‘Law & Order’: Mariska Hargitay To Cross Over for Season 21 Finale of Revival

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

Law & Order creators have already given fans a swoon-worthy crossover this year, with Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) meeting the adopted son of Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). Benson also appeared in the world of Organized Crime when Stabler’s team reached out to the SVU for help with a kidnapping case. And according to Law & Order showrunner Rick Eid, the crossover episodes aren’t over yet.

Fan-favorite SVU character Olivia Benson will make an appearance in the Season 21 finale of the Law & Order revival as well. In an interview with Today, Rick Eid gave a brief preview of the episode, careful not to reveal any spoilers, of course. “In the finale, Olivia Benson appears, which is exciting,” Eid said. “Benson crosses with Detectives Cosgrove and Bernard. They need to talk to her.”

Though Rick Eid assuaged fans’ fears by promising not to leave them with “some big cliffhanger,” he created new fears in the same breath. “It’s more of an emotional finale,” he said.

The showrunner was then asked why Mariska Hargitay‘s character didn’t appear in the first episode of the Law & Order revival, as it seemed a perfect fit for the character. “There was no specific reason,” Eid said. “Other than that we were building sets and writing scripts and doing other things.”

“There definitely was a Special Victims backstory to it,” he continued. “But at the end of the day, it was still a homicide. There just wasn’t a compelling legal or evidentiary reason.”

‘Law & Order’ Showrunner Talks Reviving Iconic Series

As the production of new Law & Order episodes came to halt more than a decade ago, fans and actors couldn’t wait to get back to the series. Rick Eid and the rest of the Law & Order crew knew, however, that they had to do so with care. The Law & Order franchise has millions of dedicated fans who would not take kindly to a misstep.

“The show is so beloved and iconic that if you’re going to bring it back you’d better try hard to live up to its standards,” Eid explained. “Things have changed. People have gotten used to a different, glossier look (to TV). We want you to feel like you’re in (the room), but also make it pleasurable to watch.”

The Law & Order revival is well underway. They’re still only 10 episodes in, however, and haven’t quite adjusted to the new dynamics and characters.

That said, Rick Eid isn’t without ideas. He knows he wants to tell more character-based stories, which he plans to do in the final episodes of Season 21.

“You’ll learn more about people,” the showrunner said. “But it takes a while to get your feet under you and find out how everything intersects. We’re trying to be faithful to the original, but you’re also looking to find ways to tweak things here and there.”

Regardless of the show’s direction, however, Law & Order has always been and will always be “a cultural conversation,” according to Eid. “It holds up a mirror to what’s going on in society, and in that sense it’s timeless,” he said. “We’re always looking at each episode as a cultural conversation with differing points of view.”