Spoilers ahead for the fifth episode of Law & Order: SVU Season 22, called "Turn Me On Take Me Private."
Law & Order: SVU delivered a case that was disturbing even by SVU standards in "Turn Me On Take Me Private" with a man who tracked down and assaulted a cam girl on camera after convincing himself that she loved him. The case resulted in tension between SVU and Carisi as Carisi raised the unfortunate point that a jury might not side with the victim in light of her work as a cam girl, with Kat in particular having a hard time and lashing out at Carisi. By the end of the hour, I found myself wondering: could SVU send Kat out of Special Victims to investigate crimes on Christopher Meloni's upcoming Stabler spinoff?
The episode ended with Kat upset enough that Olivia told her to take some days off, with Olivia opining that Kat just wanted the victim to "be able to do whatever she wants to do" without being attacked. Nobody disagreed with her, but the rest of Special Victims (aside from Rollins, who was absent from the episode) and Carisi were more realistic and resigned to how the case was going to go with a jury.
Kat was understandably upset about the injustice of the situation. She has pulled her weight at Special Victims, and Jamie Gray Hyder has added some fresh blood to a cast that had been packed with actors who had been around for a long time, but I can imagine a scenario of her making the move to Law & Order: Organized Crime.
The cases that go to Special Victims aren't going to get any less ugly, and Kat getting worked up in "Turn Me On Take Me Private" may be a sign that this isn't the unit for her in the long run. Fortunately, the upcoming premiere of Christopher Meloni's Organized Crime spinoff means that any character who might not have longevity in Special Victims doesn't have to be cut from the expansive Law & Order universe altogether. Kat is a capable cop, and SVU sending a character to Organized Crime could make a lot of sense.
Spinoffs often feature familiar faces to try and attract viewers, and Stabler might have been gone long enough that any viewers who became fans of SVU over the years since Christopher Meloni departed in Season 12 might need somebody who has been around more recently to want to check out the new show. Plus, there would be no shame in Kat making the move to a different unit. She wouldn't be the first cop who needed to get away from the ugliness of Special Victims, even if Olivia and Fin have stuck around for a couple of decades now. Honestly, SVU is hard to watch sometimes; who could blame a character for needing to pursue a career in a different unit?
Although Law & Order: Organized Crime has faced delays since it was originally announced, Christopher Meloni will reprise his role as Stabler during SVU Season 22, so his path should cross with Kat's before the end of the 2020-2021 TV season. If they work well together, or if Kat learns about his new unit and feels she would be a good fit, moving from the parent series to the spinoff could make a lot of sense.
As for Law & Order: Organized Crime, the series that finally brings Christopher Meloni back to the Law & Order universe will see Stabler return to the NYPD to battle organized crime after suffering a devastating personal lost. New York and the NYPD have changed over the decade that he was out of the game, however, and he'll have to adapt to the new status quo of the current justice system. Looking for absolution and the chance to rebuild his life, he'll lead a new elite task force that targets New York's most powerful crime syndicates. Could that elite task force feature Kat?
Kat leaving Special Victims to join the Stabler spinoff is pure speculation at this point, as not a whole lot beyond the show description has been confirmed about Law & Order: Organized Crime. Until then, we can keep an eye on Kat and how she continues to handle the stress of investigating sex crimes and await Christopher Meloni's long-awaited return as Elliot Stabler later this season. New episodes of Law & Order: SVU air Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. For more viewing options, be sure to check out our 2021 winter and spring premiere schedule.