Maria Bello Apparently Only Has One More 'NCIS' Episode Left Before Her Exit

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Tierney McAfee
·3 min read
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Photo credit: CBS Photo Archive - Getty Images
Photo credit: CBS Photo Archive - Getty Images

From The Pioneer Woman

Jack Sloane is gearing up for her final mission. That's right, the beloved NCIS character, played by actress Maria Bello, is leaving the show very soon. But when exactly is Maria's last NCIS episode? The details about Sloane's exit are still a little fuzzy, but she will reportedly only appear in one more before saying goodbye.

Jaqueline "Jack" Sloane joined NCIS in 2015 as a forensic psychologist with a fascinating back story. She's a former Army lieutenant who was honorably discharged after enduring a traumatic capture in Afghanistan. Jack is known for her caring personality and dedication to helping others. Although she can be quite private about her past and personal life (including the daughter, Faith Tolliver, whom she gave up for adoption), Jack has developed a close relationship with her team leader, Special Agent Leroy Gibbs (Mark Harmon). In fact, their off-the-charts chemistry has had fans shipping them for quite some time.

We have to admit, Sloane's exit has got us like:

But at least there's one silver lining: It looks like Sloane and Gibbs are finally going to get their magic moment before she's gone for good.

So when will Maria Bello's final "NCIS" episode air?

Maria's final episode hasn't officially been announced, but we can make an educated guess. In July, the actress shared that she would be leaving the show part-way through the current season. According to Newsweek, Maria signed on for exactly eight episodes of season 18. Since she has appeared in all seven episodes of the season so far, it's safe to assume that her final episode will be episode 8, which will air on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

Photo credit: CBS Photo Archive - Getty Images
Photo credit: CBS Photo Archive - Getty Images

The official CBS synopsis is also telling. It says that the upcoming episode, titled "True Believer," will be all about Sloane—and Gibbs!

What is the episode about?

The official logline reads: "When Sloane's name is discovered in Afghanistan at the site of an abandoned bus with a dead driver, Gibbs accompanies her on a trip to find a group of girls who were kidnapped from the bus. Also, McGee (Sean Murray), Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) track down a hacker who emailed compromising information to the Taliban."

Photo credit: CBS Photo Archive - Getty Images
Photo credit: CBS Photo Archive - Getty Images

In a TVLine interview, NCIS co-showrunner Steven Binder hinted that fans can expect Gibbs and Sloane's will-they-won't-they relationship to get some closure. "Sloane is of course leaving, so there’s been an ongoing wonderment of what’s going on between her and Gibbs—and I think we’re going to find that out," he said. "If it’s not now, then never, so I think it’s going to be now."

Why is she really leaving the show?

It's unclear exactly why Maria is leaving the show. We do know that her three-year contract expired in 2020 and was not renewed, although she agreed to film eight final episodes to give Sloane a proper goodbye.

Photo credit: CBS Photo Archive - Getty Images
Photo credit: CBS Photo Archive - Getty Images

Also, Newsweek noted that the Golden Globe-nominated actress (who is also known for her roles in History of Violence, The Cooler, and Coyote Ugly) already has a new project in the works, so that could explain her NCIS exit. Maria is writing and producing the upcoming drama The Woman King, about an all-female military unit.

No matter the reason for her exit, fans can rest assured that Jack Sloane will be getting a farewell worthy of her amazing character.

NCIS co-showrunner Frank Cardea told TVLine: "When we're trying to figure out how to exit a character, one thing we always ask is: 'What does that character deserve?' And the character of Sloane is a very strong character, and a passionate character, so we're going to really have her go on something worthy of that."

Phew, that's a relief. It's so hard to say goodbye but we can't wait to see what this episode has in store for Sloane. How about you?