Mariska Hargitay is back on set to start a brand new season of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In an Instagram photo, the actress posted a photo of her being in the "hair chair" at work as she's getting her hair worked on, accompanied by a second photo showing what looks like people standing in line to get tested for COVID-19 before walking on set. "It's all happening. Back in hair chair with [Cassi Hurd]. First day of shooting season 22!! Making history. So grateful to be back at work," she posted, followed by several hashtags.
Many of her followers used emojies to express their excitement that a new season will be shot and are happy for the longtime SVU actress to be back on set. Recently, Hargitay took a photo with former co-star Christopher Meloni and fans couldn't have gushed more. Their reunited appearance comes in celebration of the two Hollywood celebrities paring back up for a new episode for the Season 22 premiere. This will be the first time the two appear on screen together in almost a decade.
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Naturally, fans were absolutely excited about it. Meloni hasn't been on the show since Season 12 in 2011. His character Det. Elliot Stabler never really got the send-off fans had hoped for and by the time Season 13 rolled around, he was nowhere to be found. The way writers explained his disappearance was that his character chose to retire instead of undergoing an Internal Affairs review. Since then, he hasn't really been mentioned.
While he may have been gone for the last decade or so, it was first reported back in March by Law & Order creator Dick Wolf that Meloni would be appearing in his own Law & Order spin-off show called Law & Order: Organized Crime. The new show will focus on Stabler as the head of the New York Police Department's Organized Crime Unit and is scheduled to start airing this fall on Thursdays following SVU.
While longtime fans will breathe a sigh of relief when they see one of their favorite characters return, this is also a great opportunity for SVU's newer fans to be introduced to him as they've only known the cast without him. While it's clear that he'll pop up in the season opener, details following that are still up in the air. "It's pretty clear that Elliot will be in the SVU season opener," showrunner Warren Leight said on the SVU podcat. "I think that much I know. Whether we get to see his family as well remains to be seen."