Christopher Meloni played Benson’s partner Elliott Stabler for the first twelve years of the show, but since exiting three years ago over a contract dispute, his absence has been glaring; ratings flagged (compare the 8.98 million viewers who tuned in for the Season 12 finale to the 6.66 of Season 14) and the show has struggled to find its narrative footing. The smartest thing that happens in the Season 15 premiere is a sequence too good to spoil- a monologue Benson delivers about her relationship with Stabler that acknowledges his departure, rather than filling up the hole with guest stars and hysterical cases. It feels like a real drama, not a camp pleasure.
Benson looks pretty bruised and battered in the SVU promo. How will she handle her ordeal emotionally?
Adam: Strangely enough, she won’t draw strength from thinking about her current beau Cassidy. Rather, it’s her ex-partner Stabler who’s on Benson’s mind during her face-off with Pablo Schreiber’s Lewis. Then again, those memories may do more harm than good