"Law & Order: Organized Crime" is getting closer and closer to its premiere date of April 1, and we have so many questions.
Of course, we already know that Christopher Meloni will be reprising his beloved Det. Elliot Stabler, which he originated on "Law & Order: SVU." And in late January, we learned that Dylan McDermott ("The Practice," "Hollywood") has also joined the cast.
But that's all we knew ... until Thursday, when McDermott posted a super-teasy photo of himself on Instagram:
The picture, which shows McDermott in a double-breasted suit jacket, tie and slicked-back hair (posing with two gorgeous Irish wolfhounds in a super-streamlined, almost monochromatic, living room), has only this for a caption: "April 1@nbcsvu #organizedcrime."
We knew that already! But let's dig deeper. Here's what we know, and what we think we know:
This is not a photo taken from McDermott's living room
That's a guess; it could be a Hollywood actor's pad, but McDermott's pose and outfit — plus the fact that his dog is a smallish fuzzball named Otis, not two Irish wolfhounds — makes us confident that this is actually McDermott in character, on the "Organized Crime" set.
Click on the image to get some confirmation: There are tags for #NBCSVU, #RalphLaren, #WolfEntertainment and #CumorKennel (which is probably a reference to Cú Mór Kennels, Irish wolfhound breeders in Maryland).
McDermott's character is likely not one of the good guys
We're used to seeing him as steadfast on "The Practice" and dodgy on "Hollywood," but this picture screams "I am not playing a hero on this show." And really, since Meloni's Stabler is already the hero, that's not a huge leap. To us, the image conveys "superwealthy, powerful man who's let a Marie Kondo-inspired designer decorate his home" and who overcompensates with not one giant beast, but two, to protect him.
Meanwhile, what the heck is that gadget in the lower left hand corner? It looks very ... low-tech, yet menacing.
And should we be inferring anything from the staircase "bars" behind him as to his ultimate fate on the show? All right, now we are really reading things into this.
McDermott is probably playing a mobster
This is really speculative, but we're gonna go on a limb here: The first episode he'll appear in on April 1 is called "What Happens in Puglia," a reference to a town in Italy. (Thus far, he's slated to appear on at least five episodes, indicating an ongoing arc.)
It's a stereotype to believe that any references to Italy involve the mob, but there has been a surge in organized crime activity in Puglia, and "Law & Order" does get into the "ripped from the headlines" aspect and, well, the show is called "Organized Crime."
That said, McDermott is of partial Irish extraction, as are the dogs, so ... anything is possible.
His character is almost certainly walking into a volatile situation
Truth is, any situation with the mercurial Stabler (who Meloni played on "SVU" from 1999 to 2011) in it is potentially volatile, and based on pictures Meloni and Mariska Hargitay (who plays his former partner Olivia Benson) on "Law & Order: SVU" have shared of their reunion on that show, they're sharing a hug and shooting scenes near a graveyard.
We sense Stabler's frame of mind is not going to be awesome as he returns to our small screens. Enter McDermott's (possible!) bad guy and things could really get nasty.
McDermott is very excited to get on the show
So stay tuned: "Law & Order: Organized Crime" is set to air on Thursday, April 1. It'll be preceded by "Law & Order: SVU," which will find Stabler and Benson together again, at least for one episode.