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Why Law And Order: SVU's Rollins Was Missing From The Latest Episode

Spoilers ahead for Episode 17 of Law & Order: SVU Season 23, called “Sorry If It Got Weird For You.”

Law & Order: SVU shone the spotlight on Velasco in “Sorry If It Got Weird For You,” and the cop who came in to replace Kat found his expertise as a Special Victims detective in question, and it’s largely thanks to Benson and Carisi that the case was closed and justice served. There was one notable absence in the episode, however, as Kelli Giddish was nowhere to be seen as Amanda Rollins, and the brief explanation of why she wasn’t present was easy to miss. 

SVU didn’t even acknowledge that Rollins was absent until more than twenty minutes into the episode, but fans undoubtedly noticed that the normal dynamic in Special Victims was more than a little off. The first clue of where she was came when Benson and Carisi had a few spare moments to chat, and she asked Carisi how Rollins was doing. He explained: 

She’s hanging in there. Her mom’s gonna be in a cast for two more weeks.

Okay, maybe it’s a bit generous to call that an actual explanation, but it was at least an acknowledgement that Rollins was gone. Benson commented that it’s “always the way it is” that “the caretaker ends up being the one that goes down.” Carisi responded that his mother (who recently debuted on SVU) said exactly the same thing. 

From that exchange, it’s clear that Rollins’ mom is injured in some way, she’s helping out, and she’s at least in contact with Carisi. The mention of a cast and Benson’s comment about a caretaker makes me wonder if Rollins’ mom was watching the girls when there was an accident, but SVU was very light on the details. 

The good news is that Rollins did get another mention before the end of the hour, although not in any way that shed much light on her situation. After the case was closed and the bad guy convicted, Benson wanted to know if Carisi was heading home, and he shared:

No, I’m gonna go up to Rollins’ mother’s. Still pretty chaotic up there.

Well, things may be chaotic off-screen for Rollins at the moment, but the relationship with Carisi seems to be going better than ever. I have found myself wondering if SVU might need to separate them more professionally after they disclosed their relationship, and this was a standout episode for Carisi without Rollins there, but I think fans can just be reassured that one of the bright stories in a very dark show is still going strong. And Carisi earned it when Benson had a message for him at the end of the episode: 

It really does take a village, doesn’t it? You are a good man, Dominick Carisi.

As for whether Rollins will be back in the next new episode, only time will tell. Law & Order: SVU is heading into a break until returning to NBC on April 7, and the promo doesn’t show Rollins (or Carisi). Still, 15 seconds of preview footage aren’t enough to say much about what happens next, so fans will just have to wait until April to see what’s next. 

For some viewing options during the wait, be sure to take a look at our 2022 TV schedule. You can also revisit earlier episodes of SVU streaming with a Hulu subscription and/or a Peacock subscription

Laura Hurley
Laura Hurley

Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.