One of Law & Order: SVU's leading ladies will be in a precarious spot when the show returns in 2016.

And no, we're not talking about that cliff-hanger involving Rollins (Kelli Giddish) and her complicated labor and delivery. No, it's Lt. Benson (Mariska Hargitay) who's going to be in harm's way... again. "We're going to start off the year new, for people who worry about Olivia, with the scariest episode of the season," executive producer Warren Leight tells TVGuide.com. "We haven't quite gone this far with her since the William Lewis [Pablo Schreiber] stuff."

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Leight hints that Benson is caught in a hostage situation — and it's her own fault. "Olivia has been a little bit distracted or slightly off her game," Leight says. "She's doing very good as lieutenant, but she hasn't had a full squad this season. So there's been more and more pressure on her, and she's been making some mistakes. We're going to start out with a moment in which she drops her guard just for a moment and gets herself into a horrible, threatening situation. ... She'll be dealing with the after-effects of that for a little while."

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