‘Law & Order’ Fans Uncover Strange Continuity Error in Benson and Stabler Scene

by Megan Molseed

Ever since the Law & Order: SVU premiere over 21 years ago, fans continue to be mesmerized by the extraordinary partnership between Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni).

While the show is still going strong after 22 seasons, fans of this engaging drama do so much more than simply watch the most recent episodes. To this day, the hit series is regularly binge-watched by both old and new fans alike.

Christopher Meloni’s Return Isn’t the Fans Biggest Topic

This spring, Meloni returned to the popular show Law & Order: SVU. This is exciting return introduces the franchise’s newest hit Law & Order: Organized Crime. While Meloni is back after a 10-season departure, it is the classic episodes that have many of the dedicated fans talking.  

According to a recent article in the online UK website Express, an eagle-eyed Law & Order: SVU fan notices a strange glitch in an early episode. In the three-episode, “Wrath” a mistake in editing can clearly be seen. 

In Law & Order: SVU’s “Wrath,” Olivia Benson takes on one of her biggest cases yet. “Wrath” challenges Benson when three murder victims are found to be connected to one of her old cases. 

According to the Express article, a fan points out the irregularities of one particular scene. The scene centers around Stabler and Benson discussing a key development in the case. In the scene, Stabler also tells Olivia of a protective detail he had ordered for her safety.

“They talk outside and then Benson is seen walking away,” the alert fan explained.

“The next shot shows a side shot of Benson approaching him again in silence but mouthing words to him,” the fan continues. This occurs, notes the fan, despite the fact that the audience had already seen Olivia walk away from the conversation. 

While dedicated fans of the hit NBC series have pointed this glitch out, it is easy to assume this mistake occurs with a simple slip in editing.

Some explanations for this break in continuity include simple editing techniques; and Law & Order: SVU’s editor’s choice to use a compilation of unsequenced shots.

Law & Order: SVU brings Iconic Partnership to Television

When the series premiered in 1999, Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay led the popular series. The partnership between Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson is one of the most iconic partnerships in television history.  

At the end of season 12, however, Meloni said goodbye to the show, retiring his Stabler character.  Last Spring, after a 10-season absence from the franchise, Stabler returned in a recent episode of Law & Order: SVU. This episode includes a story arc connecting the newest addition to the franchise: Law & Order: Organized Crime, starring Christoper Meloni.