Spoilers ahead for Episode 18 of Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 3, called “TAG:GEN.”
Law & Order: Organized Crime moved on to a case that hit close to home for Ayanna Bell in “TAG:GEN,” with the reveal of a terrifying robbery scheme targeting gay men that had been going on for quite some time without the police doing a proper investigation. Another cop became involved in the case as a victim, but wasn’t ready to come out to the NYPD, and Stabler ultimately went undercover to make the final bust. In the process, the show poked fun at star Christopher Meloni’s “zaddy” reputation, and if you ask me, the reactions of the characters were worth an immediate rewind.
Christopher Meloni was first dubbed “zaddy” back in 2021 when fans started snapping pictures of him as he got back into filming as Elliot Stabler for Organized Crime, leading him to later open up about how it feels to be a sex symbol in his 60s. While Stabler isn’t exactly being memed on OC, the show did dub him “daddy” in the latest episode, to the bemusement of the detective and amusement of his colleagues.
It all happened when the task force needed somebody to go undercover to bust the criminals targeting gay men, which meant setting up a false online identity for Stabler. That task fell to Jet and she… had some fun with it. She built an Instagram profile for “Roger,” where he showed off lavish vacations and expensive suits (in what was presumably a Photoshop spree for Jet), then added a rose emoji to the profile on Detective Geary’s suggestion, meaning “generous with money.”
At this point, Stabler decided to inspect the Guyser profile that Jet had set up for him, and the exchange that followed was short, sweet, and a fun part of an otherwise serious episode:
- STABLER: “Let me take a look at this. ‘Weight-lifting. ‘Discreet.’ ‘Daddy’?'”
- DETECTIVE GEARY: “It’s your look, man.”
This being Law & Order: Organized Crime and not a sitcom, there was no laugh track, and none of Stabler’s coworkers interrupted the undercover prep to crack any jokes – even at the shirtless selfie that Jet chose for his profile – but Jet, Reyes, Jamie, and even Geary clearly trying to hide that they were smiling made this moment stand out for me. Understated though they were, I thought the reactions were great! Any how could they not react at least a little bit, even in a serious moment?
This is the kind of humor that I love to see included in Organized Crime, similar to when Stabler alluded to Benson when Jamie dropped a comment about longtime friends not sleeping with each other, with no idea that he’d come very close to prying open a can of worms. The Law & Order franchise can get quite dark, particularly Organized Crime with its 10 p.m. ET time slot, so even small moments of humor every once in a while are always appreciated… by me, at least.
It was also a great reminder of how the members of the task force consider each other family. I can’t be the only one who thought the younger cops looked like kids trying not to laugh at their dad in front of him, right? Besides, I can’t imagine Organized Crime ever actually referring to Stabler by Christopher Meloni’s “zaddy” nickname, and this seems like the closest the drama will ever come to poking fun at it. And it’s not like Jet and Co. have to deal with real-life memes like Meloni’s real-life kids do!
Unfortunately, fans are in for a bit of a wait before seeing Stabler and the rest of the task force move on to their next high-stakes cast, as Organized Crime will have the next few weeks off. The promo does reveal what’s on the way, however:
Catch the return of Law & Order: Organized Crime on Thursday, April 27 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. As always, OC follows Law & Order: SVU (which may have just dropped a hint about Benson in the Season 24 finale) at 9 p.m. and Law & Order (which may or may not pursue more of the stories that actor Hugh Dancy is interested in) at 8 p.m. For some upcoming viewing options as the spring TV season comes closer to its end, check out our 2023 TV premiere schedule