Mariska Hargitay Already Has Her Ideal Ending for Law and Order: SVU's Benson

Plus, find out why the cast thinks the show is still relevant, 20 years later.

By Chris Harnick Sep 22, 2018 12:05 AMTags
Watch: Does Mariska Hargitay Have an Ideal Ending for "Law & Order: SVU"?

Mariska Hargitay has spent 19 seasons busting perps as Olivia Benson rose through the ranks from detective to lieutenant on Law & Order: SVU—and with season 20 on the horizon, there's no end in sight for both Hargitay and the long-running drama.

NBC boss Robert Greenblatt said the show will continue as long as Hargitay wants to do it, and Hargitay told us she takes it year by year—season 21 would make it the longest running scripted primetime drama—but that hasn't stopped her from thinking about a key moment for her and the character: the end.

"I have," Hargitay told E! News when asked if she thought about an ideal ending for Benson. Will she reveal it? Of course not, but somebody else knows how she wants to say goodbye to Benson: Dick Wolf.

That ending remains a secret for now, because SVU is still as relevant as ever.

"I think it has another form of entertainment, which is therapy," Ice-T said about the show. "I think that when you're doing a show about homicide, well, the victim is dead. With SVU, the victims are still alive."

How Law and Order: SVU Handled Cast Exits

Ice said the fanbase is able to identify with the survivors—and many of them are survivors in real life as well. "I was not aware of that when I got on the show. I was in two years before people started saying, ‘Thank you, Ice.' ‘Thank you for what?' ‘Thank you for the show? I'm like, who says that about a television show? They say I like the movie, but they won't say thank you. That's when I realized the show has another layer that is healing for a lot of people," he said.

Click play on the video above to hear from the rest of the SVU cast.

Law & Order: SVU returns Thursday, Sept. 27 at 9 p.m. on NBC with a two-hour premiere.

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