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Could Law And Order Still Deliver A Benson And Stabler Romance? Here’s What Mariska Hargitay Says

Since Law & Order: SVU first graced our screens back in 1999, fans have been hopeful that partners Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler would stop denying their feelings for each other and finally become Bensler. Now, that Christopher Meloni is back as Stabler in Law & Order: Organized Crime after leaving SVU over 10 years ago, that hope is still very much alive amongst fans. Now, Mariska Hargitay is sharing thoughts on whether that romance could finally happen.

Over the years, Mariska Hargitay has gotten quite a few questions about the status of the pair's relationship. So it wasn't much of a surprise that when the actress recently appeared on The Drew Barrymore Show, the host eventually brought up Benson and Stabler’s “will they, won’t they” relationship. It’s been over 20 years in the making and, according to Hargitay, it sounds like the notion is (at the very least) being discussed:

We’re trying to figure out what to do [on the show]. … He is free, and I think he’s got eyes for me. But Olivia Benson is hurt! I mean, he left me in a lurch for 10 years. She’s frightened. The energy is there. Olivia’s been in love with him for many a year, and I think that we are slowly finding our way back to it, but I want to give him the amount of time he needs to grieve Kathy Stabler.

Christopher Meloni left Law & Order: SVU after Season 12 and, when he reprised his role for Organized Crime, it was like nothing had changed between his character and his co-star's. Following the death of Stabler’s wife, Kathy, many fans began to hope that Stabler and Benson would get together. However, it makes sense that it hasn’t happened quite yet, considering that both of them are hurting for different reasons, But despite it all, they are still there for each other when needed.

It honestly wouldn’t be surprising if Benson and Stabler get together in the near future, considering their chemistry and the storytelling potential it brings. In summer 2021, Mariska Hargitay opened up about what she loves the most about the compliments she gets from fans of the longtime partnership. She also discussed finding her footing with Christopher Meloni again after his lengthy absence. If anything, the two actors now seem closer than ever, as evidenced by a tribute Meloni gave to Hargitay during an awards presentation.

Those who need proof regarding whether fans are still interested in Bensler can look no further than their reactions following the series premiere of Law & Order: Organized Crime. Many were desperate to know what was in the letter Stabler gave Benson, which she read to herself. However, at the beginning of Season 2, it was revealed that Stabler didn’t write it -- his late wife, Kathy, did. It was a heartbreaking reveal that even led fans to turn on Kathy’s actress, Isabel Gillies, who ultimately responded to the hate with plenty of class.

Even though a true Bensler romance may not happen for a while, it’s definitely clear that the feelings are there. Mariska Hargitay definitely seems to be proceeding with caution, and fans may want to do the same. 

New episodes of Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime premiere on Thursday, February 24 on NBC! Check out CinemaBlend’s 2022 winter and spring TV schedule to see what other shows to catch.

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.