LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT Boss Previews Tension Between Carisi and the Squad, Kat and Garland's Struggles - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT Boss Previews Tension Between Carisi and the Squad, Kat and Garland’s Struggles

December 17, 2020 by  

SVU season 22 spoilers

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT — “The Ballad of Dwight and Irena” Episode 22002 — Pictured: (l-r) Mariska Hargitay as Captain Olivia Benson, Peter Scanavino as Detective Sonny Carisi, Jamie Gray Hyder as Officer Katriona “Kat” Azar Tamin — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

When LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT returns in 2021, Carisi (Peter Scanavino) will be facing one of the hardest cases of his (relatively new) career as an ADA: after the 1-6 spends New Year’s Eve working on an Amber Alert, Carisi’s case pits him directly against former ADA Rafael Barba (Raúl Esparza).

“Carisi’s transition from cop to ADA continues this season…he catches more complicated cases, he gets better at his job,” executive producer Warren Leight teased via email. “As he does, he moves farther away from his old squad, and from his life as a police officer.” 

“SVU detectives are often first or early responders to a crime scene,” he continued. “They will bond with a vic on the worst night of their life, accompany them to a hospital, walk them through the post-assault path to survivorship. ADAs come in later, and are faced with a different task: how to prosecute the perp. They have to be less emotional and more analytical. As Carisi changes, he’ll be conflicted internally, and there will be more tension between him and his former squad mates.” 

SVU season 22 spoilers

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT — “Guardians and Gladiators” Episode 22003 — Pictured: Demore Barnes as Deputy Chief Christian Garland — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

As the squad continues to deal with the ongoing calls for police reform—“This season takes place in real time,” Leight noted, “The challenges of being in law enforcement, during an inflection point in how criminal justice is meted out, is part of the fabric of the season.”—the team’s two newest faces, Kat (Jamie Gray Hyder) and Garland (Demore Barnes), will have to contend with their hopes for the future versus the reality they’re currently working with.

“Kat and Garland are grappling with the aftermath of George Floyd,” Leight acknowledged. “They are part of NYPD’s new guard. They want to see change come: they want the old boy network to loosen its grasp, and to see the department open up to women and people of color. They both see this moment as a turning point in New York law enforcement.”

“Kat may at times get too far ahead of the mainstream; her outspoken nature may be risky in a department on its heels,” he continued. “Garland will have to juggle his desire for change with the reality of the often Byzantine internal politics of One P-P.”

SVU itself has had to adjust, continuously, in season 22, too. After having to suspend production on season 21 early—due to COVID-19 shutting down filming across the world in March—the writers had crafted a number of scripts and arcs they intended to carry over when the show resumed, including professional tension between Olivia (Mariska Hargitay) and Carisi, as well as the return of Rick Fox as a possible love interest for Olivia. But what comes of those storylines now is up in the air.

“For better and worse, as we all have learned, any plans we made in February are stuck in purgatory,” Leight said. “Our squad has had to adapt to this pandemic, and so has our Writers Room. We had several strong scripts ready to shoot when we shut down in March. Those scripts were written in a pre-pandemic era. They had lots of extras, locations, physical interaction and intimacy. We can’t shoot them now. Life has intervened, and like our squad we have had to adapt to our new normal. Basically every week since we edged back to production, we drew up a new game plan, and then the world changed again, and we drew up another one.”

But Leight is proud of what the team has been able to pull off under unique circumstances. “As unlikely as it seems, I’m excited for the fans to see ALL of [what we’ve filmed so far],” he said. “Each takes a different approach to the challenges we are all facing. The stresses of the last year, and the specific stresses of being in law enforcement these last months, allow us to play to a heightened sense of drama. We are all waiting for spring. In the meantime, our resilient squad (and in real life our actors and crew), have managed not just to survive, but to do some of their best work.” 



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Filed under Law & Order, SVU

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