Captain Olivia Benson’s route to parenting hasn’t been straightforward. In Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Benson (played by Mariska Hargitay) first took on a guardian role in Season 12 when she was named as the legal guardian of Calvin Arliss.
The young boy’s mother named Benson as guardian, and he lived with her for a while. Eventually, the guardianship is revoked, and Calvin is sent to Vermont to live with his grandparents much to the devastation of both parties.
Benson and Noah
The next time Benson took on a parenting role was at the end of Season 15 when she became the custodial guardian of an orphan called Noah Porter. This is initially a trial period of 12 months. This first year isn’t plain sailing due to her job demands and his health issues but the pair develop a bond, and the formal adoption gets underway. Parenting an adopted child comes with a unique set of challenges and there are often mistakes made. With Law & Order: SUV, audiences have pulled up Benson for parenting decisions. Let’s see what it’s all about.
Criticism of Benson’s parenting decisions
Though her fortitude has been strong in her work life (and fans love her for this), Olivia Benson’s personal life has seen a lot of criticism. Of course, this is a drama and events are often exaggerated but generally, an audience wants to see things from a realist perspective. This is where it gets tricky for some of the viewers – there have been occasions when Benson has parented bizarrely.
Let’s take Benson’s final episode into consideration – Season 24, Episode 9, “And a Trauma in a Pear Tree.” Benson chooses to leave her son with a family she barely knows so that she can go to work. The criticism by fans is that this is far-fetched. For someone in her line of work, it’s very unlikely that she’d make this decision.
What happens in S24 E9?
When Noah finds out he has a half-brother and it’s his friend, Benson allows him to stay at their family home overnight. She does run checks on the family but it’s still quite an unbelievable moment. Fans of the show just can’t understand why Benson would allow this at all – especially knowing how Noah was almost kidnapped by his maternal grandma in the past.
So fans aren’t wrong. It is a bizarre decision for Olivia Benson to make – not just as a mother but because of all the things she has seen in her line of work regarding children. Producers don’t always get everything right and perhaps this was one of those things! Oops!
Fans Don’t Like the Idea of Olivia and Stabler Together
Now that the romance between Benson and Stabler has become a definite possibility, fans are not sure the SVU creators should go that route.
Besides being TV’s longest-running primetime U.S. live-action series in the history of television, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit probably broke another record, the longest slow burn ever featured in a show.
Since 1999, for 12 years, SVU fans watched partners Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler become closer while solving crimes together. Many fans, at one point or another, wished the characters get out of their mutual friend zone and enter a passionate relationship. But it never happened.
Between Seasons 12 and 13, Christopher Meloni, the actor playing Stabler, and the studio had a disagreement about the star’s salary and he left the show.
Because he left in-between seasons, the character got no proper farewell scene which disappointed many fans. However, Meloni returned to his role in 2021 when an SVU spinoff titled Organized Crime hit the screens. More than that, Stabler returned with some tragic news. His wife Kathy had died which, while being devastating for the character, opened the way for the Benson-Stabler romance. Both characters already admitted in their respective spinoffs that the chance of a romantic relationship was very real and that made fans take to social media to discuss whether they were excited about the possibility.
“I love Benson and Stabler both and their friendship. But their love story? I don’t like it. It seems tacky and even if it wasn’t I feel like Benson and Stabler are like brother and sister,” Redditor u/ke-aviles wrote on r/SVU Subreddit.
This message started a long discussion that gathered many fans who agreed that the romantic relationship between the two characters was totally unnecessary and felt weird. The most popular comment stressed that Benson had outgrown Stabler for romance to really be an option. Besides, there is an issue of inters**ual friendship in long-running shows.
“I’ve always felt that a man and woman can be friends without a romantic/s**ual relationship being a part of it,” the author of the comment wrote.
Other fans agreed that a love storyline would ruin one of the few fictional cross-s** relationships that didn’t go the romantic route. Time will tell if the creators listen to dedicated fans or decide to finally let two ex-partners be together.