‘Law & Order: SVU’: Which Characters Will Return for the 500th Episode?

Law & Order: SVU’s 500th episode is almost here, and some familiar faces will be returning to help Capt. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) celebrate the milestone. Find out who will be back when the historic event, which happens Oct. 21 on NBC. 

Dann Florek returns as Cragen in the 500th episode of ‘Law & Order: SVU’

Dann Florek (as Cragen) with his arms crossed in 'Law and Order: SVU'
Dann Florek as Capt. Donald Cragen in ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Season 14 | Michael Parmelee/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

A recently released teaser for the next episode of Law & Order: SVU featured a familiar face: Dann Florek as Capt. Donald Cragen. 

“Captain,” he says in a Facetime chat with Olivia. “You don’t know how proud it makes me to hear you say that.” 

Florek was an original SVU cast member, but he left the show in 2015 when his character retired from the NYPD. He last appeared as a guest star in 2015, so his return in the show’s 500th episode is pretty special for long-time fans. 

Det. Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) and Melinda Warner (Tamara Tunie) are also back 

Cragen isn’t the only fan-favorite character who will be back for SVU’s 500th episode. 

Medical examiner Melinda Warner (Tamara Tunie) also makes an appearance. Tunie is no longer a series regular, though she has occasionally popped up on the show in recent years.

“Once an SVU detective, always an SVU detective,” she says in the teaser. 

Fans will also see Danny Pino return as Det. Nick Amaro. Pino left SVU at the end of season 16. 

“Back in the squad room with @Mariska @KelliGiddish @FINALLEVEL for the 500th episode of @lawandordertv,” Pino tweeted on Oct. 5. “Nothing but love and respect for this cast and crew.”

Finally, Hargitay’s husband Peter Hermann will also return as defense attorney Trevor Langan, his first appearance as the character in several years. Hargitay confirmed the news in a Sept. 27 Instagram post. 

Will Stabler (Christopher Meloni) be in the next episode of ‘Law & Order: SVU’?

Christopher Meloni (as Elliot Stabler) with a mustache in 'Law and Order: SVU'
Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler in ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Season 23 | Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

‘Law & Order: SVU’: Fans Discuss Season 23 Ahead of the Premiere: ‘A Munch or Cragen Comeback Could Possibly Be the Highlight of the Entire Season’

One person who’s missing from the 500th episode promo? Elliot Stabler. While actor Christopher Meloni has returned to the Law & Order universe in Organized Crime, so far, there’s no word on whether he’ll show up for the landmark episode. But crossovers between the two shows have become a regular occurrence since Organized Crime premiered earlier this year. Odds seem good that fans will at least get a glimpse of Stabler at some point in the history-making episode. 

The 500th episode of Law & Order: SVU airs Thursday, Oct. 21 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC and streams the next day on Peacock and Hulu. 

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