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The Law & Order premiere was an action-packed episode full of twists and turns. Sgt. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and the Special Victims Unit were quickly called in for backup in the three-part Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order, and Law & Order: Organized Crime crossover event, which put Detective Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) in grave danger.
What happens to Amanda Rollins on Law & Order: SVU?
Premiere Event recap:
Law & Order's Detective Frank Cosgrove (Jeffrey Donovan) is enjoying lunch with his daughter when he notices a young woman named Ava being chased down the street. While attempting to help her, she is shot and killed by an unknown assailant. Initially, it appears to be a simple murder case but becomes more concerning when Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) and his team discover Ava was a victim of a yacht-based sex trafficking ring ran by crime boss Mark Sirenko, bringing Sgt. Benson and her crew into the mix for help. Detective Stabler (Christopher Meloni) reveals the Organized Crime Unit has been working on a drug bust for Sirenko for six months, placing all Law & Order ladles in the pot to see Sirenko served justice.
The SVU eventually tracks down another sex-trafficking ring victim, Nicole, who was on the boat the day Ava was killed. With Nicole's help, the SVU, OCU, and 27th Precinct track down and arrest Sirenko but not before he manages to blow up a downtown hotel. After Sirenko's arrest, they realize Sirenko is working for a senior liaison to Vladimir Putin, Daniel Rublev, who also happens to be a leader in an international crime ring.
As the teams gather more evidence against Sirenko and Rublev, it becomes apparent that someone is tracking their every move, compromising the safety of anyone involved in the case. Benson places Nicole in a safe house but realizes she needs to ask her more questions about Rublev's role in Ava's murder. Rollins goes to bring Nicole into questioning, but as they leave the safe house, a group of masked gunmen attack.
Rollins protects Nicole from the attack and helps take down Rublev's men, but she is shot in the process. She collapses from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Things are not looking good for Rollins at all when the SVU quickly arrives. Rollins is taken away in an ambulance, and Benson confirms Rublev's men tracked Nicole with the location from a hidden cell phone.
Rublev's operation is revealed to be a small cog within a master plan for a mysterious boss, but before the prosecution can collect further evidence, Rublev is shot down in the street in a similar fashion as Nicole's attempted murder. Whoever speaks up in the case suffers consequences, except Sirenko. The trial is instantly cut short, with Sirenko serving only 20 years (he got a deal for providing information about Rublev's actions).
The trial outcome is less than ideal for Benson, Stabler, or any of the detectives and legal counselors on the case. But the episode ends with our characters appreciating the act of helping the victims and keeping them safe. Rollins wakes up in the hospital to find ADA Sonny Carisi (Peter Scanavino) standing at her bedside for support. Relieved, they both hold hands and smile.
Rollins recovers and is back in the SVU
Season 24's second episode, "The One You Feed" takes place six weeks after the events of the premiere. Thankfully, Rollins is out of a hospital bed and back at work at the SVU. Rollins helps track down and arrest a gang involved in the rape of a teenage girl on a Subway train. Rollins and the rest of the SVU team sees justice served, but much of the conflict for Rollins takes place internally.
At one point, we see Carisi check in on Rollins, telling her to take it easy. Toward the end of the episode, Benson asks to chat with Rollins, expressing that she's hesitant about Rollins being back and working in such a short window. Rollins' latest incident wasn't the only time Rollins has been shot (she was shot back in Season 14 as well), but Benson tells Rollins that the trauma of these events often accumulates.
Rollins tells Benson how horrifying it felt to feel like she hadn't had enough time with Carisi and how scared she was to potentially lose her children. Rollins tells Benson that she feels she was careless with her own life, for once, and the shooting was the consequence. "You never had anything to lose before," Benson tells her. Rollins solemnly agrees.
Rollins seems to be taking a new lease on life after the chaotic events of the SVU Season 24 premiere. How will the latest shooting impact her position in the SVU and her relationship with Carisi? Only time will tell, but based on the latest events, Rollins has never viewed her time as more precious.
Meet Professor Amanda Rollins
Throughout Season 24 of Law & Order: SVU, Rollins has been killing it while tracking down whatever case comes her way, even brushing paths with the Organized Crime Unit during one case. However, outside of work, Rollins struggled with moving on from the shooting. Rollins was rattled by the ordeal for quite a while, until a noticeable upswing in Episode 6, “Controlled Burn.”
The episode began with Rollins standing in front of a classroom of law students giving a criminology lecture. “The predator’s desire tends to overcome all rational thought,” Rollins explained to them. “There’s no limit to how far a sexual predator will go to satisfy his or her compulsions.” She tells the class that criminal compulsions tend to start small and grow stronger over time. She compares this to a controlled fire and stresses the importance of preventing the fire from becoming wild.
Fin (Ice-T) and Rollins arrive at work the next day, with Fin taking note of Rollins’ chipper mood. She tells him that Carisi was asked to teach at his old law school but volunteered Rollins for the gig instead. While Rollins seems to be thriving in this new professor position, her good move is short-lived. The SVU is called in for Maggie DiAngelo. Maggie was sexually assaulted by a masked man that drugged her at a sex party she was roped into by a coworker, Spencer Lewis.
Rollins and Benson investigate the sex party, frequented by NYC’s most influential figures. After busting a similar party the next night, the SVU realizes that the illicit parties are all filmed. The squad finds a video of Maggie’s assault and identifies her assailant, who revealed that a powerful businesswoman named Lena Hess orchestrated these parties. Hess filmed the horrific acts that took place to blackmail powerful men in NYC.
After arresting Maggie’s assailant and Hess and finding 40-50 hard drives filled with condemnable contents of other men, Rollins and Benson reflect on the case. Lena’s mission to set up and blackmail sexually violent men is horrible but is fueled by a similar resentment toward sexual violence that Rollins and Benson both share. As experts on this topic, Rollins and Benson are baffled by their differences from Lena.
Benson then decided to check in on how Rollins has been doing, aware of her ongoing battle with anxiety and paranoia lately as her best friend in the SVU.
“I’m in a good place,” Rollins told her. “Figuring things out."
Benson smiled. “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing that.”
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a smile on Rollins’ face, and it's refreshing to see her thrive outside of work, both with Carisi and with the new teaching position. With so many years in the SVU under her belt, she’s become the perfect candidate for mentoring and educating others with a passion for justice. What will Professor Rollins be capable of next?
Watch Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC and next day on Peacock.
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