Law & Order: SVU Reveals New Addition to the Team

Law & Order is back with all new episodes tonight, and not too long after Law & Order: SVU started, there was a new addition to the team. Tonight Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) officially welcomed a new Detective to the Special Victims Unit in Detective Toni Churlish, who is played by Jasmine Batchelor. Churlish was part of the reason why some of Detective Joe Velasco’s past came to light, and that’s caused some animosity with Detective Grace Mundy (Molly Burnett), so it seems things are going to be a little tense for a while. You can find images of her team debut below.

Churlish recorded Velasco talking about a crime that he was witness to while he was undercover, and once that came to light, Benson sent him to go take care of that and bring the person responsible in. Churlish is now part of the squad and since Muncy and Velasco were close, you can understand why they are at odds.

Churlish was brought in by Benson because of how she handled the Velasco situation and her impressive record, and Muncy was also brought in after Benson noticed she might be suited for the unit during another investigation, so there might be some friction from that angle as well.

Churlish was ecstatic to join the team and cited the SVU’s 89% case closure rate. She is excited to help raise that to 100%, and Benson is happy to have her on the team. We’ll have to wait and see how things go with the new roster, but hopefully Churlish sticks around for a while.

With Velasco taking time away and Amanda Rollins leaving the show, there’s been quite a bit of shakeup on the team, and that’s in addition to Kat (played by Jamie Gray Hyder) leaving the team previously. The team is hopefully a bit more stable moving forward, and I’m excited to see what Churlish brings to the team and the show overall.

Many fans are still processing the departure of Rollins (Kelli Giddish), as she was one of the major favorites on the show for years. Giddish confirmed the news she was leaving when some of the reports starting hitting the internet, writing on Instagram”To everyone who supported Rollins – THANK YOU!”

“I wanted to address the chatter I’ve seen online and let everyone know that this will, indeed, be my last season on ‘Law & Order: SVU.’ Playing Rollins has been one of the greatest joys and privileges of my life. I’ve been so fortunate to be a part of the ‘Law & Order’ family for the last 12 years. There is simply no other character on TV like Rollins. She’s grown and changed, and I have as well. I started on this show when I was in my late 20s and I’m grateful I got to spend so many of my adult years with Rollins in my life,” Giddish wrote.

“I want to thank Dick Wolf, Mariska Hargitay, Peter Jankowski, NBC, Universal Television, all of my co-stars, every single member on the crew and all the writers here for our incredible work together these last 12 years. I’m so excited to take all the things I have learned in my time on ‘SVU’ and put them toward everything that’s next to come,” Giddish said.

What did you think of Churlish’s team debut and are you excited for the new lineup? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things Law & Order with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!