Law & Order: Special Victims Unit brought back another former franchise star. The Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra, who starred in one season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, came back to play Carolyn Barek, who is now a lieutenant in The Bronx. The episode gave Sciorra the opportunity to butt heads with Mariska Hargitay and the rest of the main SVU case as they teamed up to track a serial rapist in a case that took a shocking twist.
At the beginning of "Hunt, Trap, Rape, and Release," a woman was raped in Manhattan, and the suspect's actions matched those of a serial rapist in The Bronx. The rapist always told his victims to "be a good girl." Capt. Olivia Benson (Hargitay) and her team headed out to The Bronx to figure out why they were not told about this all sooner. They met Barek and her team, but they were not interested in helping their counterparts in Manhattan until the rapist struck again. The two squads arrived at the crime scene together, and a shoving match between Fin (Ice-T) and the Bronx's Sgt. Mouldivan. It all played out in front of the cameras, forcing Deputy Chief Garland (Demore Barns) to create a joint task force.
At that point, the teams tracked down a suspect, but it turned out the man was not the rapist. During the investigation, Moudivan did some suspicious things, which led Benson and the Manhattan team to think Moudivan might be a copycat rapist himself. Rollins (Kelli Giddish) got Mouldivan to confess at a bar. The conversation became heated and Mouldivan threatened Rollins with his gun. When the SVU team bust in, Mouldvian threatened to shoot himself, and Rollins told him to do it. He eventually could not and dropped to his knees so Fin and Kat (Jamie Gray Hyder) could arrest him. Later, Mouldivan's partner was not happy with Kat for playing her, noting how the entire squad now looks bad. Mouldivan has more friends in the department than Kat does, his partner told her.
At the end of the episode, Barek told Garland and Benson she felt terrible about this. Barek thought she'd have to retire, but Garland offered to move her back to homicide. "Everything passes," Garland said. "Hasn't always been my experience," Barek said. During a chat with Benson, Benson reminded her that working in SVU can take a toll but she was confident Barek could work things out. "You're gonna get through this," Benson told her as she walked away. The next new episode of Law & Order: SVU airs Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.