I’m sure I’ve previously mentioned that I’m absolutely obsessed with Law & Order: SVU. For those of you who haven’t watched the latest episode, STOP READING NOW. There will be spoilers. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
At the end of the latest episode, The Undiscovered Country, longtime character and my personal favorite ADA on the show, Rafael Barba, quit after being found not guilty of second-degree murder, which he was charged with after unplugging a brain-dead baby (long story). Now, it’s always hard when a character leaves a show, especially when said character has been there for years, like Barba. However, what most upsets me, and the reason as to why I’ve been crying on and off for over twenty-four hours (don’t judge me), is because he left before the show had a chance to explore the romantic attraction between him and the main character, Olivia Benson.
Ever since Barba’s first appearance on SVU (season 14, episode 3, entitled Twenty-Five Acts), fans have wanted Liv and Barba to get together, and anyone who watches the show knows that the attraction between them is there, in part due to the fantastic chemistry between the actors who portray Liv and Barba (Mariska Hargitay and Raúl Esparza, respectively). It seemed only natural that the two characters would eventually develop a romantic relationship.
However, as of the most recent episode, that hasn’t happened, and things are looking very bleak for “Barson” (a blend of “Barba” and “Benson”) shippers such as myself, as the episode marked the departure of Raúl Esparza from SVU. Now, not only are we left without the one couple that everyone always expected to happen, as opposed to merely hoping it would, Liv is again left by her closest friend, confidant, and, in this case, romantic interest.
In their last scene together at the end of the episode, Barba talks about how, when they first met, he saw the law, right and wrong, in black and white before giving Liv a beautiful speech about how she’s changed him:
And then you, you started to weasel your way into my world and the black and white became different shades of gray. Don’t say it. Before I knew it there were blues and greens and yellows and reds. I’m you now, Liv. You opened my heart and I thank you for it.
After this, Liv just says one word: “And?” And I know I can’t be the only one who expected and hoped beyond all hope that Barba was going to say “I love you” or kiss her or something. Instead, he simply tells her that he has to move on, and kisses her forehead (which is not the kiss I was referring to!).
And that was that.
All of my Barson hopes, dreams, and expectations died.
And I have spent the following twenty-four plus hours sobbing on and off (I’m not even exaggerating a little bit about this).
My only hope is that, while Raúl Esparza may no longer be part of the main cast, he will come back as a recurring character to give Liv and Barba a chance to be happy, like they both deserve. I’m having trouble convincing myself that this is the case, though. My Barson heart is broken.
P.S. As usual, the original URLs for the pictures can be found by simply clicking the pictures. I do not own any of the images used in this post