The beginning of the end for the Task Force may be at hand.
This built on subplots of Bell facing a promotion she doesn’t want, even as the team focused on the Silas casino.
A huge turn came as an attack on Pearl led to some developments that had even Teddy taken aback.
There was also an intriguing revelation on Stabler that can fuel fans’ hopes as the show continues.
Yet Whipping Post ended with the Task Force facing a very uncertain future and the question of if they can survive what’s to come in Season 3.
A tricky poisoning at a bad time
Jet passed by Reyes and Whelan talking as Goldfarb entered Bell’s office. Bell told her to leave the door open as “a closed door sends a message.” As soon as Goldfarb closed the door, Bell realized that meant the Task Force was done.
Bell was naturally rocked even as Goldfarb said it meant a promotion for her. The deal wouldn’t be done for a week as Jet told Whelan this was “the end of days.”
At his place, Stabler was making breakfast as Tia walked in. It turned out they just spent the night drinking, and Stabler slept on the couch while Tia took his bed.
They talked about their conversion, where Stabler had mentioned a woman he was in love with, but he claimed not to remember it. “Love shouldn’t be complicated,” Tia told him, even if affairs got messy.
She had booked a flight back to Italy but then Stabler got a call about Pearl collapsing at a party and appearing to have been poisoned. Stabler talked to Teddy at the hospital as he seemed truly concerned about his wife.
Teddy claimed this was a message as death threats hit his family. He was upset because he wanted Stabler to help and wasn’t sure who to trust. However, he was willing to accept Stabler’s help to find out who did this to his wife.
Robert Silas expressed worries about Stabler being biased as Bell broke it to Stabler that they couldn’t take on a new case andwould talk about it later. She ordered him to hand this off.
Naturally, Stabler interpreted that to hand it off to Whelan. The thumb drive from Pearl had been encrypted as Jet pushed Bell on what was happening with the Task Force. Bell told her to just concentrate on the case.
The club manager was surprised to see all the footage from the previous night had been erased. The only person who had access was bartender Jace Porter, who had not shown up for work.
Teddy was frantically calling any doctor in the world who could help Pearl. Robert was more interested in making sure Pearl’s family couldn’t get her part of the casino if she died. “When it comes to business, some of the last people you can trust are family,” Robert snapped. He told Teddy to cut out Pearl’s holdings or lose his own.
Porter (Jamal Lloyd Johnson) had a record the club missed as Stabler and Whelan found him working out at home. He tossed a weight at them before being arrested.
Bell was ticked about Stabler even as Porter admitted to spiking the drinks of famous people and then recording them acting up to sell to the tabloids. Jet interrupted to share Pearl’s labs didn’t match the same drugs Porter used, so someone else had drugged her.
Who poisoned Pearl?
The team watched a video of Pearl looking great as she entered the club before collapsing. They realized the scarf was a key and they needed to search Teddy’s place.
Teddy wasn’t happy to be treated as a suspect and threw Whelan and Reyes out of his apartment.
Stabler stopped by Tia’s hotel to remind her of a case in Italy where a family had been poisoned by their clothing. Stabler theorized someone involved in the Silas dealing had poisoned Pearl and wanted Tia to stay and help.
The poison matched a rare Italian plant called deadly nightshade, used in other murders. They realized whoever was behind this was likely going to try again. Jet mentioned to Tia she had a Dutch passport and was a bit more interested in the job offer.
Stabler went to the hospital to hear a private ambulance company had transferred Pearl. Jet tracked it to a neighborhood with the door answered by Ava Serrano (Elizabeth Danielle Pujadas), Pearl’s sister.
Stabler and Tia met a recovering Pearl who wasn’t sure if Teddy could have done this. She said the scarf had been sent from a dry cleaning company called Belucci which was the same name as an Italian mobster.
Tia met with Tommaso Vizzini (James Ciccone), an old contact of hers. He shared Luca Belucci (Gian-Murray Giannino) was in town and doing some business.
Tia was ready to go right in but Stabler had to wait for a warrant with her muttering, “Just like Sicily.”
They found Luca at his apartment as he naturally tried to run, stealing a motorcycle but was soon arrested.
The end of the Task Force?
As Luca denied anything, Bell confronted Jet on her talk on a deadline as she didn’t want rumors spreading.
Stabler thought Luca had been hired to kill Pearl, but before he could talk more, his lawyer, Jennifer Gleeson (Harper J. Harris) told them to stop. After they left, Stabler realized Gleeson also worked for Teddy.
Reyes and Whelan were following Luca as Reyes told Whelan he’d heard from others in the NYPD that the task force was being shut down. Whelan was amazed because of their success, while Reyes suggested maybe someone higher up thought they were doing too well.
Robert snapped about the cops accusing Teddy while Tia shared the old Italian proverb, “it’s good to trust, but it’s better not to.”
They brought up Luca’s mob ties with Teddy honestly having no idea they shared a lawyer. Robert ordered him out before also telling the cops to leave.
After some banter, Tia said it was time for her to leave. Stabler said he liked having her around as Tia noted they had much different lives. They shared a final hug goodbye as Tia said whoever Stabler was in love with was “a lucky woman.”
Reyes called Stabler as they had followed Teddy to a parking garage where he’d beaten Luca senseless with a bat. Stabler accused Teddy of hiring Luca for the murder and trying to silence Luca.
Teddy said he’d come to confront Luca and his brushing it off made him snap to attack him. He then revealed Pearl was pregnant.
In the ambulance, Luca asked Stabler to give him last rites before whispering something in his ear. With Robert in the wind, Stabler met Teddy in prison to tell him Pearl and the baby were okay.
Stabler told Teddy his father hired Luca to kill Pearl, with Teddy refusing to talk even as he was ready to name his son after his dad.
At the office, Bell finally confirmed to Stabler she was taking a promotion to deputy inspector as Stabler told her everyone had known about the task force ending. He just wished Bell had told him sooner.
Things got heated as Stabler snapped he’d poured his soul into the task force and wasn’t happy Bell was just letting it go with barely a fight. After he stormed out, Bell confronted the rest on knowing. They, too, walked off as Bell headed back to her office.
Thus, a unique turn on the Silas case while the Task Force faces its possible end makes fans wonder how Law & Order: Organized Crime continues.
Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 3 airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.More: Law & Order: Organized Crime