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Stabler's Mom Returns in the Latest High-Stakes Episode of Organized Crime
For the entirety of this nail-biting episode, OC fans wanted Stabler to get home to Mama Bernie.
Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 3, Episode 19 ("A Diplomatic Solution") sees Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) face some hard truths about his mother, Bernadette Stabler, played by the talented Ellen Burstyn.
The episode begins with Stabler finding Bernadette in the kitchen before work, where she's started boiling water for tea. When he asks her about the beverage, Bernadette doesn't recall starting the kettle. She shrugs this off, deciding to have a cup after, all. Stabler tells Bernadette he's going into the precinct for just a few hours. He'll be home in time for lunch.
"You're leaving me alone? To fend for myself?" Bernadette teases Stabler over his concern. "How will I ever manage?" He hugs his mom, kisses her goodbye, and heads out.
At the station, Ayanna Bell (Danielle Moné Truitt) gathers her troops for their latest assignment. U.N. diplomats are gathering in NYC for an emergency general assembly to see India's Diya Laghari give a speech. The OC Task Force is recruited to protect Diya as they travel to the consulate, with Stabler serving as her security escort. Stabler calls Bernadette to let her know their lunch date has been unfortunately canceled.
As fans may expect, the transportation of Diya and her ambassadors goes horribly off the rails when they become the target of a car bombing. The Task Force heads after the perp while Stabler takes Diya to the consulate. Stabler quickly becomes suspicious of Diya's security personnel, led by an aggressive man named Veer.
It quickly comes to light that Diya was the intended target of the car bombing. If that wasn't stressful enough, Stabler gets a call from Bernadette panicking because she got lost while taking a walk. Unable to leave Diya's side, Stabler calls Detective Jet Slootmaekers (Ainsley Seiger) to visit his apartment to make sure his mom is comfortable.
The silver lining of the situation is that Mama Bernie ends up being resourceful in their investigation. While analyzing a picture of the perp, Bernadette tells Jet that he is carrying a brand of Russian cigarettes, which ends up being the ace in the hole for identifying the bomber: a Russian veteran, Ivan Ostrovsky.
The OC detectives deduce someone is trying to prevent Diya from delivering her speech. Diya seems uncharacteristically calm as Stabler tries to get her to identify someone who would be doing this. Diya tells Stabler she could never say a name without concrete proof while subtly hinting toward Veer. Just as Stabler realizes what's happening, he is whisked away by Diya's security detail.
The detectives arrest Ivan and learn the bombing is part of a larger orchestration. Ivan targeted Diya because Veer stole highly-dangerous semiconductors from the C.I.A., which Russia wanted for itself. Stabler and the Task Force need to get those weapons...and fast, because they don't want Russia or India gaining access.
The OC Task Force and FBI search the Indian consulate for the semiconductors, arresting Veer but not finding the goods. Diya is suddenly all about catching a plane home. The speech has been canceled due to the bombing, and Diya is one foot out the door. This instantly raises Stabler's suspicions. He realizes Diya was never sent by her government to deliver a speech; she was sent to retrieve the stolen semiconductors and bring them back to India.
Diya didn't know she was a part of this intricate plan until she was already in the U.S. but agreed once she realized what was expected of her. With Stabler's guidance, Diya agrees to return the semiconductors to the C.I.A. by claiming they were snuck into her bag without her knowledge. Stabler knows Diya will deal with a mess once she gets home, so he takes it easy on the misled diplomat.
The episode ends with Stabler finally coming home and finding his sweet mom enjoying a starry night on the patio. In a tender moment between mother and son, Stabler tells Bernadette that he has started to look for retirement homes. It's clear Stabler struggles to even consider this as an option, but with the events of the day, it's understandable.
"I just want you to be taken care of," Stabler tells Bernadette.
Bernie takes this news well, mentioning that she hopes to find a place that will allow her to continue her walks. Cue the tears, pass the tissues! Stabler assures her that they'll make sure they find the perfect spot, complete with walking paths.
"I want you to be happy," Stabler says.
"All I've ever wanted is for you to be happy," Bernadette tells Stabler. "It's my only wish."
Watch Law & Order: Organized Crime on NBC Thursdays at 10/9c and the next day on Peacock.