Aside from developing two great partnerships (which we discussed here and here) — or maybe even together with them — Law & Order: Organized Crime season 3 still has to tell a certain kind of story. As in, for lack of a better way of putting it, our fictional cops have to do actual police work. (Insert “brand new information” gif from Friends here.)
But, as we’ve seen countless times in the real world, and as we saw in the Brotherhood arc last season, “police work” does not always mean what, in any just world, it should actually mean. So, given that we expect to see a deeper look at Sergeant Bell’s experiences, and given the corruption Detective Stabler helped root out at the end of last season, we were wondering what’s next. Would Organized Crime season 3 move on from that storyline?
When we spoke to Bryan Goluboff back in August, we asked if we were diving in or staying away. “No, we’re not staying away from those conversations,” he assured us. In the first place, Elliot is still “going to have to testify against these guys in court. It’s going to put a target on his back.” But since Detective Stabler is part of a team, he’s not the only one who will be affected. The fallout is “going to threaten the entire task force. Because he, in certain ways, is political dynamite and hampers the way [Bell] needs to do her job with the brass.”
In other words, instead of taking a convenient exit and leaving all the difficult questions behind, the plan for season 3 is “steering right into that skid.”
And how, exactly, can we expect to accomplish that? Good news: At some point, we’ll get a little help from a friend (for now). As Goluboff told us, “there’s a storyline that’s going to involve Benson that’s going to sort of piggyback on the Brotherhood storyline.” While it was a little bit early to give us a lot of details, he teased, “it’s about betrayal of trust with the badge. And how…how devastating that is for people who need protection to instead be victimized. By the power of the badge.”
Um, sign us up.
“So, we’re trying to go deeper into those issues and what they mean — the cost of that for Stabler. He still turned on his brothers. There’s a blue wall of silence. There is a brotherhood there. And, for Stabler, they crossed his line, and he had to do what he had to do. There’s other storylines in the season where he is asking other people [imitates Stabler yelling], ‘where’s your line? What line won’t you cross? Where’s your integrity? It cost me a lot to draw my line in the sand. Personally, professionally…all these different ways. Where’s your line? Let’s find it.’”
A recurring case for Law & Order: Organized Crime season 3
One of those “other storylines” is a planned season-wide arc that “revolves around the building and opening of New York City’s first casino.” The Silas family, which won the bid to build the casino, did so, in large part, because their “golden boy” Teddy’s “it girl” wife, Pearl Serrano, had “a vision that this is going to save the city — and sort of save her people…that she cares for.”
They’ve promised “twenty percent of that workforce is supposed to be female and BIPOC.” So, “this economic idea that it was going to be a boon, not just for revenue and for tourism but also for jobs. And for jobs for people who lost their benefits, lost their pensions during the pandemic” secured the deal.
OCCB will “use this casino as a huge sting operation — as a net to catch all kinds of criminality as it tries to prey on the different elements of this casino.” It’s going to lead Detective Stabler to have to confront Pearl, specifically, at some point.
“He’s going to say to Pearl, ‘I know it’s uncomfortable to look at your own people. I just had to do it — I just had to testify against brother cops. And it put a target on my back. I know it’s hard. But if you’re going to be the kind of person that you want to be — that you purport to be — sometimes, you’ve got to do hard things. Where is that line for you?’”
Overall, we’ll see a lot in Law & Order: Organized Crime season 3 that’s about “the cost of that line.” It’ll also examine “why they [Bell and Stabler] sacrifice so much of themselves to do this work. And why it’s important to do it right.” Instead of constraining the story, this bigger arc “lets us be nimble and hit other arcs for two or three episodes here and there. It lets us have a standalone; there’s a lot of tangential things.”
And all of it comes back to just trying to make something for the fandom. “We really want to thrill the fans. I’ve been on a lot of shows. There’s no engagement like the Law & Order universe fans — there’s no engagement like it. And we want to respect it. And we want to…We want them to love it.”