Cecil B. Hargitay is back. Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay stepped behind the camera once again to direct an episode of the long-running NBC series—but it wasn't just any episode—Hargitay helmed the series' landmark 400th episode,"Motherly Love."
"Mariska as a director is fantastic," SVU star Peter Scanavino told E! News. "Because she's first an actor and she can bring that sensibility to directing."
In the episode, a teen boy uses a rifle to stop an assault on his mother. Because this is Law & Order: SVU, there are twists, like the fact that the teen knows his target. The guest cast includes Sarah Wynter, Aaron Sanders, Delaney Williams, Gage Polchlopek, Jason Bowen, Jenna Stern, Benton Greene, Daniel Cosgrove, Chantal Jean-Pierre, Olivia Sargent and Donald Dasg. It's a complicated case with a master behind the lens.
Scanavino, Det. Carisi on the series, said he thinks Hargitay's episodes, there have been four other episodes besides "Motherly Love," are "kind of some of the more cinematic" that SVU has. "On that alone she's incredible."
Kelli Giddish, who plays Det. Rollins on SVU, praised Hargitay's direction and said she was "great" behind the scenes, but continued on about Hargitay as a person.
"She's hilarious and her heart is about the size of Texas," Giddish told us. "I can't say enough about her as a woman, as a colleague, and just like a good friend of mine."
Law & Order: SVU's landmark 400th episode airs Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 9 p.m. on NBC.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)