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Law & Order Special Victims Unit

Will Hart/NBC

SVU is off tonight, but have no fear—you can curl up with Benson and Stabler right here at WWK instead! There's Something Very Unique about SVU's creepy-crawly crimes that always keep us coming back for more, so we recently talked up the cast to find out what exactly is in store for the rest of the ninth season. Read on for the toasty-warm dish!

(Sexual) Tension on the Set:  You're welcome, even encouraged, to continue rooting for detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler to hook up, but both Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay don't sound optimistic about their onscreen partnership turning romantic. Meloni jokes, "You'll know [when it happens] because the opening tag to the promo will be 'Next on NBC: A Very Special SVU.' So, listen for that." And Hargitay just plain puts the kibosh on the idea, saying, "You know, I don't think [Elliot-Olivia sex] is going to happen. It's not looking good. We just have this tension. We're working the tension. But I feel like we don't want to jump that shark...I think it's good the way it is right now." Damn.

Chemistry Lab, Part One:  Even without consummation, everybody's well aware of how hot Benson and Stabler are together, and they're gonna keep the heat on. Mariska says, "Chemistry is just chemistry. You can't manufacture that. We have it, we know it, we're grateful for it, and I think the show works on that. And also these are incredibly archetypal characters that are written. He is papa bear. He is angry papa bear, protector. I am mama bear who will take care of you and will protect you and have compassion and empathy for you. So, in that way, I think, structurally, well, it's genius."

Chemistry Lab, Part Two:  Ice-T, meanwhile, thinks the show's appeal is larger than just the personal chemistry between the regulars, saying, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit itself has a special chemistry—it's a whodunit with added sex and violence, which humans tend to gravitate toward." 

The New Guy:  Adam Beach, who plays the newcomer in the squad, Chester Lake, also quickly became aware of how seriously people take Benson and Stabler, saying, "At the airport, a couple of the people asked what's happening with Chris and Mariska. 'Are they going to get together?' And I said, 'No, I'm kind of Mariska's new boyfriend.' And they were so torn. Their faces dropped. And I was like, 'Just kidding, guys.' But there is just a following that hopes that Chris and Mariska can hook it up." Damn right.

Ice Squad:  Still, he's catching on as best he can. Beach says, "There was no initiation. It's trying to catch up with these guys, because they have a history of eight years, and when you're the rookie, it's hard just to be a part of the team. But it worked out pretty fast; Ice-T and I really kicked in. And I had to get used to the intensity Chris and Mariska had going." That "kicked in" connection with Ice-T comes from their shared background, says Beach. "There's a thing with Ice and I that is very similar. We have kind of the same upbringing, and we know where we've come from, and it's not a pretty place. So, we really respect where we are."

What's Next? In the coming season, look for explosive plot twists (literally) and a couple of particularly fun guest stars:

  • Ice-T's real-life wife CoCo is playing the girlfriend of Forrest Griffin, the UFC fighter, a role Ice describes as "one of those athlete's girlfriends that is in it for the money...She's just doing her thing, it's real sassy and stuff."
  • Method Man also appears this season, and Mariska, for one, was impressed, saying, "This guy is one of the coolest cats I've ever met. He's the bomb."
  • But Method being the bomb is not the explosive twist. According to Adam, "Today is the day where we blow up the squad room, and I won't tell what happens, but someone brings in a pizza bomb, and I'm eager to eat the pizza..." Carbs will kill you, man, it's a proven fact...You gotta watch out!

SVU hits the airwaves each Tuesday on NBC at 10 p.m.