Law & Order: Organized Crime Premiere Summary: Stabler makes a new appearance, Old Vendetta in SVU Spinoff – Grade It!
Perps of the World, you got it right: Law and Order’s Elliot Stabler is back on duty.
The detective, played by longtime SVU star Chris Meloni, returned Thursday in a crossover event that ended with the premiere of his new spin-off Law and Order: Organized Crime. In a moment we want to hear what you thought of the first episode of OC. But first a brief summary of the lesson. (And if you want to read a recap of the previous SVU episode, you’re good to go!)
We start with Stabler being chewed for speaking directly to the bad guys in the courthouse, which could put the case at risk. He claims he’s just trying to end the bombing that killed Kathy “for my children”. Then he meets up with Liv in a toboggan area where Noah is having fun. She gives El some notes on the case, just in case he ricochets off it. They talk about his life in Italy and it is easy and kind until he mentions how much she would have loved where he lived. “I can’t,” she says somberly. “I see,” he says sadly. Then he mentions that he was asked to give a speech at their awards ceremony, but he’s not a fan of public speaking. “I wrote that,” he says, handing her a letter, “and I wanted to give it to you that evening.” MY HEART. Noah calls and she turns to go. Stabler watches them wistfully.
We are drawn into Stabler’s work with the Intelligence Division raiding a warehouse that reveals forged documents, including a duplicate of Stabler’s Italian ID card. The warehouse also contained a shisha joint that was run by a murdered man. His mother, Angela Wheatley, a math professor (played by Bones’ Tamara Taylor), is not interested in helping with the investigation.
The Stablers all gather to discuss the funeral; It is the first time in the crossover that we see Eli, Maureen and Lizzie. It appears that Kathy felt that Elliot did not handle dangerous cases while living overseas. It also appears that there is some disagreement over El’s announcement that he will not be returning to Rome. At the funeral that Olivia attends, Eli kneels by his mother’s grave and sobs. Stabler sits down next to his youngest son, holds him tight and assures him: “I have you.”
OK, back to the case. Stabler briefly meets with a recently released gangster named Sinatra (played by Chaz Palminteri) who owned the camp in question. Stabler asks if he was the one behind the bombing. “If I wanted to see you dead,” says the older man, “you would be the one in the ground now.”
Then we follow Sinatra to his son’s house. Richard (Dylan McDermott of American Horror Story) is a rich guy with snooty tastes who ran the club at the warehouse while his dad was in a clang, and now Sinatra is mad that the police are snooping around. Richard is also doing something in Puglia, Italy. I’m not going to lie – I’m not 100 percent sure what’s going on here, but I expect we’ll get more as the season progresses.
Back in the clean and pretty part of the NYPD (there are no dirty group rooms here!) Stabler is pleased to learn that the department is opening a task force on the bomb / storage situation. But, to his chagrin, he won’t direct it. That honor goes to Ayanna Bell (Deputy’s Danielle Moné Truitt), who takes Stabler’s old school methods seriously. It gives us more background information about Sinatra’s son, who opened one of the first online pharmacies and is involved in illegal drugs. Oh, and Richard’s last name is Wheatley: he was married to the professor once and took her name mainly to tick off his father. When they divorced, two of their sons lived with him. The other who ran the shisha lounge chose to live with her.
Stabler and Angela are discussing all of this when he notices a man on a moped who is acting like a squirrel. Pretty soon they’ll be attacked. The biker and an accomplice attempt a drive-by shooting; Elliot pushes the professor out of the way and they’re fine, but it’s a close deal.
The next day, Stabler admits that he doesn’t know whether the hit fell on him or Angela. Bell reminds him that while their search will skyrocket the people who killed Kathy, it is not their main directive: “Our job is to blow up an international drug cartel that has been under the radar for two decades.” Stabler says he understands … and immediately turns them off when he receives an encrypted message at 9 a.m. calling him to the Coney Island Wonder Wheel for information on who murdered Kathy.
But while Stabler is out, Richard finds his father on the miracle wheel and lets him know that Sinatra was planning to sell him to the police. While they ride the Ferris wheel, it stops with their car on top. Sinatra, a lifelong racist, apologizes for all the terrible things he said about his mixed race grandchildren. But Richard doesn’t have it. And when Stabler arrives, he finds Sinatra with a bullet through his forehead. So he opens the dead man’s eyes wide enough to be able to unlock his phone using face recognition and then plugs the device in. Same old stabler!
Back at Richard’s house, guess who’s there: Angela! She makes him a duty to drive by (“I told you I could handle it”) and it’s clear that they are not as alienated as she has led Stabler to believe. And THEN the ABSOLUTELY WORST happens, even though we have already committed a murder in that hour. When Stabler makes an anonymous call about the corpse and nervously returns to his apartment building (which I think), Liv is there. And she has the LETTER in her hand. She wants to talk about it, but he’s sweaty and nervous and when Bell calls, he blows Liv away and rushes upstairs. Nooooooooooooo!
Now it’s your turn. Rate the premiere using the poll below, then click on the comments!