NCIS season 18 debate: Where is the Maria Bello exit story?

Maria BelloWe are now entering NCIS season 18 episode 7 on CBS, and it’s fair to say we’ve got questions about Sloane. How could we not?

Think back to when Maria Bello’s departure was first reported over the summer — she was supposedly set to appear in eight episodes, and we have to think that this is the plan. Showrunners Steven D. Binder and Frank Cardea even confirmed it to us in the fall, and at that point, they likely had a good bit of the story set. We may only have a couple of episodes left with Maria in the cast, pending some last-minute story change.

For some thoughts on this past NCIS episode, watch the latest at the bottom of this article! Once you do that, subscribe to Matt & Jess on YouTube and also view our playlist. We post new reviews there every week!

So why is the show taking so long writing in Sloane’s departure? The easy answer is that this is what NCIS does. They often choose to not write in an exit far in advance. This is somewhat similar to how they handled the Pauley Perrette and Cote de Pablo situation. Michael Weatherly didn’t get all that much of a long goodbye, either. Because the show is heavily syndicated, they often choose to not deliver long, character-specific story arcs. We’re almost shocked that they gave us as long of an arc with Gibbs and Fornell as they did.

With all of this spelled out, it does feel like NCIS at least referenced the idea of Sloane leaving in the most-recent episode. Gibbs noted to her that she hasn’t been herself lately, and she responded to that by deflecting and asking a question about him. It’s clear that Sloane is thinking about something, but what it is remains a mystery.

We’ve said this before, but no matter how Sloane is written out, our hope is that the door will still be open for a return someday — or, we at least get some sort of confirmation that she and Gibbs have a larger romantic connection than we’ve seen on-screen to date.

Related News Get more information on the next NCIS episode now

What do you want to see for Maria Bello’s NCIS exit story?

Be sure to share right now in the comments! Of course, we’ll have more news on the series in due time. (Photo: CBS.)

This article was written by Jessica Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.

Love TV? Be sure to like CarterMatt on Facebook for more updates!