law and order organized crime svu's benson nbc

Warning: major spoilers ahead for the penultimate episode of Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 1, called "Everybody Takes A Beating Sometime."

The first season of Law & Order: Organized Crime is already nearly at an end, and "Everybody Takes A Beating Sometime" saw Stabler and the rest of the unit capture Wheatley and others in his circle, including his two kids. It would have been a twist worth celebrating, if only there wasn't one full episode left and therefore plenty of time for Wheatley to strike back and things to go horribly wrong. But it's not actually an Organized Crime character that I'm worried about in the finale. No, I'm getting nervous for Law & Order: SVU's Benson.

The promo for Organized Crime's finale confirms that just as Christopher Meloni will be appearing in the Season 22 finale of SVU as Stabler, Mariska Hargitay will appear in the Season 1 finale of Organized Crime as Benson, and I'm guessing it won't just be because fans are finally going to get some no-strings-attached answers about that letter Stabler wrote her.

The preview doesn't do much more than confirm that she's in the episode, however, and the episode description doesn't even mention her. It's a moment from "Everybody Takes A Beating Sometime" that actually started making me nervous for Benson before I even saw the confirmation that Benson will be in the finale. The scene in question went down after Wheatley was in custody, when Stabler was overseeing an encounter between Wheatley and Angela.

Wheatley called his ex out for trying to seduce Stabler, then informed her that she's not the love of Stabler's life, which really shouldn't have come as news to anybody. Things got a little more interesting when Wheatley continued, saying:

You know you're not the love of his life. Nor was that poor woman you had brutally murdered the love of his life. Yes, she was the mother of his children and he cared for her. Apparently Detective Stabler is a good, God-fearing Catholic... But, plot twist, there's someone else. Another woman, [gasp], who's the one true love of his life. Every time he was looking into your pretty brown eyes, touching your face, or wherever else he was touching you, I'm willing to wager he was thinking about her. What was her name again, Elliot?

Judging by the smirk on his face, Wheatley knows "her name" perfectly well, and there's really no other possible woman who could fit the "love of his life" description than Benson, if we're discounting poor Kathy. Whether or not Wheatley is correct in his assumption that Stabler is romantically in love with Benson remains to be seen, but I think anybody who watched the Benson/Stabler years of SVU and witnessed their interactions since Stabler returned has to acknowledge that they love each other.

And Wheatley definitely didn't deliver this speech because he's a Benson/Stabler shipper who wanted to get it off his chest before resigning himself to a long prison sentence. Wheatley has all kinds of connections, his back is up against a wall, he has strong suspicions about Benson's importance to Stabler, and Mariska Hargitay is appearing in the episode. It's worth noting that the Organized Crime Season 1 finale airs after the SVU Season 22 finale, so Organized Crime could throw in a twist for Benson that wouldn't mess up whatever happens to close out SVU for the season.

Sure, we can be reasonably confident that Benson isn't going to be killed off, but that doesn't mean that she won't wind up in some serious danger. And I don't think I'm just being paranoid, since the promo shows some scenes of Stabler looking more than a little shaken up, plus Angela coming right out and telling Stabler that being charged with a number of crimes won't stop Wheatley. Just take a look:

With Wheatley having the motivation and likely the means to try and strike back at Stabler, I can't help but think that Benson is the most logical weakness that Wheatley could target. Could Law & Order: SVU feature Stabler in the finale for a fun reason like Fin's wedding, only for Law & Order: Organized Crime to deliver a tragedy of some sort for Benson? Whatever happens, it's clear that Organized Crime isn't done with the intensity just because Wheatley is behind bars (for now), so I'm just glad that the SVU spinoff has already been renewed for Season 2.

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See the Season 1 finale of Law & Order: Organized Crime on Thursday, June 3 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, immediately following the Season 22 finale of Law & Order: SVU. As for what comes next, our 2021 summer premiere schedule can point you toward some viewing options during the wait for all things Law & Order to return to the airwaves in the 2021-2022 TV season.

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