Elliot Stabler, Chris Meloni’s Law & Order: SVU counterpart, was last seen onscreen 10 years ago. But he’ll soon be returning to his old stomping grounds and reuniting with his former partner — Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson. He’s been promoted from NYPD Detective 1st Grade to the head of an elite organized crime task force.
Top Six Moments We Want For Chris Meloni’s SVU Return
And when he darkens the doors leading to the SVU department, he’s going to have a lot of explaining to do, a lot of fences to mend, and a whole lot to catch up on. Below are the top six things we are hoping to see in the upcoming episode.
1. Olivia Gets A Long Overdue Explanation…
When Stabler’s retirement was announced to the SVU squad, there was no one more surprised than Olivia Benson, his partner of 14 years. How could Stabler not have given her a private heads-up that he wouldn’t be returning? That’s what Olivia has long wondered – and she’s not the only one. Here’s hoping that Stabler has a damn good reason for blindsiding the woman he once claimed he’d give up a kidney for.
2. And Offers One Of Her Own
And once that reasoning is out in the open, Olivia has some things she needs to get off her chest as well. Like how she firmly believes that Stabler held her back and kept her from growing both as a person and as a cop.
In the years following Stabler’s retirement, Olivia rose in rank from Junior Detective to Captain of the SVU squad, and she’s fulfilled a life long ambition: becoming a mother. So, in her assessment, Olivia’s achieved her status not because of, but in spite of Stabler…and that’s a conversation worth having.
3. Introductions Are A Must
And speaking of Noah…It’s high time that Stabler meets the new little Mr. in Olivia’s life. Say whatever disparaging thing you want to about Stabler (Lord knows there’s plenty to choose from), but he was always a sucker where kids were concerned (and a father to plenty). So that’s an introduction we are dying to see!
4. Making Peace With The Past
It’s safe to say that Stabler and Fin Tutuola never got along. In fact, Fin once applied for a transfer in order to distance himself from toxic influences – Stabler chief among them. So once Stabler is back on the scene, a conversation between these two is a must. The passage of time could very well have tempered the way that the men view each other…and maybe they can agree to let bygones be bygones and start afresh?
5. A Stable Stabler
Stabler was ruled by his emotions. And those emotions – and his propensity to lash out violently – was what ultimately forced his hand and resulted in his exit from the police force. Now that he’s back on the job and commanding his own unit, here’s hoping that Stabler has found a way to resolve his issues and emerge a better man.
6. A Good Old Fashioned Catch-up
The 16th Precinct has undergone a plethora of changes in the decade since Stabler last crossed its threshold. Cragen and Munch retired. The building itself underwent extensive restoration. Olivia gained her aforementioned promotion and son, suffered under the yolk of a sociopath, and she added (among several others) Stabler’s arch-nemesis Lieutenant Ed Tucker, to her long list of failed romances!
It’s obvious that Elliot Stabler has a lot of catching up do…and what better way to do so than with an off-the-clock beer with his former comrades-in-arms down at the local watering hole? Look for Chris Meloni to return in an episode later this year, possibly during February sweeps. Law & Order: SVU airs tonight on NBC but then won’t return until February 18. Check your local listings for airtimes.