In between her not-so-glamorous, but very influential, job as the Commanding Officer of the Manhattan Special Victims Unit, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) has made some time for romance in the past.
Sadly, it tends to not always work out in her favor each time. From Brian Cassidy to Nick Ganzer to Andy Eckerson to Kurt Moss to David Haden, Olivia Benson has had plenty of romance during her 23 seasons and counting.
So, which one tugged on Benson’s and viewers’ heartstrings the most on “Law & Order: SVU?”
Olivia Benson’s Saddest Romance on ‘Law & Order: SVU’
That has to be Ed Tucker, who was portrayed by Robert John Burke. He was a recurring character as the head of NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau. For a lot of his time on the show, he didn’t exactly make things easy for either Benson or Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni).
He spent a lot of his time trying to demote or remove both of these characters from their positions on the squad for actions he thought looked bad for the department. From a pain to a lover, Ed Tucker’s character certainly developed. Starting in season 17, the somewhat villainous character and Benson realized they had feelings for each other. They started a romantic relationship and took a trip to Paris together.
Eventually, Tucker was ready to retire and settle down. Meanwhile, Benson was just promoted to Lieutenant and was not ready to part from her duty of protecting victims of sexual assault and abuse. They said goodbye during season 18, but Tucker would return again in season 21, episode 12 “The Longest Night of Rain.” He announced he was happily married, but also had some bad news to add to the mix.
Devastating Ending for the Two
He ends up telling Olivia that he is dying from cancer. It has moved from his lungs to his brain and he hasn’t even been able to tell his wife yet. He is having cognitive problems and isn’t remembering certain details due to his cancer.
Eventually, the two seem to make amends and part ways on very heart-wrenching, yet good, terms. She says she regrets how things ended and wishes for more time. Tucker sweetly tells her that “they’ll always have Paris.”
Just as things look like they were going to end, things get much, much more depressing for Benson and Tucker. During the final scene, Detective Fin Tutuola (Ice-T) walks in and says “I heard about Tucker.” He’s referring to the fact that Tucker ended up actually taking his life so he wouldn’t have to spend his last year as a sick and dying man.
In terms of romance, it doesn’t get any sadder for Olivia Benson on “Law & Order: SVU.” This may be why fans are really rooting for her and Stabler to finally act on that romantic spark they’ve had for decades. Now that Stabler is finally back in the “Law & Order” world, there’s no better time than the present.