Stabler Finally Returned to ‘Law & Order: SVU,’ and Fans Are in Their Feels


On Thursday, April 1, detectives Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) were finally, finally reunited on Law and Order: SVU.

Benson and Stabler, of course, were the core duo of Law and Order: SVU until Meloni left the show in season 12, which concluded in 2011. Though his character was referenced and Olivia found new friends and trusted allies as she rose through the department’s ranks, their story felt unfinished. Especially given the, let’s face it, sexual tension. Plus, in real life the two actors are close friends.

When NBC announced that Stabler would be returning in his own Law and Order spin-off, titled Organized Crime, fans were eager to see Meloni and Hargitay together again. But thanks to the pandemic, Organized Crime was pushed back, and pushed back…until it finally aired in 2021. That’s a decade of anticipation. So did the reunion live up to the hype? Judging by these fan reactions, we’d say…yep.

“Oh my God. The entire 10 years was worth the last three minutes. Oh my God.” one person tweeted. 

“That conversation between Elliot and Liv we waited 10 years for was worth it,” added another.

In the crossover episode, Stabler, now part of an elite task force based out of Rome, returns to New York to deal with the murder of his wife, Kathy. Benson is also involved in the case, leaving them without much time to reconnect–mystery solving comes before unpacking emotions! But Entertainment Tonight reports they did have a brief conversation about how things ended between them. “You walked away…. You were the single most important person in my life, and you just disappeared,” says Benson. “I know,” admits Stabler. “I was afraid if I heard your voice, I wouldn’t have been able to leave.”

Fan fic writers, get your typing fingers ready, because there is more where that came from.


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