Law and Order SUV: Why Detective Amaro Was One Of The Most Complicated Characters

Law & Order’s 500th episode is quickly approaching and to celebrate making history the show creators have decided to shake things up by bringing back a fan favorite; Detective Nick Amaro played by Danny Pino. Amaro was a series regular in Seasons 13-16 but he left to be closer to his kids in California after realizing that he would never be promoted due to his shoddy behavioral record. Fans are geeked about Amaro’s return and anxious to see how his character dynamic will fit in with some of the new cast members. It’s only right that we reflect back on Detective Amaro’s character on the show.

Detective Amaro Was A Complicated Character

It’s no secret. Nick Amaro was a complicated character especially when it came to his personal life. Amaro had been brought onto the show after Elliot Stabler, Olivia Benson’s former partner left the show. Elliot was a troubled character and his behavior ultimately became his downfall. Amaro’s character carried this same torch. He had been “banished” to the Special Victim Units from narcotics and warrants. His passion for protecting victims often gets him trouble. On the show, Amaro gets in more legal trouble than any other detective. At the end of Season 15,  Detective Amaro assaults an alleged pedophile. As a result, he was demoted to a traffic cop and had to take anger management classes. Fortunately, Amaro does get his badge back and returns to the unit.

Don’t Get It Twisted Nick Is A Great Detective

You can say what you want about Detective Amaro’s past but he was actually a good detective. Perhaps it was the Iraq rescue missions that he went on during his stint in the army or his time as a patrol cop in the housing projects that molded him into a great detective the Special Victims Units. Amaro is protective of the victims and has no sympathy for the psychotic perverts that harm women and children. Growing up, Amaro’s father was physically and verbally abusive to his mother and this experience is why he is an advocate for women. Detective Amaro has a charming personality that somehow always gets the suspects to open up to him. This is his advantage over the other detectives. When they get suspects that are hard to break Detective Amaro is called into the interrogation room.

Amaro’s Personal Life Was A Mess

To say that Detective Amaro’s personal life was complicated would be an understatement. At the start of his tenure on SVU, Amaro was a family man. He has a young daughter named Zara and his wife Maria is a soldier stationed in Iraq. Amaro’s marriage is strained by his wife’s deployment and when she decides to take a job in Washington without talking to him first it breaks his heart. When she comes back, she lets him know that she received a job offer in LA and wants their family to relocate. Amaro refuses and she decides to go without him which leads to their separation. Amaro wants his daughter to stay with him in New York but Maria advises him that trying to fight for custody is pointless because of his past violent behavior on the job.

After his separation, Amaro becomes involved with Detective Amanda Collins which was unexpected. Although they never come right out and claim in the opening scene of the episode “Reasonable Doubt”, Amaro is coming out of the shower at Amanda’s apartment which implies that they are involved. It’s never a good idea to date a co-worker, however,  Collins and Amaro manage to keep their relationship under wraps. It’s going to be interesting to see how Collins takes to Amaro’s return this season especially since she is in a fairly new relationship with the district attorney. Perhaps one of the biggest curveballs in Nick Amaro’s personal life is when he finds out he has a son with the sister of a big-time drug dealer with whom he had a relationship while he was undercover.  Amaro’s sexual involvement with her becomes an issue during a major court case.

The Road To Nowhere

Amaro eventually decides to leave the show at the end of Season 16 after he’s shot during a shootout and requires months of rehab. He feels that his career and that it’s pointless to continue in the department when Benson tells him that he will never be promoted to Sergeant even if passes the exam because of his shoddy history on the job. Amaro decides that he is better off retiring and starting over in California where his children are.


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