Jennifer Love Hewitt on 'Law & Order: SVU': Wow

jennifer-love-hewitt-svu.jpgWe've always kind of liked Jennifer Love Hewitt -- we have a particular soft spot for "Can't Hardly Wait" -- but to be honest, we never gave much consideration to her acting chops in the past.

Then we watched Wednesday's (Sept. 29) episode of "Law & Order: SVU." Consider our minds changed a little.

In the episode, titled "Behave," Hewitt plays a woman who says she's been repeatedly stalked and raped by the same man -- over the course of 15 years, beginning when she was in high school. As a result, she's become a shut-in who only leaves her apartment when it's absolutely necessary.

Benson ( Mariska Hargitay) promises to help her catch the rapist but can only do so if Hewitt's character will come out into the open a little. Hewitt gives a really strong performance, as "SVU" guest stars often do (the show has racked up 16 guest-acting Emmy nominations over the years), and gives the exceptionally creepy story a heart.

"SVU" airs at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday on NBC, leading into the premiere of "Law & Order: Los Angeles" at 10. For those who can't wait that long, "SVU" also features a scene with Hargitay and "L&O: LA" star Skeet Ulrich as LAPD Detective Rex Winters.

Take a look at Hewitt on "SVU":

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Photo credit: NBC