NCIS exit: Why did Sarah Jane Morris leave NCIS as Agent EJ Barrett?

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NCIS has been airing on CBS, with fans catching up with the latest episodes via Disney Plus. The show is one of the network’s biggest success stories, with countless characters appearing across various spin-offs. One of the characters who left the series was Agent EJ Barrett (played by Sarah Jane Morris).

Why did Sarah Jane Morris leave NCIS as Agent EJ Barrett?

Erica Jane Barrett was in seasons eight and nine of the hit series and she was the former girlfriend of Special Agent, Anthony DiNozzo Junior (Michael Weatherly).

She joined NCIS as Special Agent in Charge of Rota after Anthony declined the promotion.

He wanted to remain part of the Major Case Response Team headed by Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon).

As a result, EJ left for Rota, Spain, to meet her future colleagues.

Gayne Levin (Alimi Ballard) and Simon Cade (Matt Willig) were also part of the team.

EJ seemingly died in the season nine premiere after being shot, but her body disappeared without explanation.

However, she returned in an episode later that season, with her appearance receiving mixed reviews.

Fans took to Quora to discuss the last time they saw the character.

Maxim Kostyukovich said: “It is never assumed she was killed.

“After Cole had finally been captured, she and DiNozzo came out of hiding and, even though tempted to resume their romantic relationship, EJ eventually decided stay friends with him, and the two went different ways for good.

“Then EJ returned to her family home, for a long vacation and rest with her mother.

“That’s the last mentioning of her so far.”

Genwei Zagorac said: “I don’t believe she was killed. I may be wrong, but I believe the last episode she was in, she survived and just sort of left to be with family.”

It seems the star left the series as her storyline came to a natural end.

The role is listed as a recurring role, so she never intended to be a full-time cast member.

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After leaving the series she went on to star in Castle, Criminal Minds, Hawaii Five-0 and The Night Shift.

Back in 2011, she said Tony was the reason EJ was prepared to stay in town a little longer.

She told TV Line: “I don’t think that Tony was part of her plan by any means.

“But she starts realizing there are things she’s missing out on in life, being the ambitious agent she is.”

She spoke highly of her co-stars, saying she never knew when she would be ‘killed off’.

The star said: “I really like my guys, and I like everyone in the original cast, too, so I’m hopeful [no one dies]!

“But you never know with NCIS. Yesterday, I showed up to shoot a scene out in the woods, and there were no other actors around.

“’Did they do a rewrite and I’m about to get shot in the head or something? Where is everyone?!’

“It’s a little nerve-wracking, because you never know who they’re going to take out.”

With this in mind, she left the role on good terms.

NCIS season 19 airs on CBS and Disney Plus

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