What We Know About Emily Wickersham's Exit From NCIS

"NCIS" fans got some sad news on May 25, 2021. Emily Wickersham, famous for playing Ellie Bishop on the CBS crime drama, announced that she was ending her time on the series following the Season 18 finale.

Wickersham dropped the news on Instagram, saying, "Hangin this hat and jacket up. What a great ride it's been." It didn't seem like there were hard feelings or a contentious split because Wickersham added, "This cast, this crew, are top notch. I can't say enough kind words about this group that I've had the pleasure of working with for close to 8 years now and 172 episodes later." Whew! Has it really been that long?

Wickersham was also careful to note how challenging it can be to find consistent work in the TV industry, a common struggle that actors face. "This business is finicky and weird and consistency is a rarity," Wickersham wrote. "I've been lucky enough to be a part of a show where I got to show up and act and laugh and learn with wonderful people. A moment in time I surely won't forget." While this seems like a peaceful transition out of "NCIS," here's what we know about Wickersham's departure.

Emily Wickersham went through a major life event while filming 'NCIS'

"NCIS" isn't just a show. It's a lifestyle, so much so that fans want to know details about the cast, including their real-life partners.

What's the scoop with Emily Wickersham on this front? Well, she ended up going through a divorce during her time on "NCIS" from her then-husband, Blake Anderson Hanley. Wickersham and Hanley divorced in December 2018, according to CBS. That's a major life change to go through in the midst of a huge job. Nevertheless, it's clear that the "NCIS" crew is majorly supportive and has nothing but love for Wickersham.

How do we know this? When Wickersham posted the news on Instagram that she was leaving "NCIS," several of her fellow cast members sent her nothing but love. Katrina Law, an "NCIS" co-star, added two heart emojis. Meanwhile, Maria Bello, a former "NCIS" star, commented: "Love You Em!" followed by heart and smiley face emojis. Clearly, there's a lot of love in the crime drama fam and likely has been since the start.

Emily Wickersham hasn't given a specific reason why she's leaving 'NCIS'

The big question is, why is Emily Wickersham leaving CBS's "NCIS?" The Season 18 finale did cue an exit for her character, special agent Ellie Bishop, by having her leave on a secret mission, per People. While fans were obviously suspicious, nothing was certain until people saw Wickersham's Instagram post. Unfortunately, we don't have any explicit information about what motivated Wickersham's exit. According to Decider, as of yet, we don't know anything beyond what she has revealed on social media.

What we do know loud and clear is that there's no beef around Wickersham's exit. Brian Dietzen, who plays the character Jimmy Palmer, commented on Instagram, "So damn proud of you my friend. Also, I'm gonna miss the hell outta you on set. I can't wait to see what you do next. Whatever it is, I'll be there in the front row. Thank you."

CBS TV's Instagram account also left a lot of love for Wickersham through not one but two comments. "Our one and only Ellie Bishop," they wrote first, followed by a heart emoji. Then they wrote, "Thanks for making history with us," followed by a crying emoji and another heart. While we're waiting for Wickersham to give us the real reason, fans are in mourning for Bishop. Here's what they're saying.

Twitter is in mourning over the 'NCIS' news

People are not happy about Emily Wickersham's departure from "NCIS." On Instagram, following her post, a fan wrote: ""[Q]uite the unsatisfying end to your character's arc, great acting tho."

What was especially impressive was how many people spoke up on Twitter to share how Wickersham's character, Ellie Bishop, personally inspired them. One fan got candid and said, "I'm in denial. Thank you [Emily Wickersham] for creating such an amazing character – one that inspired me to pursue a career in intelligence myself. Fans will miss you, but I think I speak for all of us when I say there's only one Ellie Bishop." Another fan added on Twitter, "I'm heartbroken... Emily Wickersham aka Bishop is leaving 'NCIS.' I cannot deal with another actor leaving this show."

People are legitimately upset by this whole situation and not happy that this is how they chose to end Season 18. "OMG!!! I was not prepared for those last few minutes of @NCIS_CBS!!! Bishop can't FINALLY kiss Torres and then leave! Gibbs can't die either!! We need them both for Season 19!! It's going to be a very long summer," another viewer wrote. Yes, indeed. Whatever Wickersham's next move is, she'll be missed.