Just as the three-hour Law & Order crossover event on Sept. 30, 2021, was about to draw to an end, a visibly drugged-up Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) showed up on Benson's doorstep, and he was ready to spill some beans. What does the letter say? Just how happy is the fandom?
What did Stabler’s letter to Benson say?
Longtime viewers of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit know that Elliot Stabler isn't the best at using his words. When he was asked to honor Olivia at her award ceremony with a speech, he opted to write it instead. Not long after the former partners reconnected, Elliot gave Olivia this letter, insisting that she read it at her discretion.
Now, after an entire season of anticipation, fans finally had the chance to learn more about the letter. The bad news? It's the outcome of a collaborative endeavor between Elliot and his late wife, Kathy (Isabel Gillies).
"I didn't write the letter," Elliot fesses up. "It was [Kathy's] idea. … I tried, I tried, and Kathy helped dictate."
"Then what we were to each other was never real, and that we got in the way of each other being who and where we needed to be?" says Olivia, reading from the letter.
Elliot confirms that Kathy wrote that line.
"And if there’s a man in my life, you hope he's the kind, faithful, devoted man that I deserved," she continues.
Elliot admits that Kathy also wrote that line.
"But in a parallel universe ..." Olivia keeps reading.
"'It will always be you and I.' I wrote that," Elliot says. "I slipped it in there before sealing the envelope."
Unfortunately, later, Elliot wakes up on Bell's couch. Alas, Benson asked for some backup.
Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler's longstanding situationship came to an end when Elliot quit the force and left the country. But old flames were reignited when the duo was reunited in the Season 22 premiere of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Since the beginning, Benson and Stabler's chemistry has been undeniable, and viewers have been impatiently awaiting the day that Bensler will finally become a thing.
Season 23 of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit kicked off recently — providing plenty of opportunities for Benson and Stabler to turn things around. Now that the confusion surrounding the letter has been cleared, it might be easier for the two to look at the situationship with a fresh pair of eyes.
"There’s going to be a riot," Christopher Meloni said about the aftermath of the letter-related revelations.
Christopher Meloni said that the letter conversation is bound to provide some clarity for all involved.
"The letter is addressed this season and I think [fans are] going to set [their] heads on fire when it happens. I think there's going to be a riot," Christopher told TVLine. "You're going to hear what’s in the letter. Maybe not the full and total [letter], but you're going to get an earful."
Mariska Hargitay has also talked about Benson and Stabler's prospects.
In an interview with Today, Mariska said that Elliot has a lot of fences to mend before he and Olivia take things to the next level. "Right now after Stabler being gone for 10 years and the way that he left and the complexity of what's happened and how he came back surprising me, we’re still finding our way,” Mariska shared.
Catch new episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST on NBC.