Abby, the eccentric genius whose trademark goth look won over hearts across the world, made her exit from the long-running CBS crime drama after a 15-season run, and while fans are still mourning her loss on social media, Perrette sent them one final message before taking a bow.
"I hope the fans will remember everything that Abby has taught all of us over the course of this entire run," Perette says in the video, which was posted to the NCIS Twitter account after the episode aired. "Just to remember, with me, everything that Abby's given to us. And everything she's taught us. I cannot thank you enough. I am so blessed to have fans like you and it means everything to me."
Abby's exit came after months of speculation about how the show would send her off and why she was leaving. After the cliffhanger ending from last week's episode, "One Step Forward," many fans assumed the gunshot and cut to black during the apparent mugging with Clay Reeves (Duane Henry) meant Abby would be dead come Tuesday night. However, the show threw fans for a loop when it was revealed that Reeves was the one in the body bag, after joining the team just last season, and that Abby had survived and was rather exiting the NCIS team in pursuit of charitable endeavors.
Now, Perrette is thanking her fans for their continued support over the course of her time on the series, which spanned 16 years, 15 seasons, and more than 350 episodes.
"I have learned from my fans just such an incredible love and support. Abby fans are incredible, they really are the best. I can't imagine a fan group being any better than that. They really make me smile. My fans are funny and they're smart and they're kind and they're caring and they've been so supportive. Not only of Abby, on the show, but of me, of Pauley. I love them. I'm proud of the group of fans that Abby has attracted, because it's a pretty amazing group of people."
After being on the popular crime drama since the first episode in 2003, Perrette has also taken time to reflect on the legacy of Abby.
"There's never been a character like Abby on television. She's a brilliant scientist with this whole alternative look to her but she's [also] a good girl with a huge heart. She's a church kid. She bowls with nuns. It's so many things wrapped up into one," Perrette told TV Guide. "Abby's legacy is going to be forever. The effect that she's had around the world, especially in young girls pursuing math and science. There [are] young women out there who've gotten their degrees and are in the field of science and math and forensics because of this TV character."