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S.W.A.T. Season 7: Why Kenny Johnson's Dominique Luca Leaves The Series

Contains spoilers for "S.W.A.T." Season 7, Episode 7 — "Last Call"

Fans of Dominique Luca (Kenny Johnson) knew it was coming, as CBS had previously announced the actor would have a reduced role in Season 7. Yet it's still painful to watch Luca exit his job during "Last Call." The situation surrounding the "S.W.A.T." stalwart's departure isn't quite as gloomy as it might have been. Promos revolving around the character's exit suggested that Luca was about to meet a violent end, perhaps even die in the line of duty. Fortunately — while it was touch and go for a bit during "Last Call" — he does manage to survive after being shot several times during Episode 6, "Escape." 

An issue pops up when Luca is discharged from the hospital; his doctor receives the results from an MRI performed on the former soldier, and it reveals that he's suffered nerve damage in the attack. Unfortunately, that damage leaves him physically unfit to pass a physical to rejoin the squad. Informed that there's a desk job waiting for him, Luca chooses to retire instead. The team celebrates him for his bravery with a full-dress ceremony. 

While Luca will remain in touch with his colleagues even if he doesn't participate in any more missions, Johnson has admitted that he had a challenging time saying a somewhat more permanent goodbye to his character and the series as a whole.

Kenny Johnson was moved by Dominique's exit

Speaking with TVLine in the wake of Dominique Luca's exit, Kenny Johnson admitted that saying goodbye to his role — and costars like Shemar Moore — proved to be a difficult task. Johnson recalled filming his final scene, with all of his colleagues looking upon him in fond appreciation and getting choked up by the sight. "The look that they had, because they know what this means.... We've all been so close to each other for all this time, so every single time I eyed them it was tough because it's Luca leaving, but for me I'm losing these friends that I've bonded with for six years, every single day," he said.

It was a long, slow letting go process for Johnson, who actually thought his character had died, as when he came into loop audio for his last set of episodes, he was only given the opportunity to work on the outings leading up to Episode 7. "Even when I went to go in for looping, they only showed up to the point to where I got shot. I'm like, 'It doesn't look like there's any way that I'm going to survive that.'"

Fortunately, Luca continues to thrive, which means he won't need to be saved, just like "S.W.A.T." was from cancellation. Fans will have to keep watching "S.W.A.T." online or on CBS to find out how things ultimately resolve as the series nears its end.