Law & Order: Special Victims Unit fans now know when Amanda Rollins is her bidding farewell.
In an Instagram talk, showrunner David Graziano confirmed that Episode 9 of Season 24 would be Kelli Giddish’s last on the series.
This comes amid controversy as reports indicate that Giddish’s leaving the series was not the actress’ choice but pushed on her by “higher-ups” within either NBC or Wolf Entertainment.
So far, Giddish has not responded to the reports, but co-star Mariska Hargitay has shared some unique thoughts of her own.
Now, Graziano shared how Hargitay helped him in this “rough” time while giving hints to how Rollins’ story can end.
This may not soothe some fans’ feelings about the exit, but it promises Rollins will have a good sendoff to honor the character.
David Graziano on Kelli Giddish’s exit
When news broke of Kelli Giddish leaving Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, it sounded like the actress had simply decided to move on after 12 seasons in the role of Amanda Rollins.
However, a Variety report cited sources on the show claiming that Giddish had been forced to leave amid an attempt to “keep the show current.”
When talking to fans about Giddish’s exit, incoming showrunner David Graziano hinted the situation was “more complex” than fans thought.
Graziano shared a new post, this time of Mariska Hargitay, in his office sharing a t-shirt with the slogan, “What if it all works out?”
“Rough week full of rough changes and this absolute angel of a human sneaks into my office before I’m even in, and sends me a photograph with my own damn sweatshirt. And believe me, I needed the reminder. I seriously have never witnessed such strength, wisdom and empathy in one person before.”
In the comments, Graziano confirmed that Episode 9 would be Giddish’s last and how he plans to honor her.
“I already know how we’re going to say goodbye (for now) to her. It will be an honest exploration of sisterhood, chosen family, redemption and hope – with a storyline tailor made for our two female powerhouses. Love will prevail for Rollisi, because I’m a romantic like that!”
This does give fans hope Rollins has a good exit to benefit her long run on the show.
How will the show write out Rollins?
While Graziano’s words indicate that Rollins won’t be killed off, there is a question of how she will exit the series.
A TV Insider report indicates Rollins may undergo a personal tragedy early in the season. This might tie into her father, who has been in poor health in the last few years.
Something may occur that has Rollins moving back to Atlanta, perhaps in a new job with the police there.
This leads to how Rollins’ relationship with Carisi (Peter Scanavino) may conclude. It’s unlikely he would leave his job with the New York D.A.’s office to go with her and how they can maintain a relationship.
There remains the likelihood that new recurring cast member Molly Burnett might be Rollins’ replacement on the SVU squad.
While details remain tight, fans now know Rollins’ exit will come by the midpoint of Season 24 giving them time to prepare to say goodbye to her and Giddish.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 24 premieres Thursday, September 22 at 9/8c on NBC.