Mariska Hargitay Mariska Hargitay

It's been a rough season on Law & Order: SVU thus far for Det. Olivia Benson, who was kidnapped and tortured by a serial rapist in the haunting season premiere.

But behind the scenes, the series' longtime star Mariska Hargitay has only good things to say about the show's current season. "I think it's been a journey," the Emmy winner said Wednesday on the Today show. "I think the writing changes now that we have new showrunners. It feels to me like a different show now, which I think is a great thing. After 15 years, the show feels so unbelievably fresh, and that's a gift."

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Hargitay particularly praised Wednesday's episode (9/8c, NBC) in which Benson's captor, William Lewis (Pablo Schreiber) will finally stand trial for what he did to her. "I read this and I thought, 'This is one of the best scripts I'd ever read — so complicated and so painful,'" Hargitay said.

However, no matter what happens to her attacker, Hargitay said her character's emotional struggle in the wake of her attack is far from over. "It's not that simple, I think," she explained. "What she went through, I don't know that she can recover from. It has changed her. She's still fighting PTSD."

Watch Hargitay's interview below:

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Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC. What do you think of the season so far?