Far be it from me to tell TV mastermind Dick Wolf what to do with one of his prize franchises… but sit back while I tell TV mastermind Dick Wolf what to do with one of his prize franchises.
You know how in the past couple of seasons, the best episodes of Law & Order: SVU and its spinoff, Law & Order: Organized Crime, have been the crossovers? And how when an episode tease promises something major happening between former law-enforcement partners Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler — played by Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni — the audience shows up in earnest?
I’d like to propose a radical plan: Combine SVU and Organized Crime into one series. Give us the good stuff, every week.
For the purposes of this argument, let’s just pretend that the shows’ budgets, cast contracts and shooting schedules would allow for them to become one entity. Also for the purposes of this argument, let’s keep the original Law & Order revival as a separate series, existing in the same universe as the others, of course, but delved into sparingly and/or when story dictates. And finally, let’s say that the category of crimes this blended team would investigate would be broader and deeper than just sex crimes or crime syndicates — though there’d be plenty of each of those, too.
Is this a way for me to dream about Meloni re-entering the SVU fold in a more concrete way? Absolutely. Is it also a musing about consolidating the best parts of the expanded universe (characters we’ve grown to love, dynamics we’d like to explore) while losing what’s not amazing? Sure! And finally, am I — an avowed ‘EO’/’Bensler’/whatever you want to call them ‘shipper — scheming to have WAY more Liv and El interactions? That’s an affirmative, Captain.
Scroll through the list below for the top reasons to consolidate SVU and Organized Crime into one show, then hit the comments with your thoughts on the matter.
BENSON'S TEAM COULD USE THE PEOPLE
Take a look at the photo above: One of the people pictured isn’t around anymore, one was MIA for an entire recent episode, and another might be not quite the cop we thought he was? Manhattan SVU is down a detective — thanks to Rollins’ decision to leave the force, and Kelli Giddish’s real-life exit from the show — and, given Velasco’s shady behavior in Episode 12, we’re not so sure he’s long for Olivia’s team, either. Add that to the series’ repeated mentions of how there are too many rapes and not enough man-hours to investigate them, and it seems like a no-brainer to add some (maybe all?) of Sgt. Ayanna Bell’s squad to the effort.
EVERYONE IN THE POOL!
(All of this staffing brainstorming doesn’t negate Fin’s very smart idea, raised in SVU‘s Episode 12, to have Bronx SVU vet Terry Bruno join the squad. The guy knows his stuff and is in it for the right reasons — plus, I’m dying to know if he and Stabler would recognize their similarities and become NYPD BFFs or butt heads immediately. Given what we know of El, I’m guessing the latter.)
SO MUCH FOR JET TO DO!
Organized Crime‘s Det. Jet Slootmaekers is an Internet whiz whose specialty is finding people who are doing bad stuff online. Perverts love the Internet! This one’s a no-brainer, right?
LADIES WHO LAW-ENFORCE
From previous SVU/OC crossovers, we know that Sgt. Bell and Capt. Benson work well together. Wouldn’t it be cool to see them do so on a weekly basis, bonding over how tough it is to be a woman in the upper echelon of the New York City Police Department? Wouldn’t it be even cooler to see them bust Stabler’s chops on the regular?
'STANDING RIGHT HERE, CAPTAIN'
I left this one for last, but it’s really the best (OK, ‘shippiest) reason for taking the Spice Girls’ advice and having two become one: Putting Benson and Stabler back into each other’s close orbits would be the catalyst for some big emotional nonsense, and I WOULD BE SO HERE FOR IT. We wouldn’t have to wait weeks to figure out how each of them were processing their latest friendship/relationship/partnership drama, because we’d see them working a crime scene together or studiously avoiding each other at the squad room’s coffee corner or — a girl can hope — talking about tough feelings like adults instead of running from them like baby children. Smoldering, smoldering baby children. Also of note: There’s a very good likelihood that Benson, a captain now, would be Stabler’s boss in this new configuration, and there are sooooooo many ways that can go wrong, right, or so wrong it’s right.