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In the hit series Law & Order: SVU, there are a number of close friendships over the decades the series has been on the air. One of those involves Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Rafael Barba (Raúl Esparza). Fans recently weighed in on if Benson and Barba “would have been the best pairing.” We have all the details to know about it.

Mariska Hargitay and Raúl Esparza in 'Law & Order: SVU'
Mariska Hargitay and Raúl Esparza in ‘Law & Order: SVU’ | Michael Parmelee/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Olivia Benson and Rafael Barba in ‘Law & Order: SVU’

Olivia Benson has been a detective of SVU since the very beginning, working her way up the ranks to Captain. Over the years she’s become close to a number of other characters, including Barba, who was the ADA of the squad for some years – from season 14 to season 19. During that time, he developed a strong working relationship and friendship with Benson. They grew to truly care for one another as more than just colleagues. Their friendship was a staple of the show there for a little while. 

They keep in contact even after Barba leaves the squad. He’s returned since then for an episode in seasons 21 and 22, so he’s definitely still around. 

Their closeness has prompted fans to wonder just how close these two could have gotten or could get still. Some fans even hope Barba and Benson will be together eventually, which would be an interesting prospect.

Fans weigh in on if Benson and Barba ‘would have been the best pairing’

On August 8, 2021, a fan on Reddit posted a title, “Bruh. Olivia and Barba would have been the best pairing.” They continue in the post, “Maybe I’m biased cause I love Barba, but man they really had some fantastic chemistry. And it was wholesome chemistry not toxic chemistry like her and Stabler.”

Many fans commented with their own thoughts. One fan calls Benson and Barba’s friendship “sweet.” They were always such good friends together, which is nice to see.

“I like their chemistry too but idk I think their friendship is sweet,” the fan said. “Not every male/female relationship needs to be romantic or sexual. Sometimes it’s just nice to see two friends that care about each other. I understand why you would like them to get together though and I don’t think your wrong at all.”

1 fan calls their relationship ‘a friendship thing’

Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson and Raúl Esparza as Rafael Barba in 'Law & Order: SVU'
Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson and Raúl Esparza as Rafael Barba in ‘Law & Order: SVU’ | Michael Parmelee/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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The majority of fans don’t seem to agree with the post. One fan sees their closeness as just a friend’s vibe. They’d rather see Benson with a “civilian,” which would be an interesting dynamic to be sure considering Benson’s history dating men she works with.

“I always felt that while Barba and her got close it was always a friendship thing,” they said. “I’d prefer Benson to end up with a random civilian she met in line at Starbucks. Those work-related people she’s dated only made her life more complicated. But it would have to be after she retires cause let’s be honest SVU is her spouse.”

A fan thinks they ‘had a perfect team-vibe’

While another fan tends to agree about Benson and Barba not having a romantic relationship. They say they “had a perfect team-vibe.” They did work rather well together, especially when cases became quite difficult.

“I think Olivia and Barba had a perfect team-vibe,” the fan said. “Not romantic vibe, but perfect work relationship with same goals.”

Some fans have a different opinion

Some fans think the two would have been a good romantic pairing though. One fan admits they would have “loved” the two together, and they can’t be the only ones who feel that way about these close friends.

“I would’ve loved them together, too, but I also love Barba,” the fan said.

Another fan agrees with the author of the post. “I think so too!” they said. “I bet Olivia/Noah too would’ve brought him out of that ‘shy’ stage he was in for a while.”

While another fan likes the “chemistry” between Benson and Barba, and honestly, what’s not to like? “I don’t ship them but I like their chemistry a whole lot,” the fan said. “I think it’s great that they maintain a strong, healthy, close male/female friendship, that’s something we don’t get to see very often.”

Fans have different opinions when it comes to if Benson and Barba “would have been the best pairing” in Law & Order: SVU.