Honoring the Heroine: Abigail “Abby” Sciuto

Full discloser: I am not a regular NCIS watcher, not by far. But that’s the nice thing about the show. Nowadays, most shows have a story-arc so strong, that you are more or less forced to watch every episode. It used to be different. “Old school” series were constructed in a way that you could jump in whenever you wanted, and nothing had changed. The downside was the lack of character development.

NCIS has a nice balance. There are small arcs, there is character development, but it is still quite easy to jump in whenever you want without being totally confused what is going on. I am convinced that this is part of the success of this show. Whenever I am in the mood to just watch some TV, I default to it (and the show is nearly always on somewhere). The other reason is a myriad of interesting characters. Especially interesting female characters. They are competent, but not annoyingly perfect, and they have their own quirks – pretty much like the male characters are written, too.

Picking one of them was easy, though. They are all great, but Abigail “Abby” Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) is one of those unforgettable characters, which just stand out not just in the show but in TV in general. This starts with her “design” so to speak, meaning her unusual look, and ends with the way she sees the world.


Abby is just a fun character, full of contradictions she constantly challenges TV clichés, She is a scientist, a really good one, but avoids the usual genius tropes. She is not nerdy or socially awkward, and there are situations in which she needs the help from an expert. She is a workaholic, but not very serious. Seeing her talking to her equipment while pushing herself up with her caf-pow (instead of the usual coffee) always makes me smile. Sometimes she acts like a little girl and she does have a vulnerable side, but she is nevertheless able to look out for herself. She is mature when it counts, but also able to embrace her inner child. And she is a Goth.

Abby is basically on on-going less not to judge someone based on appearance. Who cares if she wears dark clothes, sleeps in her casket and has a couple of tattoos? She is also a good friend, spends her free time with social causes and her working time giving everything for the team.

Considering that the show has already ten, soon to be eleven seasons, there is a lot material about her. I could talk about her relationship with a way smaller man, or about her happy childhood with her deaf adoptive parents. But I think, Pauley Perrette summoned up her pretty well: “She wouldn’t call herself anything but Abby…What she represents is a smart, capable chick that cannot be reduced to a stereotype.” Just the fact that Abby is allowed everything she is without being defined by any aspect of it (or her gender) makes her one of the best female characters currently on TV.

Best NCIS/Abby Episode: I skip this category this time around, since I haven’t seen all episodes by far.

Best Abby Outfit: The black dress with the umbrella she likes to wear on funerals

Best Quote: “I am the Energizer bunny of forensic science: I never sleep and I never give up.”

This is a typical “watch when you in the mood” show, for people, who like quirky characters and don’t mind a certain ridiculousness in the set up. It’s not always fun, though, there are a number of very thoughtful episodes, as well as stylish or action packed ones. To paraphrase a well known quote, it is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you get.

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