Was Elliot & Olivia’s Relationship Actually Retconned on SVU?

Was Elliot & Olivia’s Relationship Actually Retconned on SVU?
Image credit: Legion-Media

The current relationship between the two ex-partners does not come across as canonical in any sense of the word.

NBC's biggest crime drama has always drawn its strength from interesting, unique characters who would bond with each other while solving crimes each week. Fans have been in love with this mix of the personal and the professional since 1999, when SVU first appeared on television, introducing the iconic duo of detectives Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson.

The tandem worked closely together for 12 years, but after Christopher Meloni left the series over a contract dispute, Elliot was written off, and Olivia was left alone.

Fast forward to 2023, and Stabler is back in the picture, now as the main character on his own Law & Order spinoff, while putting in frequent guest appearances on SVU, where he is once again hanging out with Olivia and even hitting on her. The idea of making the two detectives a romantic item has been kicked around since the first season, but now that it may actually become a reality, some fans are getting peeved.

Was Elliot & Olivia’s Relationship Actually Retconned on SVU? - image 1

Over on Reddit, fans have condemned the notion that Elliot and Olivia have been destined to be together since season one.

People remember very well that their relationship was always presented as strictly professional, with few romantic or sexual overtones. They were great together, but only as partners, and fans never saw them as lovers.

But now, new SVU writers are trying to take Olivia and Elliot's relationship into a whole new dimension, and fans are furious that they have gone and retconned the characters' entire backstory to achieve that. Many remember how Elliot mortgaged his house to pay Olivia's bail, but no one in the SVU community ever thought that Elliot did it because he wanted to sleep with her.

Fans don't like it that the writers are now forcing these beloved characters into a romantic relationship, fearing that it will ruin their friendship and sour a lot of great memories of their strictly professional partnership.