(Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Season 1 finale of “Law & Order: Organized Crime.”)
Last week’s “Law & Order: Organized Crime” first-season finale ended with a life-or-death cliffhanger for Tamara Taylor’s Angela Wheatley, who was poisoned not once, but twice in one day by her ex-husband Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott) in his attempt to kill the main witness to all of his crimes, including the murder of Elliot Stabler’s (Chris Meloni) wife, Kathy Stabler (Isabel Gillies).
In the closing moments of the eighth and final episode of “Law & Order: Organized Crime” Season 1, titled “Forget It, Jake; It’s Chinatown,” Angela is gasping for air and on the brink of death in the hospital after being poisoned by Detective Diego Morales (Michael Rivera) on Richard’s orders. Elliot’s former partner, Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), and his current partner, Sergeant Ayanna Bell (Danielle Moné Truitt), beg her to stay with them as Elliot looks on in disbelief for a moment before screaming for help.
No, Taylor can’t say what Angela’s fate is heading into the show’s second season, which will premiere this fall on NBC, but she was happy to dance around the answer for TheWrap.
“Angela definitely had a rough day,” Taylor said. “Being poisoned twice in one day is not ideal. I don’t know. Unfortunately, I don’t even know if I’m allowed to tell you her fate, hence the cliffhanger nature of the whole thing. I don’t know.”
But what Taylor can reveal is what she thinks Stabler was thinking in the moment that he watched Angela, a woman he had begun to develop romantic feelings for and even kissed — before he was told she was responsible for putting the hit on his now-deceased wife — struggle for her life.
“It’s interesting because as it’s written — and I know actually Dylan posted that amazing scene in the episode prior where he calls Angela a ‘hot mess,'” the “Bones” alum said. “And he posted the actual script, and in the script he just said, ‘Angela, you’re a mess.’ So in the script, as it was written, it said that Olivia’s on one side of Angela, Bell is on the other side. They’re both taking care of her and sort of pleading for her to not leave. And it says that Elliot, she looks at Elliot and Elliot is speechless. His mouth opens and he doesn’t know what to say, nothing comes out.”
She continued: “And it’s interesting how it played on the day, because I think Chris always has a brilliant sort of insight into Stabler. There were so many ways that you could take it, but how it felt to me was that there were a lot of things going on. I think watching a woman that he may have some very confused feelings for potentially die after he has literally just watched his wife die months prior, I think he’s processing that. He could be processing that. He could be working through knowing that if he loses Angela, being the key witness in the case against the murderer of his wife, that he potentially stands to lose it all. There are still many ways it can be perceived, but I think it was pretty purposefully ambiguous so that we can wonder. I think, as Chris Meloni likes to say, humans are messy, emotions are messy, and there is nothing more intriguing than watching people navigate through this kind of complicated terrain.“
Particularly complicated is the way Elliot and Angela feel about each other, as Angela believed Elliot was responsible for the death of her son and Elliot is struggling with the revelation that Angela is the mastermind behind his wife’s death — but they are both still drawn to each other. Plus, there’s that whole Elliot-Olivia sexual tension that’s been brewing for two decades and that Richard brought to Angela’s attention last week.
“That final episode, she clearly heard what Richard said and it clearly bothered her enough that she asked her friend/lawyer to gather some intel about [Olivia],” Taylor told us. “That said, Angela has grown. I mean, she was married to Richard Wheatley. So I think she can handle whatever the truth is. If she is indeed truly in love with Stabler, he is not her first love, and I don’t think she expects that she would be is. So my guess is that they’re both mature enough to take whatever is going on with the other in stride. It’s a very nuanced relationship and very unexpected, I think, for both of them.”
But Taylor knows it won’t be easy going for Stabler and Angela if she does live and they do want to pursue a relationship, at least in terms of how many “Law & Order: SVU” fans will react.
“I’ve got to tell you, ‘Law & Order’ fans are some of the most passionate fans I’ve ever come in contact with,” Taylor said. “And they’re lovely. So I felt very, very welcomed into the ‘Law & Order’ universe. They seem to be very, very angry at Angela, many of them. But they’ve made a clear distinction that they’re not angry at me, the actor. They’re just a little pissed with Angela because she’s getting in the way of a relationship that they’ve been rooting for for 22 years.”
“Law & Order: Organized Crime” returns this fall on NBC.