The Worst Criminal In Law & Order: SVU Season 22 Is A Familiar Face

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" has captivated viewers for decades, with 23 seasons and over 500 episodes. By now, most can agree that the series is royalty as far as police procedural shows are concerned. This title doesn't come easy, though, there's no shortage of crime shows these days. Nevertheless, "Law & Order" towers above the rest in ways that allow the series to hold tight to its popularity, one of them being the ability to keep its viewers hooked.

Each episode brings with it new crimes and criminals unveiling the darkest parts of society without feeling like it's been done before. Some criminals in the "SVU" world are so demented and awful that they need more than just one episode to show the evilest parts of themselves. In this case, the worst criminal in Season 22 of "Law & Order: SVU" is a familiar face, but not from any recent episodes of the show.

Henry Mesner was a born psychopath

In the Season 22 episode, "Post-Graduate Psychopath," fans get another look at the familiar evil who made his first appearance in Season 14 in the episode "Born Psychopath" (via IMDb). Henry Mesner (Ethan Cutkosky) first appeared on "SVU" as a 10-year-old who attacked his mother, attempted to kill his own sister, and held a child hostage at gunpoint. The end of the episode shows Henry placed in a juvenile detention center until the age of 18.

Fast-forward to Season 22, and Henry is back, but this time he's fully grown and has convinced everyone that he can be a regular part of society. That is, until he goes after everyone in his family and those involved in his case when he was a child. Henry murders his father and stepmother, abducts his sister, and admits to stalking agent Rollins (Kelli Giddish) and her daughter.

Even Ethan Cutkosky, who is now known for his role as Carl Gallagher on the show "Shameless," knows that Henry is a dark and twisted character. In an interview with TV Guide, Cutkosky details his experience stepping back into the shoes of the killer. "These are roles that I want to take into my career and move forward. And so, it was a very exciting yet daunting role to take on, especially at this age. When I was 13, I had only a sliver of amount of understanding comparatively to 21 now, so I was very excited to be able to take this at this age and put my all into it." Child psychopaths are scary enough to watch, but when they grow up, things get a whole lot scarier for viewers.