Good villains in TV and movies are almost always sympathetic to some degree. Yes, they do horrible things, but beneath those actions are real people with relatable problems. Take the Kosta crime organization in Law & Order: Organized Crime, for example.
Elliot Stabler has infiltrated their ranks with his undercover identity of Eddie Wagner. He has witnessed horrific crimes, but he has also seen how the Albanians justified them. It has fans wondering if Stabler will be able to make the tough decisions when it comes time to bring them down.
No one is defending the actions taken by the Albanian mob in Law & Order: Organized Crime, especially on the part of Jon Kosta himself. But the likes of Albi, Flutura, and Reggie—the people Chris Meloni’s undercover character is spending time with—have endeared themselves to Stabler in an unusual way. How? Well, the brilliant minds on Reddit have been discussing it at length.
“Just because you’re born or put into a criminal organization doesn’t mean you can change who you really are. most people aren’t sociopaths and there’s a reason they do the things they do,” writes Redditor rachh90. “albi killed that guy because he was afraid of being outed. like you said, flutura is helping traffic those girls because she thinks she’s doing them a favor and reggie is just trying to be a part of the family.”
The problem is that Stabler’s Eddie Wagner has a front-row seat to all of this behavior. He can see that Reggie doesn’t want to kill people. He’s only doing these things because he lost his father and wants to belong to a family. That doesn’t make Reggie’s crimes right, but it certainly makes it harder for Stabler to “betray” him by taking him down.
Olivia Benson Knows Elliot Stabler’s Weakness in ‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’
Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni have been working together since the late 1990s. It’s safe to say their characters have had plenty of time to get to know each other. Meloni’s return to the franchise—meaning Stabler’s to the NYPD—brought up plenty of complex feelings.
Benson knows Stabler. That’s why she has been so concerned about him during his undercover assignment with the Albanians.
“This is exactly what olivia was afraid of. Because she knows him so well and his empathetic nature. He’s seeing them as people some who were manipulated, abused some who have a kind heart but is in the wrong place (like Reggie who could have gone the other way),” ButterscothPast4812 writes on Reddit.
It’s becoming clear that Stabler’s disposition isn’t suited to the type of undercover work he’s been doing in Season 2. That makes for great drama but could end badly for Stabler himself. We should get a conclusion to this undercover Albanian saga within the next few episodes.