Law and Order SVU: Amaro and Rollins set to replace Benson in new exit theory

Law & Order: SVU season 22 trailer released by NBC

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The NBC crime drama has always been noted for the exceptional chemistry between Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson, and many fans hoped the two will eventually get together in the future. However, that seemed less likely upon Meloni’s departure in season 12. Some fans have discussed whether Amaro and Rollins’ relationship was a ploy by the writers after rumours began swirling that Hargitay was to leave the squad along with Meloni.

In SVU’s monumental season 22 episode Return of the Prodigal Son, Benson and Stabler were finally reunited after a decade apart.

Fans have been wondering ever since if the beloved pair will finally get together.

Initially, viewers were distraught to see Benson partnered with Nick Amaro and many were worried he wouldn’t be able to fill Meloni’s shoes.

Audiences grew to love Amaro and witnessed Benson grow as a person away from her complex friendship with Stabler.

However, after Stabler’s departure in 2011, viewers have been speculating that Amaro and Rollins’ relationship was created as the “new Stabler and Benson” in case rumours that Hargitay would be leaving SVU turned out to be true.

One fan took to Reddit to ask: “Were Amaro and Rollins written originally as the new Stabler and Benson? In their first season aka s13, they were close similar to Benson and Stabler.” (sic)

While never confirmed by the characters, the series hinted that Rollins and Amaro had a brief affair after the latter split up with his wife.

Though Pino and Giddish’s chemistry quickly became apparent after they joined the team, nothing between the two ever really came to fruition.

Another fan responded to the post, pointing out: “I’m pretty sure there were rumors about Mariska leaving at one point around the time when Chris decided to leave, so it’s entirely possible they were setting up Rollins and Amaro as a “Plan B” in case they lost Olivia too.

“Only problem is they literally turned Amaro into Stabler 2.0.” (sic)

Stabler frequently has trouble with his anger issues during his tenure on the show, and the majority of Amaro’s character arcs revolve around his anger and the issues he causes the squad as a result.

Were the writers attempting to frame Amaro as the new Stabler in order for the character to find the perfect foil in Rollins?

One fan certainly agreed, writing on Reddit: “IMO yes, and I think they were going for a ‘if Benson and Stabler were romantically involved’ vibe since Rollins and Amaro were hooking up with each other.”

Someone else seemed glad a romance between the pair never happened, saying: “If true, glad that plan fell through!”

Although, another fan theorised: “My thoughts were that they felt like they needed to bring in two people to replace Stabler, because if they only brought in one character to be his replacement, if that character was anything short of amazing, they would always be comparing them to Stabler, and complaining.”

They continued: “Although I will say, while I don’t love Rollins now, the writing on Rollins was phenomenal in her first 1-2 seasons.

“I think Rollins could’ve replaced Stabler and done a good job. Would’ve liked to see her and Benson partner,” the fan concluded. (sic)

Was this the plan all along, whether or not Harigtay remained in the role, were the SVU writers planning on presenting two new detectives similar to Stabler?

Soon after Amaro and Rollins joined the show, Benson struggled with Rollins’ tactics, as well as Amaro’s anger, though she felt like she could handle him because of her experience with Stabler in the past.

However, in season 16, after Amaro left the squad to move to California, Benson credited him with helping her grow as a person – something she was unable to do during her time with Stabler.

She said: “I grew more in my last four years with you than I did in the 12 years I was with him.

“You know that relationship, whatever it was, it didn’t allow for anything else.”

Law and Order: SVU and Law and Order: Organized Crime are both available to watch on NBC in the US. Season 22 of SVU is currently airing in the UK on Sky Witness, and is available to watch on Now TV.

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