Law And Order: SVU Is Bringing Beloved Character Back For Milestone 500th Episode

It’s honestly hard to believe that Law & Order: SVU is about to reach such a massive milestone. The long-running NBC series is on the cusp of dropping its 500th episode, which premieres in just a few weeks. With this, more information is being released in regard to what fans can actually expect from the momentous installment. And in an exciting turn of events, it was recently announced that beloved character Nick Amaro, played by Danny Pino, will be returning for the occasion!

The series made the announcement on Instagram, alongside Dick Wolf Entertainment, telling fans that Detective Amaro “will return to SVU for the show’s historic 500th episode.” Check out the original post for yourself down below:

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Fans last saw Danny Pino's Detective Amaro at the end of Season 16, during which he dealt with the repercussions of mistakenly shooting an unarmed teenager. At this point, the producers aren't revealing the circumstances that bring Detective Amaro back to the Special Victims Unit. There's also been no indication as to whether this appearance will be a one-off or will kick off an ongoing role for the character.

This past June, SVU showrunner Warren Leight previewed the milestone episode and, although he didn't share any specifics, his hype for the "insane" episode could be an indication that it'll have lasting ramifications for the show. So maybe there's more in store for Amaro?

Danny Pino first came onto the Law & Order: SVU scene in 2011 and, during his tenure, he reprised his role in two episodes of Chicago P.D. He ultimately departed the series in 2015 after 94 episodes. His character, Nick Amaro, was a detective with the Manhattan SVU at the 16th Precinct of the NYPD. Following a courtroom shootout in the Season 16 finale, Amaro suffered a gunshot wound to the liver and knee. The injury, paired with his inability to move up the ranks, caused Amaro to retire from the NYPD and move to California. In Season 17, it was revealed that he was living in LA, where he was undergoing physical therapy and eyeing a job with the U.S. Park Police.

It will be interesting to see what Nick Amaro has been up to all these years and to learn how he recovered from those injuries. It’s always nice to see characters return for special episodes, regardless of the size of the role. Even a small cameo can provide some glimmer of closure that fans can appreciate. Hopefully, Danny Pino won’t be the only one returning, as there are surely plenty of other veteran characters fans wouldn’t mind seeing again.

SVU actually just experienced some cast exits, as the Season 23 premiere saw the departures of Demore Barnes and Jamie Gray Hyder as Garland and Kat, respectively. Both characters are still alive (thankfully), meaning that they could reappear at some point in the future. While their absences will truly be felt be fans, the 500th episode could certainly serve as a pick-me-up in the midst of the casting changes. And with Danny Pino's confirmed return, things are already looking up.

Season 23 of Law & Order: SVU airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. C.T. on NBC!

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.