05/20/2015 (09:00PM – 10:00PM) (Wednesday) : IN THE SEASON FINALE, A DANGEROUS CAREER CRIMINAL RETURNS TO TEST THE LIMITS OF THE LAW
Sgt. Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and ADA Barba (Raúl Esparza) take Johnny D (guest star Charles Halford) to trial for sex trafficking, rape, assault and kidnapping. But when Baby Noah’s adoption becomes entangled in the case, Benson fears for Noah’s future and his safety. In an intense courtroom showdown, the SVU will face a threat that could change the squad forever. Also starring Danny Pino (Det. Nick Amaro), Ice T (Det. Odafin Tutuola), Kelli Giddish (Det. Amanda Rollins) and Peter Scanavino (Det. Sonny Carisi). Also guest starring Michael Kostroff (Counselor Evan Braun), Danika Yarosh (Ariel Thornhill), Robert John Tucker (Lt. Ed Tucker), Jefferson Mays (M.E. Rudnick), Laura Gomez (Selena Cruz) and Peter Hermann (Counselor Trevor Langan).
Law & Order: SVUfans were both surprised and elated when it was revealed late last season that Rollins (Kelli Giddish) and Amaro (Danny Pino) were sleeping together. But with hardly a mention of the two being romantic since that episode, TVGuide.com user Jessica asks: Are they actually still together?
“We had a scene in [the last episode] that had to be cut for time,” executive producer Warren Leight tells TVGuide.com. (You can watch a very subtle hint in the deleted scene here.) “There have been little glimpses. You see Kelli play all the time that she’s worried for him, caretaking of him in certain ways. She’s protective of him, but not so he would notice and object to it.”
Although Leight admits that the duo’s feelings are real (“She cares for him and he’s got to figure out where his life is going. A guy who is getting over a divorce — there’s always a few bad years,” he says), don’t expect a major declaration of love any time soon. “They’re not supposed to go out; it’s against all departmental regulations,” Leight says. “So whatever is going on between them is furtive and sporadic, and neither one of them would want to call it a relationship.”
05/13/2015 (09:00PM – 10:00PM) (Wednesday) : SVU DETECTIVES RACE TO FIND A BOY KIDNAPPED FOR RANSOM
8 year-old Owen Farhidi (guest star Kaeden Ruparel) disappears from school and his mother Dana (guest star Brooke Bloom) receives a ransom request. When surveillance footage shows that Owen recognized his abductor, Detective Amaro (Danny Pino) works with Dana and her ex-husband Sam (guest star Navid Negahban) to find and arrest the suspect, but tensions between the estranged couple obstructs the investigation. Meanwhile, Sgt. Benson (Mariska Hargitay) is asked to take the Lieutenant’s exam to formally take the lead over her squad. Also starring Ice T (Det. Odafin Tutuola) and Peter Scanavino (Det. Sonny Carisi). Also guest starring Frankie Alvarez (Javier Rojas), Carmen Cabrera (Fabiana Caldera), Robert John Burke (Lt. Ed Tucker), and Toni D’Antonio (Principal Stanwick).
05/06/2015 (09:00PM – 10:00PM) (Wednesday) : DANN FLOREK AND ANDRE BRAUGHER RETURN TO “SVU”
Bayard Ellis (guest star Braugher) takes on the case of a man incarcerated for incest and rape, whose daughter Michelle (guest star Samira Wiley), the victim and star witness when she was a child, wants to recant her testimony and set her father free. When a judge refuses to reopen the 17 year old case, the SVU turns to retired Captain Cragen (guest star Florek), who remembers the investigation and provides evidence that could change the convict’s fate. Starring Mariska Hargitay (Sgt. Olivia Benson), Danny Pino (Det. Nick Amaro), Kelli Giddish (Det. Amanda Rollins) and Peter Scanavino (Det. Sonny Carisi). Also guest starring Robert Sean Leonard (ADA Kenneth O’Dwyer), Glenn Plummer (Derek Thompson), Kia Joy Goodwin (Audrey Jones) and Leslie Odom Jr. (Reverend Scott).
04/29/2015 (09:00PM – 10:00PM) (Wednesday) : SVU DETECTIVES JOIN CHICAGO INTELLIGENCE TO CONNECT A CASE IN CHICAGO TO AN UNSOLVED CASE ABOUT RAPE AND MURDER FROM NEW YORK A DECADE PRIOR. Continuation of Chicago Fire, “We Called Her Jelly Bean” episode. Benson (Mariska Hargitay) has traveled into Chicago to help Voight (Jason Beghe) and intelligence with a rape/murder case that is frighteningly similar to a case from New York a decade ago. She calls in Fin (Ice-T) and Amaro (Danny Pino) to assist. The prime suspect, Yates (Dallas Roberts) is let go after rigorous questioning. He then requests a meeting with Lindsay (Sophia Bush) and he warns of unintended consequences from what intelligence is doing. Featuring Jon Seda, Jesse Lee Soffer, Patrick Flueger, Elias Koteas, Marina Squerciati, LaRoyce Hawkins, Amy Morton, Brian Geraghty, Eamonn Walker, Nick Gehlfuss, Stella Maeve and Samuel Hunt.
04/29/2015 (10:00PM – 11:00PM) (Wednesday) : CHICAGO AND NEW YORK POLICE CONTINUE THE INVESTIGATION INTO AN UNSOLVED RAPE AND MURDER CASE
Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Voight (Jason Beghe) lead their teams in the investigation of a rape/murder case that is frighteningly similar to a case from New York a decade ago. When forced to release their main suspect, the Chicago PD joins the SVU in New York in pursuit of Yates (guest star Dallas Roberts). Featuring Sophia Bush (Det. Lindsay), Ice T (Det. Tutuola), Danny Pino (Det. Amaro), Kelli Giddish (Det. Rollins), Raúl Esparza (ADA Barba), Peter Scanavino (Det. Sonny Carisi), Jesse Lee Soffer (Det. Halstead), Marina Squerciati (Ofc. Burgess), Brian Geraghty (Ofc. Roman), Stella Maeve (Nadia Decotis), Tamara Tunie (M.E. Warner) and Mary Bacon (Susie Frain).
Warren Leight looks ahead to next season in the wake of the show’s early renewal.
It took 15 seasons for Law & Order: SVU to make a mother out of Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), but now there’s no slowing her down. Following several health crises earlier this season, baby Noah catches the measles on Wednesday’s new episode in the midst of a potentially dangerous outbreak.
“Because his immune system has been compromised, Olivia delayed getting him his measles vaccine until he was healthier,” says showrunner Warren Leight. “That’s a bad set-up for her.”
Law & Order: SVU is well versed at ripping from the headlines. But even Leight admits the writers “struggled to find a way” to write about the recent measles outbreak in California on a show devoted to sex crimes. In the episode, SVU begins investigating pornographic photos from a high school house party when several suspects in the case are diagnosed with the measles. “We got there,” says Leight. “But it was a journey to get there.”
And the journey is far from over for Sgt. Benson and her team. The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Leight about the upcoming trial of Noah’s paternal father, Olivia’s search for a No. 2 and some possible romance in season 17.
You earned an early renewal in February. How has that affected your storytelling?
It let me arc out a season knowing there was another one to come, knowing that I could put seeds in for things that I hope will sprout next season as well. We still adhere to the self-contained storyline format, but we really have been doing a lot more long-form storytelling. It allowed the show to breathe a little bit. … Where will baby Noah go? What’s his storyline going to be? I could think in a different time frame about things like that. Some of it will be made more clear by the end of the season, but it allowed us to make some turns that we might not have otherwise been able to.
What are some of these seeds that will start popping up as the season comes to a close?
We had one episode in which we found out that this horrible pimp Johnny D. is actually Noah’s father, and we’re going to be heading to the trial of Johnny D. in the final episode of the season. That trial is more complicated because we’re also heading to the adoption of baby Noah by Olivia at the end of the season.
What is Olivia’s mindset going into this final episode? She has had a lot of challenges with Noah this season.
Olivia is fierce. She’s had, in prior seasons, foster kids taken from her care. She does not want to let that happen. She knows the system better. She’s doing everything she can and I think she had a little bit of a reality check that you can’t work 24 hours a day and be the single parent of a one-year-old with health issues. She had to actually learn, and is still learning, to delegate a little more. … She has to prioritize so we’ll be seeing her begin to search for a No. 2 in the station house. Is somebody going to step up and take the Sergeants exam is another story point that’s going to be coming up towards the end of the season – someone that she can delegate to a little more.
Wednesday’s episode also deals with Amaro and his son. What can you say is coming up for him?
Amaro is having a tough year here. Things haven’t broken his way. That marriage is obviously gone. His wife and kid are in California and now Gilberto’s family, we’re learning, may be moving as well. He’s looking for a change or a role in this episode and trying to connect to his son and stay connected to his son. He’s dealing with the reality of not being where you want to be in your life at 40. I think he thought everything was laid out the way some men do and the last thing they thought they’d be is alone at 40. That’s also part of the last third of this season; watching him try to find his place in a post-family world.
Does that mean he might be the person who applies to be Olivia’s No. 2?
That’s in play. What is everyone’s status? Can she stay on as acting commander and chief of the squad? Does she need to step up and take the Lieutenants exam? If she does, does anyone step up with her? We always like to play the reality as much as we can, which is they’ll stick a sergeant in that job for awhile, but eventually they’re going to want somebody in there with a higher pay grade. If she doesn’t step up does that mean an outsider is coming in? These are the questions that are being asked as the season winds down.
Are you thinking about adding a new face to the show?
We’re beginning to try to have some outside influence on the squad room so it’s not quite so insular as it got over the years. … We may float a few people in from time to time next year on their way to other places.
One of those people is Tucker (Robert John Burke) and he recently took Olivia out for a drink. What can you say about Olivia and him going forward?
Tucker is evolving as a human being and he has respect and affection for Olivia. At this point they’re like old warriors who’ve gone to battle so many times, they probably have more in common than she does with the young folk in her squad room.
Is that a romance something you’re thinking about pursuing next season? Before Noah, fans used to speculate a lot about her love life.
In the first year of being a single parent with an immune-suppressed infant while running a squad room, the chances for romance have been few. I think it is one of the questions we have for next year: Will that turn for Olivia? I don’t think she needs a romantic partner to be complete. I think sometimes people want that for her. … Her life has changed and I think for the better, and there’s more balance. She can see Tucker as a human and maybe there is some common ground there. He’ll be seen a bit more in the final episodes of the season.
Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. on NBC.
04/28/2015 & 04/29/2015 (08:00PM – 09:00PM) (Wednesday) : A FIRE REVEALS EVIDENCE OF A POTENTIAL SERIAL ARSONIST WHO HAS BEEN ON THE LOOSE FOR MORE THAN A DECADE AND DEMANDS THE ATTENTION OF THE CPD AND SVU-STORY ARC CROSSES OVER INTO “LAW & ORDER: SVU” AND “CHICAGO P.D.” THE FOLLOWING NIGHT¬- An apartment fire linked to a case of rape and attempted murder calls for members of the CPD to team with the Special Victims Unit, which had a similar unresolved case that has eluded them for more than 10 years. This prompts Sgt. Benson (Mariska Hargitay) to come in from New York to assist with the investigation in which she is all too familiar. Meanwhile, doubts among the squad towards one of their own causes Severide (Taylor Kinney) to lay down the law and Dawson (Monica Raymund) puts her life on the line during a call. Jason Beghe, Jon Seda, Warren Christie, Eric Mabius guest star.
04/08/2015 (09:00PM – 10:00PM) (Wednesday) : AN UNDERAGE SEX PARTY LEADS TO A MEASLES EPIDEMIC IN NEW YORK CITY
Pornographic photos from 15 year-old Savannah Biel’s (guest star Hayden Tweedie) house party quickly circulate around her Tribeca high school and go viral. Barba’s (Raúl Esparza) efforts to arrest the student responsible for posting the images is stalled when several suspects fall victim to a fast-moving measles outbreak. When Benson’s (Mariska Hargitay) foster son also catches the illness, she investigates a group of mothers who may have falsified their children’s medical records. Meanwhile, Amaro (Danny Pino) receives some distressing news about his son. Also starring Ice T (Det. Odafin Tutuola), Kelli Giddish (Det. Amanda Rollins) and Peter Scanavino (Det. Sonny Carisi). Also guest starring Missi Pyle (Trudy Malko), Emily Dorsch (Principal Schwartz), Hari Dhillon (Counselor Varma), Susie Essman (Arlene Heller), Jefferson Mays (ME Rudnick), Julie Lauren (Mia Biel), Christine Toy Johnson (Dr. Celia Lee), David Margulies (Dr. Eric Setrakian) and Jaden Matthew Rodriguez (Gil Mancheno).