Law & Order Season 21 closes out with a case that’s going to cause some tension in both the NYPD and DA’s office.
In “Black and Blue,” the murder of an off-duty NYPD detective threatens to tear the city apart. Cosgrove (Jeffrey Donovan) mourns the loss of a friend and asks Capt. Benson (SVU‘s Mariska Hargitay) for help solving the case. Meanwhile, in the DA’s office, McCoy (Sam Waterston) and Price (Hugh Dancy) disagree on how to prosecute the culprit, sparking sharp condemnation from all sides.
Last week’s episode was a complicated one for Maroun with the prescription for Wyatt. Talk about that decision. Could it affect her in a significant way going forward?
Odelya Halevi: I think she got really lucky. She was pretty nervous that it’s going to come out. She definitely made the wrong choice. I feel like Maroun sometimes tests her limits. There was an episode — I think it was Episode 3 — where she went behind Nolan’s back and talked to Bernard [Anthony Anderson] and almost got fired, and she just keeps on testing her limits for what she thinks is right and for justice. So this is just one of those cases. Thank God she got lucky and it didn’t come out and she is going to continue to do well, hopefully.
Shifting to the season finale, what can you preview about the case and how it affects the DA’s office?
It’s a personal story to all the characters, and I think it’ll start some new and interesting conversations. The stakes are definitely very high in this episode. A little tease about Maroun: You’re going to see a shift in one of Maroun’s important relationships.
Can you say anything about in what way?
You’re going to have to watch. [Laughs]
Talk a bit about Maroun and Nolan’s dynamic a bit. How do you think it’s changed throughout the season?
They started new to each other, they were just getting to know each other. And I think Maroun’s character is definitely getting more comfortable in her own skin with Nolan — more daring, stronger, has more opinions that she’s not afraid to express. I think he has more respect for her opinions. They definitely got to know each other. Like you saw in the last episode, it was revealed that his brother was addicted to drugs and now she knows about it. So it definitely changes their relationship from business relationship to more personal and there’s more depth to it now.
Of the vets who came back for Season 21, you work with Sam Waterston. What can you share about that since at first you were stepping into a new world in Law & Order but now you’ve done a season.
Sam would come in and work for a whole day and we would shoot all of our scenes with Sam on that day, and I literally count the days to when Sam shows up because he is funny, his energy is wonderful. I enjoy working with him so much. He’s like my Papa bear. He teaches me so much and it’s always with just his amazing light and amazing personality. I’m so incredibly grateful that I get to work with that legend. He’s God, he’s Law & Order’s God.
There was this one time where there was a line that I was really struggling with. I didn’t really know what to do with it. And I talked to Sam and he just said that his mother told him sometimes just saying the line simply is enough. The other thing is when we started working together, I was really, really nervous because I came from a show in LA and all of a sudden I’m working with all these Emmy-nominated actors and I felt kind of new and fresh and I just couldn’t believe that I was going to work with Sam Waterston. He saw that I was nervous and he said, “Just remember, we’re all here to have fun. So even though we tell serious stories, let’s have fun.”
Who is Maroun away from work?
I don’t [know yet]. I would assume because of the first episode — I feel so lucky that they wrote a little bit of a backstory for Maroun with her sister being raped and murdered —that she’s one of those people who enjoy work so much and they feel like they’re serving the public and she really probably gives up a lot of her personal life for work and to do what she thinks is the right thing and what would serve the country or the state.
Is there anything on your bucket list for Season 22 to explore with Maroun?
That’s one of the things that is on my bucket list, to find out more about her personal life and I’m really hoping that they would explore that area more.
Law & Order, Season 21 Finale, Thursday, May 19, 8/7c, NBC