Law And Order: Organized Crime Adds A New Cop For Season 2, So What Does It Mean For The Task Force?

The Moodys Denis Leary Fox screenshot
(Image credit: Fox)

Law & Order: Organized Crime is currently in the midst of a mini hiatus for the Olympics on NBC, but there has still been plenty of news about the show. Not only is Dylan McDermott soon jumping over to FBI: Most Wanted to play a character other than Stabler’s nemesis, but OC is also bringing in a Law & Order franchise vet for later in Season 2. Now, another cop has been cast, with Denis Leary on board, which raises the question: what does this new character mean for the current task force?

Law & Order: Organized Crime Casts Denis Leary

Denis Leary, who co-created and starred in the long-running Rescue Me for FX and starred on Fox’s The Moodys for two seasons before its cancellation, has joined the cast of Law & Order: Organized Crime for later in Season 2. Deadline reports that Leary will recur on OC and play another member of the NYPD by the name of Frank Donnelly. The exact nature of his dynamic with Stabler isn’t known at this point, but they will have some interactions. 

There are no details just yet about when Denis Leary will make his Law & Order: Organized Crime debut, but the odds seem likely that it won’t be until the beginning of the third arc of Season 2, or perhaps the very end of the second arc. Producer Dick Wolf previewed ahead of Season 2 that it would be split into three arcs, with the first with its KO arc similar to The Godfather, the second like American Gangster with Wheatley back causing trouble again, and the third like Scarface

Mykelti Williamson’s drug kingpin Preston Webb will be back later in Season 2 as well, and future episodes will bring in Jennifer Beals to play his wife. Assuming Denis Leary’s new cop character is on the up-and-up, fans can at least assume that he won’t be an ally of either of those two characters.

What Does Denis Leary's Cop Character Mean For The Task Force?

As is to be expected, Law & Order: OC is packed full of cop characters, with the ensemble led by Christopher Meloni’s Elliot Stabler and Danielle Moné Truitt's Ayana Bell. On the one hand, the casting of a new cop who won’t just be a one-off could mean that OC loses a cop by the end of the second arc. 

The show has killed off a member of the task force before with Morales’ death at the end of Season 1, when Morales was secretly a mole for Wheatley and ultimately killed by Bell, and there are some members of the team who are arguably more second-tier and replaceable than others. The only cop characters who I’m guessing are 100% safe from being killed off OC are Stabler, Bell, and Ainsley Seiger’s hacker extraordinaire Jet. It’s possible that Leary’s character is coming in to replace somebody who has died. 

On the other hand, fans don’t need to start planning memorials for any members of the task force just yet. The casting news doesn’t actually say that Leary’s character is joining the Organized Crime team, and there are reasons for Stabler to cross paths with another cop that don’t involve one of his coworkers being killed off. Additionally, Leary is listed as recurring, which might not track if he was going to be working alongside Stabler on a regular basis. It would be interesting if this newcomer works directly under Brewster, making his loyalties a little more questionable than if he was a cop from any other division. 

For now, fans will have to wait and see how Law & Order: Organized Crime wraps the middle arc of Season 2, kicks off the third arc, says goodbye to Dylan McDermott, and introduces new characters including Denis Leary’s cop. If you want to catch up on the most recent episodes of OC, you can find the full second season streaming a Hulu subscription and/or a Peacock subscription. The show itself will be back with more of Stabler vs. Wheatley on Thursday, February 24 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

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. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. 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).