Will they? Won’t they? Will we find out before another 20 years and 500 episodes? The actions Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson took during recent installments of their respective Law & Order shows are putting off a definitive answer. Some fans wanted to see Liv and Elliot get together back in 1999. They’re understandably ready for the franchise to pay off this decades-long relationship.
If you watched Thursday night’s 500th episode of Law & Order: SVU, then you know Benson slept with a man from her past. At first, it seemed like a positive move for her away from the complicated mire of dealing with Elliot Stabler. But as it happens, Burton, a lover from her youth, turned out to be a scumbag.
Likewise, Elliot Stabler hooked up with Angela Wheatley, the ex-wife of Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 1 bad guy Richard Wheatley. Recently, he did the same thing with Flutura Briscu—an Albanian gangster’s wife—while undercover.
On the surface, it looks like the franchise is trying to show fans that Benson and Stabler are trying to distance themselves from their complicated situation. But if you know anything about Law & Order fans, you know that they’re completely undeterred and still have dreams of Bensler becoming the greatest TV romance ever to grace the screen.
‘Law & Order’ Fans Following the Trail of Breadcrumbs
With the answer to the will they-won’t they dilemma still up in the air, Law & Order fans took to Reddit to decipher the writers’ intent.
“I mean, Liv just slept with another guy on SVU just now and Stabler just slept with Flutura. That said, there is a significant section of the fandom that is rabid about EO, and I think the writers are going to give them what they want eventually,” writes miscellaneous_pie.
Another fan thinks the answer is hidden in the emptiness of the characters’ flings.
“El sleeping with Flutura or however you spell it is strictly undercover business. NO REAL FEELINGS/EMOTION. Liv sleeping with Burton was exploring past feelings that could have still been smoldering until she learned the truth about him. So EO are end game, it’s just the slowest endgame in the world.”
The consensus among fans seems to be that the franchise will deliver the romance, but they’re certainly in no rush to do so. As we’ve seen from countless shows over the years, once the will they-won’t they romance does come to fruition, there isn’t nearly as much continued interest in the characters themselves.
That isn’t to say it can’t or shouldn’t be done, but look no further than Blue Bloods. Once Eddie and Jamie Reagan got together, their storylines got considerably less attention moving forward. Granted, Law & Order is a different animal altogether, but fans may have some time yet before Stabler and Benson truly seal the deal.