We knew it was coming but saying goodbye to Sonja Percy on NCIS: New Orleans was still hard.
In Tuesday's all-new episode, Percy (Shalita Grant) and LaSalle (Lucas Black) went undercover at a high-stakes, underground poker game after the organizer (Lucy Walters) targets players with access to a naval research laboratory.
The episode, appropriately titled "High Stakes," gave fans one last team mission between Percy and LaSalle before Grant's exit on the series, as she was seen interviewing for a job with the FBI in the previous episode.
From the start of the episode, the other members of the team were wondering if Percy had taken the job, but a new case kept them occupied until Sonja showed up at the crime scene and announced she had turned down the job.
Later in the episode, however, Percy gets herself in a sticky situation by volunteering to go undercover, but still identifying as an NCIS agent to lure a killer at a high-stakes poker game.
Percy successfully gets her captors into the naval base, but as she drives them to the site of a satellite launch they mean to stop, she realizes the only reason she decided not to leave the team was to not let them down, so she disarms her captor and starts to drive recklessly. The team rescues LaSalle as Pride (Scott Bakula) chases down Percy's car, after the car overturns, Pride shoots Percy's captor before he can hurt her.
With the case closed, Percy reveals to Pride she changed her mind and decided to take the job for the FBI. Pride tells her she's a terrific agent and he'll miss her, as Percy hands in her NCIS badge, as the rest of the team looks from the inside.
Percy says her last goodbye to the rest of the team, which included a romantic heart to heart with LaSalle, breaking fans hearts.
NCIS: New Orleans fans felt the pain of the cast shakeup on Twitter, sending messages of love to Grant.
Bye, Percy' 😭 #NCISNOLA— Mystery Crimecase (@mystery_cc2018) April 4, 2018
City mouse is leaving bruh they had me out my feelings talking about she gonna stay now her butt leaving 😤😤😤😢😢😢 #NCISNOLA— Multitalented Key 🗝 (@BangMyShxxt) April 4, 2018
Grant recurred as Percy, a former ATF agent recruited to the NCIS unit, in the show's first season. She was promoted to series regular for the second, third and fourth seasons.
"It's just time for a change," Grant's manager Didi Rea told Variety in January. "This is about moving on to the next great thing."
A veteran of many Broadway productions and a Juilliard graduate, Grant has also appeared on the PBS Civil War drama Mercy Street, Bones and The Good Wife. Her character also appeared on the flagship NCIS.
Sources say the departure of the actress is completely unrelated to a recent Variety story about the drama’s showrunner, Brad Kern, who is alleged to have made racially insensitive remarks and engaged in sexual harassment.
In December, CBS said that it had taken action to “address behavior and management style” after two HR investigations in 2016. Kern remains the showrunner of NCIS: New Orleans.1comments
NCIS: New Orleans also stars Scott Bakula, Lucas Black, Rob Kerkovich, CCH Pounder, Daryl "Chill" Mitchell and Vanessa Ferlito.
The series airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on CBS.