‘Law & Order: SVU’: Nick Amaro Is Not Returning, Plus What Else To Expect From The Squad In Season 17

People come and go on TV shows all the time, and with Law & Order: SVU in double digit seasons, its fans know just how true that is. At the end of the finale, one of the squad revealed that he would not be returning to work after recovering from the wounds he received during a shooting.

As the Inquisitr previously reported, Law & Order: SVU has been renewed for its 17th season, and already, there are spoilers out teasing what to expect next year, as well as an explanation for why it was time to say goodbye to Detective Nick Amaro. In the finale, Benson’s adoption of baby Noah coincided with his birth father’s trial, and with sex trafficker Johnny D going from being willing to sign away his parental rights if a deal was made to wanting Benson to have to bring Noah to visit him in prison until he was 18, there was really only one way this could end, so Benson and Noah could be a happy family together officially – and that’s exactly what happened.

While one girl changed her story on the stand and claimed Johnny D just paid her to clean, the others did not, and Johnny D ended up taking an officer hostage and firing her gun around the courtroom. Amaro followed him out into the hall, and in the end, Johnny D was dead and Amaro was on the way to the hospital, having taken a couple of bullets, including one to the knee. When he joined the others at Benson’s to celebrate the official adoption of Noah, he was a couple of weeks into PT, but he revealed that he would not be returning to work at SVU, an understandable move, since his hopes of becoming a sergeant were dashed due to his past issues, and instead, he was moving to California to be where his family is. You can watch the ending of the finale again below.

Following the Law & Order: SVU finale, both Mariska Hargitay and Danny Pino sent out tweets – and in the former’s case, a photo – about his exit.

TVGuide.com spoke to executive producer Warren Leight about Pino’s exit, and he explained that because Amaro has crossed the line, he’s “basically dead-ended.”

“The best that could happen to a detective like him right now is that they let him play out the string with no possibility of advancement and that didn’t seem like something his character would want. His marriage has also fallen apart, but his daughter has moved out West, this other son of his from a prior relationship has moved out West, so there’s not much keeping him [in New York]. It seemed to be, in a strange way, right for Amaro to start fresh somewhere else.”

While his absence will be addressed in the Law & Order: SVU season 17 premiere, that will also be a two-parter, in which the squad is after a bad guy who has plenty of resources. In fact, his absence is going to fit right in with the theme of the season, which the EP said is going to be transitions or passages.

“It should be a year where wherever everyone starts at the beginning of the [season] is not where they end,” Leight teased.

In addition to that, expect to see Rollins going through some changes, more about Barba’s personal life, and Carisi continue to adjust to SVU, as well as what it means for his future to graduate from law school.

There’s also the matter of who will become Benson’s No. 2, and it’s beginning to look like what Hargitay told E! News may end up being the case, since Fin doesn’t want it.

“Olivia would much prefer someone in the squad step up, but who? 
Actually, I think sometimes the best person is the one you least expect. That always makes the most interesting dynamic. Or maybe it’s just the person who wants it the most, that’s who ends up stepping up to the plate. Then there’s always the possibility that it’s the person who wants it the least.”

Law & Order: SVU will be back for its 17th season on NBC this fall.

[Image via NBC]