‘Law & Order: SVU’: Did Elliott Stabler Actor Chris Meloni Return for the Season Finale?

by Matthew Wilson

It’s been a big year for actor Chris Meloni and his “Law & Order” character Elliott Stabler. Audiences may have waited a decade for Stabler’s small screen return. But they got a double dose of the character to make up for it.

Long-lasting “Law & Order: SVU” and new kid on the block “Law & Order: Organized Crime” have been intricately linked this season. Both Meloni and actor Mariska Hargitay have pulled double-duty crossing over into each other’s shows. After all, much of the early seasons of “SVU” relied on the chemistry between the two actors as partners. And fans were excited to see Stabler and Olivia Benson on screen again.

So did Meloni appear in the “Law & Order: SVU” season finale? Well, there wouldn’t be a wedding without Elliott Stabler. Not that there was much of a wedding anyways. Both Fin and Phoebe were supposed to tie the knot. But in usual fashion, there were complications along the way. Fin and Phoebe decided to postpone their walk down the altar to avoid ruining a good thing.

But Stabler still got his invitation to the “Law & Order: SVU” party. And sticking true to the character, Stabler was late and missed much of the drama. Although, he wasn’t surprised by everything that went down.

Chris Meloni’ Future on ‘Law & Order: SVU’

The finale didn’t do as much to sever the link between the two shows as some might expect. Instead, “Law & Order: SVU” and “Organized” crime may stay closely associated. It’s definitely been a draw for fans to see the two shows regularly crossover. And that’s a trend that may continue into the future.

Instead, the “SVU” finale continued to tease a possible romance between Stabler and Benson. There’s precedence after all. For instance, Fin and Phoebe started off as partners before leading to an almost wedding. In an alternate world where Meloni never left the show, Stabler and Benson may have been one of TV’s greatest crime-solving power couples.

But Meloni bowing out in 2011 due to a contract dispute brought a swift end to that character arc. Now, picking up the pieces all these years later, Stabler and Benson may be a little older but that flame still burns brighter than ever. Stabler’s first year back in the franchise ended with a toast.

Both Stabler and Benson raised their wine glasses to each other. She said, “To partners.” While fans may have hoped for more, the moment was a nice final scene between the characters until they meet again.