Sadly, Street is leaving SWAT (Here's why Alex Russell was written off the show)

SWAT's farewell run might still have a few episodes to go, but Alex Russell's time on the show has officially come to an end.

“End of the Road” – While training with Long Beach SWAT, Street discovers a biker club has stolen a cache of armor-piercing bullets and brings 20-Squad into the hunt for the gang before they can pull off a daring and deadly heist. As Hondo struggles with changes at work, Nichelle finds herself at odds with her former colleague Bruce, in part two of a two-part episode of S.W.A.T., Friday, March 8 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on demand
“End of the Road” – While training with Long Beach SWAT, Street discovers a biker club has stolen a cache of armor-piercing bullets and brings 20-Squad into the hunt for the gang before they can pull off a daring and deadly heist. As Hondo struggles with changes at work, Nichelle finds herself at odds with her former colleague Bruce, in part two of a two-part episode of S.W.A.T., Friday, March 8 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on demand /
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We knew saying goodbye to SWAT was going to be hard when CBS renewed the show for a seventh and final season. What we did not expect was that we'd have to say goodbye to some of our favorite characters before the series finale.

Just five episodes into the final season, SWAT will be bidding farewell to an original member of the cast with episode 5, “End of the Road”, serving as the sendoff for Alex Russell's officer Jim Street. That's right, “End of the Road” is indeed the end of the road for Russell's time on the show as Street is leaving the series and is not expected to appear in any additional episodes this season -- though a final cameo in the series finale has not been entirely ruled out, though it looks highly unlikely.

So what gives? Well, it turns out the decision to write Street off the show was made before filming began and it seems to be one that was made by the creative team, not by Russell.

End of the Road
“End of the Road” – While training with Long Beach SWAT, Street discovers a biker club has stolen a cache of armor-piercing bullets and brings 20-Squad into the hunt for the gang before they can pull off a daring and deadly heist. As Hondo struggles with changes at work, Nichelle finds herself at odds with her former colleague Bruce, in part two of a two-part episode of S.W.A.T., Friday, March 8 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on demand /

Alex Russell was bumped from the series regular cast ahead of season 7

As production began on the final season of SWAT, TVLine broke the shocking news that the creative team had decided not to bring back Kenny Johnson and Alex Russell in series regular roles for the final season. Instead, it was announced that the two actors would appear in a recurring capacity for the final season.

At first, this didn't seem all that bad as the assumption among fans was that we'd still get to see the two characters throughout the season, just perhaps not in every episode. Sadly, that has not been the case as it seems TVLine missed the mark or CBS changed the plans after the initial report broke.

Russell did not appear in the first four episodes of the final season and episode 5 is being billed as Street's final farewell, this means that we'll get to see Street just once in the entirety of SWAT's final season. If you ask me, that's not a recurring role, that's a guest spot which is truly shameful given Russell is an original member of the cast and his character has been an integral part of the show since the beginning.

While showrunner Andrew Dettmann told TVLine that they had some really good episodes planned for Russell and Johnson, the original comments about their departures painted a much different picture than the one the show's final season has produced.

“I’m really excited about the episodes we have for [Luca and Street],” Dettmann said at the time. “The idea for the final 13 was that, if this was the end for us, nobody feels like they were underserved. There are some really good episodes for Alex and Kenny, for Street and Luca.”

Alex Russell did not leave SWAT on bad terms

While it is strange that CBS and the creative team opted to bump Alex Russell from series regular in the final season of SWAT, his exit did not come with any bad blood. When confirming his role change on Instagram, Russell had nothing but love for the show and its fans.

"As many of you will now be aware, I will not be returning as a series regular in season 7. I’m so very thankful for having had the opportunity to bring Jim Street to life and for having shared this incredible experience with my SWAT family - it’s been a blast," Russell wrote. "All of us at SWAT are forever grateful to each and every fan for making our amazing job possible. I know in this final season, we’ll give you the grand finish you deserve and don’t worry, you haven’t seen the last of Jim Street yet!"

Russell's statement was released before the start of the season, so it's clear his promise that fans hadn't seen the last of Street was true as he returned for the character's sendoff in season 7, episode 5 which saw Street bringing 20-Squad into the hunt for a gang of bikers who had stolen a cache of armor-piercing bullets before they could pull off a daring and deadly heist.

With Street's time coming to an end on the show in "End of the Road," Russell ends his SWAT run after over 125 episodes.

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