Now that we know that Kelli Giddish will appear on Law & Order: SVU as Amanda Rollins for the last time as a regular — maybe just for now? It might’ve taken a decade, but we did get Stabler back, after all — in the December 8 episode, it’s time to take a moment to look back. And, to be honest, we’ve been trying to figure out how to have that conversation ever since her departure was first announced.
There are a lot of feelings floating around, from a lot of different “sides” of fandom, and all we want to do is do them justice. Somehow.
Detective Rollins has been part of our squad longer than most series even run these days, which means there are a lot of memories — both good and bad. And whenever a character who’s been on a series like this one for a long time leaves, it hurts. There’s a hole that gets left behind, especially when you’re looking at something like a found family. Which is, of course, exactly what Amanda is to one Captain Olivia Benson.
She came into Liv’s life at one of her lowest moments, when she had lost her partner of 12 years, and was…not herself. To say the least. She wasn’t looking to make a new friend — a new sister, really — and neither were we. But, well. Even after, like Liv, personally not wanting to warm up to this new character initially, it just feels wrong that we’re losing her. Now, of all times. Now, when that other great, gaping wound, carved through Benson’s heart by that last loss of a decade-plus of partnership, is finally on the mend.
Or, at least…it had better be. We’re exhausted here…but this isn’t about that. It’s about a woman who has, like Captain Benson, been to hell and back. Over, and over, and over. And through a lot of it, they had each other’s backs. As partners do, as friends do, and — yes — as the family we choose does.
And that doesn’t even begin to get into what she is, has been, to so, so many members of the fandom. It’s almost impossible to put any of it into words.
So, aside from recognizing that this hurts, how to we pay tribute to Detective Rollins?
We could start with sharing some of Law & Order‘s episode highlights from YouTube.
There’s this one from 2018, aptly titled “Benson and Rollins Comfort Each Other.” And it’s definitely a great place to start. Because, honestly? That comfort goes far, far beyond this one scene. It doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface.
But…at least we know she’s going out in a blaze of glory. Not only that, but according to SVU showrunner David Graziano:
I already know how we’re going to say goodbye (for now) to her. It will be an honest exploration of sisterhood, chosen family, redemption and hope – with a storyline tailor made for our two female powerhouses. Love will prevail for Rollisi, because I’m a romantic like that 🤓(Source: Comment on this Instagram post.)
…which is exactly what we all deserve.
And yes, we are clinging to that “for now.” Bet on it.
There are two people whose feelings about this character might just be the strongest. They are, of course, our stars.
When the online rumors about us losing Rollins started, Giddish took to Instagram to share her thoughts…
…which got us thinking we really needed to do something to honor her. We just didn’t know what, and maybe we’re still not going to get it right.
But, as a surprise to probably no one who’s read our coverage here, it’s Hargitay’s words, as shared with ET, that became a major inspiration for this post.
“Olivia Benson’s out there taking care of everyone else and she was somebody that really took care of me and had my back. Even though Fin has my back and Stabler has my back, it’s different to have a woman have your back because it’s a different perspective.”(Source)
She decided for us, if you will, what type of tribute we should do here. We’d considered an angry one, expressing how furious we are that yet another “strong female character” has been sacrificed at the altar of behind-the-scenes…whatever happened. But…it just doesn’t feel right, not now. Besides, we’ve done angry plenty of times before. And, right or wrong, will probably do it again. Just…not now.
Because at this moment, we need something else. That is simply to reflect, to show respect, and think about the love that we’re all going to miss. Think about the special bond between two women, on this type of series, having each other’s backs.
And sure, we could throw a bunch of words around to try to explain it all. But what’s most important here, and is always most important for us, is centering fandom.
So, without further ado…
Amanda Rollins and Rolivia fan edits that pack an emotional punch
How has the fandom connected with this character?
This is by no means exhaustive, but the fandom has a lot of feelings about Amanda Rollins and what her journey has meant. Very tightly wrapped up in that is what her relationship with Olivia has meant to both us and Liv. Which, considering how much Benson means to us…it makes sense that it would all come back to her, at least in some way.
So, we’ve decided to share some Rolivia fan vids, with at least one solo Rollins edit thrown in.
It’s the “Liv, I love you” at the end of this one for us.
And, yes. Next, it’s vital to point out that Amanda Rollins is “the one who stayed when [Olivia] needed a partner the most.”
And, in case anyone had any doubts, yes, fiction heals. TV characters matter. And no, it’s not “just” a show. Your feelings about it matter.
Law & Order: SVU, especially, and the characters on it…just…For some of us, it’s not “just” fiction. Never was, never will be, in a lot of people’s hearts.
This is, after all, a series about trauma — and healing from that trauma. It’s one that has made many viewers feel seen. And while we definitely have our bones to pick with the “strong female character” trope of it all and how it’s put these women through way too much over the years, the fact remains that they’ve also been able to overcome. That has been a lifeline to an unquantifiable number of fans, so it deserves to be highlighted.
But it’s not always just about the trauma. Or just about the good times. It’s about the entire relationship, which has been built from the ground up. From literally nothing to this beautiful thing that we have today.
We could add commentary for days, but why bother? These all speak for themselves, and there are tons more out there.
So, like we said. This is by no means exhaustive. But we’re hoping these edits at least start to get at the great partnership Rolivia have today — the one they’ve, to use our Captain’s word, “earned” over the last 11+ years — and just how much Detective Amanda Rollins, and Kelli Giddish, brought to this show and the people who love it.
And please, feel free to share some of your favorite moments and edits in the comments. We want to hear from you.
(…and no, we’re not prepared to finally, truly see Detectives Rollins and Stabler working together….)