Don't give up hope just yet, because Elliott Stabler might return to SVU. Chris Meloni, who left Law & Order: SVU after season 12, spoke to Entertainment Tonight at the NRDC Stand Up for the Planet Benefit in Los Angeles on Tuesday about his future plans regarding the hit NBC show, and things look promising. Kind of.
Let's just get the biggest question out of the way: Is he coming back to the show?
"I have always said I would be open to it," he teased. "[The] circumstances have to be right, that is all."
Circumstances such as the series finale, perhaps? That's something the actor has hinted to in the past.
"We will see," he continued. "It has never been brought up to me, so that is the kind of question that's kind of out of my hands."
This answer is as frustrating as it is satisfying, which is kind of the 56-year-old's M.O. His latest tease involves taking selfies with former co-star Mariska Hargitay and watching the SVU fandom explode.
"You know, we don't live under a rock. We do it one time and suddenly, you know, she called and she is like, 'Do you believe what just happened?' and I'm like, 'Yeah, that is crazy,'" Meloni remembers. "Now we do it just to see the reaction, [to] ring the bell."
Or that time he nominated Hargitay for the Ice Bucket Challenge (you guys, remember the Ice Bucket Challenge?):
Not only do fans want the two actors back together as partners — they're also hoping for a little more as well. I mean, it is kind of strange that their characters never got together on the series, but according to Meloni, that was on purpose.
"I think they [the producers] always knew [a romance] would be the death knell of that relationship," he said during his appearance on Inside the Actors Studio last year. "I think they needed to keep that line taut and very clear… Keep the tension, never cross it."
At this point, however, we'd take anything as long as it meant a Bensen-Stabler reunion. Fingers crossed!