After Law And Order: Organized Crime Came Full Circle In Final Episode On NBC, How Will Season 5 Deal With That Cliffhanger?

 Christopher Meloni as Stabler and Danielle Moné Truitt as Bell in Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 4 finale.
Christopher Meloni as Stabler and Danielle Moné Truitt as Bell in Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 4 finale.

Spoilers ahead for the Season 4 finale of Law & Order: Organized Crime, called "Stabler's Lament."

Law & Order: Organized Crime has officially ended its run on NBC with the Season 4 finale in the 2024 TV schedule, although that doesn't mean the crime drama was cancelled. Christopher Meloni and the rest of the returning cast members will migrate over to Peacock for the fifth season, and "Stabler's Lament" set up some story threads that will need to be tied off on the streaming service. At the same time, it was bookended in scenes that brought the show full circle for a fitting farewell to broadcast television.

How Organized Crime Came Full Circle

Unfortunately for any fans who might have thought that OC could come full circle via one last NBC crossover with Mariska Hargitay's Law & Order: SVU since the spinoff originally launched via SVU backdoor pilot, the only tie between the two shows on Law & Order finale night was via a phone call on SVU. "Stabler's Lament" did bring the show full circle in a more fitting way for the leading man, however.

The Season 4 finale began and ended with Stabler visiting the grave of his late wife Kathy, whose death was the launching point of Organized Crime when she was killed in an explosion in that SVU backdoor pilot. While Elliot has moved on in various ways in the seasons since, she was an essential part of his life for decades, and it made sense that she was on his mind after all of the losses and family drama of the fourth season.

Plus, if he had already figured out that Eli was expecting a child with his girlfriend in the opening scene, that could have caused him to flash back. He and Kathy married in their teens when she was pregnant with Maureen, and then reconciled from their separation years later when she was pregnant with Eli himself. His final line of the episode was even "You're not gonna believe this – guess who's having a baby"? with a smile.

Kathy Stabler may never be the most popular character in OC (or SVU) history, and some fans will likely always blame her for The Letter – although I just felt bad for Kathy after that reveal – but she was an important part of his life, and I was glad to see that he'll visit her grave. This was a solid way for OC to say goodbye to NBC from an emotional standpoint.

Organized Crime's Season 4 Finale Cliffhanger

Stabler and the OCCB came close to catching the bad guys by the end of "Stabler's Lament," and they succeeded in taking down the man responsible for killing Sam and confiscated a large amount of chemical weapons. Unfortunately, Emery got away on his jet with Joe Jr. in tow, along with a backup briefcase full of more chemical weapons. Emery promoted Joe to the status of delivery man, which came with having the briefcase handcuffed to his wrist.

Joe looked less than thrilled about this, and presumably not just because navigating an airplane bathroom with a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist would be tricky. In all seriousness, Joe is in an extraordinarily dangerous situation without backup, and I'm not entirely convinced that Emery isn't onto him. Joe just isn't as good a liar as his older brother.

All in all, Joe and Emery escaping the authorities in New York was a professional cliffhanger insofar as the cops need to catch Emery before the chemical weapons can be distributed and unleashed, as well as a personal cliffhanger with Elliot's concerns for his brother.

This would have been quite a painful cliffhanger if OC had been cancelled rather than moved to streaming for Peacock Premium subscribers! There are also some smaller personal cliffhangers, such as whether Eli will indeed join the police force despite his dad's misgivings. I'm hoping that Season 5 will pick up without an absolutely massive time jump, but it remains to be seen if Organized Crime returns in the fall as it might have on NBC or at a different time of year.

Showrunner John Shiban of Breaking Bad fame is remaining in the top job for Season 5, so hopefully he has plans in place for how he'll pay off on the Season 4 finale cliffhangers. For now, you can get a fix of OC action by revisiting the first four seasons via Peacock.