Law & Order: SVU Preview: Treat Williams Talks About Tackling an 'Extraordinary' Episode

This Wednesday at 10/9c, NBC’s Law & Order: SVU presents an episode that guest star Treat Williams repeatedly hailed as “extraordinary” during an interview with TVLine.

The procedural’s fall finale starts off in one direction, with a missing child case that leads Detective Amaro (played by Danny Pino) to a prostitute ring that recruits underage girls. Then, upon setting up a sting to catch Johns with the teens, Amaro & Co. happen to nab pro football legend Jake Stanton, played by Everwood alum Williams.

“He’s been visiting — and this is new in his life – these hookers, and they happen to be, unbeknownst to him, underage,” Williams previews.

“Of course, the first thing it reminded me of was Lawrence Taylor,” Williams says, referring to the New York Giants linebacker’s May 2010 arrest on charges of statutory rape and patronizing a prostitute. “Then you combine that with what happened to Dave Duerson,” the NFL player who suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative disease found in individuals who have been subjected to multiple concussions and other head injuries.

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The Duerson comparison is relevant because just as ADA Cabot (Stephanie March) aims to make an example out of Williams’ high-profile sports hero, her case is thrown into chaos when Stanton’s attorney, Bayard Ellis (returning guest star Andre Braugher), questions his client’s mental capacity.

“Beth Chamberlin, who plays my wife, says to Ellis, ‘My husband has been in depression, he’s not himself. He can’t remember things, and he’s hiding it… This isn’t the person I married,'” Williams previews. That information fortifies Ellis for a fight that promises to deliver one of SVU‘s most memorable and moving recent hours.

“When I read the script, I knew that we had a helluva shot at something really good,” Williams shares. Then, touting his TV attorney, he adds, “You don’t get any better than Andre. Very seldom have I worked with another actor whose intelligence is so present when he’s working. He’s just brilliant.”

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Surveying his SVU visit as a whole, Williams notes that “when you have a terrific script and actors who know what they’re doing, the environment that this cast and crew creates, and a director like Alex Chapple, it’s not rocket science” to create something great. “It usually goes pretty well.”

For his part, Williams dove deep into research, calling up source material such as the case of a Pennsylvania man who suddenly began exhibiting the urges of a pedophile, only to have them erased completely after doctors removed a tumor that was pressing against a part of his brain. His reading also included the 1966 case of Charles Whitman, the University of Texas student who went on a shooting rampage that was caused in part, it is believed, by a highly aggressive brain tumor.

“This [SVU episode] was extraordinary, like a little movie,” Williams says. “You don’t see roles like this, especially for supporting actors. I was just lucky that [franchise boss] Dick Wolf and the folks over there gave me a shot with this.”

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  1. Alex S. says:

    Can’t wait to see this episode. This season has been a revelation of sorts with all the detectives having moments to shine. I especially am fond of the new additions: Kelli Giddish and Danny Pino.

  2. Kvivik says:

    This sounds wonderful, but I will TIVO it and fast forward through the Danny Pino scenes. I just cannot watch that man.

    • NotEnoughTime says:

      Everyone entitled to their opinion…i like the show better now personally..but fast forwarding through Pino’s scenes? I wouldnt want to run into you the next day asking me to fill in the plot points you missed LOL

    • Danielle H says:

      Really? I don’t think he’s that bad. He’s not Chris Meloni, but he’s watchable. The thing I’ve disliked the most is the accent inconsistencies w/ Kelli. I’ve never seen someone use an accent 1/4 of the time like her!

      • Anne says:

        Thank goodness you said that Danielle, that has been a pet peeve of mine with the Kelli character too.
        I miss Chris Meloni, however it’s good to see Munch & Finn step into the spotlight.
        Really looking forward to this episode, I’ve always been a huge fan of Treat Williams.

        • Zoe says:

          I couldn’t agree with either of you more. As much as I miss Elliot and hope he returns before the show takes its final bow, (and wishful thinking: Maybe it’s so extraordinary because Elliot shows up? Maybe? Yes? Please? I mean what could be more powerful and extraordinary than the return of Elliot Stabler? /irrational hope) Nick Amaro has really grown on me. Maybe it’s because I used to watch him on Cold Case, but I think it’s also because Pino is underratedly good. And he’s pretty easy on the eyes too.

          But yeah, Amanda Rollins? I’m sorry, I know I’m playing the angry fangirl card, but I can’t stand her. I remember I read something from over the summer (I think it was on TVLine) where Kelli G was like “lol, the fans are going to love me”, and… as one of those said fans, most of us don’t like her. Obviously I can’t speak for everyone, but in my experience, most of us don’t like her. (SVU fans, feel free to correct me.) I think it’s because A) she only looks like a cop when the costume department decides to throw Olivia Benson’s old clothes on her, otherwise her badge looks too big, and B) Kelli Giddish can’t act. When I see her on screen, I don’t believe her. I believe her less than Ice-T, for god’s sake! If her character’s thing is basically this southern belle, then either have an accent or don’t! Make up your mind! Don’t throw us this drive-by Southern accent that sounds like her mouth is filled with cheese and expect us to believe it!’

          This concludes my rant. We now return to your regularly scheduled comments already in progress.

  3. Marc says:

    I still miss Chris Meloni, however, Danny Pino is fine on the show. However, I hate the new female lead… please replace her ASAP!

  4. jennrae says:

    I am liking their attempt at having more screen time for Cragen, Finn, and Munch, even though we very rarely have them all together. Also, I’m glad the writers remembered they promoted Munch to Sergeant a few seasons back–when Meloni was still on the show, he actually gave Munch orders. It would drive me crazy since Munch outranks everyone on the show but Cragen. I don’t know what’s worse, if they simply forgot promoting Munch and the big deal they made about it (I think it was the episode with Cynthia Nixon), OR that Christopher Meloni’s ego wouldn’t allow it.

  5. mmm says:

    I had given up on SVU the last few seasons but I have to say the show is getting back to its peak now. This new duo is working well. The Chris Meloni BS was killing the show, leaving low ratings for those who just watch SVU not for the story but for his rants.

    But one thing from this interview — 2nd to last paragraph. SVU already did a story on this several years ago, where a teacher had a tumor removed that removed her ‘new’ tendencies.

  6. Hank says:

    The recent episodes have been really good. Along with surprising plots, the new detectives are becoming complex characters with flaws and past baggage. I hope we find out much more about Amaro and Rollins in the future episodes. I think Kelli Giddish is an awesome actress.

  7. Sean says:

    I really pity people who cannot tell the difference between an actor and the role he plays. Chris Meloni did not have rants, perhaps you meant Elliot Stabler had them. The ratings are down this season because many people watched the show for the characters and, for me, the Stabler character was by far the most interesting. I caught part of an episode this season and it looked a lot more like the mothership than SVU. Danny Pino may be nice to look at but he doesn’t have the acting chops required for this material. The show is on it’s last legs. It might be time to finish it off before it deteriorates any further.

  8. Mayo Vega says:

    I think Danny Pino is doing a great job and much better than Meloni!

  9. Mikkie says:

    I think the show is doing great so far! Iv been a fan forever and have seen most of the whole series and this seasons fresh blood is just what the show needed..last season was getting boring and repetitive..i luv stabler dearly but his storyline was the same..the new detectives each bring something new to the table and keeps the show open to new plot twists! I luv it so far!!

  10. Sandy says:

    Can wait for this episode. I will watch anything Treat Williams is in. I have been a fan ever since Everwood. Was really upset when it went off the air, a great show with a great cast. SVU is lucky to have him on the show. He is one of those underrated actors, but maybe some day he will get the role he deserves and everyone will appreciate what a fine actor he is.

  11. Marie says:

    I have found a renewed enjoyment this year with SVU. The story lines have been wonderful. Perhaps it had become the elliot and olivia show, and i love mariska hargity and chris meloni, but it had also become redundant with every episode hanging on the two of them. i enjoy danny pino. i am also enjoying mariska even more now that she’s toned down a bit. treat williams was awesome as was beth chamberlain in last night’s episode. let’s make andre braugher a regular! overall one of the best episodes of SVU in a long time

  12. andrew says:

    What was the name of the song playing in the start of the spiraling down episode in law and order svu dec 7

  13. M says:

    I finally saw this episode with Treat Williams…and his portrayal of Jake was absolutely spectacular. I was in tears at the end of the show when he killed himself. I don’t keep up with the Emmy’s or anything but I sure hope he was recognized for his acting..fabulous….

  14. Robert Bell says:

    I’ve been accurate for at least 40 years and like most actors am hard to please, but when I see you work this of this brilliance, I jump up and down with joy and excitement like a little kid at Christmas. That’s how I was affected by Mr. Williams stunning performance. He’s the best, would give my right arm to work with.

  15. Melanie D'Andrea says:

    too late to comment, maybe, but I saw this episode for the first time last night and I was so moved by the acting, only to be blown away by the ending. What a beautiful job both actors did, especially Treat. WOW!