Law Order SVU Recap Benson Retire Season 18 Episode 7

SVU Recap: Is Benson Retiring?!

It’s no secret that Sgt. Olivia Benson is married to her work. But in this week’s Law & Order: SVU, she seriously considers a conscious uncoupling.

The episode, “Next Chapter,” opens with Tucker delivering some big news over a romantic dinner with Liv: He’s planning to retire, “to smell the damn flowers.” Olivia is taken aback, but he presses her to really think about what she wants out of the rest of her life. The notion of not being a cop seems to leave her a little unsettled.

Soon, Benson and the team gets involved in the case of the week: the sexual assault of a woman named Quinn, who is pretty sure that her rapist is a guy named Ray, the same man who went to jail for stalking her in the past. (Though Fin and Rollins question Quinn’s super shady co-worker Ryan — played by Sleepy Hollow alum Zach Appelman — they eventually determine that the only crime he’s guilty of is being an annoying millennial.)

As part of the investigation, Benson and Carisi confer with the now-retired officer who handled Quinn’s case. “Retirement, how’s that feel?” Liv wonders, but when Carisi later asks her about it, she shuts the conversation down quickly. And when, back at the precinct, he muses on the perils of long-term policing, Olivia vehemently counters the notion that spending nearly two decades as a firsthand witness to human depravity destroys your soul. (What? I worry about her, guys.) “The job doesn’t change you,” she asserts. “It makes you more of who you already are.”

Soon, it becomes apparent that even though Ray’s DNA is on a cigarette butt near the crime scene, his alibi means that he couldn’t have been there… though someone really wants the police to think that he was. Eventually, all fingers point toward retired cop Cole, who has a close relationship with Quinn and who went out of his way to frame Ray for the rape. Cole’s wife eventually discredits his alibi… and then Quinn goes missing.

Carisi and Benson track Cole, who has kidnapped the woman he pretended to protect, to an empty farm house. That’s where he explains to Olivia, in hostage-negotiator mode, that Quinn wasn’t appreciative enough for the police work he’d done for her re: Ray over the years. As things get more tense, Carisi tries to sneak up on Cole — but winds up with the muzzle of the ex-cop’s gun pressed against his forehead. Good thing Olivia sneaks into the house just in time to put a bullet in Cole’s skull (with a rather gory blood spatter all over a shaken Carisi’s face), and save the day.

Outside, Liv reiterates her point about Cole — “Being a cop didn’t change him. He was always a bad guy. It just took time to come out.” And when Carisi wonders whether a case like this one makes Olivia want to retire, she replies, “No, the exact opposite.”

So there you have it, in case you were worried: Olivia is SVU ride-or-die, for the foreseeable future, at least.

Did you have any doubt about Olivia’s future with the unit? Drop a note in the comments!

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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13 Comments
  1. Tori Coop says:

    Too bad she and her show won’t retire.
    But considering the fallout that’s about to happen with Mariska’s foundation she may consider it after all.

    • Kiwi3 says:

      @ Tori Coop:

      I would love to see what exactly you’re talking about and from what LEGITIMATE sources.

      Even searching with negative words such as; scandal, impropriety, etc absolutely nothing bad pops up.

      So what’s the big bad ugly news?

      Or are you just a troll that for some stupid reason hates an intelligent, successful actor who has used her visibility as a platform to help within an arena that desperately needs “all hands on deck” (so to speak).

    • Ah! Tori, you’re so unhappy. As much as you want to say no, it’s very clear between the lines. His hatred and grudge for a decent, beautiful and talented actress only makes me love her even more. Mariska is simply fabulous, in every way.

  2. mrx says:

    this show is still on, LOL!

  3. Andrea Keeith says:

    It’s Lt. Olivia Benson

  4. Piers says:

    I haven’t watched SVU in years. Stabler & Benson always seemed to be hostile and in powder keg status. Can’t stand Chris Meloni in anything he’s done since either. Last one out, dim the lights

  5. CP says:

    Thanks for the review! Still love SVU!!!

  6. SVU is still a great show. I love the whole cast but if Mariska leaves I do not see anymore. She is a fantastic actress, an incredible talent and an admirable human being.
    On a side note, she remains beautiful despite hating her hair this season.

  7. Rex the Wonder Dog says:

    How could Kimberly review this show and not realize the lead character is Lieutenant Benson?
    And if Liv does retire it means they show will probably be ending. Not sure it could survive without her. It already lost viewers when Stabler retired.