‘Law & Order: SVU’ Fans in Tears after Benson Loses a Loved One: ‘It Was Not Your Fault’

The latest episode of "Law & Order: SVU" left fans in an emotional state over Mariska Hargitay's character, Olivia Benson, as the captain lost a loved one. 

Season 21 Episode 6 of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” left a bittersweet taste on the show’s viewers when Captain Benson faced a personal tragedy right after successfully resolving not one, but two cases.

Although the episode, titled “Murdered at a Bad Address,” centered on the case of a teenage girl assaulted in the projects, the underlying story saw Benson having an emotional reunion with her half-brother Simon Marsden, played by Michael Weston, after seven years.

A sudden encounter

The last time Simon made an appearance on the show was on season 13. At the time, he was separated from his kids after a kidnapping attempt and lost their custody for three years.

In the last episode, Olivia and her son Noah run into Simon on the street, and he asks Benson for a chance to reconnect, as he wants to meet his nephew.

Although hesitant, Benson accepts Simon’s lunch invitation when he explains that he has been sober for the past five years.

Sadly, Simon never shows up to lunch. Benson calls him and leaves him a voice mail asking him to never contact her again.

The real case

Meanwhile, the SVU team is working on the case of a teen that was sexually assaulted in the projects.

After running tests, they found a DNA match in a double murder case from 16 years ago, where two men were convicted.

However, the DNA match doesn’t belong to any of them, which means there’s a third accomplice on the loose.

The team discovers that one of the jailed men was wrongly accused, and when they find the real perpetrator of both the murders and the recent sexual assault, the man agrees to take responsibility for the crimes.

Bad news

While it was a victory for the SUV team, Benson gets called to identify a body in the middle of the investigation. Once in the morgue, she finds Simon has died.

Dr. Melinda Warner, played by Tamara Tunie, explains that Simon overdosed and that his body was found in a motel, with no signs of foul play.

Olivia gets to the conclusion that Simon lied about being sober, but Tunie explains that he was most likely telling the truth and that he just happened to get his hands on the "wrong stuff" that day.

"You must have been close," Warner said.

"Not really... he was my only family," Benson replied.

A sense of guiltiness

Later, Benson tells Rollins, played by Kelli Giddish, about Simon’s death and shows that she feels some guilt about it.

"When he didn't show for lunch, I left him a message, and I told him not to call me. What if my message was the last thing he heard?" Benson asked.

"You don't know that. The life he led, more likely... it was... just his time," Rollins said.

Fans’ reactions

Fans of the show were left heartbroken at Simon’s sudden death and took their time to praise Mariska Hargitay’s emotional acting.

One user wrote:

“That part was heartbreaking. I wish #Benson could've seen her brother one last time. @Mariska, as usual, played that scene brilliantly & she had me crying like a baby.”

And another added:

“Did not see that coming.  Great episode- and sad on so many levels.  RIP Simon.  And it will be interesting to see how Benson @Mariska copes with the guilt in the phone call.  Amazing how important these characters become when a show speaks of things others don't touch (or botch).”

Read more reactions below:

The writer explains why Simon was killed

Talking on the SVU podcast “Squadroom,” the episode’s writer Denis Hamill, explained that the idea to bring Simon back was pitched by executive producers Warren Leight and Julie Martin.

"It was Warren and Julie who thought that there needed to be some kind of an emotional storyline, a subplot, about what's going on in Benson's life at the same time," Hamill explained.

And continued:

“One of the scourges of the city now and in the world is fentanyl and opioids and all that, and it was mostly Warren at that point who thought it just needed a balance, something personal happening to her, while she's also working on this case too. I thought it was a really nice counterbalance too."

At the end of the episode, Hamill explained, we have a bittersweet ending of the guy that was wrongfully convicted visiting the graves of his mother and sister.

And on the other hand, Benson is grieving a brother that she never really knew that well but loved anyway because he was her only family.

“It was a really nice kind of matching scene; it had a nice symmetry,” he concluded.

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