The 18th season of CBS’s popular action drama NCIS has been a mixed bag so far, as fans were distraught to see the end of Maria Bello’s stint as psychologist Jaqueline Sloane. However, a tantalising clue in the latest episode could leave the door open for her eventual return.
Maria Bello may still reprise her fan favourite role as Jaqueline Sloane in an upcoming season of NCIS.
While the recurring star hasn’t confirmed any future cameos, her on-screen persona seemed keen to reunite with her NCIS colleagues in the show’s latest episode, ‘Winter Chill’.
Plus, there’s still the question of the tender kiss Sloane planted on team leader Leroy Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon) before staying behind to help in Afghanistan.
When viewers tuned in to the series on Tuesday, they were treated to one last farewell from Gibbs’ departed love interested via a touching email to her NCIS colleagues.
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Special agents Tim McGee (Sean Murray), Ellie Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) all discovered they had inherited one of Sloane’s office trinkets.
Although the opening lines of the email were quickly brushed over, they seem to suggest an NCIS reunion could still be possible at some point in the future.
Agent McGee reads: “While I know that staying in Afghanistan is right for me, I do regret not getting to say goodbye to each of you in person.”
Bishop then picks up: “So as a way of saying ‘Till we meet again,’ I hereby bequeath the following items from my office.”
Even so, the series newcomer has received an overwhelmingly positive response from die-hard fans, who were saddened by her departure last week.
The short lived series regular recently told TVLine that working on NCIS has been one of ‘the most creative, rewarding’ experiences of her career.
While Jack Sloane is not expected to make a permanent move back to the NCIS office, there’s still a chance she could return for cameos and guest appearances.
There is already precedence for bringing back characters from NCIS limbo, as viewers were convinced Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) was dead until her shocking return in season 16.
Although it may take several more seasons, Jack Sloane could eventually decide her work is done in Afghanistan and pay her old team a visit.
She and Gibbs certainly have unfinished business, and it would be a shame to end their much teased romance on such a disappointing final note.
Until then, fans were pleased to know that Sloane’s memory will live on in the form of her trusty fish, Carl – that is, if Torres remembers to feed him.
NCIS season 18 continues Tuesday, March 16 on CBS.