Warning: This story contains spoilers about the May 8 episode of NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service)
Perrette’s exit from the series was announced in October 2017, but her character Abby’s fate was left in question at the end of last week’s episode after she and Clayton Reeves (played by Duane Henry) were confronted by a gun-wielding thief.
At the beginning of Tuesday’s episode, viewers learned that Abby was in serious condition, having suffered a pierced artery after being shot in the chest. Reeves died from his injuries.
Abby’s co-workers stayed on the case as she struggled to come out of a coma, figuring out that Abby had been targeted by a person who she helped put in jail years ago.
When Abby woke up, she helped her co-workers crack the case further, leading them directly to the person responsible. The man was named Robert King — an antagonist from a previous season of NCIS.
After King was placed back behind bars, Abby told her co-workers she intended to leave NCIS to carry through the philanthropic aspirations of Reeves, who died trying to save her.
“Clay died saving my life, and I owe him a debt and I intend to see it through,” she said. “Clay always wanted to start a charity in honour of his mom and since he’s not here to make that happen, I will. I know you may not understand, but it’s something I have to do — and not just for him but for me.”
The unit’s leader Leroy Jethro Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon) was not there for her announcement, so she told him her plans in a letter.
“Hey Gibbs, you’re probably wondering what’s with the retro communication. Truth is, I chickened out. I was afraid if you asked me to stay, I might waver,” she wrote. “There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you. When I think back on when things in my life got difficult, you were always there to tell me that it would be OK. And it would be because you would make it OK. But Gibbs, Reeves is gone and it’s not something anyone can fix. Not even you.”
“I hope you know what you mean to me, Gibbs — every moment, every lesson, every hug, I’m thankful for it all,” she concluded.
After Perrette’s exit from the crime drama, the only original cast members left on the show are Harmon, David McCallum, Sean Murray and Brian Dietzen.
Perrette and many of her co-stars — both current and former cast members of NCIS — took to social media to post tributes for Abby’s final episode.
Many fans of the show took to social media to tweet about Perrette’s exit.
Despite Perrette taking a new path in her life, she’s still upset that she’s leaving the role, as she told CBS News.
“It makes me sad to imagine a world without Abby in it,” Perrette said. “It really makes me sad.”
“We’ve known for some time this would be Pauley’s final season on NCIS and have been working toward a special sendoff. From day one, she has brought incredible passion and specificity to the role. Abby is a character that inspires millions of fans around the world, and all of us at NCIS are appreciative of Pauley for portraying her,” said NCIS executive producers George Schenck and Frank Cardea in a statement.
—With files from Chris JancelewiczFollow @KatieScottNews
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