How 'NCIS' Just Set up Maria Bello's Exit From Series as Jack Sloane

NCIS fans are gearing up for one of their most beloved characters to say goodbye. Maria Bello, who plays the character of Jacqueline "Jack" Sloane, was set up for a departure in a recent episode of the CBS show. She also gave a pretty big clue on where she's headed next, giving fans hope that her character may return for a brief stint sometime in the future.

In the opening scene, Mark Harmon who plays the role of Gibbs, went to visit Jack to gauge her interest in potentially speaking to Jimmy about how to cope with the loss of his wife Breena — who died as a result of COVID-19. Relaying back to him that she felt it was best if Gibbs spoke with him about it, considering he too has been through a similar loss, she also gave another reason on why she felt she would not be best suited for the job. In that conversation, she revealed that she has decided to move on from NCIS to start something new in life.

Discussing how she wanted to slow "life down" moving forward, Jack said she had an interest in moving to Costa Rica, according to cinemablend.com. Such a move would allow her to clear her mind and be far, far away from any naval-related crime, which seems to be something she's looking for. While this seems to be something she is excited about, Gibbs showed his best poker face in the process, seemingly conveying very little emotion to the big news. This is considering the two have been flirting the last several seasons.

While it's no secret that Bello has been looking to exit the series for quite some time now, she chose to stay a little longer than anticipated because Season 17 was cut short, even though her contract expired then. Making a return for Season 18, fans felt as if an exit was approaching, but they just weren't sure if and when it would happen. However, if Jack were to go to Costa Rica, like mentioned, this leaves the door open for her to return if the show writers aren't looking for a more tragic way for her to exit.

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According to the outlet, there haven't been any signs that Bello would be unwilling to return, and if that's the case, she just may do so on down the road. Several actors and actresses who have left the series in the past have come back for show appearances, adding extra excitement for fans. This situation could be no different depending on how everything ends.