By Danielle Silvia
The 17th season of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is currently underway and has seen many twists and turns throughout its episodes. As this season prepares to come to a close, so much can be taken away from this season and thought about in anticipation for the next one.
Many fans were shocked to learn that Nick Amaro, played by Danny Pino, would not return for this season. His role, however, was soon replaced by a young, in-training detective named Dominick Carisi, Jr. But as he always reminds people, you can “call (him) Sonny.” Carisi’s role as a fresh, inexperienced member of the Special Victims Unit (SVU) soon evolved into a much more active and rounded character. Carisi has led many of the investigations, even nabbing some of the perpetrators himself. In one episode, he spends two weeks undercover in a halfway house trying to figure out which resident was secretly a rapist. He had to defend himself multiple times, as many people thought he was a criminal, but he eventually ended up finding the culprit and saving many others from attacks. Carisi has thus become a full-fledged member of the SVU team through his development as a character this season.
Meanwhile, Detective Amanda Rollins, played by Kelli Giddish, recently gave birth to a daughter, which creates many concerns for the audience. There was confusion as to whom the father of her child was, as many suspected it was former SVU member Amaro. It turns out, however, to be Lt. Declan Murphy, someone with whom Rollins previously had romantic relations, although he is stationed in an entirely different base. Many fans wonder if Carisi and Rollins could wind up together since the show brings them closer during her pregnancy, as Carisi supports her. Only the rest of the season will reveal if they will end up together or if they will just stay friends.
In this season, head Detective Olivia Benson, commonly known as “Liv” to fans, has been promoted to lieutenant of the squad. Benson, portrayed by Mariska Hargitay, has been one of the most prominent figures in the series since season one and has experienced her fair share of drama, too. After finalizing the adoption of her son, she learns that the father is one of the team’s most sought-after rapists and that her baby’s biological mother is dead. This plot element created a lot of anguish and confusion for Benson, especially since she was involved in the case and did not know that her son was related. Benson grows from this situation and many other ups and downs, like having to momentarily retire because Capt. Ed Tucker — her lover and a fellow member of the squad — was on the case with her. Luckily, this issue blows over after an episode, but whether she and Tucker are still involved is unknown.
This season has been a wild ride so far with a new, intriguing character, a pregnancy mystery and Benson’s conflicts of work and love. “Law & Order: SVU” will definitely continue to step up the excitement until the season finale, leaving many wondering what will happen next.