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What Happened to Stabler's Brother Joe Jr. on Law & Order: Organized Crime?

It's a combustable formula when OCCB investigations and the detective's family drama mix.

By Jessica White

While Law & Order: Organized Crime primarily deals with Elliot Stabler's (Christopher Meloni) quest to dismantle criminal networks, the series occasionally peels back a layer of Stabler's steel-forged outer shell. And, throughout Season 4, that meant getting to know the Stabler family. 

How to Watch

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

As Stabler made efforts to care for Mama Bernie (Ellen Burstyn) after her health took a turn for the worse, his previously estranged brothers made contact: the responsible Randall Stabler (Dean Norris), and the shady Joseph "Joey" Stabler Junior (Michael Trotter).

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

Joey's arrival brought Stabler several headaches and challenges as his family life and OCCB investigations merged. 

Bernadette and Joe Stabler Jr. in a scene from Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 4 Episode 8

When did Elliot Stabler's younger brother Joe Jr. first appear on Law & Order: Organized Crime?

Law & Order: OC viewers first met Joey in Season 4, Episode 3 ("End of Innocence").

While Randall and Eliiot Stabler were assisting their mom, Bernie, the older brother suggested they call their younger brother, Joe, to give him a chance to see their mom. Elliot had thought that his brother was stationed overseas with the U.S. military, and was shocked to learn Joe was back in New York City after being discharged. 

The two planned a family dinner before Bernie was scheduled to go into hospice and then reunited with Joe at a local bar. From the moment the two brothers laid eyes on each other, it was back to childhood bickering and laughs. Sadly, Joe's jovial storyline ended there.

In Season 4, Episode 4 ("The Last Supper"), Joe told his detective brother that he was discharged after stealing cultural artifacts and ultimately got into the winery business. Elliot Stabler told his brother that enlisting was never right for him — but Joe said he'd done so because he was inspired by Elliot.

Joe Stabler Jr. (Michael Trotter) appears in Season 4 Episode 4 of Law & Order: Organized Crime

How did the family discover Joey Jr. was a heroin addicton Law & Order: OC?

During the dinner with their mom in Season 4, Episode 4, Elliot found a strange piece of foil with residue thrown in the bathroom trash.

He tested the foil in Episode 8 ("The Sins of Our Fathers") and it came back positive for heroin. The heroin was traced back to the area in Afghanistan in which Joe had served — leading his brother to realize that Joe was addicted. 

The two older brothers later broke into Joe's hotel in an ill-fated attempt at an intervention, finding rolls of cash and drugs stashed in his safe. Joe was furious and went missing after refusing to accept their help. After Stabler told his work colleagues at the OCCB about the drugs, the detectives traced Joe's drugs to a group of ex-Marines smuggling drugs through a Staten Island honey farm. 

Their leader was an ex-Marine and arms dealer named Julian Emery (Thomas Payne), whom everyone referred to as "Redcoat."

In Season 4, Episode 12 (“Goodnight"), a flashback revealed why Joe was actually discharged: After scoring some drugs at a bar, Joe intercepted a fight between a local warlord and Emery, but got caught with the knife he took from the warlord. While imprisoned as a result of his crime, Joe got a visit from Emery, who offered him a job and some heroin to sweeten the deal. 

Joseph Stabler Jr on Law And Order Oc Episode 409

How did Joe Jr. get clean on Law & Order: Organized Crime?

As the OCCB worked on taking down Emery, Elliot and Randall Stabler worked on getting their little brother's addiction under control.

But there was one problem: Emery had OCCB detective Samir Bashir (Abubakr Ali) murdered at Joe's winery, making Stabler's little brother a potential suspect. 

RELATED: Who Is in the Cast of Law & Order: Organized Crime?

After Stabler's investigation cleared Joe of any involvement in Sam's murder, it became crucial to make sure Joe didn't become further entangled in Redcoat's web. The two older brothers kidnapped Joe after he had a meeting with Emery, and locked him n a room to kick-start his sobriety. 

But Joe ran away as soon as he could, beating up Randall in the process. Ultimately Joe joined Emery and his affiliates on a private jet — but it was revealed that Joe was on a mission to become a mole for the OCCB and take down Redcoat once and for all. 

Randall Stabler (Dean Norris) and Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) appear in Season 4 Episode 4 of Law & Order: Organized Crime

What happened to Joe Jr. in the finale of Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 4?

In Law & Order: OC's Season 4 finale ("Stabler's Lament"), the OCCB discovered that Emery had orchestrated an online arms auction that included a Soviet-era chemical weapon designed to create mass casualty event. 

Joe managed to get a message to the OCCB that Emery and his men were at a small airfield and, during an intense shoot-out, the OCCB killed one of Redcoat's men while arresting another. Amid the chaos, Emery managed to escape with Joe Jr.

RELATED: Where to Watch and Stream Law & Order: Organized Crime

In the air, Emery found out that his right-hand man was dead and the other was in custody, and Joe asked what happened

"Isn't it obvious?" Emery asked.

"You think someone tipped off the feds?” Joe asked.

“Of course someone tipped off the feds, Joe," Emery said without acknowledging whether he believed Joe was the mole. “Oh, we’ll ferret out the traitor. Have no fear. But in the meantime, it appears congratulations are in order.” 

Emery then revealed that Joe was being promoted to the role of delivery boy for the chemical weapon — which was promptly handcuffed to Joe's wrist.

As Joe stared out the window of the plane, it seemed the Stabler brothers were in trouble. 

Law And Order Organized Crime 411 Joseph Stabler

But viewers will have to wait until Season 5 of Law & Order: OC to find out what happens to Stabler's little brother.