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It’s official: Maria Bello has left the NCIS cast.
Even though fans knew this was coming, it doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye. Maria’s farewell to Sloane took place during season 18, episode 8 “True Believer,” and it was a sad one, to say the least.
Most of the hour revolved around Sloane and Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and their visit to Afghanistan after Sloane’s name was discovered at the site of a hijacked bus. From there, they continued to unravel what was happening and by the end of the episode, Sloane had found her next calling: Working in Afghanistan and protecting the villagers there.
“I did say I needed a change!” she said. “I have loved my time with NCIS. Been a really good path. But you don’t need me anymore.”
Gibbs countered with, “I’m not sure about that,” but he already knew it was a lost cause. It wasn’t her dream house in Costa Rica, but it was her true calling. And then—Gibbs and Sloane sealed their farewell with a kiss. A kiss!!!
As far as NCIS exits go, this was a pretty tame one. Thankfully, she wasn’t killed off meaning the door is open for Maria to return in the future. Fans were relieved about that, but were still crushed. They took to Twitter to express all their woes about the subject:
Some compared it to Tony (Michael Weatherly) and Ziva’s (Cote de Pablo) steamy moment all those years ago.
Then, Maria went and posted a tribute to Gibbs from Sloane on Instagram, and people really lost it.
And that left some worried that this means the return of “sad Gibbs.” Let’s hope not!
Even though Sloane is gone, there’s always a chance she could come back. Plus, if Wilmer Valderrama’s spoiler is any indication, we might be getting a new team member on NCIS soon!