‘Law & Order: SVU’: Danny Pino Opens Up About Amaro’s Relationship With Benson in 500th Episode

by Jennifer Shea

Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) made his triumphant return to “Law & Order: SVU” for the show’s 500th episode, and his appearance airs this Thursday.

But Amaro’s return is not all roses. He has a serious matter to broach with Benson (Mariska Hargitay). He wants her to reopen an old case to clear the name of someone he believes was wrongfully convicted.

In a new interview with TVLine, Pino talked about doing a pivotal scene with Hargitay and the dynamic between their two characters. He said Amaro knows he’s asking a favor of Benson. But he’s not afraid to be direct with his old friend.

‘Law & Order: SVU’ Characters Go Way Back  

Pino explained that because Amaro and Benson have such a good relationship, his character felt their bond was strong enough to survive a difficult request. So he confronted Benson about the matter squarely.

“He was never scared of speaking truth to power,” Pino said. “And in that situation, in that hierarchy, Benson is certainly the powerful one. She is the one who pulls the strings. Amaro is coming to her to beg, to ask, to plead to reopen this case, right. And she’s the one who really has the strength.”

“Then when you couple that with his overwhelming respect and love for Benson, to see that maybe she has a blind spot,” he added. “And potentially because, you know, they’re not working directly with each other, it’s easier for him to say that than it would be for Rollins, you know, or for Tutuola.” 

There’s a lesson there about friendship, Pino went on. Sometimes it takes a close friend to raise uncomfortable topics, even at the risk of destabilizing the relationship. And Amaro’s not sure where their relationship stands at the end of that scene, but he had to bring this matter up.

“Sometimes, it’s your really good friends, it’s your maybe closest friends who… it’s their responsibility to put all of that trust on the line to reveal something to a loved one, a dear friend, and maybe cause an uncomfortable situation,” Pino explained. “And I think Amaro walks out of that room not knowing where that relationship is at that point.”

Will Pino Be Back for More Episodes?

With Amaro’s reappearance shaking things up a bit at “Law & Order: SVU,” the question is: how long will this storyline last? Is it a single-episode arc or more of a protracted development?

Pino says he has no idea. The actor told TVLine he hasn’t had any conversations about returning for future episodes. But he left open that possibility.

“We have not had real conversations about it,” Pino said. “I think that that is something that is probably better answered by [showrunner] Warren Leight.”

Looks like “Law & Order: SVU” fans will have to wait until tomorrow to find out how neatly the writers resolve the Amaro-Benson situation, and whether they leave it open to repeat appearances.