Law & Order: SVU Celebrates 500 Episodes

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Law & Order: SVU 500 Episodes
Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, better known as SVU, recently reached a massive milestone. After debuting in 1999, the crime drama has now reached 500 episodes – that’s right! And to celebrate the momentous occasion, the 500th episode included many great nods to fans…

Law & Order: SVU Hits Home Run In 500th Episode

SVU Mariska Hargitay Updates 2021
Virginia Sherwood/NBC

SVU did not hold anything back last episode, titling it, appropriately, “The Five Hundredth Episode.” The episode at something for everyone: it bought back old characters, included flashbacks to expand Detective Benson’s (Mariska Hargitay) backstory, and set up a strong future for her! What more could a fan ask for? Former Det. Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) and fan-favorite Stabler (Christopher Meloni) appeared, while the flashbacks let fans better understand Benson and why she became a detective.

However, not every single fan loved the episode. Those who wanted a little more screen time between Benson and her former partner Stabler, did not enjoy the brief flashback. They wanted the episode to focus on the main character, Benson. Of course, if you are interested in getting a little more Stabler, you can now watch the character on the new show, Law & Order: Organized Crime.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Hargitay celebrated 500 episodes of SVU in her own way – read on to see how!

Hargitay Celebrates 500 Episodes

Law & Order: SVU 500 Episodes
Virginia Sherwood/NBC

For those who don’t know, actress Mariska Hargitay has portrayed Detective Olivia Benson throughout all 23 seasons of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. While she hasn’t starred in every single episode of the show, the 57-year-old actress still loved celebrating the 500th episode. However, while she loved posting a photo of the 500th episode party on Instagram, she actually could not bring herself to watch the episode. That’s right!

“They sent me the link so many times and I was actually too nervous to watch it,” Hargitay said last week while on Live with Kelly and Ryan. “Obviously I’ve been doing this show for so long and Olivia Benson is in me but I think that the idea of the 500th episode was so much pressure or something on me…I was so nervous coming to work this day.”

Meanwhile, the actress also reflected on how hard and painstaking it is to create a weekly drama like SVU. “It’s a marathon and you’re on the hamster wheel of lines, lines, lines, lines, lines, cuts, cuts, cuts, edits, new script…” she explained. Host Kelly Ripa, who has also worked in television for decades, agreed, saying, “I don’t think people really understand how much work a show like that is.”

“Some episodes aren’t quite as difficult but for me, this was sort of like this moment to take in what we’ve made, what we’ve created,” Hargitay finished by saying. It’s certainly an incredible achievement, one the entire cast and crew should feel proud of. We can’t wait to see what they do next!

Sources: Cinema Blend, People Magazine, The Today Show