7:24pm PT by Kate Stanhope
'Law & Order: SVU' Season Finale Leads to Series Regular Departure
[Warning: Spoilers ahead for the Law & Order: SVU season 16 finale, "Surrender Noah."]
Law & Order: SVU lost one of its own on Wednesday's season 16 finale, but it's not what fans were expecting. In the final 10 minutes of the episode, shots were fired by sex trafficker Johnny D. during the middle of his trial. Amaro (Danny Pino) went after the dangerous criminal to stop him and was shot in the knee and the liver.
Although it was touch and go, Amaro made it out of surgery and recovered enough to even make it to Olivia's party celebrating her official adoption of Noah, or should we say Noah Porter Benson. However, it was at Liv's party that Amaro dropped the bombshell that he planned to retire. After all, it was made clear when he tried to push for a promotion to sergeant that he was never going to be able to move up in the department after his shooting of an unarmed teenage boy last season, so why not move across the country to be closer to his daughter and son?
"I know I wasn't what your old partner was for you," Amaro told Benson (Mariska Hargitay) in reference to the gone-but-not-forgotten Stabler (Christopher Meloni). However, Benson replied "that old relationship didn't allow for anything. … But you, with your support, I have a family."
It's unclear if Amaro's exit will make room for a new rookie detective to join the ranks next season like the way newbie Det. Sonny Carisi (Peter Scanavino) joined the team this year when Amaro was temporarily reassigned. His departure could also make room for a new lieutenant and/or sergeant to help Olivia hold down the fort, especially now that she is officially a mom.
Pino, who joined the series along with Kelli Giddish in 2011, following the departure of Meloni, tweeted a heartfelt farewell late Wednesday.
Law & Order: SVU returns in the fall on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC. What do you think of Amaro's exit? Will you miss him?