Another ADA bites the dust. The season 20 finale of Law & Order: SVU saw series regular Philip Winchester ascend those courtroom steps for the final time as ADA Stone. Winchester joined the cast in season 19 and announced he would be leaving ahead of the historic season 21.
"Sadly for me, Peter Stone and his ‘the facts don't care about you're feelings' attitude will not be returning. A huge tip of the hat to my amazing fans and not so big of fans. You ALL make me work harder. Thank you! See you on the next adventure," he tweeted after NBC announced the show would return for season 21 making it the longest-running primetime live-action series.
So, what happened to Peter Stone?
In "End Game," Stone worked with Nikki Staines (Callie Thorne) to set up Rob Miller (Titus Welliver) in an effort to take him out of the equation and put him behind bars for good. After Stone won his case, he and Benson (Mariska Hargitay) had their final farewell outside the courthouse.
"Thank you," she said.
"Why? Because I put my integrity and my career and everything I believe in in jeopardy for a good friend?" Stone asked.
Benson maintained she didn't ask him to do this for her, but Stone said he was always going to do it anyway.
"I hope you find someone like that again," he said. "I don't regret any of it for a minute, none of it. I simply lost perspective. This is on me. It's a weakness and it's a crack in my character. But the fact is you became more important to me than the case I was trying and that is not me, Liv. You can look at a case with an open heart. I can't do that…I have to look at a case through clear eyes…I have to move on. I have to go or risk getting blinded again."
See how SVU handled other cast exits below.
Law & Order: SVU will return fall 2019 for season 21 on Thursdays, 10 p.m. on NBC.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)