The Beast is back. Pablo Schreiber is returning to Law & Order: SVU as William Lewis for a harrowing new confrontation with Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) in the Wednesday, April 9 titled "Beast's Obsession."
E! News can exclusively reveal the character gets out of prison after four months of incarceration and he's gunning for everybody's favorite police officer.
"He's coming back. We teased it at the end of his last episode, the trial episode. There was a little moment on the gurney," SVU executive producer Warren Leight told E! News. "He's figured a way out and there's only one thing he's interested in and that's a last dance with Olivia Benson."
The Lewis character has engineered a health problem to get himself out of prison and the whole SVU squad is on the case. "One of the questions is, can Olivia lead a manhunt for someone when the person they're hunting has targeted her?" Leight said.
Lewis has been in prison for months, waiting and plotting. "Everything he's doing from his escape on is meant to lure Olivia to a confrontation with him and she knows it. And he knows it. The NYPD has her on a protective detail and even so, it's one of those ‘they've had this date from the beginning' kind of climaxes," Leight said.
SVU is hoping to shoot the big finale in an abandoned grain factory in Brooklyn, New York.
"When we thought about it, we thought a lot about the final Fugitive episode which took place at an abandoned amusement park. I just wanted big real estate for the last acts of the episode…He's taken a young girl hostage and Olivia knows there's only one way to get this girl freed and that's what he wants her to know," Leight told E! News.
But will this interaction provide closure for Benson?
"I think it's going to provide some closure, but exacerbate and reopen—it's not great for your PTSD to have the guy who took you hostage escape from prison and try and lure you into a one-on-one confrontation," Leight said. "It's going to in some ways reopen some of those wounds and he knows exactly what he wants and what he's doing. "
In the time since Benson last faced off with Lewis in court, Cragen (Dann Florek) retired as captain and Benson became leader of the squad, Amaro (Danny Pino) shot an unarmed 14-year-old kid and Rollins (Kelli Giddish) is in a bad way with a gambling disaster. And then there are the Benson and Cassidy (Dean Winters) relationship struggles.
"She's been stressed almost nonstop, and during that time he's been in prison thinking about nothing other than how he's going to escape and get back with Olivia. He has an unfair advantage going into this episode, he's been preparing for it manically 18-hours a day for months while she's been dealing with everything but him," Leight said. "At the start, he's way ahead of her in the game of chess that they play. He's been thinking about the game over and over, replaying every step of it, and she's just dropkicked into it."
Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesdays, 9 p.m. on NBC.
(E! and Law & Order: SVU are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)