‘Law & Order: SVU’: How Kat’s Replacement Will Integrate with the Team

by Michael Freeman

Law & Order: SVU had big news before the new season even began this year. Earlier last month, it was revealed both Demore Barnes and Jamie Gray Hyder were leaving after the season premiere. With Hyder’s character Kat Tamin leaving the team, her replacement needs to find a way to integrate.

After a shaky introduction to the SVU team, Detective Joe Velasco has his work cut out for him filling Kat’s spot. Additionally, Fin already seems indifferent to Velasco for the way he acted in the field. Rollins seems to tolerate him or at least not mind his presence, so how could he change the squad’s perception of him? Cinemablend recently spoke about the upcoming episode on November 4 and how Velasco will interact with the team. The episode description states “When a teenage sex worker disappears, Rollins and Velasco find a key clue in a file of neglected missing persons reports.”

While the premise is hardly new for SVU, we’ll evidently see Velasco and Rollins investigating together. Rollins warned Carisi about Velasco once, but them teaming up could be a good sign and they may start seeing eye to eye. Further, the synopsis doesn’t mention friction between Velasco and the squad. Obviously, the synopsis doesn’t want to give too much away, but omitting possible infighting doesn’t seem likely.

Debuting initially as an undercover cop and McGrath’s acquaintance, most of the SVU squad didn’t know who Velasco was. An intro like that, mixed with the fact he’s replacing Kat, might make his transition difficult. Nonetheless, the serious nature of SVU crimes could help him feel like one of the team.

Jamie Gray Hyder Says Leaving the Show was a Decision ‘Above Her Pay Grade’

It’s always sad when a fan-favorite character suddenly leaves a show. Sadder still is when the actor begrudgingly goes. According to Jamie Gray Hyder, leaving Law & Order: SVU was a decision “above her pay grade.”

With Deadline originally breaking the news, Hyder confirmed it herself via Instagram. With the caption “Kat’s outta the bag…” she posted the Deadline article headline, as well as her own explanation for the departure.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I confirm Kat’s departure from the squad room. The decision was made above my paygrade, and wouldn’t have been my choice, but hey – That’s showbiz for ya,” the photo somberly reads. She continues, saying “To anyone who felt represented by Kat’s being or mission, please know that you will always have representation in me. Kat is the first LGBTQ officer on the show and its second-ever LGBTQ main character.”

“Thank you to the SVUniverse for welcoming me with open arms. It’s been an experience that I have grown from greatly, and will never forget.”