Law And Order: Organized Crime Star Talks The Importance Of Nova And Bell's Relationship, Plus New Dangers On The Way

Nona Parker Johnson as Nova in Law and Order: Organized Crime
(Image credit: NBC)

Law & Order: Organized Crime has officially closed the chapter on Dylan McDermott's Richard Wheatley, but that doesn't mean the criminal underworld of New York City has gotten any less dangerous for Stabler, Bell, and the rest of the Organized Crime Control Bureau. With Preston Webb, Congressman Kilbride, and the Marcy Killers taking over, Nova has never been so vital in her undercover position at Webb's right hand. Actress Nona Parker Johnson spoke with CinemaBlend about the new dangers Nova is facing, as well as the importance of her relationship with Bell.

Nova has been deep undercover for much of her time on Organized Crime so far, and she has worked her way up to a top position in the Marcy Organization. Her strongest ally is Sergeant Bell, played by Danielle Moné Truitt, who both oversees her undercover work and looks out for her even when Nova herself doesn't seem to. Nona Parker Johnson, who was promoted to series regular status for the rest of Season 2 with her own spot in the credits, opened up about working with Truitt for the Nova/Bell dynamic:

It's been so fun. I think I never registered how much we were going to work together, but then you read the script, and it's like, 'Oh, I have a covert meeting with Bell!' And I just get so excited when working with her. It's like entirely too much fun. And we talk a lot about what this dynamic means for both of our characters. So I think it's been really fun to use all the work that we do when we work together and sort of sew it into the things that I'm doing on my own. And I think it's informed a great deal of how I view my relationships with the other characters because she is my boss, because she is someone who immediately after Nova lost Penda and things were looking sort of sticky for her undercover situation, Bell was there and Bell had the ideas and Bell had a plan. And I think that that's what Nova needed at that time was someone to put trust in her again. So I think that that's been really, really fun to work with Danielle on that stuff.

Nova and Bell might not be having the most fun whenever they have their covert meetings, but that's not the case for the actresses playing the characters! Nona Johnson Parker established how important Bell has become to Nova thanks to her presence during Nova's darkest times so far, and has trusted her judgment. Bell also has the unique position of interacting with Nova the cop as well as Nova in undercover mode at Webb's right hand, and there's a closeness there that neither really has with anybody else on the job. 

In fact, it seems like even with the introduction of Nova's brother Derrick, there's a bond between her and Bell that can't quite be replicated. When I noted that Bell seems to know her character better than anybody else on the show, Nona Parker Johnson concurred: 

I would definitely say at this juncture that she does, because Bell knows who she really is. I think that that's a relationship that Nova's underestimating, personally, because of her sort of really strong ties to the people in the Marcy Organization – like Hugo – [and] her relationship to her brother. I think she's underestimating sort of the delicacy and the intimacy that her and Bell's relationship has started to sort of build.

Considering that the arc with the Marcy Organization on top has only just begun, it's probably safe to say that Nova might want to stop underestimating her relationship with Bell, because things will almost certainly get worse for her the longer she stays undercover. Her brother's arrival has raised the personal stakes for her higher than they've been since the death of Penda, and Webb has met Derrick. 

Plus, Nova has found herself thrust into a position of greater power in the Marcy Organization, with Webb quite literally stabbing a man through the hand when he spoke out against her. The actress shared how her bloody promotion will change things for her moving forward in Season 2:

I think it puts her in the room with Webb a lot more than she was before. And in turn, Webb now has more access to her than he did before. So I think that it wasn't necessarily something that she was pursuing, but now she's having to figure out how to best make this work for the investigation that they're doing in Organized Crime. So I think that on one hand, it's like a great inside to Preston Webb and to the Marcy Killers in a way that she hasn't had. But with the addition of Derrick and sort of just all of the dangers that come with being that close to someone so dangerous, she has to navigate what that looks like as well.

Poor Nova went from smiling at her brother preaching in church to seeing Preston Webb in the same room, and clearly had no idea that she was about to be promoted over all of Webb's henchman who had been in his service for much longer. Of course, she has shown unwavering loyalty to Webb – as far as he knows, anyway – so maybe that could keep her and her brother safe.

That's a big "maybe," however, and a clip from the March 17 episode – called "Guns & Roses" – indicates some tension between Bell and Nova as the sergeant has to remind her who she really works for. Take a look:

Organized Crime brought in SVU's Mariska Hargitay for a quick crossover to help kick off the Marcy Killers/NYPD gang storyline in the arc's first episode, and the Organized Crime team will seemingly be fighting Webb's organization on two fronts: Nova undercover with Webb and Stabler undercover with Denis Leary's Donnelly, after spending most of the first arc of Season 1 undercover as well. Also, another SVU veteran is on the way to Season 2.

The plot is only thickening for Nona Parker Johnson's Nova, so be sure to keep tuning in to new episodes of Law & Order: Organized Crime on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. OC closes out a full night of L&O action on the network in the 2022 TV schedule, with Thursdays starting with Law & Order Season 21 at 8 p.m. and continuing with SVU at 9 p.m. before moving on to Organized Crime.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).