If you are wondering what’s going on in the episode “Next Chapter,” you’re not alone. There are several reasons why Carisi calls Olivia Benson Lieu. The venerable term was used by the co-workers to describe Quinn, and the word could mean “old and wise” or “respected for their character and age.” Olivia Benson’s venerability and long life are well reflected in this phrase. The same could be said of her colleague Tucker.
The first reason is that it has been established that Carisi is an experienced detective. His new role has brought him a new challenge, which he’ll need to prove himself before he’s given a big case. Currently, he’s doing grunt work in the DA’s office and his boss doesn’t feel the same. Olivia, who had been referred to as a Lieu by Carisi before, is now a Captain.
The episode is also notable for the subtext and subtlety it offers. During the court case, Benson is pursuing Cole, while Carisi sneaks into Quinn’s home. Carisi holds a gun to Cole’s head while the victim is on the ground, resulting in a murder. When she discovers this, Cole drops the gun as blood drips down her face. Benson nods in the midst of the scene, amidst the aftermath of Cole’s death.