Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Law & Order: SVU Season 24, Episode 12.
Serial dramas like Law & Order: SVU often have unexpected twists and turns, but nothing is as crazy as Captain Mike Duarte’s (Maurice Compte) arc throughout the 24th season. First introduced to us in Season 24, Episode 2, “The One You Feed,” Duarte’s story takes a surprising turn in Episode 12, “Blood Out.”
Throughout Maurice’s four appearances as Duarte, his and Benson’s (Mariska Hargitay) relationship has been front and center. So who exactly is Duarte, and should we expect to see more of him in Law & Order: SVU?
In ‘Law & Order: SVU,’ Duarte is the Captain of the Bronx Gang Unit in the NYPD.
Duarte first appears when he’s called in to help Benson investigate the gang rape of Nora Whitman and her family’s attack in “The One You Feed.” But Benson and Duarte clash from the getgo with their Alpha personalities. Add in the fact that Duarte was quick to dismiss rape charges and was more concerned with going after the BX9 gang, and Benson wasn't happy.
However, this all comes to a head in Episode 10, “Jumped In,” when Benson and her son are attacked, and the attacker was part of the BX9 gang. Now, Benson and Duarte are forced to work together to take down BX9 and its leader, Oscar Papa (Goya Robles). By Episode 12, Oscar is facing the “order” part of “law and order” as he stands trial.
It’s a shaky trial and with Duarte publicly at its helm, the BX9 members aren’t too happy. He turns down a ride and chooses to walk, and several BX9 members surround him, attacking him with machetes. If that sounds impossible to survive, that’s because it is.
After a four episode arc and a seeming resolution with Benson, Duarte dies in surgery after the incident. Oscar reveals, “He wanted to take away everything I built. Couldn’t allow that to happen,” incriminating himself.
Maurice Compte portrayed Captain Mike Duarte in ‘Law & Order: SVU.’
Although he was only in four episodes, Maurice’s portrayal of Duarte will be remembered long into SVU history. In fact, Maurice was so adept at playing the officer because he had a similar upbringing to the character. He told NBC News that he knew gang members and cops while growing up.
“At its best, I understood why they were doing it,” Maurice said of some of the gang members he knew from his neighborhood. “Because they were being marginalized by society and they were being kicked out everywhere and all they had was each other. It was just a natural formation. But there are a lot of dark factors.”
While Maurice was playing a character who was close to home for him in SVU, he has been around Hollywood for quite some time as various other characters. He’s probably most recognizable as Horacio Carrillo in Narcos, as well as Gaff in Breaking Bad. Most recently, he played U.S. Attorney General Martin Savoy in Section 8. He has several future projects on the way, such as Hellfire and Little Dixie.
SVU’s episode on Jan. 26 may have been the end of Duarte, but we have plenty more of Maurice to look forward to.
Tune into NBC Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST for new episodes of Law & Order: SVU.