The return of Christopher Meloni to the "Law & Order" universe just keeps getting more arresting!
In a new interview with the New York Post, Meloni is sharing not only a little bit about what Detective Elliot Stabler, the character he played on "Law & Order: SVU" from 1999 to 2011, will be doing on the spinoff "Organized Crime" — but he's also talking about crossovers with "SVU"!
"How my character left was really unsatisfying, I think," he says in the interview. "It almost feels that (we'll) do one or two (crossover) episodes and move on our merry way."
This is big news for fans of Stabler and "SVU's" Olivia Benson (played by Mariska Hargitay). There's been a long-simmering tension between the two partners, who were never romantically connected ... except in the minds of their admirers.
"It just has to be," Meloni added. "Benson and Stabler are inextricably linked, locked and connected. I think there is truly and deeply a worthwhile, inherent drama in exploring that relationship and the complexity of how Stabler left — the unresolved emotions both characters feel and how the fans feel."
"Organized Crime," set to premiere this fall on NBC, revolves around the NYPD organized crime unit led by Stabler. Thirteen episodes of the series have been ordered, and they'll air Thursdays at 10 p.m., directly after "SVU."
"(Creator) Dick (Wolf) gave me a general brush stroke of the unit that Elliot will be a part of," said the actor, who's gone on to appear in multiple series since leaving "SVU," including "The Handmaid's Tale" and "Happy." "The whys, what fors, what brings him back to the fold and where he’s been."
We've already heard that Stabler will have undergone a "devastating personal loss" before the new series begins, and that'll affect his emotional arc. What kind of loss? Meloni's keeping mum about that for now: "We'll leave it at that," he says.
So expect lots of Sturm und Drang as the new show gets kicked off, and expect that to amp up once we get those promised crossovers. Could this finally be Benson and Stabler's big moment?
"I just think there will always be possibilities there," he says. "People will always be hungry to see how we interact and how that dynamic has changed."