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Law & Order: SVU's Mariska Hargitay will return

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"I'll be back!" tweets SVU actress Hargitay

Law and Order: SVU viewers can breathe a huge sigh of relief this weekend. Det. Benson will be back!

Mariska Hargitay on Law and Order: SVU

The season finale of Law and Order: SVU's Season 14 was a real cliff-hanger. We last saw Mariska Hargitay's character, Detective Olivia Benson, held at gunpoint by a serial rapist inside her own home. At the time, no one knew for sure whether Hargitay/Benson would return.

SVU tackles "legitimate rape" case >>

In mid-April, when NBC officially picked up Law and Order: SVU for Season 15, Hargitay and the showrunners were still in talks over her contract. Hence the open-ended finale. It sounds like the two teams reached an agreement, though!

Over the weekend, Hargitay tweeted the news to her more than 272,000 followers: "Happy weekend. It's official. Season 15--I'LL BE BACK! xx m."

And fans, of course, rejoiced. Her announcement was retweeted 1,564 times, including once by her supposed BFF, Smash and Will and Grace's Debra Messing.

Miranda Lambert to make acting debut as rape victim >>

There's still no official word on how exactly Hargitay's character will return. Will the show pick up right where it left off or a few months down the road? What will be the outcome of Benson's time in captivity? Will she fall victim to the rapist's urges? Will she deal with any leftover consequences, like post-traumatic stress disorder? After years of helping other "special victims" seek justice for the crimes committed against them, what will it be like for Benson to step into their shoes? While we never want our favorite characters to be on the receiving end of horrific crimes, we also relish the idea of experiencing the interesting storyline that might follow such an event.

Of course, we have plenty of time to hope and speculate. SVU usually doesn't start back up until mid- to late September. Do you think you can hold out that long?

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Image courtesy of NBC
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