LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME's Ilene Chaiken Teases the 'Head-Spinning' Letter Reveal - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME’s Ilene Chaiken Teases the ‘Head-Spinning’ Letter Reveal

September 16, 2021 by  

organized crime Whats in the letter

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “What Happens in Puglia” Episode 101 — Pictured: (l-r) Mariska Hargitay as Captain Olivia Benson, Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

When the first episode of LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME aired, the drama series set up an unexpected mystery for fans: What the heck was in the letter that Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) gave to Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay)?

The contents of the now-infamous note were left pretty vague in the show’s first season. In the pilot, Elliot told Olivia that when he RSVPed to her award ceremony—after ten years apart, and him not responding to her messages after he left the force—he was asked to say a few words about her. And while he acknowledged he wasn’t one for public speaking, he opted instead to write down what he wanted to tell his former long-time partner, with the plan to give it to her when they reunited. (Of course, the initial plan was derailed when his wife, Kathy, was injured—and ultimately died—in a car explosion on their way to the ceremony, and the whole thing was called off. He gave her the letter, later, when she brought him evidence that could be helpful for his case.)

Olivia read the message off-screen, and came to discuss it with Elliot at the end of the OC premiere hour…but he was distracted and distraught amidst his investigation into his wife’s murder. Between his PTSD, a complicated intervention that was derailed, and a number of personal cases, and the duo never had a chance to discuss it again.

“Our intention isn’t to be manipulative with it,” ORGANIZED CRIME showrunner Ilene Chaiken said last season. “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.”



And that time, it appears, is in season 2.

“The letter is addressed,” Meloni said during a panel at 92Y. “And I think you’re going to set your head on fire when it happens. I think there’s going to be a riot.”

But what the heck does that mean? Will it be what was in the letter that causes that reaction? Or, with Elliot starting the season undercover, will it be the when and how it’s revealed that will make people lose their minds?

“It’s really the contents of the letter [that will get that reaction],” Chaiken teases. “The context in which it’s revealed is pretty fabulous and juicy—but it’s the content of the letter that really is kind of head-spinning.”

As a result, two decades into their complicated dynamic, “it leaves Olivia and Elliot in a place where maybe they’ve never quite been before,” Chaiken previews.

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME, Season Premiere, Thursday, September 23, 10/9c, NBC

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