Everything We Know So Far About 'Law & Order: SVU' Season 22
Law & Order: SVU isn't going anywhere.
The NBC drama just completed its historic 21st season, during which it was renewed for another three(!) years. With no shortage of cases, a squad full of compelling characters, and a universe in which to explore, we know it will continue to keep us glued to our TV screens each week.
While we wait for Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and the squad to return, we're keeping track of everything we know about Season 22.
NBC has yet to release any information about its plans for the 2020-21 season. We know that Fox and the CW are mainly planning on the midseason for their returning shows, while CBS does seem to be hopeful about the fall. For now, we can only speculate that we're likely to see the SVU Season 22 premiere some time between late 2020 and early 2021.
Because we have yet to hear otherwise, it seems safe to assume that Hargitay, Ice T (Sergeant Odafin "Fin" Tutuola), Kelli Giddish (Detective Amanda Rollins), Peter Scanavino (ADA Sonny Carisi), and Jamie Gray Hyder (Officer Katriona "Kat" Azar Tamin) will all be back.
A Major Return
Dick Wolf's universe is expanding with a spinoff centered on Christopher Meloni's Elliot Stabler, who left SVU after Season 12. He'll be leading the unit specializing in organized crime. The plan had initially been to tee up that series in the finale with the returns of the character's wife and son.
"We were going to see Kathy Stabler come back, very upset," showrunner Warren Leight revealed on the official podcast, Squadroom. "Her son has been rolled by a team of ne'er-do-wells and may have been drugged, and we were going to revisit Simon's seeming overdose." That episode would have also explored what happened to the Stabler family after Elliot left SVU.
While it has yet to be revealed if that will factor into the Season 22 premiere, "it's pretty clear that Elliot will be in the SVU season opener," Leight added. We're still waiting on the details of what that will entail.
Dick Wolf Crossovers
With Stabler's untitled spinoff also taking place in New York, it seems to be only a matter of the nature of upcoming crossovers with SVU. Will it only be one or two characters or a two-hour event in the 2020-21 season?
Season 21 ended early, with four episodes left to film, and it's unclear how much of those we'll see going forward. Might we revisit Simon's overdose? Considering the impact on Olivia, it's possible that it will come up at some point in Season 22, but the circumstances under which it is revisited might change.
On the podcast, Leight also teased that those final four episodes were supposed to feature some good news for Olivia — and the return of Rick Fox's Edgar Goodwin for her "in a more social way." Could that have been her next romance? Will that change now in Season 22, or could there still be some hope for her love life going forward?
What they do plan to bring over to next season is the exploration of the change in Olivia and Carisi's dynamic since he left SVU for the DA's office. There would have been "a pretty nasty fight scene," the showrunner teased. "Essentially, the DA tells the cops what to do, but that's pretty hard for Olivia to accept since she brought Carisi into this world."
The episode that ended up being the Season 21 finale did introduce a few storylines that should carry over. The episode revisited previous cases, leaving only one really wrapped up in a bow: Kat's friend Lakira agreed to testify against Paul Davies, so he was going away. But the rest left us with questions. Will Ivy Bucci stay in rehab, or will Rollins get another call to bail her out of a run-in with the police? Will we see Sir Toby Moore's trial after it kept being postponed due to the mogul's "heart episode"? That could make or break Carisi's career as a lawyer.
The only real cliffhanger involved Fin, who was forced to shoot Leon (James Udom) after he held a knife to his son's throat. Leon's wife, Joelle, whom he had assaulted, is suing Fin for wrongful death. That's something Season 22 has to address, even if it has already played out depending on when the premiere picks up.
Law & Order: SVU, Season 22, TBA, NBC