After just one season of the Law & Order revival, Anthony Anderson revealed that he wouldn’t be returning for Season 22, taking fan-favorite character Detective Kevin Bernard with him. As this also left Detective Frank Cosgrove (Jeffrey Donovan) without a partner, producers immediately set out to find a replacement.
They soon landed on True Blood and Desperate Housewives star Mehcad Brooks, who will appear in the Season 22 premiere as Detective Jalen Shaw. The casting announcement was made back in June, but details surrounding the newest Law & Order character remained sparse.
While Mehcad Brooks has posted a steady flow of teasers to this social media, he’s remained maddeningly vague. “Wait ’til you guys see what we have in store for you,” he wrote in one such post. “This ain’t your Dad’s Law & Order.”
Now, just weeks before the Law & Order Season 22 premiere, showrunner Rick Eid finally gave a preview of the NYPD newcomer. As fans could have guessed, Detective Shaw is an interesting character with an intriguing backstory.
“He’s a former lawyer,” Eid explained to Give Me My Remote. “And he is a former narcotics detective, who is new to homicide…he probably went to NYU [for] law school, got a job at a law firm in the city. And after a year or two of being disillusioned, he was like, ‘I want to do something that excites me.’ [So then] he went to the police academy.”
How the New ‘Law & Order’ Detective Will Shake Up the Show
Detective Shaw (Mehcad Brooks) will debut in the highly anticipated crossover event between all three Law & Order series to kick off the season. Through the events of the crossover, he’ll become Cosgrove’s new partner.
As Law & Order has been around for more than two decades, producers are always looking for ways to shake things up. And Rick Eid believes Detective Shaw is the perfect way to do so.
“He brings a different perspective to law enforcement,” Eid said. “And certainly to being a police officer, a detective.”
“[Detective Shaw has] got a modern point of view on a lot of things,” he continued. “So I think he’s an interesting partner for Cosgrove, as well. He’s younger, from a different point of view, sees the world a little differently; different upbringing.”
Given their conflicting styles, Shaw and Cosgrove should make interesting partners. Unlike Cosgrove, who has a wealth of street experience, Shaw’s past lies in the courtroom.
“[His past as a lawyer] more informs the way he thinks,” the Law & Order showrunner explained. “He’s a really smart, intellectual guy. So he comes at things a little from a more cerebral perspective.”
“Cosgrove’s a little more sort of visceral and instinctive. And I think Shaw’s a little more cerebral… But they have a common objective. They’re both dedicated to finding that [bad] guy.”