After 16 years of appearances across four different CBS dramas, NCIS star Pauley Perrette will soon be stepping down as forensic specialist Abby Sciuto, with Season 15 being her last. We can probably expect her co-star ensemble to offer up tributes and more loving words as the season winds down, but Perrette herself wanted to reward NCIS' most dedicated viewers by filling her final episodes with easter eggs and callbacks to some of Abby's most memorable moments in past seasons. Here's what star Rocky Carroll had to say about Perrette's unique goodbye.
Her approach to [leaving] is to have fun with this. What she has been doing for her fans is [sprinkling] in callbacks, certain Abby-isms, these little treats that the diehard NCIS fans will recognize. It's her 'farewell' card to the audience, where people will see it and go, 'Oh my god, that's from Season 2, when this happened with Tony' or 'when this happened with Kate.' She's trying to take you on this treasure hunt, where every time you're watching one of her scenes there's a throwback to a previous season.
Isn't that awesome? Fans have been bummed about Abby leaving the show since the very milliseconds after Pauley Perrette first made her announcement, so Rocky Carroll's words to TVLine are certainly a silver lining. Instead of worrying about the character going away, viewers can now get even more enjoyment out of her final episodes by trying to recognize all the Abby references and callbacks on display.
Will she end up looking for poison inside of some health food snacks, as she did in the NCIS series premiere episode, "Yankee White?" Can we expect to take another big dive into Abby's backstory? Could we possibly expect Michael Weatherly's Tony DiNozzo and Cote de Pablo's Ziva David returning to tell her goodbye? I guess that last one wouldn't technically be a callback, but Abby and Tony did share some sweet moments before he bounced, so he should return the favor.
Pauley Perrette's NCIS exit had apparently been in the works before her announcement went public, which allowed for NCIS' creative team to steer things in ways that would allow for Abby to make a graceful departure. And apparently that process opened up a creative bypass in the actress' memory banks, inspiring her to reach back into Abby's onscreen history to wink and nod at viewers who have been enjoying the show since its 2003 premiere. The core NCIS characters actually originated on Jag, where Abby first rocked her goth garb, so it'll be interesting to see if that very first appearance gets a callback.
Pauley Perrette will soon be celebrating her long stint on NCIS, but her daily life got quite a bit more stressful recently. David Merck, the transient who allegedly attacked and threatened the actress outside her home in 2015, was released from a state psychiatric institution, and Perette is apparently worried that she'll soon be reading about another one of his crimes, according to Fox 11. That's definitely a past event that we're hoping she can avoid thinking about for as long as possible.
NCIS will return to CBS from its brief Season 15 hiatus on Tuesday, February 27, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Check out how Pauley Perrette has been a real-world inspiration to young girls everywhere, and head to our midseason premiere schedule to see what other new and returning shows are on the way.