If you’re here, it’s likely because you want to know whether Capt. Olivia Benson and Det. Elliot Stabler did, indeed, kiss on this week’s Law & Order: SVU. After all, the promo surely made it seem like that was a possibility.
The short answer? Nope. But you’re going to want to find out what did happen. (It wasn’t nothing!)
Liv and El’s close moment came during an episode in which Oscar Papa, head of the brutal gang BX9, was brought to trial. An enraged Liv, who hadn’t for one second forgotten how Papa threatened Noah’s safety and well-being, was on a tear to make sure that the crime kingpin went down for his various crimes. Meanwhile, the kid in question hung out elsewhere in the state with his half-brother, Connor, and his family.
A ton of complications arose. One witness was poisoned, despite being in police protection. Another had complications that sent him to the hospital. And then Capt. Duarte was attacked in a bodega by BX9 members wielding machetes. Though he was rushed to the hospital, Duarte did not make it — and Papa basically admits to ordering the hit.
He says he’ll plead guilty to murder “but not the rapes,” and Benson makes him promise that Noah won’t be harmed. Papa confirms that. “We’re even now,” he says. And then all that’s left is for Stabler to bring the boy back to Manhattan, because as Benson puts it, there’s no one she trusts more to take care of her kid.
When Noah is home and safely asleep, Liv thanks her former partner for helping out in a very trying time. “Why didn’t you call me?” he wonders. “Because I knew that you would try to protect me,” she says. And as she looks in the cupboard for some sugar, Stabler moves in for a little sugar of his own. STRAP IN, PEOPLE.
STABLER | And there’s something wrong with that? I care for you. Liv, look at me. [It’s at this point that he brings his face very close to her face and it takes more effort for them NOT to kiss than for them to kiss. We’re talking millimeters here.]
BENSON | Here it is. [Referring to the sugar, and no, y’know, her GOOD SENSE. Because that is clearly outta stock.] Elliot, Elliot I want to. I want to, but I can’t.
STABLER | Why not?
BENSON | Because what if it doesn’t work out? [Still lots of close-face-ing.]
STABLER | What if things work out?
BENSON | Elliot, I’m not ready for this. I’m not ready for this. I’m not ready for this. [Liv, um, are you OK? Girlfriend looks like she’s about to pass out, which, RELATABLE.]*
And that’s it! Hit the comments with your thoughts on the interlude!
*If this transcript is not 100 percent accurate, forgive me. A massive ‘ship was setting sail, and your friendly neighborhood recapper might’ve gotten tumbled about in its wake.