Following Law & Order: SVU's headline-ripping take on Chris Brown and Rihanna's rocky relationship, the veteran NBC drama is poised to explore another hot topic.
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star Ethan Cutkosky
has been tapped to play a troubled boy named Henry Mesner, TVGuide.com has learned exclusively. Despite his seemingly normal and supportive upbringing, and various diagnoses and prescriptions, Henry has become increasingly antisocial and his capacity for violence is escalating.
"The question for our detectives is," executive producer Warren Leight
tells TVGuide.com, "is Henry a born psychopath?" To help answer that question, Benson (Mariska Hargitay
) & Co. will turn to Dr. George Huang (returning guest star BD Wong
) for his expert opinion.
The episode comes in the wake of mass shootings by young men in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn. Although we hear the episode doesn't depict any scenes of mass violence, the show will explore questions about what happens to troubled young kids who don't get the help they need.
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Cutkosky, who plays Carl Gallagher (a fairly disturbed kid in own right) on Shameless
, has also appeared in such films as The Unborn
. Wong, a former series regular who last guest-starred in a late Season 13 episode, most recently starred on NBC's short-lived Awake.Law & Order: SVU
airs Wednesdays at 9/8c. The episode is currently slated to air April 24.