SVU Stars Weigh In on Season of Transition, Tease Cliffhanger Finale: 'It Doesn't End Well!'

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When it comes to Law & Order: SVU‘s very transitional 13th season, the NBC procedural not only didn’t fumble the ball, it scored a touchdown — if you buy into one cast member’s metaphor.

Entering the fall minus Chris Meloni’s Stabler and adding in Kelli Giddish and Danny Pino as new arrivals, “We had to regroup, like a football team,” says Ice-T. “The quarterback changed, but we still had to move the ball down the field. And we did well.”

Praising the new team members, Fin’s portrayer says, “Danny came in, strong. Kelli came in, strong. And we shut down the doubters.”

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Both Giddish and Pino say they received not only a “very warm welcome” from SVU‘s cast and crew, but saw their respective characters explored more than they could hope for in their first season.

As Atlanta transplant Det. Amanda Rollins, “They’ve given me a lot to work with — and I hope they give me more next season,” says Giddish. “Were still playing ‘musical chairs’ in terms of partners, and that’s a great way to go about exploring the different characters.”

Adds Pino, “That’s what you hope for when you’re putting it down on paper and discussing what you want to play. I had [pre-season] conversations with [showrunner] Warren Leight, and you hope that starts materializing — and it did. And that bodes well going into Season 14.”

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For Pino’s Det. Nick Amaro, one part of his personal life — a shaky marriage to Laura Benanti’s Maria — will be touched on in tonight’s season finale. “There’s a scene that may or may not illuminate where their future is headed,” he hints. (Perhaps Matt Perry, or at least his new NBC sitcom costarring Benanti, plays into that plot point?)

As for the more dire elements of the Season 13 finale, all of the aforementioned actors hint at exciting, if not potentially grim, things.

“It’s a great cliffhanger, one that really mirrors a lot of stuff that’s been going on in front-page news,” says Giddish. Adds Pino, “It doesn’t end well [for certain characters], let’s put it that way. In fact it’s such a cliffhanger, if I say anything more, I’m going to give it up!”

Ice-T reveals that during the intense season-ender, “A lot of people end up in harm’s way.” And having been down this annual road before with SVU, he reminds, “You don’t want to go into the finale bleeding or shot, because that is not good. It’s hard for [contract] negotiations, too!”



Comments (55)

  • Oh please, Warren and NBC, keep Danny Pino and rid off Kelli Giddish, she is useless as Det rollins, even though the pair Benson/Amaro works well (Meloni’s replacement by Pino was a good decision!). Plus more with the other pair, Finn/Munch. I miss them together!
    As for Ice-T’s “Danny came in, strong. Kelli came in, strong. And we shut down the doubters.”, well maybe the SLs are better BUT SVU keeps losing some viewers (an average of 4M except for the last one which made 6M). It’s almost surprising that NBC keeps airing this show in fact, especially with som low ratingd even though its actors are paid more and more at each season!

    Comment by Géraldine – May 23, 2012 07:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think Kelli Giddish has done extremely well. She’s smart and experienced, and gutsy.

      Comment by Peggy Yost – May 23, 2012 02:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The show died when Benson and Stabler were put down.Was just too much change for one season.

    Comment by Shaun – May 23, 2012 08:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Benson wasn’t “put down.” Only Stabler left. Benson has been just as relevant as before.

      Comment by dexx – May 23, 2012 08:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • the show>>has been great this year>>kudos>> NBC!!! I would of never thought with Stabler being gone..it would still be just as good!! *****

      Comment by Jade Arndt – May 23, 2012 02:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I definitely agree. Great season, even w/o Stabler.

        Comment by Shannon – May 23, 2012 02:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I think you should use more of Pino and Giddish. Love their characters along with Finn and Munch. I did love Stabler tho. Could use less Benson, tho you are bringing back the Benson of old. Neal was making her too much of a beauty queen for my liking, makeup and being to fru fru.

          Comment by svufan – May 23, 2012 04:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I agree with you. The show is just as good as long as Mariska is on it.

        Comment by Hannah Osborne (@casadeosborne) – May 23, 2012 02:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That is so true!!! I need my Benson/ Stabler fix that’s why I stay on USA watching old reruns.I live munch & Finn just as much!!!!!!!

      Comment by Sharon Williams – May 23, 2012 02:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The show completely lost me,I can not believe a television show could be so ignorent as to think they could replace either Stabler or Benson

      Comment by Faith Ogden – May 23, 2012 02:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You are exactly right!!!!!!!! :)

      Comment by Deborah Holcombe – May 23, 2012 02:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • NONSENSE!!!!

      Comment by SYLVIA BAILEY – May 23, 2012 02:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • But you have to remember that it wasn’t like NBC just didn’t want Chris to leave, he didn’t want to do the show anymore… what were they suppose to do?

        Comment by Amanda B – May 23, 2012 03:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This show die back in season 9 when some of the fanbase got rid of Adam Beach (Det. Chester Lake) and Diane Neal (ADA Casey Novak) because they didn’t like the color of their skin

    Comment by Michael – May 23, 2012 08:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • What crack are you smoking?

      Comment by AB – May 23, 2012 09:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Wha????? As far as Diane Neal goes, I dunno what you’re talking about – she looks pretty freaking white to me. And Adam Beach? The main problem I heard of in the fan community with his character was that he was taking screen time that might otherwise go to Munch.

      Comment by Kriselda Gray – May 23, 2012 01:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wow, people here are weird. I’ve liked the newbies. They’re both good actors and have brought a lot to the table given in a short amount of time. The crux of the show was always Benson & Stabler, but they didn’t try to replace that, they just added different elements. I think it’s worked. I also like how the show has gotten back to basics in a way, focusing on smaller and more powerful personal cases vs. the spectacle of recent seasons (though the most recent episode with the weird body disfigurement fetish was an exception).

    Also, to Michael above… Adam Beach has to be the worst actor ever to play any character on any L&O franchise. Just yikes. And isn’t Diane Neal white…?

    Comment by ds – May 23, 2012 09:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • But people who made because he was Mexican and that he was a better actor then Stabler and they got rid of Diane because she did not have blond hair

      Comment by Michael – May 23, 2012 09:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • First off, Adam Beach is not Mexican, he is a Native Canadian. From what I had heard he chose to leave the show for some reason. It had nothing to do with the “color of his skin”. Think and do a little research before posting nonsense.

        Comment by Shaun – May 23, 2012 09:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • They have this new thing now, Michael, called hair dye. If that was the problem, it could have been fixed a lot more cheaply than recasting the role :) In fact, IIRC, Diane was blonde for at least part of a season. I seriously doubt, though, that hair colour was the issue. When you look at the women on Law & Order in general, blonde’s are pretty much in the minority. You have Alex Cabot, Alex Eames, Alex the ADA who was on “Trial by Jury” and Jamie the ADA who worked with Jack who were all blonde, vs Claire, Abby, Anita, Connie, Alex the ADA who got killed, the female cop that worked with Greene for a season, Logan’s first partner when he started on L&O:CI, Bebe Neuwerth on “Trial by Jury” and the captain the last season on CI who were all brunette, plus Casey Novack, Det. BIshop (Eames’ fill-in when she was pregnant,) Logan’s main partner on CI, and Det. Falacci (who filled in for Logan’s main partner when she was pregnant) who were all redheads.

        Comment by Kriselda Gray – May 23, 2012 01:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Jamie, who worked with Jack was a brunette. Serena was the blond. Geez!!! Alex, the ADA, didn’t get killed, she went into witness protection!

          Comment by Mary – May 23, 2012 02:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Alex was the ADA on L&O that was killed by the Russian right before Rubirosa became the ADA

            Comment by Laura – May 23, 2012 08:47 PM PDT  
          • Sorry ’bout the mixup on Jamie and forgetting Serena – but given how many characters I was going through there, I think I did pretty good, eh? LOL! :)

            As for the ADA Alex, there were 2 (it’s amazing how many “Alex”es there are overall in the L&O world – I think every series had one!) Alex Cabot is the one on SVU who went into witness protection and now returns periodically to handle cases. Alex Borgia is the brunette who worked with Jack on the mothership who was abducted from her apartment and found dead a short time later in the trunk of a car.

            Comment by Kriselda Gray – May 24, 2012 07:58 AM PDT  
  • I don’t what’s more hilarious, Ice thinking the show has proved doubters wrong with their ratings nosedive this season or someone thinking that Adam Beach was either Mexican or a better actor than Chris. I’ll assume that he is by now aware that Stabler was a character not an actor.

    Comment by Michelle – May 23, 2012 09:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well, Michael… if you’re referring to Adam Beach, he is a Canadian Saulteaux (aka North American Indian) actor. He was raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    Comment by Galelkethewind – May 23, 2012 09:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m thinking of going back and trying to rewatch more of the season. It lost me early on when every time Pino was on the screen, all I could see was Scotty from Cold Case. I’m hoping that maybe enough time will have passed since I last watched Cold Case regularly enough that I can see him as a different character.

    Comment by Kriselda Gray – May 23, 2012 01:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I too, can’t help but think of Cold Case everytime I watch. Must’ve been an easy transition for him as an actor. Pigeon holed much? lol

      Comment by Jmoonie – May 23, 2012 02:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I just wish that Bensen would be able to have a love life. She was doing so good with that asst DA…..Harry Conick Jr was a great choice for her…..I want to see the episode that has Ice-T’s wife, CoCo playing a goddess. That may be the finale. I want to see how it plays out with her in there too. Yes, Adam Beach was great, sorry they had turned him into a bad cop. Do want to see what is up with Creagen and with the blood on his hands. Don’t get rid of the coolest Cpt in the force. Looking forward to the next season of SVU after tonites season finale. You are doing a super great job of writing and with the characters too…Good work NBC for keeping this show going. I know that everyone wants Stabler back, but in real life, cops do come and go….just like in the medicals shows, they come and go like that in real life too……..

    Comment by Linda Laird – May 23, 2012 02:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The episode w/CoCo was pretty early in the season. I didn’t realize it was even her, until I started watching Ice Loves CoCo.

      Comment by Shannon – May 23, 2012 02:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I will always watch this show! I do miss Stabler but I like the newbies as well.Does anyone know what Stabler is doing now. He has to miss it. It is as if he died and we didn’t get to go to the funeral or visitation.
      Dick Wolfe is a great writer.

      Comment by Tran Charlton Boler – May 23, 2012 09:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I miss Stabler, but his presence or absence doesn’t affect whether I watch the show or not. Tonight I’ve been working my way through the last part of the season – starting with the “Justice League” episode through the season finale. Danny Pino is *still* playing too much like Scotty Valens for me, but the rest of the show is doing good, I”m glad to see :)

      Comment by Kriselda Gray – May 24, 2012 08:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I LOVE The Show…..Point Blank.:-)

    Comment by vivica herring – May 23, 2012 02:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • When watching reruns w/Stabler, you can really notice the different dynamics, but I really like the new cast. The original L&O went through numerous cast changes (as did CI), as a police dept and DA’s office probably would, so the SVU unit was due for some change.

    Comment by Shannon – May 23, 2012 02:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • as much as they are loved it’s time for ICE-T and Benson to retire. The makeup shows that they are just to old to be running around as detectives. They should be moved up in chain command, it’s time for Benson to become the captain and I don’t know what to do with ICE-T

    Comment by james – May 23, 2012 02:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Shut ur mouth. The show is great the way it is

      Comment by shanna – May 23, 2012 02:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • they need to give ice-t more shows where he is the main character. every episode where he is the main detective are amazing. the sniper episode this season was awesome.

      Comment by sandy – May 19, 2013 09:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • This last episode with Ice-T was great. I loved all his quips, reminded me of Detective Lenny Brisco and his one liners.

        Comment by Shannon – May 19, 2013 09:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I would like to add that writers should keep the subjects to variations on current headlines, as in the past. Try not to go too far out, as not to be believable anymore. I know there are some really weird sickos out there, but I don’t enjoy the plots about the worst of them, like body mutilation, SVU has always had a message for people in real life threatening circumstances…. child abuse, domestic violence, rape — the issues that need to be talked about often. The more young adults, particularly, that become aware of these issues, the better prepared they will be in their own lives. The fact that you have been able to do that, and still keep the program entertaining, is a testament to the quality of your work.

    Comment by Peggy Yost – May 23, 2012 02:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love svu. I am sad that stabler left but the show goes on and is still interesting. I have been watching since day one and haven’t missed one eposide. I would love to see stabler come back. And as far as the two newbies they are great and add a change to the show. I would die if this show was ever canceled. Honestly this show inspired me and my daughter to go into law enforcement.

    Comment by shanna – May 23, 2012 02:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I miss the Benson/Stabler duo!!! Seems like Benson is taking a back seat in a lot of epi’s. The new ppl are good, but El & Liv were dynamite. Liv better not leave anytime soon!

    Comment by J – May 23, 2012 03:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have to admit that I was a die-hard fan for 12 seasons, but this season…I couldn’t keep up! I was too upset abt Christopher being gone. In my mind, Olivia & Elliott were “the couple” the ones who could only get together so close, but then never crossed that line. I would love to see him come back to the team!

    Comment by Teacherlady52 – May 23, 2012 03:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yeah well I miss Christopher meloni. The show is not the same and I don’t watch it anymore ….

    Comment by lila – May 23, 2012 03:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • that’s unfortunate. You are missing out on some great TV.

      Comment by kelly – May 23, 2012 05:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Okay I have been a faithful watcher since wooh!.. the begining.
    Now I’m going to start…Kelli.. well in my opinion…need some serious acting classes… basicly she didn’t make the cut for me.. she’s a little too…ditsy for my taste…and plus…the way they wrote her character…made it seem as if she didn’t knw how to do her job…. svu can do a lot better then Kelli..
    Danny..well as much as he is no Stabler.. I think they need to give him a BIGGER SET of EHEM!… he’s a little on the “girly side”…cries too much.
    I’m glad Olivia…wasn’t written off. I do believe Benson & Stabler..should of had there “15 min”..”of them time” a kiss a note a something..they had more then a professional relationship… Just look at the begining of season 13….when BENSON LOOK @ HIS DESK. Anywhom…my opinion before kicking Stabler to the curb they should of given them a little umph.
    I’m glad they gave some spot light to the rest of the team… most episodes were okay..but nothing like the original team. Please find a better writer or some better material. Most of the episodes were…predictable..vs leaving me in an Awe. Which they usually do.
    So..let’s hope next season… it goes better.

    Comment by stacy – May 23, 2012 04:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • haven’t watched since christopher meloni left the show! the chemistry between benson and stabler was just to perfect. i guess i’ll have to make do with reruns on usa unless nbc grows a brain and brings him back

    Comment by tim – May 23, 2012 05:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Please make olivia benson captain.she deserves the position please dont.let fin tutuola leave

      Comment by carlo crook – February 11, 2013 08:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was very unsure of how things would go without Stabler, but I can accept the new characters and the show is still the same only the characters changed. After seeing the episode tonight, there are alot of ways the show could go and I’m excited to see what the writers do with Cregan. I miss seeing Munch and his usual quotes. I really like it when Munch and Fin get into a discussion!

    Comment by Bonita Tittle – May 23, 2012 08:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love Kelli Giddish as Rollins, she is a great compliment to Fin and Benson. I really like Danny Pino as well, he also works well with Benson. They definitely need to stay. If you haven’t watched because Meloni left? You missed some really good episodes. Stabler is not missed! Looking forward to season 14!

    Comment by NitaH – May 24, 2012 09:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I thought the transitional year was good, but anyone who has watched for years noticed Stabler’s absence. I hope & pray he’ll come back one day.

      Comment by Tran Charlton Boler – May 24, 2012 05:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • okay, initially i wasnt going to give season 13 a chance bc stabler was gone, but i sat down and did so anyways. starting off with det rawlins,, i dont like her AT ALL, she has a sour attitude, with everyyyone including warner. HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE WARNER!?!? i hope she leaves. secondly amaro, at first i didnt like him cause i felt like he was a copycat stabler, but as the season went on he grew on me, as he is on benson. his wife drama also added a little spice to the show. he needs to divorce her though, i dont trust her! benson… my girl. she is still doing awesome but i felt like she knew better than to be dating the ada and the relationship made the show kind of weird and it made her a little vulnerable, like she wasnt as strong as shes been in past episodes. but stabler IS gone and that is very unfortunate; no one even speaks of him and it breaks my heart. :( i miss munch and fin always being together and i dont like how munch was absent in like, half of the season, thats my guy! i do like fin and rawlins relationship but we can do without her, really. and if capt craigen is gone in season 14 i will most definitely quit watching, hes the heart and soul of svu! if they try to say he was seeing escorts im going to be liviiiiiddd!!! the nature of some of the episodes this season were kinda lame (justice league, the one with the legs, and the one where fins son in law was assaulted and it branches out to some student banging his teacher…ok) but all in all, l&o is one of my favorite shows and i feel like im apart of the team when im watching and if i lose my capt after losing stabler, im leaving the force haha

    Comment by chanel – May 28, 2012 07:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think that both of the new cast members are AWESOME and I hope that they stay on for a good long time As for the older cast members, YOU ALL ROCK-especially OLIVIA (you go, girl!!!!)!!!!!

    Comment by Martha Hay – May 30, 2012 06:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Please send me info on what happened to captain craigen

    Comment by carlo crook – February 11, 2013 08:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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