Law & Order: Organized Crime season 2 continues to be one of the best things about Thursday nights. Certainly, we keep looking forward to new episodes each week because of this incredible undercover storyline, but the series also makes room to center other characters and treat the ensemble like a true ensemble, as well. Throw in the almost constant food for shippers, and, well, what’s not to love?
So, gather ’round, kiddos. Let’s fangirl over Law & Order: Organized Crime. While we’d be fine spending thousands of words on the particular level of bare-clothed clothing Zaddy Stabler wears, it’s past time we give the ladies the love they deserve. In fact, let’s talk about the insane amount of impressive that Jet Slootmaekers (Ainsley Seiger) was serving in “For a Few Leke More” before we get into absolutely anything else. Most shows would have left Jet kind of as the “side” tech girl, but we get to have people who know how to fully develop multiple characters—including women!—in charge here.
In this season’s third episode, we got to see Jet start to come out of her shell, for lack of a better way of putting it, a little more. There was this fire in her—an excitement about doing what she does and being a totally killer badass at it, up against one of the greatest hackers out there—and even the way she interacted with Malachi face-to-face displayed an extra air of confidence, of being pleased with herself, that we hadn’t really seen before that point.
And then…the fourth episode dropped. Just. Wow. We couldn’t be more impressed by the way Jet commanded every square inch of the squad room for pretty much the entirety of “For a Few Leke More.” That first scene of her explaining the super, magic encrypted phones or whatever? Would absolutely watch a full hour (or 43-ish minutes because of dumb broadcast) of that alone—even without Christopher Meloni as the star of Law & Order: Organized Crime.
(Law & Order: Sloot Edition, when?)
Then, there’s the dynamic between Sergeant Bell (Danielle Moné Truitt) and Sloot. It’s this awesome kind of mentorship feeling, yet without anyone ever feeling like they’re “lesser” because of any kind of power dyanmic? It’s just ladies supporting ladies out here, friends.
Sure, Bell is in charge and has the experience, but just because she has the higher rank and time on the job doesn’t mean she isn’t clearly impressed. Jet’s opinions matter to her superior officer. Bell listens. And when it was time for someone to get that spotlight during the Admir Marku arrest? Jet was in her earned position as the face of the operation. Jet’s not just some “kid” behind a computer; she is the next big thing, and instead of trying to keep her in her “little people” place, Bell realizes that Jet deserves respect—the same respect that she does.
This is what happens when you have a female showrunner. The menfolk can cry and fight me on that, but. Well. You’re not winning. Good luck.
In which Elliot Stabler almost dies over…having a heart, actually
So, Elliot’s undercover as Eddie “Ashes” Wagner. He’s totally fine with all the shady shit the Kosta Organization wants him to do—or at least with play-acting like he’s fine with it—but when Luka Hasa treats a server at the diner poorly, that’s just too much. And that gets him in big, big trouble.
As it turns out, the know-it-all who gets his face rearranged is Jon Kosta’s future son-in-law. And so, he is summoned to the KO boss’ lair for punishment.
With Meloni being the star of Law & Order: Organized Crime, it was probably safe to assume that El would survive this fiasco, but even knowing that, the story is told so well, there’s still that feeling of, “oh, God. What’s going to happen to him?” The viewer still realizes Detective Stabler is constantly in danger of winding up dead, and with pretty much every single episode, the threat level gets even worse.
Here, the point is really driven home when Elliot…quite literally drives home, actually.
He’s deep in thought when Eli finds him there unexpectedly, and the way he struggles to say he’ll do his best to be at his son’s soccer game tells you everything you need to know about how, whether he puts on a good front for Sergeant Bell or not, Stabler is not doing well. It’s like he’s saying goodbye to his son, his youngest, the one he’s clearly had the closest relationship with—something you see in the way Meloni and Nicky Torchia interact, with a dynamic that’s way different than what we used to see with the Stabler family back in the day.
It…unfortunately, brings up the words of one of SVU‘s most triggering demons:
“Are you feeling sad? Thinking about someone you’re never gonna see again? Mom, Dad, boyfriend? No, huh? Someone else, someone who you would give anything to see just one more time. You’re gonna cry his name out at some point. They always do.”
Elliot was afraid he was going to die, and he went to have get last hug from his son. He was hoping also he’d see his daughter and mother again but didn’t get to. And then, well…Take the “boyfriend” out. Replace it with “one true love of his life,” and you know where we’re headed next.
Like it, love it, or hate it: Olivia Benson is one of those people for Elliot Stabler. And watching him try to leave her that voicemail…was a lot. Like, a lot, a lot.
“Hey, Liv. It’s me. I wish you were there. I’m just calling to say…I want to thank you for everything that you’ve done for me…for my kids…You’re my rock. And when I said that I love you…I think you…”
First of all, I would like to be petty for a brief moment: How does it feel to be sent to voicemail when you need your person, El? Hmmm??? How. Does. It. Feel.
Meanwhile, Liv didn’t even get to try calling her person when she thought she was going to die because you had already disappeared. So, like. How does it feel?
Ok. Now that that’s out of the way.
Meloni portrays such a beautiful struggle with Elliot’s emotions here. And honestly? It just makes the whole dictated letter fiasco a billion times worse. Law & Order: Organized Crime 2×04 “For a Few Leke More” showed us the uncertainty, the being at a loss for words, that El must have felt when he was trying to find closure—or whatever the hell he thought he was doing. It also makes you wonder just how messed up he really was when he left New York without a word.
…and the woman he’s been mourning all this time took gross, abusive advantage of it. This was not the act of someone who was trying to help him; it was not even the behavior of someone people should feel obligated to feel sorry for. Ever. So, once again: Thank you to Richard Wheatley for his service, and may That woman’s memory not be a blessing.
If it means I have “poisonous venom” in my veins, so be it. Now, back to our regularly-scheduled programming.
Somehow, after all of that emotion and those (seemingly) last goodbyes, Detective Stabler makes it look easy to slip back into his “Eddie” persona and be just ice cold in that room with Jon Kosta. He delivers some line about valuing his reputation, not the waitress (sure, El), and uses the understanding he has with Albi to save his ass.
And it works. He lives to fight another day and even winds up getting to do a job that should’ve been Luka’s. He manages to be part of an even bigger score than anyone anticipated when he successfully—with some help from his OC friends—participates in the bar robbery, and he works every angle possible to keep getting deeper in the organization and learning about even more illegal operations.
The only two other times you see El slip? When he has that same horrified look in his eye after shooting someone as he did before he ghosted us for 10 years…And when he plays Mr. Softy (not to be confused with the far-superior Mister Softee) by making sure the woman he drugged so he could snoop has a pillow under her head and a nice blanket laid over her.
(This idiot doing these nice things for Liv—obviously without the drugs involved—when.)
For a few more Law & Order: Organized Crime 2×04 thoughts…
- So, there’s this line from Scream: “That woman was a slutbag whore who flashed her shit all over town like she was Sharon Stone or something.” I swear to God, between him putting his tongue in everyone’s mouth but Olivia Benson’s and these shirts that do nothing to cover his chest, the tight jeans…all of it…That is Elliot Stabler for me, and I’m not at all mad about it?
- Spoiler alert: the folks in Scream were…not fans of the woman in question. Kinda started a whole recurring murder theme over the slut-shaming. But here, we love our neighborhood slut.
- …I hope nobody writes a “don’t ‘bully’ fictional characters. T.H.I.N.K.!” blog about me for saying that.
- Ok but like. That smirk when Albi tells “Eddie” to listen “and not just smash somebody’s head in”? So hot.
- I legitimately have baby Caskett, especially baby Beckett, vibes from this whole Jet/Malachi dynamic. Help.
- No, but really: “I’m getting there. Keep your pants on.” “Now, you may speak.” “That was just the prologue. Now, it’s your turn. Are you ready to perform?” All of it screams Fetal Kate Beckett. Fight me.
- Ainsley Seiger, Stana Katic stan? (Please say yes. If not, maybe she’ll hop on the Hulu and fix that.)
- Are we going with Jalachi for whatever this is, or…?
- Is it hilarious to anyone but me that the camera focuses on a picture of El with The Gaslighter Who Shall Not Be Named just before he goes and makes that phone call? Because either I’m petty AF (guilty, regardless), or that was…something.
- Law & Order: Loud EO. So true.
- “I’m proud of you. You’re a good son.” I’m crying. You’re a good Zaddy.
- The 6313 badge…remember when the mini was on the butt of a gun? Same energy.
- No, really. The attention to detail and respect for the character’s roots. That other show’s Powers That Be would (and have) never.
- As far as the Bensler of it all goes, I’m not particularly worried about the Flutura situation. Elliot’s a moron whose answer to undercover problems with the womenfolk is to get naked with them. I wouldn’t mind Liv kicking his ass a bit for it (if I’m allowed to say so???), but like. Meh. There are no feelings there, he’s doing what/whomst he has to do to stay alive…and that awkward, twitchy hesitation was there before he even kissed Flutura. Your boy had to force himself.
- This bitch needs a lot of Listerine and some clear lab work before he puts that tongue anywhere near Liv, though.
- “Do we need to bring SVU in on this?” You know Sergeant Bell is out here like, “oh, fuck. Not him and the Captain acting like lovesick teenagers or bickering spouses on a case again. How’d I get stuck with this dude?” You know she is.
- Also, like anyone even needed to ask Elliot if we should call his partner for him. Come on.