Law And Order: Organized Crime Star Talks The 'Ticking Clock' And 'Collateral Damage' On The Way In Season 2

Law and Order Organized Crime Preston Webb
(Image credit: NBC)

Spoilers ahead for the April 7 episode of Law & Order: Organized Crime on NBC, called “Can’t Knock The Hustle.”

Law & Order: Organized Crime returned after a few weeks off with an episode that raised the stakes for everybody involved in the investigations into the Marcy Killers and the Brotherhood. For Nova, that meant her brother Derrick making a deal with Preston and Cassandra Webb despite her warnings, and all signs point toward the case getting more complicated moving forward. Mykelti Williamson, who plays Preson Webb on Organized Crime, opened up to CinemaBlend about the ticking clock for his character, and what kind of collateral damage the characters might have to deal with. 

Although Preston Webb’s first scene of “Can’t Knock The Hustle” involved shooting and killing two dealers who betrayed him and his organization, much of his time in the episode was spent with family and friends. Viewers saw both the killer crime lord and the family-loving philanthropist sides of him in the span of one hour, and Mykelti Williams weighed in on portraying the two sides of this character in the hit Dick Wolf TV series:

When I got the call to come and do the show from the Wolf company, I was really excited that we would have an opportunity to show a character that – because no one is all good, no one is all bad. And so I think it's important to show that the people who are conflicted and live a life of crime, that they are capable of loving, of being loved by the people around them, and they just happen to be involved in bad things. And this particular character, Preston Webb, he and his wife Cassandra are actually on a journey to right the ship. They really don't want to continue down this road of crime.

Law & Order: Organized Crime entered the Marcy Killers/Brotherhood arc of Season 2 shortly after Richard Wheatley’s story ended, and Preston Webb’s desire to “right the ship” and move away from the life of crime certainly sets him apart from Dylan McDermott’s character. Webb and Cassandra (played by Jennifer Beals) have a loving marriage and were thrilled at the birth of their grandchild, but they’re objectively also criminals. Mykelti Williamson continued, saying:

They actually want to keep building, like, health clinics and schools and different things like that, to pay society back, to pay an atonement for their sins, so to speak. And so the ticking clock is, will they succeed? Will they be able to turn it around or have they caused too much collateral damage? And that's the ticking clock that pushes us toward the end of the season. And so I'm just excited for people to watch it unfold with people that they actually like, but then they see them do difficult things.

Webb wound up with even more blood on his hands in “Can’t Knock The Hustle” when he killed two men, but in the same episode that he and his wife decided to fund a health clinic at a church after befriending the pastor, who also happens to be Nova’s brother. Actress Nona Parker Johnson previously opened up about Nova spending more time with Webb after being promoted in his organization, and revealed that she’ll be around Webb’s family and fans will see “the effect that that has on her and her brother.” 

Of course, with Nova warning her brother about the Webbs, and their decision to fund a clinic coming in the same episode that Webb shot two men, I asked Mykelti Williamson whether they’re sincere about wanting to give back or actually just trying to expand the Marcy Killers organization, and he responded:

Yes, absolutely, it is sincere. They definitely want to give back because they've done so much wrong in the world. It is not like them, but they felt that this was the only way out. It's just interesting to watch good people who make a decision to do a bad thing, or a series of bad things, for a short, brief period of time, and hope to make up for it by doing a tremendous amount of right beyond to redeem themselves.

They certainly have the resources to do a lot of good, but it will take more than money and good intentions for them to beat the ticking clock and avoid causing more collateral damage. Funding the clinic is a step in the right direction, but will it truly do good if Nova doesn’t necessarily trust them with giving money to her brother’s cause? Is redemption really possible at this point, even if they’re not nearly as self-serving as Wheatley or the K.O.?

Well, there’s no denying that Webb is a dangerous man when he’s not doting on his grandchild or spending time with his wife, and I asked Williamson for his thoughts on how Webb compares to Richard Wheatley as the previous big bad of Season 2:

I don't really compare him to anyone else. Wheatley had his own thing, but Webb is 100% ruthless when necessary, but he's never senseless. There's nothing emotional about Webb making a decision to take care of business. He just knows it has to be done. And you'll see going forward, he actually talks about how heavily these things weigh on him. But they have to be done. He never makes an emotional decision to do anything. It's all business.

Webb certainly seems more personally detached from his criminal enterprise compared to the likes of Denis Leary’s Donnelly and the Brotherhood gang. Whether or not that can remain true for the rest of the season remains to be seen. The NYPD is making progress in the case, and Nova has been in deep enough with the Marcy Organization that she has plenty of dirt on them. Then again, her priorities may need to shift now that her brother is involved with the Webbs and knows that she’s a cop. 

All things considered, there’s a lot to look forward to, so be sure to keep tuning in to Law & Order: Organized Crime with new episodes on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, following Law & Order: SVU at 9 p.m. and the original Law & Order at 8 p.m. in the 2022 TV schedule

All three L&O installments are currently going strong as one third of the nine-show Dick Wolf TV universe, along with the three One Chicago series and the three FBIs over on CBS. Organized Crime is actually Mykelti Williamson’s second Dick Wolf show, as he had a memorable run as Denny Woods on Chicago P.D. in the fifth season. 

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).