|Law & Order character|
|First appearance||"Tru Love"|
|Last appearance||"Major Case"|
|Portrayed by||Julianne Nicholson|
|Time on show||2006–2009|
|Seasons||6, 7, 8|
|Credited appearances||24 episodes|
|Preceded by||Carolyn Barek|
|Succeeded by||Nola Falacci (Season 7 temporary replacement while in Europe)
Alexandra Eames (in the last 2 episodes of season 8)
Serena Stevens (Season 9)
|Family||Margo Jane Wheeler (Daughter)
Colin John Ledger (Ex-fiancé)
Megan Wheeler becomes a detective in the Major Case Squad when she replaces Carolyn Barek (Annabella Sciorra) as Mike Logan's (Chris Noth) partner. She transfers in with the new captain, her mentor Danny Ross. She had worked undercover for three years—including assignments on vice, drugs, and white-collar crime—and handled a money laundering probe with Ross.
During an investigation, Wheeler recalls how her mother had to become a waitress to support both of them when Wheeler's father abandoned them. It is later revealed that Wheeler's father, a lawyer connected to the Mafia, disappeared 20 years before and is either in hiding or dead—killed by the mob. Her father had allegedly been getting a cut of mob profits, which helped pay Wheeler's private school tuition; but the arrangement ended after a change of mob bosses.
When Wheeler first joins the Major Case Squad, Logan questions whether someone as young as her would be capable of handling major homicide cases, and he remarks that she is his first partner to have freckles. Ross replies that, in her three years undercover, "no one ever made her." However, the age difference proves useful when Wheeler is familiar with the shorthand used by adolescents in text messaging one another. However, she is shown in the same episode to be unable to hear the ultrasonic ring tone used by a teenage suspect to sneak a cell phone into school, a frequency that it was claimed few people over age 30 can detect. She gets engaged to a businessman named Colin Ledger (played by Nicholson's husband, Jonathan Cake). Eventually, however, Ledger is arrested by the FBI for fraud, money laundering, and racketeering.
At the end of Season 6, Wheeler tells Logan that she is going to Europe to teach a course on American police procedure (This story explained the absence of Julianne Nicholson, who was taking maternity leave). During her absence in Season 7 she is replaced by Det. Nola Falacci (Alicia Witt). Wheeler returns to the Major Case Squad in "Contract".
After Logan leaves the squad and retires, Wheeler is assigned a new partner, Zack Nichols (Jeff Goldblum). Ross mentions to Nichols that Wheeler seems to have had issues with her previous partner and her ex-fiancé and is not ready to trust him. She says that Ledger is facing 12 years in federal prison and that she is pregnant with his child, coinciding with Nicholson's second pregnancy. She also says that she won't let him know about his child.
Wheeler faces another crisis when Internal Affairs accuses her of being Ledger's accomplice. Later, she says that the Bureau wants to call her as a witness at his trial, which she fears will affect her job. Ross reassures her that the situation isn't her fault and that no one really thinks that she's corrupt.
Wheeler made her last full episode appearance of Season 8 in "Passion", to coincide with Nicholson's pregnancy. Alexandra Eames (Kathryn Erbe) takes her place in the last two episodes of the season. She can briefly be seen in "Major Case", discussing a case in Ross' office, when her water breaks and Eames takes her to the hospital. After being accompanied by Eames at the hospital, it is revealed that she has a sister who stays with her while she gives birth. She names the baby "Margo Jane Wheeler".
In Season 9 Wheeler is replaced by Serena Stevens (Saffron Burrows). Her exit is initially unexplained. However, in the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 15 episode "Gambler's Fallacy", Detective Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) uses Wheeler's ID and badge to remove a gun from an evidence room. Detective Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) later says that "Detective Wheeler retired four years ago."
- "Cast & Info - Law & Order: Criminal Intent". USA Network.
- "Tru Love". Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Season 6. Episode 2. September 26, 2006. NBC.
- "Players". Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Season 6. Episode 17. March 27, 2007. NBC.
- "Contract". Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Season 7. Episode 12. June 15, 2008. NBC.
- "Last Rites". Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Season 7. Episode 22. August 17, 2008. NBC.
- "Renewal". Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Season 6. Episode 22. May 1, 2007. NBC.
- "Rock Star". Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Season 8. Episode 2. April 26, 2009. NBC.
- "In Treatment". Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Season 8. Episode 4. May 10, 2009. NBC.
- "The Glory That Was...". Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Season 8. Episode 8. June 14, 2009. NBC.
- Ausiello, Michael. "Erbe in, Nicholson out!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-04-29.
- "Major Case". Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Season 8. Episode 14. July 26, 2009. NBC.
- "Loyalty: Part 2". Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Season 9. Episode 2. April 6, 2010. NBC.