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NCIS teases Katrina Law's departure in season 21 finale – and fans aren't happy

Is Special Agent Jessica Knight leaving the team? 

Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
May 7, 2024
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The NCIS season 21 finale aired on Monday night, hinting at the departure of Special Agent Jessica Knight (played by Katrina Law). 

*Spoilers for season 21 finale ahead*

In the episode, the agent accepted Director Vance's offer of a new position across the country as the chief REACT training officer at Camp Pendleton. "Hell yeah! Let's do it," she said. 

Katrina Law as Jessica Knight in NCIS© Robert Voets/CBS
Katrina Law plays Jessica Knight in NCIS

Elsewhere in the episode, Dr Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen) encouraged Knight to take the job. While she insisted that they could make a long-distance relationship work, he told her: "Take the job. This is for the best. Just go."

It's safe to say fans weren't too pleased at the prospect of Knight's departure, with one person writing on social media: "Genuinely the best episode of the season, maybe even the series, until the very last line—that broke me in ways I can't describe. I am not losing Jess. I am not losing my comfort girl. Not now, not in a million years."

Brian Dietzen as Jimmy Palmer and Katrina Law as Jessica Knight in NCIS© Robert Voets/CBS
Knight accepted a role across the country in the season 21 finale

A second fan added: "If Knight leaves I'll be even more upset especially since they took NCIS: Hawai'i too! I hope Katrina is back for S22! Maybe she tries the new position but then comes back to her team bc she's homesick."

Others shared their concerns for Jimmy and Knight's relationship, with one viewer penning: "More heartbreak for Jimmy, the team, and we viewers. Wish people would stop leaving NCIS. Excellent episode, but I hate the ending," while another added: "@NCIS Jess will be great training REACT teams, but she will be missed. Will Jimmy also leave to follow Jess to Pendleton? It's said that change is good. Not liking this change."

So, is Katrina leaving the show? 

Discussing Knight's decision to take the Camp Pendleton job, Katrina said: "I think that at the end, Jessica has to take this position because she knows deep down this is what she wants. 

Katrina Law and Gary Cole in NCIS© CBS
Katrina remained tight-lipped over her return in season 22

"She wants a career, she's very ambitious, and to her a long-distance relationship isn’t the end of things. At the same time, maybe it is, if it doesn't work out," she told TV Line

When asked if she'll be back for season 22, the actress responded: "Hmmm…. Better tune in for that season opener!"

Katrina Law, Wilmer Valderrama, Sean Murray and Gary Cole in A Thousand Yards© Getty
Season 22 will air in the fall

As well as the NCIS season 21 finale, Monday night also marked the end of NCIS: Hawai'i after three seasons. The spin-off show, led by Vanessa Lachey, was cancelled by CBS in April. 

CBS Entertainment president Amy Reisenbach said of the decision: "It is incumbent on us to always keep the schedule fresh, keep momentum going. We had to make some really tough choices this year. 

Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant and Noah Mills as Jesse Boone in NCIS: Hawai'i© Karen Neal/CBS
NCIS: Hawai'i was cancelled after three seasons

"Everything came back [from the Hollywood strikes] really strong, but ultimately we have to look at the cohesiveness of the schedule flow. We have to evaluate the financials and the performance overall, and we make tough decisions," she told Variety.

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