Law & Order: Organized Crime is setting the table for Season 3.
After the season premiere was part of the Law & Order crossover, Everybody Knows The Dice Are Loaded showed how Season 3 will progress.
It introduced two new detectives to the Organized Crime unit and the new criminals they’ll be facing this year.
That included how an “accidental” death might be part of a much bigger case.
It also showed some dramatic turns for Bell’s life that could be a dangerous distraction in the case.
While there are still some mysteries to reveal, this episode was almost like another season premiere to set up some storylines and make Season 3 an interesting ride.
Law & Order: Organized Crime: Taking a roll of the dice
A TV ad showed the Majestic, New York’s first luxury casino, owned by Teddy Silas (Gus Halper). Stabler and Bell arrived at Silas’s event while Stabler complained about a man named Henry Cole pushed out of his home for the casino.
Teddy and Pearl Serrano (Camilla Belle) arrived to talk of making a nice offer for the home as they greeted Teddy’s father, Robert (John Dorman).
When Teddy complained about cops there, his father snapped, “You want to take the reins, you have to learn to ride every type of animal in this city or they’ll stomp over you.” He marched off as Pearl told Teddy he was “the next king of New York” and she was his queen.
Across town, Henry Cole (Jeorge Bennett Watson) refused to leave his lifelong home, where the media called him a folk hero. He yelled at Teddy, who was checking on the delayed construction site and made it clear to the supervisor what he wanted to be done.
Henry was at home later that night when someone broke in and he fell off his stairway. Stabler got a call from Teddy to apologize for his behavior and then mentioned Henry’s death with an insincere attempt at being sorry. As soon as he hung up, Stabler got another call to head out.
At the headquarters, new detective Jamie Whelan (Brent Antonello) was already on a bad foot stealing Jet’s milk. Stabler told Bell of the call and was convinced Teddy was behind Cole’s death.
Stabler wasn’t happy about Whelan’s age as Bell claimed he was “a Stabler in the making.” She also told him to stay away from the Cole case as it was being labeled an accident. Stabler waited for her to go before taking Whelan on a ride.
Pearl point-blank asked Teddy if he was behind Cole’s death, which he denied, but she clearly didn’t believe him.
Stabler and Whelan talked of the latter’s good arrest record and why he was with the Task Force. When Whelan asked why Stabler was, he replied, “I don’t like bullies.”
Dressed nicely, Bell showed up at a meeting with Denise and their lawyers, asking to speak in private with her wife. She wanted to fight for the marriage, still in love with Denise, only for her to reply, “My life is not a case to crack,” and this was a divorce.
Stabler and Whelan arrived at Cole’s place, the officer on the scene talking about it being an accident. When a rat passed by, the cop cracked at Stabler, “Not the only rat in here.” Whelan took offense while Stabler calmly put the cop in his place not to touch anything.
Outside, Stabler told Whelan, “Don’t fight my battles for me,” but Whelan said Stabler going against the Brotherhood was why he joined the unit as he hated dirty cops.
Passing the construction site, Stabler found Cole’s daughter Sandra (Joanie Anderson) packing up his things. He assured her the building wouldn’t be torn down as long as it was a crime scene and he’d find the truth as he hugged her.
At that moment, a pack of equipment nearly crushed the pair as the supervisor cracked on how dangerous this place was.
A rat attack?
Stabler checked with M.E. Abel Truman (Frank Wood), who stated all the evidence indicated Cole had died of a drunken fall. However, the rat bites on his feet were a bit suspicious, even though rats were common by construction sites. Truman said he could delay the report but not forever.
Whelan had good instincts that others in the building may have been “persuaded” to sell out to Teddy. Jet had one of her quirky leads, into some rat researchers, with Stabler figuring it was worth a shot.
Pearl saw Teddy and Robert talking about this, with Robert still dismissive of Teddy and Pearl trying to be serious businesspeople.
The rat researchers revealed the rats that bit Henry weren’t from New York and were a rare species bought off an illegal site. Furthermore, they revealed they used the same service themselves to give it up.
Bell was unhappy to learn Stabler was investigating Cole as anything with this casino was political dynamite with the city. She told him anything they needed to do had to be together.
Jet revealed the amazing truth that the rats were the murder weapon to poison Henry and make it look accidental. Bell agreed to let them go ahead with the case.
Bell and Stabler talked about their marriages, with Stabler admitting he was amazed he and Kathy lasted so long. He managed to cheer Bell up a bit with some dark humor on being bad spouses as they still had their jobs to focus on.
The pair tracked the source of the rats to a seemingly abandoned building to find Ronald Buatsi (Bru Ajueyitsi), the “wrangler” for rare creatures, in hopes of creating his own preserve. He showed video of selling the rats but had no idea who the buyer was.
Teddy told Pearl how much he loved her and gave her a fancy new ring as she briefly mused on how many needy kids it could pay for but then admitted she loved it before they had some fun on the roof.
Meet the Invisible Man
Jet was complaining about Whelan being too close to her as Bell talked of a new cop to add, Bobby Reyes (Rick Gonzalez), a top undercover operative nicknamed “the invisible man” for being able to vanish into roles.
Right on cue, the electrician who’d been working in the office told Jet to focus on the video of the suspect to reveal he was Reyes.
Reyes gushed how he was “the guy America doesn’t want to see,” and if it took him 10 minutes to get into the Task Force headquarters, he could get in anywhere.
Using Reyes’ advice, Jet discovered the suspect on the video was Kenneth Michael Kyle (Michael Drayer), a career criminal. However, when the team showed up at his home, they discovered Kenneth had suffered a seizure by rat bites. Before they could talk to him, Kyle escaped his hospital bed despite being in bad shape.
Kyle made his way to a club where Teddy was talking to Vincent Bishop (Kevin Corrigan) about having made promises to certain people on the casino. The cops arrived with Jet and Whelan trying to fit in on the dance floor, and Reyes was already set as a bartender.
Vincent saw Kyle coming up and looked to a man behind him. Kyle then saw Whelan looking at him and started to run off, hitting Whelan with a bottle.
Stabler chased Whelan outside, where the man stole a woman’s car. Stabler leaped onto the hood before being knocked off and nearly run over. The cops ordered a manhunt for Kyle just as they got word Truman was calling Henry’s death a homicide.
While mostly setup for the coming storylines, this episode did show some new turns for the Organized Crime task force that should play into the new season.
Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 3 airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.