LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT: Warren Leight Previews Henry's Return in 'Post-Graduate Psychopath' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT: Warren Leight Previews Henry’s Return in ‘Post-Graduate Psychopath’

May 19, 2021 by  

SVU Post-Graduate Psychopath sequel

Credit: NBC

More than eight years after LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT introduced Henry Mesner (played Ethan Cutkosky), the child psychopath, in season 14’s appropriately titled “Born Psychopath,” the long-running drama is bringing the character back in a big way on the Thursday, May 20 hour, “Post-Graduate Psychopath.”

“It took forever to get this thing going—we had to keep scheduling around [Cutkosky’s show] SHAMELESS and COVID,” SVU showrunner Warren Leight says. “The most exciting thing for us, really, is just watching Ethan Cutkosky, eight years later, playing the same character. We put in footage of him eight years ago—he was 12 playing a ten-year-old—[and] to see the same kid years later, it’s a little bit like a psychopathological SEVEN-UP.”

In Henry’s last go-round, the torment of his family—and shooting of Amaro (Danny Pino)—led to him being institutionalized. But now that he’s of-age, things have changed.

“It’s so interesting, because you always wonder what happens to a kid like that, going into an institution,” Leight notes. “Will it turn them around? Sometimes it can. But, sometimes, these kids go in, and they view the whole process of their time there, as we call it, grad school for psychopaths, where they learn how to mimic empathic behavior. They learn what normal behavior looks like, and should feel like, and how they should experience it. And they mimic it in order to get out; that’s another outcome. And it’s looking like Henry has done that.”

“There’s little hints that Henry’s back early on…and it’s scary,” he continues. “So, now that he’s out, some of our squadroom has a memory of him, but it’s also eight years ago.”

While Amaro was at the center of Henry’s last tale, Rollins (Kelli Giddish) steps up to take him on this time.

“We tried to figure out who will have the big interactions with him, and it’s always been Rollins who likes to squirrel around inside the brains of these guys,” Leight previews. “She’s not quite the kind of person who dates psychopaths, but she’s fascinated by them. And two episodes ago, we had Olivia in a restaurant hostage situation, so that also factors into it: there’s only so much even Olivia can take.”

“But it was interesting to see Rollins and Henry and his dim memory,” he continues. “What does an 18-year-old psychopath remember about somebody? ‘Oh, we had a talk in the kitchen. That was nice.’ He’s got a kid’s memory of when he was put away.”

And while the team’s newest member, Kat (Jamie Gray Hyder), had no prior experience with Henry, this is also a notable hour for her. “There’s a moment where Kat comes into a crime scene, and she hasn’t had to see crime scenes like this before,” Leight says of the newly-promoted detective. “She’s had more regular, run of the mill cases, and storylines; he said-she said. And you walk into a room where a psycho has been, and you can see the look on her face. It’s interesting for her.”

But if you haven’t seen the original hour—or, perhaps, haven’t seen it since it aired—you’ll still be able to follow this new episode fine.

“I hope people have seen the original, [but] it works fine on its own,” Leight says. “But how often do you get the chance to come back eight years later? Show me the child at ten, I’ll show you the man at 18, and that’s what we have.”



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Filed under Law & Order, SVU

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