Episode 7 spoilers ahead...

'NCIS': New Episode Hints At How "Sloane" Could Exit

NCIS: New Episode Hints At How "Sloane" Could Exit

The new NCIS episode had several shocking twists. There was a character death, and we now know more about how the exit of "Jack Sloane" could be handled as actress Maria Bello's final episode nears. Warning: spoilers from the Feb. 9 episode of season 18 follow!

NCIS's new episode was emotional for more reasons than one. Season 18 episode 7 aired on Tuesday night and the major headline was "Dr. Jimmy Palmer" losing his wife "Breena" to COVID-19. 

The show used a time jump to reveal the tragedy, as the first six episodes of season 18 were set before the pandemic. The new episode fasts forward to the pandemic, where the team worries about how "Palmer" is behaving after losing his wife.

NCIS: New episode hints at how "Sloane" will exit

But the death of "Breena" wasn't the only sad moment in the latest NCIS episode. It's been known that "Sloane" is leaving the NCIS team because actress Maria Bello is exiting the series. The new episode also hinted at how her time may come to an end.

"Sloane" is packing up her office and reveals to "Gibbs" that she's considering a change of direction in her life. "I think it's time I slowed my life down a bit... maybe go to Costa Rica... just be," she tells him. NCIS has proven that exits can be tragic, but fans are hoping "Sloane" will get a deserving send-off and closure with "Gibbs."

NCIS season 18 episode 8: Maria Bello's exit?

Actress Maria Bello is only signed through episode 8 of this NCIS season, so it appears very likely that the next episode will be the last for "Sloane." Bello already filmed her final episode in December, at which time she paid tribute to her co-stars and the NCIS production team.

Ahead of the Feb. 9 episode, "Jimmy Palmer" actor Brian Dietzen also spoke to ET about his feelings on the tragic turn for his character and what's to come in season 18. See his comments here.

Episode 8 won't air until Tuesday, March 2 on NBC.