‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’ Finale: Why Did Wheatley Want Benson There for THAT Last Scene?
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 1 finale, “Forget It, Jake; It’s Chinatown.”]
Terrifyingly, mobster Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott) knows how important Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) is to Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni), which is why he turned his focus on her near the end of the Organized Crime finale. But how the final stand-off — with one of Richard’s moles and the NYPD — went down just leaves us with one major question: Why was Benson there?
In “Forget It Jake; It’s Chinatown,” Richard practically lights up when he crosses paths with Benson and realizes just who she is, even though he’s currently under arrest and was just shot in the leg. “Wow, Elliot, now I completely understand. She’s a knockout,” he tells the detective. “Such a pleasure to meet you, Liv.” It’s much too short of an interaction, leaving us wanting more — and, seemingly, Richard as well.
Because the first thing he did once he was locked up in a cell was use the phone hidden there to call his wife to send a message exactly as he dictated: “O, I’m in trouble. Can you please come meet me?” He lured Benson to the exact hospital where his ex-wife, Angela (Tamara Taylor), whom he’d poisoned, was being treated just as Stabler and Sergeant Ayanna Bell (Danielle Moné Truitt) stopped by. But why?
Benson recognized an orderly as one of the unit’s detectives, Morales (Michael Rivera). Caught, he admitted Richard paid him, and when he turned his gun on Bell, she had to shoot him. Angela, meanwhile, was injected with something, and it wasn’t looking good for her.
But again, why did Richard want Benson there for this? Was he relying on Morales taking her out, too? That would be a big gamble. Did he want Benson to witness Stabler taking out Morales? Again, that would be a big gamble; he couldn’t know how it would all go down. Both instances would mean putting his trust in a cop he turned, and really, Richard seems a bit too smart for that. Was he hoping that Stabler would shoot Benson in the chaos of whatever he wanted to happen that Morales may have disrupted by being so defeated by what he did? Maybe Richard had someone else there who couldn’t carry out a plan because of how it all went down.
That would make a bit more sense. After all, as Richard detailed in the penultimate episode to his ex-wife, no matter what may have happened between Stabler and Angela, “you know you’re not the love of your life. Nor was that poor woman you had brutally murdered the love of his life. Yes, she was the mother of his children and he cared for her…but plot twist, there’s someone else. Another woman who’s the one true love of his life.”
Maybe the Season 2 premiere will offer more insight. Or maybe it’ll just be one of those unanswered questions. (After all, we’re still waiting for Organized Crime or SVU to reveal what Stabler wrote in the letter he gave to Benson in the spinoff’s premiere.)
Law & Order: Organized Crime, Season 2, Fall 2021, NBC