Is Mehcad Brooks leaving Law & Order?

LAW & ORDER -- "Heroes" Episode 22014 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mehcad Brooks as Det. Jalen Shaw, Alphonso Walker Jr. as King Matisse -- (Photo by: Ralph Bavaro/NBC)
LAW & ORDER -- "Heroes" Episode 22014 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mehcad Brooks as Det. Jalen Shaw, Alphonso Walker Jr. as King Matisse -- (Photo by: Ralph Bavaro/NBC) /

Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for Law & Order Season 22 Episode 15 

The latest episode of Law & Order has fans worrying over the fate of Jalen Shaw and if this means Mehcad Brooks may have already left the series.

Law & Order fans are well used to the revolving door of cast changes for the show. Season 22 opened with Anthony Anderson having left his role as Detective Kevin Bernard. That opened the door for Mehcad Brooks as Jalen Shaw, who became the new partner of Frank Cosgrove (Jeffrey Donovan).

The last episode, “Fear and Loathing,” opened with Shaw headed to a murder scene, only for a pair of patrolmen to demand he stop. Despite Shaw telling them he was a detective, the cops pushed him against the wall and it might have gotten worse if Cosgrove hadn’t interfered and pulled Shaw away.

One of the cops tried to apologize, but Shaw was determined to file a report. Dixon warned him that this could cause problems with “the blue wall,” leading to an argument as Shaw was determined to go ahead with his complaint and Cosgrove backed him up. But the two cops filed a complaint against Shaw, getting him in hot water with Internal Affairs.

This distracted Shaw from the main murder case, as a respected black doctor had been killed by a man who thought he was a mugger. That was because of an alert of a suspicious man posted by a real estate magnate, which led that man to be arrested for manslaughter.

Price argued the man was posting fake crime reports to affect real estate prices. When Shaw testified, the defense attorney brought up the complaint against Shaw, which Price didn’t know about. Despite that, Price was still able to get the conviction.

But as he left the courtroom, Shaw was met by Dixon telling him that Internal Affairs declared the investigation closed, the cops would get away with this and Shaw was suspended for a week. Dixon had to admit, “the blue wall is the blue wall,” as gave her his badge and walked away.

Is Shaw really gone?

That ending may give the indication that Brooks is leaving Law & Order, but the actor has given no hints he’s planning to go yet. He has no major projects lined up, and it seems highly unlikely that the producers would have brought in such a big character only for him not to last a full season.

This is likely just a big move for Shaw to return to the force after his suspension, now with a different attitude. Shaw has seen the ugly side of the police before,e but realizing the NYPD is willing to cover up such bias “for the good of the badge” is something else.

Law & Order is on hiatus until March 23, so fans have to wait for the follow-up to this, yet this was a huge episode for Shaw and is likely to change him down the road for the series.

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Law & Order returns Thursday, March 23 at 8/7c on NBC. Catch up on Peacock.