'Law & Order: SVU': How Kelli Giddish's Exit Will Change Rollins and Carisi Relationship

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will say goodbye to one of their own during the Season 24 fall finale next week. Kelli Giddish will make her final regular appearance as Det. Amanda Rollins in the Thursday, Dec. 8 episode. Her controversial departure will forever change the lives of her colleagues, including her boyfriend, Assistant District Attorney Dominick "Sonny" Carisi, played by Peter Scanavino.

The first half of the season has been about setting up Rollins' departure. During the season premiere crossover special with Law & Order and Law & Order: Organized Crime, Rollins was shot in the abdomen. Her recovery has not been easy, and Carisi recently showed her another way she could spend her life. Carisi brought her along to lecture a forensic science class, which may have given her the teaching bug.

Before she can pursue this new (and safer) line of work, Rollins wants approval from her boss, mentor, and friend, Capt. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). Benson "has encouraged Rollins to open up more in life, emotionally speaking," showrunner David Graziano told TV Insider Thursday. "The sad part is that as Rollins has become more in touch with her emotions and her process for healing where's she ready to stand on her two feet, she's also ready [to] move on," Graziano continued. "For Benson, the tragedy of helping Rollins on this journey, of course, is having to let go." Graziano teased more quality time between Benson and Rollins before Giddish leaves.

Since Rollins' departure comes so soon after she finally started dating Carisi, fans were concerned that it would mean tragedy for "Rollisi." As previously promised, that is not the case. The two will end Giddish's final episode "stronger than ever," co-showrunner Julie Martin teased. Could that mean wedding bells? Fans will just have to watch to find out.

"Rollins brought heart, supreme competence, and a sense of humor," Martin said of the beloved character. "She'll be missed in the squad room but will still be in their lives."

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Of course, since Rollins is not being killed off, Giddish could always return. We are talking about a Dick Wolf show, and the super-producer is known for bringing back actors. "Kelli is a bright light on set, a star on and off the screen," Martin told TV Insider. "Hopes are Kelli will continue in the Dick Wolf universe," Graziano added.

New episodes of Law & Order: SVU air on NBC Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET. The series is available to stream on Peacock, alongside the other two Law & Order shows. All three shows will return from their winter breaks on Thursday, Jan. 5.