Reunity, and it’s so … well, no well, really.
Thursday evening, Law and order has finally reunited NBC’s most beloved platonic couple: After a decade apart, Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson and Christopher Meloni’s Elliot Stabler are back on the case. Sadly, it took the death of Stabler’s wife, Kathy, at the hands of a mysterious high-level criminal to make it happen.
Thursday marks the premiere of Meloni’s short story Law and order spin off, Organized crime. Considering the magnitude of Benson and Stabler’s (Babe-ler?) Reunion, it’s no surprise that NBC turned the event into a crossover event with SVU—which opened to Kathy Stabler being transported in an ambulance as a stunned Olivia watched. Apparently, despite the Stablers living overseas, they have become a target of bombing here in the United States. Maybe it has something to do with Elliot’s new job?
As Stabler explains, he took a walk for a few years after leaving the NYPD; he started working in private security and ended up working as an international liaison officer dealing with terrorism, sex trafficking and organized crime. He came to New York to testify on a case, and Kathy had followed him. Apparently the police sign in their rental car warned the suicide bomber.
Kathy initially survived the attack, but later died in hospital from a broken spleen. Benson and his team are able to track down the suspected bomber, but soon enough he too is found dead in his cell following an overdose. The explosive appears to have been an international design.Unfortunately for Kathy, her contact with death is mostly just a plot to reunite Benson and Stabler (and, of course, start Stabler’s new standalone TV gig). Benson volunteers to lead the bombing investigation and allows his ex-partner to accompany him on the first interrogation, where they interview a QAnon devotee. However, it quickly becomes clear that the perpetrator in this case is a much more sophisticated person.
Much has changed since the last time Stabler appeared on screen. In his later seasons, in particular, the character of Meloni has become known for his fiery temper and his tendency to bend the rules – qualities that have not aged well in light of recent discussions of how police procedures have gone. promoted harmful ideas about policing. While Stabler has made his comeback, viewers have also had a fair amount of hand hurt on how he could be “good” or “bad” of a cop now.
“Don’t tell me, ‘We don’t do things this way anymore, please,'” Stabler told Benson at one point. “I live outside of New York, not under a rock.” Vouching for his old colleague to a new peer, Finn insists, “End of the day, he’s a good cop.” ”
Eventually, Stabler loses his temper over the questions: “I’ve had enough of people judging me for who I was 12 years ago,” he says. “I was a good cop back then, I’m a good cop now.
As Ayanna Bell, the organized crime officer tasked with tracking down the criminal element responsible for his wife’s apparent murderer, retaliates, “Guys who came when you did, you never think you have to change your ways. . ”
But the main agenda in the first hour of this crossover event, naturally, was about the distance that has worsened between Stabler and Benson in their decade apart.
It’s been 10 years since Benson and Stabler worked together on a case. Meloni’s final episode, the season 12 finale, ended with Stabler shooting the daughter of a rape victim, who opened fire in the New York City Police District with a gun that ‘she had bought in the street. In subsequent episodes, Benson learned that her longtime partner had quit. The two have not spoken to each other since.
“Are you sorry you left, or are you sorry you walked – didn’t give me the courtesy to tell me?” Benson asks. “You were the most important person in my life. And you just … disappeared.
“I know,” Elliot replies. ” I was scared. If I had heard your voice, I couldn’t have left.
The Stabler and Benson partnership has always been, uh, shall we say… intense? This fact also emerged Thursday night, as new members of the squad, including Amanda Rollins, hint at the ambiguous ‘thing’ the pair notoriously shared. Stabler seems curious when Finn mentions Olivia’s romantic relationships, and tries to glean information from his former colleague – only to be told he will have to ask himself the question.
At the risk of sounding rude about poor Kathy’s death, her tragic fate prompts a question, yes, very rude: Are we finally, after all these years, going to see Stabler and Benson kiss? Pretty please?
Right now, however, Stabler obviously has bigger fish to fry. The case of Kathy’s murder is officially outside Benson’s jurisdiction, although that isn’t a guarantee that she will step down. Stabler’s youngest son, Eli, is shattered by the death of his mother and discouraged that the family will not return to Rome. (Unfortunately, NBC apparently doesn’t have the funds to give us Law & Order takes Tuscany.)
Stabler himself, meanwhile, has already started to grill international criminals and hunt down leads, continually referring to a smuggling case he was working in Puglia. It turns out that medical supplies have become a lucrative source of money for organized crime networks during the COVID era.
At the root of it all, it seems, is Freddie (Dylan McDermott) – the son of a notorious Mafia boss named Sinatra (yes, Sinatra) whose morons were also behind the smuggling of PPE into Puglia. Freddie, who also goes by the name Richard Wheatley, enjoys a superior existence, painting himself as a legitimate businessman. Even Sinatra seemed ready to send her son back to Stabler – but sadly, Freddie got to him first and executed him on the Wonder Wheel in Coney Island.
Now the prosecution is underway. It seems likely that this case will consume a good deal of Organized crimefirst season of, or at least provide its first narrative backbone. But once the fog clears and the hammer inevitably falls, there will be time for other questions that simmer longer – including, yes, if after all these years fans could finally see Benson and Stabler each other. to reconcile and, possibly, to kiss. For now, however, we’ll have to wait and see.