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Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 4 Episode 13 Review: A Perfect Season Finale Full of Cliffhangers to Keep Us Talking All Summer


Now THAT is how you end a season.

Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 4 Episode 13 was the final episode of a too-short season, and it cut off at the most frustrating points imaginable.

Joe is literally in the wind with Emery, handcuffed to a briefcase full of chemical weapons while no one knows where he is, and the chances are that Emery knows he’s the mole. How are we supposed to get through the entire summer without knowing what happens next?

Eli's News - Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 4 Episode 13

The action-packed adventure was balanced by a Stabler family crisis that Stabler was making worse than it needed to be. There’s news on that front that won’t get resolved until next fall, either.

Family and Work Drama Intersected Perfectly

This case was personal because of Joe’s involvement, which caused a family crisis, , even though nobody knew what was happening.

Bell: You sure he’s clean?
Stabler: If he wasn’t, why would he give this to me?
Bell: But you’re worried about him.
Stabler: We’re putting him in the line of fire. Of course I’m worried about him.
Bell: He put himself there. Never forget that.

Stabler didn’t like Joe being on the inside. He wanted to be the one to take all the risks for the family and be the only cop, yet Randall and Joe kept risking their lives.

Joe’s driven by his desire for redemption, but the Organized Crime unit doesn’t know that, so everyone but Stabler is questioning where his loyalties lie.

It was hard to blame Stabler for getting in Agent Cole’s face when Cole kept insisting that Joe was dirty. The distrustful-for-no-reason cop is somewhat of a tired TV trope, and it would have been satisfying if Stabler had slapped some sense into the guy.

Joe fed Stabler bad intel because he was given it on purpose. It’s an open question whether Emery knows he’s the mole. Emery purposely misled the cops so he could kill Tyler and rush off to parts unknown with Joe — but does he know Joe is working with them?

Family Dinner - Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 4 Episode 13

I can’t imagine a guy as meticulous about his criminal activity as Emery wouldn’t have thoroughly checked into Joe’s background before he hired him.

He likely already knows Joe is related to Stabler. It would be ridiculous and contrived for Emery not to have learned basic facts about an employee he’s letting into his inner circle.

If Emery knows who Joe is, then he’s got to know Joe is playing both sides or at least suspects it. Why would the brother of the lead cop after him randomly show up in his world?

Emery is likely giving Joe enough rope to hang himself, and since they’re in a plane headed for parts unknown, Joe could be in an extremely dangerous situation soon.

Talk about a cliffhanger that makes our jaws drop to the floor! There aren’t many of those in this shortened and disappointing TV season.

Eli’s Family Drama Fills a Void

Family Tension - Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 4 Episode 13

Let’s face it: few family dramas are on TV nowadays, despite how hungry audiences are for that type of content.

One of the main reasons viewers are heartbroken about Blue Bloods’ cancelation is that it features a family dinner every week, which most shows don’t.

Organized Crime filled that void somewhat with the Eli storyline.

Eli has always been Stabler’s problem child. He was a rebellious teenager and still doesn’t talk much to his father.

Elliot Stabler was the last to know he would be a grandfather, and who can blame Eli for that? Stabler is always rushing off someplace, and his attitude sucked toward Eli wanting to become a cop too.

Eli wants to follow in his father’s footsteps. That shouldn’t be hard for Stabler to understand.

Getting Justice for Sam - Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 4 Episode 13

He doesn’t have to work undercover or for an intense unit like Organized Crime. He probably wouldn’t qualify for that until he’d been on a beat for a while.

Stabler knows firsthand how dangerous the job can be, not just physically.

He’s had PTSD for years thanks to Kathy’s death (and probably other things he saw on the force), and when he was younger, the horrific child abuse he saw while working on Law & Order: SVU made him paranoid about his kids.

There’s also so much anti-cop sentiment nowadays that even someone who loves his job as a cop might be reluctant to encourage a young relative to join up.

Still, Eli needs a decent job to support his family and something productive to do.

He’s not a little boy anymore, and he feels Stabler’s disapproval even more keenly than he did as a kid. Stabler has no business asking why Eli told Randall about the pregnancy and not him.

ATF Raid - Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 4 Episode 13

It’s simple. Stabler is either not around or telling Eli he’s not good enough. Eli’s been trying to tell him for weeks that he has big news.

Randall only knows because Mama Stabler guessed, but that’s beside the point. Stabler can’t drift in and out of Eli’s life and be offended that Eli doesn’t share big news with him first.

Stabler is probably worried that Eli is making all the same mistakes he did. I think Maureen was an accident and he and Kathy got married because of the pregnancy.

Stabler also has issues with his dad, who was a crooked cop, which seems to have soured his view of the “family tradition.”

Still, it’s Eli’s life, and Stabler needs to be less judgmental. He also needs to stop treating Eli like he’s still fourteen.

How Will The Move to Peacock Affect The Cliffhangers>

Tensions Run High - Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 4 Episode 13

This was not only the season finale but also the last episode that will ever air on NBC.

The move to Peacock means another short season (10 episodes), but it also means fewer restrictions and possibly the ability to access the entire season at once.

The next part of the Emery story might be grittier and more violent if that’s possible. There was plenty of violence even with NBC’s stricter regulations than Peacock.

It remains to be seen what, if anything, will change, but this was a brilliant season finale nonetheless.

Stabler Talking to Kathy’s Grave Made Sense

Bensler fans, don’t despair because Stabler was talking to Kathy’s grave. She was his life partner and the mother of his children; his love for her will always be a part of him.

Keeping Joe Safe - Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 4 Episode 13

That doesn’t necessarily mean he will never get together with Benson, but if he does, she can’t expect him to forget Kathy completely.

Additionally, Stabler’s visit to Kathy was all about how he’s trying to hold onto a world that’s changing too rapidly. It seemed like one of the things he was trying to hold onto that he shouldn’t was his memories of Kathy. Maybe he’ll realize that and move on soon.

Your turn, Law & Order: Organized Crime fanatics. Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and tell us what you think about this season finale.

Law & Order: Organized Crime has been renewed for season 5, which will stream exclusively on Peacock. New episodes will drop in the fall of 2024.


Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on X.

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