Just when things were looking up for Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU, well, things may not be looking up anymore. When E! News caught up with Mariska Hargitay at Variety's Power of Women: New York, presented by Lifetime, the actress-producer-director, who was being honored, revealed Benson's in for some big changes with the season 17 finale.

"I read the season finale and I was so deeply moved and deeply inspired. I couldn't put it down…couldn't stop crying," she told us.

Gulp.

"After doing a show for this long, there are these moments that come up that are so earned and so painful. For Olivia, something very tragic happens and something so beautiful happens, which is so much like life, right? It's that marriage of joy and pain and all of it, living in the question and gray. Gray, gray, gray, which SVU is so amazing at. I'm hooked and excited. It's something that informs all of next year and so I feel like I have all of these new beats to play and I am so reinvested that it's almost shocking."

Sweet, but still—gulp.

Here's what else w know about the two-part finale: it'll be filled with some familiar faces. Not only will Brad Garrett be guest starring as  Gary Munson, a Rikers correction officer who maintains his reputation as a hard-working family man, but also hides a sordid history of corruption and violence against female inmates inside and out of prison, but Bill Irwin will also be returning to the fold. Irwin told E! News at a screening for his HBO film Confirmation that he'd be returning to SVU because "[Benson] needs help."

Irwin's Dr. Peter Lindstrom, Benson's therapist, was least seen in "Transgender Bridge."

Law & Order: SVU returns with all-new episodes on Wednesday, May 4 at 9 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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