‘Law & Order: SVU’: Peter Gallagher Celebrates Mariska Hargitay’s 500th Episode with On-Set Pic

by Suzanne Halliburton
Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

It’s a party for Law & Order: SVU as the show celebrates its 500th episode tonight. Some former stars of the series are saluting the ground-breaking show.

Peter Gallagher, who played Deputy Chief William Dodds for 19 episodes, sent his best wishes to Mariska Hargitay.

“It’s #MariskaHargiDay!” Gallagher wrote in a quote tweet. “Congratulations to the Captain and all at Law & Order: SVU for #SVU500 tonight! Wow. So glad I got to join you for a few. Cheers!”

Law & Order: SVU fans know Gallagher. He appeared on the series as a recurring character for six seasons. He and Hargitay’s Olivia Benson often butted heads on cases. His last episode was the premiere of season 21. The episode was called “I’m Going to Make You a Star.” His first appearance was in October, 2014.

Nick Amaro Also Returns for Law & Order: SVU No. 500

Another former character — Nick Amaro — will be front and center of the 500th episode. Danny Pino portrayed Amaro from season 13 through 16. When he left the show, writers explained that he moved to California to be closer to his children. On Thursday night’s episode, we’ll know more about what happened to Amaro. Pino told TV Line that he had multiple conversations with showrunner Warren Leight. He said he wanted to make sure that Amaro had a “significant arc” and something “meaningful” for the 500th episode.

Pino said: “After having those conversations and getting a lot of backstory in terms of Amaro’s post-graduate discipline in genetics and forensic science and genealogy and studying a little bit about that, it was hammered out and we were able to figure out a way in to showing the evolution of Nick Amaro.”

We also know that Amaro brings someone with him to meet with Benson about a cold case. That’s crime writer Burton Lowe, played by Aidan Quinn. And Lowe is a man from Benson’s past, presumably her romantic past.

Hargitay appeared on Live with Kelly and Ryan, Wednesday, to promote the special Law & Order: SVU episode. And she conceded that she hasn’t watched it, yet.

“They sent me the link so many times,” Hargitay said. “I was too nervous to watch it. I’ve been doing this show for so long and Olivia Benson is in me. But I think the idea of the 500th episode was so much pressure on me. I was so nervous every day coming to work. You know how it is, when you’re doing a show for so long, you’re in the grind. All I’m doing … it’s a marathon. I’m on a hamster wheel of lines, lines, lines, lines, lines. Cut, cut, cut, edit, cut. … It’s like making a film every week.”

The episode comes on at 9 p.m. Eastern/8 p.m. Central.