Elliott Stabler added a new experience to his skill set: breaking and entering and organized theft.
After handling a theft for Webb that led to a promotion in the Brotherhood, Stabler was charged again with finding out who robbed the gangster which led to a tricky job.
Meanwhile, Stabler, Bell, Nova, and even Jet all had some major personal moments that could impact Law & Order: Organized Crime in Dead Presidents.
Organizing a heist
At a small apartment, a pair of men talked about one’s girlfriend while playing video games. They were interrupted by gunmen who shot them down to steal the money in the apartment.
Webb wasn’t happy about losing both one of his best soldiers and his cash. He had Stabler at the scene with the two bantering about how Webb tempted to shoot Stabler for demanding he deal with Webb alone.
Stabler pointed out they were a lot alike, doing what it took to close out deals or cases but “the street will only take you so far.” He added that “with Donnelly, you never know what the answer is. With me, you do.”
Webb took Stabler to the home of Rutger Ulrich, a “banker” (i.e. money launderer) for various cartels and arms dealers. Webb didn’t use him himself but knew Ulrich was holding Webb’s money. He needed his money back, less for the value than his reputation, and wanted Stabler to steal it.
Bell and Denise argued about Denise working for Kilbride’s firm, with Bell finally admitting her team was investigating Kilbride’s connections to organized crime. This would put a shadow on her wife, but Denise still wanted to work there.
Jet showed Ulrich’s background as a smart businessman and banker with a history of money laundering, although nothing could be proven. His townhouse was seen as a bona fide bank for criminals, which made this a huge risk.
Derrick was helping some homeless people when he was confronted by a man demanding money. While Derrick said he’d called this deal off, the man replied it didn’t work that way as he handed a package over.
Stabler visited Donnelly to banter on his new kid and then brought up Webb’s offer. Donnelly wasn’t happy about Stabler making deals behind his back but agreed it was about making money.
Stabler went to Webb to ask for a million-dollar advance to get into Ulrich’s place. He and Donnelly headed in with the rest of the squad watching from outside. They met Ulrich (Carsten Norgaard), who was instantly suspicious until they put Webb on the phone to claim he wanted a “trial run” of Ulrich’s system.
They were led into Ulrich’s office, with Stabler letting the team get a look on the camera. They realized the room’s dimensions didn’t match the plans and figured there was a secret vault.
The Brotherhood discussed things with Stabler deciding to use his “old contact” Malachi to help break into the vault. They toasted the plans to a perfect heist later that afternoon while Ulrich was meeting someone for dinner.
The break-in goes badly
A very nervous Malachi showed up to knock out the wi-fi around the townhouse, including the security cameras. He joined Stabler and Donnelly in entering the townhouse, soon finding the entrance to the secret room with the vault.
To Stabler’s surprise, rather than fancy hacking tools, Malachi used a blowtorch to get inside. Things went off-kilter as Ulrich’s bodyguard left the restaurant to check back on the townhouse.
Luckily, he didn’t spot them as Malachi opened the vault…to find nothing but a couple of watches and $700 inside.
The cops were baffled as to what happened as there was no way either Webb or the Brotherhood could have robbed the vault first. Jet ran back footage to find someone else had entered a few hours earlier to remove bags of cash.
Nova confronted Derrick on how he’d bought a gun and knew he wanted to go after Webb. She admitted she’d wanted to do the same for years but needed to bring Webb down the right way. Derrick claimed he’d refused the gun while Nova had her doubts.
The van was abandoned but had been owned by low-level crook Raymond Moss (Mo Stark). The cops raided his home, Moss pulling a gun on Jet, who shot him in self-defense.
Moss was only wounded but refused to talk. Bell then got a text that the van had been rented with Stabler’s credit card as he realized someone was setting him up.
Tracking the true thieves down
Stabler told Donnelly about the set-up, with Donnelly realizing he’d be blamed too as Webb was now out $2 million. Donnelly’s solution was to simply kill Webb first while at least lying low.
Lying low wasn’t an option as Webb found Stabler on the street for a chat. He was dubious about Stabler’s claims of innocence and warned that his patience was limited.
A troubled Jet was surprised by Adam visiting with some food. He knew she was shaken from shooting someone for the first time and tried to help her cope. Jet had to smile at his attempts to help as they began making out.
Bell returned home in time for Denise to state she had taken the job and had “sacrificed enough for this relationship” and was doing this for herself.
Stabler talked to his father’s old partner, Gus Hansen (Paul O’Brien), who knew Elliot was after more than just talking old times. Stabler brought up the Combat Cross story from Donnelly with Hansen snarling that the elder Donnelly was a scumbag and that the shooting was a good one.
Stabler looked up the files on the shooting to find the gun involved. He recognized it from old films as his father’s revolver, seeing his dad teaching a young Stabler to shoot it.
While the fallout of the failed heist will echo for a bit, the personal touches on the lives of Stabler, Jet, and Bell are going to be felt for a while.
Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.