Give this man his own series! Esparaza’s exit marks the end of the line for the morally competent lawyer, ADA Rafael Barba, whose judgement and insight into matters of law were always passionate and heartfelt. Not since Christopher Meloni’s Stabler, has there been a character who was such a force on SVU.
But big things are coming for the franchise, as Sam Waterston’s Jack McCoy returned to offer Barba some advice on what to do in a case that rocked him to his core. Barba ended up not taking that advice and instead pulled the plug on his client’s brain dead baby, and he left law. Paving way for Philip Winchester’s Peter Stone, direct from Chicago for his father’s funeral, to take over as ADA.
Additionally Esparza has joked about having a Barba spin-off. He’s interested in exploring the world of the DA’s office and local New York politics. He is open to once again, returning to the series when it gets closer to making it’s historic season 21.
Barba was originally supposed to be a guest role, but Esparza’s acting chops turned the character into a series regular. Esparza is returning to Broadway, after six years on SVU.