When an imprisoned hacker breaks not only himself but four of his fellow inmates out of jail… it’s Slootmaekers’ time to shine, baby!
With the Wheatley trial done (though certainly not forgotten, but we’ll get to that later), Law & Order: Organized Crime‘s winter premiere turns to a new case: that of Sebastian McClane (played by Gotham‘s Robin Lord Taylor), a hacktivist known for erasing student debt and cyber-breaking into the the Federal Reserve. Unfortunately, during the Fed job, a janitor was trapped in the gold vault and eventually suffocated.
Bell and Stabler track down McClane’s old partner, who claims not to have talked to him in five years. Of course, that means that in the very next scene, the partner is helping provide McClane with a getaway car. But when Bell and Stabler pursue, he ditches the self-driving, uber-expensive car and gets away anyway.
After Sloot realizes that the code used in the prison breakout doesn’t match McClane’s, Stabler and Bell ask her to enlist Malachi’s help in figuring out who created the code. Meanwhile, Sgt. Brewster says Organized Crime is going to work with the FBI’s top ace in the hole when it comes to complicated hacking stuff or something honestly I’m not even super clear on the exact what/why but OH LOOK, IT’S RICHARD WHEATLEY.
Understandably, Stabler is Not. Pleased. But he goes along with it, bringing ol’ Wheater into the office to work with Jet and Malachi. Then he meets Angela — hobbling with a cane, though we know that’s all for show — for coffee to discuss what Wheatley’s been up to since he became a free man. She’s salty, because the New York Police Department has stopped paying for her protection. And when Stabler brings up McClane’s name, it seems like she recognizes it, but she maintains that she does not.
Is Stabler onto her? Yeah, I’d say so. He warns her to be careful of Wheatley, then notices as she quickly moves to grab a glass of water before it falls off the table — not exactly an action that a woman whose fine motor skills got fried would be able to pull off. And not to get too Phoebe Buffay about all of this, but she knows that he knows, and that’s a rough spot to be in.
Back at OCHQ, Jet and Malachi — with Wheatley’s smug help, which irks them both — stumble into contact with Czernobog, aka the hacktivist collective McClane co-founded. Czernobog demands a lot of money in cryptocurrency or else they’ll release a lot more inmates from prisons all over the place. Wheatley volunteers to pay the fee, saying that his crypto will trigger an alert when it’s converted to cash — and that happens seconds later, at an ATM in Queens.
But the hacker they track down was just following a template… and Stabler starts to realize that Wheatley was being everything. “Man starts fire, man takes credit for putting it out,” he says wryly. And at an undisclosed location, Richard and Angela Wheatley welcome Sebastian to dinner. That’s where we learn that Richard and Sebastian met on a transport bus to the Metropolitan Correctional Center, and that they’re going to be in league together for some time.
“Man starts fire,” Stabler mutters to himself as he stares out a window elsewhere in the city. “I’m gonna prove it.”
In other news: Bell attends the groundbreaking ceremony for the Leon Kilbride Community Library, where the congressman’s new aide — Nova, the undercover cop — lets the sergeant know that OF COURSE the politician isn’t on the up and up. Later that night, we get confirmation as Kilbride gathers the men responsible for constructing the new building and tells them to slow it down as much as possible. “I want delays, I want work stoppages, I want anything that will drive the cost up,” he says, adding that the sluggishness will allow Preston Webb, who’s in charge of the project, to go back to the city government and ask for more money.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!