Law & Order: Organized Crime came back with a vengeance…literally.
Still reeling from the outcome of the Wheatley trial, Stabler wasn’t happy to learn who his new “partner” on a challenging case was that promised more drama between the old enemies in an episode fittingly titled Nemesis.
A major prison break
The episode opened with Sebastian McClane (Robin Lord Taylor) getting into a fight in the prison mess hall before being “rescued” by a beefy convict named Floyd, who was impressed by McClane’s reputation as a master hacker.
Back in his cell, McClane opened up a carton of food to see a time written inside. Right on cue, the doors to every cell opened, leading to chaos with prisoners running around and attacking guards. McClane took advantage to hotwire the prison fence and escape.
Commissioner Clarence Brandeis briefed the cops and FBI on how five criminals managed to escape and capturing them was the highest priority. Sloot piped up how McClane was the likely person the behind this or at least someone wanting to free him for a job. One look at the code used to set this off, and Sloot knew they were in trouble.
Stabler dropped in on Wheatley doing a podcast interview as part of his “redemption tour,” with Wheatley claiming he had lost control of his company and bore no grudges, although Stabler knew he was still working with the FBI.
Jet explained McClane had gone from the military to the CIA, but when a computer glitch caused his sister to go into debt, she killed herself. That drove McClane to become a hacker known as “Constantine,” at first helping others erase debts, but when he hacked the Federal Reserve, a guard died, landing him in jail.
A master manipulator, McClane had seduced a female guard to his side, the poor woman having no idea she was a pawn in his escape plan. Stabler and Bell checked with McClane’s former partner, Rogin Moon (Julian Remulla), who claimed he broke it off with McClane when he got too radical.
The cops were suspicious when Moon refused to answer an incoming call and had a fancy car for an insurance agent. They trailed him, seeing Moon giving his car to McClane, who had banged up his own face to avoid facial rec software. They gave chase, but McClane managed to ditch the car and drove it remotely to draw them off.
An unholy alliance forms
Moon claimed McClane threatened to ruin his life if he didn’t help and had no idea where he was. He added McClane felt guilty over the death of that guard and wanted Moon to get in touch with the man’s widow. Moon added the hacking code for the prison didn’t match McClane’s.
To Jet’s horror, there was only one person to turn to: Adam Mintok, aka Malachi (Wesam Keesh), the hacker she’d clashed with before. Heading to his apartment, she found Mintok was up to his old tricks preparing fake IDs just before he arrived with a female “friend.” He claimed the IDs were for women trying to escape abusive relationships. As soon as he heard Constatine was involved, he was in.
Brewster brought Stabler and Bell to meet the “special consultant” he was using for this case…Richard Wheatley. To no shock, Stabler refused to work with the man even as Wheatley insisted they handle their feelings “for the greater good.”
Jet and Malachi continued their odd banter with Adam summing up Wheatley’s presence with “talk about sleeping with the enemy.”
At a cafe, Stabler welcomed Angela, who was still using the cane and claiming to be “recovering.” She said she had no idea what Richard was up to and was ticked that the NYPD was no longer protecting her.
Stabler asked about McClane, with Angela going right back to the “memory is fuzzy” excuse and acting like she couldn’t even pour sugar into her coffee. But when Stabler pushed a cup over, Angela instinctively caught it with Stabler dryly saying, “it’s like witnessing a miracle” before leaving.
Bell attended the groundbreaking ceremony for a library in Kilbride’s name and posed for photos with him. Nova popped up and then later met Bell to say most of the workers at the library worked for Webb.
That evening, Kilbride met Julian and some workers at the construction site for a payoff and that he wanted to delay construction as long as possible to drive prices up so Webb could ask for more money from the city. In short, this library was nothing but a massive money-making scam.
Hunting the hacker
To no shock, Wheatley knew Mintok and recognized the hacker had to be in New York to meet McClane.When Jet tried to track the hacker, her screens were filled with a skull image demanding half a million dollars or more prison breaks would occur.
The hacking name was Crnobg, the Slavic Black God of Chaos. Bell and Stabler figured Wheatley himself was somehow involved and didn’t expect to be at the headquarters for the ransom call.
Wheatley’s solution was to simply pay the guy, using his unique cryptocurrency, which could be traced. He did so with the money instantly accepted and already being used in Queens.
As the cops showed up at the suspect’s address, they were shot at, quickly moving to capture Carlos Martinez, an office guy for the prison. The guy was no master hacker but just used the code someone gave him.
Stabler figured this entire thing was Wheatley as “the man starts a fire to take credit for putting it out.”
McClane was brought to a safe house where Wheatley and Angla had cooked him dinner. Sure enough, Wheatley and McClane had met in prison and hatched this entire plan, with Crnobg McClane’s new handle.
The pair toasted their new partnership while Stabler vowed to prove Wheatley was behind all this.
Between Wheatley’s plans for McClane, Angela’s own games, and Webb and Kilbride’s moves, this new year of adventures promises to keep Stabler on his toes in 2022.
Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.