The squad at the heart of Law & Order: SVU has their hands full. In the above sneak peek, the elite squad of detectives—and Captain Benson!—are dealing with a pregnant teenaged runaway.
"We're talking a pregnant, 13-year-old runaway, Carisi. Can't we take emergency custody? I'm going to call ACS," Benson (Mariska Hargitay) says in the clip above.
ADA Carisi (Peter Scanavino) wants to get the teen a lawyer, but will a legal aid attorney be up to the challenge of this complicated case? Benson doesn't think so, and she wants to call in somebody special: Trevor Langan (Peter Hermann).
On Live With Kelly and Ryan, Hargitay said, "The whole cast was practically crying" during the read through of the episode. "Which never happens because it's such a powerful episode," she said. "So, I'm very proud of it."
In the episode, titled "The Burden of Our Choices," Rollins (Kelli Giddish) clashes with the teen girl's parents. Meanwhile the team comes together for a special event involving Rollins' baby. In addition to Hermann, Hargitay's real-life husband, the guest cast includes Jamie Gray Hyder, Zuleikha Robinson, Demore Barnes, Kira McLean, Lucy Walters, Jamie McShane and Zach Gilford.
Could the title of the episode and its subject matter also have to do with some things showrunner Warren Leight has hinted at taking place this year?
"We will try at some point, very early in the season, to revisit the abortion controversy," Leight told E! News ahead of the historic season 21 premiere. He's referring to a conversation that took place between Benson and Rollins that alluded to abortion. "I am aware that the Rollins-Benson relationship, there's still something there that needs to be discussed," he said.
Law & Order: SVU airs Thursdays, 10 p.m. on NBC.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)