Imagine, for a moment, Stabler is finally booted from the NYPD for violence. His life spirals ever downwards until he’s reduced to shooting scum for money. And then, after seemingly finally having his death wish fulfilled, he’s revived and finds himself the only one who can see a little girl’s imaginary friend, a blue flying unicorn voiced by Patton Oswalt. Why? Because that little girl has gone missing, and it’s up to her imaginary friend, and this very unhinged hitman with a death wish, to save her.
This is more or less the plot summary of Happy!, except it’s about a thousand percent weirder and more audacious than it sounds. Happy! is based on a hilariously bizarre comic book by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson, a riff on whether our “imaginary friends” are as imaginary as we think and a parody of the “hitman saves little girl” redemption story that often crops up in noir. And yeah, it gets way messier from even that opening.
But really it’s all in the casting as this trailer shows. Meloni is a master of turning grumpy, angry, bitter men into comic fodder, and that alone would make it a good selling point. That there’s a talking horse only he can see just adds to the fun. We’ll see what he’s got in store December 6th.