Law & Order: SVU is turning to the headlines once again for "Star-Struck Victims." In the Wednesday, Feb. 24 episode, Rollins (Kelli Giddish) goes undercover to catch a predator. This predator just so happens to be a beloved actor played by Craig Bierko. He's a repeat offender and the police can't pin him down.
"There's a TV actor that does some pretty wrong stuff. He does it over, and over, and over," Giddish explained. The cops finally get wise to what's going on. "Rollins, she gets so frustrated with not being able to prove it, that this guy is acting in such a horrendous manner, that she puts herself undercover. Dodds actually steps up to the plate to kind of really have her back, but it does get her in a really weird situation. Just to able to play that and go undercover—it's always fun."
So is it exactly a take on Bill Cosby and his ongoing legal drama involving rape allegations? "Yeah, a little bit," Giddish admitted, but was quick to point out it's not just about the sitcom star.
"There's also been some other cases I know they were looking at, just in terms of people completely taking advantage of their situation, their position of power to just do some dirty, dirty stuff," she said. "Of course it's always an amalgam of different cases tied into one. I think they really, really did a great job in this one, doing that. Of course it's going to call to mind some things that have been in the headlines…if you sift through all of those cases, you'll see different aspects in each one in that. Like always, they just take the headline and they get to play around with it. It completely opens up in the writers' imagination. Sometimes things are more black and white in the imagination; sometimes we get to really explore the gray areas, which I always find compelling with episodes of SVU."
The episode features a victim not only going to the police with what happened to her, but also taking to the Internet with it while the officers do their work.
"The blogging aspect is so disturbing to me," Giddish said. "It's just a very strange thing to see a victim going through that and also talking about it at the same time to her online audience." She urged viewers to keep an open mind about that and acknowledged it could be a struggle, "but it's very present in today's time. Kids do that stuff."
As for what happens when Rollins goes undercover, you'll have to watch the episode to find out, but Giddish did tease how her relationship with Dodds (Andy Karl) has changed.
"When you are put in a dangerous situation, you have to rely on…he saves her butt. That's just going to completely change the nature of the relationship, but I also think Rollins has such a history with the good old boy network coming from Atlanta. I think she's really, really cautious knowing that maybe there's been some nepotism—whether it's true or not—when she sees someone's dad in a position of power and they get a position as well. I think she's automatically weary of Dodds and that's a lot to overcome," she said.
Rollins is just getting back into the swing of things after giving birth to her first daughter. On the show, Giddish's son Ludo plays her kid. As she embarks on this new path, Giddish said Rollins is changing, as are her relationships. Viewers saw her and Carisi (Peter Scanavino) grow close, but is there more there?
"Well, I think that's what's exciting about it…It started off so much brother and sister and trying to one-up—or at least Rollins was trying to one-up him, I don't think he cared. When you have a child, it takes a village…I think that it's a new level of respect for Sonny. He's got all of his family here in the New York area—and intact—and I think she sees a lot of things in him, she's like, ‘Oh, OK, this guy has a lot going. Maybe I can learn something from him instead of it being brother and sister.' It's cool to see people have a real friendship too and I think they're going to really try and cultivate that," she said.
So no, she's not in a rush to have the two hit the sheets.
"She can't screw everybody," Giddish said with a laugh.
Get an exclusive sneak peek at the episode above.
Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesdays, 9 p.m. on NBC.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)