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SVU Boss Teases Possible Returns, Mariska Hargitay Directs

Law & Order: SVU Mariska Hargitay and Chris MeloniLaw & Order: SVU Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni

There are two big outstanding missing cases that fans of Law & Order: SVU would like to see resolved with happy endings. Who better to answer whether they will be or not than the show’s executive producer, Warren Leight? He recently spilled some dish as to whether or not viewers will see the returns of either former Detective Elliot Stabler or Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba.

Law & Order: SVU Boss Teases Season 21

“I hope I can make that work,” Leight told E! News. “Raúl [Esparza, ex-Barba] and I are partners in crime…I’m hoping we can make that work sooner rather than later.”

The exec regards each season of SVU as broken up into three acts and episode 12 serves as both the middle of the season and the middle of the second act. (Episode 11 airs this week.) Using that model, Leight says that viewers will see Barba before the third act begins.

As for bringing back Stabler (Chris Meloni), who retired from the force at the beginning of Season 13 following a horrific shootout, Leight chuckles that that decision is above his “pay grade.”

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Will There Be Reunions For Mariska Hargitay?

There are options on how to make Elliot’s presence felt without Meloni. Even when Stabler’s wife and children weren’t shown in an episode, he’d often refer to “Kathy and the kids.” So while Meloni may not be brought back easily, would it be possible to see his family pop up for a guest spot — either independent of Elliot or as a prelude to his return?

“I would love to see Kathy and the kids!” Mariska Hargitay (Olivia Benson) told TV Insider last year. “Let me thank you [for that suggestion]. I’m going to work on Kathy and the kids! In real-life, [Isabel Gillies, who plays Kathy] is one of my best friends.”

Time will tell if and when Olivia reunites onscreen with her former colleagues, but Hargitay will be telling people on the show where to stand and when to move — she’s directing tonight’s episode! Titled “She Paints for Vengeance,” the show is Hargitay’s seventh endeavor behind the SVU lens.

She began directing episodes back in 2014. In this latest episode, an alleged sexual assault victim decides to take matters into her own hands after an investigation into her case is stalled for months. She puts the accusations she has against her alleged attacker, a popular athlete, on a billboard! Law & Order SVU airs Thursdays on NBC at 10 p.m. ET.

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