Spoilers below for the Season 5 finale of S.W.A.T., so be warned if you didn't yet watch.
While the line has been in the sand for some weeks now, the CBS drama S.W.A.T. officially bid a fond seeya later to Lina Esco’s Christina “Chris” Alonso with its Season 5 finale, which was appropriately titled “Farewell.” Much as viewers may have hoped that the episode would flip expectations around regarding Chris’ future for the already confirmed Season 6, especially after she and Street finally hooked up, her fate was sealed as soon as she made the decision to leave the S.W.A.T. team in order to run the local safe house. To be expected, the character’s final appearance inspired the star herself to share a thankful goodbye message.
After S.W.A.T. fans witnessed Chris turning in her badge and gun at the end of the gift-giving episode — which is currently available to stream with a Paramount+ subscription — Lina Esco took to Instagram with a farewell to the fans, saying:
Lina Esco sounds ready to take her career to a new level upon exiting S.W.A.T., which could definitely be tied to her work directing a Season 5 installment — Ep 515, “Donor” — assuming she wants to continue showing off her talents behind the camera as much as in front of it. (She also helmed, wrote, and produced the 2014 feature Free the Nipple.) Not that she’s only been resting on her laurels in the midst of her S.W.A.T. work over the past five years, as she also starred the 2018 comedy Porthole, the mindbending 2019 drama Full-Dress, and the sci-fi anthology film Doors (in a segment opposite Josh Peck).
Not that Esco’s message was all about the future, and she continued with a big thank you to everyone for the past five years, saying:
S.W.A.T., which celebrated its 100th episode on CBS this season, will hopefully find a way to bring Chris back in the future, since she’s leaving on a non-lethal note. And not only to follow up on her and Chris getting busy, but that’s definitely a big part of it. It’s partly a bummer to have them go there only for her character to be gone before fans can enjoy that afterglow. Granted, we might still hear about her through verbal updates, but it won’t be quite the same.
To that end, star and Street portrayer Kenneth Johnson commented on Lina Esco’s post with a loving comment, saying:
It wasn’t only the on-screen talent who got in on the Esco-focused adoration. The Twitter account for the S.W.A.T. writers room also chimed in with the following:
It's wild to realize that Chris Alonso's exit has been an impending factor for an entire year, but it makes sense to know that, since her actual exit was telegraphed ahead of time, and in a way that was more meaningful than just a simple write-off or ill-timed death. Until next time, Chris!
While S.W.A.T. wrapped up its fifth season on a Sunday night, where it’s been airing since changing things up for the midseason, the drama will be flipping back to Friday nights for CBS’ Fall 2022 schedule. So be sure to take note, so that you won’t be fooled into thinking the entire series ended when Lina Esco left.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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