‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Star Scott Bakula Speaks Out on the Show Coming to an End

by Matthew Wilson

As the old saying goes, every journey has its end. And “NCIS: New Orleans” is preparing to say goodbye to its cast and characters. The ending weighs heavily on the series lead Scott Bakula. The actor found it hard to say goodbye to his character Special Agent Dwayne Pride.

“The last episode of a seven-year series has all kinds of light shining on it. People gave speeches, bumped elbows. They had their masks on. It was bittersweet: We shot 16 episodes and are proud of the season, but it was goodbye — and from a distance,” Bakula told TV Insider.

But at least the show is ending with a wedding and not a funeral. In a special sense, Bakula gets to renew his vows with his real-life wife Chelsea Field. She also plays Pride’s girlfriend Rita Devereaux on the show. And the two of them will end the series by tying the knot. Of course, if they actually make it down the aisle remains to be seen. This is “NCIS: New Orleans” after all. And they’re not afraid of pulling a gut punch.

“Seeing Chelsea stand at the end of the garden in her red dress misted me up. It took me right back,” Bakula said. Bakula didn’t have to act in that moment. “[I felt] pure love.”

‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Says Goodbye

After seven years on the air, it can be tough to say goodbye. Many of the “NCIS: New Orleans” cast didn’t expect to be saying goodbye this year. The show still drew in a crowd ratings-wise. But with the COVID-19 pandemic, it became difficult and costly to keep filming the show in New Orleans.

“It’s hard to leave. We kind of had the key to the city; everybody knew me and I appreciated being able to pat every cop I walked by on the shoulder and say, ‘Hey, how you doing?’” Bakula said.

Bakula took the moment to reflect on his character and how he’s putting down the gun and badge.

“[The character of] Pride was bighearted, open, available, susceptible to being misled, making mistakes and going too far, going the extra mile, tracking people down. It gave me a lot of juicy stuff to do,” he continued. “Pride killed more people in the series than I would have liked — we changed that in deference to what’s going on in our country right now. This year we hardly drew our weapons. I’m glad about that.”

But characters don’t always say goodbye in the “NCIS” universe. Because sometimes when one door closes, another one opens.