‘Law & Order: SVU’: What Peter Scanavino Really Thinks of His Character’s New Change

Fans were eagerly awaiting the return of their favorite detectives on SVU. The premiere episode of season 21 of Law & Order: SVU brought major changes to the squad room. The episode, titled “I’m Going to Make You a Star,” featured actor Ian McShane as the perp. So, what were those big changes just mentioned? Read on only if you are caught up with SVU.

Det. Sonny Carisi makes a move

Peter Scanavino as Dominick 'Sonny' Carisi
Peter Scanavino as Dominick ‘Sonny’ Carisi | Michael Parmelee/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Carisi, played by Peter Scanavino, has moved from the squad room to the DA’s office. He’s the new ADA for SVU, and fans are here for it. This causes an obvious rift between him and his former co-workers and good friends. Carisi is conflicted with where his loyalties truly lie. Scanavino spoke with TV Insider about the change for his character.

“He gets presented with this chance, this opportunity to jump into uncharted territory, and he has to say, ‘Am I going to do this or am I not?’ He decides he’s going to,” Scanavino reveals. “He’s at a pivotal point in his life. He’s been a detective for a while now and if he’s ever going to give it a shot, now’s the time.”

No longer the detective

Peter Scanavino as Dominick 'Sonny' Carisi
Peter Scanavino as Dominick ‘Sonny’ Carisi | Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

With the new position comes new obligations for Carisi, the former detective. He soon finds himself clashing with his friends. He must find a balance between his old world and the new one he’s opted for. It’s going to be an obvious struggle for him.

“You’ll see a lot of how they start to see him in his new position,” says Scanavino. “He’s not the detective who was in the trenches with them these past seasons, but he’s got this new job and just as he’s getting comfortable with it himself, all the other characters are learning to deal with it.”

That’s not the only major change in episode 1

The record-breaking new season brought another not-so-surprising change into the mix. Dodds (Peter Gallagher) stepped down on a condition that Lt. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) be promoted to Captain. Viewers knew this was coming because let’s be honest, how could they not promote her? She’s amazing. Fans agree and are totally on board with Benson’s new promotion.

The episode reflected around the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements

The breakout episode involves Sir Tobias “Toby” Moore (Ian McShane) who is a serial offender involved with raping and abusing women. Benson is tasked with tracking him down and getting the evidence they need against him, which of course, they eventually do. A witness comes forward, and then another. Eventually, the detectives put it all together when they notice Moore has had his couch switched out, getting rid of evidence.

Showrunner Warren Leight spoke with People about the premiere episode and when the “#MeToo movement broke.” He wasn’t however, working on SVU at that particular time. “One by one these guys in the entertainment industry were outed, and some of them I’d heard stories about and known,” Leight says. “I knew the world that this takes place in pretty well. We’re at an interesting point where the stories have broken, the guys have lost their jobs, but legally, there’s still something of a gray area for these guys.” SVU’s explosive new season continues on Thursdays at 10 p.m. E.S.T.