‘L&O: Organized Crime’ Sneak Peek: Stabler Readies to Confront Suave Mobster Richard Wheatley

The numbers don’t lie. Fans of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit really did miss the pairing of Christopher Meloni‘s Elliot Stabler and Mariska Hargitay‘s Olivia Benson. The ratings for SVU and the premiere of Law & Order: Organized Crime — presented as a crossover on April 1 — were massive, with SVU topping the night with its highest ratings in 5 1/2 years, and Organized Crime coming in second with 7.6 million viewers.

So now that we know the newly widowed Stabler has a new gig on the Organized Crime task force, what’s coming up next? As seen in this exclusive sneak peek of the April 8 episode — which also serves as a great recap of the premiere — we see more of Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott), whose suave and sophisticated demeanor hides a sociopath who killed his own father. (Old-time mobster Manfredi Sinatra, played by Chaz Palminteri, was shot in the head by Wheatley on a Coney Island Ferris wheel in the show’s premiere.)

In the clip, it’s clear that fratricide is only one of his devilish crimes, as we see him tell his wife, Pilar (Shauna Harley), that he’s “invited some friends over for a very special VIP-only party.” The party favors are part of his haul of stolen COVID vaccines.

Also seen in this sneak peek: Stabler and the task force begin an investigation into Sinatra’s death, which presents a dilemma: Does he tell his new seemingly by-the-book sergeant Ayanna Bell (Danielle Mone Truitt) that he found Sinatra’s body and called it in with a disguised voice, thereby threatening his new job in his very first case? Whatever his decision, expect Stabler and Wheatley to go head-to-head — especially when Stabler begins to suspects that Wheatley could have had a hand in the murder of his wife, Kathy (Isabel Gillies).

Law Order Organized Crime Episode 2 Bell Stabler

Virginia Sherwood/NBC

This episode also fills out the task force as we see more of the brilliant young hacker Jet Stoomaekers (Ainsley Siegler), who we met last week, and Det. Diego Morales (Michael Rivera). And, of course, Benson returns. While kicked off the case at the end of last week’s episode, she hasn’t forgotten about Stabler, setting up a meeting to see how he’s doing emotionally. We expect to see the rekindling of a beautiful friendship. We hope.

Law & Order: Organized Crime, Thursdays, 10/9c, NBC