elliot stabler christopher meloni law and order svu nbc

The fans of Law & Order: SVU have been excited about the return of Elliot Stabler since, well, since way before we ever got confirmation that the original character and his portrayer, Christopher Meloni, would be returning to the fold and then heading up his own spinoff. It's now been 10 years since we saw Meloni as his beloved character on screen, and fans will get to see a lot of the formerly retired detective between his Season 22 appearance on SVU and his upcoming leading role on Law & Order: Organized Crime. Now, Stabler is 'back in action,' and you'll love to see it.

We've been getting glimpses for months of Christopher Meloni as he geared up to reclaim his position as Elliot Stabler. There have been lots of shots of him with former co-star Mariska Hargitay as they palled around off camera over the years, but, last year, that turned to some teases of them on set and in preparation for their return to a bit of an on-screen partnership. After a longer than planned delay, it now looks like Meloni and Stabler are back in action. Take a look at what Law & Order: SVU posted to Twitter, so we can discuss, below:

OK, I know. I. Know! You were probably expecting to see a full shot of Christopher Meloni in his best Elliot Stabler sensible-police-detective suit as he ran toward the camera. Or, maybe get a good look at him as he interviewed a suspect with an angry / determined grimace on his mug. Instead, we get this sliver of Meloni's face (and black v-neck tee) as he hides behind a door boasting a sign with both his character name and the title of his new series. He does look super serious, though, so at least that's something!

In all honesty, they're not going to be giving too much away this early, and, seeing as how everyone involved in Meloni / Stabler's return knows how eager fans have been for this moment for a decade, they realize that they can give us the barest hint of a tease and still keep us hooked. We're still not completely sure what will bring Stabler back to the SVU, with our only hints at his story being that he'll be attempting to rebuild his life after a devastating personal loss while also dealing with the changes in policing and trying to forgive himself for something.

All of those intriguing plot threads are going to then combine even further as Stabler heads up Organized Crime. Hopefully, between his time on SVU and the new spinoff, we'll get the answers to some long-simmering questions. What OG SVU fan hasn't wondered whether or not Stabler kept in touch with Benson after his sudden departure? And, has he been retired from the force this whole time, or did he return and just stay away from the Special Victims Unit? If so, how could he leave Olivia?!

Luckily, the time when we can get some answers is growing ever closer. Season 22 of Law & Order: SVU is airing right now, Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST on NBC, and the Elliot Stabler-led Law & Order: Organized Crime should come along at some point before the end of the year, hopefully later this season.

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