.

“No, and he said it wouldn’t change anything if he did,” Kate told him. “He doesn’t think Marley did anything wrong and I kind of agree.” 

Kate Dixon on Law And Order Episode 2311

Kate went on to explain that Ryan had only been trying to protect his daughter from an intruder and admitted that she was hesitant to share what she learned with the district attorney’s office.

“He thought the man was dangerous,” she said. “His daughter was in the apartment.The law in this state says that you are allowed to shoot somebody that you think is breaking into your home. I mean if his name was on the deed to that penthouse, everything he did would be legal.” 

“Yeah, but his name was not on that deed,” Riley countered. “Berkshire’s was.” 

Kate lamented that while Berkshire had been born into wealth and privilege and had multiple houses, Ryan was working so hard just to try to put a roof over his daughter’s head.

“How is that fair?” she asked. 

Law And Order 2311 Kate Dixon

Kate Dixon takes the stand

“It’s not fair. It doesn’t change the facts or the law. West Berkshire is dead. He was killed minding his own business, entering his own apartment,” Riley said.

Riley ultimately left the decision about how to proceed up to Kate, telling her it was just a discussion “between friends.” In the end, she admitted what she saw, honoring the commitment she made to uphold the law, and testified in the case as her son looked on.

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Ryan was convicted of second-degree murder. As his daughter wailed, Patrick held the girl in his arms as Kate held back tears watching her son console the young girl. 

To find out what other cases the team will take on this season, watch Law & Order on Thursdays at 8/76c on NBC or available streaming on Peacock the next day.