Mariska Hargitay is right! Law and Order: SVU needs Kelli Giddish back for season 26

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- "Prima Nocta" Episode 25011 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mariska Hargitay as Captain Olivia Benson, Kelli Giddish as Amanda Rollins -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- "Prima Nocta" Episode 25011 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mariska Hargitay as Captain Olivia Benson, Kelli Giddish as Amanda Rollins -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC) /

Kelli Giddish was back in business on Law and Order: SVU season 25, episode 11, "Prima Nocta." Her guest appearance, on an episode that saw Rollins joining Benson on a case involving a rapist who hunted during his job at a flower wholesaler, set the ground work for a potential return for Giddish' character in the show's season 26.

When word first broke that Giddish would be exiting the long running program, fans were understandably shocked and then outraged when it became clear that the actress wasn't leaving because she decided she wanted to move on from her role. It was a decision out of her control and though Mariska Hargitay is an executive producer on the series she couldn't prevent Giddish' departure either.

Giddish bid farewell in Law and Order season 24 after Rollins and Carisi tied the knot. After the harrowing experience of getting shot and having her life on the line, the detective decided it was time for her to turn in her badge and look to teaching. That's how she wound up at Fordham University but, in "Prima Nocta," we learned that while Rollins' home life is full of joy, her professional life has come to a stand still because she turned down tenure at the institution.

The episode doesn't end with a definitive answer on whether the detective turned academic will be rejoining the force but, apparently, she might not have officially left it since the NYPD are notoriously slow when it comes to paperwork on this show. I know! Take it up with Benson, not me. In any case, however the writers spin a return for Giddish, they have leeway to do it thanks to "Prima Nocta," and that's exactly how Hargitay wants it.

Per TVLine, in an interview with Vanity Fair, the star shared the following about the decision to let Giddish go ahead of season 24, why she fought hard to keep her, and why it's a mistake she wants rectified.

"Kelli is my favorite actor to work with. Kelli is my heart. It’s a sore subject. I have a lot of say on the show [as the star and an executive producer since Season 15], but I didn’t have enough there.”

“I don’t like not being listened to, especially when I’m right. That relationship was one of the most powerful relationships in television because you saw these two badass women, so flawed and so there for each other."

Let's be real, procedurals are still a boys club. The genre has been diversifying for decades but when it comes to the closeness of characters on these kinds of dramas, they tend to be between men and women or between two men. Female duos aren't so rare to be unicorns but it's not common so when you have two ladies with a deep friendship on a procedural, that's a sticking point for women who tune in. We want to continue to see them and for time to be devoted to their bond and for them to lean on one another.

Hargitay and Giddish's friendship off-screen is clearly strong but so is their chemistry on-screen. Benson and Rollins are written to be fully realized characters with interiority that fans are meant to invest in. Their relationship is a part of that and it's missing from Law and Order: SVU. It's a winning recipe, clearly, as Giddish' episodic returns are always an exciting time for viewers. But instead of just having her pop up here and there, they need her back for season 26.

Hopefully, Hargitay's influence and her campaigning for Giddish' return will work out and this duo can be reunited for more than an episode. We'll keep you posted. Stay tuned to Hidden Remote!