It’s hard to believe that as “Law & Order: SVU” enters its 18th season, after the thousands of stories it’s told over the years, its leading lady Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) has yet to say, “I do.”
The star of the long-running NBC series has dated as many men as she’s put in prison, but none of them have been able to keep up with this fearless crime-fighting mother… nntil now. The final moments of the Season 18 premiere on Wednesday (Sept. 21), indicate that boyfriend Ed Tucker (Robert John Burke) is ready to put a ring on it.
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Tucker’s changing relationship with Benson has often been hard for fans to accept. The former patrol officer, later the captain of the Internal Affairs Bureau, has recurred on the show since 2002. In the beginning he was extremely unlikable, butting heads with the Special Victims Unit, and having plenty of conflict and a tumultuous past with Benson.
After making lieutenant, Tucker had Benson arrested as a murder suspect (back in Season 11). Of course, she was being framed — but Tucker’s manipulations, using her history with PTSD and her single lifestyle, to get a confession marked him as an evil character.
Over the last season, however, Tucker’s new job has brought him closer to Benson, and eventually their romantic relationship was revealed. Season 17 ended with him consoling Benson on the loss of her second-in-command, Sgt. Dodds, adorably enjoying spending time with her son Noah and even planning a summer trip to Paris.
Refreshed after the romantic getaway, Season 18 opens up with a killer dramatic dilemma for Benson, dealing with a victim of sexual assault who might be held accountable for her husband and brother-in-law’s terrorism. It’s a heavy, strong opening that sets the tone for the season to come.
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The premiere comes to close with a picturesque scene of Benson in park with her two boys, Noah and Ed, in tears because she can’t remember the last time she was this happy. While Benson is afraid it won’t last, Ed promises he’ll do all he can to make sure that it does — and the silence between them, as he stares longingly into her eyes, felt like the perfect prelude to a proposal.
For such a dark series,constantly dealing with brutality and heinous topics, a “Tuckson” wedding would a wonderful reprieve. Plus, it would be the perfect opportunity to bring back some old favorite cast members. We imagine that Det. John Munch (Richard Belzer) would return walk Benson down the aisle. And best of all, there’s no way her former partner Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) could ever miss her big day.
It would be the reunion episode ever! We can’t wait to see what happens next.
“Law & Order: SVU” airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.