‘Law & Order: SVU’: How Could the Show Make a Stabler and Benson Relationship Work?

by Josh Lanier
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Law & Order fans can’t believe the latest trailer for the upcoming crossover episode for SVU and Organized Crime. Are Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler about to hook up? The trailer seems to imply something is going on between the two former partners as they seemingly hold hands at the end of the 30-second ad. But how would that work? Stabler leads Law & Order: Organized Crime and Benson remains a stalwart on SVU. The possibility is something the cast and producers have discussed before.

The trailer for the Dec. 9 episode set Law & Order fan sites and social media accounts alight. For years, fans speculated on a potential relationship between Benson and Stabler. Christopher Meloni left the series in 2012 over a contract dispute, which killed any potential on-screen pairing with co-star Mariska Hargitay. But he’s back among Law & Order family, and showrunners are stoking that flame again.

“Do y’all realize the .2 seconds of them holding hands is causing me to have trouble breathing?” one fan commented on the trailer.

“I can feel that Olivia and Elliot will be together very soon and will have a relationship with each other,” another person posted. “I can’t wait for that to happen. …”

But a potential romance raises a big question.

Is a ‘Law & Order’ Relationship Possible?

It’s complicated. But showrunners have left the door open for it.

Benson and Stabler are both single for the first time. Elliot Stabler was married during Meloni’s 12 seasons on SVU, but Kathy Stabler died in a car bombing in the Organized Crime premiere. He’s still grieving — and seeking revenge — for this killing, and it seems Benson wants to help.

But Law & Order: SVU and Organized Crime are very different shows. The occasional crossover is easy to manage compared to tying the leads together in a serious relationship. And show creator Dick Wolf isn’t sold on a Benson-Stabler romance. He thinks giving fans what they want will give the shows an immediate boost, but it will doom them in the long run.

“I don’t anticipate them running off and living together as much as the audience would like that,” Wolf told Entertainment Tonight. “Anticipation is the most exciting part of most relationships. … The chase is always better.

“The shows are good, and having them onscreen together I think is enough. I don’t think you have to push it to the next level,” he added. “At least not this year. I mean, as I said, you never know what the future holds.”   

Christopher Meloni says there are a lot of hurdles, but it’s something they can overcome.

“I think it’s going to be a collaborative effort between both showrunners and Mariska and I to figure it all out,” the actor told Entertainment Tonight this summer. “It’s a complicated relationship, so we’ll see.”

Outsider.com