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Lina Esco Exits CBS’ ‘SWAT’ Ahead of Season 6

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It’s always exciting when a show gets renewed for another season. But, in the case of CBSSWAT, it also means losing a main character and cast member. Lina Esco, who portrayed Christina “Chris” Alonso for the past five seasons, announced she’s leaving the show. This news came after the hit series was renewed for season 6 in April; Esco’s announcement came in May after the season 5 finale aired.

Find out what Lina said in her goodbye post, cast reactions, and more below. 

Why is Lina Esco Leaving SWAT

Lina penned an emotional goodbye post after the season 5 finale episode, appropriately titled “Farewell,” aired on television. In it, she stated that she was “leaving S.W.A.T. to pursue new creative endeavors.” Recently, she took a new step in her career path, adding director to her resume when she directed an episode of the CBS show in March. This aligns with her desire to pursue other ventures, which could mean more TV, or perhaps a foray into film. 

“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. 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,” she wrote on Instagram. 

Lina also said that it wasn’t an easy decision to make, and she’ll miss her cast and crew dearly. “That said, this is one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make. 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,” her statement finished. 

Alongside her announcement, the showrunners of CBS’ SWAT issued a statement too. “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. 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,” they shared. “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.” 

Lina’s SWAT Co-Stars React to Her Departure

With the support of her SWAT family, Lina can look forward to what’s next in her career. Her cast mates have been commenting on her post too. Co-star Alex Russell, who plays James “Jim” Street said: “So excited for you for this new chapter. We’ll miss you every day and have your back always!! ❤️🙏🏽😊” Kenny Johnson, another one of Lina’s SWAT co-stars commented: “I miss you so much already. !!!! And I saw you 10 hours ago. It’s going to be so so tough without you. Beyond words.”

While fans will miss Lina and her popular character Chris, the showrunners did give a great sendoff. Christina and Jim spent the night together, which made “Stris” fans very happy, plus she gave gifts to her teammates along the way as her last day working on the SWAT team came to a close. 

To keep up with Lina Esco’s next career moves, be sure to follow her on Instagram. You can also stream episodes of SWAT on Hulu.


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