How Is Major ‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’ Death Connected to a Stabler Brother?

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[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Law & Order: Organized CrimeSeason 4 Episode 10 “Crossroads.”]

The Organized Crime Control Bureau now has to mourn one of its own.

Stabler’s (Christopher Meloni) latest undercover operation on Organized Crime has him looking into an organization moving heroin tied to his brother Joe’s (Michael Trotter) drug use. And in order to maintain his cover, Stabler can’t react—as a montage of moments from the season plays—when he’s ordered to bury the body of none other than Detective Sam Bashir (Abubakr Ali) after he went missing connected to the case. He leans on the fact that he was a Marine (his tattoo) to let his anger out and question Angus (Stephen Lang) about it. Angus claims they had nothing to do with his death. Later, Mama Boone (Lois Smith) asks Angus, “We’re just doing Red Coat’s doing now?” He says it’s part of the arrangement he made to save their place; they’re buried in debt. But he made “a deal with the devil,” Mama says. Angus insists everything he’s done is for all of them.

After getting a message out, Stabler is able to pass along a message to Bell (Danielle Moné Truitt)—with Jet (Ainsley Seiger), Reyes (Rick Gonzalez), and Vargas (Tate Ellington) listening—about Sam during a VA support group. “I was part of a five-member fire team and one geeky tech that they assigned to us,” he says. “We don’t know how or when but one of our members was killed and I was the one who found him. At the time, I was separated from my unit so I wound up burying him on enemy soil. He just wanted to get back to his wife and child and unborn baby.” (Bell and Jet are later the ones to deliver the news to Sam’s wife.) He’s also able to let Bell know there’s someone above Angus.

After Stabler “proves” himself to Angus, the other man shows the undercover detective the full operation, the honey and the drugs. “We’re piggybacked onto an existing operation. My business partner likes to keep a low profile,” Angus says. While snooping around in that area later, Trisha (Rivera Reese) catches him but reveals she, too, is undercover (ATF), for months. She tells him it was Red Coat, whom Angus met overseas while working as a mercenary. His name is Julian Emery, and he’s her target.

But then Angus declares he’s paying off his partner and getting out. Stabler goes along for that meet, and Angus, as he goes to have a “private chat” with Red Coat, tells him not to hesitate if things go sideways. But Red Coat “couldn’t make it,” the two men on either side of the vehicle at the meeting say and start shooting. The one left alive insists he doesn’t know why when Angus pushes for answers. “You tell your boss he made the biggest mistake of his life. You tell him he’s next,” Angus sends along as a message. “If he wants a war, guess I got one more in me,” he says to Stabler.

Meanwhile, with Joe in the wind and Stabler not answering his calls, Randall (Dean Norris) decides to go looking for their missing brother. His investigation leads to the warehouse where Joe works. While snooping around at night (it runs in the family), he’s caught and tries to use Stabler’s name to get out of jail. (“Where’s the brotherly love?” he asks. “Down in Philly,” a cop tells him as she puts him in a holding cell.) Vargas bails him out. Then the OCCB discovers that an SUV matching the description of the vehicle Sam got into went to that same warehouse. And found in that warehouse is Sam’s blood. How deep is Joe in all this?

Trotter told TV Insider that Joe was “spiraling” when he took a family heirloom (a signed baseball) when he needed money in Episode 9. “Something else is going to have to stop him,” he said. He also teased, “the lies are going to eventually catch up to Joe.” It seems Organized Crime is getting to that point with this latest development.

How do you feel about the turns this case is taking? Let us know in the comments section, below.

Law & Order: Organized Crime, Thursdays, 10/9c, NBC

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