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There isn’t much hope where Law & Order: SVU Season 23 leaves Captain Olivia Benson and Counselor Rafael Barba, who enter the episode without speaking to one another.
Then, in the episode’s final scene, Benson rejoins Barba at Forlini’s for one last call before the bar closes. “Unlike the two of us,” he says, Delia is in a better place. “You’re still clutching this.” She tells him that she requested him not to defend Wheatley, and he, in turn, reiterates that he was attempting to protect her, even though she did not order it.
Meanwhile, Benson is still bitter about Barba’s representation of Richard Wheatley during his trial for murdering Stabler’s wife, and it’s fair to assume that things between the two are strained when he takes on a client for the squad.
She wouldn’t remain for a drink, even in silence, when she thanked him for it in the middle of the case. “I don’t get why you feel more rage at me than you ever let yourself feel towards Stabler,” Barba said when she joined him at Forlini’s for the episode’s final call.