‘Law & Order: SVU’: Danny Pino to Return as Nick Amaro for 500th Episode

Danny Pino as Nick Amaro in Law & Order SVU
Eric Liebowitz / © NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection

Milestone episodes are known to bring back characters from the past, and for its 500th (!!), Law & Order: SVU will see the return of at least one familiar face.

Danny Pino is returning as Nick Amaro for the historic episode, airing on October 21, Wolf Entertainment has announced. After the news broke, Pino tweeted, “So…anything new #SVUDiehards?”

Pino was a series regular on the NBC drama from Season 13 to 16. A detective at the time of his exit, Amaro moved to California to be near his kids after suffering an on-the-job injury and knowing, as a result of past actions, he wouldn’t be promoted at the NYPD. (He’d wanted to take the sergeant’s exam.)

We’ll have to see what he’s been doing and what brings him back to NYC. Why will he cross paths with the squad again? Is it just for a visit? Maybe, but since this is SVU, we can’t help but worry one of his kids might be in trouble and he needs his old friends’ help.

What should be interesting is seeing his reaction to Detective Amanda Rollins’ (Kelli Giddish) relationship with ADA Sonny Carisi (Peter Scanavino), given Amaro’s own complicated history with her. (Rollins and Carisi finally kissed in the Season 22 finale and as of the Season 23 premiere, are together but not telling people yet.) We also think it should be amusing to see Amaro’s reaction to Carisi’s move over to the DA’s office, considering he was a detective last he saw him.

We’re also particularly interested to see if Amaro crosses paths with Captain Olivia Benson’s (Mariska Hargitay) former partner Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni), now on Organized Crime, considering Benson and Amaro’s final conversation. “I know I wasn’t what your old partner was for you,” Amaro said at the time. “No, you weren’t,” Benson agreed, adding, “I grew more in my last four years with you than I did in the 12 years I was with him.”

Since exiting SVU in 2015, Pino’s TV credits include Scandal, BrainDead, One Day at a Time, Mayans M.C., and The Good Fight.

Law & Order: SVU, Thursdays, 9/8c, NBC