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Law And Order: SVU's Newest Character Could Mean A New Era, And I'm So Ready

Spoilers ahead for Episode 15 of Law & Order: SVU Season 23, called "Promising Young Gentlemen."

Law & Order: SVU got off to a surprisingly fun start with Carisi finally introducing Rollins to his mom, which involved the return of Mia, who is doing much better since her attack seasons ago. Less surprisingly, the episode took a turn for the criminal when the story started to center at the dreaded Hudson University, where bad things are usually guaranteed to happen. After the introduction of LaChanze as President Freeman, however, it seems that SVU could move into a new era without terrible things happening at Hudson U. 

The case of "Promising Young Gentleman" involved a young woman being raped after being plied with drinks and manipulated by a very exclusive (and all-male) secret society at Hudson University. The case was bad enough that Carisi was able to add hate crime charges to the rape charges, but it was pretty much par for the course for something that longtime fans would expect to happen at Hudson. The odds are that whenever SVU mentions or features Hudson U, it's because something horrible happened/is happening there. But that may not be the case moving forward! 

Hudson University has a new president, and while Freeman of course had to try and prioritize protecting the school and handling things in-house whenever possible, she doesn't seem to be another obstacle for Special Victims who will just complicate any investigations there. She had words for Chief McGrath (who has been trying to change himself) after the unit arrested the entire secret society, and made the point to Benson that she wants more transparency between their two sides. Benson responded: 

I couldn't agree more, and I know that you're new to your post. But in the past, campus security has been where rape allegations go to die. I believe that your intentions are good, but you have to understand that there's just a lot of history here.

Benson isn't overselling her point by saying that there's "a lot of history" when it comes to Special Victims trying to investigate assault cases at Hudson, and the team hasn't always gotten the most support from the administration there over the years. That really looks like it will be changed, if Freeman sticks with her intentions, as she told Benson:

I understand. I look forward to a better relationship than you've had with Hudson in the past.

Benson immediately responded with "So do I," and I officially second that opinion! It's almost a running joke at this point – although certainly not a funny one, considering this is a show about heinous crimes and sexually-based offenses – that nothing good happens at Hudson University. If Freeman is more of an ally to Special Victims and truly wants to help prevent assaults on campus, then SVU could start to feature fewer cases of things going horribly wrong at Hudson. And I for one am ready for that. 

Find out if Freeman will be the ally that Benson needs when it comes to Hudson U with new episodes of Law & Order: SVU on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, between the original Law & Order at 8 p.m. and Law & Order: Organized Crime at 10 p.m. in the 2022 TV schedule. If you want to revisit some days of SVU gone by, you can find the full series (along with more shows from the Dick Wolf TV universe) streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription.

Laura Hurley
Laura Hurley

Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.