Andre Braugher Andre Braugher

Cheers to Law & Order: SVU for landing a Very Special guest star: Andre Braugher.

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The seven-time Emmy nominee returned to NBC — where he first broke out as Det. Frank Pembleton on Homicide: Life on the Street — to begin a multi-episode arc as Bayard Ellis, a formidable attorney who traded defending drug lords for taking pro bono civil-liberties cases. In a clever in-joke, Braugher did a double-take upon encountering Richard Belzer's Homicide transplant, Det. John Munch, asking "Have we met?" Munch subsequently told Ellis, "I admire your second act."

Thankfully, Braugher's had more than two acts in his TV career: He's bounced back from the unfortunate cancellation of Men of a Certain Age and seamlessly segued into another complicated character: a man who may represent the wrong people for the right reasons. This week, his commanding courtroom style helped win an acquittal in a rape case. And was he hitting on Mariska Hargitay's Olivia Benson in the episode's coda? The jury's still out on Braugher's latest alter ego—but not on his talent.

What do you think of Andre Braugher on SVU?

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