Benson will also come face-to-face with Tucker (Robert John Burke), her former boyfriend. “The one she let get away,” Leight said. “It’s bittersweet when they meet up again…it’s not to the altar we run.”

While Benson will face her challenges, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“Sometimes, it’s only after you—not by design—but after you’ve been through a lot of loss, do you begin to open yourself, are you available for other opportunities,” Leight said. “I think there’s a line in the script coming up about once the roof is gone from your house, you can see the stars. And so that’s what we’re hoping she’ll see toward the end of season, but the long road.”

Law & Order: SVU airs Thursdays, 10 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)