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Your First Look at Sam Waterston's Final Law & Order Episode Is Here

Veteran District Attorney Jack McCoy will return to the courtroom to argue one last case.

By Jill Sederstrom

Get ready to cue the waterworks. After more than 400 episodes, Law & Order’s Sam Waterston — who plays the scrupulous District Attorney Jack McCoy — is saying goodbye to the beloved series and we have the first look at next week’s special event. 

How to Watch

Watch the Season 24 premiere of Law & Order Thursday, October 3 at 8/7c on NBC

A promo for the dramatic episode, which will air Thursday, February 22 at 8/7c on NBC, was released Friday and it looks like we just may get to see Jack McCoy back in the courtroom, arguing a case, one last time. 

RELATED: After More Than 400 Episodes, Sam Waterston Announces He's Leaving Law & Order

“As district attorney, I’ve tried to act fairly and ethically,” McCoy says over a montage of images from his lengthy career.

Fans are reminded of the lengths the dedicated attorney was willing to go to prove a case as a much younger McCoy is seen dramatically emptying a container of bullets onto the prosecutor’s table as the jury looked on.

“In 30 seconds, his gun was able to fire this many bullets,” McCoy said as the bullets rained down on the desk. 

It then flashes forward to current times when McCoy tells assistant district attorney Nolan Price (Hugh Dancy) in next week's episode, “I’m trying the case.” 

The two men are seen sharing a toast in the preview clip, before McCoy is shown standing back in front of another jury. 

“On that morning, he was a killer,” McCoy emphasized.

There are no details yet about the case that prompted the district attorney to step back into the courtroom.

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“It’s been a hell of a ride,” McCoy says later in the clip.

The promo ends with a satisfied McCoy, donning a coat and hat, giving a slight smile. 

D.A. Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) appears in Season 23 Episode 3 of Law & Order

Why is Sam Waterston keaving Law & Order

Waterston announced he was leaving Law & Order earlier this month, after playing McCoy for several decades. 

"Greetings, you wonderful people," he wrote in a letter addressed to fans. "It’s a pleasure to talk directly like this to the backbone of Law & Order’s absolutely amazing audience. The time has come for me to move on and take Jack McCoy with me. There’s sadness in leaving, but I’m just too curious about what’s next. An actor doesn’t want to let himself get too comfortable. I’m more grateful to you than I can say. L&O’s continuing and amazing long run, along with its astounding comeback, is all thanks to you and to Dick Wolf, but for whose vision, patience, perseverance, and unique combination of creative and business talents, none of this would have happened. I feel very blessed. I hope to see you all on the flip side."

RELATED: Reid Scott Made Law & Order Debut as Det. Vincent Riley With Deadly Consequences

The veteran actor first took on the role of McCoy in 1994 and continued to play the justice-seeking attorney until the show went off the air in 2010. He resumed his role when the show returned in 2022 for its 21st season.

“I consider myself extraordinarily lucky to have such a long run doing something of real quality that really talks to this country in plain language about what’s going on right now today,” he told NBC Chicago in April 2023. “It’s just been a wonderful blessing.”

Scandal's Tony Goldwyn will take over as district attorney later this season.

To see Jack McCoy in action one last time, watch Law & Order Thursday, February 22 at 8/7c on NBC or stream it the next day on Peacock.