Bensler is endgame, and some folks are telling on themselves with their arguments against what everyone, from Mariska Hargitay, to Dick Wolf Productions, to NBC Entertainment, is clearly signaling. Some of these EO antis either didn’t watch the first 12 seasons of Law & Order: SVU, have zero life experience, or both. That probably sounds like a strong statement, but this is getting beyond ridiculous.
Does everyone have to ship the same thing? Absolutely not. But could we at least pretend to have logic for a moment? That would really be nice. Whether it’s multiple executive producers saying that answering Bensler questions would make SVU a telenovela (soap opera), people actually attacking Christopher “Dat Ass” Meloni personally because they don’t like his character, or folks claiming reconciliation means the last 10 years haven’t happened, I’m beyond over it.
Again, ship what you want to ship. But if you’re going to come out here and ruin everyone’s, including Mariska “ItsAllHappeningBaby” Hargitay’s, unhinged fun? At least try to make sense when you do it.
No, really. I’m not even going to validate the stupidity of what the “he looks like he’s going to attack her” (paraphrased, probably) contingent is saying every time Hargitay and Chris Meloni post photos together. I mean, I’ve got the beginnings of a new, medication-induced maculopathy, yet y’all are the ones who need your eyes checked. Weird.
Mariska: “#PeacefulEasyFeeling.” Some of y’all: OmG! He’S HurTIng HeR!!!!11oneone
Making EO Endgame Doesn’t Make SVU A “Telenovela” & If It Did? SO WHAT.
I’ve already extensively gone into why the “telenovela” comment was terrible via a Twitter thread. But TL;DR (and slightly less colorful language) on that: It’s misogyny and hypocrisy, considering the person making the initial comment was fine to answer questions about Benson’s relationships with Cassidy and Tucker. And Rollisi ship, for that matter.
(Shoutout to Rollins and Carisi for getting theirs in the season 22 finale, by the way. Love to see shippers get fed.)
It’s only when it’s Bensler, when it’s something that was built before these guys became relevant, that it’s somehow going to send SVU from a serious show about the victims (lol, okay. That Trayvon Martin/Paula Deen/toss in a rape mashup and the torture porn William Lewis arc that was super difficult even for Queen Hargitay would like several words) to something as frowned-upon as a soap opera.
Slow clap on the cosign, though.
Which, while we’re at it? Fuck that, anyway. Soap actors don’t get the breaks that primetime ones do, those shows have longevity that even Law & Order: SVU doesn’t, and I’m really sick and tired of anything with a mostly female audience being written off as something “bad.” Can’t believe I’m doing this in 2021, but honestly? Major shoutout to the likes of Nathan Fillion for giving soaps credit where credit is due. Same goes for Shemar Moore...But let me care if some writers want to look down on Bensler shippers and try to use soaps as an insult, though?
Okay. That’s out of the way. Short version of it, at least? Or, I don’t know. A version, one way or another.
Bensler Can Work It Out, Then Make Out
Now, let’s talk about the “do y’all really have no life experience” part of this. And yeah, it’s harsh. But your girl is tired, so.
Elliot Stabler fucked up by leaving the way he did. Actually, abandoning Liv at all was a shit move, and nobody’s saying otherwise. Even the most rabid EO stans—hi, Mariska. I’m signaling you from my quadrant of the trash can for comment, any time—are aware of this. But Meloni wanted out, and despite at least offering to do a few more SVU episodes for a wrap-up, negotiations didn’t work out. Take it up with the showrunner, who thought leaving in a tiny scene that acknowledged El had at least said some kind of goodbye was “mooning over a coworker.” Or, at least, don’t insult your fave’s real-life best friend over it???
But again. Nobody’s saying that wasn’t terrible. And definitely not me.
It is my greatest wish that we’ll get some scenes, either on SVU or Organized Crime—let’s be real, if we get real work on this relationship, it’ll be under Ilene Chaiken’s guidance at this point—where Olivia Benson absolutely lets loose on Elliot Stabler for what he did to her. Where she makes him regret every second he didn’t pick up the phone and check in on her, where she makes him suffer for not having her back (not telling her to blink her lights!!!) when William Lewis was on the hunt. I want a fight, and I want it to be ugly. Let the man mourn, and then let Liv rip him a new asshole.
(As long as it doesn’t, you know, affect the cake. Of course.)
“But Shana, you’re about as Bensler-crazed as anyone. Why would you want that?” One, there’s no moving forward to all that lovey-dovey stuff Hargitay and Meloni have been “rehearsing” without working through all their shit. And two? Mariska Hargitay is a queen who would absolutely destroy us with those scenes—especially with her favorite partner (for life), whose return she (probably im)patiently to get back for 10 years, there to play off of.
I, for one, can not wait to be murdered by her…and thank her later. And tons of EO shippers everywhere are probably with me on that, whether they want to admit it or not.
Okay. So, that’s out of the way. I’m going to quote it when people start coming at me.
This is the part that makes me think some of y’all have never been close to anyone, ever, though: Have you really formed zero relationships that meant so much to you, you’d give anything to have them back? Honestly?
You don’t have a single old friend you wonder about every day? You’ve never been so deeply in love with someone, you’d crawl over broken glass for them or give them a kidney? Or if you have felt that way about someone, do you think those feelings just go away?
Hit me up with tips on how to erase the feelings, please.
There are some bonds that defy all traditional logic. I literally have a “best” friend from as far back as almost 30 years ago who occasionally pops into my mind. I’d go right back to that friendship in a second if I could. Granted, a child doesn’t have as much control over where they go or which friends they keep in touch with (and back in my day, kiddies, we didn’t have the Twitter dot com or the like…)…
But the point stands. I’ve fallen out of touch with other folks for five years or more, then fallen right back into that old familiarity…and I wasn’t even in love with any of them. There are also people whom I’ve hurt with my silence, almost always cultivated by my own self-hatred more than not caring for them anymore, who welcomed me back with open arms. Maybe I didn’t deserve it. But it happened.
Elliot Stabler was Olivia Benson’s longest relationship. Still is. Those 12-ish years, as I detailed elsewhere, are greater than the sum total of the 10 he’s been gone. We still don’t even know why he left, so why can’t we give him a chance for The Olivia Benson’s sake? Not the full story, at least.
We know why he didn’t return Liv’s calls: “I was afraid if I heard your voice, I wouldn’t have been able to leave…” But we don’t know much of anything else. It was a choice, a terrible one, but there’s only speculation about what exactly went into making that (colossally stupid) decision.
There’s another piece of the puzzle here with why it might seem like, ever since Stabler came back to New York, Liv has just been pretending like he never hurt her. I don’t know which show y’all have been watching, but Olivia Benson was never going to turn away anyone who was suffering through PTSD and the loss of a loved one—much less when the person in pain was someone who meant so much to her. And yeah, again, he probably still means something to her in spite of herself. It happens. Nobody gets to choose their own feelings. Or at least, nobody I know does.
Regardless, in some situations, none of the other shit matters. Especially if you’re the type of loving human being Captain Benson is.
But y’all really don’t understand that part? None of it? Not being happy to have someone you loved—romantically or not—back in your life after losing them? Not the willingness to shelve the hard conversations until after the crisis at hand is over?
I’m not sure whether or not I should envy never having suffered the kind of loss Benson did when Chris Meloni, and therefore Elliot Stabler, left Law & Order: SVU. But then again, even if I’ve lost some of those vitally important people in my life, at least I had the great honor and privilege of loving, and being loved by, them before whatever happened, happened. Same goes for Bensler. They had an unbreakable bond before Elliot left.
His incredibly stupid choice can’t erase that.
So, if you don’t understand why EO is endgame, at least quit with exposing yourselves for having never loved like that and lost and/or for hating mostly female-driven fanbases. Just say it’s not your thing and move on. Your fave isn’t trolling Instagram, adding all the emo posts tagged with “Bensler” to her likes because it’s not happening. And last I checked, she knew Olivia Benson better than anyone else, so.
Deal with it.