‘NCIS’ Goes Back into Abby’s Past for Origins Story

by | January 29, 2013 at 8:56 AM | Interviews, NCIS

"Hit and Run" -- The NCIS team investigates a Marine’s car accident and ignites some upsetting past memories for Abby as a young girl (Brighton Sharbino, pictured) on the trail of her first “case,” on "NCIS." (Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS)

NCIS” goes back into the past for an origin story tonight in which fans will get a chance to discover just how Abby (Pauley Perrette) developed her interest in forensics. It all begins when a Marine’s car accident ignites some upsetting memories from her past and we see flashbacks of her working her first “case.”

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It isn’t the first time the series has done origin stories. There was the episode that dealt with Tony’s (Michael Weatherly) past as a Baltimore detective and how he made the transition to NCIS, but tonight, we go back much further in Abby’s life.

“I didn’t want to necessarily see the moment when Abby joined NCIS,” executive producer Gary Glasberg tells XfinityTV.com in an exclusive interview. “I almost feel we have seen so much of that over 10 years’ time and watched her grow. The thing that really interested me was: When did she become interested in forensics? When were mysteries of interest to her? When did this all evolve? What made Abby become who she is today?”

The idea for the episode was sparked when Glasberg got a glimpse of a photo of Perrette as a young girl. He recalls, “I said, ‘Hey, why don’t we do a ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ scenario with little Abby and get to see her brother Luca,” he says.

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That led to the present day story which stirs up old memories from when she was a kid, too young for her to play the part herself. Taking on the role of young Abby in the “Hit and Run” episode is Brighton Sharbino, who Glasberg says nailed it after spending time with Perrette and studying her mannerisms.

“I just couldn’t be happier with the episode,” he adds. “It is a real touching, lovely story that culminates in a really terrific scene between Gibbs [Mark Harmon] and Abby, where he explains to her why she is so important. It is a home run for me.”

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But take note. Especially if you watch this episode live, you might want to record it because it is so chockfull of information, it will require several viewings to take it all in.

“I would say absolutely pay close attention to things you see in little Abby’s bedroom, and in the way she approaches looking for clues,” Glasberg says. “It’s all there. It’s an episode that fans of the show are going to watch multiple times.”

“NCIS” airs Tuesday nights at 8/7c on CBS.