Law & Order: Organized Crime 2×19 “Dead Presidents” featured so many moving parts, it was hard to keep up. Detective Stabler willingly took on a dangerous job for Mr. Webb: trying to steal money back from Rutger Ulrich, whose millions basically keep the city’s organized crime going.
We could certainly talk about all the “edge of your seat” tension the operation created…but as usual, we kind of care more about the smaller, quieter moments. Eh. “Kind of” is a bad way of putting it—we are, one hundred percent, all in on the quieter moments and merely entertained by the “high-stakes” of it all. That’s actually a good thing, whether it sounds like we’re writing off a huge chunk of the series or not.
We’re only in the second season of Organized Crime, and the first season was shorter than your average network run. So, aside from Elliot, we don’t really have much business being quite as invested as we are. And yet…here we are, in a place where everyone feels real—feels worth following to the point that the work becomes the background noise, and the people become everything.
With that being said, let’s check in with some of our family at OCCB and see where they are afterr Law & Order: Organized Crime 2×19.
Sure, the ship name is Jalachi, but we’re emphasizing the capital “J” here because Jet was just wow in “Dead Presidents.” Or, really, Ainsley Seiger…was…Damn. In the middle of all the action, Slootmaekers had to make the quick decision to shoot a man. Her horrified, in the moment, reaction blew us away.
That, however, did not at all prepare us for what came later: this relatively-young detective, who never has any trouble giving old man Stabler shit, has all the confidence in the world in what she does, and snipes back and forth with Malachi in that “I hate you, which means I actually love you, which means that irritates the fuck outta me so I hate/love you more” vibe they have…just absolutely wrecked and…small. The opening of that apartment scene, with Jet projecting everything inward and curled in on herself, was insane.
We’ve been there—for totally different reasons. We know what it’s like to feel that devastation, to want to find somewhere inside ourselves to disappear. It was real, palpable in a way we never expected to see.
Somehow, when Malachi showed up with food, the character work got even better.
It was a barely-cracked door, a quiet greeting, and then that crack getting a little wider. Jet let Malachi in, little by little—not just physically with that door but emotionally, too. Their normal antagonistic banter even tried to make an appearance, just a little bit weaker than usual. A little muted.
We saw Malachi showing up, wanting to support Jet. But what matters, even as he tripped over his words, is that he was there for her. He gave her the care he could, a shoulder to lean on, a meal, and his sort of awkward admiration. He broke through, widened the tiniest of cracks in Jet’s armor.
They experienced some kind of thawing. Something…a little bittersweet.
We’re always hearing about why series can’t follow up when a Strong Female Character™ suffers a trauma—no time, not the point of the show. Insert excuses galore here. Law & Order: Organized Crime 2×19 proved that not only is it easy to provide this kind of care, it can also result in something really beautiful.
…and then they hooked up. As ships do. Please, Jalachi. Teach the olds how it’s done. Maybe they need a how-to guide?
Organized Crime 2×19 and family costs
We knew Carmen’s confession from the end of Organized Crime 2×17 would have an impact; we just weren’t expecting…this. In “Dead Presidents,” we saw her brother getting in way over his head. Derrick didn’t even learn his lesson when he failed at backing out of his gun deal. That one interaction on the street should have taught him he had no business getting involved in…whatever it is he (stupidly) thinks he’s going to do to help.
After all, what can a pastor do with an illegally-purchased gun that his sister, deep undercover as “Nova,” hasn’t been able to do all this time? But when you know how much danger your loved ones are in, you want to protect them—stupid as it may be. And when you know who killed someone you loved, you want revenge—impossible as that may be.
Sometimes, too, siblings are a little bit more alike than they’d like to admit. Carmen lied for years about her real job, about her undercover work, about really her entire life. Why, then, wouldn’t Derrick lie in the name of protecting the sibling he loved, too?
This whole messy, tangled investigation is taking a pretty big toll on Sergeant Bell’s family, too. Honestly, if anything about Law & Order: Organized Crime 2×19 gave me a case of the “nopes,” it was Ayanna and Denise’s argument. There was nothing wrong with how the scene was done…just…we’ve kind of seen this before?
Law enforcement + wife, who doesn’t quite get it, at home with the baby = trouble in paradise.
Basically, it was giving Kathy Stabler, and that is…not good. On a lot of levels.
In the first place, Denise actually has a life outside of “wife and mother,” so the Kathy echoes shouldn’t have been there. Second…Well. It’s complicated. I mean, Denise’s position made sense. It suuuuuuuucks that Sergeant Bell’s investigation, one she didn’t even tell her wife about until now and didn’t exactly elaborate on, is getting in the way of Denise working for a firm that wants her. To a place where she can advance her career. That’s especially true when you consider the lies of omission that got us to this point.
Sergeant Bell is an out Black woman, in a happy (until now?) marriage, while in a position of power in the NYPD. This type of representation is so rare, and it was one of the strongest draws of Organized Crime—aside from Christopher Meloni’s return to the Law & Order franchise—from the very beginning. Until relationships like this one stop being so rare as to be more precious than all of our antagonists’ millions, we have to be really careful about how we create tension within them.
Even the most secure relationships have problems from time to time—that’s normal. It’s a given, and we’d get bored if everything was always sunshine and roses. It’s how you work through the tension that matters…But far too often, television gives us too much tragedy for LGBTQ+ relationships, and with Black women characters, when the same representation doesn’t exist in the writers’ room. When creatives don’t proceed with the right amount of caution, care, and respect.
So, when you have a marriage that checks both boxes, so to speak? We get protective.
Denise’s Organized Crime 2×19 line about going where she’s wanted and her willingness to push forward and get involved with a dangerous guy like Kilbride. Well. We’re worried. But we’d love to be wrong.
Zaddy Stabler still goes here!
It’s not that Stabler isn’t the center of the Organized Crime universe. We just decided to highlight some other folks this week.
With that being said, we can talk about the great tension between Denis Leary and Christopher Meloni as Stabler and Donnelly sized each other up. Donnelly clearly got his hackles up when he heard Webb asked El, not him, to do a job. Or, we can discuss the Stabler/Webb interactions…any of the police work, really, until we’re blue in the face.
But it was when Meloni was all by himself that he reminded us, yet again, why we love him so much. (Aside from…you know.) Elliot’s still trying to figure it all out—to come to terms with his dad’s legacy. Law & Order: Organized Crime 2×19 saw him perusing old case files and finding the proverbial smoking gun.
Stabler is good at what he does, so when his dad’s old partner got so defensive, it did the opposite of assuaging his doubts. And so, we were left with a man going through old files, alone, and experiencing so many painful emotions. Probably the most heartbreaking part of all of this is knowing that, if Elliot hadn’t just recently watched those old home movies at Bernie’s request, he wouldn’t have recognized the gun.
Instead, a recently-renewed “good” memory with Joe…is tainted.
I can’t decide if Meloni vs. Case Files or Meloni vs. Laptop was the better scene? But either way, now we know. Joe Stabler is guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt, of everything Frank Donnelly said he did. And Elliot Stabler has to find a way to come to terms with that.
Now, we’re just going to go watch El watching those videos and cry for a while…just after…
Dead Organized Crime 2×19 thoughts
- “Then, what is it, exactly that I should concern myself with?” Your former partner, perhaps. Dumbass.
- Bold of El to have a conversation about “older and wiser,” when he’s way older…but as stupid AF about relationships as ever.
- Just saying: If $700 isn’t enough for Webb and $1 million isn’t enough for Ulrich, I’ll take either. Or, preferably, both.
- Jet: “Hey, it’s me.” Malachi…suddenly speaks up. A ship.
- …and it’s giving MSR.
- “Sorry. I just had to go hurl into a trashcan. I’m fine.” I love him?
- “I do not want to walk through this world without you in it.” Filed under “better lines for that bullshit letter.”
- “Money turns men into fools.” Just leaving that there.
- Are we really supposed to believe that, with Donnelly being such a yenta and Elliot having access to all those files, he…still doesn’t know about Liv’s trauma? K.
- “I don’t think it’s hit me yet.” “Well, when it does, I’m here.” Forever stan a hacker ship.
What did you think of Law & Order: Organized Crime 2×19? Drop us a comment!