“Law & Order: SVU” brought its 20th season to a close with Peter Stone’s exit. However, fans are disappointed, and some have even termed the move a “rip off.”
The “Endgame” episode marked the season finale and premiered on May 16. The episode had Peter Stone (Philip Winchester) playing dirty to make sure Rob Miller (Titus Welliver), a threat to Liv, was imprisoned for good.
After winning the case, Stone meets Liv, who was angry about his dirty tricks, outside the courthouse. There, he, obviously quite taken with Liv, says his goodbye while explaining that he “hopes she finds someone like that again.”
“We're just as shaken as everyone else. Thanks for joining us for an exceptional season finale. #SVU'll be back again this fall for Season 21. #EndGameSVU.”
An angered fan of the show, @stsvc02 replied with a lengthy message stressing that the scriptwriters did a poor job with Stone's exit bearing a striking similarity to Rafael Barba’s the previous season. She wrote:
“Anyone who thinks this was "Shaken" or "Heartbroken" probably hasn't been watching as long as the majority of us. This goodbye was nothing more than a Half-assed rip off of Barba leaving. A grotesque rewrite. I'm angry. WE ALL deserved better. So Does Barbas Memory.”
Another @jenniferblair99 also said:
“This scene was so incredibly forced. What a terrible way to see him off.”
Rafael Barba (Raúl Esparza), a particular fan-favorite, left SVU in season 19 after he was traumatized by a rather messy case. His role being Liv’s close confidante is one sorely missed by avid fans.
Stone was brought in to replace Barba as the Assistant District Attorney overseeing the New York County District Attorney's Special Victims Unit. He had a rocky start with his co-workers as Barba’s exit was somewhat unexpected. However, Stone went on to become respected and even started to fall for Olivia Benson.
Fans still don't think he measures up to Barba and they find his emotional exit in front of the courthouse mostly disappointing. Many fans took to Twitter to bash the scriptwriters explaining that Stone should get his farewell and not copy Barba’s!
Going by the responses, Barba’s exit is still a sensitive subject for fans of SVU. After leaving the popular series, Esparza, who portrayed Barba, explained that he welcomed the departure.
He disclosed that he “felt like it was time to go” after spending six seasons, which had allowed him to “explore a lot of what he thought Barba was about.”