Warning: this post contains spoilers for this week. Law & Order: SVU and Law and order: organized crime crossover DUN DUN!
Every time a bell rings LawRichard Wheatley gets away with something truly terrible. So we wouldn’t be surprised if you heard a deafening roar like SVU and Organized crimeThe last crossing came to an end on Thursday … because the drug lord / murderer left his murder trial a free man.
After a contentious period in the courtroom, with former Deputy District Attorney Rafael Barba as his legal advisor, Wheatley’s trial for the murder of Kathy Stabler ended in mistrial. And when the district attorney’s office decided not to retry the case, Wheatley walked away. To add insult to injury, we learn that Angela Wheatley, Richard’s ex, whom he has tried to kill twice – she pretended to have prolonged damage from the poison attack at the end of season 1. This led to her falling apart as the lynchpin of the case against her. And in a scene at the end of Organized crime Part of the crossover, it seemed as if Angela, Richard, and their daughter Dana were working together again … unbeknownst to the police. (Read summaries of SVU and Organized crime portions of the crossover.)
In separate interviews, TVLine spoke with Organized crimeTamara Taylor and SVUPeter Scanavino on the outcome of the episodes and what it will mean for his characters as the seasons progress. Read on to hear what they had to say.
TVLINE | I had such a complex reaction to Angela’s betrayal in these episodes! Because at first, I thought, “She is a mastermind next to Richard.” But she was also definitely poisoned by this man.
TAMARA TAYLOR | Yes, it absolutely was.
TVLINE | That was not a scam. He almost dies.
Taylor | And let’s not forget, he almost died. [Laughs] … I think you can feel something for Angela on the stand. That’s my hope, is that people say, “Damn, she really left it all. She’s in bad shape and she may never recover, all to take down this man, her ex. “But the funny thing is, what I unpacked about Angela, and what the writers have been talking about, and [showrunner] Ilene [Chaiken], who I love, is that … after the trial, after the verdict, what usually happens to people who have been protected is that they just leave them drugged and dry. Then Angela was left with nothing, no protection against the man who tried to kill her. twice. So what does one do? It seems to be a non-threat, maybe Appear to ally with him? Whatever you need to do to stay alive and to keep your son alive … There’s definitely a razor’s edge, man. [Laughs] She is walking it.
TVLINE | That part of the stand when he talks about his feelings for Stabler – how much is an angle versus how much could actually be true? Or maybe both can exist at the same time?
Taylor | I think we established in season one that it feels like she’s playing Richard. He’s five steps ahead of Richard. She is smarter than him, always has been, and plays it like a chess piece.
More stable, I think, she’s incredibly honest with her. She is, unexpectedly, the only person she can let her guard down, because she certainly can’t cry with Richard. He is a sociopath, an evil narcissist. So, you can’t do that there. She can really be vulnerable with [Stabler]. So what she feels about their connection is real. You know?
TVLINE | Yes. You mention something interesting: the idea that Angela might not be in league with Richard, but she could definitely be in league with her children, that there’s a horrible gray area she’s trapped in.
TAYLOR | Incredibly terrible gray area, yes. Which I pray the audience will remember, because as I read some pretty wild stuff (writers are going to town by the way), I hope everyone remembers what I am challenged to remember, which is that Angela knows that Richard killed her son and tried to kill her twice. Is there some way in hell that she would ally herself, that she would actually go back to him for real? I do not believe it. Deep down in my heart, I just don’t believe, unless she’s crazy herself, and that’s where it ends, and I don’t think she is. So, I think you are playing an angle.
TVLINE | Wheatley threatens to kill Carisi, right there, in public audience.
PETER SCANAVINO | Yes.
TVLINE | Given that this man has killed so many people in the short time we’ve known him, how much is that on Carisi’s mind, moving forward?
SCANAVINO | [Carisi] you probably think it would be a pretty bold move. I haven’t really thought about it, to be honest. I don’t think that weighs on him. He knows Wheatley is a dangerous man and I don’t think that makes it any more dangerous for him. I think Carisi always knew she was capable of that, and it doesn’t matter if she says it out loud or not. I think he knows that, somehow, it’s on the table.
TVLINE | Tell me about Angela and Benson, who don’t have a lot of interaction in the crossover but who certainly know each other.
Taylor | I don’t think they are arch enemies. Benson is incredibly compassionate, an adult, and understands that life can be complicated and strange. And I think Angela is very aware of what Benson means to Stabler, and who she is to him, and we’re just grown women. We don’t have to be fighting.
TVLINE | Will you be back this season?
I am back. It’s not just the crossover. I went back to see Wheatley’s full story.
TVLINE | And Richard is completely free at the end of the episodes.
Taylor | If it is. Beyond being completely free, you are now working with the FBI. How the hell did this man manage to do it ?! [It’s] definitely not good for Angela at all. So Angela has to resort to some pretty drastic measures to make sure she’s okay.
TVLINE | The audience knows, in the end, that Angela was faking it. But the police don’t know… yet. Do you think she’s worried about losing those allies?
Taylor | You know, I would. [Laughs] I think it would be like a human being, but Angela has probably weighed and measured who’s scariest. You know, who has a chance to kill you again. Or at least try to kill you again. So it’s funky, because on the stand, knowing what we know by the end of the Organized crime episode, you’re like, “Why? Why was he like this on the stand?” He could have locked up Richard and it wouldn’t have been a problem. Let’s go! [Laughs] But I think she’s pretty scared of him.