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Why Abigail Borin From NCIS Looks So Familiar

The team on "NCIS" has always been filled with competent law enforcement agents. Wherever there's crime, they're on the case to bring the perpetrators to justice. However, even the most skilled officers need outside assistance once in a while, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service has never been afraid to ask for help when necessary.

Starting with Season 7, that's occasionally entailed calling upon the help of the Coast Guard Investigative Service agent Abigail Borin, as played by Diane Neal. She's a highly competent Marine veteran who would go on to lead her own team, and for multiple seasons, she would appear on "NCIS" to lend a helping hand where she could. In fact, she proved to be such a popular character that she also made appearances on the spinoff series "NCIS: New Orleans."

Neal may be known to many as Abigail Borin, but it's far from her most prominent role. Many people may likely recognize her from other projects on her extensive filmography, including a recurring role on arguably the most popular police procedural currently on the air.

She appeared in over 100 episodes of Law & Order: SVU

Diane Neal's acting career dates back to the early 2000s when she would appear in minor roles on various TV shows. One of these seemingly one-off performances came on "Law & Order: SVU" in 2001 when she played stockbroker Amelia Chase. She's a suspect in a case and ultimately gets convicted of said crime, and while that would ordinarily be the end of the line for an actor appearing on "Law & Order," Neal must've made a good impression somewhere. 

Two years later, she would return to the series in a different role, namely Assistant District Attorney Casey Novak. She's good at her job despite not exactly getting along with the rest of the SVU unit initially. They saw her as cold and distant, but they eventually warmed up to her when she became a better team player. 

Her last time appearing on the procedural was in the Season 13 episode "Valentine's Day," after which Casey promptly retired and hasn't appeared again.

Neal then moved to Suits

Seeing how Diane Neal had ample experience playing an attorney from her time on "Law & Order: SVU," it seemed like a natural progression that she would take that expertise to another show, namely "Suits" on USA. She appeared in three episodes across the show's run, starting with Season 2's "Break Point." The firm hires her to deal with a lawsuit alleging Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) of fraud.

However, it's not long until Allison begins rubbing people at the firm the wrong way, and she's eventually let go due to her inherent distrust of Harvey. Over time, she even starts headhunting people at the firm to work for her own Bratton Gould, even extending an offer to Harvey, who ultimately refused. Her final appearance would come in Season 3's "No Way Out."

The role allowed Neal to carry on her rich tradition of playing powerful women who won't back down from a fight.

Neal could also be found on Blue Bloods

Even after "Law & Order: SVU" and "NCIS," Diane Neal wasn't done with procedurals just yet. In 2015, she appeared in a single episode of "Blue Bloods," namely "Holds Outs," as Kelly Blake. She's a District Attorney who goes to see Erin Reagan (Bridget Moynahan) early in the episode to have her handle a murder case being retried, ruining Erin's vacation plans in the process. 

"Blue Bloods" would be her last credit for a while until 2021's "Circle of Deception." But Neal kept busy during all of that time. She even ran for Congress to represent New York's 19th district. In an interview with Elle, she'd say of her run, "I personally wouldn't forgive myself If I had the opportunity to make a difference and I didn't do anything with that opportunity — [if] I just sat on the couch watching MSNBC all day and b***hing to my friends."

She didn't end up getting elected, but that isn't stopping her from pursuing other interests. In January 2022, she announced via Twitter that she would launch her own podcast called "Hear Say with Diane Neal." It's a big world out there, and it's clear Neal isn't stopping at merely being a great actor.