Law & Order: SVU has returned for season 22, and it’s already off to an excellent start. Episode 3 called “Remember Me in Quarantine,” premiered on December 3. After over a month on hiatus, the series returns on January 7, and it’s going to be an epic episode. A fan favorite ADA, Rafael Barba (Raúl Esparza), returns, but this time he has a new role.
Barba will return as a defense attorney
Barba was on the series from season 14 to season 19 as an ADA for the SVU squad. He thrived at his job and went the extra mile in the courtroom. According to his Fandom page, he was involved in a difficult case and turns off life support to a child with MDDS. He was indicted on murder charges, but was eventually cleared, and he chose to leave his job as an ADA. In reality, it was Esparza’s choice to leave, but he did make an appearance in another episode, season 21, episode 13, called “Redemption in Her Corner.”
But that isn’t the last we’ve seen of Rafael Barba. He will return for episode 4 called “Sightless in a Savage Land,” which will drop on January 7. The news was announced on the official social media pages, and a promo trailer was released after episode 3 aired.
According to the eye-opening trailer, it’s implied that Barba returns as a defense attorney, and he’s going to go up against ADA Dominick Carisi, Jr. (Peter Scanavino) in the courtroom. Carisi is now the ADA for the squad, and Barba will be in direct conflict with him.
In a scene from the trailer, Carisi asks Barba if he’s “going for insanity” in regards to a defense. Barba replies with, “I’m going for straight-up not guilty.”
Carisi and Barba will have a courtroom showdown, and it’s going to be epic. “Mr. Barba is going to play on your emotions,” Carisi tells the jury. Barba can be seen rolling up his sleeves as if to get down to business.
“Anyone have a problem with that?” Barba says to the jury in another moment.
Fans weigh in on how the showdown will go
As can be expected, this is an event fans are ready to see. A recent Reddit post led to a number of fans discussing the possibilities and weighing in on what might happen.
“What are some hopes for this big Barba v. Carisi trial Thursday?” a post is titled on Reddit. The user also added, “… I love Barba but also am starting to like Carisi as an ADA. Idk though, this might knock him down a peg or two. He’s been awfully jerky since he got his office 😂.”
One fan thinks it “would be ridiculous if Barba” ended up losing the trial against Carisi, considering he’s “one of the best ADAs” the squad has had.
“I like Carisi, but it would be ridiculous if Barba lost,” the Reddit user said. “He’s hands down one of the best ADAs SVU‘s ever had. Honestly, way preferred Carisi as detective. Would have been nice to see him climb the ranks there instead of turning to law.”
A fan is hoping Barba wins against Carisi in this exciting courtroom showdown, and that it sparks a type of mentoring between them. It would make sense, considering Barba has a lot of experience and Carisi is just getting his feet wet.
“I hope Barba wipes the floor with Carisi, and this will be a start of a nice rivalry/mentorship,” a fan said.
Another fan thinks it’s “no real competition” that Barba will win against Carisi considering Barba is set up as a “brilliant attorney.” “I like Carisi, although his character development this season has been lacking, but this is no real competition,” they said. “They set Barba up as this brilliant attorney, Ivy League educated, so they cannot let him lose in a fair fight. Against Carisi? If would be crazy.”
One fan expects some roasting going on based on Barba “rolling up his sleeves” in the promo. “The way he looks at him in the promo rolling up his sleeves tells me there’s gonna be some hidden (good humored) roasts! Just because that’s a them thing lol,” they said.
How some fans think Carisi might win the trial
However, one fan mentions the possibilities of how Carisi could win the trail, such as Barba not having a real case and Carisi possibly provoking the defendant while he’s on the stand. He still has a shot to win against the seasoned attorney Barba.
“I mean, it’s possible that Barba just has absolutely no case and is working on a severe long shot, or that Carisi provokes the guy to confess on the stand, which is a common tactic that they use,” the fan pointed out. “Then it would be more realistic that Carisi would win over the much more talented and engaging attorney.”
Another fan thinks that Carisi will win the case instead because they don’t believe Carisi will be made to “look like an incompetent fool.” He is one of the main characters after all.
“… I’m excited about Barba showing up but I hate that he needs to stand against Carisi in trial,” a fan wrote. “Because we all can suspect how it will go. They won’t let Carisi look like an incompetent fool so they will dumb Barba down or shift the case so he will have no chance to win. Bleh indeed.”
We’ll soon learn the truth about how the courtroom showdown plays out in Law & Order: SVU.
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