Law And Order: SVU Just Set A Detective Up For Disaster, And Now I'm Worried For The Next Case

Jasmine Batchelor as Detective Churlish on Law and Order SVU
(Image credit: NBC)

Warning: spoilers ahead for the March 23 episode of Law & Order: SVU, called "The Presence of Absence."

Captain Benson and the Special Victims Unit were on the case of what seemed to be a man catfishing a woman for the purposes of assaulting her, only for it to escalate with the reveal that the victim's female best friend was the true culprit, and partly motivated by the drive to impregnate her. It was a case that required all hands on deck, but Velasco and Bruno were nowhere to be seen. Churlish joined forces with Fin, Muncy, and Benson, and the combination of how she conducted herself this week and the promo for the next episode makes me nervous about what's in store.

Churlish didn't get a very warm welcome from Muncy, who blamed the former Bronx SVU detective for getting Velasco into trouble, but Fin and Benson had no complaints about her. In fact, Churlish was incredibly eager to work with Benson, and even impressed Carisi with her knowledge of the law. Her demeanor with Special Victims (with everybody except Muncy, anyway) suggested that she wanted nothing more than to impress Benson enough to stay on in Manhattan. And that eagerness to impress is why I'm worried about her in the next episode that will air on March 30. 

The March 30 episode of Season 24 is called "Lime Chaser," and will involve a case of women being drugged in crowded bars. There will be a family tie for Muncy, but it's what the episode description previews for Churlish that worries me. It reveals that SVU's newest detective will make "a risky move to impress Benson," and the promo suggests that it involves getting in over her head while undercover. Take a look:

Olivia Benson knows from experience what it's like when an undercover operation gets out of hand with no allies on hand, and it sure looks like Churlish will be on her own without any of her Special Victims co-workers on hand for an assist. Churlish is clearly a good detective, but is she good enough yet to handle herself undercover when she's new to the Manhattan SVU gig and she's driven by a motivation to impress Benson? I'm officially worried about what's in store for Churlish in the next case. 

Keep tuning in to NBC on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET for new episodes of Law & Order: SVU, between Law & Order at 8 p.m. and Law & Order: Organized Crime at 10 p.m. While the shows started out the 2022-2023 TV season with a three-part crossover event, they haven't shared characters on a very regular basis, although Camryn Manheim had a cameo as Kate Dixon during Benson's gang arc and Christopher Meloni dropped by for a short but extremely memorable Benson/Stabler moment

As for whether the shows will cross over again before the end of the season... well, the more immediate question may be whether Churlish would be around to participate. There's been a lot of detective turnover over the past few seasons, and SVU hasn't even been officially renewed for Season 25 yet, so it's hard to say much with any certainty. You can always revisit earlier episodes of the hit show streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription!

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, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.