You can feel the drama percolating. Law & Order: Organized Crime fans — and those of SVU — are hours away from knowing what Elliot Stabler wrote in his letter to Olivia Benson.
This is big stuff for two huge crime dramas. It’s a plot twist, in part, that was enabled by a contract negotiation gone bad 11 years ago between NBC and Christopher Meloni. But that’s just a detail when it comes to explaining the special chemistry Stabler and Mariska Hargitay’s Benson had for all those years as partners in the NYPD.
Stabler gave the letter to Benson last spring during the abbreviated season one of Law & Order: Organized Crime. Like we said, Meloni’s absence all these years was because he demanded more money from NBC and the network said no. However, on the show, Law & Order: Organized Crime writers needed to create a reason why Stabler left. He disappeared and moved to Europe after he was suspended from SVU.
And he never told Benson goodbye or where he was living.
The two didn’t see each other again until the opening scenes of an April 1 episode of Law & Order: SVU, when Organized Crime had its backdoor pilot.
In First Episode of Law & Order: Organized Crime Benson Gives Stabler Evidence. He Hands Her a Letter.
In the April episode, Benson saw Stabler at the scene of a car wreck. Stabler’s wife, Kathy, was involved. She eventually died from her injuries. Turns out, Stabler had come back to NYC to surprise Benson at an awards ceremony.
Instead, we eventually got this dialogue:
Stabler tells Benson: “I’m sorry.” She takes a dig at him. “You’re sorry for leaving? Or … for not giving me the courtesy of telling me?”
She adds:”You were the single most important person in my life, and you disappeared.” But here’s the dagger from Stabler, who tells Liv: “I was afraid if I heard your voice, I wouldn’t be able to leave.”
In the season one premiere of Law & Order: Organized Crime, Stabler hands a letter to Benson as they exchange evidence about who killed his wife. He says he’d been asked to say a few words at her awards ceremony. Instead, he wrote down his thoughts.
So now, Law & Order: Organized Crime is dropping hints that we’ll soon know what was in the all-important letter.
Meloni quipped “I think there’s going to be a riot.”
Majority of Fans Say Yes to the Couple
So will they get together? Fans certainly want them to be a couple. The Today show reported that 68 percent of the fans say yes to a Benson-Stabler coupling. That’s a big consensus in today’s divided times.
Hargitay told Today: “And after Stabler being gone for 10 years, and the way that he left, and the complexity of what’s happened in the last 10 years, and how he became back surprising me… we’re still finding our way.”
She added: “But it’s complex and real, and I think what I love about it most is that it’s earned, right? This relationship is truly earned. Not a lot of people have a 23-year relationship on film.”
Stay tuned for Thursday night. There are two hours of Law & Order: Organized Crime. So there’s lots of times to solve crimes and explore relationships.