'Law & Order: SVU' Boss Weighs in on Possible Rollins-Carisi Romance

"I'm curious to see where it goes," showrunner Warren Leight tells THR of the brief moment shared between the two colleagues.
 Michael Parmelee/NBC)

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Wednesday's episode of Law & Order: SVU, "Catfishing Teacher."]

It was a blink-and-you-missed-it moment that could have huge consequences.

Wednesday's winter premiere of Law & Order: SVU wasted no time revealing that Rollins (Kelli Giddish) had successfully given birth despite major delivery complications in the fall finale.

In the opening moments of the episode, Rollins took her baby for a stroll with none other than Carisi (Peter Scanavino) by her side. When her new addition got a little fussy, Carisi was quick to pick her up and offer a few parenting tips, and Rollins suddenly seemed to look at her colleague in a completely different light.

"Something was going on with Rollins that she had not felt before," Warren Leight tells THR. "Rollins has had one point of view on Carisi for a long time, like the annoying younger brother point of view, and I thought I saw something really interesting in that moment. I'm curious to see where it goes."

The two have come a long way since Carisi first joined the squad last fall as a temporary replacement for Amaro (Danny Pino) when the latter was disciplined and temporarily transferred to uniform duty on Staten Island. Initially a very green detective, Carisi has slowly evolved into an important member of the team — particularly following Amaro's decision to quit and move to California, and with Benson's continued move up the ladder to lieutenant.

"The more you get to know Carisi, the more you like him and the more you trust him and I think that’s what's happening to Rollins," Leight says.

Another factor is their different backgrounds. "Her family is not there for her in anyway and his always has been," Leight says. "I imagine Rollins may not have appreciated that as much before as she does now." 

Although the moment came as a shock to fans, it's not surprising when Rollins' recent romantic history is taken into consideration. Viewers were stunned to learn in season 15 that she and Amaro had been carrying on a secret affair. And the father of Rollins' newborn baby is another cop, Lt. Declan Murphy (Donal Logue).

"It felt so much more organic than others," Leight says of Rollins and Carisi. In comparison, she and Amaro "were more like ports in a storm."

However, it remains up in the air what the future holds for Rollins and Carisi. Says Leight, "I'm not sure that these two are headed to a romance, but there was an emotional intimacy there that we had never seen from Rollins before and a vulnerability that we had never seen from her."

Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

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