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An Infamous Captain Just Returned to SVU and Is Settling Into the Squad

After being forced to report her boss to the IAB, [Spoiler] just made an exciting return on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

By Jessica White

The Law & Order: Special Victims Unit team is expanding in Season 25 with the addition of Captain Renee Curry, played by Aime Donna Kelly.

How to Watch

Watch the Season 26 premiere of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Thursday, October 3 at 9/8c on NBC.

Known mostly from her guest appearances as NYPD's IAB Captain, Curry is driven and no-nonsense — the makings of an exemplary investigator, which is why Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) recruited her to the SVU. 

RELATED: 25 Celebrities Who Guest Starred On Law & Order: SVU

Read on to learn Curry's history on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit  and why she joined Benson's squad permanently.

When did Captain Renee Curry first appear on Law & Order: SVU?

Curry first brushed shoulders with Benson in Season 22 of SVU as the new Captain of the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau. Curry's post is a grueling position, previously occupied by Ed Tucker (Robert John Burke), Benson's former boyfriend before he chose to retire and eventually passed away. Curry introduced herself to Benson in the Season 22 premiere ("Guardians and Gladiators"), when she launched an investigation into the SVU's policing after Benson was mentioned in a lawsuit against the NYPD for wrongfully profiling a civilian.

During the investigation, Curry confirmed Benson's actions were by the book, but took the opportunity to reiterate the SVU Captain's implicit role in the systemic racism found within the NYPD. Curry took her job because civilians lack faith in law enforcement, and she wants to encourage the NYPD to take stock of their moral inventory to increase credibility. 

Benson was cleared from the IAB's investigation, but Curry made another appearance in Season 22, Episode 11 ("Our Words Will Not Be Heard") after catching wind of Benson making moves to see change within the NYPD. Curry also appeared in the Season 23 premiere ("And The Empire Strikes Back").

Curry helped Benson with a case in SVU Season 25

Dr. Lentz (Tricia Marie Paoluccio), Benson's therapist, told Benson about an underage client who disclosed a sexual assault. The victim was the daughter of NYPD Chief Tommy McGrath (Terry Serpico).

After visiting the McGrath residence to chat with the victim, Shay, Benson instantly realized McGrath's biases surrounding the case were clouding his integrity as a cop. Benson encouraged McGrath to trust her abilities to get justice for Shay and to back away from the case. 

McGrath failed to do so — supremely. After inviting a teenage suspect into questioning, McGrath barged in on the interrogation, at one point even threatening to kill the suspect, who proved to be innocent. As everyone in the Precinct tip-toed around the case out of fear of pissing off McGrath, Benson put her foot down. She wasn't going to allow McGrath's intrusive behavior to screw up her investigation, so she went to file a complaint with the Internal Affairs Bureau, A.K.A. Curry's doorstep. 

Benson voiced the challenges of balancing the investigation with McGrath's erratic behavior, earning a sympathetic ear from Curry. A misconduct allegation against the Chief is a serious undertaking, but Benson knew she'd need Curry's help to see justice for McGrath's daughter. Curry recommended that she join Benson on the McGrath investigation and said that if McGrath didn't want the IAB involved, he shouldn't have verbally assaulted a suspect.

RELATED: Law & Order: SVU Season 25 - Premiere Date, Cast, Details

Benson invited Curry to join the Manhattan SVU

After learning the IAB was involved in his daughter's case, McGrath's anger only intensified. After it came to light that Shay was assaulted by the trusted son of McGrath's next-door neighbor, the Chief struggled to quell his impulsive fury. While arresting the teenage perp, McGrath and the perp's father got into an altercation, culminating in McGrath threatening his former friend with a firearm. Benson got McGrath to put the gun away, but the damage had been done. 

McGrath visited Benson later on to confess his irresponsibility surrounding the case, telling her that he understands he will suffer IAB consequences. Benson wished him luck, later enjoying a much-deserved glass of red wine at a bar. Curry joined her for a glass and some updates: McGrath would be replaced soon. Benson guessed Curry might be on the shortlist — but Curry clarified she had no interest.

"Don't get me wrong, IAB is soul-grinding," Curry confessed. "The rat squad."

"I can't imagine that because you are anything but," Benson told her.

"I appreciate that," Curry said before adding, "I got into IAB hoping to make a difference."

"I know," Benson said. "I mean, based on my history with you."

"I'm glad I didn't find you guilty," Curry grinned.

"Oh, you and me both," Benson teased.

"SVU, what you do, that makes a difference," Curry commented, getting to the root of her point.

"Well, that would be a lateral move at best, and there's already a Captain," Benson said.

"A damn good one," Curry added.

RELATED: Olivia Benson's 10 Most Intense Law & Order: SVU Episodes

"Wow, Captain Curry, are you kissing my ass?" Benson crooned.

"Life’s about more than just career goals," Curry told her, signaling to Benson that she doesn't care about promotions or glamorous titles; she wants to help people.

"Well, I am short-staffed," Benson mused.

"You know, I did happen to notice the plethora of Y chromosomes in your particular squad," Curry added.

Benson continued, "And with SVU not having a Chief looking over our shoulder but an acting Chief-"

"Let’s face it, it's the police equivalent of a substitute teacher," Curry concluded.

"We could get a lot done," Benson told her, eyes sparking with excitement. "Maybe even break some rules for change.”

“I like the way you think, Captain," Curry commended before holding up her wine glass. "I'll pull some strings. Just tell me when to report."

Benson said her glass up in cheers. "To the future."

Find out what happens for Curry next by watching Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on Thursdays on NBC and the next day on Peacock.