“Law & Order: SVU” tackled the Chris Brown-Rihanna story this week. Abuse… reconciliation… (and in SVU’s dark take) death.

In the final scene of Warren Leight’s script, Caleb (the fictional Chris Brown) killed Micha (the fictional Rhianna) after an argument aboard his boat on a Bermuda cruise.

But that wasn’t the original ending, Tiffany Robinson, who played Micha, told MTV:

Initially, the characters were just supposed to run off to Bermuda together, giving the episode a happier ending. But some last-minute conversations led to the more-dramatic conclusion.

They really pushed it so that we can really look at the seriousness of it. I felt like they drove it home even more. They kept it real, and they went there, regardless of what controversy it would bring. It was about telling the truth. Originally when I saw it, they hadn’t ended it that way. This is what happens [in abusive relationships] when we look at the numbers. This is usually where it ends up.”

“SVU,” the lone remaining Law & Order show on the air, is having an especially strong season, and this “Happy Valentine” episode is just one more reason why.

Law & OrderSVU | NBC