Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 was almost like three different seasons in one.
It began with Elliot Stabler on a dangerous undercover job in a deadly mob. It then moved to Stabler battling foe Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott) for control of New York City.
The final arc had Stabler undercover again with some corrupt cops but questioning who was truly right and wrong.
Throughout the year were some shocking twists and turns along with great character work by Stabler and other cops and the crooks they fought.
It remained a top show and while mixing so many plotlines was complex, it worked out well to show a great improvement over the first year.
These are the big moments from Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2, and the promised Season 3 only gets better.
10. Eddie Ashes
The season kicked off with Stabler going deep undercover as Eddie “Ashes” Wagner, a supposed arsonist hired by the Kostas.
It was a dark arc, showing how ruthless Stabler could be to survive in this world and shaken by things like seeing a man executed before him.
Stabler had to do a lot of ugly things in this arc, from an affair with Albie’s wife to literally digging his own grave while risking his life multiple times.
There was also trying to save the son of the real Wagner, which sadly ended in tragedy for the youth.
It paid off with the Kostas taken down, but Stabler still felt the effects of this walk on the dark side of the law.
9. Stabler’s mother issues
Even a top cop like Stabler can have problems with his mother.
Returning to her Emmy-award-winning role, Ellen Burstyn was a great presence as Bernadette, suffering from mental problems yet still a sharp tongue to put her son in his place.
Bernadette could get in trouble, like being romanced by a man (James Cromwell) who turned out to be working for Richard Wheatley, leading to her being kidnapped.
Yet Bernadette could also encourage her son and let him know he was still a great cop and a good father. For every moment she aggravated, Bernadette had a good scene to help Stabler and his kids.
Bernadette’s presence helped Season 2 shine to bring Stabler’s family issues to the forefront, with Burstyn a terrific match for Meloni while also reminding folks how rough his family life could be.
8. The letter revealed
While Stabler and Benson teamed up a few times this season, their most dramatic interaction was a quiet one.
After a wild night partying with the Kostas, Stabler came to see Benson and poured out his feelings about the job and their complex relationship.
This led to the revelation of the contents of the letter Stabler had given Benson in Season 1. It had been written by Kathy before her death, talking about how she knew Benson and Stabler had a bond she couldn’t match but still respected Olivia.
However, Stabler added that he was the one who wrote the final line that in a world without Kathy, “It would always be you and me.”
That led to fan backlash and showcased the bond between the former partners, which would play into some drama throughout the season.
7. The trial of Wheatley
A significant turning point for Season 2 was the long-awaited crossover with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, focused on the trial of Richard Wheatley.
Complicating matters was Wheatley being defended by former ADA Rafael Barba. This led to major tension as Barba brought up Stabler’s feelings toward Angela and more drama on the case.
After Richie changed his testimony, the trial ended with the jury deadlocked. Rather than try again, the D.A.’s office just let Wheatley go.
The fallout was bigger, revealing Angela had been faking her “illness” and was still with her ex-husband, who then tried to frame Eli for murder.
It was a nightmare for Stabler to watch his wife’s killer walk free, and it would lead to a powerful conclusion down the road.
6. The Robin Hood of hackers
It’s odd when a supposed “criminal” turns into one of the more sympathetic characters of the year.
Broken out of prison, master hacker Sebastian McClane (Robin Lord Taylor) was explained as once being an Army officer who turned to hacking corrupt corporations following his sister’s death.
He accidentally caused a man’s death to land in prison, but McClane was serious about wanting to help others rather than just cause crimes. He was forced to aid Richard Wheatley in his schemes to disrupt the stock market while bonding with Angela.
McClane was nearly killed yet managed to survive and ended up helping the team against Wheatley. So while returning to prison, McClane showed he wasn’t that bad a guy after all.
It might be interesting if the character returns as Taylor made McClane a crook with a heart in the end, putting him above scores of the enemies in the series.
Long a scene-stealer with her quips and style, Jet got a bit more focus this season.
Not only was she out in the field more, but Jet showed her stuff as a hacker and even held her own in a raid. She also began an odd relationship with Adam Mintock, aka “Malachi,” a rogue hacker.
At first, the two annoyed each other, but Malachi’s smug yet humorous attitude won Jet over as they worked together.
It led to them making out while trying to restore the city during a blackout and hints at a more significant relationship. That included Malachi helping Jet cope after shooting a suspect.
The pair have yet to go on a traditional date, but the bond from Jet gifting Malachi with a special shoe to being together at an awards ceremony provided an unusual romance to spark the season.
4. Wheatley’s dark end
It took a while, but at long last, the greatest villain of Law & Order: Organized Crime met his dark end.
After pulling schemes involving blackmail, crashing the stock market, and blacking out New York City, Wheatley crossed the line by killing his own son to cut ties.
His ultimate plan was to try and force Stabler to confess to his darker actions on the force while holding Bernadette hostage. Thankfully, the gang was able to diffuse Wheatley’s leverage.
As Wheatley and Angela headed to the airport, Stabler called up to tell Angela how Wheatley murdered his son. Finally realizing they had no happy ending, Angela sent their car flying off a cliff to the river below.
Wheatley’s body was never found, and he was assumed dead, with Stabler happy for some closure even if he would have preferred it ended differently.
By closing out the book on Wheatley, Law & Order: Organized Crime ended the arc that started it all.
3. Who killed Webb?
A major player throughout Season 2 was Preston Webb (Mykelti Williamson), a ruthless gangster who set himself up as a hero to his community.
Webb played the long game, surviving the fall of the Kostas and Wheatley to consolidate power like a corporation. He also had Congressman Kilbride (Ron Cephas Jones) in his back pocket as an ally.
What Webb didn’t know was that trusted aide Nova was an undercover cop seeking justice for Webb killing Nova’s policeman father years before.
With the law closing in, Webb went on the run only to be shot dead. It was briefly suspected his wife Cassandra was behind it, but she was innocent.
In a closing scene heading to Chicago with her brother, it was hinted that Nova herself killed Webb as revenge.
The truth may never be known, leaving an air of mystery over Webb’s fate.
2. Bell’s marital woes
While she may be a top detective and leader, Bell had her problems in Season 2.
She was still navigating a lawsuit against the NYPD and rocking the boat with her attitude. She also clashed with Brewster on handling the investigation into the Kostas.
Things turned when Bell’s wife, Denise, began working closely with Kilbride. Bell couldn’t tell her wife the man was under investigation, only giving warnings which Denise didn’t take well to.
It reached the breaking point when Bell arrested Kilbride for his connections to Webb. Denise was outraged, still thinking the Congressman was a good guy helping the community, and upset she was losing her job.
Yet Bell was unprepared to come home and find Denise had left and taken their child. It was a heartbreaker for Bell to realize what her job had cost her.
1. Facing his father’s shadow
While Stabler and his father had a challenging relationship, he always respected his dad as a good cop. But the final arc of Season 2 had Stabler learning some harsh truths.
It began when he went undercover in the Brotherhood, a pack of corrupt cops. Stabler was thrown when leader Frank Donnelly (Denis Leary) claimed Stabler’s dad had faked being shot by a crook, framing an innocent guy for it.
Stabler didn’t want to believe it but, like the good cop he was, dug deeper to discover Donnelly was right. It rocked Stabler, making him question his own standing as a cop if his dad wasn’t such a hero.
After busting the Brotherhood, Stabler was offered the same Combat Cross as his father and decided to honor the family name after all.
While he may feel in his father’s shadow, Stabler’s quest for justice proved he was a better cop than his dad.
Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 streaming on Hulu and Peacock. Season 3 premieres Thursday, September 22 at 10/9c on NBC.