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Law & Order: SVU Fans Think Stabler's Absence In The 2023 Premiere Makes No Sense

Contains spoilers for "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" Season 24, Episode 10 ("Jumped In")

How long are they really going to keep this Bensler thing over our heads? The 2023 premiere of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" saw our beloved Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) brutally attacked by members of the BX9 gang in front of her young son. She insists on staying home with Noah (Ryan Buggle), but protocol mandates she must get checked out at the hospital.

While she's there, an attending nurse tells Benson at the end of her check-up that she has a visitor. Anyone in the world could have come to visit Benson, and it ended up being the last person any of us cared to see. Chief McGrath (Terry Serpico) walks through the door, and Benson looks as annoyed as the rest of us. Muncy (Molly Burnett), Velasco (Octavio Pisano), or Carisi (Peter Scanavino) could have come to see her. Or someone much more important, who you'd think would come running at the news of Benson getting beat down in the street.

We're again told at the station the next day that Benson has a visitor. And it's still not Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni). Fans were not shy about screaming about this missed cameo opportunity online, which to them, makes no sense.

Where in the hell was Stabler after Benson was attacked?

There's no world where Benson and Stabler don't end up together, and it might be some time before we see it, but it's happening. It's hard to imagine that Stabler wouldn't have heard about the attack on his beloved and didn't drop everything and come running. But it happened. "They better stop telling Liv she has a visitor if it isn't Elliott mother f***ing Stabler," @Jen_naaay angrily tweeted. "I feel like this episode needed to be a crossover with #OrganizedCrime because Stabler doesn't play about Liv," @Felicia7997 astutely noted.

We did get a "Law & Order" crossover, but instead of Stabler, Lieutenant Kate Dixon (Camryn Manheim) showed up to help Benson with a deaf victim. We'll take any crossover we can get, but it didn't stop fans from speaking up about Stabler's absence. "If Stabler heard Liv got attacked he would've been at her place in literally 5 seconds," Redditor u/DaulyP wrote on the "SVU" subreddit. "The lack of Stabler makes no sense lmao, dude would've declared war if he heard a gang attacked Liv," that same Redditor added.

"The way it makes no sense that Stabler wouldn't have run into her hospital room!!! How did Dixon hear about her attack but Stabler didn't?" u/beakers_and_baking asked. It's a solid question, given that it was clear the news spread through the NYPD, so there was no way Stabler didn't hear about Benson's attack.

Here's hoping we see a Bensler conversation about the attack in the near future, with love and concern behind Stabler's eyes.