Every Valentine’s Day brings a flood of photos of celebrity couples, but one non-couple just might have beaten them all this year. On January 15, Law & Order: SVU fans got a pleasant surprise via Instagram with a photo of Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni.
Although Meloni’s character, Detective Stabler has long since left the long running series, the two actors remain friendly and when Meloni leaned in for a peck on the cheek, the moment was captured on camera. Hargitay posted the photo, which immediately went viral, with the Benson & Stabler reunion getting rapturous reviews by SVU fans worldwide.
“And then that happened… Just when I thought Valentine’s Day was over,” the caption read. Within the hour, Hargitay’s post had received over 30,000 likes, with comments along the lines of “If I could like this a million trillion times I would!” and “This…this…this is PERFECTION!!!!! :swoon: :thud: :I’mDead: ::hearts::”
Christopher Meloni left the hit Law& Order spinoff in between seasons 12 and 13, with the unfortunate consequence that the series was unable to give Meloni and his character, Detective Eliot Stabler, the sendoff he deserved.
“The audience deserved an arc out for Stabler,” said showrunner Warren, who came onto the series beginning season 13. “That should have been understood by everyone involved, instead I kind of walked in and he was just gone…A little out of my hands, but there’s still continued ill will about it and that’s unfortunate.”
As fans know, Detectives Benson and Stabler never became romantically involved, but the two characters had the kind of chemistry which doesn’t come along often, especially in police procedurals. Meloni, discussing his rapport with Hargitay on Inside the Actors Studio, said “She was always ready for anything new…There was always an unspoken shorthand to what we were doing. That makes it just so much easier, and off camera as well. There’s a lot to be said for that when you’re working with someone for 16 hours a day, you better get along when the cameras aren’t rolling as well as when it is. That was priceless, I think for both of us.”