— Wolf Entertainment (@WolfEnt) February 26, 2021
Reunited and it feels so … emotional! Ahead of Christopher Meloni’s new series, Law & Order: Organized Crime, Elliot Stabler will return to his home, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, for a crossover episode.
On Thursday, February 25, the first promo for the crossover episode aired, previewing Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson’s long-awaited reunion with her former partner. As she arrives on a scene, he is heard yelling, “Liv!” in the distance. She then whispers with relief, “Elliot.”
Meloni, 59, starred on SVU alongside Hargitay, 57, for 12 seasons from the procedural’s 1999 debut until 2011. Although the new footage doesn’t show the Man of Steel actor, a different teaser, which aired on February 18, showed Stabler seemingly behind a bar.
“You know how much time has passed that you can’t reach out?” he asked someone whose face was not shown. “Days turn into months turn into years and I just kept waiting for the right moment.”
Meloni exited the show at the end of season 12 and when season 13 kicked off, Liv was devastated to find out that Stabler was gone.
“I left with zero animosity, but I did leave clearly and open-eyed in going forward and finding new adventures. I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do, keep moving forward,’” the Oz alum told The New York Post in July 2020. “I had done the Law & Order way of storytelling, which they do really well, and I was interested in telling stories from a different angle — whether comedic or inhabiting a new world or doing it on different platforms.”
SVU showrunner Warren Leight shared in May that Meloni will first appear on SVU before kicking off his new show.
“We were going to see Kathy Stabler come back very upset. Her son had been rolled by a team of ne’er-do-wells and may have been drugged, and we were going to revisit Simon’s seeming overdose and we were going to get to know the stresses on the Stabler—what had happened to the Stabler family after Elliot both left SVU and apparently left them,” he said on the “Law & Order Podcast” at the time. “We were just going to lay some groundwork down in anticipation of Elliot’s return of course in his own series. We had the sense that the first episode of next year for SVU was going to bring Elliot back, so we were going to foreshadow that and explain a little more what happened to Simon.”
Law & Order: Organized Crime will debut on NBC Thursday, April 1, at 10 p.m. ET, following the crossover episode.