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The 1st Time Benson Met Stabler's Mom on SVU Was So Heartbreaking

The day Stabler's tumultuous childhood was revealed.

By Chris Phelan

The relationship between Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) has been one of the most fascinating and intriguing aspects of Law & Order: Special Victim Unit's 25-year history.

How to Watch

Watch the Season 26 premiere of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Thursday, October 3 at 9/8c on NBC.

From the duo's first meeting to their first hug — and every moment in between — fans can't get enough of the team affectionately coined "Bensler." Today, we're examining one of the most overlooked aspects of the Stabler-Benson friendship: the day Benson met Stabler's mother, Bernadette (Ellen Burstyn), for the first time. This happened in Season 10, Episode 3 ("Swing"), and there's a lot to unpack. 

The scene actually gave viewers a much-needed glimpse into Stabler's upbringing. According to Bernadette, Stabler did everything he could to erase his childhood from his memory, and she believed that she was to blame, pointing at "certain choices" she made along the way.

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One of the most poignant parts of this first-ever meeting between these two women was when Benson reassured Stabler's mother, showing the type of care and consideration that's the hallmark of her SVU career:

"Elliot is a good man, and I know him well enough that he didn't get it from his father," she told Bernadette.

Split of Olivia Benson with Elliot Stabler and Bernadette Stabler

Benson and Stabler's relationship intrigues millions of Law & Order fans

After over a decade of being Benson's partner on SVU, Stabler can now be found in another part of the Law & Order universe: Organized Crime. Fortunately for fans, Hargitay is well aware of the impact that a Benson reunion would have in the future — could a crossover meet-up be in the works? Hargitay isn't against it:

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"I'm actually planning on it," she recently confessed to Variety. "I just told [Meloni] the other day. We had a party the other night, we saw each other. It was heavenly. I met his showrunner. They want us together, and Chris and I were talking about it, and it's time. It's time now for us. This was a long time not being in each other's universe. That's why we did the calls and stuff like that. But we're excited to get back in there, get back in the ring."

Fans, keep those fingers crossed.