When Law & Order fans saw attorney-turned-defense-lawyer Rafael Barba back on their TV screens, it led them to have differing opinions.
Barba, played by Raul Esparza, appeared in a recent crossover between SVU and Organized Crime.
Let’s break all of this down with some help from an article on Looper.
So, Barba is handling the case of Richard Wheatley, played by Dylan McDermott. Wheatley is on trial for killing Kathy Stabler, wife of Organized Crime detective Elliot Stabler, played by Chris Meloni.
But Stabler teamed back up with SVU‘s Olivia Benson, played by Mariska Hargitay, for the crossover.
‘Law & Order’ Shows How Much Barba Has Been Working For Wheatley
Assistant District Attorney Dominick “Sonny” Carisi, played by Peter Scanavino, is dueling with Barba in an intense legal battle. So, Wheatley walks under the guise of a mistrial. Carisi’s office did not re-try the case, which led to Richard Wheatley’s release.
Oh boy, this leads some Law & Order fans to have to choose between Barba or Stabler/Benson.
Some of them aired their feelings of betrayal by Barba; others praised him for getting tough and flexing his courtroom muscles.
The first part of this crossover aired on Thursday, Dec. 9. Law & Order fans headed over to Twitter and aired their feelings. So, do they love or hate Barba?
“This is Barba’s show tonight,” wrote Twitter user @tishhh_. “He’s doing his job…a little too well,” added @Nich_Michaels.
Fans Really Give Their Opinions About Barba Turning Back On Benson
The decision to free Wheatley was not a unanimous decision.
“IMO what Barba did (setting a murderer free) was wrong,” tweeted @FandomingStuff. “But Liv had no right to treat him like that, among other reasons bc what she’s been doing (enabling a horrible cop) is equally wrong. Enabling a lawless angry cop isn’t less dangerous than setting a murderer free.”
Then, lots of Law & Order fans felt Barba turned his back on Benson, a close friend and ally of his for years.
“Don’t mind me, I’m just here still thinking about THAT LOOK Benson gave Barba at the end of last night’s #SVU #SVUxOC,” tweeted Chris Harnick, along with a clip showing Benson telling Barba, “I feel betrayed by you.” Yet others simply said Barba was doing his job.
“Barba might be representing a scumbag but I still like him better than Stabler,” concluded @Venti_Poet.
So, there will be no new Law & Order: SVU or Organized Crime episodes until 2022.
They return on Thursday, Jan. 6, with SVU at 9 p.m. Eastern, 8 p.m Central, followed by Organized Crime.
What will the new year mean for crossovers? We will have to wait and see. There probably are a lot of fans who want to see Olivia and Elliot together again.