‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’ Showrunner Discusses Bringing Back a Former SVU Cast Member

by Leanne Stahulak

A blast from the past will make an appearance on “Law & Order: Organized Crime” later this season, according to the showrunners.

TVLine talked to executive producer Ilene Chaiken earlier this week about what to expect from the rest of Season 2. Last week, we learned star Chris Meloni’s character Elliot Stabler will be working primarily undercover. This affects his personal relationships with his kids, who continue to struggle with their grief for their dead mother.

“Stabler is a somewhat absent father sincerely doing his best to be there for all of his kids, but especially his teenage son who just lost his mother,” Chaiken revealed. Throughout the first eight episodes of the season, “This will present problems and issues that will develop. And without getting too spoilery, Eli will bear the brunt.”

Coming in to help (or possibly hurt) Stabler’s home life is his mother, Bernie. Oscar-winner Ellen Burstyn returns for the first time in 13 years to the “Law & Order” franchise, stepping in to help her on-screen grandson Eli.

According to TVLine, when we first met Bernie on “Law & Order: SVU,” we learned that she’s bipolar and almost killed Elliot when he was a child. Those issues haven’t gone away in the last decade or so, Chaiken explained.

“She’s having some issues,” Chaiken said. “Her son is called on to help with those issues, which is like piling on for Stabler. It’s like, how much can he take on?”

The EP added that Bernie “will also play a role in the aforementioned consequences to Eli — both the good and the bad role, perhaps.”

But the best part of having Bernie back on screen? Seeing her interact with all the other characters.

“It’s thrilling to work with [Burstyn], but it’s more thrilling to see her and Chris work together,” Chaiken said. “And she’s very much a part of our universe in this season.”

What’s to Come This Season on ‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’ ?

If Bernie will be a part of the whole “Law & Order” universe this season, does that mean we’ll see her in a crossover episode for “SVU?” Fans already can’t wait to see more of Stabler and Olivia Benson interacting after we saw them together on the two shows last spring. Adding in Stabler’s mother could certainly be an interesting dynamic.

Per TVLine, Bernie should make her debut in episode five. So we’ve got a few weeks before anything crazy happens between Stabler and his mother.

In the meantime, fans are hoping beyond hope to see what Stabler wrote in his letter to Benson. He gave it to her last season on “Law & Order: Organized Crime”, after someone asked him to say a few words about Benson at an awards ceremony. Instead, Stabler poured out all his (hopefully romantic) feelings on the page.