The Fall finale of Law & Order: SVU left viewers with a tearful goodbye between fan-favorite characters Benson and Rollins. Not long after the episode aired, Mariska Hargitay took to Instagram to share a heartfelt tribute to her co-star Kelli Giddish, who is leaving the series. In her emotional post, Hargitay expressed her love and appreciation for Giddish, highlighting the incredible experiences they've shared together. She commended Giddish's achingly beautiful performances and praised the deepening of their friendship over the years. Hargitay admitted to cherishing every minute of working alongside her co-star and expressed deep sadness at the prospect of her departure.
The heartfelt message was signed off with a loving "xo M." Since August, Giddish had confirmed that she would be departing from the long-running procedural in Season 24. In a statement at the time, she addressed the online speculation and revealed that it would indeed be her final season playing the beloved character Rollins. Giddish expressed immense gratitude for being a part of the Law & Order: SVU family for the past 12 years, highlighting the growth and evolution of her character. She acknowledged the impact the role had on her own life, having joined the show in her late 20s and spending many of her adult years with Rollins by her side. The Fall finale episode showcased Rollins and Assistant District Attorney Carisi getting married in a spontaneous courthouse ceremony, surrounded by their colleagues.
Towards the end of the episode, Rollins made the decision to leave the Special Victims Unit and pursue a teaching position at Fordham University. Initially resistant to her departure, Olivia eventually came around and wished Amanda well in her new journey. Ahead of the episode airing, Giddish took to Instagram to share her own thoughts on leaving SVU. Alongside a collection of photos featuring her fellow cast members, including the show's original leading lady Mariska Hargitay, Giddish expressed her gratitude to everyone who had supported her character, Rollins. The emotional farewell of Benson and Rollins in Thursday's Fall finale left fans on the edge of their seats. The heartfelt tributes from Mariska Hargitay and Kelli Giddish ensure that their impactful performances and the bond they've formed over the years will be remembered fondly by both the cast and the viewers.