SVU teases Barba's Return & Benson's new challenges

Can Olivia Benson take a break? Turns out the answer is … not now.

Since Law & Order: SVU back for season 21, Mariska HargitayThe character was promoted to captain, welcomed a new green member into the team, navigated through the changing relationship between her department and the DA’s office, had one of her team members abducted and lost her brother to an overdose, along with other weekly challenges. But she can’t take a break yet. In the second half of the history-making season, Benson will be tested even more, executive producer Warren Leight teased.

“Not to give away too much, but there will be some stress for Benson in the coming episodes … a few really difficult episodes for her coming,” Leight said. “So it’s never easy for our boys.”

Read on for season 21 of Law & Order: SVU below, including diversity in the squadron and recurring characters.

When E! News spoke with Leight before season 21 premiere, he promised that the show would reflect the real makeup of New York City. For years the show has not had a series of LGBTQ character. Then viewers met Jamie Gray HyderOfficer Katriona “Kat” Tamin, head of the Vanessa Hadid office (Zuleikha Robinson) and Sergeant Joe Park (Nelson Lee), with even more to come. Leight teased episode 14 as a guest veteran of A Band’s Visit Ariel Stachel.

“We are getting their species slowly,” Leight said.

Regarding the LGTBQ view and whether viewers will find it in Kat, Leight said that this is a possibility, they still complement the character. “In episode 13, the first time we really fully mention that she is Lebanese,” he said.

In the mid-season premiere, Rollins (Kelli Giddish) was taken hostage, but turned the tables safely and brought in her abductor. That does not mean that she is undamaged after she had aimed a gun at her head for hours and traveled with her abductor through the three-state area. At the end of the episode she broke off in Carisi (Peter Scanavino) arms. Now the relationship between the two will be tested.

“At some point I hope to dive a little more into Carisi, what’s going on there,” Leight said. What would happen to the two if a third entered the equation? “They have some kind of interesting relationship because neither of them seems to be involved with someone and they depend on each other, but at some point someone is going to mate or date on a date. What is going to happen?” when that happens? Maybe co-dependent is too strong, but they are intertwined. “

Will Hart / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Yes, Leight knows that fans want to see it Raúl Esparza back as Barba and Christopher Meloni back in the fold for the first time since season 12 as Stabler. Both actors sat for new interviews at The Paley Center Salutes Law & Order: SVU, giving viewers the hope of being back with the team at some point, especially in the season that is SVU American TV’s longest scripted drama.

About Barba, Leight said, “I hope I can make that work. Raúl and I are partners in crime … I hope we can do that sooner than later.” Leight said he sees the season as a three-act story with episode 12 that serves as the middle of the season and the middle of the second act. “I think we’ll see Barba before the third act starts.”

And Stabler in the third act? It is a bit more complicated.

Meloni left the show between seasons 12 and 13, after which Leight took over the show and had the task of explaining Stabler’s off-screen exit. Leight said if Meloni is coming back, is still “above my salary”, but he has thought about the character and his history with the show, including the ability to see Stabler’s wife Kathy (Isabel Gillies) in one way or another.

“But you can’t bring her back … it’s tricky … That’s somewhere out there. I don’t know when we’ll see it,” he said.

“I think we are testing our characters a bit. And we are reaching difficult lows,” Leight said about what is coming. “We lost Simon in one episode, more points are coming up and then it’s how you deal with grief? How do you deal with loss? How do you recover and continue?

Of course, Benson’s brother Simon (Michael Weston) was not an important part of her life, but he was her last living relative (apart from Simon’s children who are in love with his ex), and his loss is still felt by Benson.

“When you lose that last connection, it is ominous. It lowers your resistance to coming blows, so we will look at Benson to see her – she is the ultimate survivor, but she will be tested in a different way than the way from Lewis Lewis. I think she must wear some crosses, “Leight said.

Benson will also come face to face with Tucker (Robert John Burke), her former boyfriend. “The one who let them escape,” Leight said. “It is bittersweet when they meet again … it is not to the altar that we run.”

While Benson will meet its challenges, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“Sometimes it’s only after you – not through design – but after you’ve gone through a lot of losses, you start opening yourself, you’re available for other opportunities,” Leight said. “I think a line will pop up as soon as the roof of your house disappears, you can see the stars. And that is what we hope to see by the end of the season, but the long way.”

Law & Order: SVU broadcast Thursday, 22:00 on NBC.

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