Bryan Goluboff Teases How LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME and SVU Will Dive Into Elliot and Olivia's Time Apart—and Previews Their Future - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Bryan Goluboff Teases How LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME and SVU Will Dive Into Elliot and Olivia’s Time Apart—and Previews Their Future

August 29, 2022 by  

Elliot Olivia relationship

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “Takeover” Episode 215 — Pictured: (l-r) Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler, Mariska Hargitay as Captain Olivia Benson — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

When Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) returned to the LAW & ORDER universe after a decade away, a lot about the time between the fatal shooting that led to him quitting the NYPD and his attempt to show up for Olivia (Mariska Hargitay) getting honored was a mystery.

Of course, there was no real time for answers in his return hour on SVU, as things immediately fell apart: Elliot’s wife, Kathy (Isabel Gillies), was wounded in an explosion on the way to Olivia’s ceremony. The only significant amount of catching up he did prior to Kathy’s eventual death was with Fin (Ice T), where Elliot told his former colleague he had done a walkabout for a few years, dabbled in private security, and then rejoined the NYPD via an international liaison job in 2017. (Olivia told her team that she found out he had been working anti-terrorism, international sex trafficking, and organized crime.) But with grief and trauma clouding his decisions and interactions for months on SVU and ORGANIZED CRIME—as well as his decision to throw himself into work—any specifics from his time away remain murky.

Similarly, Elliot appears to be in the dark about much of what happened to Olivia in her life during their time apart. While Fin vaguely told him about Olivia’s son and one serious relationship, Elliot initially didn’t make his own queries. Olivia, for her part, called out Elliot’s apparent lack of curiosity about her life during the Wheatley trial—and when he asked her about the serious relationship, she only alluded to “Ed,” not tipping her hand that it was Tucker. But, as far as viewers know, the former partners have not discussed that further, nor does he know how she became Noah’s mom…or about her ordeal with William Lewis (Pablo Schreiber).

But Elliot won’t be in the dark on at least some of it for long. “We def[initely] have a plan in place for the Lewis convo,” new LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT boss David Graziano wrote in a comment to a fan on Instagram. While he initially indicated it would be during the holidays, he later clarified, “It will not happen on Christmas, but in the days leading up to the holiday — which can be a time of deep reflection for people…if I had my druthers (and I am willing to duke it out for said druthers) O and E would have a much needed catharsis in the days leading up to the holidays.”

As SVU deals with some of the more personal changes Elliot and Olivia went through during their time apart, OC will be diving into Elliot’s time away through a different prism. “We’re also doing things that expand our knowledge of what happened to him in Italy,” ORGANIZED CRIME showrunner Bryan Goluboff tells Give Me My Remote. “So those two storylines are going to play together beautifully: SVU is going to deal with some of the personal changes he went through in Italy, and we’re going to deal with some of the costs of what he did professionally in Italy. And [Olivia]s’s going to open up some of those things that we’re going to build upon.”

Elliot Olivia relationship

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “Takeover” Episode 215 — Pictured: (l-r) Mariska Hargitay as Captain Olivia Benson, Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

When SVU’s season concluded, virtually everyone was pushing Olivia to figure out what her relationship with Elliot actually was—to take a step forward or move on. When a fan asked Graziano on Instagram if Elliot and Olivia would explore what they could be to/with each other, he replied, “Anything can change, but [SVU executive producer] Julie [Martin] and I have already pitched an episode with a healthy sequence in it, to that effect, destined to take place pre-Xmas and it looks like we might just be able to pull it off. (With a rather generous assist from Bryan Goluboff over at OC.)”

As for how the impact of that might be playing out on ORGANIZED CRIME, Goluboff—who cited his prior time on SVU as allowing the two shows “to have a very easy back and forth…so that they can exist a little bit more in the same universe”—notes, “I think we found something in [SVU’s “I Thought You Were on My Side”], which is…Astaire and Rogers, you don’t want to see them talk; you want to see them dance.”

“This is one of the great detective teams in the history of television, flat out,” Goluboff points out. “We want to see them work cases. We want to see them collaborating on getting justice for victims, and bringing down bad guys. That’s what they do. I think that’s what the audience craves. That’s how they get down; that’s their thing.”

“And when they do that, it brings up all other kinds of feelings,” he continues. “It brings up their bond, their connectivity, their limitations. It pushes all the buttons. But you’ve got to get them in motion—and I think we’ll do that this season.”

Of course, things will never be entirely easy for the duo. “They’re going through a lot of things in their lives,” Goluboff acknowledges. “And they’re there for each other. She has to be strong for her squad. He has to be strong for his squad—he’s mentoring people. She’s dealing with these intense emotions on the SVU cases. They can collapse with each other a little bit. They can talk. She doesn’t have to have [her] full guard up when she talks to Elliot—he knows her.”

How much of that we’ll actually see on-screen is something Goluboff is hesitant to answer. “I don’t want to give away too much, but he is not undercover,” he notes. “He doesn’t have to be out of her orbit. They know what’s going on in each other’s lives.”

Elliot Olivia relationship

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “The Christmas Episode” Episode 209 — Pictured: (l-r) Jeffrey Scaperrotta as Dickie Stabler, Ellen Burstyn as Bernadette Stabler, Allison Siko as Kathleen Stabler — (Photo by: Will Hart/NBC)

That could be especially helpful when things get rough for the Stabler family. (The season starts off with Eli in California, and Bernie living with Kathleen.)

“The focus early on is [centered on our] two new characters, to establish the Task Force as a family in itself,” Goluboff teases. “We’re going to put some elbow grease into that, and [Elliot]’s going to lose sight of his other roles, for a little while. And then his family is going to come roaring back to him, in a really tragic and unexpected way, later in the season. He’s going to realize he still has to pay into that side of who he is, as well.”

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME, Fall, Thursdays, 10/9c, NBC


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