In a 2008 NCIS episode, we learned that the ever-cheerful Abby had a dark side. And it led to a highly unpopular scene where she verbally attacked McGee.
In the episode called Dog Tags, the team heads to a murder suspect’s house to serve a warrant. But when they arrive, they find the man dead. And not long after, the deceased’s dog, Jethro, began attacking Agent McGee.
Jethro intended to kill McGee—and left a serious bite on his neck to prove it. But luckily, the agent managed to pull his gun and shoot him. The dog did not die from the bullet. But because he was so vicious, the team suspected that the four-legged villain was behind the killings, not the original suspect.
When McGee went back to the lab, he got an earful from Abby. Not only did she think Jethro was innocent of all crimes, but she also thought he didn’t deserve to be shot. And when McGee tried to explain that the dog nearly killed him, she accused him of lying.
The scene didn’t sit well with Reddit user TimeLordMaster108.
“What the hell was Abby’s problem in this episode?” he asked. “I understand that she wanted to clear Jethro of murdering his owner, which is a commendable act, but I’m sure you can all tell where I’m going with this.”
“Her treatment of McGee is horrible,” he continued. ” Jethro almost tore his arm off and gave him a life-long fear of dogs. But she doesn’t show the slightest bit of sympathy to her friend, and she never [apologizes].”
Abby Lost a lot of Fans After the ‘NCIS’ ‘Dog Tags’ Episode
Most of the Redditors who jumped in the conversation agree with TimeLordMaster108. They all thought the outburst was out of character and also didn’t make sense, considering how close Abby and McGee were.
And as someone else mentioned, Abby manipulated McGee to the point of getting him to contribute to a flower fund for the animal. Eventually, she even convinced him to take Jethro in as a pet.
The thread really got people worked up, too. Fans love the dynamics between the NCSI team. And the relationship between McGee and Abby was particularly special. But the whole outburst made their bond seem like a farce.
“Apparently, this dog she just f***ing met is more important than her friend, coworker, and ex-lover,” toadsanchez420 wrote.
In 2021, another NCSI fan started a thread about Dog Tags and laid out everything the Chief Forensic Scientist did wrong before adding that “the Abby in this episode was not the Abby [they] liked to watch early in the show.”
Then in August, the conversation continued in yet another Reddit thread when realclowntime pointed out that Dog Tags was the worst NCIS episode ever because it made them realize that “Abby is a petulant child just cuz.”
Some fans even went as far as saying that that particular episode was the beginning of the end for Pauley Perrette’s character, even though she stayed for 10 more years. But even if it wasn’t the catalyst, it’s clear that the once fan-favorite scientist lost a lot of credibility that day.