Fans of NCIS aren't the only ones mourning the death of Clay Reeves (Duane Henry). During Tuesday night's episode, "Two Steps Back," Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) and Ellie Bishop (Emily Wickersham) shared a moment grieving over their co-worker and friend who died protecting Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette).
The scene opened on Ellie munching on prawn chips, which she says Reeves kept a straight-from-England stash of in his desk for her.
"They don't quite taste the same," Ellie says.
"I'm gonna miss him too," Torres says.
Ellie laments on the fact that she never got to tell Reeves how much she loved him.
"He was like a brother to me and I never go tot tell him that," she said through tears.
"Hey, you didn't have to," Reeves says, offering some comfort.
"Yes, yes I did," she insists. "Clay didn't have any family, Torres. Us, we were it. He was here and now he's gone. Over what? Sixty bucks in cash? Does that make any sense to you?"
At that moment, Gibbs (Mark Harmon) joins the conversation to discuss details about the case and the suspect involved in what they then thought was a mugging gone wrong. Later, during the investigation, they discover that the murder wasn't actually a random attack; it was an ordered hit on Abby's life.
As it turns out, the hit was ordered by Marine Sergeant Robert King (Peter Jason), the black-ops soldier who tricked Abby into developing a bio-weapon back in season 6. The man who carried out the attack and wound up killing Reeves instead was a dishonorably discharged Army specialist.
Fortunately, the team didn't have to mourn Abby's life like they did Reeves' — she woke up halfway through the episode. After taking case matters into her own hands, she decided to leave the NCIS team in order to start a charity in Reeves' mother's name after arranging his funeral plans to be buried next to his mother in London.
"I'm not coming back. I'm leaving NCIS," Abby said. "Clay died saving my life and I owe him a debt and I tend to see that through. Clay always wanted to start a charity in honor of his mom and since he's not here to make that happen, I will. I know you may not understand, but it's something I have to do, not just for him, for me."
She continued, "It wasn't an easy decision. You guys are my family and this is my home, but you have to go with your gut and my gut is telling me that I have to go."
"It's not goodbye for good," she said to McGee, who said he couldn't say goodbye to her. "It's goodbye for now."