How Law And Order: SVU Is Bringing Back Demore Barnes' Garland For A Reunion With Benson

Demore Barnes as Garland in Law & Order SVU
(Image credit: NBC)

Law & Order: SVU fans got some very good news back in March with the reveal that none other than Demore Barnes is returning to the show as a guest star, when there was no guarantee that he'd ever be back after being cut from the cast and his character quit the NYPD. Garland isn't coming back to his role as Deputy District Chief when he returns for a reunion with Olivia Benson, but he'll have a case for Special Victims all the same. 

Demore Barnes will be back as Christian Garland in the new episode of Law & Order: SVU that airs on April 28, called "Tangled Strands of Justice." Even though he didn't say goodbye to Benson under the best of circumstances – and she wasn't thrilled to see him leave, since she has McGrath as his replacement – that doesn't mean he can't reach out to her. The episode description from NBC reveals some details about what's on the way:

Garland asks Benson to reopen a missing persons case he worked as a rookie officer. A victim in one of Carisi’s recent cases is arrested.

So, Garland won't be back as an active member of the NYPD (although you can revisit earlier seasons with a Peacock subscription). Still, the case is related to his work as a cop. It's not a good sign for the people involved if he's bringing it to Special Victims, but Benson is probably the top ally he has left after how he departed. I'm already wondering what McGrath will have to say about it if he finds out, and whether Benson will be willing to play politics for her old friend after how he was all but forced out. 

It already seems possible that she's looking to make changes in her career, although only time will tell on that, as well as what's happening with the victim in one of Carisi's cases who will be arrested. (At least Carisi seemingly has an important part to play again!) The promo for what's coming in "Tangled Strands of Justice" reveals more of what's to come, including some Garland flashbacks and what looks like a fuming Benson. Take a look: 

The case will involve a little girl who disappeared two decades ago, and her body has sadly been recovered. The state of her skeleton looks like she died quite a while ago, but her death evidently isn't enough for Garland to feel that her missing persons case is fully closed. Or cold, for that matter, if he convinces Special Victims to start investigating. Benson has a moment of anger saying "This can never happen again" to somebody, but the promo doesn't reveal who. 

SVU returning with Demore Barnes back in action as Garland should be a nice treat for fans after it (along with the original Law & Order and Law & Order: Organized Crime) took a week off without any new episodes. All three L&O shows will return on Thursday, April 28 starting with Law & Order (and actress Odelya Halevi opened up to CinemaBlend about working with Sam Waterston) at 8 p.m. ET, followed by SVU with Barnes back at 9 p.m. ET, and Organized Crime (with collateral damage on the way) at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. All three shows will end their current seasons in May, so be sure to keep tuning in on Thursday nights. 

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).