Elliot Stabler might be getting his own spin-off series separate from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, but Christopher Meloni is still suggesting the iconic character will reunite with Mariska Hargitay's Olivia Benson. As has been reported, Meloni will reprise the role of Stabler for the new upcoming Law & Order series, this one sub-titled Organized Crime. This means Stabler will be working on different cases, but given the character's history with Benson, Meloni has stated how their inevitable reunion needs to happen.
"It just has to be," Christopher Meloni says of the reunion in a new interview with the New York Post. "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."
Additionally, Meloni hints that the storylines involving the new relationship between Stabler and Benson could be ongoing, as opposed to merely saying hello to one another for a brief cameo or two. "How my character left was really unsatisfying, I think," Meloni says of the way Stabler originally left SVU. "It almost feels that we won't do one or two [crossover] episodes and move on our merry way. I just think there will always be possibilities there," Meloni adds. "People will always be hungry to see how we interact and how that dynamic has changed."
Law & Order: Organized Crime picks up with Stabler returning to work for the NYPD following a "devastating personal loss." Presumably, it's this horrific situation that completely changes Stabler's life, inspiring him to pursue organized crime in the city with personal stakes involved. As of now, however, Meloni is staying mum on what exactly this tragedy in Stabler's life will be revealed to be, but Meloni says it will explain the character's new motivations. "Dick [Wolf] gave me a general brush stroke of the unit that Elliot will be a part of. The whys, what fors, what brings him back to the fold and where he's been," Meloni explained.
It's not entirely clear why Meloni departed SVU after starring on the show for its first 12 seasons, but Meloni is also clearing up the air on his exit by insisting that the decision was not personal. "I left with zero animosity, but I did leave clearly and open-eyed in going forward and finding new adventures," Meloni says. The versatile actor has since shown off his talents in a variety of other movies and television shows, which includes starring on the cult hit series Happy! before it was axed too soon after just two seasons. Perhaps after spreading his wings elsewhere for several years, Meloni is finally ready to step back into the shoes of his most well-known character.
Law & Order: Organized Crime will premiere in Fall 2020, airing on Thursday nights immediately following new episodes of Law & Order: SVU. An exact premiere date has yet to be revealed by NBC. You can read the full interview with Meloni at the New York Post.