We’re currently in one of the most hectic times of the TV year, as networks are dishing out cancellations and renewals like crazy, and new shows are coming together while current favorites are putting their season finales out there. But all this chaos hasn’t distracted us from our big bag of TV wishes, and one of the bigger ones in there involves seeing Christopher Meloni returning to the insanely popular Law & Order: SVU as the formidable former NYPD detective Elliot Stabler. The actor makes it sound like that would definitely happen, too, if certain other parties would just ask him to do it.
I just recently was talking about that. [Pause] I always presented that I’d be open to doing the last few episodes, so that’s really all I have to say about that. It’s not up to me, I’ll just say that. I’ve said my piece on it.
So, not only does it sound like Christopher Meloni would almost immediately grab a tie and shave whatever beard he happened to be sporting so that he could reprise his most memorable small screen role, but it seems like he’s a little perturbed that his agreeing to come back has apparently landed on deaf or uninterested ears. Or at least hit some ears that aren’t too invested in worrying about it just yet with this season’s final two episodes still left to air.
After all, Meloni told EW that he’d be down with acting in the final few episodes of the series, which hearkens back to how the rumors of his return started in the first place. Before NBC decided to renew Law & Order: SVU for Season 18, it seemed likely that Season 17 would be the last one, and showrunner Warren Leight had mentioned in an interview that his plans for the final season included talking to Christopher Meloni about going full metal Stabler. But those conversations apparently never really happened after the renewal, though that doesn’t imply one way or the other that they won’t indeed occur when it’s clear that SVU is going through its last year on NBC.
I expect a lot of fan-pleasing things will happen during that final season, with returning characters and other ways of looking back, and Stabler and Benson’s relationship had better get a fitting resolution when the time comes. Of course, I’d be totally down with Meloni reprising Stabler in Law & Order’s upcoming true crime anthology series. Does it matter that Stabler isn’t actually a real detective? Not to me. I’d be fine with Stabler hosting Wheel of Fortune, so it probably makes sense why I’m not in charge of anything.
With its current batch of non-Stablers getting ready to meet a Brad Garrett’s latest turn as a bad guy, Law & Order: SVU will air its two-part Season 17 finale over the next two Wednesday nights on NBC.