The fall finale of Law & Order: SVU said goodbye to Kelli Giddish as Rollins.
It was an emotional hour that brought the character's arc full circle. (Check out the full review of Law & Order: SVU Season 24 Episode 9 right here).
After the episode aired, series star Mariska Hargitay took to
“Kelli, I’ve loved acting, learning, growing, talking, laughing and crying with you,” Hargitay posted to Instagram.
“I’ve loved watching your achingly beautiful performances. I’ve loved watching our friendship deepen and grow and blossom," the emotional statement continued.
"I’ve loved every single minute of it, and I will miss you so much. You have my respect, my gratitude and my love forever.”
Giddish announced her departure from the NBC procedural in August, ahead of the season premiere.
“I wanted to address the chatter I’ve seen online and let everyone know that this will, indeed, be my last season on Law & Order: SVU,” she wrote on social media at the time.
“Playing Rollins has been one of the greatest joys and privileges of my life. I’ve been so fortunate to be a part of the Law & Order family for the last 12 years."
"There is simply no other character on TV like Rollins. She’s grown and changed, and I have as well. I started on this show when I was in my late 20s and I’m grateful I got to spend so many of my adult years with Rollins in my life.”
Giddish took to social media again before her final episode aired, with the following short and sweet message to her fans:
“To everyone who supported Rollins – thank you,” Kelli wrote.
After the episode aired, the star said," Oh my gosh y’all, you guys are making all these mash-ups of moments over the years and they are so sweet and touching to watch tonight! THANK YOU!!!”
News of Giddish's exit came out of the blue for many fans, and Variety subsequently reported that the call to dismiss the actress came from above.
The outlet stated that Hargitay pushed back to keep Giddish on the show, but the decision had already been made.
While fans of SVU said goodbye to Rollins, Giddish is set to appear in an episode of Law & Order: Organized Crime later this season.
What are your thoughts on Giddish's final episode?
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Remember, you can watch Law & Order: SVU online right here via TV Fanatic.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.