After Webster burns down their old apartment (Don't ask.), Webster and the Papadopolises tour a potential new living space: the restored Victorian home of Bill and Cassie Parker, a seemingly nice couple with some suspicious behavior. After Webster discovers the secret passage and the ladder from the basement to a little girl's room, Bill and Cassie reveal the room belonged to their daughter. She ran away five years earlier and they've kept the room in stasis, hoping she would return. The Papadopolises and the Parkers agree on a rental agreement. Several episodes later, their daughter Maggie returns after seven years with her son in tow to make amends of a sort.
Yes, the show quickly forgot how long she was missing.
Erik and Justin discuss how the decision to write Maggie as a runaway opens the story up to an intentional horrific reading. Why did Bill build a ladder leading from the basement to Maggie's closet? What didn't Cassie say seven years ago? The interpretation leads to discussions of Detective Stabler's anger issues, racism, the crummy '80s, and Webster's strange connections to Star Trek and 7th Heaven.