'Law & Order: SVU' Season 22: Why is Episode 4 not airing? [Spoiler] set to appear as NBC drama returns in 2021

The upcoming episode (the fourth in Season 22) is titled 'Sightless in a Savage Land' and features the return of a beloved character


                            'Law & Order: SVU' Season 22: Why is Episode 4 not airing? [Spoiler] set to appear as NBC drama returns in 2021
(NBC)

The latest episode of 'Law & Order: SVU' saw Olivia Benson's (Mariska Hargitay) deal with the case of a missing Italian student, Maria, who was killed when New York was under lockdown. As Olivia and her team interrogate her roommates, they learn of the disturbing way in which Maria might have died. Her roommate, Lexi, and Lexi's drug dealer, Sean, were reportedly involved in a threesome with Maria and the team thinks something might have gone wrong when the three were having sex. This is one of the most confusing cases that the team has worked on and even more than halfway through the episode, the details as well as who the actual suspect could be are all kinds of grey.

Olivia's team undoubtedly cracks the case in the end, though not without difficulties. Eventually, they are able to get a confession from one of the roommates and the case -- which fans called a "reverse Amanda Knox" -- came to an end. Unfortunately, as the promo for the next episode played, fans would have been disappointed to learn that there is no new episode of 'Law & Order: SVU' left to air in 2020. Instead, the NBC procedural -- the longest-running primetime television series -- will only return in 2021.

When will 'Law & Order: SVU' Season 22 Episode 4 air?

'Law & Order: SVU' has gone on its winter break for the year after a delayed return due to the coronavirus pandemic. The series will return with new episodes on Thursday, January 7, 2021, at 9/8c on NBC after its winter break.

What to expect when 'Law & Order: SVU' returns?

The upcoming episode (the fourth in Season 22) is titled 'Sightless in a Savage Land' and features the return of a beloved character: former Assistant District Attorney with the unit, Rafael Barba (Raúl Esparza). Barba had left the show in Season 19 after a difficult case in which he had decided to end the life support for a boy who had been declared brain dead. He was indicted for murder over the incident but had been cleared of all charges. Nevertheless, the case had left him traumatized and so he decided to end his career as the ADA.

Now, Barba is set to return to 'Law & Order: SVU' as the attorney for the defense team -- posing a problem for Dominick "Sonny" Carisi, Jr (Peter Scanavino), the current ADA, since the latter has to go against a person he is close to. Either way, we are excited to see a familiar face return to the show. Two other characters are also set to return to the show later this season, including Olivia's former partner, Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) and ADA Isaiah Holmes (Wentworth Miller).

We can also expect the show to dive back into the lawsuit against Odafin "Fin" Tutuola (Ice-T) that is sparking worries among fans that the actor may leave the show. Fin was involved in a shooting at the end of Season 21. When a Black man he had arrested, Leon, was released, Fin was worried that Leon would violate the restraining order against him that kept Leon away from his wife, Joelle, and their son, Andre. To ensure their safety, Fin gave Andre a burner phone just in case his father, Leon showed up. Sure enough, Leon eventually did and when Fin walked into the apartment, he saw Leon holding Joelle at knifepoint. When Leon turned the weapon on Andre, Fin fired his gun and killed Leon. As Fin was deposed for the lawsuit earlier this season, viewers were left doubting whether his career might come to an end.

'Law & Order: SVU' returns with new episodes to NBC on Thursday, January 7, 2021, at 9/8c.

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