‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’ or ‘OC’ is the spin-off of the series ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ AKA ‘SVU.’ Fans are first introduced to Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson in the first episode of SVU, where the two detectives are working with the 16th Precinct in Manhattan. After 12 seasons of working together, Stabler abruptly takes retirement from work (off-screen), leaving Benson (and the fans) high and dry during the season 13 premiere since they did not get to say goodbye.
‘OC’ brings back Stabler after he has spent almost a decade away from NYPD. He has returned to the scene and is now a part of an elite task force that takes on organized crime in the city. One of the reasons why the original show became popular is the undeniable chemistry between Stabler and Benson. While the two are excellent partners in the professional sphere and close friends, fans want to know if they have ever been romantically involved. Let’s dig in and see for ourselves!
What Happened to Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson?
‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’ starts as a crossover event with season 22 episode 9 of ‘SVU.’ The moment Benson sees Stabler after almost a decade goes down in history as one of the most anticipated reunions in the franchise. For those who do not know, an incident occurs in the final episode of the twelfth season of ‘SVU,’ which compels Stabler to take early retirement. A young girl called Jenna opens fire in the squad room, but Stabler shoots back and kills the girl.
After this incident, Elliot Stabler resigns from the force without letting anyone know. When Benson learns of this in the season 13 premiere, she is shocked because she hoped that her partner would tell her at least before leaving. Stabler’s character was written out of the original show since the actor Christopher Meloni claimed that he wanted to explore other opportunities. Even after Stabler’s exit, Benson continues to work with the precinct. Over the years, she becomes a sergeant, a lieutenant, and is finally a captain when we meet her in ‘OC.’
Stabler spends ten years working in Rome before returning to the Big Apple at the beginning of the spin-off series. While his relationship with his wife Kathy wasn’t exactly smooth, he is devastated after Kathy dies because of a bomb in their car, which was meant for him. In ‘OC,’ the former partners meet once again and briefly help each other professionally. Taking this into consideration, the fans can’t help but wonder if the characters have been in touch between the events of the finale of ‘SVU’ season 12 and the first episode of ‘OC.’
Did Elliot and Olivia Have an Affair?
No, Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson did not have an affair. In the ‘Law & Order’ universe, fans have come across various situations that have tested the friendship and boundaries between the two detectives. While there have been times when they have been on two different sides of an argument, there are ample situations that highlight how Stabler and Benson feel about each other. In the nineteenth episode of ‘SVU’ season 12, the partners pose as a married couple for an undercover assignment at a swingers club. You may remember that Stabler does not let go of Benson’s hand.
An instance in season 7 episode 19 also makes it clear that Stabler and Benson choose each other over their work. But despite everything they have been through, Stabler and Benson have never been romantically involved. While Benson has dated a few people over the years, she considers her friendship with Stabler to be the longest relationship she has ever had with a man. As for Stabler, he was married to Kathy for many years, and they share five children. However, their marriage had seen a fair share of highs and lows, including a brief period of divorce.
In a 2009 interview, Mariska Hargitay, who plays Olivia Benson, addressed her character’s relationship with Elliot Stabler. She shared that the characters have a complicated relationship. According to her, Stabler and Benson are sometimes like siblings, but they also have a “loaded and layered” sexual chemistry. The actress said that the two friends are passionate about the same things and have the utmost respect for one another.
Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler’s friendship is also the reason why they have both been able to hold on to their highly stressful jobs because it’s almost like they are in a world of their own. She admitted that even though Benson seems to want a romantic relationship with Stabler, it may never happen. However, in the same interview, the showrunner of ‘SVU,’ Neal Baer, was not quick to brush off the possibility.
You may also find it interesting that the fans have a divided opinion when it comes to Stabler and Benson’s relationship. While there are many who say that it is essential for the show to normalize platonic love, others feel that they might like to see both of them get together eventually. However, most of them agree that the two first need to address unresolved issues so that their relationship can gradually evolve. The fans may also be happy to know that Meloni and Hargitay are as good friends in real life as they are on screen.