Stabler took “manhunt” to a new degree this week.
After working with the SVU team on a dangerous abduction and realizing Donnelly had set him up for a robbery, Stabler found himself targeted by a unique killer.
Meanwhile, Nova found herself in a confrontation while Donnelly made a big move as Streets Is Watching set up the dramatic Season 2 conclusion for Law & Order: Organized Crime.
A target is on Stabler’s back
At a club, Russian businessman Ilya Efremov (Yosef Kasnetzkov) brushed off a reporter’s questions about his family’s illegal dealings. He headed to his penthouse only to be shot in the head.
Stabler asked Jet to look into the bullets he’d dug from the tree. He and Bell then met Nova at a shipyard as she relayed Webb was convinced Stabler had robbed him and put out a hit on Stabler.
Donnelly dug up some loot in his backyard as his “rainy day fund” was needed. Stabler was sending Bernadette and Eli out of town, both reluctant but realizing Stabler was serious to agree.
Stabler was surprised at Jet actually giving him a hug, which she admitted was weird. They figured the only way to save Stabler was to figure out who really robbed Webb.
That led to Ulrich’s bodyguard, the only other person who knew the access codes. Stabler confronted Donnelly about the heist, who confessed to bribing the guy as a “Plan B.” He claimed it was a test of Stabler’s loyalty and blamed Moss for using Stabler’s credit card for the van.
Eli called Stabler to relay Bernadette was ranting on various subjects and worried she was getting worse. Just as Bernadette got on the phone, someone took a shot at him, with Maldanondo and Cho racing to help as he hid behind a car.
Stabler boldly marched to Webb’s office to demand he call off the hit while Nova took advantage of the distraction to plant a bug. Stabler warned Webb about killing a cop with him not intimidated.
Jet revealed the bullet fired at Stabler matched the murder weapon used on Efremov and several other high-profile arms dealers and criminals. They figured Webb had hired a professional to distance himself from a cop killing.
Donnelly called a meeting of the Brotherhood to announce that he was stepping down as leader to focus on his child. He then named Stabler as the boss, to his surprise as much as everyone else.
Stabler argued with Donnelly that he wasn’t ready for this and the Brotherhood wouldn’t accept him. Donnelly said, “this is the closest you’ll get to playing God.”
A deadly showdown
Across town, Derrick was praying for forgiveness as he pulled out a gun. Stabler relayed the news of his “promotion” to Bell, both agreeing this had to be a complex play.
Jet realized the assassin was a woman, Natalie Dumont, aka Belladonna (Adrienne Walker), a former soldier turned freelance killer. Nova managed to get a burner phone Webb used to talk to Dumont for Jet to track.
Stabler tracked Dumont to her home as she ran on a wild foot chase through the streets that included racing through a fashion show before Dumont managed to escape.
Derrick confronted Webb with a gun about his father, with Webb not even knowing the name. Nova interrupted to try and stop her brother as Webb pulled a gun himself.
Webb was suspicious of Nova coming to him over her father, with Derrick saying she “made her bed” joining a criminal. Webb was ready to shoot, but Nova shocked both men by shooting her brother in the leg.
Bernadette wasn’t doing well in the safe house, dropping a glass and crying. Stabler returned to his place but knew something was up and attacked a waiting Dumont. They fought for several moments before Stabler was able to subdue her.
Wrapping up the contract
Dumont was willing to confess to Webb hiring her with Bell confident this was finally going to bring him down. That just left Donnelly and the Brotherhood to handle.
Nova visited Derrick in the hospital, claiming she had to wound him to save him from ruining his life by killing Webb. She told him Webb was her business and gave him a bus ticket home to Chicago.
Donnelly was adding up his two million dollars to get out of the country, but Bridget didn’t want to leave New York. He promised they would come back and she agreed.
Stabler came to Kathleen’s to check on the family with Bernadette in bed. Jet stopped by Stabler’s wrecked apartment to tell him the slugs in the tree matched those from Stabler’s dad’s shooting years ago.
Stabler thus realized his dad allowed his partner to shoot him to cover up a dirty shooting. She left Stabler to reflect on the tarnished legacy of his “hero” dad.
It was a thrilling hour to set up the Season 2 finale that will bring things to a wild head.
Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 finale airs Thursday, May 19 at 10/9c on NBC.