Did Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler Kiss on 'Law & Order: SVU'?

The most recent episode of Law & Order: SVU teased the arrival of a moment that fans have been waiting years to see. Former partners Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson got closer than ever to show their true feelings for each other.

As TV Line points out, the preview for this Thursday's episode seemed to set the stage for Stabler and Benson to finally kiss each other and take that next step. And in typical TV fashion, those expectations were subverted!

The former partners got close and said a few things beyond what co-workers would normally admit to each other. The episode saved the emotional moment for the closing moments after Stabler returns with Benson's son, Noah. "There's nobody I trust more to bring my son home in one piece," Benson tells Carisi ahead of the emotional moment.

And things quickly pick up from there, with emotions running high and Stabler questioning why Benson didn't reach out at the beginning of her troubles in the episode. "I knew that you would try to protect me," Benson says, prompting a quick response from Stabler asking if there's "something wrong with that?" and saying he "cares" for his former partner.

From here, the couple gets closer and Benson admits something that surely got fans primed at the pump. "Elliot, I want to, I want to but I can't," she says. "What if it doesn't work out?" He hits back by saying what it could mean if it does work out, getting close and almost making Law & Order dreams come true.

Then Benson pulls away. "I'm not ready for this. I'm not ready for this," she says. "I'm not ready for this." And then the episode ends, leaving fans with a tease and nothing more. Though, if we're being honest, the moment isn't exactly something you just drop midseason. It'll be saved for a finale or a special crossover.

Still, this whole relationship has plenty of mileage yet to explore. With Meloni's return to the role, the seed fans planted years earlier finally got a chance to grow. It'll likely happen at some point, just not now.