Law And Order: SVU Finally Addressed An Inevitability For Olivia Benson's Personal Life, And Mariska Hargitay Nailed It

Law And Order: SVU Finally Addressed An Inevitability For Olivia Benson's Personal Life, And Mariska Hargitay Nailed It

Spoilers ahead for Episode 9 of Law & Order: SVU Season 25, called "Children of Wolves."

Law & Order: SVU went big for its first venture back from a brief break in the 2024 TV schedule, as "Children of Wolves" was both a showcase for Olivia Benson and the latest episode directed by leading lady Mariska Hargitay. Considering the extra work behind the camera, it wouldn't have been surprising if this was an episode that was light on Benson and heavy on the supporting characters. Instead, it delved into her personal life in a way that was a long time coming, and I found it great to see.

This episode delivered an exceptionally gruesome case when two teen girls were attacked and assaulted by a "wolf pack" of older teens, with one girl dying from her injuries and the other kidnapped. Benson came close to completely crossing a line after she and Velasco got one of the perps in custody and took him to the crime scene, to the point that Carisi pointed out that the defense could use it against her and Curry noted that Benson was lucky she wasn't in IAB anymore.

But Benson taking a case to heart isn't what I consider an inevitability finally happening, because that has been happening regularly since 1999. No, I'm referring to her conversation with Noah early in the hour: he asked her about Maddie, leading her to ask her young son how he even knew about her. As it turns out, Noah had Googled his mom, and he learned some things that she really didn't want him exposed to.

And honestly, as the show continues and Noah gets older, he was bound to find out more about her work sooner or later, and perhaps the least surprising element of "Children of Wolves" was that a kid was Googling the name of somebody he knows. Benson definitely wasn't expecting to find out about it right at Noah's bedtime, though, and was thrown when he dropped two names that he'd learned about: William Lewis and Johnny D.

I can't blame her for being thrown for a loop at hearing her sweet son drop those two particular names, as William Lewis brutally attacked her and was arguably the most traumatizing force in her life... and that's saying something, after more than 500 episodes of trauma! Noah finding out about Johnny D. could have been worse, though, assuming Google didn't include all the dirty details about what Lewis did.

Johnny D. is of course Noah's biological father after raping his mother, who was then brutally killed. Johnny D. himself was shot and killed in court by Nick Amaro, although Amaro was shot in the process as well. All in all, it's not hard to understand why Benson would have wanted to protect Noah from that particular story for as long as possible. By the end of the episode, however, Benson realized the importance of telling the right kinds of stories, and Noah deserved to know his origin.

Does that mean she was going to show him the complete dossier on Johnny D. as soon as the credits rolled on this episode? Definitely not, and I'm guessing that she won't be rushing to discuss William Lewis with her son any time soon either. Still, I loved that SVU addressed the inevitable day that Noah Googled his mom and learned about her work, and that we got to see it. A+ to Mariska Hargitay, both as actress and director of her first episode since Bradley Whitford's emotional outing of Season 24!

It's also fitting that she had to have this conversation with Noah in the milestone 25th season, since it's a reminder of how far she has come and how much has changed over the years. Plus, the SVU journey isn't over yet, as Mariska Hargitay's show has been renewed for Season 26. For now, keep tuning in to NBC on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET for new episodes of Law & Order: SVU, between Law & Order at 8 p.m. and Law & Order: Organized Crime – which has not yet been renewed – at 10 p.m. ET. You can also find all three shows streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription.