6 Law And Order: SVU And Organized Crime Questions For The Midseason Premieres

benson law and order svu stabler law and order organized crime
(Image credit: NBC)

Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime have been off the air for several weeks following the midseason finales in early December, but winter hiatus is nearly at an end, and the hit NBC shows will soon be back with new episodes. The two shows ended 2021 with a crossover event, and will return in 2022 with separate storylines. Based on the promo for what’s to come as well as the episode descriptions and bits and pieces of information that have been released so far, there are some questions worth pondering in the final days before the January midseason premieres.

But first things first: here's what's on the way! The two current Law & Order shows (which will be joined by another in the coming months) return in 2022 on Thursday, January 6 with SVU back in its 9 p.m. ET time slot on NBC, followed by Organized Crime at 10 p.m. ET. Benson and Co. will be back with an episode forebodingly titled “Silent Night, Hateful Night” that will be the SVU version of a Christmas episode, and the episode description previews what’s to come:

The SVU is called in to help investigate a wave of hate crimes on Christmas Eve. Rollins catches up with an old flame.

The episode will bring back Donal Logue as Lt. Declan Murphy, a.k.a. the father of Rollins’ oldest daughter but who has been absent from Jesse’s life, as well as Ari’el Stachel’s Sgt. Hasim Khaldun. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t sound like a very merry and bright episode; would it really be SVU if the Christmas episode was a holly jolly affair? 

The Organized Crime midseason premiere doesn’t sound too merry or bright either, although OC delivered its Christmas episode in December. Based on the NBC episode description, Stabler is in for a difficult case:

When a notorious cybercriminal escapes a high-security prison, Stabler must team up with an unlikely informant. Kilbride takes Nova under his wing.

Although the episode description doesn’t reveal the identity of Stabler’s “unlikely informant,” the promo gives away who it is: none other than Richard Wheatley, who claims not to “hold grudges.” The same really can’t be said for Stabler, so his new year isn’t getting off to the best start. So, with a familiar face returning for some hate crimes on SVU and Stabler dealing with Wheatley in a new way on Organized Crime, read on for some questions for the midseason premieres!

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(Image credit: NBC)

Why Is SVU On The Hate Crime Case?

As any fan who has memorized the opening narration knows, SVU follows cases of sexually-based offenses that are considered especially heinous and the dedicated detectives who investigate the vicious felonies. While that can mean investigating hate crimes, the promo indicates that there’s no real connection to sexually-based crimes. The unit catches the case after Donal Logue’s Declan Murphy reaches out for an assist, but why does Special Victims actually take on the case rather than another department? Are they ultimately just part of a larger task force? Or will it turn out to be a Special Victims case after all? Or will Benson just get away with her team helping out an old ally? 

donal logue declan murphy ari'el stachel hasim khaldun law and order svu nbc

(Image credit: NBC)

How Will The Returning Characters Affect Rollins (And Rollisi)? 

The two familiar faces who are returning for the midseason premiere have connections to Rollins. Murphy is of course Jesse’s father, and Rollins and Khaldun had some sparks flying after working a case together. Of course, Rollins is with Carisi now, and it seems to be going about as well as any relationship can on Law & Order: SVU. It’s probably safe to say that Khaldun won’t make any messes for Rollins, but Murphy will always at least be on the periphery of her life as her daughter’s dad. Will one or both of these characters' returns affect Rollins and/or Rollisi? The Rollisi relationship is still a secret at this point, so it could be pretty interesting to see what Rollins is dealing with. 

kelli giddish as amanda rollins law and order svu

(Image credit: NBC)

Will Rollins' Ex Stay In Her Life?

While there are no reports that Donal Logue is returning to SVU to start a stint as a series regular or even recurring, it’s possible that Murphy could stick around off screen. He hasn’t shown all that much interest in Jesse over the years, and Carisi has actually been more of a father figure to her than Murphy, but could he decide that he wants some kind of relationship with his daughter? That could certainly complicate things for Rollins, and I can imagine that even he might want a break from the undercover life at some point. Is SVU is bringing Murphy back primarily for case-related reasons, or to also stir up some drama for Rollins? Considering the episode description mentions her "old flame," I’m leaning toward Rollins dealing with some drama!

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(Image credit: NBC)

Can Stabler Actually Work With Wheatley On Organized Crime?

Stabler didn’t exactly get closure for his family with the news that the District Attorney wasn’t going to retry Wheatley for Kathy’s death, and Stabler's OC nemesis is a free man once again. So, the promo reveal that the FBI’s “specialist” that the task force has to work with is actually Richard Wheatley probably won’t go over too well with him. At the same time, five inmates escaped prison, which means that Stabler needs to put his focus on the case. Will he be able to work with the man he blames for killing Kathy, or will Stabler go full UnStabler by the end of the hour because of Wheatley? 

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(Image credit: NBC)

How Long Can Organized Crime Keep Wheatley Around?

It certainly seems that Wheatley isn’t sliding right back into his life of crime after being freed from the clink, which raises the question: how long can OC actually find reasons to keep Dylan McDermott’s character around? Serving as an informant in the midseason premiere case is all well and good, but can that really continue? He’s expected to have a key part to play in the second arc of Season 2, so will OC have to say goodbye to him and his stories after the end of it? The KO arc was wrapped up pretty definitively. Of course, there’s always the chance that the Stabler family could still get justice. After all, Wheatley isn’t free because he was acquitted, so he could always go back to trial.

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(Image credit: NBC)

What Is Angela Up To?

Tamara Taylor’s Angela Wheatley doesn’t appear in the promo or get a mention in the episode description, but I for one am dying to find out what’s happening with her after the twist toward the end of the midseason finale. Angela has evidently been faking her physical and mental weaknesses, and has in fact fully recovered from her health crisis at the end of Season 1. OC seemed like it was setting her up as the next big villain, since there were some strings attached between her and the attempt to frame young Eli Stabler for murder. Will the midseason premiere reveal what she’s up to, or will fans have to wait until later into 2022?

There are more questions than answers at this point for the midseason premieres of both shows, but also a lot to look forward to. Take a look at the promo:

Be sure to tune in to NBC on Thursday, January 6 for the two-hour Law & Order block of primetime, starting with SVU at 9 p.m. ET and continuing with Organized Crime at 10 p.m. ET. NBC is bumping The Blacklist from the 8 p.m. ET slot on Thursdays in February to make way for Season 21 of the original Law & Order with a long-awaited revival, so fans can look forward to a solid night of Law & Order primetime action in the 2022 winter premiere 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. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. 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).