Law And Order: SVU Is Setting Rollins Up For A Happy Ending, But I Still Have A Big Question

Kelli Giddish as Detective Amanda Rollins in SVU Season 24
(Image credit: NBC)

Spoilers ahead for Episode 8 of Law & Order: SVU Season 24, called “A Better Person.”

The case of the week with the latest installment of Law & Order: SVU was no cheerier than usual for the show about heinous offenses and vicious felonies, and in fact hit closer to home than usual when a cop’s daughter was murdered. Benson and Rollins had trouble with Noah, Jesse, and Billie on their minds. In the moments in between the dark developments, however, the long-running drama began setting up Rollins’ departure in the fall finale, and all signs point toward a happy ending with a new opportunity

The Clues For Rollins Getting A Happy Ending

In fact, Carisi was setting a celebratory mood from his very first scene, when he popped a bottle of champagne to tell Rollins that her lecture at Fordham was so successful that she was going to be offered a permanent position as a teacher. She tried to insist that she never said she wanted to leave Special Victims, but also didn’t argue when he asked her to think about it before making any big decisions. Plus, both Benson and Fin called her “professor,” and she didn’t seem to mind. 

She also hasn’t been showing any signs of her PTSD from being shot lately, which suggests that leaning more on Carisi has been good for her, and giving the lecture didn’t do her any harm. Her testimony in “A Better Person” showed off the expertise that would make her a valuable teacher. Rollins seems to be doing just fine at this point, which is saying something after how Season 24 began… and my nerves early on in the season about how SVU would say goodbye to Kelli Giddish.

And if these dots didn’t already connect themselves, the promo for the fall finale proves that SVU is going to let Rollins make some positive decisions for herself rather than burying herself in the work as she might have done once upon a time. Take a look:

Sure, the promo has some moments of Rollins, Benson, and Carisi all looking stressed and less than overjoyed, but it also looks like Rollins is leaving Special Victims to take the teaching job, and seems pretty happy about it. Plus, assuming that SVU doesn’t have a last-minute twist to ruin the nuptials, it looks like Rollisi fans are getting a courthouse wedding! It’s not quite the church wedding that Carisi seemed to be imagining at the end of Season 23, but she’s dressed in white and everybody is looking very happy to be there. 

The Question I’m Still Asking

For all that fans have been able to prepare for Rollins' departure ever since the news broke over the summer that SVU was saying goodbye to Kelli Giddish, there’s no ignoring the fact that Rollins getting a happy ending means the end of an era for the show. Since it appears that Rollins is staying in New York and setting down even more roots by marrying Carisi, I’m still wondering: how is SVU going to explain why she’s nowhere to be seen? 

While SVU is a procedural and doesn’t show the home lives of the detectives or even Fin or Benson on a regular basis, it’s going to be weird if Rollins – who Fin and Benson at least count as a very good friend – is just suddenly gone. It didn’t really make sense when Stabler suddenly went MIA between seasons more than a decade ago (and I’m still trying to suspend my disbelief about him as an NYPD cop in Rome). I’m concerned that it’ll make even less sense when the departing detective is married to the ADA who’s still around while she is not. Rollins should still be in their lives, even if not in the NYPD.

I’m guessing that SVU fans will just have to assume that all of the relationships with Rollins are still going strong, and she’s just never on screen. I’m willing to suspend my disbelief on this one since it means Rollins possibly getting a happy ending and not being shipped off a la Halstead elsewhere in the Dick Wolf TV universe earlier this season. 

The fall finale of Law & Order: SVU Season 24 will air on Thursday, December 8 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, leading to a brief break before the show returns in the 2023 TV premiere schedule. If you want to revisit earlier years of the long-running series while waiting for new episodes, you can find past seasons of SVU streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.