‘Law & Order: SVU’: Biggest Question Heading Into Season 25 Involves Rollins

Kelli Giddish in 'Law & Order: SVU'
Ralph Bavaro/NBC

Our favorite detectives of Law & Order: SVU will be back in January, but for its 25th season, the biggest question we were left with involves a character who is no longer part of the squad. (Sure, there’s always the will they/won’t they of Benson and Stabler, but considering how long that slow burn has been already — 25 years — and where they left off, we have a feeling that’s going to be going on for awhile still.) Kelli Giddish, who plays detective-turned-professor Amanda Rollins, left in the middle of Season 24, but her guest spots in the SVU and Organized Crime crossovers in May revealed she seems to be missing her former job.

Organized Crime‘s Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) turned to Rollins for help on the case and, after observing her in her lecture, remarked she was more excited talking to him. How long has she been bored, he asked. “I love the students, but I do miss the feeling of solving a good mystery,” she told him.

But she couldn’t tell her husband, ADA Sonny Carisi (Peter Scanavino), because “it’ll break his heart. He’s the one who got me the job.” She also found it hard to talk to Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) about it because “you of all people should know how she reacts when people leave her,” Rollins told her boss’ former partner.

However, Rollins and Benson do talk about it, albeit very briefly. Is Rollins sorry she left SVU? “I can see it,” the captain explained. She could tell that while Rollins loves her students, she loves them more. “My life could be so easy. Part-time teaching, get to spend time with family, but it’s not me,” Rollins shared. She hasn’t told Carisi because she’s really good at “compartmentalizing.”

But that was it, with the rest of the crossover focused on the case, Organized Crime losing one of its own in the line of duty, and a tease of Benson and Stabler as they exchanged gifts. And so that leaves us heading into Season 25 wondering if SVU will ever resolve that thread. It depends on Giddish returning or Carisi bringing it up in a conversation with Benson, but after it was touched upon onscreen, the latter would feel like a bit of a letdown. But how can this be handled if Rollins doesn’t return to work at SVU? Assuming Giddish isn’t going to be back as a regular, Rollins could always work elsewhere with the NYPD or consult on a part-time basis, allowing for more guest spots. She could find another job that leaves us filling as fulfilled as solving a mystery does.

And hey, considering Rollins is still alive, there’s always the chance that we will see her again onscreen, sooner rather than later, and that is something we’ll always welcome.

Law & Order: SVU, Season 25 Premiere, Thursday, January 18, 2024, 9/8c, NBC