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(no spoilers)

9 May, 2018

What an emotional roller coaster ride tonight's line-up of TV shows.

It started with the much ballyhooed last episode of Paulie Perette as Abby Sciutto, the coolest forensic scientist since Penelope Garcia and Chloe O'Brian.  (I have to confess that when we first brought Polly home as a foster and I was trying to decide what to call her, NCIS was on and I decided to name her Paulie but of course everybody thought it was spelled "Polly" and that name stuck.)

Loyal NCIS viewers have gotten used to sad (and sometimes happy) goodbyes from the "family" we have come to love over the past 15 seasons.  According to Wikipedia, there have been 15 main characters and 71 minor characters.  A lot of them have gone to that happy TV vault in the sky. First it was Kate, in season 2 or 3, who was shot in the head as she was laughing with Gibbs. She was the girl on the team, even before Tim McGee came to NCIS.  (Sasha Alexander didn't do too badly after leaving the show.  She went on to become Laura Isles on Rizzoli and Isles

Kate was replaced by Mossad agent Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), who played the role for 12 years until she retired and returned to Israel following her father's death.  There was a touching farewell between her and her partner, Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) at the start of season 13.  There was always sexual tension between the two but never more than tension--except maybe that one day in Paris.....?  We thought we'd heard the last of her until Weatherly announced he was leaving the show (he now stars as Bull) and they had to write him out. When Tony heard of Ziva's death in an attack on her house in Israel, he discovers that he and Ziva have a young toddler daughter, so he leaves NCIS to become a Dad.

Director of NCIS from season 3 to 5 was Jenny Shepherd (Lauren Holly), who was killed in an ambush by some Russians, but she was dying anyway, of some terrible disease.  She took out about 5 shooters before she finally succumbed, however.

Jenny was replaced by Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll), who still heads NCIS but his wife was killed (along with Ziva's Dad) a few seasons ago.

Gibbs' best friend, Mike Franks (Muse Watson) who always showed up for special cases, was also gunned down in the rain one evening. (He continued to show up as a ghost many times.)

We've also weathered Gibbs' being blown up and getting amnesia, Ducky's heart attack, and McGee's wife's accident, which leaves her wheelchair bound.  But this was Abby!!!  Perette wanted out after 15 seasons (and apparently she was also on Jag with Gibbs and Ducky of which NCIS is a spinoff).

All the promos have prompted lots of social media chat about how Abby was going to leave, following her shooting by a disgruntled former client.  Would they let Abby die?  How could they kill off Abby??

Perette had said everyone would be satisfied with the ending and I have to admit that she was right, but this was a many-Kleenex episode.

But the tears didn't stop there.  Next was Bull which was also a  tear jerker in several spots and I predicted the ending in the early scenes.  It was the classic cliff hanger to end the season.

Then came Rise, the new coming-of-age show about a group of teens trying to put on a production Spring Awakening, to great anger by conservative parents, the PTA, and the principal of the school.  Each of the kids has his or her own emotional story and it was good for lots of tears tonight.

And if that wasn't enough, the evening ended with Call the Midwife.  That show is a guaranteed tear jerker, even if it's only from emotion over the birth of a baby but tonight there was the emotional funeral of one of the midwives, many segments throughout the hour that had me reaching for the Kleenex and then ending with an emotional birthday for Sister Monica Joan (in the early stages of dementia), which wasn't sad, but a huge emotional wallop that made the tears flow.

I was so drained that I didn't watch the evening news.  I'd been so upset at reading one article after another through the afternoon of the terrible things the administration has done in the last two days, I didn't even want to know what the final tally was.  I'll find out on Morning Joe in the morning.


Goodbye, Abby.
Thank goodness for USA reruns.


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