‘Law & Order: SVU’ Showrunner Points Out Poignant Detail About Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann’s Marriage

by Suzanne Halliburton
Toni Anne Barson/FilmMagic

The 500th episode of Law & Order: SVU ended in a such a bitter sweet way, as Olivia realized her first love could be a sexual predator.

But the hour-long tale also offered a glimpse of Mariska Hargitay’s true love Peter Hermann, who reprised his role as a defense attorney in the special episode.

Hermann sent romantic well wishes his wife’s way before the Law & Order: SVU episode. He posted on Twitter: “You’re at 500 episodes tonight. You astonish me. We met in episode 54. Best 447 episodes of my life. Congratulations, you beautiful life force. I love you. #SVU.”

If that doesn’t warm your heart, this coincidence will. Warren Leight, the showrunner, then quote tweeted Hermann. He wrote “best part of this love story, the title of the episode on which Peter Hermann met Mariska Hargitay was… “Monogamy”

Herman Joined Law & Order: SVU Cast in 2001

Hermann first played defense attorney, Trevor Langan, on Law & Order: SVU, Jan. 2, 2002. The episode featured some quality guest stars, including John Ritter and Bobby Cannavale.

This Law & Order: SVU episode was dark. Ritter played a psychiatrist who ripped his unborn baby out of his wife’s body. Ritter believed his wife was having an affair and that the baby wasn’t his.

Hargitay and Hermann met on the show and started dating. They married in August 2004, and now are the parents of three children.

On Thursday’s 500th episode, Hermann returned to portray Langan. He still was protective of Benson.

500th Episode Involved Cold Case and Benson’s Old Boyfriend

The plot involved a potentially wrongly convicted high school student who was convicted of raping and murdering his girlfriend after prom 25 years ago. The distraught student confessed to the crime. But he recanted in prison.

Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) returned to Law & Order: SVU to get the detectives to reopen the case. Amaro now works for a company that can analyze a tiny dot of DNA. The technology wasn’t available in the 1990s. It turns out that the tennis coach killed the girl.

But the real plot of the special episode involved Benson’s relationship with Burton Lowe, the crime writer and podcaster who was championing the cold case.

Benson dated Lowe (Aidan Quinn) when she was in high school. She was almost 17 and he was 21 and in college. Her mother was against the relationship. And maybe she had a good reason.

Benson and Lowe rekindled their relationship. But with all the publicity of the cold case, a woman stepped forward and confronted both Benson and Lowe at the courthouse. She said Lowe raped her a decade before when she was an intern who worked for his editor.

It turns out that Lowe wooed her the same way he flirted with Benson. That included sharing the same old music. More women came forward to tell similar stories, although none said that Lowe was a rapist, but perhaps a predator.

Langan warned Benson about Lowe before the women stepped forward.

And now, Benson had to confront whether her first love was a predator. Or was he the definition of a ladies man? Is that term outdated?

At the end of the Law & Order: SVU episode, Benson confronted Lowe. Then she tossed the mixed tape he gave her decades ago into a nearby creek.