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Stabler’s Voicemail to Benson in the Organized Crime Premiere Will Hurt Your Heart

"Maybe I just wanted to hear your voice," Elliot Stabler, Law & Order: Organized Crime's toughest detective, tells his one-time partner.

By Jill Sederstrom

Looking for proof that Olivia Benson is never far from Elliot Stabler’s mind, despite her gentle rebuff on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit last season?

How to Watch

Watch Law & Order: Organized Crime on NBC and Peacock.

Fans got just that in the Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 4 premiere, giving Bensler fans everywhere a glimmer of hope these two could still have a future someday. 

RELATED: Chris Meloni Hopes Benson & Stabler “Keep Trying” at Their Relationship on SVU

Stabler (Christopher Meloni), fresh off his most recent undercover gig, reached out to his former partner after receiving a voicemail from Rita Lasku, a Season 2 trafficking victim once helped by both Stabler and Benson (Mariska Hargitay) of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit fame.

What did Elliot Stabler tell Olivia Benson in the Organized Crime Season 4 premiere?

After hearing the message from the former trafficking victim, Stabler picked up the phone and called Benson, but he got her voicemail and left her a heart-wrenching message.

“Hey, Liv, it’s me. I just got back,” he said. “Um, I got a message from someone, an old case of ours, and I don’t know, maybe I just wanted to hear your voice. Call me. Bye.”

Benson and Stabler

Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson's long history

The pair have had a complicated relationship ever since their days as partners on the Special Victims Unit decades earlier. Although they’ve always had a tight bond, Stabler was married at the time to his wife Kathy (Isabel Gillies) and busy raising the couple’s five children. 

He eventually left the SVU and moved to Italy with his family, but Kathy was tragically killed in a car bombing meant for Stabler himself during a trip to New York City to attend a ceremony honoring Benson.

The death caused Stabler to join the Organized Crime Control Bureau (OCCB) to ferret out Kathy’s killer.

RELATED: Dean Norris Has Been Cast on Law & Order: OC — as Stabler's Brother! Details

In the years since, Stabler has mostly steered clear of any romantic entanglements — until he seemingly realized his romantic feelings for his one-time partner and tried to kiss Benson in her apartment in Season 24, Episode 12 of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

It may have been a moment years in the making for devoted fans, but Benson pulled away at the last minute putting an end to any romantic hopes between the long-time friends — at least for now. 

“Elliot, I want to,” she admitted at the time. “I want to, but I can’t.” 

Benson acknowledged she feared that it might not “work out” and that she wasn’t ready to take the relationship to the next level.

“I’m not ready for this,” she said, as she pulled away.

Benson and Stabler

Is there a future for Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson?

The timing may not have been right at that moment, but Stabler’s voicemail to Benson in the Season 4 premiere of Organized Crime proves he’s still got Benson on his mind.

RELATED: Where You Can Watch and Stream Law & Order: Organized Crime

Although she never returned his call, Stabler caught a news segment on TV toward the end of the episode, suggesting Benson had been busy in the field helping yet another victim.

“Tanya Garcia went missing from Paramus, New Jersey, over a year ago. But thanks to the tireless work and dedication of the NYPD and the Bergen County SVU, she is reunited with her mother,” an authority said in the report. “Now, I’d like to point to Captain Olivia Benson in particular, whose unwavering resolve has brought Tanya home.” 

Seeing Benson being recognized for doing what she does best made Stabler smile.

To find out whether Benson and Stabler will connect this season, watch Law & Order: Organized Crime Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC or steam episodes the next day on Peacock.