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The Reason Lina Esco Left S.W.A.T. Before Season 6

Several individuals have been tasked with suiting up to participate in the series "S.W.A.T.," and while some cast members continue to serve, others like Lina Esco have unfortunately left the series. The departure may have come as a surprise to some fans, but for anyone wondering why the actress exited the show, there is a simple reason she vacated the CBS action crime thriller.

Esco played the character of Chris Alonso, the first female officer to join the LAPD S.W.A.T. division, in over 100 episodes. She was one of the team's toughest and most formidable members until she left the series before the beginning of Season 6. The news was quite a shock for some, but after Esco's impactful run on the series, her reasoning makes sense. "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," the actress said in a statement shared by TV Line. "Five years later, I am leaving S.W.A.T. to pursue new creative endeavors." 

While she seemed excited about the move and grateful for all the support over the years, leaving the show was no easy endeavor. The actress added, "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!"

But while the departure was arguably a big loss for fans, Esco isn't leaving the series empty-handed, as she has attained a certain set of skills from her time working on "S.W.A.T."

Esco increased her action attributes on camera and behind the scenes

Everyone knows that the characters on "S.W.A.T." encounter plenty of action, and the cast is known for doing several of their own stunts — including Lina Esco. The actress has worked hard to make the exhilarating sequences on the show look as authentic as possible, and after all that training, Esco almost feels confident in her abilities to save the day in the real world. 

"Now because I've had all this training, when I go out and see certain injustices, I'm like, I could jump in there and maybe do a little something," the actress said while being interviewed on People Now. "Maybe I could take 'em down, maybe that's my head just thinking way too big." While she might've been joking about going full vigilante, she has acquired the right skills from doing 90% of her stunts, which involved learning martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and more.

And when it comes to flexing her action-packed attributes, Esco's efforts aren't limited to what's in front of the camera. The actress didn't shy away from the chance to direct one of the show's high-octane entries, which was a pulse-pounding experience. "This was one of those opportunities, especially with a show that's so action-packed," the actress said in an interview with WJZ. "We shoot 47 pages, eight and a half days with four cameras rolling at all times, there is no time for stopping. You just have to go go go and deliver." 

Whether it's cultivating captivating combat for the camera or orchestrating the whole episode's operation, there is no denying Esco has gained a lot from her tour of duty on the CBS series "S.W.A.T."