‘Law & Order: SVU’: Who Was the Worst Criminal of Season 21?

by Megan Molseed

The wildly popular NBC crime drama franchise, Law & Order has brought us some sensational storylines over the years. And along with these storylines, which are oftentimes “ripped from the headlines,” come some very memorable – and terrible – criminals.

One of the worst of these criminals we remember in the popular TV franchise shows up in the 21st season of Law & Order: SVU: Ian McShane’s Sir Toby Moore. In this role, McShane portrays a British media executive accused of assaulting dozens of actresses. Most of whom worked for McShane over the years.

Law & Order: SVU’s Worst Criminal From The Show’s 21st Season Is a ‘Ripped From The Headlines’ Story That Gripped the Nation

When Law & Order: SVU hit the airwaves in 2019 for its 21st season on TV, the series was facing a major milestone. However, with this milestone came some brand-new challenges. Premiering in 1999, this Law & Order spin-off series was breaking some impressive records.

At the start of season 21, SVU was surpassing the iconic series Gunsmoke as the longest-running series in primetime TV history. A huge moment for all involved with the series, no doubt. However, this major achievement brought with ut some challenges. Primarily how, after over 500 episodes and storylines, will the series continue to stay fresh for its viewers?

SVU Makes Some Behind-The-Scenes Adjustments That Pay Off Extremely Well

One way that the series focused on keeping the storylines fresh is to switch up the writer’s room a bit. SVU’s 21st season brought in new writers – making the majority of the writer’s room female. This was a first in the popular show’s history.

“It changes the dynamic of the room,” notes SVU showrunner Warren Leight.

“It’s fresh air into the writer’s room,” the showrunner adds. “We’re re-approaching the specificity of design.”

Then, of course, the series focused on bringing in some big-name guest stars. Stars just like Ian McShane who stepped in to play one of the season’s worst criminals during the show’s 21st season.

Ian McShane Gives Us a Memorable Ripped-From-The-Headlines Performance

When McShane’s Law & Order: SVU episode aired, it had been nearly two years since the news broke that famous producer and director Harvey Weinstein was accused of assaulting dozens of women who worked for him over the years. The fact that SVU eventually addressed this storyline wasn’t overly surprising to many viewers, since the Law & Order franchise is known for bringing real-life cases to the small screen.

Ian McShane brings his character Toby Moore to life in the memorable episodes; evading capture for much of the show. However, it seems that justice will be served when the SVU team catches McShane in the act. But, as often happens in some of SVU’s best storylines, a twist shocks us all. A frustrating turn of events – in the form of heart issues McShane is experiencing – leads to the trial being postponed.