LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME Post-Mortem: The Team Breaks Down 'Ashes to Ashes' and What Didn't Make the Cut - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME Post-Mortem: The Team Breaks Down ‘Ashes to Ashes’ and What Didn’t Make the Cut

November 11, 2021 by  

Organized Crime Ashes to Ashes spoilers

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “Ashes to Ashes” Episode 208 — Pictured: Caroline Lagerfelt as Agnes Bogdani — (Photo by: Will Hart/NBC)

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Thursday, November 11 episode of LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME.]

Goodbye Eddie “Ashes” Wagner—Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) has come home.

After spending six months undercover, the Thursday, November 11 episode of LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME found Stabler finally, officially, putting the operation to bed.

But, naturally, there was some drama first.

After Agnes (Caroline Lagerfelt) warned Jon (Michael Raymond-James) and Albi (Vinnie Jones) that the cops were on to them—thanks to Reggie (Dash Mihok) turning on the family—the NYPD revoked her planned immunity/witness protection.

The rest of the family was rounded up alive, with Flutura (Lolita Davidovich) convincing Albi to turn himself in. But at court, Agnes tried to get her revenge, by (unsuccessfully) shooting at Elliot and Ayanna Bell (Danielle Moné Truitt).

With things resolved—and Reggie safely stowed away in witness protection—Bell told her partner to go home and shave; they didn’t need Ashes anymore.

Here, ORGANIZED CRIME showrunner Ilene Chaiken, plus stars Truitt, Lagerfelt, and Jones break down “Ashes to Ashes,” including what didn’t make the cut, and what’s to come.

Albi’s capture almost ended in a very different manner.

With so many members of the family’s fate up in the air, the cast and crew had fun speculating what the heck would go down.

“There was rumors on set as we were filming: Michael is going to be shot and he’s killed, Dash is blown up, Albi has an underwater fight with Eddie and he gets drowned,” Jones shares. “Everybody’s trying to [figure things out], and you can’t do that in TV!”

But in the case of Albi, it was actually true…for a time.

“The last day, we end up on the boat, and there’s big shoot-out,” Jones recalls. “But in the original script, me and Chris go overboard in this fight, and we have this great big underwater fight and everything. [Director] Fred [Berner] was there, and I said, ‘This is a six-million dollar movie in a one-hour TV show,’ and he said, ‘Yeah, we’re going to take some out.’ It was supposed to be a fight scene in a water tank. But thankfully for me, they took that out. That was a great relief.”

What ended up happening was the emotional plea by Flutura for Albi to not fight and accept his capture; she wanted to save his life like he saved hers.

“The script supervisor, the first day on set of the last episode, he was like, ‘I can’t wait for this last day when she comes and saves you,'” Jones shares. “And I think that’s going to be the response from the audience. I think it is wonderful moment. They’re about to shoot him. They’ve all got their guns trained on him. And she comes in and she says, ‘Please, don’t. Let me save you. You saved me.’ I think it’s a wonderful moment. And I think there’s a lot of empathy from the audience to Albi.”

For Jones, he was also thankful for his experience playing Albi. “They told me straight off the bat: He’s going to be a gay Albanian gangster and I was like, brilliant…it gave more to my character than just being another Albanian gangster with an accent,” he says. “I’ve got a big gay following on my Instagram and Twitter and I embrace that. My daughter’s got a partner, she’s getting married soon, and she was very proud of me. And I was myself, because I don’t have any hangups with that. I have nothing to do with politics. I have nothing to do with how people want to live their lives. What I am a believer in if somebody loves somebody and they’re getting loved back, that’s all it matters….I just think as long as people are happy and they’re in love, brilliant.”

Agnes really was dangerous.

“She was just revenge and rage personified,” Lagerfelt says with a laugh of her character’s (attempted) courtroom shooting. “This is a man who destroyed her son’s life, who destroyed her life, who separated her from her son. And she knew all along that there was something very, very off about him. And nobody listened to her. And you know how frustrating that is. And I think she is just out to get revenge. All mafias are pretty violent. But Albanians don’t mess around, you know?”

Lagerfelt says she channeled her prior work on Greek tragedies in the scene…but also acknowledged that if Agnes had the chance to duck away in WITSEC, she may have tried a different approach for revenge.

“She might have been thinking of ways to hurt him without necessarily killing him straight off,” she acknowledges. “Killing the woman that I know that he loves—I’m not quite sure in this episode that she knows exactly who that woman is, but she knows that there’s somebody, she knows of some way she can get to him. She would have tried to figure out some other way if she and Reggie had been together, wherever they were sent to—I don’t think she would have involved Reggie, because she knows he’s not the brightest bulb in the Christmas tree—she would have tried to do a more subtle revenge to start with. We all know who she would have gone out to kill.”

“It was just like, okay, everything’s gone,” she continues. “My son is gone. I have nothing to live for. My brother [and] everybody’s arrested. Let’s kill the motherf—er who did this.”

Can Bell control her connection to Kilbride (Ron Cephas Jones)?

Undercover operative Nova (Nona Parker Johnson) warned Bell that Kilbride thinks he has the seargent under control…but the situation is a lot more tricky than it appears.

“I would venture that she knows how dangerous it is,” Chaiken acknowledges. “She is going to make a choice as to whether to simply turn it over now, reveal what she knows and back away, or whether she’s going to go down a more dangerous, but potentially rewarding path.” 

For Bell, “I think she’s already given him some side-eye, even when she first met him,” Truitt says. “I don’t think that side-eye has been completely diminished. I don’t think she’s super shocked that he is who he is. But I think now her wheels are spinning about how she is going to navigate the situation. Because he did her two favors: One was getting into the party. And then the other one was making sure that Denise’s nephew got like a hefty package to drop the lawsuit against the NYPD.”

“So, those are two really big favors, and I think Bell’s worry, is like, ‘Okay, what favor is he going to want from me, that’s going to be on the level of the favor he’s done for me?'” she continues. “So I think there’s some concern there. She doesn’t want to put her task force or herself in any kind of jeopardy. But she’s a smart lady. So I think she’s going to come up with a good way of navigating it to make sure whatever she does do to maybe help him in some kind of way isn’t like her breaking the law. And also, you know, doesn’t put her in a position to lose her job or lose her task force. I think that’s going to be the challenge for her.”

And much like the story’s role in the Albanian arc, the Marcy Killers and Killbride  “plays through the Wheatley arc, but I would say in a secondary way,” Chaiken says. “It will emerge into arc three as a full-blown story.”

But in the meantime, Bell will need to find a way to “let him know that she is not going to be somebody that’s just going to be doing his dirty deeds for him,” Truitt previews. “She’s going to have to let that be known, at some point.”

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “Ashes to Ashes” Episode 208 — Pictured: (l-r) Lolita Davidovitch as Flutura Briscu, Vinnie Jones as Albi Briscu, Michael Raymond-James as Jon Kosta — (Photo by: Will Hart/NBC)

Could the Kosta family return?

If the actors had their way, they’d be back in a second. “We were joking on set, I’m gonna come back and be Eddie’s right hand man and help him out,” Jones says. “I’m gonna be like an undercover guy.”

“Of course, that would be an absolute dream come true,” Lagerfelt adds. “But that being said, it has been such a wonderful experience playing this part, working with Dash and Chris and the fantastic directors they have. I’ve just loved every minute of it.”

But for now, “this is the end of the arc, in our minds,” Chaiken says. “I would say that in our world, the character who’s not dead can always come back, and that’s just simply because we’re trying to live in a real world where people don’t disappear. So I wouldn’t say never. And I loved these characters, these lives that we’ve spent time with. And also the actors who portrayed them; I think that they are an incredible group of actors. But right now, no, we don’t have plans to bring them back.”


What comes next?

With Elliot now home, after a whole lot more trauma, he’ll have to figure out what his next step is…and Ayanna will have to gauge how much that might impact his work, both as his someone who knows about his PTSD and his boss.

“I think it’s like 80% trust him, 20% worried,” Truitt says. “The truth of the matter is, he’s been doing the job longer than her. He’s never been a sergeant, but he’s been a detective for many, many years. It’s not the first time that he’s had to do something like this.”

“So I think she trusts him and that he knows how to navigate it, but she also, as a leader and as a friend of his, she is keeping her eye on him and being cautious of the moves that he’s making,” she continues. “When things sound a little overboard or something that could possibly harm him, she’s very quick to talk it through with him and help him choose a different path. She’s always going to try to do what’s best for him, the task force, and to get justice, of course, for whatever case they’re working. But she’s definitely not a babysitter, she treats him with respect. She knows who he is, where he’s been, and how many years he has on the job, and she does trust that.”

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “Ashes to Ashes” Episode 208 — Pictured: Danielle Moné Truitt as Sgt. Ayanna Bell — (Photo by: Will Hart/NBC)

As for Elliot, he’s not oblivious to what he went through. “I think he’s conscious of it,” Chaiken says. “Whether he wants to deal with it is another matter. [But] I think we need to treat him like a grown-up, and not always have Benson or Bell or his daughter saying, ‘You need help.’ He knows that he’s been hiding. He knows that he’s been through trauma. He knows that he’s evincing signs of reemerging PTSD trauma. And I think that he’s going to have to decide, himself, and take into his own hands, whether or not he’s going to try and make himself a healthier person.”

But with Wheatley waiting in the wings—the next arc, which officially kicks off in episode 10, after the SVU/OC crossover, is dubbed “Nemesis”—the task force is enjoying a needed win.

“She definitely has to jump into the next thing—and there are like five things going on her life, at once, all the time—but I think she does get to kind of savor this moment,” Truitt says. “‘Okay, this plan went well. My UC, who was Stabler, didn’t die. We got the crime family indicted. And Reggie didn’t die; he got to be able to be in protective custody and leave the country, which is cool, because I know that meant a lot to Stabler.’ So I think she feels the Albanian thing is definitely a win. And I think it will give them a little wind under their sails as they delve back into this whole Wheatley thing.”

For Elliot, though, the break won’t be quite as long: When pressed about how Stabler might deal with his son, Eli (Nicky Torchia), who had issues while his father was undercover, Chaiken teases, “Wait for episode 9.”



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