Exclusive SVU Sneak Peek: Marcia Gay Harden Returns – Plus: A Nod to Benson's Bahamas Trip

Mariska Hargitay‘s Benson spends a lot of time complaining about South Florida in this exclusive sneak peek from next Wednesday’s Law & Order: SVU (NBC, 9/8c), but that’s before she encounters the friendly face of a familiar FBI agent.

RELATED | TVLine’s 2013 Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Getting Cancelled? What’s on the Bubble?

Marcia Gay Harden (Damages) reprises her role as G-woman Dana Lewis, who’s in town for the exact same reason as Benson and Amaro: To nab a convict (played by Lost‘s Harold Perrineau) suspected in a cold rape-and-murder case.

Press PLAY on the clip below to watch the trio try to work out jurisdiction — as well as for Amaro’s sly mention of Benson’s tropical Christmas trip with Mystery-Hand Man — and then hit the comments: What other previous SVU guest stars would you like to see return?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Chris says:

    I think it’s Dana Lewis- not Diane fyi

  2. jamie says:

    This show is really grasping at straws now if they have to resort to #TheHand to get publicity. It’s rather sickening that the teenagers and Warren Leight are more concerned about this and telling a criminals story than focusing on the victims, which is what this show was built on.

    • icywinter2 says:

      That is completely untrue, most people who watch SVU are not teenagers. In every crime show there is a romance hidden and seen. Quit blaming Warren, that’s just childish

      • Sam says:

        LOL someone hit a nerve. That’s right, no one watches SVU anymore. They’re lucky to even get 6 million viewers a week. This week barely even 5 million watched it. It’s a show that has started worrying about the children that watches the show, and that has become its downfall late last season and all of this season.

  3. sia says:

    SVU should be cancelled. Its a clown show now.

  4. Laura says:

    I am so very happy to have MGH back. She’s the best recurring guest star ever. I’d also love to see Miranda Pond (Alex Kingston) and Sam Copeland (Melinda McGraw) back.

  5. Cady James says:

    Anyone who complains about this series is probably still bitter about Chris Meloni leaving. He left them, he wasn’t fired, and he doesn’t want to come back. Get over it. SVU is at its absolute best and each episode keeps outdoing the last, no matter what the ratings. True fans know this. If you don’t like the series, don’t watch it, don’t watch anything to do with it and go away.

    Meanwhile, amazing. I love Marcia Gay Harden. She is an absolute treasure and Dana Lewis is one of the greatest recurring characters ever. Other previous guest stars that should return – Harry Connick, Jr., Allison Siko, Isabel Gillies, etc… There have been so many great talents on this series. A lot of them should return.

    • JS says:

      ITA Cady! Nicely said! So many ‘fans’ are angry because Chris chose to leave the show (He warned us for 2 or 3 years before that he was leaving, remember that)…It’s not Warren’s ‘fault’ he left, Chris chose too…(I’ve said that twice so that maybe it will set in) LOL The show is better written than ever and the new crew is showing a close comradery…I personally love the ‘New look’ and stories, but that just my opinion…I would love to see Christine Lahti back also, I liked her character & YES, I would love to see Chris Meloni make a few ‘guest or cameo’ shots but this may never happen…

    • Martina says:

      I agree, while I still miss Stabler, this show still pulls on the heart strings while telling fantastic stories. Last weeks episode with Asner & Tyson was brilliant. Some weeks the stories are so gruesome you really will for justice for the victim.

  6. Lori says:

    Anyone chuckle when Amaro (Danny Pinto) referenced “this Cold Case/”

  7. Jeissy says:

    Alguien podria decirme que dicen el el video sobre el viaje de Benson ? Yo no hablo ingles , gracias !!!

  8. Julia says:

    Why does everyone think that just because we hate this show now it’s because of the Melonhead leaving? Not all of us were his fans. Some of us simply can’t stand the direction the show has taken. It’s all about Olivia getting a boyfriend, seeing the criminals killing people in the first 3 minutes, and wanting most of the viewing audience to take a nap. Hence 5 mill viewers a week. The courtroom is nonexistent unless you count WL bringing in his buttboy Raul Esparza to win every case brought to them. They need to put this show out of its misery and only let USA Network play reruns.

    • Karen H in NC says:

      For someone who hates this show, you’re spending a lot of time complaining about it on this board. Don’t you think it’s about time you moved on?

      I agree, I miss CM but I still watch the show. IMO, it’s one of the best dramas on TV. Love the stars…all of them…from day one to now! Christine Lahti played a character you either gotta love or hate…but she kind of grows on you. I like her in H5O too.

  9. HollywoodTVCritics says:

    So, because I think Warren Leight is a snobish and selfish SOB who has turned SVU into a trainwreck, I’m bitter that Chris Meloni left the series?! Please, GROW UP! SVU fans who watch now majority are teenagers and older women who have too much time on their hands and should be taking care of their families and not worry about “Who’s Banging Benson”/”The Hand” (which is a pathetic attempt to keep viewers, like the Mike Tyson casting, and the bringing back of MGH and Andre Braugher).

    Warren Leight has changed SVU for the worse in a matter of half a season. Season 13 was better than this year. I’m upset with Leight so I’m bitter about Meloni leaving? Grow up to all who believe this about anyone who has a problem with the current SVU staff. Grow up!

  10. SVU/Stabler and Benson Forever says:

    I love SVU, but I have to say I really, really miss Chris Meloni so my viewing of the show has cut back some. Olivia and Elliott had so much chemistry. I do enjoy him on True Blood though, but he will always be Elliott to me. I wish he would come back for Mariska’s last season and they could end up together, cheesy I know, but he is the one who left and it is his decision to come back or not if they ask. SVU has and always will be one of my favorite shows forever, I love to watch all the old episodes on the USA network and I love the whole cast. It never gets old to me, I just miss Stabler and Benson..I love MGH as a guest star, I think all of the episodes she’s been in have been excellent

  11. Tracey says:

    Was I the only one who kept hearing “Waaalllt!” This weeks episode was very boring, I hadn’t planned on watching but watched anywat. Wish I hadn’t that’s an hour I’ll never get back. I am looking forward to this week MGH has been one of my favorite guest stars ever. I agree this show has went down hill quickly this season. And no I’m not one of the Elliot’s gone the show is horrible now people. He was ok sometimes but like Dr Warner said once “All that brooding intensity just gets annoying”. I think WL has tried to turn SVU into CI, his show was cancelled, move on don’t try to turn another one into it. I miss the courtroom also I wish they would on occasion bring Alex or Casey back. WL says that neither want to, but its funny that Diane Neal tweets that she would love to go back she just has to be asked first. I do love Kelli Giddish and Danny Pino and their characters and think they were a good addition to the show. When it comes to the whole “hand” issue I find it highly annoying. Do I have someone I wish it was? Yes, but I wouldn’t care if they didn’t show us. It would be leaving it open to our intrepretatiion and it could be whoevere we want it to be. Personally I would be fine if they just said she’s with someone and she’s happy. I think that’s all most long term fans want for her anyway. I also think that the whole Who’s Banging Benson deal is wrong also, some were event trying to get it to trend on twitter. That is ridiculous. IMO that is degrading to the character as well as Mariska. I would not be surprised if she walked away after this season, if it even gets renewed. I rarely watch it live anymore I record it and usually watch later. I hate to say this for the other actors. but if it’s renewed and Mariska doesn’t come back that will be it for me. She is carrying this show, Kelli Giddish is doing really well also. No show that is on for 14 years can be expected to be as good as it was in its prime, but I agree this show has really gone downhill this season alone.

    • Shannon says:

      Chris Meloni, btw has also publicly said he had no objections to returning as a guest star. Warren Leight is a hack….he has ruined the show…..it’s a joke…the twitter posts about it are a riot. All little teenage girls that are in love with Olivia and the “hand”. Leight is hateful and if you disagree with him he will block you on twitter. It’s sad

  12. Sabrina says:

    Look at the guest stars this season. Warren brings in his buddies or former employees to work. Screw the favorites the fans want (the ones that haven’t moved on, not counting Chris, he chose to leave). When only 5-6.5 million watch per week, it’s time to bury this mess.

  13. RenewSVU says:

    I love Marcia on SVU. So glad she’s back.

    I think that SVU’s writers are doing a fantastic job this season.

    I don’t know why people are so averse to Olivia having a love life. I can’t think of a single drama on television that doesn’t bring in the characters’ personal lives.

    • Shannon says:

      I don’t understand how she just greets Amaro though without asking about Elliot. Dana had a relationship with him as well and the running joke about him getting hurt every time she was around. Leight is just bitter that he is so disliked by all with the exception of his army of teenyboppers. BTW, they cut a whole scene last season (that is available for viewing on youtube) showing when Elliot sent Olivia the Semper Fi medal because they felt Olivia didn’t need to mourn him anymore. Stupid….

  14. Stephanie says:

    Is it just a blank white space where the video should be for anyone else,???

  15. WTF says:

    Most Chris Meloni fans are glad he left when he did, because we wouldn’t want to see Warren Leight ruin his character the way he is destroying every other character on the show. He clearly has no idea what SVU is supposed to be about and has obviously never wasted his precious time watching a marathon to find out. He is twisting every episode to focus on the perp’s side of the story and making victims look like liars and frauds. This show used to champion getting justice for victims, and Liv & gang were the hero cops who “saved them”. Now, in between sleeping with every guy they bring on the show, she runs around letting murderers get away because she feels like it and they are the only ones she can help because half the cases aren’t even about SVU any more. WTF? WL seems hell-bent on running the show into the ground, first with changing the core of every established character so much that they are now unlikeable (so the characters HE created get more positive attention), then drifting away from SVU stories into some warped version of Criminal Intent, then insulting his long-term viewers, survivors and rape victims by casting a rapist and belittling/blocking them on twitter when he can’t face his own mistakes. This show has been profiting off of victims’ and survivors’ stories for 14 years, the least they could do is have a little consideration for the support they have given them, not to mention respect for their leading lady and her foundation.

    So no, I’m not bitter about Chris Meloni being smart enough to save his name from being associated with this train-wreck sunken ship Warren Leight has created. Hopefully, Mariska jumps ship or it gets cancelled asap before he drags her through the mud any more than he already has. Notice she was nominated for awards every single year before WL came on and now they are snubbing her? Couldn’t have anything to do with the crap material she’s been given, could it?

  16. Suzie says:

    I normally steer clear of commenting on this type of thing and avoid the drama or even reading the comments section. But since I stumbled upon here I do want to provide my opinion, mainly because I don’t understand some of the points others have made on here. I personally like the feel of the show since Warren Leight took over. I do not follow him on Twitter (nor do I participate in Twitter at all), so I don’t know what his attitude is towards fans, nor did I watch the other show he ran. However, it seems to me that he has attempted to take the show back to its roots as far as storylines. Neal Baer was brilliant, but I think his storylines were becoming quite ludicrious at times (again, my opionion). As far as the “Mystery Hand Man,” I don’t see how this is a “pathetic” attempt to boost ratings. An attempt, yes, but not pathetic. I think it’s a fun something to throw in to a normally dark show (and no, I am not a lovesick, dopey teen). The showrunners wouldn’t be doing their jobs if they were trying new and creative ways to boost ratings. And as many fans as Mariska has, it seems she has just as many haters these days. You never heard nearly as much whining about the show needing to stick to the crimes when Stabler’s personal life was thrown in, yet every time Benson gains a love interest, here they come. Something else I don’t understand is how MGH returning is also “pathetic.” She has been a recurring guest star since season 6 – why all of a sudden is one of her returns pathetic? Just because WL is now over the show? Don’t get that one at all. And last but not least, I don’t understand if so many people hate the show now why they continue watch and/or come on to these sites to simply bash it. If you are no longer a fan, fine. No one’s forcing you to be. Leave the show to its true, loyal fans.

  17. Jo B. says:

    Proud Chris Meloni fan here and let me say THAT I AM NOT BITTER ABOUT HIM LEAVING SVU when he did. In fact after all the stupid stunts pulled by Warren Leight that have made this show barely recognizable I AM SO GLAD HE LEFT WHEN HE DID. He is on so many movies this year including the sequel of Sin City which he reportedly has a lead role – I am SO proud of him.

    No I don’t dislike SVU now because Chris left. I dislike SVU now because it is now a soap opera and instead of focusing on the stories and the victims of the stories – we are now bombarded by innuendos and hints and even more

    • Alex says:

      You already know from other reviews. And I know you’re a fan of Chris Meloni. I think horrible fans Meloni minimize the importance of the series on the life of actor. Say for example, that was good for him to leave the series. How shameful it would be to work on SVU. It would diminish his career. I ask: what was the big film that Cris worked? He became famous through movies or through the series? Get real. Meloni is good but the actor best known film he made after SVU was Superman. Where he appears as a character actor (his name appears in 6th place). Hopefully in the next, he has more prominence. I like him and he deserves it. But it will not diminish the importance of the series for his career.

      • Jo B. says:

        Lol. Really? Shows how much you know about Chris Meloni. I could list all his movies here but why not just go in imdb.com and see for yourself.

        Again SVU being crap has nothing to do with Chris not being there. One of my most fave episodes of SVU is Outsider from S8 – Chris was there for like 30 seconds and yet it was such a good ep and u know why? Coz it was Neal Baer running the show NOT Warren Leight.

        • Alex says:

          Cite at least one that was a resounding success. I saw Meloni in Runaway Bride. But the main actor was Richard Gere. If it was not 80% of SVU Meloni nor the fans knew.

          • Jo B. says:

            We are not talking about Chris Meloni here u do know that right? What I am discussing here is SVU’s current crappiness.

            Chris is going to be in the sequel of Sin City. He is one of the leads? And what is resounding success? Big bucks in box office doesn’t mean success all the time. Lol.

            And before SVU he was so amazing in Oz.

            SVU remains crappy under Warren.

          • liv says:

            Chris has done 7 movies since leaving SVU, and none of them are resoundingly successful yet, because none of them have been released yet! Movies take time, and any actor who gets cast in 7 movies in less than 2 years must be doing something right! (along with guesting on True Blood and #8 coming up…)

  18. Jo B. says:

    – about Olivia Benson’s love life. This was never the way SVU was nor any of the other law and orders.

    It is a travesty what Warren Leight has done to this show in barely 2 years. They focus on the detectives sex life, they do not mention Elliot’s name at all (how realistic is that really. When was the last time u had a long time co-worker leave and then the entire office suddenly never mentions him again? Uh huh exactly, never), they hire convicted felons and bad wanna be actors like Martha Stewart and Mike Tyson and more.

    Aside from that Warren Leight’s social behavior is appalling. Heaven forbid you’re a Chris Meloni fan who disagrees with him on Twitter. He will lash out on you, sic his teenage warrenbots on you then block you. It’s so pathetic and unprofessional.

    Last season, I saw him and his casing guy Jonathan Strauss lash out on the ratings guy for stating a fact – that in s13 under Leight’s so called tutelage SVU hit a series low.

    I have beem a fan of the entire frachise since the mothership and seeing what’s happening now to SVU i know 3 things. 1 Im glad Warren Leight never touched the mothership. 2 I’m glad Chris Meloni left when he did and 3) if SVU is going to continue to be under Warren Leight I’d rather see it cancelled.

    And no don’t say I’m not a real fan just because I say it’s crap now. A real fan recognizes when their fave show has changed and when it’s time to go. It’s time to say goodbye SVU. Let’s end this show with integrity.

  19. Alex says:

    Previous comment was perfect.

    I love this season. And I see no problem in “hand” or any hint of romance for Olivia. The truth is that only those who complain of SVU fans are frustrated of Meloni. Who live on the website of the series whining and asking around. The stories are actually brilliant. The previous stories in time Nael Baer, came to be ridiculous. The series, everyone knows, lost hearing. But what is the long-standing series that does not lose viewers over the years? And for fans of Meloni get satisfied just wait the films he is doing. I just hope that it appears at least more than five minutes each. In True Blood was so much excitement. Only lasted 5 episodes.
    Sorry, fans Meloni. Comply with its output. He was the one who wanted it. And I know many of you have that twist to the failure of SVU, but probably the series will be renewed. To despair of people selfish and bigoted.

  20. Alex says:

    The comment that I thought was the perfect Susan. Not Jo B.

  21. Susan alewine says:

    I still enjoy the show, there are so few I like anymore and I hope we get a few more years. I do wish it would go back to the hard hitting shows and stop putting in people with a name who can’t act! As much as we want Olivia to be happy, her angst drives the show. You lose that, you lose the show! I hope we don’t find out who her latest love is. Her struggle through life helps those of us who are also struggling with no sign of a fairy book ending!

  22. Beck says:

    It’s funny though because if it was Elliot and Olivia flirting or having sex, not one of these Meloni fans would have a problem with that. All of a sudden it’s about SVU becoming a soap opera. I bet not one of you would complain if Elliot and Olivia went at it like rabbits in the precinct. Now I’m not one that likes the current way the show is run so I stopped watching. It’s that easy.

    • Jo B. says:

      I actually WOULD have a problem with SVU if Elliot and Olivia started having sex on the show and it became the focus.

      All of the law and orders have alwaya been story driven not character driven.

      Yes – I’m an EO fan and would love to get rid of Kathy and have them together. But getting them together need not make SVU a soap opera. L&O handled the relationship of Jack McCoy and Claire Kincaid so perfectly. It never made L&O soapy and I have faith that had it gone that direction when Chris was there they would have been able to give us EO with the same subtlely and finesse. Yes! There has been a L&O ship that sailed! So while I wanted them together, I’d never be okay with them making EO’s love life the highlight of SVU especially I know they’ve been able to handle a relationship that was taboo (Jack was Claire’s boss) in such a great way that left fans wanting more and more of them and of the actual L&O stories. :-)

  23. Looking forward to see this ep. Marcia/Dana always brings trouble.
    My favorite detectives though are Fin & Rollins so I can’t wait for an episode surrounding the two of them. Her sister shows up soon again so that will be fun and I hope it’s Fin they’re talking about when something from the undercover days comes back and haunts a detective but it’s prob Amaro :/
    Anyway love SVU and where Warren Leight has taken the show. And I’m neither a teenager nor an old lady ;)

  24. Ok,so I watched the grand finale of season 14,while drinking a cup of coffee!I don’t know if the coffee is what kept me awake long enough to see my favorite detective being held at gun point!Maybe it did,because I was bored at the beginning of the episode!Then things started to heat up!Wondering if they are going to let something horrible happen to Benson once again!No surprise there,DAH!She is not being used and dumped by some guy this time!Oh no siry! possible rape and homicide is on the menu this time around!Maybe they will finally put her out of her misery by letting the guy blow her head off!By the way,WTF is Cassidy still doing on the show as her love interest?He is one of the BIGGEST REASONS THE SHOW IS GOING DOWN!As I was saying,Season 14 episode 24 finale only got my attention at the very end,when Olivia entered her apartment to be confronted by a F..ing mad man!Once again,Mr Leight only manage to grab our attention by doing the obvious to keep the viewers interested,and barely!So expect to get an exciting opening of season 15,just like season 14,then to be immensely disappointed and bored out of your minds after the first episode,I never thought I’d say this,but maybe it was a blessing in disguise when Mr.Christopher Meloni left when he did,the show was still at its peak.Thank God he is not on this sinking ship!As for Mariska Hargitay,I love you,and I wish things had turned out differently,you deserve it,you are a wonderful human being,great actress.Too bad the writers brought your wonderful character down like this.I honesty think Ms Hargitay should call it quits after season 15.Please,do not give them the opportunity to degrade your character any further.

  25. Marge says:

    I would love to see more of Dectective Eames ( Criminal Intent ) on the show!! She was great the 2 times she was on.