The end of two major investigations led to some shocking turns.
After realizing more of the truth about his father, Stabler finally prepared to take down both Webb and the Brotherhood.
But the final ending of this case led to some unexpected moves as Friend or Foe was a powerful finale for Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2.
Covers are burned for good
The episode began with Stabler checking in on Gus Hanson about the slugs proving he had shot Stabler’s dad for the phony hero story. Hanson thought Stabler’s dad would be ashamed, but Stabler said if his father was alive, he’d be going after him.
Hanson was on the phone to Donnelly to break it to him that Stabler was undercover in the Brotherhood. Donnelly brushed off his wife’s coffee offer as he had some “loose ends to tie up.”
Donnelly called a meeting to tell the rest of the Brotherhood Stabler was after them. When asked what they were going to do, he said, “what we always do with a rat. Exterminate them.”
At the station, Donnelly played it cool, telling Stabler they could handle Webb. He brought up how “I trusted you with the thing closest to my heart” and would miss him, making it sound like he was still leaving town.
Stabler talked to Bell, sensing something off with Donnelly. Nova told Cassandra that Webb had gone underground and even the Marcy Killers had no idea where he was.
Cassandra thought Webb would go to Nova before her as “he loves you, Nova,” saying they both considered her family. She said if Webb contacted Nova, to meet her at a special canal as “he’d never leave his daughter without a father.”
Bell led the task force to Kilbride’s office, giving her wife a look as she announced they were shutting it down. She then arrested Kilbride for racketeering, among other charges, the Congressman looking as betrayed as Denise did over Bell’s actions.
Donnelly called Stabler about having a location on Webb at an old drug house. Donnelly relayed the address to Bell as he drove there.
Stabler arrived as he made sure he and Donnelly were going to arrest Webb, not kill him. They entered only to find the Brotherhood waiting as Donnelly intoned, “I don’t want to do this, man.”
After a brief shootout, Stabler managed to escape out a window, only for Parnell to gun him down.
A wild chase has a brutal end
Bell arrived to find Stabler, who had smartly been wearing a bulletproof vest. Stabler decided if the Brotherhood thought he was dead, they could use that.
Donnelly told Parnell they were better off laying low. As Parnell left the bar, he was attacked by Stabler, who then took down Bolton.
Soon, the entire Brotherhood was being perp-walked to the disgust of other cops, but none would give up Donnelly. Jet announced a hit on Webb near a canal in Brooklyn… as a body found in the canal Cassandra told Nova about.
Stabler saw Bridget, who had no idea what was going on and didn’t know where Donnelly was. She pressed Stabler to find him as “I can’t live without him.”
Bell called Stabler to identify Webb shot dead and his body dumped in the canal. A patrolman stopped Donnelly but, rather than arrest him, warned him what roads to avoid.
Jet was going through accounts on Cassandra to find evidence she was the one who put out the hit on Stabler. At the morgue, Cassandra was arrested for that and suspicion of murdering her husband. She whispered to his body, “Mama will take care of everything, just like always.”
Stabler was trailing Bridget only to realize rather than a doctor, she was seeing a travel specialist. Seeing a car pulling away, he followed to see it was Bridget, who knew what was happening and berated Stabler for betraying them.
Donnelly took off in his prized car with Stabler in hot pursuit. A wild chase through the streets of New York ensued before ending at a nearby train yard.
Held at gunpoint, Donnelly and Stabler argued about their oaths, with Donnelly truly thinking he’d been doing Stabler a favor by going corrupt. Stabler tried to talk Donnelly into surrendering, but Frank knew what would happen to him in jail.
Before Stabler could stop him, Donnelly stepped into the path of an oncoming train and was crushed.
A bittersweet honor
Cleaning out his desk at the precinct, Staber was surprised by Bell’s call that he was getting the Combat Cross. He tried to refuse but was told it really wasn’t his call.
Stabler was overwhelmed by this, still feeling guilt over what happened to Donnelly and the ghost of his father’s actions. Bell told him it was the honor, not his personal feelings, that mattered here.
The team (including Adam and even Cragen) attended the ceremony with Stabler remembering times with his father and Donnelly. He accepted the Cross with his mother looking proud and Stabler was truly moved by the honor.
At a retirement home, Stabler met Hector Serrano (Anthony Ruiz), the father of the man Stabler’s dad had accused of the shooting. Stabler admitted what his dad and Hanson had done, apologizing for his father’s actions.
Bell returned home only to find Denise had emptied out her stuff and left her, taking Jack with her. Bell cried at the realization her job had just cost her her marriage.
On a bus to Chicago, Nova told Derrick she’d turned in her badge as her job was done. No sooner were the words out of her mouth than Derrick got an alert on his phone that Cassandra had just been considered no longer a person of interest in Webb’s murder.
Nova quietly said, “It could have been anyone, I guess,” as she stared off.
Bernadette was upset to find Stabler’s apartment still a wreck, seeming wary of her recent arm injury. She brought up Donnelly’s name from Bell, with Stabler calling him a friend, a good cop but a corrupt one and killed himself without thinking of his family.
Stabler admitted he felt responsible for it, with his mother pointing out “life is so complicated, messy,” but she knew her son did his best. She compared his Cross to his father’s and “now you know the price.”
She headed off, leaving Stabler to reflect on the cost of the choices he’d made in this investigation.
Thus, the end of the Webb and Brotherhood arcs brings some dark endings to the team which sets up some drama for Season 3.
Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 3 airs this fall on NBC.