Mariska Hargitay’s Favorite SVU Episode Foreshadowed Her Most Important Character Arc

Mariska Hargitay’s Favorite SVU Episode Foreshadowed Her Most Important Character Arc
Image credit: NBC

It took more than 7 years to make a full circle.


  • Throughout the 25 seasons of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, main character Olivia Benson has gone through many changes.
  • Mariska Hargitay, who portrayed Benson from the beginning, admitted that her favorite episode was 911 ( S7E3).
  • Looking back, this episode was a perfect foreshadowing of Olivia's adopted son Noah's storyline.

One of the privileges that fans of streaming services lose is the ability to watch a character grow and change over the course of decades. That's what makes network procedurals so special: no matter who the characters were at the beginning of the show, chances are they'll be completely transformed a few years later, just as it often happens in real life.

This is what keeps fans of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit fans to this day. After watching Mariska Hargitay's Olivia Benson for 25 years, the audience feels connected to her and every detail of her beautiful journey. Revisiting some of the most impactful moments also adds perspective to many events.

Mariska Hargitay’s Favorite SVU Episode

Mariska Hargitay’s Favorite SVU Episode Foreshadowed Her Most Important Character Arc - image 1

Looking back is not only fun for fans of the show, but also for its stars. Mariska Hargitay, who has lived with her character for more than two decades, has more insight into what Olivia Benson goes through than anyone else, whether they are involved in the production or just consider themselves a superfan.

The actress previously listed 10 of her favorite SVU episodes for US Weekly, and the list included such beloved gems as season 12's Behave and season 9's Undercover. But at the top of the list for the actress was the third episode of season seven, titled 911.

Although the episode lacked action, it is a perfect example of why SVU is considered so exciting. In the episode, the unit tries to locate a 9-year-old girl who stays on the line with Benson and claims to be locked in a room. Though there aren't many set changes and choreographed sequences, it's the raw emotion that easily gets to the viewer.

While it's not surprising that Benson was so cautious with a young victim, considering how much she cares for each and every one of the victims who come to the task force, the episode provided a much appreciated change of pace and mood, and allowed Benson's maternal side to shine through.

Little did viewers know that more than 7 years later, that side would come out again in another case, and this time, Olivia Benson won't be able to let the story go so easily. All the ways Liv used to keep Maria Recinos in line definitely helped her deal with little Noah, who first appeared in season 15 and ended up being her adopted son.

If you'd like to re-watch the episode titled 911 and decide whether or not you would have voted it the best episode of the series, you can stream past seasons of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on the Peacock, Hulu, or NBC app.

Source: US Weekly