‘Law & Order: SVU’: Rollisi Will End Kelli Giddish’s Last Episode ‘Stronger Than Ever’

Kelli Giddish Law & Order: SVU
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Fans are still absorbing the shock after Kelli Giddish confirmed in August she would turn in her badge, 11 years into her role as SVU’s Det. Amanda Rollins. The actress has called the job “one of the greatest joys and privileges of my life.” The nuanced cop brought justice to victims while managing toxic family members, a gambling addiction, relationship issues, single parenthood, and her own trauma of rape.

By December 8’s fall finale, showrunner David Graziano says, Rollins has resolved to leave the force after the wake-up bullet she took in the season premiere and “try her hand at teaching” forensics psychology at a local university. She was invited to give a lecture on the subject, and everyone loved her presentation. First, however, she needs the OK of Capt. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), her mentor and rock.

The captain “has encouraged Rollins to open up more in life, emotionally speaking,” Graziano explains. “The sad part is that as Rollins has become more in touch with her emotions and her process for healing where’s she ready to stand on her two feet, she’s also ready move on. For Benson, the tragedy of helping Rollins on this journey, of course, is having to let go.” But not before some quality time together. And “boxed wine,” Graziano jokes.

Kelli Giddish in 'Law & Order: SVU'

Scott Gries/NBC

As for Rollins’ relationship with colleague turned ADA Dominick “Sonny” Carisi (Peter Scanavino), the lovebirds “end the episode stronger than ever,” fellow showrunner Julie Martin reveals. Think: bouquets and wedding bells! Is this really goodbye? “Rollins brought heart, supreme competence, and a sense of humor,” Martin says in tribute. “She’ll be missed in the squad room but will still be in their lives.”

As will the actor who portrayed her with passion and skill. “Kelli is a bright light on set, a star on and off the screen,” Martin confirms. Adds Graziano: “Hopes are Kelli will continue in the Dick Wolf universe.”

Law & Order: SVU, Thursdays, 9/8c, NBC