‘Law & Order: SVU’ Season 21: Fans React to Seeing a Missing Favorite on the Series

This week’s episode of Law & Order: SVU was more than a little special. It held a familiar face that fans have been missing. Read on to learn who made an appearance and what fans are saying about it. There are spoilers ahead for the most recent episode of SVU.

A familiar face returns, well sort of

Mariska Hargitay
Mariska Hargitay | Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Fans will remember Rafael Barba (Raúl Esparza) who was the ADA for the squad for a number of years. He and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) grew very close and remain good friends even now. Barba ended up resigning from his job after a difficult case that involved an infant.

Even though Barba isn’t always around, he’s still there for Benson when she needs him. In episode 12, Benson dealt with a lot. Ed Tucker (John Burke), Benson’s old boyfriend, takes his own life after admitting to her that he’s dying of brain cancer.

Benson is obviously having a hard time dealing with this situation as she tries to pick herself back up. This week, Barba steps up to offer Benson some words of encouragement and it’s always nice to see a friendly face.

Benson and Barba reconnect

“You grew a beard?” Benson inquires as she and Barba are having a video chat at the beginning of the episode.

“I’m in Iowa, I’m trying to blend in,” Barba jokes with her.

“Well good luck. Why are you there?” Benson asks her friend.

But Barba just seems to want to hear about Benson and how she’s dealing with everything.

“You know it’s been rough. A lot of loss lately,” Benson tells him. “Time is just flying by.”

Barba makes plans to take Benson to dinner when he returns so they can catch up. “Before I go, happy birthday,” Barba tells Benson.

“You’re early,” she says.

“I wanted to be the first. Regards to the squad. And Noah,” Barba tells her.

Barba has a lot of fans out there who are happy to see him

Barba is a popular guy and fans of the hit series are glad to see him, at least for a few minutes. Benson is going through an especially hard time, so it makes sense that her good friend would be there to comfort her in any way he could.

Numerous fans want to see more Barba. “Love Barba…patiently waiting for his return,” a Twitter user wrote.

“Sure was good to see Barba tonight,” someone else agreed.

Viewers were pleased to see the conversation amongst friends. “Happy Birthday Captain Benson!! Love seeing that conversation,” another Twitter user said.

“Seeing these two together again made my night,” someone admitted.

“I’d be more than fine if all future eps started with a Barba video chat,” another Twitter user wrote.

Numerous fans took to Twitter to talk about how much they love Barba and how great it was to see him again. His interactions with Benson are so heartwarming and well worth the wait in between. Although, many viewers would like to see Barba return on a much more permanent basis.

This week’s episode of SVU held a sweet reunion among two good friends. Hopefully, fans will get to see more of it in the future.