Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!
Between his larger-than-life police tactics on Law & Order: OC and his established tenure on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Stabler is in no shortage of unbelievable moments. He is fearless, dedicated, and endlessly resilient, so it's safe to say that you don't want to end up on his bad side. Especially as he navigates the complex world of organized crime, Stabler is frequently forced to get creative. And we love him for it.
But which scenes take the cake as Stabler's most nail-biting moments on OC? Read on to find out.
Stabler and Angela Wheatley Have an Intense Dinner Date
In the early days of OC, it got steamy between Stabler and a woman named Angela Wheatley, the ex-wife of the infamous Richard Wheatley. The cat-and-mouse relationship with Angela was dangerous, but on a tense dinner date, Stabler admitted he didn't trust Angela but was still concerned about her safety. It was the perfect opportunity for Stabler to play mind games with a groveling Richard spying on their shenanigans.
Stabler Says "I Love You"... But to Who?
This scene proved that the devil works hard, but the Law & Order writers work harder. We're talking about the moment Stabler said "I love you" to SVU's Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), who was standing amongst his children during the infamous intervention. Did Stabler confess his love for Benson (finally, after all these years)? Or was he telling his children that he loves them? Judging by Benson's face, the answer is pretty up in the air.
Wheatley Knows Who the True Love of Stabler's Life Really Is
Stabler and Richard came face to face many times during Season 1, and each time was more intense than the last. In this dramatic moment, Richard shockingly revealed to Angela (in front of Stabler) that Stabler was never interested in her, and she would never be his "true love." Richard then took it one step further by insinuating that Stabler's true love wasn't even his ex-wife, Kathy. So, who would that be? Viewers couldn't find out, because Stabler shut that conversation down real quick.
Stabler Reveals to Benson a Shocking Secret About the Letter
Shortly following Kathy's tragic murder and Stabler's return, Stabler gave Benson a letter that was left unread to viewers but caused the SVU leading lady to get upset. Later on, in Season 2, fans finally got the closure they needed when Stabler arrived on Benson's doorstep after being drugged while on an undercover mission. Fans learned the letter was intended to end all "what if" questions between Stabler and Benson, but in his delirious state, Stabler admitted that he never wrote it. Kathy did. But there was one line Stabler added: "'It will always be you and I.' I wrote that," Elliot told her. "I slipped it in there before sealing the envelope."
Stabler Gets Back to His SVU Roots
You may be able to take Stabler out of the SVU, but you can't take the SVU out of Stabler. As soon as an Albanian sex trafficking ring came across his radar, Stabler went undercover to see justice served. Stabler is always looking out for victims, and if he needs to zoom around and intentionally crash a motorcycle into a fleeing vehicle to save someone, he will.
Cragen and Stabler Have a Conversation About Stabler’s Father
Stabler's father was an accomplished cop, but in Season 2 of OC, he found out a shocking secret about his dad from none other than SVU alumni Donald Cragen (Dann Florek). Stabler visited Cragen at his home, where he learned his father was a corrupt cop despite earning the Medal of Honor. Suddenly facing his father's reputation, Stabler began to question his own career and police tactics.
Bell Tells Stabler He’s Receiving a Combat Cross Medal
In a perfect full-circle moment, in the Season 2 finale of OC, Sgt. Ayanna Bell (Danielle Moné Truitt) told Stabler he earned a combat cross medal for taking Donnelly down, the same honor his father received. Meloni's acting is astounding in this scene as he breaks down upon hearing the news. Stabler had mixed feelings about the much-deserved award, almost questioning if he deserved it.
Stabler Opens Up to His Therapist About Benson and His Past
While Seasons 1 and 2 of OC were chaotic emotional rollercoasters for Stabler, he seems to be collecting himself in Season 3, especially after starting therapy. Stabler doesn't open up often, but he finally explored the feelings of loss and grief he feels toward not only his family but Benson as well. Stabler knows that he has a lot of work to do to earn Benson's trust back, and it plagues him.
NBC Insider is your all-access pass to some of your favorite NBC shows. Go behind-the-scenes, stay on top of breaking news, hang with the stars, and much more.