‘Law & Order’: Elliot Stabler Trends on Twitter Following Release of ‘Stunning’ BTS Pictures

by Caitlin Berard

The return of Law & Order: SVU and Organized Crime are still two months away (63 days, for those of us counting them down). Fans, however, already have the number one item on their wishlist carved in stone. It’s the same item that’s been at the top of the list for…oh, only about 23 years, give or take.

Anyone who’s ever even thought about watching an episode of SVU knows what that item is – a romantic relationship between Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni). The former on-screen partners and real-life best friends have teased their adorable bond for decades and fans feel there’s no time like the present for the duo to take their relationship to the next level.

A Benson-Stabler romance is such a hot-button topic with Law & Order fans that the mere mention of either character sparks a passionate, borderline unintelligible conversation about how a romance between them would create a moment in television history so iconic that there would no longer be a point to watching anything because TV, as a whole, would have peaked. Or something like that.

Such was the case this afternoon when behind-the-scenes images of Mariska Hargitay surfaced on Twitter. To say they triggered a frenzy among fans would be vastly underselling the effect these images had on Law & Order‘s most devoted viewers.

“Elliot Stabler you better make a move and QUICKLY,” one fan wrote. “Stabler, you lucky dog,” another said. “Elliot Stabler – you are truly getting Olivia Benson in her hottest era… I hope that you are aware of this,” added a third.

‘Law & Order’s Mariska Hargitay Teases Benson-Stabler Romance

Over the years, Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni’s attempts to quell fans’ hopes for a Benson-Stabler romance have been half-hearted at best. They’ll say “they’re just friends” one minute and post a picture of themselves sharing a seemingly intimate moment on set the next.

In an interview with People earlier this year, however, Mariska Hargitay dropped the “just friends” act. Instead, she called the Benson-Stabler relationship “complicated” but didn’t outright say there was no romance in their future.

“It’s such a complicated relationship that I think we just want to respect the complexity and the nuance of it,” Hargitay explained. “These two people love each other. They have been family to each other but he just lost his wife and no matter how she feels about him, the most important thing for him is to grieve his wife, heal from that.

“And he’s in a new job and he’s sort of unbalanced … But what we do know is that Olivia loves him, will always love him, will always be there and they have a bond like no other.”

Well, he’s not in a new job anymore, nor is the loss of his wife as fresh as it was at the start of last season. With that in mind, Season 24 of SVU could indeed feature the long-awaited romance between two of the franchise’s most beloved characters.