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Did You Know There Are Law & Order: SVU and Organized Crime Christmas Episodes?
Kick back and enjoy some mulled cider with Benson and Stabler.
The Law & Order franchise may not immediately invoke visions of sugar plums or singing snowmen, but make no mistake — there are several intense Law & Order holiday episodes perfect for an annual rewatch.
Between the hot cocoa-soaked Hallmark films on Peacock and cheer-inducing holiday programming, Law & Order's holiday episodes are perfect for fans in need of a palate cleanser during the Christmas season. Sure, neither the sex crimes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit nor the nefarious deeds seen in Law & Order: Organized Crime evoke peace-on-earth vibes. However, the heartwarming characters and steel-tight squad bonds are certainly in the holiday season wheelhouse. With Mama Bear Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and the protective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) deciding which criminals are naughty or nice, the world is made a safer place.
Law & Order's holiday episodes are few and far between, but always make the most of the festivities. Relive all of Law & Order's holiday madness throughout the years, below. Dick Wolf blessed us, everyone!
SVU Season 14, Episode 10 "Presumed Guilty"
The first time Law & Order truly embraced a holiday episode was in SVU Season 14, Episode 10 ("Presumed Guilty"). The episode began with the SVU's holiday party, which quickly derailed after the squad learned Detective Fin Tutuola's (Ice T) ex-brother-in-law had been arrested for assaulting a priest. Despite his criminal priors, Fin refused to believe his former family member was guilty.
As Benson and the squad explored Fin's hunch that the NYPD got the wrong man, they searched for evidence that could potentially exonerate him. Their investigation led to shocking truths and an unraveled church conspiracy that had been carefully buried and concealed for years.
Benson and Fin were able to clean up the scandalous mess, but it didn't leave time for any egg nog. But hey, at least Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) got to visit Santa Claus!
SVU Season 23, Episode 10 "Silent Night, Hateful Night"
As the midseason premiere for Season 23, "Silent Night, Hateful Night" is the antithesis of holiday happiness: The episode kicks off with a heart-wrenching montage of hate crimes occurring on Christmas Eve. As windows of synagogues were smashed, civilians were assaulted, and mosques were vandalized, "Silent Night" played hauntingly in the background of the brutality.
The next day, Benson gets a call from the Hate Crimes Unit, now led by SVU familiar face Declan Murphy (Donal Logue), a.k.a. the father of Rollin's eldest child.
As Benson and Declan combined their brainpower to investigate the catalyst for the wave of hate crimes, some brushed-aside conversations came to light. Declan confessed his guilt for not having an active role in his daughter's life, much to Rollins' chagrin. She was quick to point out Declan had waited six years to have this revelation, so it was a tad too late.
The white supremacists responsible for the attacks were ultimately arrested, a satisfying end.
Organized Crime Season 2, Episode 9 ("The Christmas Episode")
Paradoxically, "The Christmas Episode" isn't merry or bright. Law & Order: OC's first-ever holiday episode was a crossover event that began with SVU's Season 23, Episode 9 ("People vs. Richard Wheatley") — which saw the return of the former Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba (Raúl Esparza) as the defense lawyer for the nefarious Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott).
However, we do see Benson and Stabler get closer.
The action kicked off with Stabler's son, Eli (Nicky Torchia), meeting a woman at a dance and heading home with her, drinking tequila, and eventually taking opioids together. After waking up to find the woman dead in his apartment, it became up to Stabler and Benson to help Eli learn the truth.
The woman was revealed to be murdered by a hitman in a setup intended to frame Stabler's son. Who was responsible for the hire? Richard Wheatley, of course. But with no evidence against him, it was a maddening turn of events when Wheatley was released from prison to wreak havoc again.
SVU Season 24, Episode 9 ("And a Trauma in a Pear Tree")
SVU's most recent holiday episode to date was Season 24, Episode 9 ("And a Trauma in a Pear Tree"). While certainly sprinkled with moments of cheer — including a rare SVU wedding — it was also the episode that served as Rollin's final days at the SVU.
It all began with Rollins and Assistant District Attorney Sonny Carisi's (Peter Scanavino) wedding and the darling Noah Benson (Ryan Buggle) telling his mom that he had a Christmas surprise: A big brother! Cue the whomp whomp in Benson's brain.
For the fans in need of rehash: Noah is Benson's adopted son and, like her, had been the product of sexual violence —so she wasn't super stoked about the idea of her son connecting with any relative of his criminal father. Noah revealed, however, that he'd already been in touch with his biological brother Connor for a while now, and the boys wanted to meet up with each other's parents. Benson had a flurry of mixed emotions, but agreed to accompany Noah to Connor's family home to help make his holiday wish come true.
Benson's "bad feeling about this" was instantly snuffed upon meeting Connor's loving family, seeing echoes of the upbringing she provided for Noah despite his harrowing start to life. Ryan and Connor instantly bonded, leading Benson to offer stay at a nearby hotel to give the boys a sleepover.
But after she clocked an illegal surveillance operation at the hotel, she called her BFF Rollins for help, leading to a girl's night of confessions after the women shared some much-deserved holiday wine.
In particular, Benson admitted her feelings for Stabler were complicated, and their mutual single status was "paralyzing." Rollins, meanwhile, came clean about planning to leave the SVU for a teaching position. It was a tough blow for Benson to take, but by the episode's end, they squashed their tiff, and the squad gave Rollins the standing ovation she deserved as she left the precinct.
Organized Crime Season 3, Episode 9 ("Last Christmas")
The holidays are all about valuing those you love the most, and in Season 3, Episode 9 ("Last Christmas"), we saw Sgt. Ayanna Bell (Danielle Moné Truitt) realize just how much her OCCB means to her after she got an offer to take a lucrative promotion that would've disintegrating her elite task force.
But while she was trying to decide, Stabler and the OCCB made moves to take down the malignant Silas crime family after their mobsters kidnapped a powerful D.A.
The action culminated in an intense shootout in a warehouse, with Stabler, Bobby Reyes (Rick Gonzalez), and Jamie Whelan (Brent Antonello) getting trapped inside by a competing crime family. Stabler concocted a clever way of getting the authorities on-site by chucking Reyes' brand new iPhone off the building's roof, knowing the impact would register as an accident to the authorities.
With the Silas case firmly closed, all eyes were on Bell to see whether she'd accept the promotion. She ultimately admitted she made a mistake in ever considering the gig and that her home was with her colleagues and chosen family — the OCCB.