Law & Order Thursdays preview: an old friend and an old enemy return

Law & Order SVU
Declan Murphy (Donal Logue with Mariska Hargitay) returns to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Pic credit: NBC

Law & Order Thursdays kick off the New Year with some brand new thrills. 

After several weeks off, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Organized Crime are both returning with new episodes this week that explore the fallout of the Richard Wheatley trial and the return of a few old faces. 

The fallout of the Wheatley trial

The December 9 crossover focused on the trial of Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott) for Kathy Stabler’s murder. There were numerous complications, from Richard’s ex-wife Angela (Tamara Taylor) being unable to testify properly, to his son recanting his testimony of hearing his dad ordering Kathy’s death. 

Despite the best efforts of Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni), the jury was deadlocked, forcing the judge to order a mistrial. Stabler was then distracted by his son Eli (Nicky Torchia) being set up for murdering a woman he met at a party.

It was revealed Eli was framed with Stabler naturally assuming Wheatley was behind this. The true culprit was Wheatley’s daughter, Dana (Christina Marie Karis), but in a shocking twist, the audience learned Angela was faking her supposed “infirm” health and working with her ex-husband. 

To top it all off, the D.A.’s office decided it wasn’t worth the hassle of trying Wheatley again, so dropped all the charges, letting him walk as a free man.

Now, this week’s Law & Order episodes explore the ramifications with some big twists.

Old faces return to Law & Order

The night begins with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit doing a late Christmas episode in Silent Night, Hateful Night. 

The SVU is called in to help investigate a wave of hate crimes on Christmas Eve. Rollins catches up with an old flame.

The episode brings back Donal Logue as Declan Murphy, the undercover cop who briefly ran the SVU team in Season 15. He also happens to be the father of Rollins’ first child, which is sure to come up.

Murphy is joined by Hasim Khaldun (Ari’el Stachel), the cop who helped the team on several cases in Season 21 and briefly dated Rollins. Jason Biggs (American Pie) also guest-stars as a member of Logue’s unit trying to help the team stop a deadly wave of hate crimes.

Law & Order: Organized Crime will kick off a new storyline with Nemesis, which offers a shocking team-up.

When a notorious cybercriminal escapes a high-security prison, Stabler must team up with an unlikely informant. Kilbride takes Nova under his wing.

The cybercriminal is played by Robin Lord Taylor, best known for playing the Penguin on Fox’s Gotham (which, ironically, co-starred Logue). 

The promos play on the wild idea of Brewster recruiting Wheatley on the old idea “it takes a crook to catch a crook.” Needless to say, being forced to work with his wife’s killer is not going to go over well with Stabler. 

Meanwhile, undercover cop Nova (Nona Parker-Johnson) has learned Congressman Kilbride (Ron Cephas Jones) is tied into the Marcy Killers gang. She’s now playing a longer game to learn more about this connection which may tie into the larger plot.

Between the returns of Rollins’ past flames and the shocking Stabler/Wheatley team-up, Law & Order is prepared to begin 2022 in a wild way.

Law & Order Thursday return with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 23 at 9/8c Thursday on NBC. 

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