While fans had an inkling about this move, “S.W.A.T.” star Lina Esco confirmed that she’s leaving the show after five seasons.
Lina Esco has starred as Chris Alonso on “S.W.A.T.” since the series aired on TV back in 2017. She’s one of the original cast members, but now it’s time for her to hand in her gun.
According to TVLine, indications of Esco’s exit came earlier this season. Her character Chris told Jim Street outright that she wanted to leave the team and wasn’t sure if she’d return. Turns out, she wants to take over a safe house for immigrant women who need help. The house’s original owner, Mama Pina, has been hospitalized, so Chris wants to take up the mantle.
Earlier this year, Lina Esco even told TVLine how much that particular “S.W.A.T.” plot point meant to her. Once again, dropping hints that Chris would be leaving the team.
“I love the Mama Pina storyline,” Esco said at the time. “It resonates with Chris because this is a woman providing a safe house to women who have no hope in other countries and who escape for a better life. Chris has become very invested in volunteering and being a part of that.”
And now, as of last night’s “S.W.A.T.” finale, Chris has tuned in her badge and said her goodbyes to the team.
Lina Esco and ‘S.W.A.T.’ Showrunners Say ‘Farewell’
The name of the “S.W.A.T” finale, “Farewell,” was just a bit on the nose as Lina Esco said goodbye to the show. She issued a statement earlier today to thank everyone for supporting her decision.
“Bringing to life a strong, smart, bisexual character like Chris Alonso has been both a pleasure and a powerful opportunity to increase visibility for diverse women everywhere,” Esco said in her statement. “Five years later, I am leaving ‘S.W.A.T.’ to pursue new creative endeavors. Chris never backs down from the unknown. And as an actor and director, I’m excited to step out of my comfort zone and embark on a new chapter, too.”
Esco didn’t reveal what that new chapter was, but she did say that it wasn’t easy to choose it over “S.W.A.T.”
“That said, this is one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make,” she explained. “I’m forever grateful to my ‘S.W.A.T.’ family – my fellow cast, writers, and producers – for an incredible journey. To the amazing ‘S.W.A.T.’ fans, you are the heart of the show. I can’t thank you enough for your support and for walking beside me through all of Chris’ journey!”
The “S.W.A.T.” showrunners also said goodbye to Esco, sending her off with heartfelt wishes.
“For five seasons and 106 episodes, we’ve had the pleasure to watch Lina Esco bring Chris Alonso to life on ‘S.W.A.T,'” the showrunners said. “When Lina came to us a year ago to express her desire to eventually pursue other endeavors, we all worked hard to give Chris a proper, season-long sendoff, knowing what an important, iconic character she’s been to our audience. Lina rewarded us this season with thrilling performances as well as a terrific job directing an episode.”
The continued, “What Lina brought to the show, and what Chris represented to our audience, are hard to replace. We’ll miss Chris, but we’ll especially miss Lina, as we wish her the best of luck with everything she chooses to do next.”