When Law & Order: SVU returned from its winter break with the January 6 episode, the squad teamed up with Hate Crimes, led by a very familiar face: Donal Logue’s Captain Declan Murphy.
Over the hour, we also got to know the rest of his team, two of whom we’d also met before. Ari’el Stachel returned as Detective Hasim Khaldun, who worked with SVU in Seasons 21 and 22, and Cyndee Rivera reprised her role as Detective Mia Ruz, who crossed paths with the squad in Season 22 as well. They were joined by Jason Biggs as Detective Andy Parlato-Goldstein. And while watching them work and seeing them interact with the unit we know — Mariska Hargitay’s Captain Olivia Benson, Ice T’s Sergeant Odafin “Fin” Tutuola, and Kelli Giddish’s Detective Amanda Rollins —we couldn’t help but wonder if we were watching a backdoor pilot of another Law & Order series. (We were not.)
However, a Law & Order: Hate Crimes has been in the works at NBC, then Peacock — due to the content — since 2018. In fact, when it had been set for NBC, we were supposed to meet the team during Season 20 (via TVLine). That makes us wonder if that was what this latest episode could have been in a way.
After all, fans got to know Murphy when he recurred on SVU in 2014-2015, and as this episode established, he just started with Hate Crimes. (He detailed to Rollins what his undercover work did to him, so those days are likely entirely behind him, meaning he’d be sticking around — in New York and with this team.) Ruz impressed Benson. Parlato-Goldstein was memorable enough (including with his introduction: “those are both me”) that if he appears again, we’ll know why he looks familiar.
But would you watch Law & Order: Hate Crimes if this team stick around? (Remember: We don’t know if that show will happen.) Vote in the poll below.