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All 3 Stabler Brothers Reunited in the Latest Organized Crime, and It Was Intense
While Elliot Stabler's relationship with older brother Randall might seem fractured, just want until you meet his younger brother Joe Jr.
While much of the prior Stabler family drama seen in the Law & Order franchise involved his kids and late wife — including storylines on the tragic death of his wife Kathy, whose murder led to Stabler joining the NYPD's Organized Crime Control Bureau — Season 4 has been focusing heavily on the family the detective grew up with.
Stabler's dementia-stricken mother has been living at his home since the start of the season, as the pair try to find a suitable assisted living facility for her to move to. And his older brother Randall Stabler (Dean Norris) came back into town and has been in touch. There's been tension between the siblings, but it's not exactly clear why yet.
What is known is that not even Stabler's colleagues know much about his past, which is clear when his boss, Sergeant Ayanna Bell (Danielle Moné Truitt) reacted with “Stabler has a brother?” after learning of Randall's existence in Episode 2 of Season 4.
In that same episode, viewers were introduced to Randall — who criticized Stabler for working too much, insinuating he doesn’t spend enough time with his family.
Elliot Stabler’s brother Randall pushed him to reach out to other family members
In Season 4, Episode 3 of Organized Crime, Randall asked Stabler if he’s in touch with family — including their younger brother Joe Jr. — suggesting that he should update them on the state of their mother’s health.
“Kind of difficult seeing how he’s still overseas,” Elliot said of Joe Jr.
But Randall replied: “He’s in New York. He’s been here for months. ... He got discharged. Not a story for me to tell. I’m surprised you haven’t connected.”
Stabler responded, "Yeah, me too.”
Randall also informed Stabler that he was "thinking about having a big dinner" and inviting "everyone" in the family. "I’ll cook, you don’t have to do anything," Randall added. "Just show up. It’s your house. It’ll be easy.”
Stabler didn't seem thrilled with the idea, but Randall persisted, "I thought it would be a nice sendoff for mom." Randall then added a dig, "I mean before she goes to that place you found.”
Stabler insisted he didn't find the facility that their mom is going to, she did, and that, "She wants to go. I don’t want her to go.”
Randall said, “I don’t want her to go either. … And I don’t care who found it.”
Stabler ended the chat by saying he doesn't want to have this discussion.
Elliot Stabler walked into a surprise meeting with younger brother Joe Jr.
At the end of the episode, Stabler walked into a bar to meet Randall. After grabbing beers at the bar, Randall said to Stabler, “I got us a booth here in the back.”
Stabler, who was holding one beer, noticed that Randall was carrying two. So he asked, “Who’s the other beer for?”
But Stabler found out soon enough, spotting younger brother Joe Jr., played by Michael Trotter.
Smiling upon seeing his older brother, Joe goes in for a hug.
But Stabler didn't smile back, and instead demanded to know, “What the hell’s the matter with you?”
Joe Jr. asked what he meant.
"How long have you been in New York?," Stabler asked. Joe Jr. told him, “I don’t know. I come and I go. Business, you know.”
Clearly angry, Stabler hit him with, "You don’t call? You don’t check in on mom? Is that it? Is that what you do?”
Joe Jr. begged him, “Please don’t be mad at me.”
Stabler eventually warmed up, smiled and said: “I ought to kick your ass like I did when we were kids, huh?”
Joe Jr. insisted he was the one doing the butt-kicking, and the brothers play-fought out their issues for the time being.
To see what kind of drama will unfold next in the Stabler family, watch Law & Order: Organized Crime Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC or stream episodes the next day on Peacock.