A major character left ‘Law & Order: SVU’ at the end of the Feb. 7 episode. Get the details on why this character exited and whether or not there’s possibility for [SPOILER]’s return!
Raúl Esparza has left Law & Order: SVU. The actor, who played the beloved ADA Rafael Barba, had been on the show for six seasons. In the Feb. 7 episode, Barba decided to leave the District Attorneys office after helping end the life of a brain dead child. Sam Waterston’s Jack McCoy returned and prosecuted Barba for the baby’s death with the help of special prosecutor Peter Stone (Philip Winchester) from Chicago Justice. Barba was ultimately found not guilty, and that spurred a major life-changing decision. In an emotional farewell, he told Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) it was time to move on.
Raúl revealed to EW why now was the right time to exit the long-running series. “I’ve done six seasons, I felt like it was time to go,” he said. “I had explored a lot of what I thought Barba was about. I just felt it was time to move on.” When asked whether or not he would return to the series, he said: “Absolutely, because I’m really rooting for the opportunity to make television history with the series.” Law & Order: SVU is currently in its 19th season. If the show makes it to season 21, it will surpass Law & Order and Gunsmoke to become the longest-running non-animated show on TV.
Law & Order: SVU has had its fair share of exits. Christopher Meloni, a.k.a. Detective Elliot Stabler, shockingly left the series in season 12. Richard Belzer and Dann Florek, who played Munch and Cragen, left in season 15. Danny Pino, who played Amaro, exited after three seasons in season 16.
We’ll miss Barba, but we’re excited to see what Peter will bring to the table as the new ADA. Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on NBC.
HollywoodLifers, are you upset Raul has left the series? Was Barba your favorite character? Let us know!