Post Mortems

SVU's Kelli Giddish Breaks Down the Big 'Rollisi' Episode, Says Amanda and Sonny's Relationship 'Is Precious to Us'


We blame Benson and Stabler.

Elliot’s return to the Law & Order: SVUverse earlier this season still has us all in our feelings about anything related to the NBC procedural and its partnerships. So in this week’s SVU, when Carisi is there in a big way for Rollins, can you fault us for reveling in their deep friendship and musing about a time when it might be more than platonic?

The drama du jour centered on Rollins’ father, whom she’d brought back to New York to rehab after his mini-stroke a few episodes back. At first, when Carisi accompanied Rollins to the facility to see Jim, her dad assumed they were dating. And when she corrected him, he scoffed at her inability to fall for upstanding guys like the assistant district attorney.

Later, though, Jim falls and is rushed to the hospital. While Rollins worried about her dad’s health and tearfully fretted about whether she was strong enough/adult enough to handle the responsibilities thrust upon her, Carisi provided a supportive, loving shoulder for her to lean on.

Did they tip into the more-than-friends zone again? No — after all, Sonny’s got a girlfriend now — but you got the feeling that something could have happened if either had pushed a little. And for now, we’ll take it.

TVLine hopped on the phone with Kelli Giddish to talk about the hour. Read on for her thoughts about whether Rollins and Carisi are in the mold of Benson and Stabler, who’d be more likely to pull the trigger on a relationship and what Rollins thinks about a certain detective’s recent return.

TVLINE | When you guys are out shooting around New York, do you get people remarking on the Rollins/Carisi relationship? Do fans start yelling?
Absolutely. [Laughs] “Get together already!”

TVLINE | With Stabler being back in Benson’s orbit, we see that people are so invested in these relationships that go on for a very long time and are very complicated.

TVLINE | Do you think that there is the potential for Rollins and Carisi to be that kind of non-couple couple? Do you think they have that kind of staying power?
I do, because the fans have already put that on that relationship. To be honest, it’s kind of out of our hands… The moments they give Peter [Scanavino] and I, as actors, we make the most out of, because we are good friends in real life, and I do rely on him and his friendship. So I think that shines through any time we get a chance to act together on screen.

TVLINE | When they go to visit her dad at the rehab center, and he comments that Rollins thinks nice guys are too good for her: First, way to overstep, Dad. And second, THE ACCURACY.
I know. I know, but I still can’t admit that he’s right! [Laughs] Like, as Kelli, I’m just like, “He doesn’t know!” Like, I’m not going to get together with the doctor. He’s not too good for me. He wasn’t right for me… I don’t need any help. I’ve got two kids in New York as a cop. I’m fine.

TVLINE | On that note, I’m not sure exactly how Rollins gets it all done.
I don’t either. And she’s got her mom in town, but I’m not sure how much of a help she is.

TVLINE | In addition to this episode, we’ve had other scenes this season — the New Year’s Eve hangout at her house — that play with Rollins and Carisi’s relationship. Are there any similar scenes ahead this season?
This season is putting a highlight on partnerships, like with Stabler and Benson. That’s the forefront relationship, and I think that that energy and that focus definitely trickles down. [Laughs] Is that an ephemeral enough way to talk about that? [Laughs]

TVLINE | You have gone to the Dick Wolf School of Teasing, and I appreciate it. So wait: Let’s say somewhere down the line, if a Rollins/Carisi relationship ever became a serious possibility — do you think she would pull the trigger, or would it have to be him? Is there any fear that might hold her back?
Well, I mean, the fear of not having that friendship, you know? In real life, Peter and I talk about, “Oh God, what if they ever put our characters together?” And it’s such a solid friendship that you don’t get to see [on TV much], so we’re… for lack of a better word, it is precious to us. And to treat that with respect, is what it is.

… I think there’s a little thing about Rollins that she has the fast-and-loose in her, and the impulsiveness. So if I had to answer your question, I guess I’d say Rollins.

TVLINE | What does Rollins think of having Stabler back in town?
You know, I didn’t even get to act with him, which I’m so mad about. So, hopefully…I think they need a little Rollins on [Law & Order: Organized Crime]. [Laughs] I think I need to somehow go over there. She is protective of Liv, and Liv is definitely affected by his presence and by his return. So [Rollins] is just like, “Why don’t you talk to me about that when you are ready?” …Rollins is ready and willing to support her friend in that. I think that’s the biggest way it affects Rollins, is just seeing how it affects her friend Liv.

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