Law & Order: Special Victims Unit say goodbye Thursday to Kelli Giddish in the nicest way possible: it arranged a surprise wedding for his character, then found him a new job that didn’t involve getting the creeps.
Giddish confirmed in August that she would be leaving the show after 13 seasons. She joined the Dick Wolf drama in 2011 to play Det. Amanda Rollins after starring in guest roles in both SVU and Law & Order: criminal intent. “Playing Rollins has been one of the greatest joys and privileges of my life,” she posted on social media earlier this year. “I’ve been blessed to be a part of the Law & Order family for the past 12 years. There’s simply no other character on TV quite like Rollins. She’s grown and changed, and so have I. J started on this show when I was in my late twenties and I’m grateful to have spent so many of my adult years with Rollins in my life.
Rollins’ nuptials to his longtime ADA love Sonny Carisi, Jr (Peter Scanavino) opened Thursday’s episode, but the two didn’t rush for a honeymoon; Sonny still had a case to pursue. So Rollins’ job was to find the best way to let Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) knew she was leaving the department for a teaching position at Fordham University.
Rollins had one last chance to stop a villain while visiting Benson out of town at a hotel. Benson discovers a one-way mirror in her room, so she and Rollins discover that the hotel employee has been watching them from his laptop. He accuses another guy of setting up the hidden camera.
After tracking down the real culprit in a bar, the women lead the man back into the room where he admits to his despicable crime. He does secret porn! The women end up huddled before Rollins finally breaks the bad news: she doesn’t want to wear the badge anymore.
“You taught me to be a good detective, you taught me to love myself, to let people in,” she told Benson. “It’s hard for me. I made this choice and I need you to be okay with it.
Benson wasn’t at first, but the episode ends with the two women hugging and crying.
“You don’t lose me. We are friends,” Rollins said. “It’s not going to change, I’m not going to disappear.”
“I wouldn’t leave you if you tried,” Benson replied. “I know you have to.”
The episode ends with the unit giving Rollins a round of applause.