Entertainment,  Reviews,  TV

NBC’s ‘Law and Order: SVU’ Hits Milestone 500th Episode

Photo courtesy of NBC.



Law and Order: Special Victims Unit premiered in 1999 and has become the longest-running primetime drama in TV history. On Thursday, October 21, 2021, the show hit a huge milestone: its 500th episode! As a longtime SVU fan, I cannot tell you how excited I was when I first watched the promo and the actual episode. I wanted to share my thoughts on the 500th episode with all of you so let’s get started.

In this record-breaking 500th episode, we see some familiar faces return. The episode opens with Sergeant Odafin “Fin” Tutuola (Ice-T) telling Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) that someone is waiting for her in the interview room and they would only talk to the person in charge. Low and behold, it’s former detective Nick Amaro (Danny Pino). Amaro was on SVU from seasons 13-16. We learn that he’s working for a company that specializes in analyzing DNA from cold cases with new technologies.

The SVU squad find themselves working with Amaro as they are introduced to a cold case that needs to be revisited. He gets contacted by a journalist and podcast about a 1996 case of a girl who was sexually assaulted and murdered. Her boyfriend was convicted of the crime but Amaro and his partner believe that he’s innocent.

When Nick and his partner, Burton Lowe (Aidan Quinn) walk into Olivia’s office, she’s stunned. She calls him an old friend but we all knew that they had a romantic past. He was her boyfriend when she was a teenager at the age of 16 and he was 21. This triggers painful memories with her mother for Liv as she relives them in her head. While working on the case, the two reconnected like no time has past.

Captain Donald Cragen (Dann Florek) was on the case back in 1996 so the squad contacts him via video chat. Can I just tell you that I cried. I cried actual tears. When he was talking to Liv and he says “You don’t know how proud it makes me to say that” when he refers to Liv as Captain of SVU. It was very emotional, especially for someone like me, who’s been an SVU fan for so long. I’ve gotten so attached to all of these characters.

Dr. Melinda Warner (Tamara Tunie) makes an appearance with a partial DNA sample to which Nick’s company proves that it doesn’t belong to the man that was originally convicted. It belongs to a teacher that eventually confesses to his crimes because of the long-term guilt that he’s felt all these years.

Case closed. Well, not really. Maybe for this case but Benson is in for a rude awakening at the courthouse when a woman walks up to her and Burton and asks her why she would want to work with a predator. The woman gives her statement at the SVU station. She tells Detective Rollins and Sergeant Tutuola that Lowe groomed her by taking her out to fancy dinners and sending her music like The Girl from Ipanema. This triggers more painful memories for Liv.

Back at her house, Olivia finds boxes of tapes and eventually finds the one that Lowe made for her when she was young with the same exact song on it.

When Lowe’s accuser posts about her experience on social media, more women come forward. Unfortunately, these crimes aren’t chargeable so SVU must move on. Benson can’t. She visits Lowe at his hotel room (500 to be exact). She confronts him about their past and how she couldn’t consent when she was a teen because she was too young.

This explosive episode ends with Liv throwing the tape that Lowe gave to her in a pond.

I did enjoy this episode but there are some things I wish that were different. I honestly don’t remember the flashback of the interaction between Liv and old A.D.A Casey Novak (Diane Neal). I felt that the sudden introduction Burton Lowe’s character was random and also because Quinn portrayed an entirely different character on SVU in a past season which made it awkward for me.

As far as guest appearances, I would’ve loved to have seen Dr. George Huang (B.D. Wong) again. I loved his character. He added depth and interest to all the episodes he appeared in. Likewise, seeing an old A.D.A like Novak or Alexandra Cabot (Stephanie March) would’ve brought back even more nostalgia.

I did love seeing Amaro, Warner, and Cragen again. The only difference is that Warner has made more recent appearances on the show but it doesn’t make this any less bittersweet.

The acting and writing in this series is stellar. Every episode blows my mind with how talented the actors and the writers are.



Law and Order: SVU is on Thursdays on NBC. You can stream all the seasons exclusively on Hulu and Peacock.

Creator: Dick Wolf

Cast: Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, Peter Scanavino

Producers: Dick Wolf, Julie Martin, Mariska Hargitay

error: Content is protected !!