‘Law & Order: SVU’: Munch Says Good-Bye: Watch the Episode

Det. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) gives Det. Munch (Richard Belzer, inset) a good-bye hug on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (Photos: NBC)

Det. John Munch said good-bye to “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” on Wednesday, but the door could remain open for Munch to return occasionally.

In the episode of the long-running NBC police drama — which started its 15th season last month — Munch (played by Richard Belzer) was feted with a going-away party where it was revealed that he’s not retiring completely from police work.

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Instead, he’s due to become a special investigator for the district attorney’s office — which could mean the character might show up from time to time. As it happens, Munch never held that title in the 20-year existence of this character, who was first introduced on another show entirely, the Baltimore-based “Homicide: Life on the Street” in 1993. When that show was cancelled, the Munch character “transferred” to the NYPD’s Special Victim’s Unit (and “L&O”) as a detective — a move that is possibly unique (or at least exceedingly rare) in the annals of television.

The DA investigator’s job that he is due to take up is ironic: Though it is a job Munch never had, it is a job that many other detectives have held in the storied history of this multi-tentacled TV franchise, especially on the series that started it all, the original “Law & Order.”

Watch John Munch say good-bye in this heartfelt episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”:
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In the “L&O: SVU” farewell episode — which you can watch above — Munch’s farewell party is held at the opening of the show, with various characters sharing affectionate memories and heartfelt good-byes to their friend and colleague.

One nice touch that we liked: The audience was sprinkled with an interesting array of guests. Among others, we spied veteran comedian David Steinberg, who we figure might be a long-time friend of Belzer, who first became famous as a standup comedian. Also in the audience: Actor-turned-director Clark Johnson, in character as Baltimore PD Det. Meldrick Lewis, one of the Munch character’s former colleagues on “Homicide.”

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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