Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay Confirm "Law and Order: SVU" Reunion

Elena Nicolaou
Photo credit: Instagram
Photo credit: Instagram

From Harper's BAZAAR

  • Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) are reuniting in season 22 of Law and Order: SVU.

  • Meloni exited the show in 2011, and is now getting his own Law and Order spinoff.

  • On July 20, Hargitay shared a selfie on her Instagram page with a caption that nods to the reunion: "It's on."

Ten seasons, and nearly ten years, after leaving the Law and Order universe, Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) is back for his own spin-off show, called Law and Order: Organized Crime.

Before Law and Order: Organized Crime airs, however, there will be a moment fans have long been waiting for: The reunion of Stabler and his longtime partner, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), on Law and Order: SVU.

In a selfie posted to Instagram on July 20, Hargitay confirmed the reunion. She and Meloni are beaming with their arms around each other; Hargitay clasps his hand over her shoulder. She captioned the celebratory post with a nod to the reunion: "It's on." A few hours later, she posted a similar photo with another caption: "Easy like Sunday mornin'," a nod to a Lionel Richie tune.

Naturally, the fans went wild. Stabler and Benson were partners-in-crime-fighting for years, until Stabler made a shockingly abrupt exit from the squad and the show at the end of season 12. A brief recap: In the SVU season 12 finale, Stabler fatally shoots the daughter of a murder victim, who had opened fire in the Special Victims squad room. Stabler is placed on administrative leave, and doesn't appear in season 13.

View this post on Instagram

It’s on.

A post shared by Mariska Hargitay (@therealmariskahargitay) on Jul 19, 2020 at 6:05pm PDT

Given the circumstances of Stabler's exit, fans never officially got to say a proper goodbye to the SVU fixture. During the reunion, we'll learn what happened since Stabler, a father of five, moved on from the squad. Speaking to TV Insider, Meloni said the characters' reunion will be emotional.

"It's going to be heavily-laden with 10 years of stuff and a lot of emotion," Meloni said, before going on to speculate why the two characters still have such potency for fans. "I personally think that because there was so much gray in there and so much unsaid between these two people, it gave it such a profoundly larger life and thus has allowed it to withstand 10 years of being separated. It still lives and people are still curious about it, and it evolved over time. It was very complicated," he added.

Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images
Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images

Hargitay's post didn't share many specifics about the upcoming reunion. Luckily, there are some things we know. For example, series showrunner Warren Leight confirmed that Stabler would appear in the season 22 premiere.

"It's pretty clear that Elliot will be in the SVU season opener. I think that much I know. Whether we get to see his family as well remains to be seen," Leight said on the SVU podcast.

As for when the Benson/Stabler reunion will take place? We'll have to sit tight, unfortunately. Speaking on the SVU Podcast, Leight said it's uncertain when season 22 will begin shooting due to the coronavirus pandemic. But we've waited nearly a decade for Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson's on-screen reunion—we can wait a while longer.

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