'Law & Order: SVU': Why Key Benson and Stabler Scene Was Cut From Crossover

Since Law & Order: Special Victims Unit fans spent ten years waiting for more scenes between [...]

Since Law & Order: Special Victims Unit fans spent ten years waiting for more scenes between Mariska Hargitay's Capt. Olivia Benson and Christopher Meloni's Elliot Stabler, the idea that one was filmed and not included in an episode caused an uproar earlier this month. Before the May 13 SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime crossover aired, NBC released promotional images showing Benson and Stabler at a diner together. But the scene was cut, and SVU showrunner Warren Leight insisted the reason was "so mundane."

In a May 20 interview with TVLine, Leight said the production delays for Organized Crime meant the two shows got out of sync. "So we had written our diner scene two episodes before [OC] shot the episode that preceded our diner-scene episode," Leight explained. When it came to editing the two episodes, the dialogue between the two characters included "references to things that hadn't happened," he said. The final edit included a scene of Stabler and Benson at a morgue that covered the same ground, so the diner scene "didn't make sense once we'd seen the episode that preceded it."

There is only more episode of the season for SVU, and it will end on a high note, Leight told TVLine. He plans to end Season 22 with Fin (Ice-T) marrying Sgt. Phoebe Baker (Jennifer Esposito). "It's always bugged me that everybody in all cop shows comes from, or is in, a dysfunctional relationship or is not in a relationship at all," he said. "So we just wanted to have somebody be in a good relationship for once." Leight jokingly added that Stabler might have been invited to the wedding.

While it is not known how much screen time Stabler really will have in the last SVU episode of the season, Benson will definitely be seen in the last episode of Organized Crime. She was featured in the preview seen at the end of Thursday night's shocking episode. In that episode, Stabler and the Organized Crime Control Bureau finally arrested Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott), but it is definitely not the end of the story. In a tense final scene in a jail cell, Wheatley alluded to Stabler having "one true love of his life" and it was neither Angela Wheatley (Tamara Taylor) nor Stabler's deceased wife, Kathy. That felt like a reference to Benson.

SVU airs at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, followed by Law & Order: Organized Crime at 10 p.m. ET. Both shows are available to stream on Hulu. They were also renewed for the 2021-2022 season.

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