LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME's Ilene Chaiken Teases Exploring Elliot and Olivia's Relationship, the Return of Bernie Stabler - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME’s Ilene Chaiken Teases Exploring Elliot and Olivia’s Relationship, the Return of Bernie Stabler

September 29, 2021 by  

Elliot Olivia reunion

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT — “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing” Episode 22016 — Pictured: (l-r) Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler, Mariska Hargitay as Captain Olivia Benson — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME’s Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) may be undercover, but his real life leads to a lot of complications on the Thursday, September 30 block of LAW & ORDER.

On the 9/8c hour of ORGANIZED CRIME, “New World Order,” Elliot’s mother, Bernie Stabler (Ellen Burstyn), returns, more than a dozen years after she was introduced on SVU. (Burstyn also won a Guest Actress Emmy for her portrayal of the character.)

Back in the SVU days, Elliot reached out to his estranged—and at that point in the series, unmentioned—mother in season 10’s “Swing,” in an attempt to get her to help his daughter, Kathleen (Allison Siko), get treatment instead of jail after a bipolar episode landed her in legal trouble. (Bernie was also bipolar, but off her medications.) When he was unable to convince his mother, Elliot’s then-partner, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) quietly reached out and was able to convince Bernie to talk to Kathleen, who ultimately agreed to get treatment…and Bernie made Olivia promise to never tell Elliot that she helped.

Since that time, “[Elliot]’s had some contact with [Bernie]; the family has had contact with her,” ORGANIZED CRIME showrunner Ilene Chaiken says. “But he comes and goes.”

“Swing” revealed that Bernie’s refusal to stay on her medication led to dangerous situations for her son, including driving their car into a lamppost (which broke Elliot’s arm) and firing a gun at her family. “The story that we’re going to tell is largely about making things right, which can’t always be done,” Chaiken notes. “Reconnecting, taking responsibility, and, from both character points of view, seeking redemption—or at least understanding.”

But that won’t be the only hour Bernie is in: a rep for the show confirmed Burstyn returns in ORGANIZED CRIME’s fifth episode this season (tentatively set to air Thursday, October 14)—where she’ll share a scene with Meloni and Hargitay.

However, Elliot and Olivia have more pressing issues on their plate in the more immediate future. After Elliot went undercoverjust months after he returned to Olivia’s life—the duo reunite on the SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT episode (kicking off the night at 8/7c), “I Thought You Were On My Side.”

Though Chaiken notes she doesn’t want to speak on behalf of the SVU writers—she and SVU showrunner Warren Leight have been clear about their ongoing collaboration process as the two shows become more intertwined—she allows that this latest separation is another bump in the road for the former partners.

“He ghosted her 10 years ago; it’s obviously a big issue,” Chaiken says. “And then here he is going undercover. Even though she understands it, I’m sure that it has emotional meaning to her that’s not altogether logical, but is, nonetheless, taking its toll. His being undercover is going to keep them apart, keep them from dealing [with] things.”

“Elliot and Olivia will have a chance, while he’s undercover, to interact twice,” she continues. “In our third episode…and then in episode 5, we’re doing a major crossover.” (SVU episode 23×3, despite including OC’s Meloni and Danielle Moné Truitt, is not considered an official crossover hour.)

But despite some distance, “the relationship will get parsed, will get dealt with,” Chaiken teases. “Feelings, to some extent, will be dealt with. And we intend to really treat this relationship…in an adult way and let them really talk to one another and start to get at what it is, what it was, what it might be.”

And, of course, the infamous letter, which Chaiken had previously dubbed “head-spinning,” comes into play in OC’s “‘The Outlaw Eddie Wagner” (airing at 10/9c): “We talk about the letter, and it just makes things more complicated.”




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One Response to “LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME’s Ilene Chaiken Teases Exploring Elliot and Olivia’s Relationship, the Return of Bernie Stabler”

  1. Erica E Brodie on September 29th, 2021 4:35 pm

    Yes I wanted Eliot and Olivia together romantically ever sense the beinging of Law and Order SUV they’re chemistry together is amazing so amazing that they had loved each other for along time now even Kathy knew that Eliot’s madly inlove with Olivia as something more than just a friend. I sure hope that the writers aren’t teasing us we waited along time for this to happen with them to get together romantically and you’re going to tease us? Please don’t please writers get these two together romantically they’re made for each other.