‘Law & Order: SVU’: Fans Weigh in on ‘How Different’ the Series Would Be Had Elliot Stabler Never Left: ‘He Definitely Would’ve Been the One to Kill Lewis’

The hit series Law & Order: SVU is a highly popular series that fans totally appreciate. Who doesn’t want to watch the detectives take down the perps and get justice for the victims? However, a bomb was dropped on viewers in 2011 when Christopher Meloni, who has played Detective Elliot Stabler for over a decade, left the series. It was a devastating blow for fans, but at least Meloni is now back in the Law & Order universe in the spinoff Law & Order: Organized Crime

Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler holding a weapon in 'Law & Order: SVU'
Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler in ‘Law & Order: SVU’ | Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Why did Christopher Meloni leave ‘Law & Order: SVU’?

Meloni was an integral part of the series from the very beginning in 1999. He left the series before season 13 premiered over a contract dispute, and it was said Stabler retired. He didn’t say goodbye to his partner for more than a decade, Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), and it was a crushing way to end things for the character and their important relationship. 

A sore spot for fans, they finally received a positive outcome when Stabler returned, getting his own spinoff called Organized Crime. But most importantly, fans were able to see Stabler and Benson reunite after so many years apart. Now fans are treated to crossovers galore between these two former partners and in each show.

‘Law & Order: SVU’ fans weigh in on ‘how different’ the series would be had Elliot Stabler never left

Fans have been known to discuss SVU on social media, and fans on Reddit have talked about “how different” the series would be had Stabler never really left. On June 20, 2018, a fan made a post titled, “Let’s say Stabler never left, how different would the show be now?”

Stabler has five children with his wife, Kathy (Isabel Gillies), and one fan thinks he’d have more had he stayed on the show. Fans may recall that Kathy is killed in a car bombing in season 22 of SVU.

“I think his character would probably have at least four more kids, all which throughout the years would get an episode where they are kidnapped or have some problem,” a fan said.

Some fans think Stabler would have killed William Lewis

Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni standing together
Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni | Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

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Fans may recall that William Lewis (Pablo Schreiber) captures Benson (more than once) and tortures and assaults her. Some fans think Stabler would have killed him if given the chance.

“He would have hunted down and killed the guy that kidnapped Benson,” a fan said. “He’d then be thrown off the force.”

Another fan seems to agree that Stabler would kill Lewis. “He definitely would’ve been the one to kill Lewis,” they said.

A fan thinks Stabler and Benson could have hooked up

A fan thinks Stabler and Benson would have gotten together in a “hook up” type situation by now. They both have so much chemistry, and they care about each other as well. It makes sense something more might happen between them, and it still could.

“Tbh, I think the show would have resorted to making Stabler and Benson hook up for the ratings,” a fan said. “If they’re doing random Noah drama at this point, they would have completely done Stabler-Benson relationship drama as well if it was an option.”

1 fan thinks ‘it would be better’

One fan thinks the show would actually “be better” had Stabler never left. There would certainly be more ground to cover when it comes to Stabler, his life, and dynamic with his partner and co-workers.

“I think it would be better,” they said. “I don’t like Rollins, and Carisi is meh to me.”

Another seems to agree the show would be better, at least at the start of it, but they aren’t sure about “the quality by” the 19th season. “I think the show would be better at first, but it’s hard to imagine the quality by season 19,” they said. “The divide between season 12 and 13 is stark.”

It’s safe to say things would be a lot different in the world of SVU had Elliot Stabler never left.