We don’t yet know when Law & Order: SVU is coming back for a new season… but we know what we want to see when it does.
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The NBC procedural from TV mastermind Dick Wolf has been around for 24 seasons so far, which means a lot of perps have run afoul of Capt. Olivia Benson and the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies. And since we’ve been watching since the very first DUN-DUN!, we feel qualified to make a few simple requests for when our favorite cops go back on the beat.
Our Season 25 wishlist includes some staffing suggestions, a humble request for a huge return, more Stabler (but maybe not in the way you’d think), and a little breathing room for a beleaguered Benson. We also have strong feelings about an area we’d like the show to avoid at all costs in the coming episodes.
Read on for the five things we want (and one thing we don’t) from SVU‘s Season 25, then hit the comments with your thoughts on what should and shouldn’t happen in upcoming episodes.
1. WANT: A Lot of Talk About Bruno
We’ve loved Det. Terry Bruno ever since we first met him in the middle of Season 24, when he was still a member of Bronx SVU. The laid-back officer (played by Inside Amy Schumer’s Kevin Kane) has years of experience and an impeccable moral compass: His refusal to turn a blind eye to some corrupt colleagues led to his firing, and he’s had to deal with the ramifications ever since (even though he eventually was reinstated). We also kinda love that, courtesy of the money the NYPD had to pay him in order to smooth over the whole ordeal, Bruno could retire at any time — but he doesn’t, because he truly wants to make life better for SVU victims.
As Bruno’s time with Olivia Benson’s squad increased over the course of last season, he proved himself a smart, compassionate, no-nonsense advocate for those who need his help. And now that Manhattan SVU is down two people, doesn’t it just make sense for Bruno to become a full-time member of the team?
2. WANT: A Core Group With Staying Power
Speaking of the team: Hasn’t it felt like the squad has had a rapidly swirling revolving door the last few seasons? Det. Kat Tamin’s departure in Season 23 (which came around the same time as deputy chief Christian Garland’s) was followed by Det. Grace Muncy’s at the end of Season 24. At least Tamin had been around for a few years; Muncy, on the other hand, spent just one season chasing down SVU perps before taking off to join a task force. And with Det. Amanda Rollins’ much-talked-about exit — which also took place in Season 24 — Benson’s team feels pretty thin. How about bringing on some new characters to help Fin, Velasco (and by extension, ADA Carisi) do their thing? Even better: How about having those newbies stick around long enough for us to get to know them well?
3. WANT: A Break for the Captain
After last season’s BX9 storyline, which left Olivia with bruises both visible and invisible and had her fearing for her son’s safety again, we’d like to call a very long time-out on plots that put the squad’s fearless leader and/or her kid in severe peril. Our biggest reason? It’s been done to death. (cough William Lewis cough).
4. WANT: Rollins’ Return, However We Can Get Her
Rollins hadn’t been gone long when she reappeared at the end of Season 24, but man, did Giddish’s involvement in those crossover episodes remind us how much we miss her! So, a humble plea to the all-powerful Dick Wolf: Bring Rollins back, if not as a full-time member of the SVU unit, maybe — as TVLine reader Amanda smartly suggests — “make her a consultant and spread her between all three Law & Orders? She can be the new B.D. Wong” (aka Dr. George Huang).
5. WANT: Serious Stabler Consideration
If you’re someone who wants Olivia Benson and her former partner Det. Elliot Stabler to be romantic partners, you’re likely frustrated with the show’s constant hinting at something more between the pair. And if you’re someone who hates the idea of a Benson and Stabler romance, you’re also likely frustrated with the show’s constant hinting at something more between the pair. We’d like to see the matter handled less teasingly in the coming season: While we happen to think that these two would make a great off-duty pair at this point in their lives, we’re open to it not working out. But show us everything as they work through their baggage! Crossovers, guest spots on SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime… we’re not picky about how it happens.
6. DON’T WANT: Ridiculously Over-the-Top Cases
TVLine is headquartered in New York, so maybe we’re just a little sensitive about the way SVU portrays our city. And of course we’re aware that there is a lot of violence that happens in a population as big as the Big Apple’s. But in one SVU episode last season, for instance, a family of tourists from Ohio were subjected to a machete attack and gang rape on the subway in the middle of the day. C’mon guys. (Please allow us to reassure all out-of-towners: You’re far more likely to sit accidentally in a subway seat covered in a mysterious liquid than you are to incur serious bodily harm during your visit.) SVU’s cases have almost always had a flair for the grandiose, but how about stopping it before it turns into over-the-top grotesque?
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