jennifer love hewitt svu Jennifer Love Hewitt on 'Law & Order: SVU': WowWe’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