Going into the two-hour Law & Order: SVU season 23 premiere, we knew that Jamie Gray Hyder was leaving the show. It may not have been her decision, but the fact remained that we would be saying goodbye to Kat Tamin at some point.
To say that we were shocked when this news first came out was one of the biggest understatements of all time. Think about it like this — we’re talking about a valuable character to the ensemble, and someone who allows viewers to see themselves in a way that they often haven’t within the long-running series. We expected that Kat would be the sort of character who stuck around for years to come! Unfortunately, sometimes things happen in the TV world for reasons that are hard to understand, and this may very well be one of those cases.
The larger question that we’re going to see addressed in tonight’s episodes is how Kat departs the show. Going into the premiere, the hope is that it leaves the door open for a return down the road; the obvious fear, meanwhile, is that something terrible happens that renders this impossible and we have to say goodbye to this character forever.
What we’re saying here is pretty simple: We were extremely worried that the writers were going to kill Kat off. Why did she possibly have to die? She was shot and when we saw her start to fade in the ambulance, some of our worst fears rose to the surface. She managed to make to the hospital, at least, where she went into surgery. Then, the news came out that she survived!
Now, the bad news…
Kat still decided to walk away. She was proud of the work that she did but, in the end, she realized that being in SVU is not what she wanted for her future. She wants to be able to challenge the system, but she doesn’t feel like she can do that in her current role.
Are you sad that Jamie Gray Hyder is leaving SVU and her role of Kat?
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This article was written by Jess Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.