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Abigail "Abby" Sciuto (pronounced /ˈʃuːtoʊ/) is a fictional character from the NCIS television series by CBS Television, and is portrayed by Pauley Perrette. Abby was introduced in the episodes "Ice Queen" and "Meltdown" (which together served as the backdoor pilot for NCIS) in the television show JAG, and has appeared in every episode of NCIS, in addition to being featured on the show's spin-off, NCIS: Los Angeles.
Abby is a forensic specialist at the Naval Criminal Investigative Service headquarters at the Washington Naval Yard and demonstrates mastery in a large number of areas of criminalistics, including ballistics, digital forensics, and DNA analysis. Special Agent Tony DiNozzo describes her as "a paradox wrapped in an oxymoron smothered in contradictions in terms. Sleeps in a coffin. Really, the happiest goth you'll ever meet." Her gothic style of dress and her interest in death and the supernatural enigmatically contrast with her generally hyperactive demeanor and enthusiasm about her work.
Abby has a gothic style of dress, including black dresses and t-shirts, mini-skirts, and goth jewelry, including anklets and toe rings. She wears pigtailed dyed hair, and has at least eleven tattoos on her neck, arms, back, ankle and other places. While some of the tattoos are Perrette's and real, others are makeup, such as the large cross on her back applied on occasions when Perrette shows her bare back on camera. The spider web on her neck is not real either, as producer Donald Bellisario wanted the character to have a tattoo that would be visible (almost) all the time. Abby also has a stuffed hippo named "Bert" that makes flatulence noises when squeezed, which has been used for comic effect when Abby is upset.
Like Gibbs, Abby enjoys caffeine, primarily in the form of a fictional drink called "Caf-Pow". (According to Perrette, the actual drink was Hawaiian Punch for many years, but was switched for unsweetened cranberry juice when the actress stopped eating and drinking refined sugar.) When changing the artwork in her lab, she states that she has a "Chagall feeling", a reference to Marc Chagall, a Jewish Belarusian artist whose main works came from fantasy and dreams. Her favorite term for something out of ordinary is "hinky". It is also shown that she enjoys attending concerts, such as the Plastic Death concert which resulted in lingering hearing problems the next day which prompted her to ask DiNozzo to help her ID some audio evidence.
Sciuto is well-versed in her field of study; she is rarely stumped by the puzzles that Gibbs' team present to her. Abby has been shown to have skills in traditional forensics, computer forensics, and hacking. She has implied that she has a PhD in chemistry. It has been shown that she does all the work on the evidence herself. In season 3, when she is given an assistant, Charles "Chip" Sterling, she revolts but puts up with him. She is later freed of him after the discovery that he had framed DiNozzo for murder and held her at knife point, to which she reacted by hog-tying him with duct tape.
In "Kill Ari Part 2" at Caitlin's funeral, it is revealed that Abby grew up in New Orleans (as did Pauley Perrette).
In the episode "Seadog", Gibbs tells Tony that Abby knows how to use sign language because both of her parents were deaf.
Abby is a hearing child born to deaf parents and likes her music loud. Abby has stated that she dreams of visiting the Galápagos Islands, Tel Aviv, and Dollywood before she dies. Abby graduated with full honors from LSU with a triple major in sociology, criminology and psychology. She earned her master's degree from Georgia State University in criminology and forensic science. Sciuto's interest in forensics came from living near a wrecking yard and being intrigued by the cause and effect of the wrecks.
Abby gets along well with all the rest of the team, particularly McGee and Tony, and is fond of Ducky who uses her full name, Abigail. She is depicted as fiercely loyal to her team and even considers them family, which frequently leaves her highly distressed when one or more of them appears to be in danger.
Abby has a strong bond with Gibbs, and like Ducky, she shows no fear of him (addressing him by his last name). The kisses on the cheek and hugs they share are present in many episodes, and Gibbs calls her "Abs" and often brings her a Caf-Pow (her favorite beverage) when he arrives at the lab for information in their current case. Gibbs also shows a tolerance for Abby's manner of dress, as well as being very protective of her. Gibbs has shown his strong feelings for Abby a few times in the series. For example, in the episode "Bloodbath", she was threatened by a hit man hired by a defendant in a case at which she was testifying, which was also complicated by an ex-boyfriend, named Michael Maurer, against whom she had a restraining order, but then called her and broke it. When Gibbs found out about this, he pointedly told Michael, "The only reason you're still able to walk is because I never heard about you until today!"
Gibbs concern for Abby's safety is such that he will even drop his trademark cup of coffee if she is in serious danger. Twice this occurred, in the episode "Kill Ari" when Ari shot at her while she was in her lab, the other time was in the episode "Driven" when she was trapped inside an experimental humvee which had filled with exhaust, which could have suffocated her.
Abby and former team member Caitlin Todd (deceased) were close friends; they often hung out after work, and Abby is one of the few to know what Kate's tattoo actually is. Abby was at first cold to Ziva David when the latter arrived at NCIS, because of her link with Ari, who killed Todd. Abby eventually came around, and she and Ziva became friends. This was solidified in the episode "Capitol Offense" when Ziva, in gratitude for Abby allowing her to stay at her place (Ziva's home was being fumigated for termites), bought her a "chocoholic's choice" cupcake. The cupcake soon vanished, and Abby brought out all her forensic know-how to find it. Ultimately, it was McGee who had taken the cupcake, angering Abby and the others. At first, Ziva flinched whenever Abby would hug her, but eventually, she overcame this, and Ziva accepts them with no discomfort.
She had a relationship with McGee which she stated that she would like to keep casual. Although the relationship ended late in season one, they both have exhibited jealousy when someone of the opposite sex pays attention to the other. There continues to be some erotic teasing and tension between the two, implied through such facts as McGee's apparent ability to describe the inside of Abby's bedroom in his novel. After finding out Abby sleeps in a coffin, he said "You told me it was a box sofa", indicating they have slept together.
In the episode "Random on Purpose" on NCIS: Los Angeles, Abby was kidnapped by a man called the Phantom who had murdered 15 people all over the country. She also gained friendships with the staff, including G. Callen (Chris O'Donnell); Sam Hanna (LL Cool J); Eric Beal (Barrett Foa); Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah); Nate Getz (Peter Cambor) and notably, the operations manager, Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt), who appreciates how stylish and functional she was. Again, as is often the case with Abby, Gibbs and the NCIS team were en route to Los Angeles from Manassas, to come and rescue her, since she was in severe danger.
- ↑ "Truth or Consequences". NCIS. No. 1, season 7.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Season 5 DVD Extras
- ↑ "Secrets from Inside NCIS Lab". The Early Show. CBS. 2009-09-24.
- ↑ "Deception". NCIS. No. 13, season 3.
- ↑ "Power Down". NCIS. CBS. 2009-11-17. No. 8, season 7. 36:33 minutes in.
- ↑ "My Other Left Foot". NCIS. No. 12, season 1.
- ↑ "Cover Story". NCIS. CBS. April 10, 2007. No. 20, season 4. 08:51 minutes in.
- ↑ "Seadog". NCIS. No. 3, season 1.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Season 6, Episode 25 "Alyiah"
- ↑ "Hung Out to Dry". NCIS.
- ↑ "Bloodbath". NCIS. CBS. April 25, 2006. No. 21, season 3. 15:20 minutes in.