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Is Rollins Returning to Benson’s Squad on Law & Order: SVU?

Rollins made an explosive visit to the squad in SVU's May 2nd episode — and it had fans wondering if she was back for good.

By Jessica White

Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) recently received a visit from a cherished friend on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Amanda Rollins, played by Kelli Giddish.

How to Watch

Watch Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Thursdays on NBC and next day on Peacock.

Ever since Rollins left the SVU to become a criminology professor in Season 24, something has seemed off about her. Sure, the SVU alum is a great teacher and loves having more time with her kids, but Rollins needs adrenaline in her life. Any time a former colleague has called upon her for help on a case, Rollins comes alive, expertly dishing advice based on years on the force. Rollins' apathy in the classroom and excitement for the thrill of the case has led Benson to question her decision to resign from the squad. 

RELATED: What Happened to Amanda Rollins on Law & Order: SVU?

It all came to a head in Season 25, Episode 11 ("Prima Nocta"), when Rollins found herself working with her SVU family again. Read on, below, to get the details on Rollins' recent return to Law & Order: SVU.  

Rollins resigned from Fordham University

Det. Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) rests on a table in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 1517.

The episode kickstarted with Sonny Carisi (Peter Scanavino) having a quick breakfast with the family before work. As the kids headed to school, Carisi checked in on Rollins, who buzzed with energy.

"How long until after I walk out this door is it going to take for you to freak out?" Carisi asked his wife.

To the shock of viewers, it was revealed Rollins recently became unemployed. She was offered a 10-year contract at Fordham University but turned it down. Rollins was bored as a professor, a sentiment Carisi found humorous considering she'd now be alone all day with nothing to do. Rollins wished her husband well as he headed to work, but as she began tuning her guitar, it was clear she already had too much time on her hands. 

RELATED: We Met Rollins' Baby—And Learned His Sweet Name—in SVU's Season 25 Premiere

Before Rollins went fully stir-crazy on day one of unemployment, she got a call from her BFF Benson, who revealed she heard of Rollins' recent resignation. 

"Are you calling to tell me 'I told you so'?'" Rollins asked.

"No, actually," Benson said. "I know how hard you've been working to find yourself. Is that the answer you wanted?"

After asking if Rollins was going crazy yet (yes), Benson invited her old colleague to lunch, prompting Rollins to visit her former workplace. As Rollins surveilled the squad room, noting all the new faces, she teased Benson about the SVU no longer being short-staffed. Benson, however, read between the lines, noticing Rollins' reinvigorated interest in the unit.

"Oh?" Benson said. "You trying to say something?"

Amanda Rollins' recent SVU return reignited a fire

Rollins and Olivia Law And Order SVU

Before they could further investigate Rollins' existential crisis, Terry Bruno (Kevin Kane) interrupted with news of a runaway bride case, with a woman seemingly assaulted the night before her wedding. Aware of the unique psychology of a traumatized bride, Rollins quickly offered her services, joining Benson in the investigation. Meanwhile, Benson got to the bottom of why Rollins turned down the Fordham position.

"I realized that if my life last year was a book, I wouldn't even pick it up to read it," Rollins admitted. 

RELATED: Amanda Rollins' 10 Most Nail-Biting Moments on Law & Order: SVU

With the help of Rollins' academic prowess, the detectives realized they were dealing with a perp targeting bride-to-be women when they knew they'd be sleeping alone on the night before their wedding. To follow protocol, Benson asked Sergeant Fin Tutuola (Ice T) to check on Rollins' paperwork; considering she left within the past year, it was likely she was still a cop within NYPD's system. 

Fin took Rollins to the gun range to get her firearm back, where she insisted she wasn't sure of her future career. Despite her proclamations, she fired her gun like she'd never left. Thus, Rollins became re-qualified as an NYPD cop. She was the squad's secret weapon when taking down the suspect and successfully helped closed the case.

Throughout the entire investigation, Rollins' homesickness for the squad stole the spotlight. Benson couldn't help but notice that it was like Rollins never missed a day of work as she seamlessly fell back into the swing of SVU operations. However, Benson knows better than anyone that Rollins didn't leave the squad because she was bad at her job. She left to find herself and heal.

RELATED: Mariska Hargitay and Kelli Giddish Reunite on SVU Set

Is Rollins returning to Benson’s squad on Law & Order: SVU

Rollins and Olivia Law And Order SVU

After this episode, the answer is no, as it seems Rollins still has some healing to do. 

Benson was keen to chat with Rollins after closing the bride-to-be perp case. She returned Rollins' prized taxidermy squirrel to her that she had left at the precinct when she resigned.

"Maybe an excuse to come back?" Benson asked.

"So, you saying you don't want me back?" Rollins teased.

Benson told Rollins that she is clearly running from her own mind. She can't sit with stillness, a trademark of SVU detectives.

"This is about where you belong in your life," Benson explained. "You were unemployed for one day."

"I couldn't handle the boredom," Rollins admitted.

"Exactly, and I don't want SVU to be your safety net," Benson said lovingly. "I don’t want you to come back because you're bored. How about you take some time, figure out what what makes you happy?"

Rollins said, "You, out of all people, know how hard that is for me."

"Yeah. I also know how hard you've been working on confronting your demons," Benson encouraged. "For healing."

"Well, the truth of the matter is, Liv, I have a little more work to do," Rollins confessed with a smile.

"You and me both," Benson said.

Rollins may have proven she has what it takes to reenter the squad, but for now, she's focusing her efforts on self-growth.

Watch Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on Thursdays on NBC and the next day on Peacock.