Last season’s finale of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, left audiences gasping, screaming, and possibly crying, as beloved Det. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) -- the only remaining member of the dynamic Benson-Stabler duo -- was abducted and held at gunpoint in her apartment.
Finally, after four months of wondering (well okay, we all knew she’d have to survive), die-hard SVU fans gathered in front of their TV’s, fingers-crossed that Benson would make it out alive.
"I want to live," she says in the promo for the episode. Chills.
But first flashback to where we left off – a seemingly attractive psychopath named William Lewis, played by Pablo Schreiber (also known as George “Pornstache” Menendez in Orange is the New Black) is arrested for allegedly flashing two young girls in the park. After 40+ minutes of rape, torture, and far too many cringe-worthy moments to count, in the final moments of the episode, Lewis somehow manages to get off. Following a physically and emotionally draining case, Benson is given a mandatory two-day vacation by Captain Cragen (Dann Florek). Fast forward to the present.
Opening with Benson being held hostage, the majority of the episode is seemingly a wild goose chase and killing spree around the greater New York area. The amount blood, tears, and torture that Benson endures -- regardless of how repetitive and dragged out it may be -- is enough to have any SVU fan (myself included) half-covering their eyes the entire time.
And, because Benson can do anything, she manages to finally knock the perp down – breaking off a piece of the bed she’s handcuffed to and repeatedly smacking him across the head with an iron pole.
What follows is a more somber scene: Benson comes face-to-face with a mirror, seeing her cuts, bruises, and beatings for the first time. Lewis attempts to delve into why Benson is a detective – citing possibly father issues (if only he knew). This hits a nerve. She knocks him out cold and in the blink of an eye, almost the entire NYPD is at her rescue.
If tonight's 2-hour season premiere proved anything, it's that 14 seasons and one episode later, Law & Order creator Dick Wolf still manages to deliver the on-the-edge-of-your-seat shock value that the show's admirers still long for.
And while Elliot Stabler does not parade in and save Olivia (as much as we all want him to), Wolf makes sure to reiterate what Law and Order: SVU aficionados have known all along: Benson is the most badass cop on TV.
Welcome to season 15.