In its 20-plus year history, Law & Order has said goodbye to cast members in many different ways. There are those who simply move to a different gig (we hardly knew you, Sgt. Phil Cerreta). Then there's the more controversial exits, like A.D.A. Claire Kincaid's fatal car crash or Det. Green's resignation after a messy internal affairs investigation.
But, for just the second time in franchise history, an officer will be killed when Law & Order: LA returns Monday. However, Det. Winters' swan song (and actor Skeet Ulrich's final appearance) also brings new blood to the force, in the form of prosecutor Ricardo Morales (Alfred Molina).
"It was a transition in the show and it was great to be able to shepherd that through," executive producer Chris Misiano says of directing Molina's move from the D.A. to the LAPD. "The script itself was very interesting right from the get-go."
Monday's second episode will give viewers a peek at Det. Morales' chops as a detective when he must interrogate the main suspect at length. "[It] was the linchpin of the piece," Misiano says. "Because of the cast changes and all of those things, it was a unique episode to work on."
Watch a closer behind-the-scenes look at the shooting:
Plus, see more of Molina's first episode on the cop beat:
Law & Order: LA returns Monday at 9/8c on NBC.