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Law & Order: Organized Crime: Christopher Meloni discusses Dylan McDermott’s departure

Wheatley and Stabler
Stabler (Christopher Meloni) confronts Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott) on Law & Order: Organized Crime. Pic credit: NBC

It’s almost time to bid farewell to Richard Wheatley on Law & Order: Organized Crime.

With this week’s episode wrapping up the massive fight between the mobster and Elliot Stabler, Christopher Meloni is opening up on how it feels to bid farewell to his on-screen nemesis while hinting at what’s to come on the hit show.

The Wheatley vs Stabler feud explained

The war between Stabler and Wheatley has been the focus of Law & Order: Organized Crime since its debut in 2021. 

The kick-off of the series was Stabler’s wife, Kathy, mortally wounded in a bombing Stabler believed was meant for him. It turned out Kathy was targeted and Stabler believed it was by Richard Wheatley, a pharmaceutical CEO with mob ties. 

It then turned out Wheatley had convinced ex-wife Angela (Tamara Taylor) that Stabler killed her son in a police raid. She thus ordered the hit on Kathy in revenge, unaware Wheatley himself had killed her son for stealing from him.

While arrested, Wheatley was able to get himself out of jail by working with the feds and the trial for Kathy’s murder ended in a mistrial. Since then, Wheatley has been working to build his fortune, with Angela at his side, by hacking the New York City Stock Exchange.

The latest episode had Wheatley blacking out all of New York City. He’s even hired a man (James Cromwell) to woo Stabler’s mother, Bernadette (Ellen Burstyn) to continue his games.

This coming episode will wrap the storyline up as McDermott is about to join the cast of FBI: Most Wanted. As it happens, Meloni has a few thoughts on the exit.

Meloni on McDermott’s exit and what’s to come on Law & Order: Organized Crime

Law & Order Organized Crime
Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott) faces off with Stabler (Christopher Meloni) alongside Angela (Tamara Taylor) on Law & Order: Organized Crime. Pic credit: NBC

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Meloni reflected on how it felt working with McDermott and how he will miss his on-screen foe. 

“Look, I’ll miss every aspect of him. He was good in front of the camera. He was great when it was off. [He has a] cheeky sensibility and good sense of humor. . . . So, I wish him the best.”

The fate of Wheatley is up in the air, whether he’s arrested or killed. It’s also unclear what fate will be in store for Angela, who’s had a flirtation with Stabler. 

The episode will also introduce Denis Leary in a recurring role as cop Frank Donnelly. 

“That is really cool,” Meloni says of the new addition, adding that working with Leary is “a hidden dream come true for me. I really have been doing some fun stuff.” 

The final arc of the season will have Stabler and his team taking on the Marcy Killers, led by Preston Webb (Mykelti Williamson). Jennifer Beals will guest-star as Webb’s wife. 

There has been a major shift for Law & Order: Organized Crime this week as Ilene Chaiken stepped down as showrunner after 14 months. She’ll be replaced by Barry O’Brien for the remainder of the season.

Meloni’s words indicate the final showdown of Stabler and Wheatley will be an epic one and make the finale of their storyline worth all the wild build-up.

Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.

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