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You May Have Missed Mariska Hargitay’s Thrilling Cameos on These Dick Wolf Shows

Olivia Benson from Law & Order: SVU is truly everywhere!

By Elizabeth Logan

Captain Olivia Benson is too great a character to be contained to one show. The beating heart of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has become the face of the L&O franchise, and Mariska Hargitay has played the badass detective across the Dick Wolf-verse, making in-character cameos on so many interconnected series. Where does Hargitay even find the time?

How to Watch

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

If you're a Benson completist, you have to catch her non-SVU episodes, and we've got them all compiled right here:

Law & OrderSeason 10, Episode 14: "Entitled pt. 2" and Law & Order, Season 10, Episode 15: "Fools for Love"

In a crossover event, the two-part episode "Entitled" began on SVU and continued on L&O. Detectives Lenny Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) and Ed Green (Jesse L. Martin) team up with Benson and Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) to solve the murder of a salesman and end up charging the daughter of the prominent political family the Mulroneys; the second part covers the trial.

The next L&O episode, "Fools for Love," is unrelated to the Mulroney story, but involves rape and murder, so Benson and Stabler come in to help. These episodes aired during SVU's first season and helped introduce longtime L&O fans to the new kids on the force.

Law & Order: Trial By Jury, Season 1, Episode 11: "Day"

This L&O spin-off uses SVU as a launching pad, beginning with a brutal attack on ADA Casey Novak (Diane Neal). Bureau Chief ADA Tracey Kibre (Bebe Neuwirth) takes over Novak's most recent case, that of a serial rapist investigated by Benson and Stabler.

Law & Order, Season 16, Episode 2: "Flaw"

This is another story that starts on SVU (Season 7, Episode 2: "Design") and ends on L&O. A woman whom Benson had helped seems to die during her rapist's trial, but, spoiler, she's actually the predator and faked her death.

RELATED: Why Re-Watching This Benson-Stabler Scene Made Mariska Hargitay Cry

Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) appears in Season 22 Episode 1 of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Chicago P.D., Season 2, Episode 7: "They'll Have To Go Through Me"

Given that they take place in different cities, there are fewer opportunities to cross-pollinate the worlds of Law & Order and One Chicago, but occasionally, killers cross state lines.

One such case is the child pornography ring storyline that began with the Chicago Fire episode "Nobody Touches Anything" (Season 3, Episode 7). That episode introduced Detective Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) to the Chicago world before the story shifted to New York in the SVU episode literally called "Chicago Crossover" (Season 16, Episode 7), bringing in Benson.

She stays on the case through the conclusion in "They'll Have To Go Through Me," and suddenly so many fans are watching the Chicago shows from the beginning!

Chicago Fire, Season 3, Episode 21: "We Called Her Jelly Bean" and Chicago P.D., Season 2, Episode 20: "The Number of Rats"

Another three-part crossover kicks off on Chicago Fire, when a fire leads to the discovery of a rape similar to a long-ago unsolved SVU case, and Benson hops on the next flight out of New York to help investigate. Benson works with the Intelligence Unit throughout "The Number of Rats," and the storyline concludes back on SVU's turf in Season 16, Episode 20, "Daydream Believer."

Chicago P.D., Season 3, Episode 14: "The Song of Gregory Williams Yates"

Dr. Gregory Yates (Dallas Roberts), the culprit behind the rapes and murders from the last crossover event, has escaped prison in New York. In the SVU episode "Nationwide Manhunt" (Season 17, Episode 14), Chicago detectives Erin Lindsey (Sophia Bush) and and Sergeant Hank Vought (Jason Beghe) come to Benson's aid to find him. In the second part, it becomes clear that Yates has gone back to Chicago, so Benson and Detective Tutuola (Ice T) go to the Windy City to stop his killing spree. 

Law & Order: Organized Crime, Season 1, Episode 1, "What Happens In Puglia" and Law & Order: Organized Crime, Season 1, Episode 2: "Not Your Father's Organized Crime"

In the series' first two episodes, former partners Benson and Stabler attend Kathy Stabler's funeral, and Benson reveals that she read the famous letter. Later, Benson confronts Stabler about what she sees as PTSD from his time undercover, but Stabler is too busy investigating improper vaccine distribution to deal with it.

Law & Order: Organized Crime, Season 1, Episode 4: "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of"

As her dad's PTSD continues to wreak havoc on the family, Stabler's daughter Kathleen asks Benson to help her stage a family intervention. When Benson confronts Stabler, he says he loves her and his family, but won't take their help, so when he calls her in the middle of the night later on, she ignores it.

Law & Order: Organized Crime, Season 1, Episode 5: "An Inferior Product"

This is the conclusion of the story that began with the SVU episode “Trick-Rolled at the Moulin” (Season 22, Episode 13) about a drug bust. Benson and Stabler team up once again to investigate what happened to a young child who was assaulted by cops before parting on confusing terms.

Law & Order: Organized Crime, Season 1, Episode 8: "Forget It, Jake; It's Chinatown"

When the man responsible for his wife's murder is hospitalized, Benson goes to the hospital to support Stabler, and it's a good thing, since she ends up catching a would-be murderer.

RELATED: The Complete Timeline of Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler's Relationship

Law & Order: Organized Crime, Season 2, Episode 3: "The Outlaw Eddie Wagner"

This is the second part of the two-hour season premiere, and Benson isn't in the first. But oh, her appearance packs a whopper. Viewers finally find out what was in "the letter" and who wrote it: Kathy Stabler. Except for one line, which Stabler added, reading, "In a parallel universe, it will always be you and I." Cue all the screaming.

Law & Order: Organized Crime, Season 2, Episode 5: "The Good, The Bad, & The Lovely"

The Organized Crime crew and the SVU detectives team up to investigate human trafficking, but Stabler's got even more problems at home, with his son stealing his mother's pills, as Benson discovers during a visit.

Law & Order: Organized Crime, Season 2, Episode 9: "The Christmas Episode"

Eli Stabler's pill addiction is worsening, and his friend may have overdosed. When he calls his dad and asks for help, Benson tags along to help Stabler figure out what's going on. Sadly, Benson finds out that Eli's friend was murdered; thankfully, Eli didn't do it. Stabler thanks Benson for always being there and asks about her love life, which she tells him about, though she doesn't reveal everything.

Law & Order: Organized Crime, Season 2, Episode 15: "Takeover"

Stabler and Benson get into a pretend-tiff as part of a ruse to sniff out a fellow detective who's taking bribes from a group of killers. Later, Stabler wants to connect with Benson's son Noah, but Benson says no.

Law & Order: Organized Crime, Season 2, Episode 20: "Lost One"

When a fellow officer's sick daughter is kidnapped, the Organized Crime team links up with the Special Victims Unit to get her back. Benson and Stabler are as good at working together as ever, but things aren't so smooth with Stabler's other/new partner, who may be corrupt.

Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) appears in Season 25 Episode 4 of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Law & Order, Season 21, Episode 10: "Black & Blue"

The murder of an off-duty cop has the city in an uproar over issues of police brutality and racism. The victim was a friend of Detective Frank Cosgrove (Jeffrey Donovan), who asks Benson to assist in the investigation.

Law & Order: Organized Crime, Season 3, Episode 1: "Gimme Shelter part 1" and Law & Order, Season 22, Episode 1: "Gimme Shelter part 3"

A three-part crossover episode spans the entire current L&O franchise, starting on Organized Crime, continuing on SVU and culminating on L&O. Benson's in all three parts. A murder leads to the discovery of a human trafficking ring and the murder of one of Stabler’s CIs. The head of the ring blows up a hotel, detective Rollins is shot. Throughout, Stabler backs up Benson, who far outranks him, but there is still a push-pull tension to their dynamic, and we see that Benson is still smarting over the way Stabler left their original partnership.

Law & Order: Organized Crime, Season 3, Episode 21: "Shadowërk" and Law & Order: Organized Crime, Season 3, Episode 22: "With Many Names"

In this two-parter, DNA from an SVU case helps Stabler crack a murder, so Benson helps him investigate a murder-for-hire syndicate. But the U.S. Attorney benches them both after a murderer puts a target on their backs. After a conflict at a diner, Stabler literally carries Benson to safety. OMG.

Watch Benson on Law & Order: SVU Thursdays on NBC and the next day on Peacock.