Christopher Meloni knows what the fans want.
The Law & Order: Organized Crime star has been getting used to firing up the internet with some of his recent interviews and posts. Now, he and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star Mariska Hargitay are doing an epic troll of fans with a very steamy photo together.
The Benson/Stabler dynamic
When Law & Order: Special Victims Unit debuted in 1999, Stabler and Benson were the lead detectives and established a good bond between them as long-time partners.
The series defused any romance talk by showing Stabler was married with several children and Benson okay dating other men. Yet even Stabler’s wife Kathy could sense a bond between the partners deeper than her marriage to Elliot.
Elliot and Kathy would be separated and even close to divorce a few times but eventually came together again. Kathy even shared her worries to Benson, who made it clear she saw Elliot only as a very good friend.
Indeed, Benson was there when Kathy was severely injured in a car accident and went into labor in Season 9’s Paternity.
Benson was hit hard when Elliot quit the NYPD after being forced to shoot a teenage girl in the Season 12 finale without a word to her. That was the last of the partnership until the April 2021 crossover that began Law & Order: Organized Crime.
The return of the partners
When Kathy was mortally wounded in a car bombing, Benson reunited with Elliot. Stabler had spent time working in Europe and only recently returned to New York.
After Kathy succumbed to her wounds, Elliot was lost. He focused on corrupt CEO Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott), who he thought was responsible.
The case got to Stabler, causing him to lash out at others and be more hot-tempered than usual. His children got Olivia to take part in an intervention with Stabler telling Olivia he loved her with the rest of his family before leaving.
When Benson met Wheatley, the criminal sardonically noted that Kathy wasn’t Elliot’s true love, Benson was, which she was silent about.
This led fans to wonder if the pair will take their relationship to the next level in the coming season.
Meloni and Hargitay’s epic troll
The reaction has been building with a fan finding an old picture of the actors in what looks like a kissing scene.
She inserted the line, “Can y’all imagine if one day Chris_Meloni and Mariska posts a picture like this pretending they are kissing with the caption #Rehearsing? It would be the end of us and the end of the internet.”
It looks like Meloni and Hargitay took up the challenge as Meloni shared a pic of the pair nuzzling their faces quite close with the line “#rehearsing what, Mariska?”
This follows the pair trading fun social media posts mocking Meloni’s steamy Interview magazine photoshoot. Hargitay also shared on-set pics indicating there will be some crossovers between the two Law & Order series this fall.
Whether this is just the actors having some fun with fans or a hint the much-anticipated Benson/Stabler romance finally occurs, it shows Meloni and Hargitay know precisely how to send Law & Order fans into a frenzy.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 23 premieres on Thursday, September 23 at 8/7c followed by the Season 2 premiere of Law & Order: Organized Crime at 10/9 c on NBC.