Richard Wheatley will be back on Law & Order: Organized Crime this season…just not as often.
Dylan McDermott confirmed he will be returning to the hit NBC spin-off as the villainous pharmaceutical CEO turned mobster.
However, instead of being part of the regular cast, McDermott will only be a recurring role, indicating Wheatley will no longer be the new season’s focus.
Wheatley vs Stabler
Law & Order: Organized Crime began with a special crossover with Law & Order: SVU. After years away, Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) returned to New York when his wife Kathy was shot and later died in the hospital.
Stabler was convinced the hit was meant for him and obsessed with finding his wife’s killer. This led him to face off against Richard Wheatley. To the outside world, Wheatley was the CEO of Contrapos, a popular online pharmaceutical company.
In reality, Wheatley had grown up with mobster father Manfredi (Chazz Palminteri), and his company was a cover for drug dealing. He even killed his own father to hide his crimes and his stepson, Rafiq, for robbing his product.
Stabler and his team investigated to find that Wheatley was selling COVID-19 vaccines on the black market to rich clients. He was also preparing a major drug buy to build up his new empire.
After a hostage situation at a train station, Wheatley was finally arrested. However, he still pulled strings by trying to get a corrupt cop to kill his ex-wife, Angela (Tamara Taylor) so she couldn’t testify against him.
What is Richard Wheatley’s Status for Season 2?
McDermott had signed a one-year deal to play Wheatley as a regular for Law & Order: Organized Crime’s first season. That left it doubtful he would return for a second year.
Per Deadline, McDermott has agreed to a “lucrative” deal to return for at least eight episodes in Season 2. With the fate of Angela up in the air, it’s unclear if Wheatley will now be facing trial or is free to plague Stabler more.
In an encounter with Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), Wheatley threatened the cop with the implication that she was the most important woman in Elliot’s life. This may play into a plan for revenge from Wheatley.
The deal comes on the heels of Nick Creegan, who played Wheatley’s son, Richie, leaving Law & Order: Organized Crime to become a regular on the CW’s Batwoman. Last seen arrested for killing an undercover cop, Richie tried to arrange a hit on his own father.
It’s likely that Season 2 will shift from the Wheatleys to Stabler’s team investigating a new crime. However, the deal means that Wheatley will be back in some form for several episodes.
Whether it’s to finally see justice done or clashing in a new case, it appears Season 2 of Law & Order: Organized Crime will have Stabler and Wheatley fighting it out once more.
Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 premieres on Thursday, September 23 at 10/9c on NBC.