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Stabler Had a Heartbreaking Conversation with Kathy’s Grave on the Organized Crime Finale

Worried about his younger brother and youngest son, Detective Elliot Stabler turned to his late wife for comfort. 

By Ethan Sacks

Detective Stabler has struggled to connect with his family recently, except for one person — his late wife.

How to Watch

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

In an emotional gravesite visit that bookended the Season 4 finale of Law & Order: Organized Crime, it was revealed that even death hadn’t severed that connection. With his brother, Joe Jr. (Michael Trotter), trapped on a dangerous undercover mission, and his relationship with his son, Eli, strained further by some bombshell news, Stabler (Christopher Meloni) sought solace at Kathy’s grave.

RELATED: The Horrifying Way the Organized Crime Finale Ended for Stabler’s Brother, Joe Jr.

“I sometimes feel I don’t know where I am, as if the world and everything in it has become unrecognizable,” Stabler confided to her tombstone amid a series of flashbacks of painful moments including the car bombing that would ultimately claim her life, as well as the deaths of Organized Crime Control Bureau detectives Jamie Whelan and Samir Bashir.

“Kids. Grandkids. My brothers. Ma. Unrecognizable," Stabler continued. "It’s like I’m in a world that’s changed and I’m trying, but..."

Elliot Stabler sits with his arms crossed in a scene from Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 4 Episode 10

Fans have seen just how much Kathy Stabler’s death has devastated Detective Stabler over the first four seasons of Law Order: Organized Crime.

Introduced to audiences way back in Season 1, Episode 1 of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Kathy (Isabel Gillies), the mother of Stabler's five children, had been a fixture in his life through ups and downs of more than 30 years of marriage. Though they had previously separated, the high school sweethearts had reconciled during Stabler’s 10-year stretch of working in Italy.

RELATED: Mariska Hargitay Says Fans Need to Remember Something Important About Bensler’s Relationship

How did Kathy Stabler die?

Returning to New York City from Italy for an award banquet proved deadly for Kathy Stabler. In the Law & Order: OC series premiere, Kathy succumbed to injuries she received in a car bombing intended for Detective Stabler. 

Though Stabler ultimately took down Richard Wheatley, the man responsible, his wife’s murder is what drove him to stay in New York and join the NYPD's OCCB, run by Sgt. Ayanna Bell (Danielle Moné Truitt).

Elliot Stabler and Eli Stabler in Law & Order: Organized Crime, Season 4 Episode 13.

But as valuable as the work is, Elliot has been struggling with Kathy’s loss, and to connect with their youngest son, Eli (Nicky Torchia). Stabler has also had a tough time in his other familial relationships — including his brothers and mother.

“I know how to do my job and all the things that come with that,” Stabler continued in his monologue to his dead wife. “It’s all the other stuff, the stuff that makes up life, I’m just lost.”

“Feels like the world is spinning so fast and I’m barely hanging on as I watch everything I once had and loved, still love, fly away.”

RELATED: Why Stabler Kidnapped His Own Brother on Law & Order: Organized Crime

Eli Stabler's bombshell news was revealed

During the visit to his wife's grave in Season 4, Episode 13 of Organized Crime, Detective Stabler had a lot to catch her up on.

Eli, who returned home in the prior episode, had a succession of life changes recently, and seemed reluctant to tell his father.

Stabler was among the last in the family to find out that the reason Eli dropped out of college and returned to New York City with girlfriend Becky (Kiaya Scott) was to become a police officer like his father. That revelation didn't go over well at yet another tense Stabler family dinner.

Elliot, Maureen, Bernadette, Eli, and Randall Stabler appear in Law & Order: Organized Crime, Season 4 Episode 13

After getting the news, Stabler asked Eli to accompany him out on the patio to help with the grilling — and to lecture him.

“What I’m saying is, it’s just changed a lot since when I started," Stabler said of police work. "It’s way more dangerous.”

But Eli shot back, “Statistically, it’s a lot safer.”

Stabler wasn't ready to give in, adding, “I get the statistics. I just don’t think it’s — I don’t think it’s for you.”

“You don’t believe in me,” huffed Eli after his father tried to talk him out of the decision.

“That’s not what I said, I believe in you, and I love you,” his father answered.

“Jesus, dad, I want you to support my choices," Eli stressed.

“I support your choices, but if I see a mistake, I got to give voice to that," Stabler responded.

RELATED: Law & Order: Organized Crime Is Moving To Peacock for Season 5 — Everything To Know

It shouldn’t be a total surprise that Eli would be the next Stabler to join the police department, since he's had a lifelong connection to the NYPD, having been delivered with the help of his father’s then-partner, Detective Olivia Benson, in the back of an ambulance during Season 9 of SVU.

Stabler seemed semi-serious about threatening to punch his brother Randall (Dean Norris) in the face when he took Eli’s side.

Elliot Stabler, Eli Stabler and Randall Stabler in Law & Order: Organized Crime, Season 4 Episode 13.

Why doesn't Det. Elliot Stabler want his son Eli to be a cop?

“Elliott, your son wants to be a cop like you, you should be proud of him,” said Stabler family matriarch, Bernadette (Ellen Burstyn).

“I am proud of him, I just don’t want to see him get killed,” Det. Stabler answered his mom.

“Yeah, welcome to my world,” retorted his mother, who was married to a troubled cop for many years.

RELATED: Stabler’s Brother Gives Cryptic Warning That the Family’s in Danger on Organized Crime

An urgent call from the OCCB interrupted the family showdown — at least for the time being.

“Again?,” an exasperated Eli complained about his father’s abrupt exit.

“You want to be a cop? This is what it looks like,” answered Elliot.

Eli Stabler's girlfriend is pregnant

The youngest Stabler didn’t even get the opportunity to tell his father about his other piece of news that others in the family had already learned: that his girlfriend Becky is pregnant.

But when Stabler returned to his apartment early the next morning after work, where Eli and Becky are staying, he revealed just how good a detective he is when he asked his son how far along his girlfriend was.

Ginger tea: a dead giveaway,” Stabler said. “That’s what I used to pour mom when she was in that state.”

What Stabler didn't yet reveal to Eli yet was how he felt about him becoming a father. Those feelings were saved for his most trusted confidante.

“You’re not going to believe this,” Elliott told his late wife at her grave at the end of the episode, with a huge smile on his face. “Guess who’s having a baby?”