When you're undercover in a major mob operation, how far can you go?

Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 Episode 4 asked that question but didn't give us any good answers.

Of course, it wasn't a rhetorical question. Stabler has a history of PTSD as well as questionable police tactics, so Bell was right to be worried.

While in real life there are strict rules for what undercover officers can and cannot do while involved with lawbreakers, the television UC who commits serious crimes to protect his cover is so common that it's practically a trope.

In this case, though, there was an added wrinkle: who the UC in question was.

Brewster: You sure about this? You got 15 seconds to pull him out.
Bell: Stabler knows what he's doing.
Brewster: Why's he doing this? He's got kids.
Bell: You'd have to ask him.

There were a lot of factors at play here. Stabler's mental health was only one of them, though it's probably the biggest one, especially since he quit SVU after a shooting at the police station.

Thanks to being involved in the Albanian mob's robbery, he ended up in a similar position, and it was already taking its toll by the end of the night.

The other mobsters were thrilled that they got away with such a big load, while Stabler was depressed over what he'd done.

He put on a good face at the police station, telling Bell and Brewster that he had no choice, but his relief at learning the guy he shot wasn't dead suggested he wasn't as confident about it being a justified shoot as he projected.

On top of that, he had to deal with Brewster, who is by-the-book and thinks the department should have made some arrests BEFORE the robbery and who doesn't trust Stabler much anyway.

And this robbery came right on the heels of Stabler being unsure he was going to make it out of a confrontation with Costas alive.

All of that is going to leave scars. But Stabler was right that it was too late to pull out.

He pointed out that if he didn't follow through with the confrontation with Costas, it would make him look weak and untrustworthy. And the mob doesn't just shrug and move on if someone like "Eddie" disappears after getting in good with them.

If Bell pulled Stabler off the mission now, she would have effectively signed his death warrant. At least with him confronting Costa directly, he had a chance to talk his way out of trouble.

It was a big risk but in the end, the inroads Stabler made with Albi saved his ass... though Costa's distaste for Luca probably helped too.

I didn't blame Stabler for punching Luca's lights out. Luca was obnoxious, abused a waitress, and was looking for a fight because "Eddie" beat him at poker.

And during the meeting in Costa's office, Luca did nothing but whine and complain. If I were Costa, I would have offed HIM for not being mob material.

Given how annoying Luca was, it was unsurprising that Costa admitted disliking him too. Costa might have gained respect for "Eddie" after the fight, despite threatening him in front of Luca and Albi to save face.

I don't think even Stabler thought he could talk himself out of this one, though!

He seemed resigned to the fact that he was likely going to die and was making the rounds, telling people he loved them or trying to.

There wasn't much Benson/Stabler stuff in this one, which was fine -- their relationship doesn't need to be the center of every episode. But what he did say, or tried to say, spoke volumes.

Predictably, Liv's voicemail cut off just as Stabler was going to explain what he meant when he said he loved her, allowing viewers to fill in the blanks.

That's not hard to do. Nobody who thinks they are dying calls up a friend just to tell them that when they said they loved them, they meant it platonically.

I wonder if the more-than-friendship feelings are going to be one-sided, at least for a while, though.

Stabler just lost his wife, after all, and his head isn't on right half the time, and anyway, Liv has made it clear over and over that she's not happy with Mr. Inconsistent popping in and out of her life at random intervals.

Until Stabler's habit of going off the grid for months or years at a time is resolved, there's never going to be anything between them. The only question there is whether Liv truly has no romantic feelings for her ex-partner or whether she is just guarding her heart.

While most of the hour was focused on Stabler and his mob drama, Jett quietly put things in place for a major sting!

I could have done without Malachi's constant attempts to flirt with her -- as Jett could herself. I liked the way she just matter-of-factly said, "Yuck" and then moved on with what she needed him to do.

I doubt he'll ever get the message, but that was a great example of how to deal with sexual harassment.

Anyway, it's a bit odd that the mobs all fell into Jett's trap so easily. You'd think they'd be suspicious of a new distributor who showed up on the scene moments after their original distributor was arrested for providing them with encrypted phones!

Nova helping encourage the Marcy Killers to get the phones was a nice touch, though. I wonder if there are UCs placed in every mob that are doing the same so that all these idiots can fall for the same scheme.

Your turn, Organized Crime fanatics!

Do you think Stabler is in too deep? Is there anything anyone can do about it?

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know!

Miss the episode? No problem. Just watch Law & Order: Organized Crime online right here on TV Fanatic.

Law & Order: Organized Crime airs on NBC on Thursdays at 10 PM EST/PST.

source https://www.tvfanatic.com/2021/10/law-and-order-organized-crime-season-2-episode-4-review-for-a-fe/


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