‘Law & Order’ Teases Wheatley Finding a ‘New Friend’ in Upcoming ‘SVU’ and ‘OC’ Crossover Event

by Josh Lanier

There is a lot to unpack in the new teaser trailer for the upcoming crossover event for Law & Order: SVU and Organized Crime. It includes a former assistant district attorney returning to defend one of the shows’ most evil residents and a possible romance between Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler.

NBC dropped the trailer for the Dec. 9 episode earlier today on Instagram, and fans are shellshocked.

“Looks like Wheatley’s found himself a new friend. Don’t miss the #SVU & #OrganizedCrime crossover event December 9 on @NBC,” the post reads.

That new friend is none other than former Manhattan ADA Rafael Barba, who explains to Capt. Benson that he plans to defend the gangster. Richard Wheatley is accused of murdering Kathy Stabler, Elliot Stabler’s wife. The episode marks the return of Dylan McDermott’s character, who hasn’t been seen since the season premiere.

Fans are already speculating why Barba would stoop to defending someone as vile as Wheatley.

“How could you, Barba?” one fan commented on the trailer.

“How could Barba do this?” someone else added. “Let’s be clear, Wheatley KNOWS Barba is the BEST at what he does, & he’s close to Liv… It’s a ‘2 for 1,’ & this is gonna be GOOD.”

It also sets up a courtroom showdown between ADA Dominick Carisi and Rafael Barba.

Danielle Moné, who plays Sgt. Ayanna Bell on Law & Order: Organized Crime, hinted at what fans can expect from that meeting.

“Like with any trial, the defense and the prosecution are definitely gonna play a certain narrative, and it’s whatever narrative sticks with the jury best,” she told TV Insider. “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.”

Will ‘Law & Order’ Crossover Include Benson, Stabler Romance?

The most interesting moment of the trailer, though, is the suggestion that Benson and Stabler may finally get together. Fans have long wanted to see them date, and this episode may finally deliver on that.

In the clip, the former partners are back in a car together.

“No matter what happens, we’re going to take it one step at a time,” Benson says to an upset Stabler. Then, the camera cuts to what appears to be them holding hands.

Most fans were thrilled to see this, but others are worried about a potential bait and switch.

“If he’s holding someone else’s hand at some point and that clip was a deception I might break my TV,” one person wrote.

Christopher Meloni, who plays Stabler, hinted before the season started that love could blossom between his and Mariska Hargitay’s characters.

“Hope springs eternal. I mean, why not?” Meloni said during a Television Critics Association in September, according to the USA Today. “I think it’s going to be a collaborative effort between showrunners for (SVU) and Organized Crime, and with Mariska and I to figure it all out. It’s a complicated relationship. So, we’ll see.” 

We will indeed.