Stabler needed help from his old partner in a dangerous Law & Order: Organized Crime episode.
While Stabler learned the Kosta Organization was even more dangerous than he’d suspected, his bigger aid was necessary for his home life in The Good, The Bad and the Lovely.
Stabler and Benson reunite again
In a building overlooking a rooftop party, Stabler let Benson (Mariska Hargitay) see how waitress Amelia was among the women attending a big Kosta Organization event. He pointed out Eron Prift, the CFO of the group and enforcer Darden, with a mysterious suited man.
It took Benson about ten seconds to figure out Flutura was more than just a “party planner” while Stabler had been in the dark on how dangerous his new lover was.
Bernadette was worried someone had stolen her pills but calmed down and shared with Elliot she was concerned about Eli.
The team found the man at the party was Edmund Ross (Gregg Henry), a hedge-fund billionaire and supposedly charitable figure but his presence there very suspicious. Stabler showed up at the diner with Amelia sporting a black eye. Bell tried to talk to her outside, but Amelia brushed her off to enter a van with other girls.
Benson called up to reveal Congressman Howard, the crooked politician they busted a while back, had an invite to a party that could be tied into the trafficking ring. Bell and Stabler saw the van pull into a house with Flutura leading the girls inside.
Stabler made Flutura believe he needed some money and was willing to work security for her party, acting like he didn’t care about her “safehouse.” Stabler went through the house’s rooms where he found the copy of the book he’d given Rita while one girl he was passing by was sobbing.
Bell was surprised when Jet shared the guestlist for the party, which included Congressman Kilbride. Kilbride claimed to have never met Howard or even knew what kind of party this was but agreed to help Bell get an invite.
Hitting the party scene
Stabler was troubled when Eli refused to answer his texts while Eli was selling his grandmother’s pills to a friend who pressured him to take one himself. Stabler was struck by Reggie caring for his ill mother while Reggie was upset “Eddie” went behind his back to get a job for Flutura.
Benson and Fin (Ice-T) were with the OCB team watching the arrivals at the party, which included Bell as Kilbride’s guest with Brewster stunned at how great she looked.
As Ross and Kilbride chatted, Bell checked out the artwork, seeing how some items matched jewelry worn by Flutura’s women and quickly realized the “auction” was a cover for selling the girls to wealthy clients.
Stabler overheard talk on at least one girl being shipped overseas while another brought a drugged girl out. That was enough for Benson to order a raid while Kilbride had already left.
Stabler saw a drugged Rita (Izabela Vidovic) stumbling out, but in her confused state, she called out to a security guard, which led to Stabler tied up in a room before fighting his way out.
Stabler takes a wild ride
Luckily, Bell showed up and kept Stabler’s cover by acting like she believed his talk of just being security for Flutura. Stabler further kept his cover intact by helping both Reggie and Flutura escape the mansion.
Stabler then stole a motorcycle to chase after the van containing Rita. He managed to run the van off the road with Rita shaken but alive. When she cried for her son, Stabler revealed he was a cop and that he’d already made a deal for her to join her son in safety in London.
Bell and Benson broke into a room where Ross held a gun to his head but was really stalling while something burned in the fireplace before Bell arrested him. As Reggie told Kosta the trafficking ring was ruined, Flutura burst in to snarl, “someone betrayed us!”
Stabler returned home, where Benson had been keeping Bernadette company. Benson briefly ran into Eli, finding the pills on the bathroom floor with Stabler naturally upset.
Benson left Stabler with a warning that he needed to come home “before Eddie Wagner takes over.” Bernadette told Stabler not to be too upset with Eli given he was a teenager missing his mother with his father gone all the time. “You know what this is called. Life.” The two shared a rare mother-son bonding moment on the couch.
While it was fun to have Benson aiding Stabler, Eli’s issues combined with this turn may be putting Stabler’s undercover mission at risk.
Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.