“I was wrecked,” Mariska Hargitay said about life after filming Law & Order: SVU’s “Something Happened,” a season 19 episode that broke from the show’s long-running story structure and largely featured an interview between her character, Lt. Olivia Benson, and Melora Walters’ Laurel Linwood, a rape victim…or was she?
The interview between the two characters unraveled many layers of both of them. Laurel said her dad abused her for years, but it was really her sister, Leah (Joanna Going), who suffered the years of abuse. To get to the truth, Benson had to acknowledge some repressed emotions about her own father and his role, or lack thereof, in her life. Benson was a product of rape, she never knew her father.
“We were wrecked…Actually I was wrecked for about three more days. It was hard for me to switch gears into the next episode,” Hargitay admitted to E! News. “I wasn’t quite present—definitely not the first day, you know what I mean? My body, my mind and my soul didn’t have time to recuperate from it.”
In the episode, Benson acknowledges her own feelings of hatred to her father, feelings that have been driving her subconsciously.
But at the end of the day, she said, “It was rough.”
“I’ve trained myself now. My job is to do the deep dive, tell these stories and do the next one. It’s the nature of the beast of certainly this kind of television, this kind of storytelling,” she said, and then conceded: “This one was a deeper dive.”
In early ratings, NBC said the episode notched a 1.5 in the 18-49 demographic, a season high for the long-running series, and 7.1 million viewers overall.