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Why Law And Order: SVU's Tragic Crossover Return Actually Made Me Less Nervous About Season 24's Goodbye To Rollins

Spoilers ahead for the three-part crossover between Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, and Law & Order: Organized Crime on September 22. 

The shows of NBC’s Law & Order franchise returned with their first-ever three-part crossover that brought together characters from the original, Organized Crime, and of course Special Victims Unit. Although the crossover is a very big deal for the franchise, the biggest news of the summer was arguably more about the upcoming departure of Kelli Giddish as Amanda Rollins. Little is confirmed about how Rollins will be written out other than that it’s expected in the first half of Season 24, but after the violent and upsetting premiere, I actually feel a lot less nervous about her future.

The episode became so violent and upsetting for Rollins in the third hour of the crossover event, when she seemed to have an easy job: watching over a victim of sex trafficking while in the safe house. Everything went wrong when she and another cop went outside to drive the girl back to the city, and several shooters emerged out of nowhere. Rollins did everything she could to protect young Nicole, and was shot in the torso for her trouble. 

Kelli Giddish crushed her performance as her character realized what was happening and felt all the pain and fear… and the episode took long enough to reveal her fate that plenty of fans were probably remembering that Rollins’ swan song is happening this season. 

Benson was horrified when she found out that her friend and coworker had been shot, but pulled herself together enough to be there for Carisi, who was barely holding back his panic and not really holding back his tears while trying to find out what happened. (Kudos to Peter Scanavino for his performance as well, because I discovered something about myself: when Carisi cries, I cry!) He then composed himself as much as he could to get to the hospital… and then the crossover didn’t reveal Rollins’ fate until nearly the very end. 

Luckily, she was alive and – while not exactly well – surrounded by flowers, balloons, and a very worried assistant district attorney who looked immensely relieved to see her awake. Rollins had a very near-death experience, but survived. So, why does such a traumatic twist make me feel better about her future? 

Well, I can’t imagine that SVU would start out Rollins’ last season by almost killing her off, and then going on to actually kill her off and/or deal her another heavy blow soon after. I feel like we can rule out a death by virtue of her getting this hugely dramatic twist and then surviving. Her death after this would sabotage the storyline, and I don't think fans of the character will need any more reasons to be upset with the show regarding Giddish's departure.

In fact, this was such a tragic and traumatic twist for Rollins that I’m feeling better about her making a choice for herself that results in her leaving Special Victims. I’m not quite sure what that choice would be, as it ideally would be one that wouldn’t break Carisi’s heart in the process. There is no news that Peter Scanavino is going anywhere. 

While I could see her deciding to step back from active duty police work for the sake of her daughters, that would be similar to how SVU wrote Kat out at the beginning of Season 23. (She decided to leave after nearly dying due to a gunshot wound in the field, although the actress is game to return.) There are pretty much endless possibilities at this point, but I feel comfortable ruling out Rollins leaving due to death or a terrible tragedy. She already had her tragedy of the season, so even though I’m sad that the time is running out before Rollins is gone, I’m less nervous about how it will happen. 

See what Law & Order: SVU has left for Kelli Giddish as Amanda Rollins in Season 24 with new episodes on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET, between Law & Order Season 22 (which will soon explain Kevin Bernard’s absence) at 8 p.m. and Law & Order: Organized Crime at 10 p.m. SVU has already cast a new detective who will join the unit, and a BTS image from Mariska Hargitay proves that the newcomer and Rollins will at least overlap for a little bit of time. You can also revisit SVU days gone by streaming with a Peacock 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.