The SVU squad room should be a safe place for survivors to get justice — but this one is anything but.
An armed and angry victim caused so many needless deaths on Law & Order: SVU Season 12 Episode 24 that Stabler turned in his walking papers. And now, a decade later, the squad room is again the focal point of a violent attack.
Spoilers for Law & Order: SVU Season 25 Episode 2 point to a chaotic scene, with armed assailants throwing chairs through windows and attacking staff while Benson calls for backup. But could the violence be the opening for the Law & Order: Organized Crime crossover that Bensler fans want?
We haven’t heard any official news about a crossover, but clues have already suggested one could be coming down the pike.
Most significantly, Stabler viewed part of the press conference McGrath called following the discovery of a long-missing girl, and Carisi’s obnoxious cousin asked Benson about the compass necklace that Stabler gave her.
Flash mobs are squarely in Elliot Stabler‘s wheelhouse, too; they might not be the same as the international crime families the Organized Crime unit is hunting down, but they’re similar enough that he’ll know what to do.
And there’s no way he wouldn’t come to Benson’s aid if she needed him, so with Benson desperate for backup, she might have to call upon him.
But why is the mob attacking the squad room? And how do they get inside before anyone stops them?
Fin and Velasco are heading up the investigation into the mob after a robbery at a jewelry store leads to a sexual assault. While the spoiler video has Benson finding and rescuing a sexual assault survivor at the scene of the crime, it’s unclear whether she’ll be a big part of this investigation.
Spoilers say that Benson teams up with the FBI. That could be related to the robbery/sexual assault, but there’s another, more substantial reason for involving the Feds.
As many fans know, Olivia Benson never gives up on getting justice for survivors, including finding missing teenagers after the trail’s gone cold.
She spent most of Law & Order: SVU Season 25 Episode 1 struggling with guilt over having not stopped Maddie and the kidnapper when she crossed paths with them, and those feelings won’t have gone away.
If anything, they’ll intensify because Maddie’s in the wind, and the rest of the police department’s moved on.
Working with the FBI to conduct a nationwide search for Maddie makes sense, especially since there’s reason to believe her abductor is a drug or human trafficker.
He took Maddie partially because a guy in a chat room offered $8,000 for her and then changed his mind. Could Maddie’s abductor have sold her to someone else after the deal fell through?
Benson’s not likely to give up on Maddie, ever, whether or not the FBI is willing to work with her to find the missing teenager. But that could cause problems for her with Sergeant McGrath, especially if she’s focusing on this case after he told her to drop it.
McGrath will want Benson at her desk, directing current investigations, not going on what he sees as a wild goose chase. And if Benson did involve the FBI without prior authorization, he wouldn’t like that.
McGrath never believed that Benson saw Maddie in that energy drink van, and he may think now that Benson’s gotten obsessed with a case that can’t be solved.
He can do more than pressure her to change her priorities; he can make it a condition of her continued employment.
Benson is the kind of badass woman who has no problem standing up to McGrath or anyone else in the name of protecting survivors, but that doesn’t mean she has the power to win this one.
Plus, there’s a survivor right in front of her who needs assistance. She won’t want to neglect this new case, no matter how determined she is to find Maddie.
This is another avenue that a potential Bensler crossover could go down.
The Organized Crime unit often calls in SVU when they’re dealing with human trafficking, and Maddie’s case sounds like it could be tailor-made for them.
Jet could use the new AI tool to help narrow down places where Maddie could be held while Stabler and Reyes check out each location. Maybe McGrath will lend Benson to Bell and let her be Bell’s headache for a while.
That would be fun!
Benson’s insistence on continuing to search for Maddie could play out in several other ways.
Benson could begin seeing clues that aren’t there, such as a connection between whatever happened to the new survivor and Maddie’s kidnapping.
She’s usually level-headed and intuitive, but when any detective focuses too hard on the case they couldn’t solve, everything suddenly begins seeming like it could be relevant.
If she goes this route, she’ll get frustrated because her team will be skeptical of her theories.
An obsessed detective becoming untrustworthy is a tired TV trope, but Law & Order: SVU has used it before with great effect — especially when Benson turns out to be right in the end.
SVU could also drop Maddie’s case for now, allowing Benson to throw herself into new cases to ease the pain of not being able to find the missing girl.
Some fans might dislike it if this happens — the lack of closure is disturbing, even if it mirrors what often happens in real life. But if SVU decides to do this, a clue (or Maddie herself!) will probably show up later.
Let’s hope there’s steady movement toward finding Maddie and that she’s discovered to be alive, even if she is traumatized by the time she’s rescued.
I can’t help thinking that Stabler getting a voicemail from the waitress who escaped the Albanian mob is significant — could Benson’s work with the FBI lead to the discovery that Maddie’s being held by the Albanians?
What do you think, Law & Order: SVU fanatics?
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Law & Order: SVU’s historic 25th season airs on NBC on Thursdays at 9/8c.
Episodes are available to stream on Peacock the day after they air.