NCIS season 15 debate: When will Pauley Perrette’s final arc as Abby begin?


Pauley PerretteWhile we wait for NCIS season 15 to resume airing new episodes, this seems like a good time for questions and debates. There are many worth having within this space, but one of the biggest ones revolves around Pauley Perrette’s exit from the show.

So far, nine episodes of season 15 have been checked off the list, with episode 10 (entitled “Double Down”) airing on CBS December 12. We’re just over a third of the way through this season and there has been nary a mention as to how Perrette’s character of Abby Sciuto will depart. The news of her exit was revealed earlier this season and it was decided behind the scenes long before that — therefore, the wheels have to be in motion when it comes to structuring the right way to give her character a worthy send off.

While it can be hard sometimes to label a single character the heart and soul of an entire show, Abby has to be up there on the list when it comes to NCIS. She routinely is one of the most vivacious personalities, she’s physically recognizable in a way that few other performers are, and she fulfills a unique role in every single episode. You could post a photo of Abby at a convention halfway around the world and there’s a pretty good chance that people would know who she is; there are very few other television characters you can say that with. She’s iconic and also incredibly underrated in that sense. Losing her is a tough pill to swallow and it will be tougher to swallow come April or May when the exit most likely takes place.

So when is CBS going to formally kick off the story arc leading to Abby’s exit? That’s the burning question and the longer the writers wait, the more it will feel like a left turn when her exit actually comes up. By all accounts she loves this job, so it has to be something substantial to take her away from it. We would like to see some of those seeds planted soon.

Often, NCIS likes to use the first episode or two of the calendar year to construct new mythologies and arcs that last a while; it’s our hope that within these episodes (in early 2018) some of the foundation can be laid for Abby. We don’t need to know within the context of the show that she is leaving until close to the finale, but momentum should carry her in that direction. This helps to ensure that Perrette gets worthy screen time heading out the door (she hasn’t had enough so far in season 15 as far as we are concerned) and it keeps viewers from suffering a blindside. There’s another CBS show for that — it’s called Survivor. Maybe a case forms that causes her to discover a passion outside of the NCIS team, or an opportunity arises that offers her pause. The more time the series spends cultivating this story, the better we all will be.

Your thoughts

When do you want to see Pauley Perrette’s exit story start to unfold on NCIS season 15? Let us know in the comments!

Meanwhile, take a look at this link for more details on “Double Down,” and be sure to vote for NCIS in the CarterMatt Awards for Underrated Show of the Year.

Finally, like CarterMatt on Facebook for additional insight on NCIS and some other shows we cover. (Photo: CBS.)

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