This is a confession like no other.
According to Law & Order: SVU's executive producer Julie Martin, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) will finally acknowledge her lingering romantic feelings for Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) in an upcoming episode of the series. But, after 24 seasons, don't expect the two to get together that easily.
"She will talk to Rollins about her feelings for Stabler in Episode 9, Dec 8th," Martin teased in a Nov. 21 tweet. "#ATraumaInAPearTree."
Coincidentally, the holiday episode "A Trauma In a Pear Tree" will also be the last episode for Detective Amanda Rollins (Kelly Giddish), who is hanging up her badge after 12 seasons on the show. But, unlike Benson and Stabler, Rollins was able to articulate her feelings for a coworker: In a teaser for her final episode, we see Rollins donning a wedding dress, presumably for her vows to Dominick "Sonny" Carisi Jr. (Peter Scanavino).
Alas, while Benson may be admitting to some feelings, don't expect her and Stabler to lock lips so soon.
In Sept., E! exclusively asked Meloni what it would take for fans to see a kiss between the two. His response? "You might as well win the Powerball."
So why is this build-up so long, you might be wondering? Well, according to Meloni, Stabler has a lot of things he needs to work out before he can fully commit to a relationship with Benson.
"I think he's a man who needs to come to terms with a lot of his pains or just literally the death of his wife," the actor told E!. "I just think that's a tough thing. And I have a complicated relationship with my ex partner. I mean, these are real juicy, complicated things that I would think are very interesting to explore."
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit returns Dec. 8, at 9 p.m. on NBC.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)