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What To Expect From Benson And Stabler's Impending Law & Order Reunion

We're just days away from the big return of Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) to the Law & Order family. The fan-favorite character left the Special Victims Unit series in 2011 after Meloni and the network were unable to make an agreement on his contract. Ten years later, Stabler is returning, as Meloni is set to helm his own series, Law & Order: Organized Crime, which premieres on NBC this Thursday. The evening will feature a crossover event, combining Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Organized Crime into one massive, two-hour show, and it will have the moment that so many SVU fans have been praying over for the last decade — the reunion of Stabler and his former partner Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). 

The moment we never thought would come is finally happening. According to Meloni, the duo aren't going to just pick up where things left off, and there are a lot of wrongs Stabler needs to right with not just Benson, but other SVU detectives as well, including Finn Tutuola (Ice-T).

Mending Benson and Stabler's relationship is going to be "a process"

Elliot Stabler left his role with the SVU without so much as a goodbye to Olivia Benson, after the pair spent 12 years as partners. Meeting back up with her isn't going to be easy, as he has a lot of explaining to do. A teaser for the crossover event suggests the pair reunite on a crime scene, but not much is known beyond that. According to Meloni, this reunion and repairing of an old friendship is going to be "a process." The actor recently caught up with TV Line and he dished all things Law & Order: Organized Crime, and the reuniting of Bensler.

"No one's going to be satisfied," Meloni said. "I mean, it's such a long time. It is so many unanswered questions. I think there's such a great sense of abandonment and betrayal and a what-the-f**k-ed-ness of it all, that, you know, that wound is, you know, not going to... get its dressings all, you know, squared away. You know, it's going to be a process, right?"

No one should expect Benson and Stabler to just run into each other's arms, sit down for a cup of coffee, and laugh about old times off the bat. After groveling to his old partner, Stabler will need to explain why he left and where he's been all this time. Meloni spoke to that as well, and it hints at what he's been doing in the last 10 years. He confirmed Stabler was still working for the NYPD, but wasn't really local. "I was out of town, and I don't mean Newark. I mean, out of town!" Meloni said. This could hint that Stabler was on some sort of undercover mission, but that remains to be seen.