‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’ Season 2: Dylan McDermott Returning in a Different Capacity

Dylan McDermott Law & Order Organized Crime Season 1 Richard Wheatley
Heidi Gutman/NBC

Mobster Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott) will continue to be a thorn in Detective Elliot Stabler’s (Christopher Meloni) side in Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2, just in a different capacity.

McDermott is returning to the SVU spinoff, but in “a major recurring role,” not as the series regular he was in Season 1, according to Deadline. He will reportedly appear in eight episodes.

Should 'SVU' and 'Organized Crime' Put Benson & Stabler Together Next Season? (POLL)See Also

Should 'SVU' and 'Organized Crime' Put Benson & Stabler Together Next Season? (POLL)

The shows can't continue to include weighty moments like the ones they did this season and not have the former partners address them.

That fits with the finale and the teases we got for Season 2 in April. At the end of Season 1, Richard was locked up and about to be put on trial for the murder of Elliot’s wife Kathy (Isabel Gillies) but still managed to move some pieces into place for a plan that seemingly has yet to come to fruition. He had his wife send a message (“O, I’m in trouble. Can you please come meet me?”) to Elliot’s former partner, Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), after realizing just what she means to his nemesis.

As a result, Olivia was at the hospital when Elliot and Sergeant Ayanna Bell (Danielle Moné Truitt) were visiting Richard’s ex-wife, Angela (Tamara Taylor), who he’d poisoned. She also witnessed Bell have to shoot one of her detectives, Morales (Michael Rivera), who’d been paid to inject Angela with something. We’ll have to wait to see if Angela survives. But what exactly Richard meant to accomplish by having Olivia — who he called “the one true love of [Elliot’s] life” — at that scene is unclear. With him returning, perhaps we’ll get that answer.

Plus, we have a feeling that no matter how that trial goes, Richard’s not done messing with Elliot. (McDermott and Meloni are just too good in scenes together to not have more.) He’s still a formidable threat, whether he’s walking free or behind bars. Something tells us we’ll see that more than we have yet with his return set.

That eight-episode return also makes sense given Dick Wolf sharing that Season 2 will be split into three arcs, each that long.

“The first third of the season is The Godfather. The second third is American Gangster. And the last third is Scarface,” he’d said. “These villains are going to be really bad guys that give Chris a constant source of energy, outrage, belief in justice, and a different way of pursuing criminals than we’ve had before.”

Law & Order: Organized Crime, Season 2 Premiere, Thursday, September 23, 10/9c, NBC