Who is Shannah Sykes on Law & Order: SVU? (Who is Jordana Spiro's new character?)

The latest Law & Order: SVU ended with the indication FBI agent Shannah Sykes is joining the show. Who is Jordana Spiro's new character?

Netflix's "Ozark" Season 4 Premiere
Netflix's "Ozark" Season 4 Premiere / Jamie McCarthy/GettyImages

It looks like Law & Order: SVU is expanding the ranks even more! Find out more about Jordana Spiro’s new character and how she fits into the show!

Caution: This article contains spoilers for Law & Order: SVU Season 25, Episode 5

“Zone Rogue” finally brought the plotline of Maddie Flynn, the teenager Benson saw abducted in the Season 25 premiere. Benson had blamed herself for not helping Maddie, so when a lead popped up in Pittsburgh, she jetted over to track it.

That had Benson reuniting with FBI Agent Shannah Sykes (Jordana Spiro), who’d aided her in the initial hunt for Maddie. The pair were tracking various clues, including finding her kidnapper, only to learn he’d sold Maddie to someone.

The man teased Sykes about losing someone in her past, with Sykes berating him. In a private talk, Sykes confessed to Benson that her sister had been abducted when Sykes was younger. They thought they found her body, only to learn years later that her sister had been held hostage for a time before being murdered. 

It was obvious Sykes felt responsible as she and Benson were eventually able to find and rescue Maddie. Benson thought that was the end of it, only for Sykes to pull a surprising move.

Is Sykes joining Law & Order: SVU permanently?

Benson was surprised to learn that Sykes had talked her bosses into “loaning her out” to the SVU branch. She argued it would be great to have someone with FBI resources for intel the cops otherwise couldn’t get. 

Sykes told Benson she needed a change and “the real Shannah has been lost for years.” Benson smiled to welcome her with, “Let’s see if we can get her back.”

Sykes is played by Jordana Spiro, a familiar face to TV viewers. In fact, she appeared in a Season 23 Law & Order: SVU episode as a woman accused of killing her abusive husband. 

Her other credits include The Mob Doctor and a prime role as Rachel Garrison on the Netflix hit Ozark. For now, it appears the role will be recurring, but there is a possibility Spiro could be upgraded to a regular.

Her arrival comes just as Rene Curry (Aime Donna Kelly) moved from IAB to join the SVU team. Fin openly said Benson “needed a Rollins,” and Benson wanted to help a woman with her own demons.

Having Sykes with the SVU team looks to spark the series up more as Law & Order: SVU moves on with new episodes.

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Law & Order: SVU Season 25 airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC and streams the following day on Peacock.