As exciting as it was to contemplate Law & Order: Svu celebrating 500 episodes, there was always the chance it would just shoehorn old characters in with no rhyme or reason.
But Law & Order: Svu Season 23 Episode 6 over-delivered, not only providing a compelling reason for Amaro to return to Svu but also an emotional backstory connected to Benson's past.
The flashbacks of a younger Benson peppered throughout the hour were surprisingly effective. They were made all the more impressive by the fact that 23 years ago, the Svu writers couldn't possibly have conceived of this use for them.
However, they must have had some idea of Benson's backstory that they fleshed out for this story since everything fit together perfectly.
The episode wasn't just a blast from the past but also a callback to it -- the story was a more classic Svu