‘Law & Order: SVU’ Stars Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni Talk Benson and Stabler’s Relationship

by Leanne Stahulak
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“Law & Order” stars Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni return tonight in the Season 23 premiere of “SVU” and Season 2 premiere of “Organized Crime.”

The shows will air back to back, with “Law & Order: SVU” kicking off with a two-hour episode followed by one hour of “Organized Crime.” To promote the premieres, the two main stars for each show talked with the hosts of the TODAY show about what to expect for the new seasons.

One of the hosts, Craig Melvin, asked a question many “Law & Order’ fans are dying to know: “Do you know whether you’re going to get together this season and you’re just not telling? Or do you honestly not know?”

Hargitay and Meloni starred on “SVU” together since it started back in 1999. Over the next 12 years, their two characters, Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler, built up steamy romantic chemistry. But they never got together before Meloni left the show for contractual reasons.

Now, we’ve already seen crossovers between the two “Law & Order” shows, since “Organized Crime” debuted this year. And the show’s production promised more crossovers for the upcoming seasons. So, could this finally be the time when Benson and Stabler become a couple?

“I don’t know,” Meloni answered.

Wait, what?

Here’s what ‘Law & Order’ Stars Hargitay and Meloni Have to Say About a Potential ‘Bensler’ Romance This Season

That’s exactly how the TODAY show hosts reacted when Meloni said he doesn’t know. After all, if he doesn’t know whether they get together or not this season, doesn’t that basically imply that it won’t happen?

Hargitay soon cut in. “It’s all underneath, percolating,” the “Law & Order: SVU” star said. “And after Stabler being gone for 10 years, and the way that he left, and the complexity of what’s happened in the last 10 years, and how he became back surprising me… we’re still finding our way.”

So, it could be more of a slow-burn romance. A slow-burn that started 23 years ago and will (hopefully) continue into this season.

“But it’s complex and real, and I think what I love about it most is that it’s earned,” Hargitay continued. “Right? This relationship is truly earned. Not a lot of people have a 23-year relationship on film.”

Fair point. One that will make it more satisfying for viewers if it finally happens on screen. Although one TODAY show host adamantly argued that he doesn’t want it to happen for that same reason.

“It should never happen,” the host said. “Right, like in ‘Moonlight.’ Because the minute it happened, it was like…” he threw his hands up to indicate that the build-up basically stopped abruptly.

The other hosts disagreed, even pulling up a poll that they put out there for TODAY show fans who watch “Law & Order.” A smashing 68% of the poll said Benson and Stabler should date, while 22% said no and 10% said not sure. See the full interview with the stars for yourself below.

Outsider.com