LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME Boss Ilene Chaiken Teases Season 2's Villains, Stabler's Undercover Danger, and Bell's Tenuous Alliance - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME Boss Ilene Chaiken Teases Season 2’s Villains, Stabler’s Undercover Danger, and Bell’s Tenuous Alliance

September 22, 2021 by  

Organized Crime season 2 spoilers

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “The Man With No Identity” Episode 201 — Pictured: Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler — (Photo by: Zach Dilgard/NBC)

As ORGANIZED CRIME’s second season kicks off, the NBC drama is reinventing itself—intentionally.

“It’s very important to us to signal to the audience, to the fans of the show, that we’re going to tell a new story now,” showrunner Ilene Chaiken explains. “[Executive producer] Dick [Wolf] had promised this [format] of three pods per season, and that really is the concept of the show. You don’t have to have seen season 1 to jump in and see season 2, because we’re starting a whole new story.”

Though the first season was a single pod—using the show’s first eight episodes—the plan is to keep with the multi-pod structure moving forward. “That’s going to happen—and this is both the beauty and the challenge of the show—basically every eight episodes, roughly,” she says. “It probably won’t always be the same number, but we are going to reinvent the show again. We will pursue a criminal or a transnational organized crime syndicate, we’ll finish that story, and we’ll begin a story, with a new adversary.”

When season 2 begins, it’s three months after the events of the season 1 finale, as the task force–led by Sgt. Ayanna Bell (Danielle Moné Truitt) and Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni)—took down Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott) and his family. But the victory was short-lived, as Wheatley to put a hit on his ex-wife, Angela (Tamara Taylor), via dirty task member Morales (Michael Rivera)—while luring Stabler’s former partner, Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), to the scene via a fake text.

Now, Wheatley is awaiting trial, while Bell and Stabler find themselves enmeshed in the workings of an Albanian crime family. And though that will take up the first chunk of the season, the next two pods for the sophomore season will consist of characters who have already been introduced in the ORGANIZED CRIME world.

“The first pod is the Albanians, but there’s a little cross of Wheatley and there’s more of a cross with the congressman, [Leon Kilbride, played by Ron Cephas Jones]—who ties to the story that we’re telling in the third pod,” Chaiken shares. “So they’re completely separate and freestanding pods, but we do see them [ahead of time]. If you are a fan of the show, and you stay with us the whole season, it’s just a little bit richer, because you already know a little bit about those criminals.”

Organized Crime season 2 spoilers

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “The Man With No Identity” Episode 201 — Pictured: Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

But what’s ahead in the first pod? To get closer to their target, Stabler goes undercover as Eddie “Ashes” Wagner, a notorious criminal who impresses Reggie Bogdani (Dash Mihok). Through Reggie, he gets closer to Reggie’s mother, Agnes Bodgani (Caroline Lagerfelt); Eastern European gangster Albi Briscu (Vinnie Jones) and his wife, Flutura Briscu (Lolita Davidovich); and the head of the organization, Jon Kosta (Michael Raymond-James).

“Well, [Stabler] will have relationships with each of them; very different relationships with each of them,” Chaiken teases. “The Albanian clan, they’re literally a family, because the Albanians, the clans, usually, are family relationships: uncles, cousins, nephews, sons, and fathers.”

“His primary relationship is with [Reggie], who is his point of contact; the person with whom he ingratiates himself and whose confidence he wins in order to get closer and closer to the seat of power,” she continues. “And the relationship between them, although Reggie is full-on a gangster, is kind of tender, in some ways.”

More complex is the rest of the family, many of whom aren’t sure what to make of this outsider.

“Just look out for the Stabler-Flutura relationship, or story, and Stabler-Abli,” Chaiken teases. “That’s possibly one of my favorite stories we’re telling, and it’s got a lot of great moments, in my view.”

After a season of trying to outsmart Wheatley from afar, it’s a new approach for Stabler, who has to get his hands dirty with the undercover op.

“I hope that that’s one of the things that we get to do, which keeps the show, hopefully, interesting for the audience—it certainly keeps it interesting for me,” Chaiken says. “With each new story, with each new crime family that we take on, there’s a very different tone and personality. And this one is rough, very physical, very visceral, and it’s not so much intellectual gamesmanship.”

“There always is some of that, of course, but it’s much more about tapping into the Albanian rhythms,” she continues. “And one of the things that the Albanian criminals are known for is their extreme violence and unpredictability and bold and very untethered moves. So Stabler rolls with that.”

But for Stabler, throwing himself into a case like this just months after his wife was brutally murdered—and suffering from PTSD in the aftermath—is probably not the best decision.

“He’s in psychic danger undercover,” Chaiken admits. “We will deal with [the consequences] at great lengths. Because he’s undercover, we are putting his therapy on hold. And when he comes in from the cold, as it were, he’s going to have a lot more to deal with.”

“I would venture that, in the thick of it, it might be that the adrenaline compensates for the PTSD,” she continues. “But when he comes out, he’s going to have all that much more to deal with.”

Try as he might, there are some aspects of his real life he can’t exactly hide from. “In part, he’s undercover because he’s hiding from himself,” Chaiken allows. “So, that’s obviously subtle and writer psychology, but I hope that comes through.”

For Stabler’s partner, Bell, things are a roller coaster in the early part of the season.

Outside of work, it’s bittersweet: though Bell’s nephew’s lawsuit against the NYPD is ongoing, the good news is “when we begin our season, she and [her wife] Denise are the parents of a three-month-old baby boy.”

But on the job, holding down the fort and trying to run the operation from afar has its own challenges, especially in the aftermath of losing her last undercover operative, Gina (Charlotte Sullivan).

“It’s very much top of mind for her,” Chaiken says. “She’s hyper-vigilant and it’s constant pain. [Bell is] more concerned and more vigilant, but ultimately, she is a cop—and a good cop—and she knows that Stabler is a very able colleague. She’s going to trust him beyond the point where it’s comfortable for her to. She’s ultimately responsible for whether or not she senses that his life has been in danger…and of course she will [know when that happens].”

Organized Crime season 2 spoilers

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “The Man With No Identity” Episode 201 — Pictured: (l-r) Guillermo Diaz as Sergeant Bill Brewster, Danielle Moné Truitt as Sergeant Ayanna Bell — (Photo by: Zach Dilgard/NBC)

Complicating matters? Bell reunites with her former colleague, Sgt. Bill Brewster (Guillermo Diaz)—much to her chagrin.

“He is her former boss,” Chaiken previews. “He was in charge when she was a detective in narco; it didn’t go well. There’s not a lot of love lost between them. And they are forced into an uneasy partnership, because they each have a task force and their operations overlap. They’ll be forced into a joint task force—of which they’re co-commanders. And the implication is only one of you will be left standing at the end of this.”

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


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