How ‘S.W.A.T.’ Said Goodbye to Street in Alex Russell’s Final Episode — With Fun Twist


[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for S.W.A.T. Season 7 Episode 5 “End of the Road.”]

The latest S.W.A.T. episode feels very much like a farewell to Alex Russell‘s Jim Street (it is), and it’s pretty clear from the start how he’ll be written out. However, there is a fun twist at the end!

Street’s been busy with Long Beach S.W.A.T. for the last few months training the officers and showing his former boss, Jones (Brian Letscher), just how far he’s come from the hellraiser he once was. “We might have gotten off to a rocky start, but 20-Squad’s not 20-Squad without Street,” Hondo (Shemar Moore) remarks at one point. Both squads join forces when what should have been an easy target results in Long Beach S.W.A.T. realizing a biker club is getting back together. The biker club has big plans, courtesy of their cop-killing boss, who’s resurfaced after being MIA for a decade.

Jones thinks a dead cop found at the scene was just dirty, but it’s soon revealed that he was being blackmailed into stealing armor-piercing rounds after threats to his niece’s life. He has no problem admitting he was wrong, and he can see that Hondo’s cool head is why Street looks up to him. He remembers almost washing Street out before he ended up with Hondo. “You took a chunk of coal and molded him into a true diamond,” Jones says. Hondo gives him some credit, too, for the fire he sees in Street.

It’s easy to see where this is all leading throughout the episode. “Your house, I’m just couch-surfing,” Street tells Jones in the first scene. He admits to Tan (David Lim) that he used to blame Long Beach for the bad stuff that happened to him instead of the people who failed him, but that’s changed. Street takes the lead in an interrogation, impressing Hicks (Patrick St. Esprit). Street says it “feels like home” being back riding with 20-Squad. Then Jones is shot with one of those armor-piercing rounds and rushed off to the hospital, and it doesn’t look good.

Street also takes an officer, Carnegy, under his wing before Jones is shot — and after as well, with some advice from those who taught him: Hondo and Deacon (Jay Harrington). Long Beach S.W.A.T. needs someone to pull them together like Jones usually does, and that’s Street’s job now. “Leadership doesn’t come to everybody, but it does to you. We’ve seen it,” Deacon tells him. Jones sees it, too, and Hondo leaves Street with the other squad to pick them up and make his former boss proud. Street gets through to Carnegy by talking about his own rough road and having a team rally around him. That’s what Long Beach needs to do now.

And under Street’s guidance, that’s what happens. There’s no second-in-command, and as Carnegy points out, Street is the only person they trust to lead them through it. That’s what he does—and successfully at that. Street takes down the biker club’s leader who is trying to steal the drugs the LAPD is taking for incineration in an armored truck. After, he checks on Carnegy, who’s decided he’s staying with Long Beach and putting down some roots.

When Hicks reports that Jones died, Street takes it upon himself to tell his squad. Then, all that’s left is for him to tell Hondo the decision we saw him making from a mile away. He waits for the sergeant right where Hondo once fired him. “It felt like the worst day of my life at the time, and I had some bad days before that and worse to come,” Street recalls. After Hondo praises him for the job he did with Jones’ team, Street admits, “I never thought of myself as someone who can call the shots like that.”

But Hondo’s not too surprised given that Street’s “always understood family. You grew up having to make your own, so you know the power in it. Even when you were running off, ignoring my orders, you only did it because you wanted to help your mom or brother or Chris.” And after the day he just had, Jones’ team is now family to Street as well.

“I’m worried about them,” Street says. “You taught me to be a S.W.A.T. officer, and then you taught me to be a leader. Right now, they need a leader.” He’s staying at Long Beach for good, but “I owe you, this team, everything. It saved me. I’m not sure I know how to leave it behind.” And while teams do come and go and can’t be perfect forever, when “20-Squad was perfect, it was perfect,” Street adds.

Hugging Street goodbye, Hondo tells him, “I never thought the screw-up I had to fire would be the one I’d have the hardest time saying goodbye to.” And while Street would rather just have Hondo say goodbye to the others, Tan sees him packing up his locker and follows him outside.

“I figured I’d just bow out of here, finally give you a chance to shine,” Street jokes. Tan retorts, “You’re only leaving because you’ll never get promoted over me.” Street remembers the two of them being the “team babies” in the beginning and, rather than turning on each other, becoming best friends. “Nothing’s ever going to change that,” he promises and reminds Tan that he still lives in Los Angeles. “Chris and I will have you over in a few weeks for the engagement party—just don’t say anything yet. Especially to Chris,” Street reveals. After dropping that hint, surprising Tan and fans, Street drives off. (Come on, we have to see everyone celebrate that engagement, right?)

What did you think of how S.W.A.T. wrote out Street and Russell in their final episode? Let us know in the comments section, below.

S.W.A.T., Fridays, 8/7c, CBS

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