‘Law & Order: SVU’: Mariska Hargitay and Danny Pino Share Touching Moment On-Set of Episode 500

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

A former Law & Order: SVU star is back for the 500th episode, and he shared a touching photo on Twitter recently to mark the event. Danny Pino, who played Nick Amaro for 4 seasons on SVU, is returning to the precinct in order to recruit Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson for help clearing a convict’s name.

In Pino’s photo, he and Hargitay hold hands with happy grins on their faces. “So many profound reasons to celebrate #SVU500, but the most significant is right here, @Mariska. #FriendsForLife,” he captioned the photo.

Nick Amaro replaced Elliott Stabler as lead detective on Law & Order: SVU in 2011. He used to have a very close relationship with Amanda Rollins, who is now in a relationship with Dominick Carisi. With Amaro back, at least for one episode, will there be some sort of conflict between the three? A love triangle would be thrilling, but the episode is said to really focus on Olivia Benson’s troubled past.

Benson was the product of a rape, and her alcoholic mother frequently abused her. This much we know about her. But the 500th episode promises to dive deeper when Burton Lowe, played by Aidan Quinn, appears from her past. It’s unknown what role he played in Benson’s mysterious history, but fans can find out tonight, Oct. 21 at 9 on NBC.

‘Law & Order: SVU’: Danny Pino Says Not Much Has Changed On Set

Danny Pino said he walked on set and was blown away. “It’s amazing how much felt the same,” he said, “It’s saying a lot to walk onto a set that has been working at such a high level for so long and to feel that same enthusiasm and commitment to the storytelling.”

There’s something about being away from a creative project for so many years, and to come back to that same energy and dedication that it’s always had. Pino said that a lot of that enthusiasm comes from the stars of the show, Hargitay in particular.

“That all really flows from Mariska,” said Pino, “who is so incredibly connected and energized and committed to telling these stories still.”

Pino even had the same dressing room from his original time on Law & Order: SVU. It seems there’s a sense of belonging and family on the SVU set, even for those who haven’t been on the show for some time.

According to TV Line, there haven’t been any talks for Pino to stay on as Nick Amaro past the 500th episode of Law & Order: SVU. There’s a slim possibility he could stay for an arc, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. So, Amaro fans, make sure to tune in to the episode to see how his appearance on the show plays out.