Fans became very attached to "Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba" (Raúl Esparza) so his departure was a tough pill to swallow. But unlike other characters before, the creators left the door open to bring him back and give fans the closure they need!

"Barba" Back On Law & Order: SVU

Law & Order: SVU showrunner Warren Leight spoke with US Weekly about bringing back a few fan-favorite characters for this latest season of the series. In tonight's episode, "Barba" will be returning! 

Raúl Esparza in 'Law & Order: SVU'.

Warren explained, "We'd written earlier that Barba had been involved in political work last year, now that the election is (we hope) over, it was time for him to find a new purpose. Many lawyers sell out and join a major firm, others go straight-up pro bono (say, working for the Innocence Project), but Barba I think both misses the action and likes the attention that this particular case brings."

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Warren said, "His departure was complicated. Underneath his return there is I think a need for closure. Executive Producer Julie Martin and I ran into Raúl on West 23rd Street, as we were leaving the stages. We asked him if he’d consider coming back. He said yes!" 

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench into many of their original plans and former SVU cast members return. Leight had planned for Rick Fox to return too but they have been unable to coordinate it. 

Tamara Tunie in 'Law & Order: SVU'.

Luckily for us, SVU diehards, we are still getting a bunch of the old gang together! Warren spilled that this season we will be seeing Elizabeth Marvel, John Waters, Tamara Tunie, Wentworth Miller, and of course hunky Christopher Melonie a.k.a. "Detective Stabler!" Warren even kept a few guests to himself as a surprise for fans!

We cannot wait! Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will be returning tonight at 10 p.m. ET. 

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