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SVU’ Reintroduced Christopher Meloni’s Elliot Stabler

Stabler and Liv, collectively once more — however not on nice phrases. Christopher Meloni‘s character made his long-awaited return throughout on the Thursday, April 1, episode of Law & Order: SVU, making his first look since his 2011 exit from the present.

So, how did he come again? And what was the reunion with Mariska Hargitay‘s Olivia Benson like after 10 years? Well, it wasn’t all rainbows and puppies.

Spoiler alert: Stabler will not be in a great place. He reunited with Benson solely two minutes into the primary hour of the crossover after she arrives on the scene of an accident and sees his spouse, Kathy (performed by Isabel Boyer Gillies) being taken away within the ambulance. “He tried to kill Kathy,” Stabler says after they arrive head to head.

Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler Virginia Sherwood/NBC

It’s revealed that Stabler has been dwelling in Italy as an NYPD liaison, making the state of affairs much more sophisticated: Someone planted a bomb within the rental automobile that Kathy was entering into, and it appeared Stabler was a goal. Immediately, Elliot acted as if he was main the investigation — seeming to neglect that Benson is now the captain. He later apologized, telling her, “It’s your house now.”

But he wanted to apologize additional — and he knew it. “Are you sorry for leaving or are you sorry for not giving me the courtesy of telling me?” Benson requested. “You walked away. That’s what you did. … Elliot, you were the most, single most important person in my life, and you just disappeared.”

His response was easy: “I was afraid if I heard your voice, I wouldn’t have been able to leave.”

At the top of the primary half of the crossover, Kathy died and Elliot cried whereas embracing Benson.

How Stabler Returned to Law and Order SVU Mariska Hargitay
Mariska Hargitay as Captain Olivia Benson Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Meloni, 59, final appeared on the present within the May 2011 season 12 finale. During the episode, a homicide sufferer’s daughter shot and killed three individuals; in a transfer of self-defense, Stabler fired in her path, and she or he finally died in his arms. Because he selected to exit the present over negotiations after season 12 wrapped, he by no means had a dramatic exit.

On the season 13 premiere, it’s revealed that Stabler went on administrative go away and when he was advised to go beneath psychiatric analysis, he refused and retired from the NYPD with out telling Liv.

“How my character left was really unsatisfying, I think,” he advised the New York Post in 2020. “How I left was a different issue and had nothing to do with the Law & Order people, the SVU people or with Emily Longeretta Dick Wolf. 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.’ 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.”

In 2016, showrunner Warren Leight additionally opened up in regards to the abrupt exit, noting that all of them know they “could have handled that better” in the long term.

“I think Chris, over time from what I hear, began to realize that the fans were owed a little more,” he advised The Hollywood Reporter on the time. “None of the people in the room thought for a second, ‘How will the fans experience this?’ It was a negotiation handled without much empathy on any of the participant’s parts, and I think they all sort of know that now. And there wasn’t much empathy for the fans either. I think everyone probably learned, but you can’t roll the clock back.”

Law & Order: SVU airs on NBC Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET.

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