LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME: Michael Tow Previews Wen's Unexpected Partnership with Stabler - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME: Michael Tow Previews Wen’s Unexpected Partnership with Stabler

March 29, 2023 by  


LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “Blood Ties” Episode 317 — Pictured: Michael Tow as Wen Shao — (Photo by: Ralph Bavaro/NBC)

Though Michael Tow previously guest starred on a couple of episodes of LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT (playing Counselor Josh Wang in season 21), when he landed the role of LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME’s Wen Shao, it was clear it was going to be a different experience.

“This was a much larger role and much more heavy lifting,” Tow tells Give Me My Remote. “That was quite special. And I actually didn’t realize how large the role was until I was cast.”

On the Thursday, March 30 episode “Blood Ties,” the task force focuses on gathering evidence against aspiring politician Michael Quan (François Chau), who was behind the recent assassination attempt on a city council candidate’s wife. As OCCB looks into a lead, they encounter Wen—who tells them he’s trying to find his missing son.

“This is a single father…everything he lives for is for his son,” Tow says. “And when his son is kidnapped, his world really would end if he can’t find his son. He’ll do whatever it takes to get him back. And if that includes traveling overseas, breaking laws, whatever it takes to get his son back, that’s really his only mission.”


LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “Blood Ties” Episode 317 — Pictured: (l-r) Michael Tow as Wen Shao, Christopher Meloni as Det. Elliot Stabler — (Photo by: Ralph Bavaro/NBC)

The task force is initially skeptical Wen is trustworthy, but he’s able to win them over—and bond with Stabler (Christopher Meloni) about the importance of family.

“There’s a relationship with Stabler, in terms of a father to another father,” Tow previews. “There’s an unspoken connection between the two men; there’s a lot of understanding. Even though [it’s] two very different cultures, living on two different sides of the world, they understood at the core of it how important family is and the need to help each other find this child.”

As such, Wen starts working with the team. “It’s pretty amazing,” Tow admits with a laugh. “There’s an action, there’s undercover. There’s just being at the bullpen with [the entire task force]. And so it was pretty, pretty awesome as an actor.”

With Wen and Stabler spending a large portion of the hour together, Tow got to work closely with Meloni, “who I’ve looked up to for a long time. And to be able to work with him has been really amazing.”

Establishing that quasi-partner rapport was something the duo took seriously. “Well, Chris is really a next-level actor,” Tow says. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, because I had never worked with Chris before. And I told him this—his dedication to the craft and every scene is to another degree. And I can see why he’s been so successful.”

“Every scene, he really looks into the intention of the character,” he continues. “And if something doesn’t make sense, he’ll focus in on saying, ‘I need to understand what is happening here.’ Where some other actors could really kind of just go through the motions, he’s not like that at all. And from an actor’s point of view, it was like a masterclass for watching and being able to work with Chris.”


LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “Blood Ties” Episode 317 — Pictured: Michael Tow as Wen Shao — (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC)

Their on-screen counterparts? Well, Stabler and Wen go through more of an emotional roller coaster trying to figure out how they can work together.

“Wen has his own ways of doing things,” Tow admits with a laugh. “So even though Stabler’s the actual detective, Wen has his own [approach]. And he’s not necessarily an easy-going partner; he’s got his own mind for how he wants to find his son…sometimes a little bit of desperate craziness can get the information.”

After his ORGANIZED CRIME guest spot, Tow will next be seen in the Apple TV+ series CITY ON FIRE. (CITY ON FIRE bows on Friday, May 12 with its first three episodes.)

“There’s a similar arc—my character is the father of Chase Sui Wonders, [whose character is] shot in the beginning of the show,” he previews. “It’s a very emotionally draining role that for two months, three months of shooting, I really had to go into pretty dark and mentally draining things. It was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done as an actor, and I’ve been doing this for 15, 16 years. So this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

“I’m an athlete—I can play sports all day and be like, ‘Alright, I’m tired,’” he continues. “But it’s one thing being physically tired compared to mentally tired. It’s a much harder thing for me to be mentally tired and mentally exhausted and drained like I was everyday shooting.”

“It felt a little bit like that for LAW & ORDER, because it was a father desperate for his son,” he finishes. “And if he loses this opportunity, he could be gone forever. For me as an actor, I had to kind of go there—it’s hard, you can’t just fake that.”

Update (Thursday, March 30): Watch a clip from “Blood Ties”…



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