‘Law & Order: SVU’: Peter Scanavino Explains Carisi’s Feelings During Legendary Season 22 Battle

by Megan Molseed

Fans of Law & Order: SVU know that the series’s newest Assistant District Attorney, Dominick “Sonny” Carisi (Peter Scanavino) has an intense dedication for his job.

Fans of the popular NBC series also know that the former ADA, Raul Esparza’s character, Rafael Barba, is just as dedicated to finding justice where it is due.

Recently, Barba who held the office of Law & Order: SVU’s New York City Assistant District Attorney during seasons fourteen through nineteen returned to the SVU. This time, however, Barba was playing for the defense.

This is why fans were on the edge of their seats when an intense showdown in the popular show’s twenty-second season found Carisi and Barba in a tense courtroom showdown.

“We were both just trying to do our jobs,” said Peter Scanavino of his courtroom showdown with Esparaza’s Barba.

“Carisi understands that everybody is afforded the best defense that they can get,” the SVU actor adds. “And this is just how the justice system works.”

‘Law & Order: SVU’ Welcomes A Familiar Face To the Courtroom

In the season twenty-two episode, Sightless in a Savage Land, Barba returns to the courtroom.

Only this time, the former ADA provides legal counsel for the defendant. On trial is a father who shot the man who molested his daughter.

With Rafael Barba defending the father, Scanavino’s Sonny Carisi was the man going up against the former ADA.

Barba’s tactic as he defends the father is that no jury would want to sentence a father, who is also a veteran. Especially when the father is acting on an impulse to protect their own child.

Carisi, on the other hand, argues that the killing was not an impulsive act, but rather a premeditated murder.

Carisi’s argument focuses on the fact that the man on trial for assaulting the killer’s daughter was already in jail, awaiting trial at the time of the murder.

“I think if anything, in that episode, he was more upset with the detectives for bringing Barba into this,” Scanavino says of Carisi’s approach to the courtroom showdown. “When he thought that they should have been advocating for him because we’re on the same side. That was the conflict.”

Carisi Has An Underlying Respect For Barba

Scanavino went on to say that he thinks Carisi had no problems going up against Barba.

“In terms of just going against Barba, I think he really saw it as a challenge that he had to step up to,” Scanavino explains. “And I think he did.”

The Law & Order: SVU actor adds that he believes Carisii always had respect for Barba. A fact which made the courtroom battle a little easier.

“He saw it as a real challenge, but not something that he was bitter about,” Scaravino explains. “When you have respect for somebody, there are no ill feelings.”