Why did Renee Felice Smith, Barrett Foa leave NCIS: Los Angeles?

NericIf you’ve watched tonight’s new episode of NCIS: Los Angelesthen you know the bad news that Barrett Floa and Renee Felice Smith are leaving. It’s a tough pill to swallow! These two have been a part of the show since early on in its run, and they have each contributed to making it precisely what it is.

Yet, in the end, there were clues these exits were coming for a while now. Both actors have been absent for stretches over the past couple of seasons, with the idea being that they were doing other things. As it turns out, this ties very-much into their exits, which seem to be actor-driven more than anything else. In a statement to TVLine, here is what showrunner R. Scott Gemmill had to say:

“Both Renée and Barrett have been on the show a long time, and they’re both very ambitious individuals who have projects that they want to do on their own — and we’ve been giving them time off to do so … It seemed like a natural time to let them go off and do some other things, and give [their characters] what is a happy, hopefully, ending.”

Is there door still open for a return down the road? Absolutely. You can’t rule anything out and it does seem like Foa and Smith are both leaving on good terms.

We will also go ahead and add this: As sad as we are to be saying goodbye to both Smith and Foa, wasn’t this a great way for their characters to go out? We like the idea of Nell and Eric departing together, and doing a job where they will be helping people all over the world. Also, the door is left open for the two to become more romantically intertwined again after that fell apart earlier on in the series. There’s a sense of closure here, but also a way for us to use our imagination.

This was definitely a fake-out, though, as we thought Linda Hunt’s return was going to set up her own exit and Nell taking the job. Not so fast!

Related Here’s when NCIS: Los Angeles season 13 could premiere!

Are you going to miss Barrett Foa and Renee Felice Smith on NCIS: Los Angeles?

Let us know in the comments and after you do, stick around for some other news. (Photo: CBS.)

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