‘Law & Order: SVU’ Showrunner on Wentworth Miller Return: Can Holmes Atone for a Past Mistake?

Wentworth Miller Law & Order SVU Season 11
Will Hart / © NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection

Wentworth Miller’s Isaiah Holmes is back on Law & Order: SVU in the January 21 episode, but he has a different role to play.

In “The Long Arm of the Witness” — also featuring returning guest star Elizabeth Marvel (defense attorney Rita Calhoun) — ADA Carisi (Peter Scanavino) takes on a powerful judge (guest star Josh Stamberg) who inexplicably dismisses a rape case involving a university student.

“The judge sees a fine young man, from a good home, about to have his bright future derailed by what he perceives to be a ‘MeToo gone too far’ incident,” showrunner Warren Leight tells TV Insider. The storyline is part of SVU‘s focus on “race, class, and criminal justice” in Season 22, he says.

As you can guess, the judge’s move doesn’t sit well with Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) or her detectives.

“His decision sends shockwaves through both the SVU squad and the DAs office,” Leight continues. “At great risk to their own careers, the whole team decides to push back.”

This is where Holmes comes in — but his role is “not so much as a prosecutor, but as a witness,” Leight previews. “He was a scholarship student at Hudson University — of course — years ago, when an incident occurred, and was covered up. Years later, the shame and guilt he feels about his failure to act resurfaces. It may offer him a chance to atone, or it may be too late.”

Law & Order SVU Season 22 Episode 6 Squad ADA

(Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

This is Miller’s third episode of SVU; he played Detective Nate Kendall in Season 11’s “Unstable” (top) and debuted as Holmes in Season 21’s “Murdered at a Bad Address.” Let’s hope this isn’t the last time we’ll see him.

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