Jack Sloane’s time on NCIS is coming to an end.
Since first joining NCIS back in 2017, the actress portraying Sloane, Maria Bello, has become a welcome member of the show. But last July, reports surfaced that Maria would soon be walking away from her character after her three-year contract with the CBS crime drama had expired.
Throughout season 18, fans have been watching carefully for clues about Sloane’s departure. Finally, in the episode entitled “The First Day,” we see the forensic psychologist tell Gibbs (Mark Harmon) that she intends to move on from NCIS, slow down, and perhaps relocate to Costa Rica.
Gibbs is clearly hurt after learning Sloane’s intentions to leave, which raises questions about how the senior NCIS special agent will cope with her departure in the episodes to come.
Though Maria has not released a statement explaining her departure, it looks like it was simply a matter of choosing not to renew her contract. Newsweek reports that Maria agreed to film eight episodes in order to give Sloane the exit she deserved.
After being on the show for over three years, it looks like the actress was simply ready to move on to other projects. According to her IMDB profile, Maria will be a producer and writer on the upcoming drama The Woman King starring Viola Davis.
While Maria has The Woman King to look forward to, it’s clear from her Instagram post this past December that she feels bittersweet about saying goodbye to the cast and crew of NCIS.
“I’ve learned many things on this journey for the last three and a half years. I learned about commitment and community,” Maria wrote alongside four pictures of herself with her NCIS castmates. “I’ve learned that the woman I am enjoys process over product. I’ve never worked with a kinder, more generous group of people.”
Later on in the post, she added: “I understand why this show after 18 years is the most watched in the world – you must all feel our love. Keep watching. I have a feeling there will be many more years to come. Thank you to all of my pals at NCIS and to all of our fans. I am truly grateful.”