Sam Waterston talks about his final 'Law & Order' episode and Jack McCoy's 'beautiful exit'

Waterston ended its run on the NBC series Thursday night after 19 seasons, paving the way for Tony Goldwyn to take over as the new prosecutor in upcoming seasons weeks. 

Law & Order legend Jack McCoy has officially spoken out on his latest case. 

Sam Waterston's farewell His role as district attorney arrived Thursday night after three decades, and his farewell came as he entered the courtroom for the last time. 

The season 23 episode titled “Last Dance” began with the death of a woman last seen at 5 a.m. in Central Park. Detectives Jalen Shaw (Mehcad Brooks) and Vincent Riley (Reid Scott) then arrived on the scene and found that the victim had not only had his head smashed against a rock, but had also been strangled.

After investigators rescued the stolen necklace from the clutches of a park employee named Miguel, they determined the woman's name and occupation based on the inscription on the back of the pendant: Veronica Knight, founder of a dating app.

With the help of the memories of Miguel, Lieutenant Kate Dixon (Camryn Manheim) and some security footage, investigators discovered that a man from the suspicious appearance was located in the structure. home. Princeton Study Park at the time of Veronica's death. 

The suspect turned out to be a well-known tech mogul named Scott Kelton (Rob Benedict), who, appropriately, loved running at The Reservoir in Central Park every morning at 5am

Shaw and Riley went to Kelton's technical headquarters to question him, and as expected, Kelton said he hadn't seen anything in the park, even if he did. She worked for him when he was graduating and had been texting him in recent weeks asking to talk, but Kelton never responded.

Kelton's story is confirmed. Outside, detectives continued to pursue other possible leads, including the questioning of a food truck salesman, until Dixon interrupted them. Veronica's therapist, Dr. Andrews, arrived at the police station with valuable information.

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

"Veronica was sexually assaulted six years ago and was just starting process." She accepts,” Dr. Andrews revealed. “She was determined to face her attacker.” 

Dr. Andrews also told investigators that “he knew the name of the man who attacked Veronica. Flag for Riley and Shaw to quickly return to Kelton's offices, this time to arrest him for the murder of Veronica Knight. 

A related press conference the next morning, the mayor was the catalyst for McCoy's first appearance in the episode, insisting that the DA's office would handle the case professionally and impartially, that is, despite Kelton's ties to the mayor.

“Politics has no role in this role,” McCoy assured the press.

It turned out that Kelton was the major donor to McCoy's opponent in the race for the new district attorney and was also a friend of the mayor who did nothing to hide it his displeasure at Kelton's arrest.

"I hope you know what you're doing," Mayor Payne told McCoy after the press conference. 

Assistant District Attorney Nolan Price (Hugh Dancy) and Assistant District Attorney Samantha Maroun (Odelya Halevi) stayed to discuss the difficult situation they found themselves in: rumors spread that McCoy had just filed a complaint against Kelton. , "one of the most philanthropic men in the world," accused Price of sabotaging McCoy's election opponents.

Law & Order': Sam Waterston Ends Run as Jack McCoy in Final Episode

When Kelton's trial began, Price knew the case" it would boil down to the motive."

The problem? Maybe Dr. Andrews couldn't get him to testify about what Veronica told him about Kelton and the rape. When McCoy inevitably asked Price how the case was going and if they could prove Kelton's motive, Price wasn't confident. He told McCoy that he would rather make a deal with Kelton that would guarantee him prison time than roll the dice with the jury.

McCoy did not. I think he is very happy. Excited by the prospect of a guilty plea, Price insisted that any evidence they had against Kelton was circumstantial at best. He wanted to arrest Kelton, but he couldn't risk being acquitted. 

“Make that son of a bitch an offer. Man [massacre] one, ten years," McCoy told Price.

With McCoy's blessing, Price and Maroun met with Kelton and his attorney to discuss a settlement, and Kelton confessed. He said he did not rape Veronica, but that they had a "consensual" relationship years ago and that Veronica accused him of rape on the day of her death.  

Veronica demanded an apology, Kelton said, and when he refused, she said she would go public with her story and file a police report. Kelton then said he grabbed her and she hit him in retaliation and "it all happened fast."

"We need more than this,” Price said. 

At Price's request, Kelton continued, adding that he pushed Veronica and she fell, hitting her head on a rock and starting to bleed. 

“At that moment I knew that my life was over. – That I couldn't go back and no one would believe my version of events. “It was either her or me, so I strangled her,” Kelton admitted. 

With the truth in hand, Price Kelton entered a plea to first-degree manslaughter. He ended up with 15 years in prison. Kelton's attorney responded with manslaughter and five years in prison, for which Price imposed "not a day less than 10 years," according to his conversation with McCoy. 

Price and Maroun then interviewed the mayor's son, Jordan Payne, who turned out to be one of the mayor's best friends, looking for a way to strengthen his cause. They wanted to confirm information Payne had about a tropical trip he took with Kelton six years earlier, during which Kelton allegedly raped Veronica.

As told to Payne I was "I'm not cooperating. And when he badgered the mayor's son for information to use against his best friend, Price, unsurprisingly, ended up meeting with the mayor.

"My son is out of reach," he told Price, also threatening that the DA had better make a deal with Kelton or he would withdraw his support for McCoy and assure me that l Jack's opponent gets elected.

"I have great respect for Jack McCoy," the mayor told Price, "but if you mention my son, I'll tell you I will bury. »