NCIS finally said goodbye to Maria Bello’s Jack Sloane this week, and fans were distraught when they witnessed the psychologist’s bittersweet farewell with team leader Leroy Gibbs.
The departure of Jaqueline Sloane (played by Maria Bello) has always been on the horizon for the 18th season of NCIS. Even so, fans were unprepared for the gamut of emotions on display in this week’s episode on CBS, and Bello’s final appearance was met with an outpouring of support on social media.
Gibbs and Sloane shared a bittersweet goodbye in tonight’s episode of NCIS, ‘True Believer’.
Newcomer to the series Maria Bello was confirmed to be leaving at some point in season 18, though viewers were still unsure how her departure would be handled.
With the audience fearing for her life as a new case opened up in Afghanistan, fans were relieved when Sloane made it out of the series alive.
On Twitter, one viewer wrote: “Great episode! I’m happy Jack Sloane is safe. I’m sad this was her last episode. I will miss her.”
Another said: “That was the last time we’re gonna see Jack Sloane on screen. I am not okay.”
Unfortunately, Sloane’s exit from the team was still a heart-wrenching ordeal as she decided to stay behind to care for a group of kidnapped girls, continuing the work of her friend Darya.
Then, after more than three years of build-up, Gibbs and Sloane finally shared a kiss before parting ways at the end of the episode.
Their intimate farewell may have come too little too late for some fans, who were convinced the pair were going to get together much earlier in the series.
Still, Sloane’s final scene delivered what many fans have been waiting for since her introduction to the series, even if it means nothing will come from it.
One despondent viewer posted: “Sloane and Gibbs’ goodbye was what we’ve all been waiting for.
“Wish she had stayed though and we could see the relationship develop more.”
And one more wrote: “Ah yes what better way to say goodbye to Jack Sloane? A Gibbs and Sloane kiss we’ve all been waiting for.”
Ahead of the show’s return after the midseason break, Maria Bello took to her own Instagram account to say goodbye after her time on the series came to an end last December.
She wrote: “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.”
Despite being a relative newcomer to the series, Sloane’s final episode was still a struggle to watch for some fans who have watched her relationship with Gibbs grow over the years.
Thankfully, a preview for next week’s episode has raised hopes there could still be romance in the air at some point this season.
Episode nine, ‘Winter Chill’ sees the team still dealing with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, while Ellie Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) share a tender embrace in the new footage.
Meanwhile, Mark Harmon’s Gibbs confirms another case is afoot, which will hopefully take his mind off of Sloane’s recent departure.
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