The character portrayed by Kelli Giddish exited NBC's long-running crime procedural Thursday.
In August, Giddish, 42, announced her mid-season departure, describing the role of Rollins in an Instagram post as "one of the greatest joys and privileges of my life... 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."
Early in Thursday's Season 24 fall finale, Rollins and Dominick "Sonny" Carisi (Peter Scanavino) exchanged vows in a surprise courtroom wedding and celebrated their union with friends and colleagues Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay, also an executive producer) and Detective Odafin "Fin" Tutuola (Ice-T).
'I've been so fortunate': Kelli Giddish confirms exit from 'Law & Order: SVU'
Benson and Rollins partnered for one final case – getting to the bottom of cameras hidden in a motel where Benson was staying.
After bringing down the bad guys, the detectives imbibed some boxed red wine, and Rollins shared that she was accepting a teaching position at Fordham University in the Bronx.
"This is hard for me," Rollins said. "I made this choice. Liv, I need you to be OK with it."
A shocked Benson needed a second to process the news.
The two reconnected in the episode's final minutes when Rollins dropped into Benson's office.
"I'm really sorry that I reacted like that," Benson apologized. "You were being open with me, and I shut down."
"I'm gonna blame the boxed wine," Rollins joked. "You're not losing me. We're friends. That's not gonna change. I'm not gonna disappear."
"I wouldn't let you if you tried," Benson said. With tears, the detectives embraced and exchanged "I love yous."
When Rollins stepped out of Benson's office, Rollins was greeted with applause and hugs from her colleagues.
Giddish made her first appearance in the "SVU" universe in 2007, playing Kara Bawson in the episode "Outsider." She scored a recurring role as Rollins in Season 13.
She shared photos of her time on the crime drama Thursday, along with a note to fans on Instagram. "To everyone who supported Rollins – THANK YOU!"
Hargitay honored her co-star with a heartfelt tribute.
"Kelli, I've loved acting, learning, growing, talking, laughing and crying with you," Hargitay said in her statement on Instagram. "I've loved watching your achingly beautiful performances. I've loved watching our friendship deepen and grow and blossom. I've loved every single minute of it, and I will miss you so much. You have my respect, my gratitude and my love forever."
Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff and Edward Segarra
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Law & Order: SVU': How did Kelli Giddish's Amanda Rollins exit?