Did you catch Thursday’s Law & Order: SVU episode? There was Amanda Rollins appearing so relaxed, so smart and in control. She looked nothing like the wounded detective who started the season fighting for her life, her relationship, her sanity.
We all know that these are the last few Law & Order: SVU episodes with Kelli Giddish’s Rollins. Back in August, weeks before the show kicked off its 24th season, Wolf Entertainment announced that Giddish was leaving. She’d played Rollins since fall, 2011, when the series introduced her character and Danny Pino’s Nick Amaro as replacements for Christopher Meloni’s Elliot Stabler.
Now, the only question is how SVU will write off her character. Showrunners have indicated that Rollins will get a satisfactory exit, that she’ll be happy. (Hello, wedding?) And Rollins definitely was happy in an otherwise creepy episode called “Controlled Burn.”
Law & Order: SVU started the episode with a very on-brand opening, but with a twist. Rollins was on stage, speaking to university students studying criminology. She was so at ease as she opened her lecture.
The Law & Order: SVU social media account shared a photo, captioning it “Professor Rollins does have a nice ring to it.”
So what did Rollins say as she talked about how to prevent “what is compulsive, deviant, criminal”? A student told her to add stricter laws, but Rollins said the question was rhetorical.
“That sounds good on the surface,” Rollins said. “But criminals don’t obey laws like the rest of us, especially predators. And there’s a lot more of them in the world than you might think.
“Given the predator’s desire tends to overcome all rational thought, there’s no limit to how far the sexual predator will go with his or her compulsions,” Rollins continued. “All of us do things, blow off steam that aren’t good for us. Trips to Vegas, ordering a bottle instead of a glass. These little ways that we allow ourselves to lose control, they’re a lot like a controlled burn, a small fire set to burn off the brush so that the whole forest doesn’t incinerate.
“Sexual compulsions, they tend to start off small. So the question is how we can we learn to prevent them from becoming a catastrophic blaze.”
And while Rollins presented her lecture, boyfriend Sonny Carisi (Peter Scanavino) sat in the audience. He looked so proud. Later in the episode, Rollins told Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) that Carisi was supposed to give the lecture. Somehow, he tricked Rollins into doing it. It’s obvious, she’s a natural. When the two got back to their apartment, they started kissing. So the relationship seems on track.
At the end of the Law & Order: SVU episode, Benson noticed that her friend was smiling and in a good place. The two had just helped bust a “lady shark,” who invited super rich businessmen to live out their sexual fantasies. It was all on video and she’d use the tape for blackmail.
“I’m just glad I’m raising daughters. I’ll be fine,” Rollins said. And Benson asked her “hey, how’s the fight going with that monster?”
“I’m in a good place, I’m figuring things out,” she tells Olivia. And Benson replies “whatever you’re doing, keep doing that.”