Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD for the Season 22 finale of Law & Order: SVU on NBC, called "Wolves In Sheep's Clothing."
Law & Order: SVU wrapped Season 22 with a case that was as especially heinous as could be expected of a finale, but the twists that will probably have fans talking over hiatus have nothing to do with SVU's investigation into the trafficking of some moms. It was a surprisingly character-heavy episode of the long-running procedural, in the best way. The show delivered some game-changing twists, and Christopher Meloni's Stabler even dropped by from Law & Order: Organized Crime for an appearance by the side of Mariska Hargitay's Benson.
So, as we have no choice but to look ahead to months without any new episodes of SVU to establish what happens next, let's take a look at what went down in "Wolves In Sheep's Clothing" and what it could mean for everybody, including of course Benson and Stabler.
Fin And Phoebe's Wedding
SVU established early in the finale that Fin and Phoebe were planning to get married in just a matter of days, with Kat and Rollins pushing for a venue, Carisi getting volunteered to officiate, and Benson altogether thrilled for the pair. In a surprise development, after going back and forth on the particulars of their nuptials, Fin and Phoebe decided not to get married after all and bring the government into their relationship. They're still together, though, and what would have been their wedding reception turned into a party in honor of not getting married. But any fans who expected Fin the married man in Season 23 and beyond will be getting something different after hiatus.
Rollins And Carisi Take A Step Forward
Carisi may not have ultimately performed a marriage in the Season 22 finale, but the speech he planned for the ceremony paid off in a big way for Rollisi shippers. When Carisi was bummed that he didn't get to deliver his speech about love to Fin and Phoebe, Rollins requested that he deliver it to her. She got emotional and cried, one thing led to another, and Rollins finally planted a kiss on him! There's still the question of what's happening with Carisi and Nicole, and the big Rollisi kiss might be tainted a bit if he and Nicole are still together despite Carisi's disappointment about her stance on getting married, but there's no going back now that he and Rollins locked lips.
Garland Is In Trouble
On a less romantic front, Deputy Chief Garland is in hot water after he apologized for the NYPD's systemic racism while under oath during a deposition for the Jayvon Brown case. His boss tore him a new one for it, he received criticism for the work of SVU, and he's being shunned by his peers and higher-ups at NYPD. He ultimately learned that the old guard is going to try and force him out. And he didn't seem to be feeling well either! He explained that he's going to take some time off, so it should be interesting to see if Demore Barnes will be back as a regular in Season 23, and what SVU has planned for Garland.
What About Benson And Stabler?
Stabler turned up in the Season 22 finale to attend what was supposed to be Fin's wedding, although he was late enough that he would have missed the ceremony if Carisi had been allowed to perform one. After Rollins and Carisi got a big kiss and everything seemed to be going well enough, it was beginning feel like maybe SVU had a twist in store for Benson and Stabler, especially accounting for all the ways Organized Crime has been dropping big hints about Benson as the love of Stabler's life. They had a nice moment of Stabler bringing her a jacket, and they toasted their partnership. It wasn't an overtly romantic moment, but showed that their bond is still going strong.
And both shows are coming back next season, so the saga of Benson and Stabler can continue in some form or other in Season 23 of SVU and Season 2 of Organized Crime. The stage is more firmly set for other characters after the events of the finale, but there is plenty to think about on all fronts over hiatus. For some viewing options during the wait for Law & Order: SVU to return for Season 23, be sure to take a look at our 2021 summer TV premiere schedule.