How Sam Waterston’s Jack McCoy Exited ‘Law & Order’

Rexa Vella

How Sam Waterston’s Jack McCoy Exited ‘Law & Order’

Jack McCoy is officially done in the courtroom. Sam Waterston appeared in his final episode of “Law & Order” on Thursday, Feb. 22.

Following a conviction and going against the mayor’s wishes to not question his son, he revealed to ADA Nolan (Hugh Dancy) that he was resigning. “I’ve been thinking about this for a while. It’s time, it just is,” Jack said, revealing that since he went against the mayor’s wishes, the leader will do everything in his power to make sure Jack loses the election — and it will work.

“He’s going to bury everyone who wronged him, including you — especially you,” he continued. “If I step aside now, the governor will be able to appoint someone — someone with integrity.”

Jack then raised his glass for a cheers, stating, “It’s been a hell of a ride.” The hour ended with him outside, looking up at the courthouse.

Waterston, 83, joined the mothership series in 1994, starring in a leading role through the series’ original end in 2010. He returned in 2022 when the show was revived for its 21st season. He’s also played Jack McCoy on spinoffs “Law & Order: SVU” and “Law & Order: Trial by Jury” and the movie, “Exited: A Law & Order Movie.”

Earlier this month, Waterston released a statement about his exit. “Greetings, you wonderful people,” he began. “It’s a pleasure to talk directly like this to the backbone of Law & Order’s absolutely amazing audience. The time has come for me to move on and take Jack McCoy with me. There’s sadness in leaving, but I’m just too curious about what’s next. An actor doesn’t want to let himself get too comfortable. I’m more grateful to you than I can say. L&O’s continuing and amazing long run, along with its astounding come-back, is all thanks to you and to Dick Wolf, but for whose vision, patience, perseverance, and unique combination of creative and business talents, none of this would have happened. I feel very blessed. I hope to see you all on the flip side.”

Tony Goldwyn will be replacing McCoy as the new district attorney. Ahead of his debut, he shared photos from the set on Instagram, captioning the stills, “Some very large shoes to fill! First episode finished as DA Nicholas Baxter. Thanks to the L&O fam for being so welcoming!” He will be introduced during the March 14 episode.

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