Law & Order: Organized Crime spent the first eight episodes of Season 2 with Stabler deep undercover with the Kosta Organization as Eddie "Ashes" Wagner, and he was immersed in an Albanian culture that he wasn’t familiar with. While he didn’t have too much trouble duping Reggie, others loyal to the family and keeping “besa” weren’t so easily convinced without some strong motivation. Now, with the arc ended to confirm who lived and who died, stars Caroline Lagerfelt and Vinnie Jones spoke about how they prepared to play some of the bad guys of Season 2.
Caroline Lagerfelt played Agnes Bogdani, who actually didn’t seem like one of Season 2’s bad guys up until nearly the very end of the KO arc, when she proved that she wasn’t as willing to break besa as her son. Even Stabler underestimated Agnes, largely because her inability to speak concealed just what she was capable of, and he could have died for it. If she’d had better aim and better luck in the courtroom, Stabler’s time with the KO could have come to a much bloodier ending! When I spoke to the actress about joining Organized Crime, she explained the research that she put into preparing for the role:
Law & Order: Organized Crime didn’t just invent the reading of coffee grounds that Agnes did for Stabler back when she (rightfully) had her doubts about him as a friend of Reggie’s, and Caroline Lagerfelt did her research on how it worked. Plus, even though Agnes only spoke two lines in the season, she practiced her Albanian. She also shared that she “knew basically absolutely nothing” about what was in store for Agnes ahead of time, and didn’t even know that Vinnie Jones’ Albi was Agnes brother “until after like two episodes.”
What the actress did know was that Reggie (played by Dash Mihok) was her character’s son, and that they “had a very warm and loving relationship” contrasted with the complicated relationship between Stabler and his mom. Lagerfelt explained how she developed Agnes’ method of communication after the character's injury left her unable to speak, and working with Mihok:
Agnes communicating through tone, expression, and gesture for almost all of her scenes made it all the more powerful when she actually spoke her two lines of the series, with the first revealing to Reggie that she hadn’t broken besa and the second as she tried to shoot Stabler in the courtroom. She failed at that, but arguably was one of the truest characters when it came to keeping besa.
Albi also kept besa in his own way, but he was in a precarious position with “Eddie” after Stabler followed him to a gay bar, while he was also working at Kosta’s right hand and truly loved his wife, despite all of their differences and dysfunctions. This was a different kind of character for TV fans who may have best known Vinnie Jones for his work on ABC’s musical extravaganza Galavant or The CW superhero series Arrow. When we spoke about Organized Crime, the actor explained the draw of playing Albi:
A native of the United Kingdom, Vinnie Jones had to get comfortable with an Albanian accent to play Albi, who was certainly a departure from some of his other roles. He went on to praise Christopher Meloni as the star of Law & Order: Organized Crime as a “great leader of the show” and a “great captain." Jones clearly enjoyed his time on OC, so it’s no wonder that he was able to get used to having his hair cut off to play bald!
Plus, as he noted, Albi wasn’t killed off, although there was more than one close call by the time the NYPD caught up with him. Vinnie Jones shared that there was even talk that his character and others from the KO might actually die by the end, with some ideas about why they ended up living:
As Arrow fans will remember, Vinnie Jones played a villain by the name of Danny Brickwell, and playing a character from the Arrowverse would give any actor reason to comment on TV shows not liking to kill characters off. Brick did eventually die on Arrow, but Albi is still alive in the OC world. He’s also locked up and unlikely to see freedom again any time soon, if at all, but does that mean that his story has to be done? Jones weighed in on whether he’d want to come back as Albi:
Only time will tell if Albi or Agnes ever turn up again on this show, but there is precedent for a bad guy who has already been captured turning up again. Dylan McDermott reprised his role as Richard Wheatley early in Season 2, and the promo for the upcoming midseason finale (which will be a crossover with Law & Order: SVU) reveals that he’ll be back yet again to close out 2021. Take a look:
Check out the midseason finale of Law & Order: Organized Crime on Thursday, December 9 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, following the midseason finale of SVU. The promo suggests that there will be some loaded moments between Benson and Stabler to go with all of the Richard Wheatley tension, so be sure to tune in. If you need some ways to pass the time with some similar storytelling from Wolf Entertainment, be sure to check out the Dark Woods podcast featuring a Law & Order franchise veteran!
Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.
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