Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler are back together in a new image from Law & Order: SVU. Nearly a decade after the original Law and Order came out, SVU was released and has arguably become even more popular than the original. Now, over 500 episodes later, Law & Order: SVU continues with Stabler returning to the series. Fans of the police procedural will finally get their long-awaited reunion after a series of delays primarily due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In March 2020, news broke out that after almost a decade since Christopher Meloni left SVU, he is finally slated to return. The original plan was to see him in the season 22 premiere, but due to filming difficulties because of the ongoing global pandemic, it was pushed to sometime in 2021. A part of the show’s original cast when it debuted in 1999, the actor abruptly left the Law & Order spin-off on the heels of season 12 after failing to renegotiate a new contract. Despite that, he remained close friends with Mariska Hargitay, keeping viewers’ hopes that he’ll eventually return alive.
Now, this is finally happening with Meloni back on the set of SVU with his co-star. Hargitay gave fans this update after sharing an image of herself and Meloni on set during filming. In the caption, she further drives up the hype for their much-awaited on-screen reunion by writing, “Now even closer…”
Meloni’s return on Law & Order: SVU isn’t permanent. After his initial reunion with Benson and Finn, he’s set to lead his own spin-off, Law & Order: Organized Crime. It’s safe to say that whatever is happening in his first appearance will tie into this new Dick Wolf offshoot, although no official premise has been released thus far. It’s worth noting that part of the original plan to bring him back involved the return of his family first in the season 21 finale, but once again, due to the coronavirus pandemic, that was all scrapped. The new show was supposed to premiere back in October, but its creatives were having a difficult time cracking its story resulting in its showrunner, Matt Olmstead, to exit it altogether.
Since there’s no context provided, it’s difficult to gauge what’s exactly happening in this image; there’s not even any indication where Hargitay and Meloni are filming as they appear to be in front of a generic background. What’s interesting here, however, is that Elliot is back in his typical detective garb. It’s important to remember that when Law & Order: SVU scrambled to write him out of the series at the end of season 12, it was said that he’s prematurely retiring from the service. Since then, there has been barely any mention of him and his whereabouts. Now, however, it seems like he’s back on the ground, just like how things were before with him and Benson before he left.
Source: Mariska Hargitay