LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT Boss: The Plan is for Stabler to be in the Season 22 Premiere - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT Boss: The Plan is for Stabler to be in the Season 22 Premiere

May 1, 2020 by  

Elliot Stabler Return SVU Season 22 Premiere

Credit: NBC/NBCU

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT’s season came to an early end—albeit with a finale-like episode—but its planned closer was intended to bring back a familiar family.

“We heard distant thunder about Chris Meloni[‘s Elliot Stabler] coming back in the fall,” SVU showrunner Warren Leight said on the official SVU podcast, “Squadroom.” “We were going to lay a little groundwork for that. We were going to see Kathy Stabler come back, very upset—her son has been rolled by a team of ne’er-do-wells and may have been drugged.”

“We were going to revisit Simon’s seeming overdose and get to know the stressors on the Stabler family,” he continued. “What had happened to the Stabler family after Elliot both left SVU and apparently left them? We were going to lay some groundwork down in anticipation of Elliot’s return, of course, with his own series. We had the sense that the first episode of next year was going to bring Elliot back. We were going to foreshadow that and kind of explain a little more of what happened to [Olivia’s dead brother] Simon.”

But with Dick Wolf shows typically living in the same universe—both the FBI shows and the ONE CHICAGO universe  cross over and also tend to be on the same timeline—the planned return may play out considerably different when season 22 kicks off. (NBC has not officially confirmed the upcoming SVU spinoff, though both SVU star Mariska Hargitay and Meloni acknowledged it on Instagram.)

“First of all, we don’t know when we’ll be back to shooting and what shooting will be like in the post-COVID world,” Leight noted. “It’s pretty clear that Elliot will be in SVU season opener. I think that much I know. Whether we get to see his family, as well, remains to be seen. There’s a lot of moving parts. They’re launching a new series, as well. It’s not just about the SVU season opener, it’s how do we help launch the new series, and how much crossover will there be between Elliot and Olivia as it goes on.”

So to that end, the planned episode “24, may be reduced to a teaser [in the premiere],” he said. “It’s very hard for me to tell NBC, Universal, and Dick, ‘Can you guys hold off on introducing Elliot, because I had something in mind?'”

But, of course, that wasn’t all that got scrapped when the season was cut short. “In our minds, Rick Fox’s character was going to reappear, this time in a more social way,” Leight acknowledged. “[Olivia] lost Tucker, she lost her brother, it was a year of loss for her. And we just wanted Olivia to have a little bit of a spring…the last four episodes were going to have a hint of spring in Olivia’s life. But like so many other plans we all had…”

Also not making the cut? Digging into planned tension between Olivia (Hargitay) and Carisi (Peter Scanavino), as the captain struggled to contend with the shift in their dynamic. (And with the final four planned episodes of the season written, the hope is that season 22 will include some version of all but the finale.)


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