‘Law & Order’: Next ‘OC’ Crossover Bringing Back ‘SVU’ Character, But With a Twist

by John Jamison

Buckle up, Law & Order fans. December 9th’s crossover event between SVU and Organized Crime will (hopefully) bring a resolution to Richard Wheatley and his hand in the murder of Elliot Stabler’s wife. It will also bring back Raúl Esparza’s former ADA Rafael Barba. This time, however, he’s not going to be on our side.

It’s a hard pill to swallow, we know. But it looks as if current ADA Dominick Carisi (Peter Scanavino) will match wits with Barba in the trial of Stabler’s life. Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott) stands accused of murdering Kathy Stabler (Isabel Gillies).

Since Rafael Barba left Law & Order: SVU in 2018, he has shifted the focus of his law career. He is now a criminal defense attorney, and much to the shock and horror of SVU fans everywhere, he’s taken on Richard Wheatley as a client. The teaser trailer for the December crossover event promises some serious Stabler, Benson, and Barba drama.

It’s safe to say the promo caught fans by surprise.

Danielle Moné Truitt, who plays Sgt. Ayanna Bell on Law & Order: Organized Crime, explained the dynamics to TV Insider recently.

“Like with any trial, the defense and the prosecution are definitely going to play a certain narrative, and it’s whatever narrative sticks with the jury best. Carisi is a great lawyer, and so is Barba. And they both are really good at giving a certain perspective to the audience. So we’ll see which one works,” Bell told the outlet.

Mentor vs. Mentee, Stabler vs. Wheatley, Benson and Barba… the ‘Law & Order’ Crossover Promises Plenty of Drama

There are enough layers to this December Law & Order crossover event to make our heads spin. We suppose that’s what you get when dealing with 23 seasons of history.

For those who may not remember, Raúl Esparza’s Rafael Barba was a mentor to Carisi when he held the ADA position from Seasons 12 to 19. The upcoming crossover will find the two lawyers going head to head—sensei vs. student. But Stabler and Benson’s team is confident in Carisi’s ability to win the case despite that relationship between the two.

Danielle Moné Truitt’s Sgt. Bell “trusts [Carisi] to do his job and do it to the best of his ability. And then we’ll see where the chips fall. He’s good at what he does. So we’re all hoping for the best.”

Then there’s the fact that Stabler and Bell successfully arrested Wheatley. Chris Meloni’s character is emotionally close to the case, and watching it unfold will be tough for him and the audience alike.