Law & Order SVU Twist: Raul Esparza Returns!

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The new year will bring another familiar face back to Law & Order: SVU.

Raul Esparza, who played ADA Rafael Barba on the NBC drama, has lined up his return to the series in 2021.

The news was revealed by SVU's official Instagram account on Thursday.

Barba's Anguish - Law & Order: SVU Season 19 Episode 12

“We’ve already got something for you to look forward to,” a post reads.

“Barba returns to #SVU in 2021.”

Raul Esparza

Esparza first on Law & Order: SVU Season 14, and remained with the show until Law & Order: SVU Season 19.

His exit storyline involved DA Jack McCoy trying Barba for murder after he disconnected the life support for a comatose infant with indecisive parents.

Despite not being found guilty, Barba was shaken up by the whole experience, prompting him to quit the team, and his job.

If you watch Law & Order: SVU online, you know he popped up last season in a blink, and you'll miss it cameo.

 Raul Esparza Attends NBC Upfronts

“Goodbye Barba. Thank you. You changed my life. My squad. And you, you always, my Liv, my friend Mariska. I will always treasure my time with all of you,” the actor said at the time of his departure.

“It has truly been an honor writing for Raul. The power, sensitivity, and morality he brought to the character of Rafael Barba never failed to elevate our scripts,” showrunner Michael Chernuchin said at the time of his exit.

“Raul is family, and we look forward to seeing his talent shine in new projects. As for Barba, SVU fans may see him again soon.”

Fin and Barba - Law & Order: SVU Season 19 Episode 11

NBC has not revealed whether this will be a one-time stint, or if he will be back in a recurring role, or better yet, a series regular role.

It's also possible Barba could be joining the forthcoming SVU spinoff featuring Christopher Meloni.

What are your thoughts on the news?

Hit the comments.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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