Law & Order: Special Victims Unit celebrates a TV milestone this week

Law and Order SVU
Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) returns for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’s 500th episode. Pic credit: NBC

Law & Order is celebrating a milestone this week. 

While Law & Order: Organized Crime has Stabler’s undercover job getting tougher, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will be marking a landmark in television with its 500th episode. 

Expect a few past faces to pop up to make this anniversary one to remember. It will also mark a shift for Thursdays as the two Law & Order series now follow the premiere of Season 9 of The Blacklist

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit hits 500

In television history, few prime-time shows can boast an episode run in the high triple digits. 

The BBC’s Doctor Who has 862 episodes and counting, thanks to having premiered in 1963. The Simpsons is another record holder at currently 706 episodes and still going strong.

For U.S. dramas, Gunsmoke held the record at 20 seasons and 635 episodes. The original Law & Order matched that season record with 456 episodes when it was canceled in 2010.

Now, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, in its 23rd season, will have its 500th episode this Thursday. Entitled, simply, The Five Hundredth Episode, it will feature the return of Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) and a few other faces. 

Amaro asks the SVU for help in clearing a convicted man’s name and brings a figure from Benson’s past back into her life.

The promo shows a brief cameo from Dann Florek as Cragen, speaking with pride on Benson taking over his old job. It will also feature Aidan Quinn as the person from Benson’s past aiding on the case. 

While details are scarce right now, it’s likely the episode will pay tribute to the show’s past as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is enjoying hitting a magical TV number. 

Stabler’s undercover work is in jeopardy

Benson’s former partner is a little too busy to handle any celebrations on Law & Order: Organized Crime. 

Stabler’s undercover job as Eddie Wagner has revealed the Kosta Organization’s human trafficking operation and allowed the team access to the phones used by the underworld.

Yet Stabler is sinking too much into the role, including an affair with Flutura (Lolita Davidovich), who’s far deeper in the family’s criminal activities than Stabler suspected.

On top of that, Stabler discovered his son Eli was stealing the medication of grandmother Bernadette (Ellen Burstyn) to sell. It’s a sign to Stabler how tough his job is getting.

In this week’s episode, Unforgivable, Stabler has to put up with Kosta’s paranoia of a traitor in the midst. But the biggest challenge is when someone from the real Eddie Wagner’s past comes to town.

Bell must provide protection when a gubernatorial candidate makes quick enemies of the K-O. Reggie is assigned a dangerous task. A figure from Eddie’s past makes life difficult for Stabler.

The promo shows Stabler is in the middle of trying to keep Reggie (Dash Mihok) safe as he cares for the younger man even though he’s still a harsh mobster. It also looks like Flutura might be suspicious of “Eddie’s” activities. 

The major threat is someone who knows the actual Eddie Wagner arrives in New York and can identify Stabler as an imposter. As the build to the finale of the first “arc” of Season 2 continues, the walls may be closing in on Stabler. 

While Stabler is in for some thrills, Benson is ready to close her 500th case and reflect on her (and the show’s) amazing journey.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 23 airs Thursdays at 9/8c followed by Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 at 10/9 c on NBC. 

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