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NCIS Maria Bello Jacqueline Jack Sloane CBS

NCIS is losing a member of the team when it returns for the long-awaited Season 18. News broke over the summer that NCIS would say goodbye Maria Bello as Jack Sloane on the series. She is supposed to appear in eight episodes in the upcoming season before her exit. So, how will NCIS give Bello’s Jack a “worthy” ending in Season 18? The co-showrunner has spoken.

NCIS is no stranger to having to figure out how to write characters off. Now it is Maria Bello’s turn, and NCIS has provided a bit of insight into how the show will handle it. On Bello’s ending as Jack, 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.

How will Jack Sloane’s strength and passion carry into her ending on NCIS? It is something the writers are apparently working to pay respect to as they orchestrate her exit. Of course, it could be a while yet before viewers get a sense of the set-up for Sloane’s departure. NCIS will be starting in an unusual way as it heads back to the past for a bit.

The long-running series will pick up with the eighth episode of last season. Hence, Sloane’s decisions about her future will have to wait until the show catches up with the finale. Or will they? Perhaps NCIS revisiting November 2019 will help provide further context to how Sloane makes her departure.

Fans of NCIS (and there are a lot of them) will undoubtedly be on the edge of their seats as NCIS readies Sloane’s ending. It could go any number of ways. The most reasonable way to write Sloane out would be for her to take a job elsewhere, using her strength and passion in another venue. Thus, keeping the door open for Maria Bello if she wanted to return.

Maria Bello joined the cast of NCIS back in Season 15. She has been a regular presence ever since then. Gibbs and Bello’s Sloane have gotten close through the years. Despite teases that there could be something more in store for their relationship, it appears to be a flame that will not entirely ignite in a full-blown romance.

In other words, do not expect to unearth some grand Sloane/Gibbs romance in the lead-up to her ending. That was already squashed, citing Gibbs’ need for self-improvement. Considering that Sloane is leaving, it may be better not to try to them out in Season 18, only to have her and Gibbs’ break up.

NCIS still does not have a Season 18 premiere date, so stay tuned. In the meantime, take a look at this fall’s premieres. You can catch up with Sloane’s journey in past seasons by streaming on Netflix, alongside 2020 arrivals.

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