LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME Post-Mortem: Ilene Chaiken on That Killer Twist and Elliot's Mindset: 'Is He Going to Be Able to Keep it Together?' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME Post-Mortem: Ilene Chaiken on That Killer Twist and Elliot’s Mindset: ‘Is He Going to Be Able to Keep it Together?’

May 13, 2021 by  

Organized Crime Angela Killed Kathy

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “An Inferior Product” Episode 105 — Pictured: (l-r) Dylan McDermott as Richard Wheatley, Tamara Taylor as Angela Wheatley, Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler — (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/NBC)

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Thursday, May 13 crossover of LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT and ORGANIZED CRIMES.]

The LAW & ORDER crossover led the ORGANIZED CRIME team to their biggest clue yet about Kathy’s (Isabel Gillies) killer.

When Elliot (Christopher Meloni) got information about the makeup of the bomb that ultimately killed his wife, he and the task force looked into recipients for the material used for it—and zeroed in on Richard Wheatley’s (Dylan McDermott) henchman/the force’s new source, Izak Bekher (Ibrahim Renno).

After finding the link, Elliot questioned Izak why Richard would want Kathy dead—and Izak revealed the order came from Angela (Tamara Taylor), Richard’s ex-wife…and the woman Elliot had just shared a kiss with.

So what the heck comes next? ORGANIZED CRIME boss Ilene Chaiken breaks down the “An Inferior Product” bombshells, how the show is handling Elliot’s mental health, that mysterious letter, and more…

Elliot is someone who has not been on solid ground, and the revelation that Angela may have been behind Kathy’s death could rock him. What can you preview about how he handles the news and how he has to cope with not tipping his hand to her as they figure out what’s going on?
So, obviously it’s a huge blow, given that relationship that we built between them. And one of the things that we want you to come away with from this episode, is he going to be able to keep it together? Given where we’ve been with him and how fragile he’s been, frankly, is this going to push him onto into a downward spiral or is he going to pull himself together?

Then, of course, we are going to explore [that] this was an accusation, but it’s not definitive. Did Angela really call the hit on Kathy Stabler? And if she did, why? And what are the nuances? And how much is she involved with Richard Wheatley? Or how much did Wheatley manipulate this? These are all the things that we’re teeing up and that will play out and unravel over the course of the rest of the season.

Elliot is someone who has struggled, at times, to let people in. But in this case, Bell (Danielle Moné Truitt) and the team saw the accusation, and he did previously try to reach out to Olivia (Mariska Hargitay) to work the case. How much is he allowing people to help him as he tries to figure out whether this is real or not?
That is such a good question, because it’s something that we’re playing, really, as active story. Given the kind of design of this show, yes, we’re telling police stories, we’re pursuing the bad guy, we’re doing investigative work, but we’re also really—I hope—doing a deep dive into character for Stabler. And whether he’s able to open himself up and let people help him is a very, very big deal and a key question. And one that we are going to play through right until the finale. You’ll see in the finale that that issue gets given a lot of attention.

Without confirming whether Angela was legitimately behind this threat, she and Elliot discussed their connection. In your mind, how much of their connection is authentic on her side, and how much of it is manipulation?
In my mind, whether there’s manipulation or not, the connection is legitimate, whether she did what she’s been accused of, or whether it’s more complex than that. The relationship that evolved between them, I think, is genuine and authentic. She feels it as much as he does.

And I would like to believe that she’s not manipulating him; that she may be well aware of the danger and the high-wire act that she’s involved in, but that her feelings are genuine.

It’s interesting to hear other people talk about it, who come at it from a different point of view—and people have different perceptions of it. But that’s my belief.

As we dive into the mystery of Kathy’s death, will the show be looking back at the years we didn’t see the Stablers? Or are we mostly looking ahead?
Mostly looking forward. If it comes up in an organic way, I think we’ll talk about it. We were not inclined to do flashbacks. It’s mostly a forward-looking story.

Richard has seemed deceptively out of control in many ways—he didn’t seem to know Elliot, he didn’t know Elliot was attacked, etc. With Angela seemingly having caused this, how will he handle realizing how much has been out of his hands?
Wheatley, as we established in the first episode, is brilliant, but reckless and arrogant. Sometimes, that doesn’t work out so well for him. And he sometimes makes decisions driven more by ego than strategy. But he has always, throughout this story, been very much on top of things. Pretty untouchable in a lot of ways. I’m looking forward to see him get broken down a bit.

Elsewhere, Bell is now in an awkward position because her nephew was assaulted by the police and is suing the NYPD…and she’s been told she needs to take in Wheatley or lose her job. How is that impacting things for her?
It’s an important story for us, and one that plays out once again, throughout the rest of the season. It’s a personal story for Bell, and it’s a story that impacts the work. The thing that was most exciting to me about this story is that we all know the politics of the story we’re telling are very current politics. And we’re trying to reflect that reality in our show, as are many other shows; I would even venture to say every television show that deals with the police is dealing with this issue, in one way or another.

For us, this is a very personal story. Yes, it references the culture at large, but we’re telling the story from Bell’s point of view. We’re telling it about the inherent conflict it presents her with: whether she can be true to herself, whether she can be a good wife, or a good future parent, and also a good cop, all at the same time.

There was also the threat of a mole…
They’re always trying to figure that out, and yes that will that will ultimately play out in the course of our season. Though maybe not in the way you would expect it to.

I know you dove very briefly into the Twitter conversation today with Danielle, but what can you say about what Bell meant when she was trying to encourage Elliot to move on?
[Laughs.] Oh, no, I want to answer in exactly the way I answered her, which is, “Thanks a lot, Danielle!” [Laughs.] I think that Bell reads Stabler incredibly well, and she’s a very grounding force in his life. And she wants the best for him. And I don’t think that she is talking about his romantic life, but I think that she’s just saying, “You need to start looking elsewhere to build your support system.” And if there’s any shred of that also refers to his love life, I’m sure that she would be encouraging him to do that, too.

So was she saying to not look at that with Olivia and find someone entirely new or was she just saying in general?
She was saying in general, I believe. It carries weight across the entire spectrum of his life and issues. As we see, in a sense, it drives him to Angela Wheatley.

Another thing that has been a big topic of discussion is the letter Elliot wrote Olivia. Is that a single season mystery or is that potentially a longer-arc?
Our intention isn’t to be manipulative with it. We’re not looking to torture anyone. But we want to come back to it organically. We don’t want to use it in some kind of cheap or cheesy way. But I do think that it warrants attention somewhere down the line.



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