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NCIS Season 20 Episode 4 Just Snuck In An Unexpected Caf-Pow Reference

Pauley Perrette's character, Abby Sciuto, became quite controversial over her 15 years on "NCIS." So much so that, when u/matamjo posted on an "NCIS" subreddit a story about "bring[ing] back Pauley Perrette's Abby Sciuto in Season 20," the comments were almost evenly split between the negative: "Not going to happen, or at least: it shouldn't," from u/Jlx_27 to the positive: "I'd be ecstatic to see her on the show again if at all possible," from u/MysticCatGamer.

So many characters have left over the 20-season run of "NCIS," and it's been a rarity to see them again in anything other than flashbacks. Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) made a surprise return five years after her character had "died," but Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), whose character was supposedly living with his and David's child in France, opted not to return. Donald "Ducky" Mallard (David McCallum), who moved to a recurring character during Season 15, is virtually the only character who no longer works for "NCIS," but still occasionally pops in for visits.

As it turned out in Season 20, Episode 4 ("Leave No Trace"), it wasn't Perrette that was returning to "NCIS" at all, but something strongly associated with her.

One of the suspects the NCIS team is chasing is drinking Caf-Pow

In Season 20, Episode 4 of "NCIS," Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) and Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) are searching a van that they believe belongs to their suspects, wondering aloud where they are. Suddenly they're right behind them, and one is holding a familiar-looking giant cup. Just as viewers realize he's having a cup of Caf-Pow, he throws it to the ground, and the suspects run off. If it wasn't for Jessica Knight's (Katrina Law) question, "Buy you some more Caf-Pows?" we may have thought our minds were playing tricks on us.

"[Caf]-Pow mention!" exclaimed u/EBJ1990 on an "NCIS" subreddit. Suppose the sound of a drink containing Hawaiian Punch, unsweetened cranberry juice, red Gatorade, red Kool-Aid, and a massive amount of red energy drink sounds delicious. In that case, Abby's drink is for you. While Abby's drink of choice may not exist, it's lovely to see that Caf-Pow still exists in the "NCIS" universe four years after her departure.

Fans have wondered what happened to Abby and why her character is never mentioned. Showrunner Steven D. Binder told Hello Magazine that he'd like to normalize mentioning Abby. He admitted that "I thought we were a little remiss in not [doing that sooner], but there are so many moving parts ..." While it's unlikely Pauley Perrette would return, it would be great if Abby was treated as someone still around in the "NCIS" world.