The Law and Order SVU season 24 winter finale came to an emotional end for viewers as it marked Rollins’ (played by Kelli Giddish) departure from the special victims unit. As she said a teary goodbye to the team, the actress took to social media to show her gratitude to fans.
Since Rollins’ exit was first announced fans have been anticipating how the series would bid the beloved detective farewell.
While this came as a tough decision for Rollins, she decided to put the legal cases on the back-burner for a complete change of career.
After previously impressing staff at a local university with a lecture on forensics psychology Rollins decided to embark on a career in teaching.
The midseason finale also showed her and Sonny Carisi (Peter Scanvino) getting married in an intimate ceremony, surrounded by their loved ones.
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As the finale would also be Kelli’s final episode on the show, the actress took to Instagram moments before its premiere to thank fans.
Alongside some behind-the-scenes photos with her co-stars, Kelly wrote: “To everyone who supported Rollins – THANK YOU!”
In the photos, she was posed alongside other fan favourites including Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T and the young actresses who star as her daughters, Charlotte Cabell and Beatrice Mallow.
While this sparked a fan frenzy in her comments, her co-stars also responded with love.
The episode came to an emotional end as Rollins’ SVU colleagues were surprised guests at her wedding.
Carisi had mysteriously asked them to meet him at the courtroom, where they arrived assuming it was business related.
As they walked into the unexpected wedding ceremony, Rollins said: ”Carisi and I were talking, and we realized that marriage is a lot like a crime.
“We have a motive, opportunity, I figured all we needed were the witnesses,” she explained to her awe-stricken friends.
During her announcement in August, Kelli shared: “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.”
Law and Order SVU season 24 returns to NBC in the USA on Thursday, January 5, 2023. A UK release date has yet to be announced.