Even COVID-19 couldn't keep Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) from reuniting for the big "Law & Order" two-hour event set for April 1. Did it delay it and cause more problems than anyone saw coming? Oh yeah, and yet in a little over a month the former partners will reunite during the first hour on Law & Order: SVU before Meloni's Stabler makes his way over to Law & Order: Organized Crime, his new Dick Wolf-produced spinoff series. Up until now, the looks we've gotten of Meloni and Hargitay on set were with some distancing and some serious masking. But on Monday, the SVU Instagram account shared two pics from Meloni of the duo together and (after proper testing and protocols) without masks.
Here's a look at the SVU post from earlier today, with two takeaways. First, seeing them back together makes it feel like they were just on an extended break. And the second… what pact with a god or demon did they make to still look so good after all these years.
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Here's your look at the newest teaser for Law & Order: Organized Crime, premiering April 1 on NBC:
Law & Order: Organized Crime features Meloni returning to his Law & Order: SVU role as Elliot Stabler, rejoining the NYPD to battle organized crime after a devastating personal loss. However, the city and police department have changed dramatically in the decade he's been away, and he must adapt to a criminal justice system in the midst of its own moment of reckoning. Throughout the series, viewers will follow Stabler's journey to find absolution and rebuild his life, while leading a new elite task force that is taking apart the city's most powerful criminal syndicates one by one.
Joining Meloni on the series are Dylan McDermott (The Practice, American Horror Story), Tamara Taylor (Bones, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Danielle Moné Truitt (Deputy), and Ainsley Seiger (American Waste) as series regulars, with Charlotte Sullivan (Rookie Blue), Nick Creegan (David Makes Man), Ben Chase (The Last Thing He Wanted), and Jaylin Fletcher (Snowpiercer) in recurring roles. Dick Wolf executive produces along with showrunner Ilene Chaiken, Terry Miller, Fred Berner, Arthur W. Forney, and Peter Jankowski.
During an interview on the Variety After-Show in July 2020, Meloni had the opportunity to discuss the spinoff series- including how it came about. Revealing that "they just came out of the blue with a new show" when he was only expecting a multi-episode arc to wrap Stabler's storyline on SVU, Meloni was more than willing to stay a little longer in Stabler's world: "I think I maybe wanted to be less of a journeyman or a nomad because I've been doing that. It's been great…but after a while, you're like, 'Let's look for a home base again for a while."
While Meloni believes Stabler has a strong sense of his faults as well as justice, he also knows that society's views on law enforcement have changed since Stabler was back in the precinct full time: "I think he was a guy on the right side of justice. Nowadays that's commendable, but you can't use that as an excuse to go outside the boundaries just because you think my cause is the just cause because these lines have been — not blurring — they have been broken and people are fed up."
This is why Meloni believes it will be a different Stabler that viewers are introduced to when they see him- especially when they see him reunited with Benson. Meloni had this to say when he appeared on The Talk: "There are a lot of unanswered questions about how he left, why the silence vis-à-vis Olivia Benson. I think, in real terms, society, and what we are dealing with in society, has changed dramatically. It's just changed. So, I think you have to address that. And, I think the person Elliot was… I think we all evolved. I think all those things are going to be put into play when you see his return."