Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is bringing back more characters fans have not seen in a long time during the show's 23rd season. Sons of Anarchy star Donal Logue will make his return as Lt. Declan Murphy in the same episode Ari'el Stachel comes back as Sgt. Hasim Khaldun. The special episode will air in January 2022, reports TVLine.
Murphy was a major character during Seasons 15, 16, and 17 before disappearing from the show. It turns out that since he left, he was working on an undercover assignment. He comes back just in time to assist Capt. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and the rest of the SVU team on a series of hate crimes throughout New York City that appear to be coordinated. Murphy previously filled in for Benson when William Lewis (Pablo Schreiber) was making life a nightmare for everyone during Season 15. He is also the father of Det. Amanda Rollins' (Kelli Giddish) older daughter, Jesse.
Khaldun is a more recent character, having been introduced during the Season 21 episode "I Deserve Some Loving Too." He worked closely with Rollins as her romantic partner during an undercover mission and seemed to be developing a real interest in her. His most recent appearance was in the April episode "Welcome to the Pedo Motel." Rollins is now in a relationship with A.D.A. Dominic Carisi (Peter Scanavino), after years of will-they, won't-they moments.
Before we see the return of Logue and Stachel though, SVU has a major mess to clean up. The show will return after a short winter break on Thursday, Dec. 9 with a two-hour crossover with Law & Order: Organized Crime. In the first half, Benson clashes with Rafael Barba (Raul Esparza), who agreed to defend Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott) in Wheatley's trial for the murder of Det. Elliot Stabler's (Christopher Meloni) wife Kathy. In the Organized Crime half of the crossover, Elliot asks Benson to help find his son Eli (Nicky Torchia), who has gone missing.
The Organized Crime hour is called "The Christmas Episode," and follows the Organized Crime Control Bureau's successful takedown of the Albanian mob. "It will be a very Law & Order Christmas," Organized Crime showrunner Ilene Chaiken teased in an interview with TVLine. While this doesn't mean the episode suddenly introduces Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to the Law & Order universe, Chaiken added, "I'll just say: I hope we don't ruin Christmas for you for all time."
NBC has another Law & Order Christmas present for fans. The network recently confirmed that Anthony Anderson will return as Det. Kevin Bernard in the upcoming 21st season of Law & Order. Hugh Dancy was also cast as a new assistant district attorney. Burn Notice star Jeffrey Donovan was previously cast in the revival, which is scheduled to premiere on Feb. 24.