Law & Order: Organized Crime’s Danielle Moné Truitt Teases the Season 4 Development That’s Going to Drive Stabler Insane

When Sgt. Ayanna Bell talks, you listen. Similarly, when Danielle Moné Truitt, who plays the commanding officer on Law & Order: Organized Crime, offers to outline what’ll go down in the upcoming season, you hush up and take notes.

So when TVLine got the chance to chat with Truitt ahead of the show’s return this Thursday (NBC, 10/9c), we jumped at it. Read on to hear about what’s in store for Bell & Co.

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TVLINE | When the season picks up, how far are we from where we left off in the Season 3 finale?
We pick up a couple months after Det. Whelan was killed. The team is still dealing with his death and just trying to cope and navigate things. Not really coping in the best ways. I don’t think any of us are, to be honest. Stabler went and did another undercover job and hasn’t even been around over the last two months. It starts with him coming back to the office and just kind of trying to pick up where he left off.

And I’m like, “Whoa, like, you haven’t even been here!” type of thing. [Laughs] And then Reyes is just angry all the time about everything, and Jet is keeping everything close to the vest, acting like she’s OK when she’s really not. And then Bell is just trying to problem-solve. I think that’s how Bell copes. She’s like, “OK, this terrible thing happened. What can I do so it never happens again?”

TVLINE | Obviously, police work is dangerous. But even so, Bell has lost a lot of people on her team in the past four seasons. Talk to me about how much the loss of Whelan brings all of that to the forefront for her.
… Now I’m thinking, I’m like, he lost her partner, who got killed. She lost Gina. She had to kill Morales, and now she lost Jamie. I can’t believe that Bell would not, in her own mind — she might never ever say it out loud — but I can’t believe that she would never have to question, like, “Is it me?” Like, “Is there just something in me where people I’m connected to just keep dying?” Every time there’s a new team member, somebody is killed! You know what I mean?


I think that has to weigh on her. Like, “Am I not making the right decisions? Am I not telling them to do the right things? Am I not a good leader?” I mean, we all know she is a good leader, but someone in her position and in her shoes would question their own ability to lead when you keep losing people, you know?

Yeah, she’s in therapy, and she’s doing a lot. Divorce, everything, you know? There’s a lot on her plate.

TVLINE | We’ll get to the divorce. I’m glad to hear she’s in therapy. That’s good, and helpful.

TVLINE | Do we see a lot of that on screen?
No, she does talk about it with Reyes, but we have not seen her in therapy yet. Hopefully, we will. That would be really cool if we did.

TVLINE | You brought up before that Stabler comes back at the beginning of the season. How is she with his coming and going? Is she like, “Could you just stay here for five minutes?”
[Laughs] Oh, yeah. Well, she’s more like, “Don’t come here trying to run stuff, because you ain’t been here.” That’s more where she is. She’s like, “All your little opinions about what I’m doing, keep it over there, because you weren’t here,” type of thing.

TVLINE | And how does he receive that feedback?:
You know — how he handles anything that is true, because it’s true. I mean, in the first part of the episode when you first see Bell, it’s him coming into the office acting like he ain’t been gone for two months, immediately starting, “Oh, we got to get this guy, blah, blah.” And Bell’s like, “Whoa, hi. How are you? Like, you haven’t even been here. Chill out, you know?” So, just kind of trying to reel him in. Like, “Come back to reality,” you know?

TVLINE | I think she’s one of the very few characters that he actually listens to a little bit.
Yes, he does. Yeah, and there’s a couple scenes we have where he can’t really give me any pushback, because he knows what I’m saying is right, you know? So, he kind of has to calm his self down a little bit.


TVLINE | How is Bell doing, outside of work? How much contact does she have with Denise? Is she seeing Jackson? Is she dating? Do we know anything about that aspect of her life?
We don’t, and I hope we find out. I had said to the showrunner when I was talking to him, I was like, “What’s up with her child?” Like, I don’t believe that Bell is a deadbeat mom. That’s just not like her. You know what I’m saying? She definitely has her own way of mothering and parenting, because of what her job entails, but her just having a child in the world and not seeing that child or talking to that child, I don’t feel like that’s a part of who she is — especially because she’s so compassionate and caring and nurturing to her team. So, yeah, I hope, as the season goes on, we’ll see a little bit more of her personal life. It would be nice if she was dating or something. Just have something going on outside of the messy OC taskforce.

TVLINE | How are things for her, politically, at the police department?
One thing that the showrunner said my character’s story is going to be focused on is the bureaucracy in the department and having to go up against these higher-ups, you know, to, number one, protect my team and make sure that we can do our jobs, but then, also, to protect herself. I think, as a Black woman in the position that she’s in, there’s a lot of undermining that happens. She’s going to have to stand up for herself and speak up for herself and for her team in certain ways. And then there’s going to be some stuff with the DEA.

… There’s a character that comes in, a few episodes in, who’s a captain of hate crimes, and they came up together in the academy and stuff and like, literally got into a full-on fight. [Laughs] They don’t like each other, and they have to work together for the case for that episode. And she’s a captain, so she kind of tries to pull rank on Bell at first, and then, you know, Bell is always going to be Bell. [Laughs] So, that’s all I’ll say about that. It’s pretty fun.


Hear Us Out: Law & Order: SVU and Organized Crime Should Be One Show

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TVLINE | The synopsis for Episode 1 talks about how Bell is bringing some AI into their police work — will that be a recurring theme throughout the season?
Well, from Episode 1, this is something that Bell feels is best recourse for them. She feels like it’s something that could’ve saved Jamie’s life if we had it implemented when we were doing the Shadowërk case. Jet is excited about it, of course, you know? She’s a techie, and she already followed the guy who does the AI technical support. So, she’s all in. Reyes is not happy about it…

And then, of course, Stabler, you know, he’s not happy about it because he’s like, “Why? Like, why do we need AI to do our jobs?” And it is challenging for him, because, in some circumstances, having the AI option may have made the situation better, you know, than our human, you know, gut or whatever… So, I think he’s having to grapple with that.

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