Law and Order: SVU

NBC

It's only taken Brad Garrett 26 years, but he's finally an actor with a role on a Law & Order, he's the villain in the Law & Order: SVU two-part finale.

"I'm thinking they must have gone through everybody if I got the call. It's like ‘Abe Vigoda passed, go call Brad,'" Garrett told E! News on set of the finale. "It's really exciting and such an amazing group in front of and behind the camera. Everyone's very gracious. It's just a lot of fun."

But that's probably that's probably the only time you'll hear the finale described as "fun." The Emmy winner is playing Gary Munson, a corrections officer arrested for sexually assaulting female inmates in and out of prison. After his arrest, his union targets the SVU squad and things only get worse from there.

"Barba gets threatened a lot. They threaten his life…He takes on the corrections officers union and gets himself into serious trouble. He starts receiving these death threats and his response to the death threats is pretty unexpected, which I liked a lot. I was pretty sure Warren Leight, since he's leaving, was trying to scare the pants off me," Raúl Esparza told E! News with a laugh.

"This guy is pretty dark and disturbed, so it's great to be able to jump into a character like this that I've really never played before," Garrett said. "Comics are very dark people…I think comics, we've seen in the past, are able to go into that place. The writing of the finale is just incredible. I'm very grateful."

Law and Order: SVU

NBC

While the role may be a departure for Garrett, as Peter Scanavino pointed out, the officer role isn't. "It's definitely not lovable Everybody Loves Raymond. He's still in the department; it's the bad bizarro version I guess," he said. "He's a joke a minute. He's a really funny guy."

But that changes in an instant. "It's cool to have actors like that are really loose and cracking jokes and then action and it's like [snaps] right into it," Scanavino said. "You're kind of like, ‘Wow. So creepy.'"

When asked to describe the new villain terrorizing the streets and the squad, Mariska Hargitay paused, and then whispered, "Oh my gosh, he is truly chilling."

"I have to say, from the first read through, we all sort of went—you know he's so funny, affable, larger than life and you have this Brad Garrett and he's this comedic giant in every way, literally and figuratively—and he came on and this darkness sort of came over the room. It was chilling…Even now when I do scenes with him all I have to do is look into his eyes and you get goose bumps," she said.

Garrett's performance coupled with the domestic violence statistics at the heart of the episode make it "powerful" one, Hargitay said. "It's domestic violence, sexual assault, you have everything in this and I think this is very powerful storytelling on every level because of that," she said.

Recurring guest star Andy Karl, Sgt. Dodds on the series, teased, "All I can really say is you're in for some great television."

"We all know Warren Leight, the showrunner, is leaving SVU and he's really been putting in the time with the pen and paper, really creating some great arcs and twists for the characters on the show and also of course doing the formal Law & Order cases that we have to break," he said. "Each one has a personal touch to the regulars on the show, and also to my character, so they've really been doing some great writing. Something big is coming in the last episode."

Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesdays, 9 p.m. on NBC.

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

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